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3 1924 073 559 761 

Cornell University 

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tine Cornell University Library. 

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the United States on the use of the text. 



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Copyright, 1899, by H. B. Cushraan. 

(All rights reserved.) 



A:- r. 

To the memory of my parents, Calvin and Laura Cush- 
man, as Heralds of the Cross of Christ, they, with a few 
other congenial spirits, left their homes in Massachusetts, 
A. D. 1820, as missionaries, and went to the Choctaw Indians, 
then living in their Ancient Domains east of the Missisippi 
River. Devoted their lives to the moral and intellectual 
improvement and spiritual interests of that peculiar and in- 
teresting- race of mankind, living and dying the sincere and 
abiding friends of the Red Man of the North American Con- 


To the Choctaw and Chickasaw people, each the now 
feeble rpmnant of a once numei'ous, independent, contented 
and happy people, whose long line of ancestry dates back to 
the pre-historic ages of the remote past, it is ascribed in 
loving remembrance of the writer's earliest and most faith- 
ful friends, whom he has a just cause, to cherish for their 
many long known ami tested virtues. 


To bring one's material to a strictly historical and clas- 
sified order is almost an impossibility when dealing- with a 
subject so diversified as that of the Red Race of the North 
American Continent. But I have soug^ht, found and broug-ht 
together an amount of information concerning that , pecu- 
liar people that has never, before been published; having 
been born of parents who were missionaries to the Choc- 
taws in 1820, and haying been reared among them and in- 
timately acquainted with them during the vicissitudes of a 
life extending to nearly four score of years. I well know 
that the Indian race has oft been the subject of the pen, and 
still continues to be, but only in short details^ thus leaving 
the reader in bevvilderment, though historical truths were to 
be found in abundance among them wherever one, turned — 
truths one can never forget; scenes and events which have an 
imperishable memory. 

Then come awhile with me, reader, from what you have 
hitherto learned about the Red Man of this continent, to that 
which may be entirely new to you no matter how old it may 
be to others; since you might learn something more of the 
primitive influences which shaped the career of the North 
American Indians in their dealings with the White Race from 
their first acquaintance to the present day; as I have endeav- 
ored to present many based upon knowledge acquired by a 
personal acquaintance with two tribes (closely allied) , dur- 
ing a protracted life of many years, seeing and learning the 
romance and poetry of their natures, a people of interest, 
moral worth and individuality of character. I know that to 
all riiy race, the Indian (comparatively speaking) lives only in 
the vague memory of the legendary past — that period made 
vivid by the wrongs of the White Race perpetrated upon the 
Red — all a series of struggles terminating in sanguinary 
executions when no services rendered by the tribe in their 
vain struggle to be free, availed to save the defeated Chieftain 
from a felon's grave; while the feeble remnant that still sur- 
vives stands as the best commentary of their wrongs, while 
they despairingly cry "kill us also, and thus complete your 
crtfelty by taking our lives as you began with our liberties." 

Truly, what a sad and melancholy record is their his- 
tory; undervalued by the civilized world, though in op- 
position to the declarations of all who knew them as justice 
demanded they should be known. Alas, broken-hearted for 


two centuries, yet having their souls pierced and lacerated 
by the poisonous shafts of unjust defamation and cruel false- 
hood, while they sadly ask in lamentations of woe: "Where 
is to be the end"? Only to hear echo's fearful response, 
"The grave." Therefore they seem indifferentnowasto what 
the world is doing around them, since none extend the hand 
of friendshiptothem but to defraud; none smile on their dejec- 
ted faces but to deride; none sympathize \^ith them in their 
poverty but to mock; and now when you meet them, they 
neither look to the right nor left, but straight forward walking 
with slow and measured steps that betoken the thoughts of 
a helpless and h6peless people— hopeless, at least, of all that 
life may bring them of freedom and prosperity. Few even 
speak to th/em in tones of kindness, yet all momentarily stop 
to gaze on them with wondering stare as if they were cum- 
berers of the ground, though there is still upon their faces 
of despair a visible touch of lingering chivalry worthy of a 
better fate. 

With many of their illustrious men (long deceased) 
whom I have brought into this history, I was personally ac- 
quainted through the vicissitudes of many years; with others, 
though not personally, yet I knew their minds and the 
motives of their actions, and these truly constitute the man. 
And they were men whose high endowments (nature's gift) 
could not be misled into selfish ambition; nor prosperity in- 
flate; nor disappointment depress from holy trust and honor- 
able action known by the veritable touch-stone, "Ye shall 
know a tree by its fruits." Nor have I sketched a virtue 
that I have not seen, nor painted a folly from imagination; 
but have endeavored to be faithful to reality, in all things as 
touching that peculiar yet noble race of the human family, 
who sought resignation in all their misfortunes and woes, 
and found it only in the decrees of the "Great Spirit" who 
had given to their race so many centuries of uninterrupted 
bliss, truly a noble people who tauglit misfortune dignity. 
They had never left their secluded and quiet homes amid 
nature's forest ^groves to expose themselves to the contami- 
nations of the vices (to them unknown) of the civilized (so- 
called) world of traffic and trade. 

Sequestered from its view, neither its pageants nor its 
follies had ever reached them there. It was then and 
there I studied their unsophisticated natures with an enthu- 
siasm which is the fragrance of the flower that lives after 
the bloom is withered. Nor am I asihamed to confess my 
profound admiration of the North American Indian, to whom 
there was nothing so dear as his freedom unrestrained, 
which he proved beyond all dispute by fearlessly resisting 


'the hand of tyrannical oppressions from the Atlantic coas1j»to 
the Pacific, against odds in point of numbers, munitions of 
war, skill and means, as one to ten thousand, and yielded 
not until the last warrior had fallen, the last bow broken and 
his race reduced to absolute poverty, want and woe. Still, 
though poor and lowly as he seemed to his venal destroyers, 
yet his whole heart and life were wrapt up in the remem- 
brance of his freedom. He worshipped the thought as his 
most precious property, the dear treasure of his secret and 
Tiighest bliss. It was the constant compailion of his thoughts 
the monitor of his actions and the true key to his life. 

But alas, when memory now turns to the past of his 
early life and its unexpected blighting, and raises before his 
mind every hope connected with it, and his seeming present 
■doom stares him in the face, what can rid him of those suc- 
cessive images that seem' to glide aroujl^d him like mouruful 
apparitions of the long lamented dead, since grief long since 
has looked up the avenues of complaint, and he stands as one 
petrified to stone. But how wonderful, amid all their adver- 
sities, has been their power to rally and to recover their 
waning resolution and courage; verily, they oft seemed to 
experience a kind of determined pleasure in resolutely/ con- 
fronting the worst aspect of their innumerable reverses; 
yea, in standing in the breech that ha^ long since overthrown 
their future, and hurling back in defiant despair, "Here we 
stand, at least an honest and chivalrous people;" but alas, 
only to seek solitude by retiring within themselves pleading 
"Jailor, lock the door." Truly their lives, thougfh not with- 
•out their efforts of strorlg exertion, have been during the 
last two centunies, and still are, a dream spent in chewing 
the cud of sweet and bitter fancy, while they have worn the 
garb of hope which has diverted their past and present woes 
' by a touch of the wand of imagination and gilded over the 
future by prospects fairer than were ever realized. But it is 
impossible to deny and yet not-to admire and praise the 
strong sense of solidity and fraternity which, through all 
their lives, still unite the membei's of the same tribe, and the 
feelings which have not been dimmed by modern changes but 
still exist as warm and active as ever; yet.the White Race has 
ever looked Jupon the Red from the Ishmaelitish standpoint, 
and in all its intercourse, from first to last, began and so 
continued by treating them as inferior beings, too low in the 
scale of humanity to be reached by the hand of Christianity 
and civilization; inveterate and uncoiji promising- enemies to 
be circumvented and overreached iinder an exhibition of 
smiling and artful hypocrisy and base venality unknown to 
.the Red Man and unsurpassed in the annals of the White. 


But longf since cut loose from their ancient mooring-s, they 
have felt for more than a century that they were slowly but 
surely drifting toward an uriknowQ destiny foreshadowing- 
extermination^ What other people that would not have had 
recourse to war or the suicide's rifle? yet, after despair had 
usurped the place of hope in longer resistance, they had 
principle to resist the one, and resolution to combat the 
other. Biit they were to tread the lovt^est paths of sorrow, 
poverty and humiliating depressions; whose circumstances 
were too humble to expect redress aiid whose sufferings 
(mental and physical) were too great even for pity; and 
whose wrongs, at the hands of inside white intruders and 
outside defamers, have long since destroyed that strength of 
mind with which mankind can meet distress; therefore they 
prepare to suffer in silence rather than openly complain. 
What else could they do? The world disclaims them. 
Christianity even seems to have turned its back upon their 
distress, given them up to spiritual nakedness and hunger, 
and left them to plead to white wretches whose hearts are 
stone, or to debauchees who may curse but will not give re- 
lief, while every devilish trick is played upon them, and their 
every action made a fund for eternal ridicule. 

fTruly, instead of wondering that so little of their true 
history has been preserved, it is a matter of much greater 
wonder that so much of truth has escaped the waste of two> 
centuries through whict they have been dragged from place 
to place, while all narratives concerning them have been 
written, with few exceptions, in shameful derogation of their 
true characters, all exaggerated and ^till continuing to be 
exaggerated, evincing a strange love of defamation only to 
gratify the morbid fondness of their readers for the marve- 
lous, and their own manifested inability to tell the truth; 
therefore the most absurd and ridiculous falsehoods are fabri- 
cated and published about this people and joyfully read and 
believed by all who are in harmony with their traducers, a 
truth that remains, in essential points at least, from one end 
of the scale to the other. 

True, the ways of the Indians are not the ways of the- 
civilized world of which they knew nothing; nor, were they, 
being without its ways, versed in its revolting vices, and' 
their so-called love of war and carnage existed but in the 
imagination df the White Race, one of rts beliefs which may 
be traced hither and thither but never to the propitiation of 
truth concerning anything about the Red; since, having its 
ori^^in alone in the impatience of its venality while Uriftin^ 
amid zones of ignorance and prejudice; jind when I contem- 
plate s^uch, I am taught to look upon their'errors more in sor- 


row than anger. True the Indians were cruel to their ene- 
mieB in war, and so are we together vS^ith all , the nation^ of 

But when I take up the North American Indian who has 
suif ered and represent to myself the struggles he has passed 
through for centuries past, to defend his just rights and 
sustain the freedom of his country from exotic vandals, and 
reflect upon his brief pulsations of joy; the tears of woe; the 
feebleness of purpose; the scorn of the world that has, with- 
out just reason, no charity for hiita; the desolation of his 
souli's sanctuary, his freedom buried in the memory of the 
past; happiness gone; hope Hed; I fain would leave his blight- 
ed soul with Him from whose hands it came, for how diffi- 
cult it is to roU away the black and huge stone of prejudice 
from off the white man's heart, id whom ignorance is bliss 
in regard to all Indians; thousands, tberefoire, hate the In- 
dian because they do not kno'vv Mm and desire 'not to know 
him because they hate him. 

Truly, the North Amei'ican Indians constitute as grand 
a record of human courage, patriotic endurance, and as har- 
rowing a history of human suffering as has ever been told; 
while their oppressors and destroyers, who have figured in 
their nefarious designs against them from the alpha to omega 
as the beau-ideal of cruel injustice, are still laboring with a 
zeal never manifested before to intensify the public feeling 
against the helpless people, that they may the more effect- 
ually accomplish their infamous schemes to rob and plunder 
them; and whose consciences seem so elastic that, at one 
time it seems difl&cult for them to stretch them over a mole 
hill; at another, with ease, they stretch them over a moun- 
tain. Yet the influence, power and grip these charactefs 
exert and impress upon the public mind are truths both hu- 
miliating and disgraceful, and the strange liberties that are, 
by our seemingly defective systems of jurisprudence, legal- 
ly permitted to such plunderers in high places who have the 
audacity and impertinence to appeal to law, and misuse its 
machinery for. selfish and covetous purposes, are everywhere 
illustrated at the expense of the misguided and alike help- 
less and unfortunate Indians, upon whom they have descend- 
ed in countless thousands as blow-flies on a decomposing 
body, to rob and plunder them of the last acre of their terri- 
tories. Truly our sensibilities in the light of humanity, and 
our judgment in the light of truth and justice, are abso- 
lutely dead in regard to this people; therefore, thousands 
haye supinely yielded to the false assertions of thieves and 
robbers, the reverence due to a Divine decree, without any 


investigation whatever, which has been done in all cases of 
dealing with Indians from first to last. 

Truly it may be written as an epitaph for their history, 
"unutterably sad, because so disastrously true." Alas! mul- 
tiplied thousands to-day look with horror on the wrongs and 
suififering-s of the feeble and helpless Indians still hovering in' 
our midst, yet ane content to hide themselves from their 
woes; yea, they openly acknowledge their shameful reality 
yet do nothing to alleviate their condition. They well know 
of the thousand wrongs continually being heaped upon them, 
yet only shrug their Shoulders and fold their arms in callous 
acquiescence m that which they falsely and cowardly declare 
to be inevitable; while they, at the same time, acknowledge a 
sense of shame and personal guilt in permitting such infa- 
mous cruelty and oppression to be helped upon that help- 
less race iq their midst and under their own eyes, without 
being a:ctuated to noble efforts to stop it. No wonder the 
Indian's countenance seems prematurely marked by deep 
furrows, and his long hair waves over his brow on which is 
fixed a deep gloom that no smile from !the lips can chase 
awayl Alas, through what direful changes have they been 
forced to passHhrougt what cycles of hope and fear have 
their generations been coerced while the world about them 
seemed like a vision hurrying by as they stood still in 
silence, helplessness and woe! Therefore, in their entire 
history, how little there is to contemplate but the most 
agonizing struggles followed by the deepest and most osten- 
sible ^ecay thraugh tieir long and continued attempts at 
redress and the recovery of their God-inherited rights 
which expired witii their liberty. 



Choctaw, Chickasaw and Natchez 



There has been, and is to-day, as great a proportion of 
of those characteristics that elevate and adorn mankind 
found among the North American Indian race as ever were 
found upon earth. Men and women in whose breasts were 
seats of virtues as pUre as ever found in man or woman. 
This maj' seem as shadows, to many, incontrovertible truths 
to those who truly know them, not as enemies but'as friends. 
Through a long life of personal acquaintance with and ex- 
perience among them, I can and do here testify to' the 
same when living in their ancient domains, and still find 
them in the present years as in those of the long past, 
though my opinions then may have been formed to some ex- 
tent as shadows jn the back-gi'ound of imagination, yet they 
took substantial form and substance with time, in perfect 
harmony with the positive assertions of all the early ex- 
plorers, as far back as anything is, known of their history. 
Truly, prolific fancies of the larger portion of modern 
writers seem to have been governed by the' many false des- 
criptions of the ancient; and poetic license has extended the 
peculiarities of the ancestors with all their imaginary faults 
and none of their virtues to their descendants, this too in the 
absence of all authentic history; while our own traditions 
have dealt no less unjustly with the remnant whom we are 
following down to their seemingly inevitable destiny (exter- 
mination) so unjustly and cruelly decreed through the insti- 
gation of our insatiable venality, whose merciless sword is 
still drawn and stretched athwart the gate of the Indian's 
highest ambition, his freedom; allowing hifn no place in that 


higher civilization concerning- .which heaven and earth are 
amazed at our continued vociferations, and stupified in our 
inconsistency that denies to them their natural and individ- 
ual rights, since it does but establish our inability to compre- 
hend the eternal principles of human development, as we 
assume to fear to trust them with the choice of their own 
destiny, and that of their souls, moved and actuated by the 
divine principles therein implanted. It could not justly be 
expected that they would at once adopt our principles and 
institutions, to them a chaos 6f conti-adictions. Yet we 
charge them with the utter want of those virtues that dis- 
tinguish man from thei brute, though well knowing the 
falsity of the accusation py the undeniable testimony mani- 
fest among them every where to the contrary. 

We also charge them with every crime, but how greatly 
inconsistent and unjust when being so deeply stained our- 
selves! Alas, when Hope of longer freedom had given place 
to, hopeless despair, and they as a forlorn hope, threw them- 
selves upon our boasted humanity, they awoke but to find a 
myth; for we then displayed our so-called Christian virtues 
and high sounding hallelujahs of freedom to all mankind by 
cooping them up in isolated reservations, but more properly 
vestibules of the cemetery, the ante-rooms where the re- 
cruiting agents of death (woe and despair) assemble their 
conscripts to prepare them for the ranks whence there is 
neither desertion or discharge; and having thus and there 
caged them, now perform the honorable (?) and humane (?) 
task of watching them at the doors of their prisons, while 
our parasites keep a faithful record of the complaints of the 
unfortunate, helpless, hapless and hopeless sufferers, 
whose dire misfortunes few have the magnanimity to 
respect, while thousands scoff and mock and which they 
seem determined shall only cease in the silence of the last 
Indian's grave. 

