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Location: Muskogee County OK

Slave Narrative of Mary Grayson

Person Interviewed: Mary Grayson Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma Age: 83 I am what we colored people call a “native.” That means that I didn’t come into the Indian country from somewhere in the Old South, after the war, like so many Negroes did, but I was born here in the old Creek Nation, and my master was a Creek Indian. That was eighty three years ago, so I am told. My mammy belonged to white people back in Alabama when she was born, down in the southern part I think, for she told me that after she was a sizeable girl her white people moved into the eastern part of Alabama where there was a lot of Creeks. Some of them Creeks was mixed up with the whites, and some of the big men in the Creeks who come to talk to her master was almost white, it looked like. “My white folks moved around a lot when I was a little girl”, she told me. When mammy was about 10 or 12 years old some of the Creeks begun to come out to the Territory in little bunches. They wasn’t the ones who was taken out here by the soldiers and contractor men, they come on ahead by themselves and most of them had plenty of money, too. A Creek come to my mammy’s master and bought her to...

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Slave Narrative of Henry F. Pyles

Person Interviewed: Henry F. Pyles Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma Date of Birth: August 15, 1856 Age: 81 That’s how the niggers say old Bab Russ used to make the hoodoo “hands” he made for the young bucks and wenches, but I don’t know. ’cause I was too trusting to look inside de one he make for me, and anyways I lose it, and it no good nohow! Old Bab Russ live about two mile from me, and I went to him one night at midnight and ask him to make me de hand. I was a young strapper about sixteen years old, and thinking about wenches pretty hard and wanting something to help me out wid the one I liked best. Old Bab Russ charge me four bits for dat hand, and I had to give four bits more for a pint of whiskey to wet it wid, and it wasn’t no good nohow! Course dat was five-six years after de war. I wasn’t yet quite eleven when de war close. Most all the niggers was farming on de shares and whole lots of them was still working for their old Master yet. Old Bab come in there from deep South Carolina two-three years befo’ and live all by hisself. De gal I was worrying about had come wid her old pappy and mammy to pick cotton on de place....

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Slave Narrative of Harriett Robinson

Person Interviewed: Harriet Robinson Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Place of Birth: Bastrop, Texas Date of Birth: September 1, 1842 Age: 95 I was born close to Webbers Falls, in the Canadian District of the Cherokee Nation, in the same year that my pappy was blowed up and killed in the big boat accident that killed my old Master. I never did see my daddy excepting when I was a baby and I only know what my mammy told me about him. He come from across the water when he was a little boy, and was grown when old Master Joseph Vann bought him, so he never did learn to talk much Cherokee. My mammy was a Cherokee slave, and talked it good. My husband was a Cherokee born Negro, too, and when he got mad he forgit all the English he knowed. Old Master Joe had a mighty big farm and several families of Negroes, and he was a powerful rich man. Pappy’s name was Kalet Vann, and mammy’s name was Sally. My brothers was name Sone and Frank. I had one brother and one sister sold when I was little and I don’t remember the names. My other sisters was Polly, Ruth and Liddie. I had to work in the kitchen when I was a gal, and they was ten or twelve children smaller than me for me...

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Slave Narrative of Chaney Richardson

Person Interviewed: Chaney Richardson Location: Fort Gibson, Oklahoma Age: 90 I was born in the old Caney settlement southeast of Tahlequah on the banks of Caney Creek. Off to the north we could see the big old ridge of Sugar Mountain when the sun shine on him first thing in the morning when we all getting up. I didn’t know nothing else but some kind of war until I was a grown woman, because when I first can remember my old Master, Charley Rogers, was always on the lookout for somebody or other he was lined up against in the big feud. My master and all the rest of the folks was Cherokees, and they’d been killing each other off in the feud ever since long before I was borned, and jest because old Master have a big farm and three-four families of Negroes them other Cherokees keep on pestering his stuff all the time. Us children was always afeared to go any place less’n some of the grown folks was along. We didn’t know what we was a-feared of, but we heard the Master and Mistress keep talking ’bout “another Party killing” and we stuck close to the place. Old Mistress’ name was Nancy Rogers, but I was a orphan after I was a big girl and I called her “Aunt” and “Mamma” like I did when I...

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Slave Narrative of Betty Robertson

Person Interviewed: Betty Robertson Location: Fort Gibson, Oklahoma Age: 93 I was born close to Webbers Falls, in the Canadian District of the Cherokee Nation, in the same year that my pappy was blowed up and killed in the big boat accident that killed my old Master. I never did see my daddy excepting when I was a baby and I only know what my mammy told me about him. He come from across the water when he was a little boy, and was grown when old Master Joseph Vann bought him, so he never did learn to talk much Cherokee. My mammy was a Cherokee slave, and talked it good. My husband was a Cherokee born Negro, too, and when he got mad he forgit all the English he knowed. Old Master Joe had a mighty big farm and several families of Negroes, and he was a powerful rich man. Pappy’s name was Kalet Vann, and mammy’s name was Sally. My brothers was name Sone and Frank. I had one brother and one sister sold when I was little and I don’t remember the names. My other sisters was Polly, Ruth and Liddie. I had to work in the kitchen when I was a gal, and they was ten or twelve children smaller than me for me to look after, too. Sometime Young Master Joe and the other...

