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Topic: Chickasaw

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...

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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,...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Choctaws views on God and Murder

Among every North American Indian tribe from their earliest known history down to the present, there was and is a universal belief in the existence of a God, and Supreme Being, universally known among all Indians as the Great Spirit; and with whose attributes were associated all the various manifestations of natural phenomena; and in point of due respect and true devotion to this Great Spirit their acknowledged God they as a whole today excel, and ever have excelled, the whites in their due respect and true devotion to their acknowledged God. Never was an Indian known to deny the existence of his God the Great Spirit and attribute the creation of all things, himself included, to chance. Never was a North American Indian known to deny the wisdom and power of the Great Spirit as manifested iii the creation of an intellectual and immortal being, yet found and acknowledged it in the monkey. Never was an Indian known to deny his immortality bestowed upon him by the Great Spirit. ” Immortality, that most sublime thought in all the annals of fallen humanity, has ever found a resting place immovably fixed in every Indian’s heart, not one excepted; and under its benign influence, their uncultivated minds have expanded and shadows of death been disarmed of terror; and though, through all the ages past has been heard the inquiry “Is...

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Views on the Choctaw and Fables – North American Indians

The territories of the Choctaws in 1723, in which year the seat of the French government in Louisiana, then under Bienville, was definitely transferred from Natchez to New Orleans, then containing about one hundred houses and three thousand inhabitants, extended from the Mississippi River to the Black Warrior, east: and from Lake Pontchartrain to the territories of the Natchez, west, and Chickasaws, north. They possessed upwards of sixty principal towns, and could muster, as was estimated, twenty-five thousand warriors. The Choctaws called all fables Shukha Anump (hog talk) as a mark of derision and contempt. Some of their fables, handed down by tradition through unknown generations, were similar in the morals taught by those of the famous Esop. One of these Shukha Anumpas was that of the turkey and the terrapin: A haughty turkey gobbler, with long flowing beard and glossy feathers, meeting a terrapin one bright and beautiful spring morning, thus accosted him with an expression of great contempt; “What are you good for?” To which the terrapin humbly replied “many things.” “Name one,” continued the turkey. “I can beat you running,” said the terrapin. “What nonsense!” “I thought you were a fool, now I know it,” continued the turkey. “I repeat it, I can beat you running, distance half a mile” continued the terrapin. “To prove you are a fool in believing such an absurdity, I’ll run...

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Memoirs of John Pitchlynn

John Pitchlynn, the name of another white man who at an early day cast his lot among the Choctaws, not to be a curse but a true benefactor. He was contemporaneous with the three Folsom’s, Nathaniel, Ebenezer and Edmond; the three Nails, Henry, Adam and Edwin; the two Le Flores Lewis and Mitchel, and Lewis Durant. John Pitchlynn, as the others, married a Choctaw girl and thus become a bona-fide citizen of the Choctaw Nation. He was commissioned by Washington, as United States Interpreter for the Choctaws in 1786, in which capacity he served them long and faithfully. Whether...

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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...

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The Choctaw Life & Warrior

Many of the ancient Choctaws were a dept in the art of singing their native airs, of which they had many; but all effort to induce one of them to sing alone one of his favorite songs was fruitless. They invariably replied to the solicitation in broken English, “Him no good.” Then sing me a war song. “Him heap no good,” with an ominous shake of the head. Then sing me a hunting song. “No good; he no fit for pale face. “Well, sing me a love song. “Wah”! (an ancient. exclamation of surprise now obsolete) much love song, him bad, no good for pale face.” Though this was somewhat tantalizing yet it had to be endured. Like all their race, the Choctaws never forgot an act of kindness be it ever so trivial; and many a white man overtaken by misfortune when traveling over their country, and weak beneath the remorseless grasp of hunger, has felt that the truth of the eastern proverb has been brought home to him: Cast thy bread upon the waters, and thou shall find it after many days. More than once has it fallen to my lot to contribute to an Indian’s immediate necessities, in days of their individual want and weakness; and, in after days the incident by me long forgotten; they have returned the favor thirty fold; and for many favors have I...

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Mound Builders

The types of the human skulls taken from those ancient mounds said to have been erected by a prehistoric race, and now called “Mound Builders” a race claimed to be far superior to our Indians are characteristic, not only of the ancient Mexicans, Peruvians and other ancient tribes of South America, but also of the ancient Natchez, Muskogee’s, Choctaws, Chickasaws, Cherokees, Seminoles, Yamases and others of the North American continent. And it is a conceded fact that all Indians ever found in North and South America possess many common features. I have seen the native Indians of Mexico, Arizona...

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Choctaw Indian Mounds

I read the following in the American Antiquarian over the signature of H. F. Buckner: “Mr. Maxwell, in a historical address, says: My conviction is that the high grade of military skill displayed by the Mound Builders at Carthage, Alabama, attests a know ledge of the necessities of attack and defense unknown to the mode of warfare practiced by the tribes found here by De Soto.” Mr. Maxwell does not state in what respect the high grade of military engineering skill displayed by the Mound Builders at Carthage, Alabama, attests a knowledge of the necessities of attack and defense...

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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...

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The Story of Hohtak Lahba and his Choctaw Mother

Their laws (for they had laws,) though exceptional in some respects to the White Race, nevertheless, were good, and quite consistent with the nations of a primitive age. But like all others of their race, their severest law was that of blood revenge. Whosoever sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed was a statute rigidly enforced among all North American Indians. It was acknowledged among all, not only to be the right, but also the imperative duty of the nearest relative on the male side of the slain, to kill the slayer wherever and whenever a favorable opportunity was presented. Under many existing circumstances the law might, perhaps, have been just and salutary; but unfortunately it went too far, as any male member of the murderer s family, though innocent and even ignorant of the crime, might become the victim of the avenger of blood, if the guilty had fled; but such seldom occurred, as the murderer rarely ever made any effort whatever to escape, but passively submitted to his fate. Still, this law, revolting as it may appear to many, exercised a good influence among the Choctaws, as it had a salutary effect in restraining them in the heat of passion, by rendering them cautious in their disputes and quarrels, lest blood should be shed; knowing the absolute certainty of murder being avenged sooner or...

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History of the Shakchi Humma Tribe

Oktibbeha 1O-ka-it-tib-ih-ha county, Mississippi, as well as its sister counties, has been the scene of many hard struggles between the contending warriors of the different tribes, who inhabited the noble old state in years of the long past; not only from the statements and traditions of the Choctaws, who were among the last of the Indian race whose council-fires lit up her forests, and whose hoyopatassuha died away upon her hills, but also from the numerous fortifications and entrenchments, that were plainly visible, ere the ploughshare had upturned her virgin soil, and her native- forests still stood in their...

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