Can the Indians of to-day but cherish the greatest ab- 
horrence toward those who forced them into those lazar- 
prisons where curses reply to their just complaints and 
blows and kicks to their dying groans, as each is tortured in 
his separate hell where all can hear but none will heed? Can 
they but shun, in their limited inch of freedom, as a blighting 
pestilence, those who still seek to debase them in the estima- 
tion of the world by falsely branding them as creatures to' 
be feared and shunned, with no power to resent but only to 
weep in silence and hopeless despair, while their blighted 
spirits are being proved in this furnace like steel in temper- 
ing Are ? 

Once they were quick in feeling and fearless in resent- 


ment^ — that is o'ei*. They are now the sons of silence; their 
wounds of mind and body are now callous, or longf since 
they would have dashed their brains against their pris- 
on bars, as the rays ^f the suti of their re- 
membered freedom and happiness flashed thi'ough them in 
seaming mockery of their woes. Neither are their slumbers 
sleep but only a continuance of enduring wdes, a' lingering 
despair whose envenomed tooth preventing truth, justice and 
humanity would still inarigle the dead; Their halt is g'ray, 
b(ut not from years; 'tis (he imjpatient thirst for freedom par- 
ching the heaf t, and abhorred slavery niaddeniijg the soul 
with heaviness and woe as it battles with its agony under the 
knowledge that to them eirth and air are banned and barred 
— a living grave of long years of oppression, abuse, calumny 
and outrage; yet they live, endure and bear the likeness of 
breathing men, while they bear the innate tortures of a living 
despair, becoming old in their youth, and dying ere middle 
age, some of weariness, some of disease; (the legacy of 
their destroyers) but moi'e of wjithered hopes and broken' 
hearts. Alas, that they should have found so few among the 
White Race vi^ith whom they could safely Wear the chain of 
unassumed friendship and confidence; therefore have shunned 
their companionship and sadly sought as long as they could 
the solitude of the remote wilderness and there with its more 
congenial spirit divided the hotnage of their hearts, but alas, 
only to find even there no secure retreat from their restless 
foes. This fatalism, the assured certainly that nothing good 
can now be expected; the full conviction that even the United 
States government seems indifferent to protect them from 
the venality of its own unprincipled and seemingly law defy- 
ing white subjects, is now deeply rooted in the minds of the 
aged Indians; while the younger receive their education in the 
high (so-called) schools of the States in learning by heart 
Herbert Spencer, John Stuart Mill, Darwin, and noted exqtic 
philosophers, thus losing much of their respect for their 
own religion as taught them by the true missionaries of the 
gospel of the world's Redeemer, rendering' their present a 
gloomy back-ground, a black shadow of a once bright picture; 
therefore they have become decrepit and have fallen down 
like a huge memorial of antiquity prostrate and broken to 
pieces, while the fragments only remain as a treasure belong- 
ing alone to the modern archieologist. Yet, a noble people 
whose memorials have long since been swept away by the hand 
of usurpation, and whose relics of their former greatness 
have alike crumbled to dust leaving no trac^e of their former 
existence, save here and there names of a few rivers and 
little streams, touching for their simplicity, but for whom 


justice has long but vainly demanded an honorable place 
among Christian people, and for whoni the time has surety 
(yea, years ago) arrived to be redeemed from the cruel and 
unjust bondage of that long, dark night of misrepresentation 
to which they have been somercilessly subjected for so many 
long and weary years — a people good without a pretense and 
blest with plain reason and sober sense; whose traditional 
history, connected as it is with the Eastern Continent, abound- 
ed with many of those striking events which furnish modern 
history with its richest materials; as every tribe had its 
Thermopylae, and every village had pi-oduced its Leonidas. 
But the veil of centuries past now hides those events that 
might have been bequeathed to the admiration of the present 
age of the world. The opportunity wasoffered by the Red Man 
to the Wh^te two centuries ago but rejected, though 
advancing years proved their merit. But too late was dis- 
covered theerror. Our many unfortunate ipisunderstandings 
and contests with the ancient and modern Native Americans of 
this continent are as fertile as any of similar character that 
have afflicted man-kind; while many characters and scenes 
have been brought upon the theatreby thesanguinehandof war 
which history Ijas not recorded. Many of such have been 
obtained ^nd are recorded in this book; as it was my fate 
(whether good or bad, fortunate or unfortunate yet without 
cause for regret) to be born and reared among the Choc- 
taws; and having spent the bright morn of life to man-hood 
among that excellent people and sister-tribe, the Chickasaws, 
as well as my long and well known friendship and admiration 
entertained for them and their entire i-acej have influencecf 
them to give me a hearing (not boasting but unvarnished 
truth) upon any and all subjects above that which generally 
falls to the lot of the White Man to obtain. 


In the year 1470, there lived in Lisbon, a town in Portu- 
gal, a man by the name of Christopher Columbus, who there 
married Dona Felipa, the daughter of Bartolome oMonis de 
Palestrello, an Italian (then deceased), who had arisen to 
great celebrity as a navigator. Dona Felipa was the idol of 
her doting father, and often accompanied him in his many 
voyages, in which she soon equally shared with him his love 
of adventure, and thus became to him a treasure indeed not 
only as a companion but as a helper; for she drew his maps 


and g-eographical charts, and also wrote, at his dictation, his 
journals concerning: his voyages. Shortly after themarriag-e 
of Columbus and Felipa at Lisbon, they moved to the island 
of Porto Santo which her father had colbnized Snd was gov- 
ernor at the time Of his death, and settled on a larg-e landed 
estate which belonged to Palestrello, and which he had be- 
queathed to Felipa together with all his journals and papers. 
In that home of retirement and peace the young husband \and 
wife lived in connubial bliss for many years. How could it 
be otherwise, since each had found in the other a Congenial 
spirit, full of adventurous exploratidns, but which all others 
regarded as visionary follies^ They read together and talked 
over the, journals' and papers Of Bartolomeo, during whiqh 
Felipa also entertained Columbus with accounts of her own 
voyages with her father, togethei* with his Opinions and those 
of other navigators of that age — his friends and companions 
— of a possible country that might be discovered in the dis- 
tant West, and jthe future fame of the fortunate discoverer. 
Thus they reaaj' studied, thought and talked together con- 
cerning that which' they believed the futur*! would prove a 
reality, but of which no other had a thought. This opinion 
had found a permanent lodgment in the mind of Columbus 
and awakened an enthusiasm therein never experienced be- 
fore in the breast of man upon a like subject, and which 
aroused him to that energy of determination which rebuked 
all fear and i-ecognized no thought Of failure. But alas, the 
noble Felipa, who alone had stood by him in their mutual 
opinions and shared with him the storm of thoughtless ridi- 
cule, lived not to learn of the fulfiUme^nt of their hopes, and- 
the undying fame of her adored husband, even as he lived not 
to learn the extent of his discovery. But alas, for human 
justice and consistency. Instead of naming the "New 
World" in honor of his equally meritorious wife, the heroic 
Dona Felipa, or in honor of both, it was wrested from them 
by one Amerigo Vespucci, a pilot on a vessel of an obscure 
navigator named Hojeda, and the world acquiesced in the 
robbpry. But such are its rewards! ' 

But more than four-hundred years have been numbered 
with the ages of the past, since a little fleet of three ships', 
respectively named Santa Maria^ Pinta and Nina, under the 
command of Christopher Columbus, were nearing the coast of 
that country that lay in its primitive grandeur and loveliness, 
even as when pronounced "good" by its Divine Creator, 
beyond the unknown waters that stretched away in the 
illimitable distance to the West where sky and sea, though 
ever receding, seemed still to meet in loving embrace, but 
whose existence was first in the contemplations of Columbus 



and Felipa.and its reality, first in the knowledge of Columbus. 
At 10 o'clock, p. m., as it is recorded, Columbus discovered 
the feeble glimmerings of a distant light, to which he at 
once directed the attention of Pedrq Gutierrez, who also saw 
it. On the next day, at 2 a. m., the distant boom of a gun 
was heard rolling along on the smooth Surface of the tranquil 
waters, the first that ever broke the : solitude of the night 
in those, unknown region^ of the deep. It came from 
the Pinta, and bore the joyful .intelligence that land 
was found. But how little did these daring adventurers 
imagine the magnitude of their discovery; or that that mid- 
night signal also heralded the extermination of old notions 
and the birth of new; the prelude to war and bloodshed with 
a people whose types were unknown to the civilized world I 
For man was there — man in his primitive state. Fiercely 
energetic, yet never demonstrative or openly expressing his 
emotions; uncultured, yet slow and deliberate in his speech; 
congenial, yet ever exhibiting a reserve and diffidence among 
strangers; hospitable, yet knowing his rights, knew no fear 
in maintaining them; trusting, yet welcomed death rather 
than endure wrong. Yet, in most of his characteristics and 
peculiarities seemingly to have a foreign origin from the 
known races of mankind; still indisputably of the human 
race — he, too, was man; though with no regular or consistent 
ideas of the Peity, religion or civil government, yet possessing 
correct views of a diiitinction between right and vyrong, on 
which were founded very correct maxims or codes of moral- 
ity; but whose penal code was a definite and fixed rule of 
personal retaliation — "An eye, for an eye and a tooth for a 
tooth;" thus they were gliding smoothly along on tl^e tide of 
time, nor had a troubled wave ever risen to disturb the tran- 
quility of their voyage, or shadows darkened their sky, and 
to whom the past had been so bright that the future held 
only fair promises for them. But, alas, how little did they 
realize how dark a future was in store for them! That mid- 
night gun, as it momentarily flashed upon the deck of the 
Pinta and then sent its welcomed boom to the listening ears 
and watching eyes upon the decks of the Santa Maria and 
Nina proclaiming that their languishing hopes were realized 
and their declining expectations verified, was also the death 
signal, first to the distant Peruvians by the hand of Pizarro ; 
next, to the Aztecs by the hand of Cortez; then last, but not 
least, to the North American Indians by the hand of De 
Soto — as an introduction of what would be — but the Old died 
hard to make way for the New. 

Once the dominant power of this continent; but alas, 
through unequal wars; through altered circumstances, 


through usurpation and frauds; tlirotlgh oppressions and 
trials; througph misfortunes and hardships, sorrows and suf- 
ferings, of which 'none can know but themselves,, they have 
been* coerced by arbitrary power exerted, through treaty and 
cessions by open-handed tyranny and wrong, tp surrender 
their country, their all, to makeway for white civilization and 
that liberty that only seemed to prosper and rejoice in pro- 
portion to the destruction of their own; while they long but 
vainly looked for the expected day wien, tbe "VVhite Man's 
avarice would be satiated., and. then ,the red and white races 
could walk together in barmony and ipeace each aiding the 
other in the development of the resources of their respective 
portions of the vast continent/ that lay between them, extend- 
, ihg from ocean to ocean, to the mutual .advantages of each in 
the noble and humane endeavors to attain the chief end of 
man — the glory of God and the enjoymeht of,Him in this world 
and the one to come — but the White Race would not. , , ' 

But whience the origin of this, peculiarly interesting and 
wonderful people? From what nation of people descended? 
Whence and at what date, how and by what route came they 
to this continent? Language has contributed its mite and the 
archaeologist handed in his little, concerning the infancy of 
this peculiar people, yet the veil of niystery still hangs around 
them sh'utting out all kriowiege of the primitive past. ' Who 
shall rend the veil and tell whence they came to possess this 
continent in that distant long-ago before the dawn of history's 
morn? Alas, even the feeble glimmerings of vague traditions 
have not furnished a ray of light to penetrate the darkness of 
the long night that enshrouds their origin. . It is a s,ealed 
book. , 

Such has been for two centuries past, and still is, the 
long drawn and doleful wail concerning the North American 
Indians' primitive land; romantic in affording an unlimited; 
field over which the wild, dreamy speculations oJf the imagina- 
tive minds, of which the present age is so prolific in every- 
thing read or heard about the Red Race, may find abundant 
space to indulge in their visionary delights^ unrestrained, un- 
disturbed, undismayed; the alpha and the omega of their 
knowledge of the North American Indian race in toto; since 
the causes that induced them to forsake and how they drifted 
froili the shores of the eastern to the western cofitinent,' are 
today treasured in their ancient traditions still remembered 
by the few remaining of their aged and also written upon a 
few wampum —the archives of their historic past — that has 
escaped the white vandals' devilish delight in destroying all 
that is Indian, now forever buried in that night of darkness 
which precedes their known histoiry. 



But to those who knew them in their native freedom, when 
uncontaminated by the demoralizing influences of unprincip- 
led whites, they were truly a peculiar and ioteresting people 
whose external habits, ^trange opinions, peculiar dispositions 
and customs, seemed to belong alone to themselves and to 
distinguish them from all known people of the human race; 
yet, wholly susceptible to as high moral and intellectual im- 
provements a* any other race of man-kind; while their distinct 
identity with the human race is a fact which has never yet 
been successfully disproved. Though severed by climate, 
language' and a thousand external conditions, there is still 
one deep underlying identity, which makes all man-kind 
brothers; an instructive and interesting subject worthy 
the attention and consideration of all man-kind. It is 
neither new nor novel but is as ancient as the creation of 
Adam and Eve. 

Though the; Indians were without letters, chronology, or 
any thing by which correctly to denote their dynasties but 
that which may be inferred from their monumental remains, 
yet there is much in their recitals of ancient epochs to give 
great consistency to their legends and traditions, and fully 
sufficient to reunite the assumed broken link in the chain of 
their history, which, in the ages of^the past, connected them 
with the Old World; and their history, antiquities and mytho- 
logy are still preserved by many striking allegories, here 
and there, or in wild yet consistent romance. And we can 
but admit that there are many evident truths which we must 
acknowledge; for when viewed by the light of facts, we see 
in the North American Indians a peculiar variety of the 
human race with traits of character plainly oriental, but 
who long since have been lost to all ancient and modern 

But the time and manner of their migration to the 
western continent, as before stated, are wrapt in impenetra- 
ble mystery. Those who have studied the physiology, lan- 
guage, antiquities, and traditions of this peculiar people, 
have alike concluded that their migration to this continent, 
judging from the ancient ruins found, probably extends 
back to within five hundred years of the building of Babylon. 
Dating from the discovery of Columbus, the western con- 
tinent has been known to the European world upwards .of 
four hundred years; yet it is now generally conceded (if not 
universally admitted) that the Scandinavians (or Northmen) 
discovered it long before Columbus, and had sailed along the 
Atlantic coast from Greenland early in the 10th century. 
Those ancient and daring sea-rovers of Norway, who ventured 
upon the pathless ocean without chart or compass <riii<lc(l 


alone by the planetary worlds above, discovered Iceland in the 
year 850, upon which they established a settlement; and in 
the following century, stumbled upon the bleak and inhospi- , 
table shores of Greenland upon which was also founded a 
colony. But it has been awarded to Leif, the son of Eric the 
Red, as the first discoverer of the North American continent 
in the 10th century. He named the ne;w .country (now 
believed tc» be the coast of Massachusetts) 'V'inland, or Vine- 
land, from the abundance of wild grapes, that were there 
found . It is Said the records of this expedition state: "And 
when spring came they sailed away, and Leif gave to the l^and 
a name after its sort, and called it Vinland. They sailed 
then until they reached Greenland; and ever afterward, Jjcii 
was called 'Leif the Lucky." , , 

The traditions of the Choctaws, Chickasaws, Creek, 
Cherokees, Seminoles, Delawares, Shawnese, as learned by 
the early missionaries, and, in fact, of all the tribes who 
formerly dwelt east of the Mississippi River,, state that the 
White Race cdme to this continent from the East, but that 
their fore-fathers came from the North West. 

It is also said, that a Mexican historian makes, a. new 
attempt to show that America was discovered , in the fifth 
century, A. D., by a party of Buddhist monks from Afghanis- 
tan, of whom one, Hwai Shan, returned to Asia after' an 
absence of forty one years. A short account of the land 
which he visited, supposed to be Mexico, was included in the 
official history of China. It is said, there is, proof that Hwai 
Shan actually visited some unknown eastern.j?||gions, and the 
traditions of Mexico contain an account 6f the arrival of 
monks. But whenever seen or found, whether in the fifth, 
tenth, fifteenth, or eighteenth centuries, the North Amei-ican 
Indians have possessed nearly all the leading traits that they 
now possess. And all admit, that of all the races of man- 
kind upon earth that wandered from the native countries and 
have been thrown back into intellectual darkness, the North 
American Indians , have undergone the least change, preserv- 
ing their physical and mental type nearly the same, seemingly " 
as if bound by the irresistible power of an unchanging 
decree; and who, in their unvarying individualit;jr and univer- 
sal idiosyncracy, point back to no known race of the human 
family except the Jews. When regarded as a whole, they 
appear to have been composed of fragments of different 
tribes of the races of man, yet having a general affinity to , 
each other, and, with Here and there an exception, appearing 
to be parts of a whol?. The majority of their languages are 
evidently derivative, and of a style of synthesis inore ancient 


than those even of Greece and Rome, but exhibiting- no 
analogies to those of northern and western Europe. 