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Slave Narrative of Allen V. Manning

Person Interviewed: Allen V. Manning Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma Place of Birth: Clarke County Mississippi Date of Birth: 1850 Age: 87 Occupation: Sells Milk I always been somewhar in the South, mostly in Texas when I was a young man, and of course us Negroes never got much of a show in court matters, but I reckon if I had of had the chance to set on a jury I would of made a mighty poor out at it. No sir. I jest can’t set in judgement on nobody, ’cause I learned when I was jest a little boy that good people and bad people, makes no difference which, jest keep on living and doing like they been taught, and I jest can’t seen to blame them none for what they do iffen they been taught that way. I was born in slavery, and I belonged to a Baptist preacher. Until I was fifteen years old I was taught that I was his own chattel-property, and he could do with me like he wanted to, but he had been taught that way too, and we both believed it. I never did hold nothing against him for being hard on Negroes sometimes, and I don’t think I ever would of had any trouble even if I had of growed up and died in slavery. The young Negroes don’t know nothing ’bout...

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Slave Narrative of Nancy Rogers Bean

Person Interviewed: Nancy Rogers Bean Location: Hulbert, Oklahoma Place of Birth: Boggy Depot, Oklahoma Age: 82 I’m getting old and it’s easy to forget most of the happenings of slave days; anyway I was too little to know much about them, for my mammy told me I was born about six years before the war. My folks was on their way to Fort Gibson, and on the trip I was born at Boggy Depot, down in southern Oklahoma. There was a lot of us children; I got their names somewheres here. Yes, there was George, Sarah, Emma, Stella, Sylvia, Lucinda, Rose, Den, Pamp, Jeff, Austin, Jessie, Isaac and Andrew: we all lived in a one room log cabin on Master Rogers’ place not far from the old military road near Choteau. Mammy was raised around the Cherokee town of Tahlequah. I got my name from the Rogers, but I was loaned around to their relatives most of the time. I helped around the house for Bill McCracken, then I was with Cornelius and Carline Wright, and when I was freed my Mistress was a Mrs. O’Neal, wife of a officer at Fort Gibson. She treated me the best of all and gave me the first doll I ever had. It was a rag doll with charcoal eyes and red thread worked in for the mouth. She allowed me one...

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Slave Narrative of Phoebe Banks

Person Interviewed: Phoebe Banks Location: Muskogee, Oklahoma Date of Birth: October 17, 1860 Age: 78 In 1860, there was a little Creek Indian town of Sodom on the north bank of the Arkansas River, in a section the Indians called Chocka Bottoms, where Hose Perryman had a big farm or ranch for a long time before the Civil War. That same year, on October 17, I was born on the Perryman place, which was northwest of where I lived now in Muskogee; only in them days Fort Gibson and Okmulgee was the biggest towns around and Muskogee hadn’t shaped up yet. My mother belonged to Mose Perryman when I was born: he was one of the best known Creeks in the whole nation, and one of his younger brothers, Legus Perryman, was made the big chief of the Creeks (1887) a long time after the slaves was freed. Mother’s name was Eldee; my father’s name was William McIntosh, because he belonged to a Creek Indian family by that name. Everybody say the McIntoshes was leaders in the Creek doings away back there in Alabama long before they come out here. With me, there was twelve children in our family; Daniel, Stroy, Scott, Segal, Neil, Joe, Phillip, Mollie, Harriett, Sally and Queenie. The Perryman slave cabins was all alike just two room log cabins, with a fireplace where mother do...

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Slave Narrative of Phyllis Petite

Person Interviewed: Phyllis Petite Location: Fort Gibson, Oklahoma Place of Birth: Rusk County, Texas Age: 83 I was born in Rusk County, Texas, on a plantation about eight miles east of Belleview. There wasn’t no town where I was born, but they had a church. My mammy and pappy belonged to a part Cherokee named W. P. Thompson when I was born. He had kinfolks in the Cherokee Nation, and we all moved up here to a place on Fourteen-Mile Creek close to where Hulbert now is. ‘way before I was big enough to remember anything. Then, so I been told, old master Thompson sell my pappy and mammy and one of my baby brothers and me back to one of his neighbors in Texas name of John Harnage. Mammy’s name was Letitia Thompson and pappy’s was Riley Thompson. My little brother was named Johnson Thompson, but I had another brother sold to a Vann and he always call hisself Harry Vann. His Cherokee master lived on the Arkansas river close to Webber’s Falls and I never did know him until we was both grown. My only sister was Patsy and she was borned after slavery and died at Wagoner, Oklahoma. I can just remember when Master John Harnage took us to Texas. We went in a covered wagon with oxen and camped out all along the way. Mammy...

