Topic: Chief Red Jacket

Choctaw Traditions – The Council Fire, The Nahullo

The faces of the Choctaw and Chickasaw men of sixty years ago were as smooth as a woman’s, in fact they had no beard. Sometimes there might be seen a few tine hairs (if hairs they might be called) here and there upon the face, but they were few and far between, and extracted with a pair of small tweezers whenever discovered. Oft have I seen a Choctaw warrior standing before a mirror seeking with untiring perseverance and unwearied eyes, as he turned his face at different angles to the glass, if by chance a hair could be found lurking there, which, if discovered, was instantly removed as an unwelcome intruder. Even today, a full blood Choctaw or Chickasaw with a heavy beard is never seen. I have seen a few, here and there, with a little patch of beard upon their chins, but it was thin and short, and with good reasons to suspect that white blood flowed in their veins. It is a truth but little known among the whites, that the North American Indians of untarnished blood have no hair upon any part of the body except the head. My knowledge of this peculiarity was confined, however, to the Choctaws and Chickasaws alone. But in conversation with an aged Choctaw friend upon this subject, and inquiring” if this peculiarity extended to all Indians, he replied; “To all,...

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Indian Wampums

The Indians, having no written language, preserved and handed down their history to future generations through tradition, much of which could have been obtained a century and a half ago, and even a century ago, which was authentic and would have added much to the interest of the history of the continent of which we boast as our inheritance, though obtained by the extermination of a race of people whose wonderful history, had it been obtained as it once could have been, would have been very interesting and beneficial to future generations, throwing its light back over ages unknown,...

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Charles Montezuma

There always have existed among the North American Indians, and still exist, many examples of intellectual ability, of genius, of high moral feeling and as noble and pure patriotism as was ever found in any nation of people and as proof of this fact I relate the following: Some twenty-five years ago a photographer of Chicago, being in Arizona on a vacation trip, found and rescued from an Apache camp an abandoned Indian male infant of full blood. The photographer became possessed with a desire to take the boy home with him and adopt him. In spite of warnings that the child would prove a viper in his bosom, he carried out his intentions, and reared the boy, to whom the name of Charles Montezuma was given, as a member of his family. The young Apache grew up to being face and physique the very type of his tribe; but he was at the same time an excellent scholar and a perfect gentleman. He graduated at the Chicago High School with credit, and was very popular in his class, being gentle, polite, and industrious. A recent inquiry as to Montezuma’s career since the completion of his high school education developed the facts that he has selected surgery for a profession, and will graduate from the Chicago Medical College far above the average of his class; that he is liked by...

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Moravian Massacre at Gnadenbrutten

In the early part of the year 1763 two Moravian missionaries, Post and Heckewelder, established a mission among the Tuscarawa Indians, and in a few years they had three nourishing missionary stations, viz: Shoenbrun, Gnadenbrutten and Salem, which were about five miles apart and fifty miles west of the present town of Steubenville, Ohio. During our Revolutionary War their position being midway between the hostile Indians (allies of the British) on the Sandusky River, and our frontier settlements, and therefore on the direct route of the war parties of both the British Indian allies and the frontier settlers, they...

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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...

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Red Jacket Monument, Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo, New York

Much has been said of the speaking ability of this noted Indian. A good example of one of his famous speeches was one that was delivered to a missionary named Cram who visited the Senecas, in 1805. This missionary requested a council with the Senecas, claiming that he had an important message to deliver to them. When the people had assembled, Cram gave a speech in which he told the Indians that they had never worshipped God in a decent manner but that they and their fathers had been in great darkness and error. He informed them that he...

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Witchcraft–Case of Tom. Jemmy

In the spring of 1821, a man belonging to Red Jacket’s tribe, fell into a languishing condition, and after lingering for some time, unable to obtain relief, died. The “medicine men” were unable to divine the cause of his malady; the circumstances of his sickness and death, were thought to be very peculiar, and his friends could discover no better way of explaining the matter, than to suppose he had been bewitched. The Indians believed in sorcery, and at different times in their history had been known to execute summary judgment, on those whom they supposed to be guilty...

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