Though Bancroft affirms "that their ancestors were, 
like themselves, not yet disenthralled from nature," yet the 
traditions of many of the tribes pointed back to an era in the 
distant past in which they lived in a better an^ happier con- 
dition, but that was all, nor have ever the fragmentary 
writings of the ancients thrown any light upon their history. 
The Nilotic inscriptions, the oldest known, are alike silent 
concerning them, but that they ipay be still more ancient, 
their language, strange idiosyncracies, and all that render 
them so peculiar and seemingly different from all the known 
human race, evidently denote and sustain the probability, if 
nothing nore. Be this as it may, all evidence, yet obtained 
proves them to be of very ancient origifa; and no known book 
goes far enough back into the past to date the period of their 
origin, unless it be the Sacred Scriptures. If we refer to 
them a proto-type may possibly be traced in the Eberites, a 
branch of the house of Almodad, the son of Joktan, of whom 
it is said, during all periods of their history, that they were 
reckless, heedless, impatient of restraint or reproof. Yet, 
this but adds tQ thp affirmation, that history will ever vainly 
inquire, "whence, their origin." I 

But that many of their traditions were based on) facts is 
unquestionably true. Many tribes possess traditions of the 
first appearance oif the White Race among them. The 
Mohicans and Lenni,Lenapes have a tradition of the voyage, 
in 1609, of the great navigator and explorer, Hudson, up the 
river now bearing h'is namle. ^Cartier's visit to the St. Law- 
rence in 1534, is remembered by tradition among the 
Algonquins, who still call the French, "People of the Wooden 
vessel." The Chippewas declared (1824) according to their 
traditions that seven generations of people had lived and died 
since the French first sailed upon the Lakes. Taking 1608 
as the year of the settlement of Canada by the French, and 
allow thirty years to a generation, the accui-acy of their 
traditibn is certainly praiseworthy, to say the least of it. 
That their ancestors came from the Eastern continent there 
are many traditional evidences that se^pi founded on truth. 
In Sir Alexander Mackenzie's travels among the "most 
northern tribes, he says the Chippewas had a tradition that 
they originally came from another country, which was 
inhabited by a very wicked people, that in their travels they 
suffered greatly 'in passing over a gr'eat lake, which was 
always frozen and covered with snow. McKenzie, page 387, 
says: "Their progress (the great Athapasca family) was 
easterly, and according to to their own tradition, they came 


from Siberia ; agreeing in dress and malnners with the people 
now found upon the coast of Asia." John Johnston, for 
many years an agent aindng the Shawnees, an Algonquin 
tribe, states that these Indians had a .tradition of a foreign 
origin. In a letter of July 7th, 1819, ' (American Archaeolo- 
gist, p, 273) he says: "The people of this nation have a 
tradition that their ancestors crossed the sea ; arid that they 
migrated from Florida to Ohio and Indiana;" where they 
were located at the time of his ageiicy among them. "They 
were the only tribe," he writes, "with which I am acquainted, 
who admit a foreign origin." The Cherokees also admit it. 
Oconostata, or the Big warrior, chief of the ancient Chfero- 
kees, claimed that his people's ancestors came from Asia, 
landing far to the north-west / of this continent; thence to 
Mexico ; thence to this country. ■■ (Milfort, pi 269.) Johnston 
further states respecting the Shawnees, "Until lately, they 
kept yearly sacrifices for their safe arrival in this country. 
Whence they came, or at what period they arrived in 
America, they do not know. It is a prevailing opinion among 
theln, that Florida had been inhabited by white people, who 
had the use of iron tools* Blackhoof, a celebrated chief, 
affirriis that he has often heard it spoken of by old people, 
that stumps of trees, covered with earth, were frequently 
found, which had been cut down with edged tools." But 
this, no doubt, was the work of De Soto and his army in 1541. 
Many attribute to the Indians a Jewish origin, and not 
without some seemingly plausible reason. Jam6s Adair, a 
man, it is recorded^ of fine erudition, and; who lived more 
than thirty' years among the ancestors of the present 
Chickasaws, and was often among the ancient .Choctaws, 
Cherokees and Muscogees, and thus became familiar with 
the customs and habits of these Southern Indians. Tradition 
states that Adair commenced living among the Chickasaws 
in 1844. He wrote and published a work, "The American 
Indians," in 1775. He was well versed in the Hebrew 
language, and in his long residence with the Indians acquired 
an accurate knowledge of their tongue, and he devoted the 
larger portion of his work to prove that the Indians were 
originally Hebrews, and were a portion oi the lost tribes of 
Israel. He asserts that at the "Boos-Ketous" (the ceremony 
of initiating youth to manhood) "among the .ancient Musco- 
gees and other tribes, the warriors danced around the holy- 
fire, during which the elder priest invoked the Great Spirit, 
while they responded Halelul Halelu I then Haleluiah! 
Haleluiahl" He based his belief that they were originally 
Jews, upon their, division into tribes, worship of Jehovah, 
notions of theocracy, belief in the ministi-ations of angels, 


language and dialects, mJnner of computing time, their 

Prophets and High Priests, festivals, fasts and religious 

rites, daily sacrifices, ablutions and anointings, laws of 

uncleanlinless, abstinence from unclean things, marriages, 

divorces, and punishments for adultery, other punishments, 

their towns of refuge, purification and ceremony preparatory 

to war, their ornaments, manner of curing the sick, burial 

of the dead, mourning for the dead, choice of names adapted 

to their circumstances and times, their, own traditions, and 

the accounts of our English writers, an<i the testimony which 

the Spanish and- other authors have given concerning the 

primitive inhabitants of Peru and Mexico. He insists that 

m nothing do they differ from the Jews except in the rite of 

circumcision. The difference in food, mode of livihg and 

climate are relied on by Adair, to account for the difference 

in the color, between the Jew and the Indian. Abram 

Mordecai, an intelligent Jew, who dwelt fifty years in the 

the ancient Creek nation, confidently believed that the 

Indians were originally of his people, and he asserted that in 

their Green Corji Dances he had heard them often utter in 

graceful tones, the word Yavoyaha! Yavoyaha! He was 

always informed by the Indians that this meant Jehovah, or 

the Great Spirit, and that they were then returjiing thanks 

for the abundant harvest with which they were blest. 

I often heard the Choctaws, when engaged in their 
ancient dances at their former homes east of the Mississippi 
River, utter in concert and in solemn tone of voice Yar-vo-hah, 
Yar-vo-yar-hahl and vi^hen asked its signification, replied : 
"It is the name of the Great Spirit we worship." According 
to an ancient tradition of the Choctaws, as before stated, the 
ancient Choctaws, Chickasaws and Muscogees (now Creeks) 
were once the same people, and today the Creeks have many 
pure Choctaw words in their language. 

Other writers, who have lived amoi^ the ancient Indians, 
are of the same opinion with Adair and Abram Mordecai, 
forming this conclusion solely on the fact that many of the 
religious rites and ceremonies of the various tribes they 
regarded as truly Jewish, to that extent as to induce them 
to believe that the North American Indians are originally 
from the Jews. 

Even the renowned Quaker, Wm. Penn, in expressing 
his views upon this subject, says: "For the original, I am 
ready to believe them the Jewish race, I mean of the stock of 
the ten tribes, and that for the following reasons: 

"First. They were to go to a land not planted or known 
which, to be sure, Asia and Africa were, if not Europe, and 
He that intended that extraordinary judgment upon them 


might make the passage not uneasy to them, and it is not im- 
possible in itself, from the easternmost part of Asia to the 
westernmost part of America. In the next place, I find^hem 
of like countenance, and their children of so lively resemb- 
laiice that a man would think himself in Uuke's place or 
Berry street in London, when he seeth them. But this is not 
all. They agree in rites; they reckon by moOns; they offer 
their first fruits; they have a kind of feaSt of tabernacles; they 
are said to lay their altar upon twelve stones; theirmourning 
a year; customs of women; with many other things." 

There was a belief among many of the ancient tribes of 
the North American Indians, that their earliest ancestors 
were created within or at least once lived within, the interior 
of the earth: The Lenni Lenape, now known as the Delaware 
Indians, "considered," says Heckewelder, in his "M^taners 
and Customs of the Indians," page 249, "the earth as their 
universal mother. They believed that they were created 
within its bosom, where for a long time they had^ their abode 
before they came to live 6n its surface. But as to the form 
under which they lived in the interior of the earth, their 
mythologists differ. Some assert that they lived there in 
human shape, while others, with much more consistencjr, 
declare that their existence was in the form of certam 
terrestrial anjmals, such as the ground-hog, rabbit and the 
tortoise." Similar views respecting their origin were held 
by the Iroquois. Q^'he Rev. Christopher' Pyrloeus, who 
formerly lived among the Iroquois and spoke their language, 
was told, (according to .Heckewelder) by a respectable 
Mohawk chief, a tradition of the Iroquois which was as 
follows: That they had dwelt in the earth when it was dark 
and where no sun ever shone. That, though they engaged 
in hunting for a living, they ate mice. That: one of their 
tribe called Ganawayahhah having accidentally found i hole 
at which to get out of the earth, went out, and after look- 
ing around a while saw a deer, which he killed and took back 
with him to his home in the earth, and that, ■ on account both 
of the flesh of the deer proving such excellent food, and the 
favorable description he gave of the appearances above, they 
concluded it best to change tiieir homes from the inside to 
the outside of the earth, and accordingly did so, and im- 
mediately engaged in raising corn, beans, etc." Hecke- 
welder does not state whether these traditions of the Lenni 
Lenape and Iroquois were associated by them with any 
particular localities. However, the place of origin was 
generally located in some suitable spot Y'ithin the territory 
of the tribes, and which was regarded with much veneration 
by all. "We are told by Cussac, a later authority for the, Iro- 


qois tradition," says Schoolcraft (in his Indian Tribes, part 
5, page 636) "that the place at which the first small band of 
Indians was believe to have issued fl-om the earth was a 
certain eminence near the Oswego Falls. Also, (jjart 5, p. 
682) "that the Caddos, lonies, and Amaudakas believe that 
their original ancestors came out of thie Hot Springs of Ark- 
ansas." Mercy, in his Exploration of the Red River, p. 6 J, 
states that the Wichitas, on the Red River, believed that 
their fore-fathers came out of the mountains which bear 
their name. Jones, in his Traditions of the NoEth American 
Indians, v. 3. p. 187, says: The Minetories, on the Upper 
Missouri, pointed out two hills as marking the spot of of the 
tribe's origin. Side by side with these of the "earth born' 
ancestry is another group of origin traditions, which i-epre- 
sent the first of the human race as having their origin in 
and coming out of some body of water, a river, spring or 
lake, instead of' the ground. Long, in his expedition to the 
Rocky Mountains, v. 1. p. 336, said: One branch of the 
Omahas asserted that their founder arose out of the water, 
bearing in his hand an ear of red maize, for which reason 
the red maize was never used by them for food." De Smet, 
in his Oregon Missions, p. 178, states that, in the country of 
the Blackfoot tribe there are two lakes; one of them is known 
as the lake of men, and the other, as the lake of women. 
Out of the former came the father of the tribe and of the 
latter, the mother. 

These two traditions of man'sorigin,theone thathe came 
out of the ground, the other, that he cftme out of the water, 
have been regarded by some ai distiijct from one another 
both in origin and meaning; while by others, as identical, and 
both being, the mutilated interpretations of a myth into 
which a cave and a body of water enter as prominent and 
essential features. 

Very similar, says Schoolcraft, in his Indian Traditions, 
4, pp. 89 and 90, is the tradition of the Navajoes, of New 
Mexico. According to their tradition as recorded by Dr. 
Ten Brock, all mankind and all the animals once lived in a 
gloomy cavern in the heart of the Cerro Naztarny mountains, 
on the river San Juan. A lucky accidentUed them to suspect 
that the walls of their prison-house were quite thin, and the 
raccoon was set to dig a way out. As Ije did not succeed the 
moth worm took his place and after much hard labor effefcted 
an opening. But when he reached the outside of the moun- 
tain, he found all things submerged under the sea, so he 
threw up a little mound of earth and sat down to ponder on 
the situation. Presently the water receded in four great 
rivers and left in their place a mass of soft niud, Four 


winds arose and dried up the mud and then tjie men and ani- 
mals came up, occupying- in their passage several days. As 
yet there was no sun, moon nor stars; so the old men held a 
council and resolved to manufacture these luminaries. 
There were among them two flute players, who, while they 
had dwelt within the mountain, had been wont to enliven them 
with music; and when the sun and moon were finished, they 
were given into the charge of these musicians, who have been 
carrying them ever since. These are the main points of the 
Navajo legend .as recorded by Dr. Ten Brock. It will be 
observed that the sea, which is nothing else than the prime- 
val sea that forms so common a feature in cosmogonies, hplds 
quite as prominent a place in the story as does the cavern 
itself, and the two nlight easily become separated in an incom- 
plete version. Either the cave or the water Might be dropped. 
In fact, there is anothe^- version of this legend, given by 
Col. J. A. Eaton, in which there is no mention of a caVe. The 
Navajoes, according to Eaton's version of the story, came out 
of the earth in the middle of a certain lake in the valley of 
Montezuma, at some distance from their, present location. 
The question which occurs first, upon,[Su'i:veying this ^roup 
of legends so alike in their general tenQr, is; are they histor- 
ically connected vvith one another in the sense that they are 
the fragments of some primeval tale; current among the In- 
dians at a time when they were less widely scattered over 
the continent than at present, or have they sprung up at sev- 
eral centers independently of each other? This question is 
of great interest to American ethnologists, but one to which, 
in the present state of our knowledgie respecting the mode of 
growth and diffusion of popular tales, it would, perhaps, be 
rash to attempt an answer. It may be said, however, in fa- 
vor of the former hypothesis that the account of man's ori- 
gin — at least, however, the story is circumstantially related 
— is, so far as I have been able to discover, peculiar to Ameri- 
ca. It is true it has sometimes been classed with those old 
World legends which represent man as of an earthly nature, 
either as having been fashioned out of Clfiy by the hand of 
some Promethean potter, or as having sprung from a seed of 
stones or of dragon's teeth scattered over the soil, tint a 
close inspection of any of its detailed versions will show that 
the story teller has in mind a thought essentially different 
from those embodied in these classic legends. The first 
men, according to the Indians' account, did not spring up as 
vegetable life from the surface of the earth; they came out of' 
its interior in the human shape and afterward accompanied 
by the animals of the chase. Indeed, when closely scanned, 
the story is seen to be, an account, not of man's origin, but 



simply of a chang^e in the scene of his existence. Except in 
a few cases in which we are told that the original men were 
created by the gods before being brought above ground, we 
receive no hiht as to how their life be|jan. We are merely 
told that they came a long time ago out of a cave or 
out of a lake, within which they have lived from the begin- 
ning. This is a characteristic feature which I have not met 
with distinctly portrayed in any legends outside of America. 
But whether or not these tales have any true kinship with 
one another , it hardly admits of doubt that they have a com- 
mon basis, either of facts or of logic, and that they may be 
regarded as practically, if not actually, different versions of 
a single original tale. What is this basis, and what is the 
meaning of the story? This question has often been asked, 
and has been answered variously. From a number of pro- 
posed "interpretations," I select two, which seem the 
most worthy of consideration, as well from their inherent 
plausibility, as from the names by which they are endorsed. 
Mr. Herbert Spencer, speaking, in a receqt work, with ex- 
press reference to the Navajo tradition, of which an outline 
has been given above, says: "Either the early progenitors 
of a tribe were dwellers in c^ves or the mountains; or the 
mountains making most conspicuously the elevated region 
whence they came is identified with the object whence they 
sprung."— (Spencer Principles of Sociology, Vol. 1, p. 393.) 
And again: "Where caves are used for interments, they 
became the siipposed places of abode for the dead; and 
hence develops the notion of a subterranean World." — (Ibid, 
p. 219.) Underlying the tradition of the Delawares and Iro- 
quois, Heckewelder saw an admirable philosophical meaning 
— a curious analogy between the generjil and the individual 
creation. This view has been adopted by Dr. D. G. Brinton 
who presents it as follow: "Out of the earth rises life, to it 
all returns. She it is who guards all germs, nourishes all 
beings. The Aztecs painted her a woman with countless 
breasts; the Peruvians called her Mama Alpha, mother 
earth; in the Algonqujn tongue thi word for earth, mother, 
father, are from the same root Home, Adam, Chomaigenes, 
what do all these words mean but earth— born, the son of the 
soil, repeated in the poetic language of Attica in anthropos, 
he who springs up like— a flower? As in Oriental legends 
the origin of mail from the earth was veiled under the story 
that he was the progeny of some mountain fecundated by the 
embrace of Mithras or Jupiter, so the Indians often pointed 
to some height or some cavern, as the spot whence the first 
men issued, adult and armed from womb of All— mother 
earth . This cavern, which th us dimly lingered in the mem- 


ory of nations, occasionally Expanded to a mother-world, 
imagined to underlie this of ours, and still inhabited by be- 
ings of our kind, who have never been lucky enough to dis- 
'Cover its exit. Such tales of an under-world are very fre- 
quent among- the Indians, and are a very natural dut-growth 
of the literal belief that the race is earth-born. "-^(The 
Myths of the New World, 2nd. ed., pp. 238 to 245.) The fol- 
lowing is the version given by Lewis and Clark of the tradi- 
tion of the Mandans, on the uppSr Mississippi: 