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Biographical Sketch of Manford E. DeLozier

DeLozier, Manford E. (See Adair)—Manford F. DeLozier, born Sept. 25, 1891, at Adair, educated locally. Married at Mus­kogee, October 4, 1914, Amanda F., daughter of John B. and Bettie 3. Gibson, born January 5th, 1895, in Missouri. They are the parents of Vivian Marie, born Feb­ruary 20, 1916, and Reuben Edward DeLozier, Jr., born August 18, 1819. After clerking in the Bank of Adair for some time, Mr. DeLozier gave up that place to assume the more congenial occupation of farming and stock raising. Edward, the son of John and Gahoga Adair, was born February 7, 1789. Married June 17, 1809, Martha Richie, born February 10, 1790. She died July 7, 1857, and he died December 21, 1864. They were the parents of John Adair, born May 1, 1812. Married March 20, 1832, Anna Berry Gra­ham, born October 12, 1816. He died March 15, 1877, and she died November 1, 1900. Their son, Edward Alexander Adair, was born February 25, 1847. Married October 1867, Narcissa Malissa Harrison, born December 25, 1846, in Murray County, Georgia. He died December 3, 1901, and she is still living. They were the parents of: Georgia Virginia Adair, born at Dalton Georgia, January 29, 1869. Married January 8, 1888, Reuben Edward DeLozier, born June 20, 1855, at Osceola, Missouri. Elected County Commissioner of Mayes County September 17, 1907. He died April 23, 1921. They...

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Biographical Sketch of Mrs. Nannie Foreman

Foreman, Mrs. Nannie (See Grant, Downing, Foreman, Watie, Conrad and Halfbreed)—Return, son of Ellis and Sarah (Phillips) Foreman was educated in the Cherokee Na­tional Schools. Married at Muskogee, Nannie, daughter of Thomas Jefferson and Susannah (Watie) Bean, born March 25, 1881. They are the parents of Joseph, born October 16, 1917 and Samuel Foreman, born February 6, 1911. John Alexander Watie married Eliza Fields and they were the parents of Mrs. Susannah (Watie) Bean. Ellis (commonly called “Tyler’) son of Samuel and Sallie (Gourd) Foreman married Sarah, daughter of Elijah and Sidney Crittenden) Phillips and they were the parents of Return...

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Biographical Sketch of W. L. Mayes

(See Downing, Oolootsa, Adair and Ghigoneli) William Lucullus, son of Samuel Houston and Martha Elizabeth (Vann) Mayes, was born February 6, 1874; educated in the Male Seminary. He married January 8, 1901, Mary Llewellyn, daughter of Gideon and Mary Llewellyn (Payne) Morgan, born June 23, 1877 and graduated from the Female Seminary June 28, 1894. They are the parents of Martha Llewellyn Mayes, born August 24, 1902. Mr. Mayes is prominently identified with real estate and it activities in Muskogee,...

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Biographical Sketch of Elmer C. Croom

(See Grant and Oolootsa) Lorella Coleman, born March 14, 1858 married September 17, 1874 Joseph Smith, born December 10, 1846 were parents of Jessie Morton Smith, born 22, 1875. She married December 1894, Isaac Newton Croom, born August 12, 1867 in Madison County, Tennessee. They were the parents of Joseph Newton, Marvin Earl, William Lee, Elmer Clement, and Lula Irene Croom. The are residents of...

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Biographical Sketch of William Henry Barker

(See Ghigau) Elvira, daughter of Jesse and Sallie (Starr) Mayfield, married William Henry Barker; and they were the parents of Sallie Belle Barker who married Henry Forney Nicholson. Mr. Barker was elected a member of Council from Canadian District in 1889, and was chosen by that body as their speaker. He was elected Circuit Judge of the Southern Judicial Circuit of the Cherokee Nation in 1891, serving for a four-year term. He is at present a retired farmer at...

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Biographical Sketch of Elizabeth Thatcher Stokes

(See Foreman) Herschael Vetran, son of Jeremiah Young and Mary Malinda (Walker) Stokes, born Sept. 21, 1882 educated in Cooweeescoowee District. Married at Muskogee June 28, 1909 Elizabeth, daughter of Joel T. and Mary L. (Kitchum) Thatcher, born in Delaware District November 12, 1883 and educated at Vinita. They are the parents of: Herschael Owen, born, April 2, 1910 and Darwin Clark Stokes, born September 13, 1911. Minerva Jane Taylor married Robert Wesley Walker and they were the parents of Mary Malinda (Walker) Stokeg. Robert Wesley Walker was elected Judge of Going Snake District March 24, 1879, appointed Attorney General of Cherokee Nation December 20, 1892 and elected Chief Justice of Cherokee Nation in November 1893. Joel Mayes Thatcher, brother of Mrs. H. V. Stokes was a soldier in the world...

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