','The whole nation resided in one large village under- 
g-round near a subterraneous lake. A grapevine extended 
its roots down to their habitation and give them a view of the 
light. Some of the most adventurous climbed up the vine, 
and were delighted with the sight of the earth, which they 
found covered with buffalo, and rich with every kind of fruit. 
Returning with the grapes they had gathered, their country 
men were so pleased with the ta^te of' them; that the whole 
nation resolved to leave their dull residerice for the charms 
of the upper region. Men, women and children ascended by 
means of the vine; and when about half the nation had 
reached the surface of the eai'ih, a corpuleiit vv^bman, who 
was clambering up th'ei vine, broke it with her weight jand 
closed upon herself and the rest of the natibh the light or the 
sun. ' ■ ■ ' •:U '.. ''-1 '■'■■■' ■ ■ -" ■ ■ ' 

When the Mandans die, they expect to return to the 
original seats of their forefathers, the good reaching the 
ancient village by means of the lake, which' the burden of 
sins of the wicked will not enable them to pass. ' W^e might 
conjecture Upon general grounds thai the' idea of an under- 
world found among the Maiidalis, and many other American 
tribes sprang from ^he^ame sort of reasoning' as has evi- 
dently given rise to it among other nations. " ' '■'■'■ 

Prince Maximilian of New Wied, who visited the Man- 
dans subsequently to Lewis and Clark, and learned addit- 
ional particulars respecting their belief in an under-ground 
origin tells us that the Mandansj like so many other nations, 
supposed the world to be divided into' stages and stories. 
These were eight in number, four of them were aftove the 
earth, and four below, the earth itself forming the fourth 
stage from the bottom. (Maximilian, Travels in North 
America, London ed. p. 336.) There seems, therefore, to 
be very little room for doubt as to the original character of 
the cave of the Mandan legend. Among the Navajoes we 
obtain equally satisfactory evidence touching the original of 
this legendary cave. Dr Ten Brock tells us that he often 
conversed with the Navajoes on the subject of their beliefs, 
and he gives us, among other particulars, this very impor- 


tant item: "The old men say that the world (i. e. the earth) 
is, as it were, suspended, and that when the sun disappears 
in the evening, he passes under and lig-hts up our former 
place of abode, until he again reappears at morning in the 
east. There can be no question as to the location and the 
real character of the cave into which the sun descends at 
evening, and from which at morning he comes forth. Under 
one disguise or another, this cavern occurs in legends the 
world over. It is the cave which the Polynesian Majii 
descends to visit his deserting mother, and into which 
Orpheus descends in search of Eurydiee; it is the Latinian 
cave, in which Selene, the Moon, wooes Endymion, the 
Setting Sun. Nor need we be disconcerted because the 
Navajoes have located it within a particular mountain. " It 
would seem that these Indian legends have been handed 
down by tradition through cycles of ages, founded upon the 
declaration of the Bible, that man is a child of the soil— that 
he ia earth born. Professor Campbell, of the Presbyterian 
College, Montreal, believes that he has found the key to the 
Hittite inscriptions, and has sent the result of his investiga- 
tions to the Society of Biblical Archaeology. The most 
striking and important feature of this work is the identity 
established by Professor Campbell, as he believes, between 
the Aztecs and the Hittites. He concludes a statement of 
■his discovery in the "Montreal Witness" as follows: "It is 
interesting to know that we have on this continent the re- 
mains of a people who played a great part in ancient history. 
It is also' gratifying to learn that by the establishment of the 
Hittite origin of the Aztecs, evolutionism in philology and 
ethnology will receive its death blow." ' 

There is a clan of Choctaws now living among the 
Creeks in the Creek Nation, who did not move in 1832 with 
the Choctaws east of the Mississippi River until the exodus 
of the Creeks and then canie with them to the present Creek 
nation where they have remained to this day. They were 
known when living east of the Mississippi River as the 
Hitchiti or Hichitichi dan, both words (as given above) are 
corruptions of the two Choctaw words Hish-i (hair) It-ih 

Now if the Aztecs be of Hittite origin, and the Choctaws 
of Aztec origin, of which there is grea| probability (if their 
ancient traditions may be relied on) may not the Choctaw 
words Hishi Itih, the name of one of their ancient Iksas 
(clans) be itself a corruption of the word Hittite, and point- 
ing back to their ancient origin in the eastern world? 

A few of the Iksas of the Choctaws, at the advent of the 
missionaries in 1818-20, qlaimed the earth to be their mother, 


and connected a tradition Of their origin with a certain 
artifical mound erected by their ancestors as a memorial of 
their arrival in Mississippi from the West (Mexico) of which 
I will more definitely speak elsewhere. 

But thoug'h the remote history of this peculiar people is 
forever hidden in the darkness of by-gone ag-es, yet they had 
a true history, which, if only known, would have presented 
as many interesting and romantic features, as that of any 
of the races of mankind. Truly, would /there not be found 
riiuch in tjiat distant peHod of their existence that precedes 
their introduction to the White Race, which, when placed in 
contrast to their now seemingly inevitable destiny (extermi- 
nation) would loudly appeal to the hea.rts of the philanthro- 
pists and Christians of these United States. A.ii<i even after 
their introduction to the Whites, had they possessed the 
same desire to learn their history,, and also to elevate them 
in the scale of intelligence and morality,, as they did in get- 
ting possession of their country aind destroying them, in 
what a different condition would that , race of people be to- 
day, arid what interesting and ins trnctivp narratives would 
have been given to the world? What interesting narratives 
could have been written even of the Natchez, in the days of 
their prosperity and. power— those worshippers of the sun 
with Eastern rites ! What too, of the Grecian fignres, the 
letters and the hieroglyphics, which have been found reprci 
sented on the earthen pottery of so many tribes of this pe- 
culiar people's work — a people which might have been better 
understood and more comprehended, but for shameful mis- 
representation and calumnious falsehood I What, also, of 
the once powerful Choctaw; the invincible Chickasaw; the 
intrepid Muscogee arid the peerless Seminole, when in the 
pride and strength of their respective nationalities ! But it 
is to be greatly, regf etted that, of that history nothing will 
ever be learned — not even its alphabet, as the mists of ages 
have drawn their impenetrable curtain over all; and though 
the remote past has been questioned, still no response ever 
comes, except through the vague and unsatisfactory evi- 
dence of an ancient people,. long antedating aU historical in- 
formation. But tribe after tribe have appeared upon the 
theater of life, acted their part in its drama, and then passed 
off into the silence of forgetfulness; and their ancient do- 
mains have passed from the hands oi their long line of 
descendants into those of stranger of whom they never knew 
or even heard; and who have left behind no memorials but 
embankments of earth in the form of mounds and fortifica- 
tions, separate and in combination, scattered all over the land 
ii numbers and magnitude that awaken and excUe the curi- 


osity of the beholder, but fail to satisfy; yet g^iving numer- 
ous and satisfactory evidences of the foot-prints of a long 
vanished people and the prolonp^ed occupancy of the North 
American continent by the Indian riece wfiose few and feeble 
descendants still linger upon the stage of life, as the wretched 
and miserable words of oppression and cruelty — a living, 
breathing allegory of poverty and want; since, by the law of 
forcewe extended our possessions and made the irrestiveness 
our excuse for conquering them, and then plundering them 
of their lands and homes, and as each territory was added, a 
new tribe was encountered; and its fears and res iveness in 
like manner taken advantage of as our avarice dictated that it 
could be made profitable to our pecuniary interests. And 
that we may alike bury the remaining few in the grave of ig- 
nominy, every thing that is spoken, written, or published, 
concerning that now conquered, oppressed, impoverished, 
hopeless and unhappy people, is but a reiterated and pro- 
longed mass of exaggerations, misrepresentations and false- 
hoods, sent broadcast over the land by government officials, 
landed experts, and, in fact, every other kind of unprincipled 
white skins; from constable to congressmen, and from land- 
sharks to governors, who ride across the Indians' country 
on railroads and gather their "wisdom" upon Indian matters 
from the car windows, or a moments chat upon the platforms 
with the white scums which infest every depot in their coun- 
try — thus keeping the Indian between the devil and his imps 
— then return each to his retreat, there to disgorge their 
foul souls of the putrid mass. 

Yet, that this noble but wrongfully abused people, to 
whom Christopher Columbus gave the name Indian, from* 
their fancied resemblance to the people of India, but whose 
habits, customs and characteristics diifered so widely that 
it may be truthfully affirmed, that no people could be more 
dissimilar, are one of the primitive races of man-kind, cannot 
be questioned; though it is admitted by all who are truly 
acquainted with them, that among all the races of man-kind, 
few have exhibited a greater diversity, or, if it may be so 
expressed, greater antithesis of character, than the native 
North American Indian warrior before humiliated by the 
merciless hands of his white conquerors. The office of the 
chief was not hereditary, but depended upon the confidence 
entertained in him by his warriors. His power also de- 
pended upon his personal merit and the confidence reposed 
in him as a skillful war-leader. His prerogative consisted in 
conducting negotiations of peace apd war; in leading his 
warriors against the enemies of their country, in selecting 
the place of encampment, and in receiving and entertaining 


Strangers of note. Yet, even in those he was conti'oUed to a 
great extent by the views and inclinations of his warriors. 
The Indian warrior was indeed well fitted for the destiny to 
which nature seemingly had adapted hiin. He was light in 
form, yet sinewy and active, and unsurpassed in the endur- 
ance of proti-acted fatigue and hardship; strictly temperate 
even to abstemiousness requiring but little food when upon 
the war-path, and that of the simplest kind. He was en- 
dowed with a penetrating sagacity, subtle wit, quick con- 
ception, and brilliant imagination, with quick and acute 
sensibilities; a proud and fearless spirit was stamped upon 
his face arid flashed from his black and piercing eye; easily 
aroused by the appeals, of eloquence; his language, whose 
words might well be compared to gems and flowers made him 
truly nature's orator; and though a restless warrior, yet, he 
was generous and hospitable, and the door of his cabin was 
always open to the wayfarer; and his most inveterate enemy, 
having broken bread with him, could repose , iinharmed 
beneath the inviolable sanctity of his home. In war he was 
daring, cunning, reckless, self-denying, and self-devoted; in 
peace, strictly just, generous, proverbially hospitable to 
strangers as well as acquaintances, modest, revengeful, 
superstitious, and truthful to the greatest degree — ever faith- 
ful to the last to his promised word. Justly could the North 
Amei-ican Indian claim as having no lineal descendant of 
Ananias and Sapphira among his race. 

Such were some of the traits of this peculiar people. 
And even to day many tribes are the same as they were 
centuries ago, still clinging to their ancient habits and 
customs and adhering to the belief of their ancient theories, 
seeing and recognizing alone their Great Spirit both in 
animate and inanimate nature, And why? Because, in so 
few instsnces, have the renovating principles of the Bible 
been presented to them as they should'and could have been. 

True the arts of civilization as possessed by ns were 
unknown by the Indians prior to the discovery of the conti- 
nent by the White Race, still its seemingly illimitable forests 
were alive with a free, independent and happy people, a war- 
like race, j^lous of their rights; and its shades and glens 
rang with the wild hoyopa-tussaha (Choctaw-warcry), and 
the echoes of its hills and mountains threw^ back the defiant 
shout of many a gallant warrior, as he hui;;ied along the war- 
path in the noon-tide of his joyous man-hood, but soon to 
slumber in the long night of oblivion, as the fatal result of 
his unrestrained zeal; while the more experienced veteran 
made his moveriients with that caim deliberation that scorned 
every appearance of haste. Though warrlike, yet, they 


were a devotional people, to their beliefs, founded alone upon 
the teachings of nature — their only light. They, had 
their " good "Gre^t Spirit" and their evil "Great Spirit" 
between which there was continual strife for the mas- 
tery and possession of , the humaa mind. What less 
or more have we? They acknowledged the mysterious 
power of these two antagonistic spirits, and that in- 
numerable numbers of subordinate spirits waited upon 
both. In what do they differ from us in ^this? They 
believed a spirit governed the winds, guided the clouds,' 
and ruled in all things that inspired fear; thus they re- 
garded the elements, and all nature, as spirits, whose images 
were seen and whose voices were heard «ibove, beneath, every- 
where. Little differing from the mythology of the ancients 
Witchcraft swayed its sceptre over the mind of the poor. 
Indian, whose intellectual light emanated alone from nature; 
yet he wis not so much the object of just censure, as those 
who had the Bible and yet advocated the doctrine. Remem- 
ber Cotton Mather, a licensed expounder of the Sacred 
Scriptures, and his numerous adherents, who advocator and 
taught the doctrine of ^itchcraft, and , persecuted their 
opposers, even to the burning of them at the stake. But for 
the delusive beliefs and fears, which seemed to the Indian 
as truth, that encompassed hiin on every side rendering him 
the ready \kictim of the wildest superstition and dread, he has 
been called "The Wild Man of, the Woods," and though his 
religion involved the varying and confused belief in good and 
evil spirits in every imaginary creation of air, earth, and sky 
conceivable to the human mind, existing with not a ray of 
intellectual light shedding its healing beams through his soul, 
is it just that he should be reviled for his seeming apathy in 
moral and intellectual advancement by those who have ever 
lived within the circle of ever good and truthful influence, 
but who closed nearly every avenue by which the hapless 
Indian might return to th^ first principles o( truth and 
intellectual light? Were not their traditions concerning the 
creation of the world, and those of their own origin; and 
their views and opinions of man, more worthy of praise than 
contempt? Was not their belief in the Great Good Spirit by 
whom all things were made; also in a Great Evil Spirit, who 
ever plans and labors to counteract all the good and benevolent 
designs of the Great and Good Spirit, so universal among all 
the North American Indians, and their great respect for, and 
undeviating and unwearied devotion to, the Great and Good 
Spirit, and hate, fear, and dread of the Great and Evil Spirit, 
a silent but pungent rebuke to their white scoffers and 


defamers, who profess so much concerning- the Deity, 
yet exercise so little of a devotiopal spirit? 

But whence their universal belief in a future state of ex- 
istence after death, thoug-h vag-ue their ideas in reg-ard to 
future rewards and punishments? Whence alSd their uni- 
versal belief in a delug-e at an ancient epoch, which destroyed 
all mankind but a few? Whence their belief that^the earth 
was their mother, who sent them forth from caves, ravines, 
mounds and mountains? Whence the belief in fatality — that 
the fate of man is irrevocably fixed? to which, perhaps, may 
be attributed their stability and indifference to danger 
and death? Whence their belief in transmigration and thus 
claiming- relationship vvith th^ beasts of the field and the 
birds of the air— expressive ojE an idea, it seems* of a foreign 
origin? Whence their belief that the race of animals was 
first created, then followed the creation of man? From 
what ancient fountain of knowledge obtained they these va- 
rious views? Was it intuitive? How manifest their pride 
also, and great their delight in having their traditions and le- 
gends point back to local origin, even to that of mysterious 
revelation with all the quadrupeds that burrow in the hidden 
rfecesses of the earth, differing in this but little from the 
mythology of the ancients. ' : 

Their opinions concerning the departure of the spirit at 
death were various. Some believed lingered for .a, 
time near those,earthly precincts which it had jilst left, and 
it continued still to be, .in a certain manner,: akin to the 
earth. For, this reason, provisions were placed at the feet 
of the corpse during the time it lay on it? elevated scaffold, 
exposed to the influence of light or air. v The' deceased had 
not as yet entered into the realm of spirits; but when the 
flesh had withered away from ^the bones, these were buried 
with songs and cries, terminating in feasts and dances pecu- 
liar to the ceremonies of disposing of the dead.- ■ Others be- 
lieve that when the spirit leaves the body,'it lingers for some 
time before it can be wholly separate'd from its former con- 
ditions; after which it wanders off traversing vast plains in 
the moonlight. At length, it arrives at a great chasm in the 
earth, on the other side of which is the land of the blessed, 
where there is eternal spring and hunting g-rounds supplied 
with great varieties qf game. But there is fao other way of 
crossing this fearful gulf but by means of sa barked pine log 
that lay across the chasm, which is.round,: smooth and slip-^ 
pery. Over this the disembodied spirits must pass if they 
would reach the land of a blissful, immortality. Such as 
have lived purely and honestly upon earth are enabled to pass 
.safely over the terrific abyss on the narrow bridge to the 


land of eternal happiness. But such as have lived wickedly, 
in their attempt to pass over on the log, are sure to lose their 
footing, and fall into the mighty abjrss yawning below. 
Surely this is not a very objectionable idea of retribution af- 
ter death. However, thfeir estimate of good and evil, in 
many respects, was imperfect and circumscribed; and their 
ideas of future rewards and punishments after death seemed 
merely the the reflex of their earthly joys and sorrows, the 
natural consequence of minds not enlightened by the teach- 
ings of the Bible. Therefore, they beheld a transformed di- 
vinity in animate and inanimate nature, in every thing which 
lives or evinces an in-dwelling power, whom they sought to 
propitiate by gifts and sacrifices. Their "Medicine Men" 
were the mediators between themselves and their imagined 
deity; these "Medicine Men" were believed, by means of 
their knowledge of the mysteries of nature and the power of 
magic, to be able to invoke spirits, to avert evil, to heal sick- 
ness, and to obtain the fulfillment of human wishes. These 
men were held in high esteem among all Indians every- 
where, and acted in the capacity of both priests and physi- 
cians. Their medical knowledge, even if classed with su- 
perstitious usages, is not to be despised, as they have large 
acquaintance with healing herbs and the power of nature. 
The virtues of the Indian race are well known to those who 
truly know them; and their fidelity in keeping a promise, 
their true hospitality, and their strength of mind under sor- 
row and suffering, merits the highest praise. They had no 
other government nor governors but through their chiefs 
and medicine men. The former had but little power and re- 
spect, only in their own individual character, and they 
dreaded the loss of their popularity in their tribe. Thus 
the Indian warrior was truly his own man, free and inde- 
pendent loathing all restraints. 

, What but sad forebodings can fill the souls of the feeble 
few, when contemplating the past and looking to the future 
walled up before them to that extent, that all action and 
energy of their lives seem at an end and their only hope of 
refuge in the grave? 

But the peagant has fled, and the majority of those who 
gave it such depth of interest to their destroyers have long 
since passed away into humble and nameless yet honorable 
g'raves, into which the living few, in vacant desolation, are 
fast falling, bewildered and counfounded kmid the toils that 
have bee;i skillfully and successfully spread for them ; and 
into which when fallen and hopelessly entangled, they ap- 
pealed to our mercy but to find it amyth. Alas, whatacruel 


' ' , ■/ , ■ '■■ ' :. „■■■■'■( ■ ' . ., 

and iiioonsistent svystem haS yeen practiced toward the Red 
Race, from the time we enti'ijed ttiem under, our jurisdiction, 
as wards, to, the presept^day — a systerii, calculated in its 
very nature to unc^vilize rather than to civilize them,-^de- 
stroying' all colifideiice, all love and all rfespect; yea, stifling 
all; the social affections of the heart, aiid the generosity of 
ievery noble sentiment ; spreading devastation and desolation 
among them^then toi be cursed and pronounced a, blotch 
upon the fair -face of nature, while we, influenced alone by 
that ,degi?ading ^venality, thq,t acknowledges no criterion but 
success,' closed f he heart and hand of our charity against 
them and shut our eyes on their woes — hearts, hands and 
eyes never to be bpetied until the last 6f the race is extermi- 
natecl, and there will be left no Indian possessions to excite 
our. avarice; a,nd we be left to boast our achievements in ex- 
terminating a helpless people whom to conquer was coward- 
ice: — the checkered features of whose prehistoric history are" 
.still dimly shadowed in the, memorials scattered around. 

Yet their^ history, shorn as it is of its antique and ro- 
mantic features by the march of civilization of the White 
Race with its accompanying vices and follies, which were pre- 
sented before them in proportion to its_. virtues as ten to one, 
and thus rendered sad and mournful, is still interesting; 
and,.! might justly add, instructive. But passing as they 
have through many changes of a long pre-historic age,, as 
well as that of an imperfectly known history, the events of 
ihejir, fortunes iseem like the incidents of a fairy tale; and 
while, we regard with admiration the many known traits of 
their character, yet we can but be astonished that to so 
many of'them natural refinement supplied the external defi- 
ciencies' of accomplished instruction denied by their situa- 
tion, while a sense of the proper, under every variety of cir- 
cumstances, appeared jntuitive ; and many of their names 
, and patriotic deeds are worthy of being transmitted to the 
' remotest posterity, accompanied by those honorable and 
considerate epithets which flattery can never invest, and are 
neve'r deceitful ; and had they have had a written language, 
their native historians woul(J have presented many things is 
interesting and dramatic as any of those of ancient or* mod- 
ern renown. But as it is, they may be justly styled mar- 
tyrs—uncrowned and uncanonized; since they are still 
known to-day to millionsofthepeopleof these United, States un- 
der stereotyped appellation of "savages, "and to an equal num- 
ber of others, as "Heathen Barbarians ;" though the Indians 
bq^long not to either department of that scientific knowledge 
in which they have been enrolled by those whose extreme ig- 
norance is thus made manifest ; and whib iEeel it an impera- 


tive duty to assume a countenaii9e indicative of a holy horror 
and puerile fear at the very mention of the word Indian ; and ' 
:should they chance to meet one upon the^igh-viray serious 
convulsions would inevitably be the result ; while others, of 
somewhat greater intrepidity, hjive been Jcnown, to venture even 
into the presence of an Indian, their iso-called devil incar- 
nate ; and, to display their imagin,ed heroic daring, they 
point the finger of scorn at him and question concerning 
him and his race in the language of ridicule'>nd contempt 
(to which I have oft been an eye witness when passing 
through the Indian Territory) with that apparent instinct 
which makes one feel that humanity,' at least that much of it 
as professed by such ignorant and imbecile yet highly self- 
conceited specimens of mortality, must be clo'sly allied to 
Darwin's progenitor of man; and to whom the words of 
Schiller are justly applicable — "Heaven and Earth wa^ in 
vain against a dunce." 

Liberty, equality, and fraterntiy have ever been found 
to be cardinal principles among the Nortlj American Indians,} 
from their first acquaintance with "the White Race even to 
the present day. All stood, and still stand upon the 
same social leyel. No one regarded himself better, in any 
manner whatever, than his neighbor; none turned up the lip 
of scorn, or sneered at the misfortunes of one of his tribe. 
The members of each tribe lived in perfect harmony to- 
gether, constituting, in every particular, one great, loving, 
confiding brother-hood. The clan wa,s the unit of political 
and social life with all tribes. The individual was never con- 
sidered. Hence to insult, wrong or injure a member of a 
tribe was actually to insult, wrong and injure the whole tribe; 
thus each tribe held the other responsible for the actions of 
its individual members according to the nature of the offence. 
In like manner were also construed alliavors. Hence when 
a favor was bestowed .upon any individual of a tribe, it was 
accepted as bestowed upon each member of the tribe. He 
who was a friend to one was regarded as equally a friend to 
all, and as such was received into the confidence and friend- 
ship of the entire tribe. What feature in the characteristics 
of any nation of peopld more commendable than this? Yet 
they 'are charged as being in want of a single redeeming 
trait of character. 

Despotism, oppression, avarice, fraud, misrepresenta- 
tion in trade, were things absolutely unknown in all their 
own tribal relations, and in their dealings with neighboring 
tribes. Therefore were they, at first, so easily swindled in 
trade by unprincipled white men; since the white man hid the 
defects of his article of trade under falsehoods, and the 


Indian openly exposed the defects of his in truth. Though it 
was easy to cheat an Indian once, to accomplish it the second 
time was a more difficult task. His confidence was g-one 
never again to be secured. I recollect a little incident of this 
nature among the Choctaws when living east of the Mississip- 
pi river. A young Choctaw was cheated in a trade with a 
white man, and when censured for making the trade, he 
calmly replied: "Pale-face cheat me, me sorry; pale-face 
cheat me twice, me big fool." After that as a matter of 
course, he would never believe a word that a white man would 

Their tradition, always based on facts though abound- 
ing perhaps with many errors by misinterpretations and 
corruptions in the cycles of ages through which they have 
passed, were no less dear to him, making a stainless history 
such.'as fevv nations had, save in those pure days of 'yore 
when men love truth, justice and honor more than gold; but 
while all those ancient places are still thronged with tradi- 
tions, they are over grown with the weeds of popular fancy 
like ruins of ancient castles covered with ivy; yet, the names 
of some of them are still remembered by the aged Indians 
and sometimes mentioned in their ancient traditions, but the 
namesof their predecessors have completely disappeared from' 
their memories, and tire time will never come in which these 
secrets of the centuriefs will be remembered or ever known 

As aids to memory they used various devices, among 
which belts of wampum. were the chief. . Wampum was truly 
the archives of the tribe among all North American Indians. 
It was made of dressed deer skin, soft and pliable as cloth, 
and interwoven with various shells cut into uniform size, 
carefully polished, strung together and painted in different 
colors, all of which were significant; white being the emblem 
of peace and friendship; red, the symbol of hostility^nd war. 
As the colors of the wampum were signifficant, so also were 
the length and breadth of these belts, and also the t>eculiar 
arrangements of the differently painted strings attached, 
each and all fully understood by the Indians alone. A belt of 
wampum was presented to one tribe by another as a remem- 
lirance token of any important event that was communicated. 
They had many and various kinds of wampum; some in the 
form of belts of different breadth and length; some in Strings 
of various width and length, all reaching back in regular order 
to centuries of the remote past, with an accuracy incredible 
to the White Race. 

The warn piim was the Indians' history the chronicles of 
the past; and the readers of each clan of the tribe, front one 


generation to another, were carefully and thorongfhrj fiTstrac- 
ted by their predecessors for that piafticular business and 
were held in the highest esteem by all Indians everywhere. 

Bundles of small round sticks were also used to assist 
them in accui-ately keeping the number of days that would 
intervene between the day agreed upon that anything should 
be done, and the day upon which the bundle had been pre- 
sented, one stick being drawn from the bundle at the termi- 
nation of each day and thrown away; which duty was never 
forgotten nor neglected to be done by him to whom it was en- 
trusted. A long string was also used, having as many knots 
tied in it as the number of days that were desirecV to be re- 
membered; at the close of each day, a.i4 the withdrawing of a 
stick from the bundle, so a knot was untied. This' custom 
of using a string was also practiced, it is said, by the ancient 
Persians, which is confirmed by Herodotus in his statement, 
that "Darius gave to his allies a string with sixty knots tied 
in it, and told tl;iem to untie one knot at the close of each day; 
and, if he had not returned by the time the last one was un- 
tied, they could go home." 

Pictures, rudely carved on rocks and trees, were used to 
convey information, each figure being a true symbol under- 
stood and fully comprehended by the Indians wherever 

The Indians regarded their majestic forest trees with 
emotional pride ; and, as they reclined under their broad ex- 
panding shades, they listened to their solemn whispers as 
possessing a mysterious connection with themselves, and as 
sharing with them their hppes and fears, their joys and sor- 
rows, and they grieved to see them fall before the ax of civil- 
ization ; since, between the Native American and the White 
Race, who only saw lumber in the forest tree and money in 
the lumber, there is the same difference existing that there 
is between the man who hears the most refined music only 
as a senseless noise-and him who hears it in messages of di- 
vine import to his soul j thti3 it is that Nature bestows on 
man only that which he is able to receive from her ; to one 
lAjmber and the jingle of money ; to the other beauty and 
harmony. Oft have I been an eye witness to the sensibility of 
this people to the charms of natural objects, though accused 
of its utter want ; and with emotions of pleasure listened to 
their expressive words of delight in admiration of the grand 
and beautiful in nature, as they pointed the finger of unas- 
sumed pride to their magnificent forests, and the majestic 
appearance of the old patriarchs of their woods — seeming to 
be charmed with their grand forests, the beauty of their 
flower bedecked prairies, the purity o-f their streams, the 



brightness of their skies and the salubrity of their climate. 
To the peculiarly fascinating eharms of which, as they ap- 
peared to my admiring gaze seventy years ago ih the ancient 
domains of the Choctaws and Chickasaws, ea^t of the Mis- 
sissippi river, I can testify from personal observation, as it 
also was the home of my birth ; nor can ,time nor distance 
ever erase from memory* their grandeur and beauty; and, 
to-day, their seeming power is exercised over me in calling 
up the reveries and picturings of the past clothing reality 
with the illusions of the memory and imagination. But to 
many, nature, in her primitive grandeur, is but ah indifEer- 
ent beauty, though she stops to smile, to caress and enter- 
tain with exhaustless diversion her admiring and loving 

So to the Indian also, the grandeur and beauty of his 
ancient forests left a memory which abides as a constant 
source of gratification, as he reflects upon theii' natuj-al 
beauty upon which his eyes so oft had rested', and from 
which his soul had gathered a noble -conception of the sym- 
phonies from which it drew its pure aspirations ; and truly, 
no one who has any conception of the grand and beautiful, 
could have gazed upon the outstretched panorama of their 
forests as presented in their ancient domains, without being 
lastingly impressed with the marvelous picture, in which 
there stood forth most striking beauties in the form of ma- 
jestic trees and green swards, on whose bosoms rested, in 
gentle touch, most inviting shades free of all under-growth 
of bushes but covei;ed with luxuriant grass interspersed 
with innun\erable flowers of great variety, rivaling the most 
beautiful flower garden of art. Never have I witnessed 
any thing more grand and impressive than the Mississippi 
forests presented when left by the Choctaws and Chicka- 
saws as an inheritance to the Whites. ' Then and thete na- 
ture, in all her diversified phases, from the finite to the in- 
finite, and from the infinitessimal to the grand aggregate of 
knowledge, was full ' of instruction ; by which she would 
teach man his duty to his God, to his fellow man and to him- 
self. But alas, how few ever heed the symbolic whispers of 
her low, sweet voice ! ' 

It was truly a vast wilderness of trees entirely free of 
all undergrowth except grass with that peculiar stillness 
that attested the absence of man, and possessing a vastness^" 
and boundless extent, and uninterrupted (Contiguity of 
shade, which prevented the attention from being distracted, 
and allowed the mind to the solitude of itself, and the imagi- 
nation to realize the actual presence and true character of 
that which burst upon it like a vivid dream. Truly that is 


happiness that breaks not the link between man antl nature. 
The Indians of this continent openly acknowledged and 
sincerely believed in the One Great and Good Spirit, and also 
in the One Great and Evil Spirit; to the former they gave 
divine homage with a devotion that well might put to shame 
many of those who have lived a life time under the light of 
the Gospel dispensation, with scarcely a devotional emotion. 
Towards the latter they cherished the greatest fear and dread 
and sought continually the aid of the Good Spirit in averting 
the dreaded machinations of the Evil Spirit, therefore every 
warrior had his totem; i. e. a little sack filled with various 
ingredients, the peculiarities of which were a profound 
secret to all but himself; nor did any Indian ever seek or de- 
sire to know the contents of another'siotem, it was sacred to 
its possessor alone. I have more than once asked some 
particular warrior friend concerning the contents of his 
totem but was promptly refused with the reply: "You would 
not be any the wiser thereby." Every warrior kept his 
Totem or "Medicine" aliout his person, by which he sincere- 
ly believed he would be enabled to secure the aid of the Good 
Spirit in warding off the evil designs of the Evil Spirit, in the 
existence of which thejr as sincerely believed, and to whom 
they attributed the cause of all their misfortunes, when fail- 
ing to secure, the aid of the Good Spirit. Therefore, each 
and every warrior of the tribe, with eager zeal,, endeavored to- 
put himself in direct communication with the Great and 
Good 3pirit. There was but little difference between the 
"Indian Magician" and the Indian 'IMedicine Man," but 
when a warrior had attained to that high and greatly desired 
point of direct communication with the Great and Good 
Spirit, and had impressed that belief upon his tribe as well as 
himself, he at once became an object of great veneration, and 
was henceforth regarded by all his tribe, regardless of 
age or sex, as a great "Medicine Man," upon -whom 
had been conferred supernatural powers to foretell 
coming events, to exorcise evil spirits, and to perform 
all kinds of marvelous works. But few attained the 
coveted eminence; yet he who was so fortunate, at once 
reached the pinnacle of his earthly aspirations. But before 
entering upon his high and responsible duties, and assuming 
the authority of a diviner — a graduated Medicine Man, in 
other words, with a recognized and accepted diploma, he 
must also have enlisted in his service one or more lesser 
spirits, servants of the Great and Good Spirit, as his allies or 
mediators, and to secure these important and indispensable- 
auxiliaries, he must subject himself to a severe and testing 
ordeal. He now retires alone into the deep solitudes of Ills 

• ' ' ■ ':'■ ' ' ■• ( ■'■ ■■ '.-■' .■'•■• I 

V .'■*■> ,. ' 


native forest and there engages in meditation, self examina- 
tion, fasting' and prayer duriiig: the! coming and going of 
many long and weary days, and even wpeks. And all that for 
what end? That he might, by his^ supernatural power thus 
attained, be enabled tp jgratify ^his ambition in playing the 
tyrant over his people tf rdu^h fear of him? Or that he might 
be enabled the 1?etter to gra^tify the ■ spirit *of avarice that 
rankled in his heart? Neither, for both tyrant and avarice, 
were utterly unknown among, all Indians. ' i 

What then? First, that hermight^^eyer be enabled', by 
his influence attained with ^the great and Good Spirit, toward 
off the shafts of the Evil Spirit, and tih us protect himself from 
seen and unseen darigers, an4, also ' be Successful in the ac- 
l5omplishment of all his earthly hopes and wishes. 

Second. That he might be abenefacto^ to his tribe, by 
being enabled to divine future events, and thus forewarn 
them of approaching daiiger and the prbper steps to take to 
successfully avoid it ;•■ klso to' heal ti^e sick, etc. True, the 
fearful ordeal of hunger,thirsf, fal;igue wrought their part 
in causing his imagination to usurp the place of reasotf, fill- 
ing his fevered mind with the wildest, hallucinations and 
rendering him a fit subject to beljeyej-anything and every- 
thing. Yet, no , doubt, when'he left'.'.his place of prayer and 
self-examination and returned to his people, he sincerely be- 
lieved that he\had been, admitted to, th? Special favor of the 
great and Good Spirit slrid was f uUy^ preparfed to exercise his 
newly acquired supernatural attaiiiixients for his own bene-, 
fit and to the interest of hjs tribe. Smile not. at this, per- 
haps, to you, seeming folly of one \yh6 thought, reasbnedand 
acted as taught by the feeble light of nature alone ; with 
such a devotional spirit, what would lie havelijee^; if enlight- 
ened by the renovating influences of thfe'jji-ecepts of the Son 
of God ? But I ask, if this doctrine of the spiritual world, the 
disembodied spirits of our departed loved ones everywhere 
about us, and the power of cominunication with them, has 
riot sprung into new life among us in th^s boasted entightened 
age illumined by the glorious light' of the Bible shining 
around us for centuries pa^t? though the doctrine' was disr 
carded by the Indians at once and foreyer, SO. soon as the 
light of the Bible shone into their untutored minds. But 
alas, we still speak of them as savage^ and barbarians ; yet 
should not emotions of shame fill our hearts, when the ;simi- 
larity of belief between the unlettered Indians of seventy- 
five years ■ ago, and the boasted intelligejice and .Christian 
civilization of the "Anglo Saxon" of the present day, is ^so 
manifest ? Need we try to deny that .modern Spiritualism, 


has its counterpart in the philosophy of the North American 
Indians of three-quarters of a century ago? 

May we justly scorn the Indian when not free ourselves 
of his ancient , superstitious follies, but still have so large 
a portion, though long disoarded by the civilized tribes, se- 
cretly hidden away in the stra^.of,oUr boasted common 
sense, besides ^einff greatly tinctured With, the fashionable 
skepticism (unknown to all Indians) o^ jthe present civilized 
but fearfully corrupt age? 

The Indian^ reasoned from the known to the unknown 
differing from us only in th^t they had no accumulated 
knowledge to'guide them but their traditions. And when 
we take into consideration 'the great difficulties with which 
they had to contend' and overcome in the struggle up the 
rugged hill of civilization and Christianity, as presented to 
them with all their manifested contradictions and enigmas 
by the ''Pale-faces," it is a matter of profound astonishment 
that they ^ave achieyed as much as'the^ have. 

Alas, that our universal error,, in all our dealings with 
that people, should, consist in the deplorable yet inexcusable 
failure to perceive hoW greatly their ideas differed from our 
own in regard to every thing appertaining to our civilization, 
Christianity and love of gain ; and at the same time forget- 
ting that the idea of civi} government was with us of long and 
slow growth, taking many ages to develop us from our own 
ignorant and savage ancestry to our present enlightened 
state ; and how gi'eatjy to be regretted is the fact, that our 
feelings and actions are still so influenced and governed by 
^deplorable ignorance of the true nlture and characteristics 
of the Indian,, and so swayed by a foolish prejudice against 
him, and so led captive by selfTConceit and imagined superi- 
ority over him by nature, that we do not and will not justly 
and impartially weigh the evidence before us ; through fear, 
it truly seems, that our preconceived opinions may be proved 
to be formed in eri-or, if tested by the knowledge of the truth 
that would be gained by irivestigation. 

The Indian is accused of stolidity. Wherefore? Is it 
because he can and ddes control his topgue when the white 
man would fly into a violent passion? Is it because the Indian 
never speaks evil of any one, not even of a personal enemy, 
but keeps his thoughts and opinions of others in the secret 
recesses of his own breast, while the reverse is an innate 
characteristic of the White Race? Is it because the Indian 
has learned never to talk to the purpose of what is not the 
purpose to talk of,' but in which the white man has long since 
proved himself an adept to the entire satisfaction of himself 
and all man-kind? If all this, seemingljf so mysterious to his 


defamers who would search earth and heaven to find an 
accusation against an Indian, merits the title Stolidity, then 
indeed is the Indian meritorious, and that is the whole of it 
in a nut shell. i 

He has also been ridiculed as being an idiot for carrying 
with him his mystic Medicine-pouch, and relying on it for 
safety both in seen and unseen dangers. Yet in this how 
little did he differ from thousands of the White Race of even 
today with all their professed culture, among whom there 
can still be detected a foolish superstition, a lingering sur- 
vival of Fetchism, for it can be nothing else. See the still 
lingering belief in Witchcraft and magic charms; behold the 
horse shoe still nailed over the door as a guarantee to "good 
luck" and the prevention of injury from the midnight ca- 
rousals of witches; view the stigma placed upon the good 
names of one pf the days of the we6k^unfortunate Fridayl 
Contemplate the Charm-string composed of various childish 
gew-gaws dangling from the watch-chain of the empty ajid 
unbalanced head of the "pale-face" dude, and also its counter- 
part around the neck of the empty-headed little Miss of 
*'sweet sixteen"! Think of the harmless little bug \ snugly 
ensconced in a ci"ack of the wall hummingits luUa-by in token 
of its happiness yet is stigmatized with the appellation of 
"Death-watch," the fore-runner of the grim monster so 
much feared and dreaded by frail humanity, and many more 
that might be mentipned! What are all tljiese but a lingering 
spirit of superstition, legitimate offsprings Fetishism, and 
differing in nothing from the Indian's totem. Yet the 
Indian is Regarded . as meriting condemnation in this world 
and damnation in the next because he still adheres, in some 
few instances where the truths of the Bible have never 
reached him, to his ancient superstitious belief, and so-called 
savage folly, but the white man, cradled in the lap of Chris- 
tianity and yet carrying secretly in his breast his totems, 
verily, might not the repi'oving lajnguage of , Saul to Bar Jesus 
be justly applied to us in all our dealing, with 4he Red Race 
from the Alpha to the Omega?— "O, full of all subtlety, and 
all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all 
righteojusness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways 
of the Lord?" 

Again: The Indians' passion for war, so erroneously 
proverbial among us, has ever been shamefully exaggerated. 
True, their passion for war, when engaged in it for the re- 
dress of real. or imaginary wrongs, was unequalled : and, in 
defense of their country has few parallels in the history of 
nations, of which we have the full attestation of experience ; 
though we fought them, taking all things into consideration, 


the advantages of fifty to one. But they seldom made war 
upon each other actuated alone by the motives of ambitiou^j 
conquests for national or personal aggrandizement, as far as 
has been ascertained from actual proof. They had no mo- 
tive for such a war, as it is well known t^o all who have at- 
tained any true knowledge of the North American Indians 
worthy of notice, since avarice, in a national or personal point 
of view with all its baneful eonsequences, was utterly un- 
known to the ancient Indians of this continent, as it is to this 
day to their pnre blooded descendants. Their desperation 
in resisting our encroachments upon their rights gave birth 
to the false charge that "they are a blood-thirsty race de- 
lighting in human gore ;" but there is no proof based upon 
truth that they are meritorious to a greater extent than any 
other race of mankind to bear such reproach. Nor were 
their tactics of war, so loudly condemned by us, any more 
irreconcilable to justice and humanity, than our own. We 
stigmatize them with the name of "dowards" for limiting 
their fighting to ambuscade and surprise ; and which we, if 
out-witted and defeated in a battle with them, pronounced, 
1^ with assumed horror, a "cruel massacre ;" yet, truth posi- 
tively declares that we too have adopted equally with them 
the ambuscade, the surprise, and every art of war known to 
us to out-general them in cunning, in treachery, and in de- 
ceit; but call it, if we succeed, "a glorious military strate- 
gy," as if that would make it appear more honorable or 
justifiable in the sight of truth, justice and humanity or that 
of a just God. Absolute necessity compelled the Indians to 
resort to ambuscade and surprise in their wars with us, on 
account of our vast superiority over them in numbers, skill, 
and instruments of warfare. What hope of success could 
they entertain by coming out in the open field with their 
feeble bows and arrows and few worthless old guns, "and 
stand up before our deadly rifles and destructive batteries i 
They would simply have acted the part of fools in so doing. 
They fought as best they could, and just as we, or any other 
people, woyld have fought under similar circumstances. 

We charge them with deception and 'being full of all man- 
ner of hypocrisy in all places and at all times, even in the 
social and business relatiops of life. A more false charge 
was never made against anyone; and it is but one among the 
thousands that have been unjustly used in justification of 
robbing them of their country and wiping them out as cum- 
berers ol the ground, wholly unfit any longer to inhabit the 

Who ever beard of the Indians adulterating their food 
with poisonous ingredients to add a dime moro ttt their gains? 



Who ever, heard of them adulterating- their medicines, thus 
endangering life to make a nickel Ttoore? Who ever heard of 
them banding together to oppressnhe poor of their own race 
by buying up certain articles of food or medicine and hold- 
ing it to .extort a higher price from the needy, and thus add 
a few more cents to their own coffers? And yet we see fit 
to falsely charge the Indians with deception and hypocrisy. 
But to misrepresent in all that is said or written about the 
Red Race is an axiom 6f long standing. As an illngtration, 
Ridpath, in his -'History of the United States"— page 45, 
says: ' 

"But the Red Man was, at his best estate, an unsocial, sol- 
itary and gloomy spirit. He was a man of the woods. He 
sat apart. The forest was better than the village." L-et 
others speak that it may be known how near the above de- 
lineation of the RedjMan's characteristics, as exhibited by 
the glare of imagined erudition, throws its light to the line 
of truth according to the positive declarations of the early 
writers who visited the Indians; and the missionaries who 
first preached the Gospel of the world's Redeemer to tliem. 
All, everywhere, and among all Indians back to the Pilgrims 
of 1620, affirm that the tribes everywhere lived in separate 
districts, in which each had numerous large and permanent 
towns and villages, and were the most Social, contented and 
happy people they ever knew. La Salle, the renowned 
French explorer, states that he found numerous towns and 
villages everywhere. He affirms that the Indians lived in 
comfortable cabins of great proportion^, in some cases, forty 
feet square with dome-shaped roofs, in which several fami- 
lies lived. De Soto, in his memorable raid through the ter- 
ritories of the Southern Indians in 1541-42, found towns and 
villages containing "from fifty to three hundred houses, 
■ protected by palisades, walls and ditches filled with water;" 
it is also stated, "evei*y few miles he found flourishing towns 
and villages." So also, the early explorers of the head 
waters of the Mississippi river found the Indians every- 
where dwelling in towns and villages: "The houses being 
framed wfth poles and covered with bark." 

Lewis and Clark, when exploring the waters of the Col- 
umbia River in 1805,under the auspices of the United Sates 
Government, found the Indians in the valley of the Columbia 
living in villages in which there were many large houses. 
They mention some capable of "funiishing habitations for 
five hundred people." The Iroquois, whose territories lay 
along the southern borders of the Great Ljakes, Erie and 
Ontario, when Visited by the Jesuit priests and French 
traders in 1771, were ^found dwelling in large towns and 


villages, some of which are described as having "130 houses, 
many of them from 50 tO|^0 feet in length, and affording am- 
ple room and shelter for^welve or fifteen families." The 
Indians of the Atlantic States were settled in permanent 
towns and villages. The Pokanokets, Narragansets, Pe- 
quods, and others, as stated by early writers, lived in towns- 
and villages. The missionaries, when they established 
Chirstain missions among the Cherokees in 181S, the Choc- 
taws in 1818, and Chickasaws in 1821, found them living in 
prosperous towns and villages scattered from two to six miles 
apart all over their then vast territories, and to which I testify 
fronyactual, personal knowledge; and no people with whom I 
was ever acquainted, or of whom I ever read, exhibited more 
real social virtues, true contentment and genuine social 
happiness than they; yet Ridpath's doleful and stereotyped 
edition of misrepresentation and ignorjince says: "But the 
Red Man was, at his best estate, an unsocial, solitary, and 
gloomy spirit. He communed only with himself and the 
genius of solitude. He sat apart; the forest was better than 
the village." 

The six nations, to whom the French gave the name Iro- 
quois(Longhouses) were composed of the Senecas, Cayugas, 
Onandagas, Oneidas, Mohawks and Tuscaroras, inhabiting 
the northern part of the continent, and the Choctaws; Chick- 
saws, Cherokeies, Muscogees, Seminoles, Natchez and Ya- 
masas, living in the southern part and known at an early day 
as the Mobela Nations,- presented, no doubt, the highest 
type of the North American Indians, and were unsurpassed 
in point of native eloquence, unalloyed patriotism, and heroic 
bravery, by any ancient or modern race of people, civilized 
or uncivilized; in friendship faithful and true, in war not 
safe or comfortable to encounter ; and whose highest bliss 
was found in national independence and absolute personal 
freedom from all restraint whatever ; and of whose ancient 
history, if only known, it might truthfully be said, would be 
stranger and more interesting than the most thrilling fic- 
tion; abounding with hidden romances of which the civilized 
world never conjectured or even dreamed, if we may judge 
from the little that hafe escaped oblivion. The Iroquois, and 
the six Nations of the North have long since^ disappeared be- 
fore the White Race as autumnal leaves before the wintry 
winds, except with 'here and there a few lonely wanderers 
who, like ghosts, still hover around the graves of their ances- 
tors, feeblesparksyetlingering in theashesof an exterminated 
race. The Natchez and Yamase& of thfe Mobela Nations 
have also long since passed through the same ordeal, and 
Ichabod is written upon th^ir urns with thousands of others 


of their unhappy race ; while a few still lingfer to jitstly re- 
buke our cru'elty and avarice. ■' ' ' ' ' ' 

They know that they only can learn the present through 
the niemory of the blood-staiiied past; thit temple from 
which posterity draws its lessons of hiimaftlife; yet they are 
not ashamed of their past; or do they underva,lue It, but 
advocate, as they have many long years before, the great 
brotherhood of man; and still hope and expect, as in th.e years, 
of the long past, great things from Christianity and intellect- 
ual culture; thoughoft have been doomed to that bitter dis- 
appointment which so loudly and justly rebukes a^d con- 
demns that prejudice still cherished so bitterly but unjustly 
against them by the White Race, and so difiBcult to be 
reconciled to its published professions of. Christian kttainr 
ments, too deep for them or any other people, to understand 
or even rightly conjecture. But the question naturally 
arises. Why are they still distrusted by us? Is, it because: 
they still honor their past which th^y can never renounce nor 
forget as a brave and patriotic people? Must, we forever hate- 
them and eternally make them the subjects of GUI' ridicule 
and contempt because, forsooth, they will not irepudiate the 
memory of their ancient line of ancestry to them as honoti- 
able as to us is our own? And though self respect is all that, 
^ve have left to them, except a few acres of begrudged land, 
do we now demand and expect them to so far forget them- 
selves and to stoop so low in the scale of humanity as to 
adopt voluntarily, the impious and degradMig estimate put 
upon them by the unprincipled of our own race, who thraugh 
ignorance and' prejudice have misjudged them? ;Then know 
we not the North American Indian; rior will our demand or 
expectation ever be realized. 

We may exterminate them afe we have millions of their 
race, for we have the power to do so ; but we never can co- 
erce them to voluntarily place a degrading estimate upon 
themselves. Never. I have Heard the charge over and over 
again made against them, that they would stop the progress 
of the white man's civilization and the religion of Jesus 
Christ among them if they could. Without fear or favor, I 
here denounce the charge as a falsehood, begat by the devil, 
born in the regions of eternal night, thence escaped to find 
lodgement in the hearts of its rriisei-ably degraded author, 
and his congenial spirits, the foul mouthed promulgators ; 
and into their teetl^I fearlessly hurl it bacK.. Butt B freely 
admit, if the "white man's civilization and' the white man's 
Christiahity" is meant the grim visage of infidelity with its 
abominable train of liberalism, socialism, secularism, nihi- 
lism, spiritualism, and whiskey ism; with, their^.- legitiinate 


children, saloonism and baudy-houseism, and all other devil- 
ish isms presented in the white man's Christiap civilization 
(so-called), they want none of it ; anp in proof of which they 
have warred, and still war and will ever continue to war 
against the foul brood, be they ever so protective to the 
white man's "Personal Liberty ;" or ever so dearly cher- 
ished by him, as among the brig-htest lights along the horizon 
of his modern and advanced civilization. But let Christ's 
glorious Christianity and civilization, as it was presented to 
them eighty years ago in their ancient domains east of the 
Mississippi river by the pure minded, devoted, self-sacrific- 
ing, God approved missionaries, whose God-like teachings, 
both by precept and example, have been handed down by 
that generation to this, (of whom many old Choctavv^s of that 
day have frequently spoken to me during my sojourn among 
them, during the last five or six years, and as often drew the 
contrast between the white man's religion of those days and 
the white man's religion of to-day, the gepuine fruits of 
which are so manifest) be rudely assailed or imperilled, and 
every warrior, old and young, would at once rise as one man 
jn its defense, and freely give their lives as sacrificial offer- 
ings upon the altar of its protection. They had long walked 
in darkness, but they have seen the light as it shone in the 
daily life, conversation, and actions, of those old heralds of 
the Cross, who came to them in their ancient domains, four 
score years ago, as messengers of the Son of God, proclaim- 
ing Peace Good and Will to them. But they would see greater 
ligh^ and know more of that light.; therefore, they who 
charge them with a hankering to still return to the customs 
of their ancestors, though in many respects more to be de- 
sired than the isms and degrading vices of the white man's 
modern civilization as presented to them, can lay no just 
claim to fne right of judging or estimating the merits, or 
demerits of any one, as they measure every thing by the 
standard of their own imbecility so matiifest to all. 

There is today, and has ever been, as much talent found 
among the true Native Americans as among the Americans, 
or ever was found in any race of uneducated people; and the 
Indian is naturally as much of a religious being as the white 
man, yea, to a greater degree, which is fully sustained by his 
more faithful adherence^ and unassumed" devotion to his 
newly adapted religion, as taught him by the missionary of 
the Gospel, than are we with all of our fine churches and 
noisy professions. The Sabbath day is regarded with much 
more reverence, and observed with greater emotions of un- 
feigned devotion, yet we call him a savage. Long before the 
light of the Gospel illuminated the mind of the Indian, and 


the knowledge of his own digfnity and destiny had dawned 
upon his understanding-, his reason taught him a belief in the 
existence of a Superior Being whose wisdom and goodness he 
saw, acknowledged and reverenced in every leaf and flower 
that adorned thfe earth; in the rising and setting of, the sun;' 
in the storm of night and the calm of day. But the mis- 
sionary came, and the Gospel of the Son of God then erected 
his altfer among them and shed the beijign influences of her 
orafles over them, leading their understanding from the 
intellectual darkness of that long starless night that had 
bi'ooded over them during ages untold. Great indeed must 
be the reward in heaven for those men and women of God 
who carried the Bread .of Eternal Life to the southern Indians 
of this continent, over three quarters of a century ago; when 
civilization and Christianity had never before found lodge- 
ment, and Nature was presented in all her seemingly new- 
ness of life, unchanged by the handi-work of man. The 
pride of ancestry may be just; to rehearse the deeds of illus- 
trious predecessors may by laudable; but they, vy^ho devote 
life to the Glory of God and the benefit of their fellow men 
are truly the ones that make life illustnjous and the grave 
glorious; for when time had silvered their heads with gray, 
and the summons came that bade them go hence; then it was 
their good deeds lighted up the gloom of the grave and 
soothed and softened the pangs of dissolution; and when 
they have long slumbered in the citv of the silent; yea, when 
every trace of the unhappy Indian shall have been wiped out 
and forgotten in the oblivion of the past, still will .the mem- 
ory of their labors of love live, and their monuments be in-' 
scribed with characters of imperishable fame. Years hence, 
when the inquisitive shall ask what manner 6i people were 
the fallen and exterminated race of North American conti- 
nent, and inquire concerning those who enlightened the 
minds that only here and there have left a monument of their 
independence, will some venerable patriarch point to the 
catalogue of renowned names, who disseminated the Gospe) 
and the light of learning among the primitive inhabitants of 
the Nptth American continent. But the question naturallyi 
arises here, will the mighty tide of humanity, now flowing 
like a grAat river into and over our country, bear to future 
posterity our virtues or our vices, our glory or our shame? 
Will the ikoth of inmorality and the vampire of luxui-y trans- 
mit, as an inheritance, theirv natural results to our future 
posterity, and ultimately prove the overthrow of our Govern- 
m^^t, or shall our knowledge and virtue, as pillars of rock, 
support them against th^ whirlwind of ambition and corrup- 
tion now overspreading the land? The little insect ihtrud- 


ing- upon our path is despised and wantonly crushed; ypt 
united, they have destroyed nations and depopulated cities. 
"Coming events" cease not to "cast their shadows before." 
The North American Indians, in symmetry of form, 
seemed perfect men and women ; all were strai<jht and 
erect ; the men, of a proud, independent and manly bearing-, 
with sinewy form that denoted great strength, agility and 
fleetness ; with dark complexion, resolute, yet quiet in ex-. 
pression, except when agitated by emotion ; frank in de- 
meanor, and always courteous, never ■ meeting you without a 
grave but polite and cheerful salutatitJn ; and whose confi-- 
dence was not a sudden spark that shone for a moment then 
went out, but endured' through life unless betrayed, then , 
was never more regained, nor was th^ir hatred impulsive 
but fixed in their judgment and their thoughts rather than 
• in their passing feelings. And what is said of the charac- 
teristics of the men, as men, so it may be said equally of the 
women, as women. Their traditions, which form the con- 
necting link between truth and romance, throw but a glim- 
mering light, as before stated, upon the unwritten. history 
of their past, which has so long been forgotten, as well as 
upon their ancient habits and customs, of which there can be 
no reliable information, therefore all must be left to conject- 
ure . But I came in possession of many traditions seemingly 
to founded more 'in truth than in fiction,- as I. oft sat 
among the Choctaws and Chickasaws in youth and early, 
manhood and listened with romantic emotions to the narra- 
tions of the aged, whose plurality of years had consigned, 
them to the retired list of warriors, as unable longer jto en- 
dure the hardships and dangers that begirt the war-path 
and the chase, and thus acquired much concerning their 
past history, not to be found inbooks, of which .Ii\vill 
more fully speak in their proper place. 

But alas, that the writings of so many of their White 
historians (so-called) seemingly through ignorance or preju- 
dice, or both, should contain more fiction than truth, and dif- 
fuse more error than true information concerning this pecu- 
liar and so poorly comprehended race of people; hence it 
may be truly affirmed that there is no race of people that 
now e:^ists upon the earth, or has ever existed, of \^iiom so 
much has been said and written, yet of whom the world has 
been taught less true knowledge ari'd correct, information 
than of the North American Indians. Bot if should not be, 
perhaps, a matter of very great surprise that the majority 
of the writers of the present day, especially the sensational 
newspaper correspondents, as many of their predecessors of 
years ago, should give prejtidiced accounts of this people; 


since it is plainly manifest, when taken into just considera- 
tion, that they are utterly ignorant of the subject offered for 
their contemplation, yet fail to see their incapacity , since 

r the ingredients are pure and have given abundant and unmis- 
takable proof of their many valuable qualities ; therefore, as a 
natural result, are lost to the blind observers whose compo- 
sitions, regarding the unfortunate Indians, are made up of 
equal parts (well mixed) of self-conceit, ignorance, duplicity 
and falsehood ; which, in their very nature, so utterly dis- 
qualify them of judging beyond the surface of ■ anything ex- 
cept self ; but seem extravagantly delighted when they have 
struck a new vein of precious metal in the mine of falsehood 
against the unoffending Indians, and foolishly imagine it has 
stamped them with a wisdom higher than man'Sj though dif- 
iiculties arise in the minds of a majority from a failure to so 
■comprehend it. Stili it is diverting to see them strut about 
after a safe deliver^', as if they were at the head of a new 
dispensation and waiting for unknown converts to kiteel and 
pay homage to their imagined gireatness. 

It is a universally admitted that the color of the Indians 
ispeculiar to themselves, and though some affirm t^at they 

.:have discovered indications of a Tartar origin in their cheek- 
bones, others assert that their eyes do not jfistify the affir- 
matioji. Their manner of life may have exerted, perhaps, 
some influence in regard to color, but it would be a difficult 
matter to satisfactorily, explain how it coult have produced 
the great difference ' that is so plainly manifest in 
that of the eyes. Still it is affirmed that "'their imagery, 
both poetry and oratory, is Oriental, though suffering by the 
limited extend of their practical knowledge." Their 
metaphors were drawii from nature, the seasons, the clouds, 
the storms, the hiountains, birds and beast, and the vegetables 
world. Yet in this, they only did what all other races of the 
human family hayp done, whose bounds to fancy were 
governed by experience- They also clothed their ideas in 
Oriental dress. They expressed a phi-ase in a word, and 
qualified the signification of a whole sentence by a syllable; 
and also conveyed different significations by the simplest 
inflections of the voice. Some philologists afi&rm that among 
all th6 North American Indians who once inhabited this con- 
tinent, "tjiere are, properly speaking, bu^t two or three 
languages," and the difficulty , which different tribes ex- 
perience in understanding each 'other, is attributed, to the 
corruptions in dialects. This may seem more plaiisible 
from the following incident. Shortly after the Choctaws 
were' removed from their ancient doma,ins east of the Mis- 
sissippi River to their present places of abode, a small tribe 


of strange Indians was discovered occupying a portion of 
their western territory, now the Chickasaw Nation. A party 
of Choctaws, under the command of Peter P. Pitcblynn, 
was sent out to ascertain who they were. When the dele- 
gation arrived at one of the villages of 'the unknown tribe, 
they were totally unable to communicate with them only 
through the sign language, so well understood by all the 
Indians, and them alone. However, it was soon observed 
That the villagers, in conversation with each other, used a 
few words that were decidedly of Choctaw origin, and now 
and then one or more purely Choctaw words. This but in- 
creased the interest of the now deeply interested delegates. 
Upon further investigation by means of the sign-language, 
itiwas ascertained that the name of the little tribe of stran- 
gers wasBaluhchi, a pure Choctaw woriJ, signifying hickor^'- 
bark (formerly used by the Choctaws in making ropes and 
whips wh^n peeled from the hickory bush in the spring). It 
was also learned that they originally came from a country, to 
their pleasant place of abode, that lay beyond the "Big 
Waters," and this was all that could be learned concerning 
them. Being anxious to ascertain something more definite, 
the delegates, upon further inquiry, learned that there lived 
in anothe'r village a few miles distant, an iged man who was 
formerly their chief but owing to his advanced age he no 
longer acted in that capacity, but wis regarded by the tribe 
as their national Seer or Prophet. To him the delegation 
immediately went, and found to their agreeable surprise that 
the venerable old patriarch, for such he truly was, could speak 
, the Choctaw language fluently. He corroborated the state- 
ment of the villagers in regard to the migration, and also 
claimed that he and his tribe were Choctaws. When asked. 
How long since he left his people east of the "Big Waters," 
he replied: "Lon^ ago, when a little boy," and further 
stated that he was the only survivor ctf the little company 
that had wandered away years ago from the parent stock. 
But to fully test the matter, he was questioned as to the 
name of the Choctaw Iksas (Clans) and their ruling chiefs at 
the time of his boyhood and the departure of the company to 
the far west. He readily gave the name of several clans and 
their then ruling chiefs, together with the names of the clan 
(Baluhchi) to which his parents belonged; also many memor- 
able incidents connected with the Choctaws in his boyhood 
together with the general features and outlines of their 
territory. All of which was known to be true. The test 
was satisfactory. The delegates returned; made their re- 
port, and the Choctaw Nation at once received its long wan- 
dering prodigy's y.ito it- p-'.:;-.\:il cmbraTC, v,it';o;it 


; ;■ ■■,■■.. ►M,',/.;.il 

hesitation toolf them into full fellowship as children oh ojie. 
and the same family. About fifty families of this once l6bt 
clan, numbering about two hundred spills still survive; .with , 
a few of whom I am personally acquainted . The little band, 
I was informed, still adheres to the ancient customs of their 
Clan with that tenacity peculiar to the North American 
Indians alone, but has returned to the use of the Choctaw 
language proper. i / i 

Here then, in this little band of strayed Ctoctaws, who 
had wandered from the parent stock scarcely a century be- 
fore, is found a case in which their language' had becbme so 
blended or mixed with that of the languages of other adjoin- 
ing tribes, and thereby so corrupted and changed as not to 
be understood by tlieir own people from w;hom they had/ 
wandered but a generations or two before.- ,'d?he ancient 
Baluhchi Clan of Choctaws was first, hiade known to the 
whites by La Salle, who visited them on his voyage of dis- 
covery down the Mississippi River in 1682, and to which I 
will again refer. ' / ' 

Fenimore Cooper, in reference to the , sign4anguage of 
the North American Indians, says, he was present at an in- 
terview between two chiefs of the western plains, and when 
an interpreter was present who spoke ' both languages of- 
the two different tribes to which the two chiefs respectively 
belonged. The two warrior chief s appeared , to be on the 
most friendly terms, and apparently conversed much togeth- 
er ; yet, according to the affirmation Of the interpireter, each 
was absolutely ignorant of what the other said in his native 
tongue. Their trites vi^ere hostile to each other, but these 
two chiefs had accidentally been brought togethei* by the in- 
fluence of the Government ; and it is worthy lof remark that 
a common' policy influenced them both to adopt the same 
subject. They mutually exhorted each other to befriend 
the one the other in the event that the chance of ^^ war should 
throw either of them in the hands of his enemies." \ 

But whatever may be the truth as i;;espects the root and 
the genius of the Indian tongue, it is quite evident thtey are 
now so remote in their words as to possess piost of the dis- 
advantages of strange languages ; hence, much of the em- 
barrassment that has arisen in learning their history, and 
most of the uncertainty which exists in their traditions. 

The North American Indians conform to rule as rigidly 
as any nation of people that ever iexisted. They regulated 
their whole conduct in conformity to some general maxims 
implanted in their minds in their youthful days. The moral 
laws by which they were goveirned were few, 'tis true. 
Butthey conformed toallof them moatrigidly ; while our moral 


laws are many by which we assume to be g'overned, yet we 
' frequently violate them with little compunction of conscience 
when conflicting with our real or imaginary interests. We 
accuse the Indians of stoicism and habitual taciturnity, with- 
out studying their characteristics?; but if we had 
only informed ourselves, we would have learned that they 
are more firmly linked to us by mutual sympathies and affec- 
tions than we have ever even imagined. But why do the In- 
dians appear taciturn and unsocial to us ? Because we 
have, from first to last, manifested toward them an uncon- 
cealed coldness, indifference, distrustfulness bordering 
largly on contempt ; and never with that confidence, frank- 
. ness and'sincerity which are so indispensable to genuine love 
and true friendship. Let a little group of Indians be at a 
railroad station on the arrival of a passenger train. See the 
rush to the platform and the circle formed around them ; 
hear the remarks of attempted wit made al^out them and the 
laugh of ridicule, as they stare at them as if they were a 
group of wild beasts, yet assuming themselves to be a people 
remarkable for their strict adherence to the rules and regu- 
lations of politeness ! What feelings must pervade the In- 
dians' breasts but emotions of manifold pity and mingled 
contempt for such an ill-mannered set, who profess so much 
yet display . so little of common sense 1 Who, with any de- 
gree of justice, can blame the Indians :for manifesting their 
wisdom and good sense by keeping themselves aloof from 
the company of the self-conceited and scornful, whose moral 
worth and highest attainments begin and end seemingly 
with the monkey ? and, ^'s a natural consequence, can exhibit 
no other disposition when in the presence of one or more In- 
dians than that of gratifying an ignorant curiosity in behold- 
ing the so-called "red devils, red skin, Indian bucks," appel- 
lations having their origin in the depi-aved hearts of as cor- 
rupt and reckless specimens of humanity as ever cursed a 
land or country, arid are a foul blot upon the fair face of na- 
ture, and the language of Whose hearts is "justice, truth, 
honor, mercy, humanity depart from us, we desire not the 
knowledge of thy ways." Thus, in all opr intercourse with 
this unfortunate race of people, we haye exhibited, in the 
majority of instances, every disposition toward them that 
was calculated "to drive them far frofn even the sight of us, 
and to stamp indelibly upon their hearts the belief that our 
only desire is, and ever has been, to dispossess them. of their 
hereditary possessions ; and in which they are wholly con- 
firmed by reading our publications in which we portray them 
as "red devils, red skins, blood-thirsty savages, Indian 
bucks," thus seemingly to atloiupt to justify ourselves, by 


our calumniating- epithets, in our cruelties and outrages upon 
them without any^respect to their cl^iims upon truth, justice, 
mercy and humanity whatever; and also, that th^y have no 
rights when conflicting with ours, but must succumb any- 
where and everywhere to the riod of ourVinterest, be itiat 
their sacrifice what it may; therefore we continue, as ^e 
have done for centuries past, to execute our verdict pro- 
nounced against them from the beginning: "It is easier and^ 
less expensive to exterminate the Indians, than to obey the 
mandates of the Son of God in attempting' to Christianize 
them." Said an old chief: "We've been driven back, until 
we can retreat no farther ; our totaahawkshaye none to wield 
them ; our bows have none to shoot them ; our council fires 
are nearly burned out ; soon the white man will cease tboppress 
and persecute us, for we will have perished and gone from 
the earth." Thus have their expectations darkened into 
anxiety, theif anxiety into dread, their dread into despair 
and their despair into death. ) 

Never in t;he history of man has the extermination of a 
people been more complete than that of the North American 
Indians within the last two and a half centuries. To the 
query, "Whei^e are they"? Echo but responds, "Where"? 
Alas! all have disappeared from their ancient abodes, and 
hundreds .of tribes have long" since ceased to exist as 
nations, the majority not e^en leaving a name behind them; 
and even the former homes lof the hapless remaining few 
refuse to acknowledge the feeble exiles but as vile intruders,^ 
while the names of mountains, hills and streams are all that 
remain as testimonials of their former occupancy, even as 
solitary heaps of drift-wood left far from the channel of tlie 
river bear testimony to the extent of its inundation. And to 
the query, Where are they? The best reply may be found 
in a book bearing the title ''Shank's Report On Indian 
Frauds," made March 3d, 1873, to the 420 Congress,. 3d, ' 
Session, in the management of Indian Affairs. It is as 
follows: "In 250 years^'we have wasted their numbers from 
2,500,000"' taearer the truth would be, 20,500,000) "dowii to 
250,000 or a waste of.a numbe;: equaV to all their children 
born to them in the last 250 years, aijd 2, 250,000, or 9-10 of 
their original numbei*, residing in the limits pf; our Govern- ' 
ment, and have taken absolute ownership of 3,232,'936,351 
acres of their lands, prairies, forests, gaine and hom^s, 
leaving, to all their tribes collectively, only ^7,745,000 acres 
of ground, generally not the best, and even that is sought 
after with a greed that is not worthy a Christiaii people." 
Nevertheless we boast of ourselves being a trud Christian 
nation of the "Anglo Saxon" blood. Who caii but pity the, 


unfortunate Cubans and the Filipinos! With what emotions 
of horror must they shrink from their prospective future, 
when contemplating- the extermination of the North Ameri- 
can Indians. ^ , 

Evenatanearly day the Indians themselves, believed, felt 
and acknowledged it. In 1611, all the Indians, thenknown to 
the whites, complained, according to the statements of the 
early writers, that from the time the French came to trade 
with them they began to decline and die off more rapidly 
than ever before. It is stated by the early explorers, that 
they would often fumigfate their heads to avoid infection 
from the magic charms they believed the French carried 
about their persons, secret poison, harmless to themselves, 
but fatal to all Indians ; at other^times they would accuse 
the whites of selling them poisonous provisio^is. "Jn 1634," 
writes the French journalist, "the orphans were sadly nu- 
merous, for after the Indians began to use whiskey they 
died in great numbers." "Not so," said a chief in 1636, "It 
is not your drink which kills us, but your writings ; for 
since you have described' our country, our rivers, land and 
forests, we are all dying. This was hot so before your com- 
ing." Unhappy chief 1 Thou wert honest in thy convic- 
tions, but erring in your judgment. Whiskey was the se- 
cret poWr employed by the pale-faice to silently but effectu- 
ally destroy thy race, as it h%s been from that day to this ; 
and, as auxiliaries to that terrible destructive, the introduc- 
tion of small-pox, scarlet fever, measles, mumps, whooping 
coijgh,unknov<fn before, to the Indians, did their fatal work, 
and hurried millions of that unfortunate people to premature 
graves, often depopulating entire towns and villages, and 
even tribes. These new and unaccountable diseases ap- 
pearing among them with the coming of the whites, baffling 
their utmost powers in the healing art, and which it ap- 
peared no skill could obviate, nor remedy dispel the fearful 
infection, they very naturally attributed -the cause of them 
to the writings of the Pale-face, so mysterious and incom- 
prehensible to them. While some tribes attributed their 
mysterious dying to the angei*of the Gyeat Spirit, who thus 
punished them for permitting the Pale-faces to "describe 
their country, lands, rtvers and forests." 

A Huron convert told the Jesuit priests in 1639, that it 
was almost the universal opinion of his nation, that all the 
professed friendship of the whites for the Indians was but 
a blind to conceal their deep hidden hypocrisy and treachery; 
and that they were really aiming to the total destruction of 
the Indian^, in order to secure their country for themselves. 
How truly prophetic, and how much more of truth than 


fiction were their rational conclusions, and was there , not 
manifested also, in their just reasonirngfs, in reg^ard to the 
secret designs of the whites, as far-sighted statemanship as 
was ever exhibited by any nation of pfeo^jle that ever existed, 
ancient or modern? Were the phillippics hurled against the 
ambitious Macedonian king- and conqueror by the world- 
wide renowned statesman and orator of ancient Athens more 
prophetic than were the predictions of those ancient Hurons 
of North America? "You will see," said a relative of the 
above mentioned Huron convertt to whom he ■ spoke of the 
kiq^d words and friendly actions of the Jesuit priests towards - 
the Indians, '-your children die before your eyes; you your- 
self will soon'followi and if we listen to them, we all' ;wiil go 
the same way." "Whether it is the work of the'devil or the 
providence of God," adds the annalist, "we dare not say, but 
of five children in the family, but one remains. Soon after 
that speech, one was carried off by fever; another has been 
ill for months and cannot live; the oldest, who was one of our 
pupils, a lad of fourteen, died very suddenly; an adopted 
daughter has a dangerous cough; thfe youngest boy is dying 
too, while the Lord has seen fit to afflict the wife also, who, 
after losing four children, herself died of /small-pox. Truly 
the! poor Indian may say Probasti me et cognovisti me." In 
1657, Father Menard himself, while laboring among the Iro- 
quois, wrote as follows: "The hostility to our faith and to our 
persons which the Hurons had transmitted to tho^ abori- 
gines, persuading them that we carried with us disease and 
misfortune to every country we approached, caused our re- 
ception to be cool and the presents to be spurned which we 
offered as a help to th^ introduction of our religion." 

Could the Indians be justly censured, with such potent 
convictions resting upon their minds, that many, in wild de- 
spair and in blind revenge, if, peradventure, they might be 
able to turn back the fearful and destructive tide of disease 
and death that was so effectually and rapidly destroying 
them, by driving from their territories the pale-faces — 
seemingly the author of all their misfortunes and woes? and 
did not their hopes of success, their devotion to and love of 
country, and their irresistible idealism which stimulates the 
mighty effort, constitute the essence of true patriot- 
ism? But alas, our prejudice denies it to them. 
Wherefore? Because we, as a people, were blinded 
by our imagined superiority over them, and pte-con- 
ceived determination to convert their country to our own use 
—every foot of it — as is so manifest to-day ; therefore refused 
to become properly acquainted with them lest we might see 
and learn of their many characteristic virtues.' Their coun- 


try was the philosopher's stone to us — ^the true secret that 
influenced our actions toward, and all our dealings with 
them, both of a peaceful and hostile nature. It was the 
sceptre that was to give us dominion over them, to their de- 
struction, but our aggrandizement ; the key that would un- 
lock to us a store-house of national power and personal 
emolument,, opening unto us the untold ti'easures of the 
western continent. Therefore, whatever in them appeared 
strange and forbidding to our disordered imagination ; what- 
ever did not agree in every punctilio to our self-conceited, 
"high-born," civilized customs, we at once misjudged and 
underrated, haughtily condemned and pushed aside as un- 
worthy our refined attention. Hence it is a lamentable 
truth, that all the impressions ever made by the whites upon 
the Indians, with few exceptions, from their earliest associa- 
tions to the present day, have been contrary to every thing that 
had 4 tendency tosecure their confidence, maintain their friend- 
ship, and induce them to forsake their primitive qustoms 
and adopt those of ours ; and we have to-day the evidence i 
on every side that the evil influences^placed before the In- 
dians, and the baneful impressions niade upon their minds 
by unprincipled and lawless white men^ who have always in- 
fested their country, from the beginning, have, been deeply 
and lastingly made, and have long ago assumed the form of a 
justly bitter but silent hatred tnduring as time, and, it is to 
be feared, forever to rankle in their breasts. This prejudice 
against and hatred of all that appertains to the white race 
has been widening and deepening from their first acquain- 
tance with the whites, from whom they have received noth- 
ing but sneers, cuffs and kickp-irom the alpha to the omega, 
and now stands a yawning gulf between the confidence and 
friendship of the red man and the white, so broad and deep 
that all hope ol its being bridged seems nearly if not entirely 
at an end. As the great and good Washington exclaimed, 
when informed of the treason of Benedict Arnold, "Whom 
can we trust?" so the Indians, long ago, have been entirely 
justifiable to exclaim of tHe Vhite race "Whom can we 
trust.?" Memory is, ahd always has befen, the Indian's onlv 
record-book, their history of past events ; and upon its 
pages, handed down through ages- from generation to g6ner- 
yation, are truthfully, faithfully and lastingly recorded in the 
archives of their respective nations, and the vicissitudes of 
their individual lives. Its instructions they never forget, be 
they of joy or sorrow, hope"br fear, rights or wrongs, bene- 
fits or injuries ; and to-day, could the heart of every Indian, 
whose blood is not contaminated with that of the white, male 
or female, old or young, now living within the jurisdiction of 


these United States as their miserable and down-trodden 
wards, be read as an open scroll, I venture the assertion as 
being within the line of truth, though ^road and inconsistent 
as'it may seem, there would be found written, and with just 
cause approyed and sustained by truth, against the white 
race, , with pen dipped in the stream of as bitter hatred as 
ever flowed through the human soul, "Tekel," They would 
be superhuman if otherwise. But upon whom justly rests _ 
the cause of all this? At whose door lies the fearful wrong? 
"Who has been the first and last cause ? The voice of truth, 
as potent as that which fell upon the ears of Israel's guilty 
king, sustained now as then by the God of justice ancl truth, 
comes also to' the whitie man, and declares in thunder tones, 
"Thou art the man." 

The era (1492) in which Columbus discovered the 
western continent was unprecedented in the history of the 
"world, awakening the lon|f slumbering ambition of man-kind 
to an energy unknown before, and giving qrigin to num'ber- 
less speculative enterprises, which resulted in a fierce strug- 
gle among the different nations of the Old World to secure a 
permanent foot-hold in the New, which offered such bright , 
prospects for national power and glory and individual wealth, 
and soon the representatives of the different maritime 
powers were seen upon the wide and seemingly illimitable 
field disputing, quarrelling and fighting for supremacy upon 
the soil of the Native American, and adopting every art and 
device that ingenuitv could suggest, right or wrong, so it did 
prove but successful in preventing the opposite from attain- 
ing its desired end, or displacing the fortunate one who had 
secured a coveted prize. Among the most conspicuous 
contestants were the irepresentatives of Spain, France, Eng- 
4and and Holland; wlft) sent out corporations for colonizing 
purposes, establishing them at different points according to 
the inclinations of each, extending from the Great 
Lakes of . the North to the Gulf in tte South; 
each assuming the right based upon that of discovery 
and occupancy to possess, hold, occupy and retain 
any territory desired; but in reality, , more by -virtue of 
professed intellectual superiority, over the Native Americans 
and the actual advantages in the "munitions of war, than that 
of any right accrued by^vii-tue of discovery; influencing, the 
inexperienced and unlettered natives by cajolery and decep- 
tion, and oft by compulsion, to dispose of their lands to them 
at nominal prices, a mere pittance under the name-'of "pur- 
chase," without any regard whatever to the claims, of truth, 
justice and honor, or to tie validity of tlje Indians' title by 
previous occupancyf ■ for* ages unknown., But after many 


years of disputation, wrang-ling- and fighting, the greatest 
arena of contending disputants was cleared of all but two, 
the French and Englis^, to whom was left the task of closing 
the bloody drama; but into which th6 two hostile and con- 
tending rivals continued to involve (ashad been^done from 
the beginning of their feuds!) the bewildered Indians in their 
battles with each other, and also arraying , them in deadly 
strife and prolonged war-fare among themselves, tribe 
against tritje, that they might thus weaken their numerical 
strength, and thus the quicker and the more easily drive 
them from their ancient possessions; a scheme artfully 
adopted by us, after the dispossession of the English, in turn, 
in 1776 and the handing over of the Indians to us, to complete 
the destruction of that unfortunate race. 

But truly has it been said, "The Father of Waters" has 
two epochs, and each with a iiomance, the one as different 
from the other as day and night. The first belongs to the 
northern Mississippi, and the second to the southern ; the 
former has its pastor, Father Marquette ;(the latter its nov- 
elty, Hernando deSoto. France and England, long the am- 
bitious rivals and zealous competitors for territorial acquisi- 
tions throughout the inhabited globe, were the first and only 
nations that disputed and contended for the entire posses- 
sion of the North American continent at that early day ; re- 
garding which it has also been said that religious enthusiasm 
planted the Puritan colony on Plymouth Rock ; religious en- 
thusiasm planted the Cross on the shores of the St. Law- 
rence, among the Indians around Lake Superior, thence to 
the Great Valley of the Mississippi. Thus France and her 
Christianity stood in Canada and the Mississippi valley ; En- 
gland and her Christianity stood on the hills of the Hudson 
and in the Susquehanna valley, and invited the Indians each 
to their respective civilization and Christianity, while bloody 
conflicts and cruel scenes marked the footsteps of the intro- 
duction of the new order of things among the confused In- 

In J608, Quebec was founded by the intrepid explorer, 
Sa^iuel Champlain, and whose name is perpetuated in that of 
Lake Chatiipl^in. From Quebec the French Jesuits pene- 
trated and explored the vast solitudes of the Canadian 
wilderness 1 to the Great Lakes of the West, then a. terra 
incognita, to the civilized vi^orld. Following in their wake 
came the Enp['lish in their representatives, known as the 
Pilgrims landing on the rock-bound coast of Massichusetts 
in 1620, where the foot of the white man had never trod, 
though the adventurous and indefatigable La Salle had ex- 
plored the Ohio River as far down as the present city of 


Louisville, Ky., many yeai's befoi-e, while other Fi-ench 
adventurers and also Jesuit missionaries had penetrated the 
wild regions around the Great Lakes, thpnce southward 
along the various tributaries of the Mississippi which drained 
the vast and wild region between, them and the Gulf of 
Mexico far to the south; there-, they planted the Cross in 
those seemingly illimitable forests, whose Solitudes never be 
fore had been broken by the voice of anthems gang in praise 
to the one and only true God, and there left behind them 
many monuments scattered here and there, as memorials of , 
their adventurous and perilous travels, vvhich, in, after years, ; 
would remind the passer-by of the na!mes of La Salle, 
Allouez, Marquette, Joliet, lleynard, and other kindred 
spirits, whose energy and untiring efforts to .convert to- 
their religious creed the various tribes of the Native Ameri-^ 
cans, and to successfully and permanently secure all their 
territories for the French, has no parallel in the atinals of 
the world's history. Quebec soon became the great and 
frequented mart of trade between the French and the 
Indians, to which the various tribes came frohi far and near 
in their canoes laden with the skins and furs of the 
various wild animals that roamed in countless numbers 
over the vast forests of those primitive days, to- 
see the pale-face .strangers, and to exchange their furs 
and skins for- the' new and^strange articles that seemed ' 
so greatly to excel their own , comforts of life, 'a,nd especially 
the white man's wonderful gun, which they had quickly 
learned far surpassed^ their bows and arrows in killing game 
and in destroying their enenjies. / , 

In 1679, James Marquette, a French Jesuit, an^ Loui^ 
Joliet, a French Canadian mei'chant, entered the Mississippi 
river by way of the Wisconsin in two birch-bark canoes; 
thence down the Mississippi to a point below the mouth of 
the Arkansas. In 1682, Robert de Lasalle, a French Cana- 
dian officer, entered the Mississippi from the Illinois river,, 
thence up to its source, thence down to its mouth, and gave) 
the name Louisiana to that vast territory in honbr of Louis 
XIV, king of France. In 1683, Kaskaskia, in the- now state 
of Illinois, was founded by the French; in 170i, 
Detroit, in Michigan ; in i70S, Vincennes, in Indi- 
ana. In 1699, the French, under the command of Le^ 
moyne de Iberville, also a French Canadian, founded Biloxi, 
in Mississippi, which was named after a clan of the aticietit 
Choctavvs called Bulohchi (Hickory Bar), of whom I have al- 
ready spoken. New Orleans vvas founded by the French 
under Bienville, in 1718. Fort Rosalie among the Natchez 
liidians, whidh was destroyed by them in 1729, who hid be- 


come exasperated by the oppressions of the French, of whom 
I will again more particularly speak. In 1722, Bienville also 
founded Mobile, in Alabama. A chain of forts, was then 
built by the French between Montreal and New Orleans ; 
the most important of which were, the one at Detroit, erect- 
ed in 1701 ; the one at Niag-ara, 1726 ; and one at Crown, 
Point, in 1730. However, De Monts, a French Huguenot, 
established the first pertnanent French settlement upon the 
continent, at Port Royal (now Annapolis) in Nova Scotia, call- 
ing the territory Acadia. 

February 10th, 1763, witnessed the total subversion of 
French power in North America by the English, at which 
time peace was made between the belligerents, England, 
France and Spain, by which the ^^orth American continent 
and-its native inhabitants were handed over to England. 

Reader contemplate the following, which is only one of 
thousands. In the "California Illustrated," a book written 
in 1849, the Author, on page 111, says: "In passing through 
a. slight gorge, I came upon the bodies of three Indians who 
had been dead apparently about two days, each bearing the 
mark of the unerring rifle; two of them were shot through 
the head; the sight was a sad ^one, and gave rise to melan- 
choly reflections, for here these poor beings are hunted and 
shot down like wild beasts, and they no doubt fell by the 
hand of the assassin, not for lucre but to satiate a feeling of 
hate." "In an^djoining territory the Red Mail had a quiet 
home; there he was always supplied with venison, their corn 
fields ripened in autumn, their rude trap furnished clothing 
for the winter, and in the spring they danced in praise of 
the Great Spirit for causing flowe"rs to bloom upon the,graves 
of ,their fathers, but the white. stranger came, and took 
possession of their hunting grounds and streams, and har- 
vested their corn. They held a council and decided that the 
Great Spirit had sent the white stranger, and it would be 
wrong not to give him all he wished; they collected their 
traps, bows and arrows, and prepared to fall back in search 
of new streams and hunting grounds; they paid the last visit 
to the graves of their fathers. What were their feelings? 
The moon threw a pale, dim light through the foliage, the 
air breathed a mournful sigh as they reached the lonely 
mound; the stout hearted .v/arrior drew his blanket to hide 
his tears as he bowed down to commune for the last time 
with the spirits that had so often blessed him in the chase; 
his heart was too full, and h'e fell upon his face and wept 
bitterly. But a last adieu; they rise, c^oss the arrows over 
the grave, walk mournfully away; the Great Spirit give them 
a new hunting ground, and the corn ripens on the plain, but 



soon the white strang-er conies and tells them to fall back. 
They are at the base of the mountain; there are no hunting 
grounds beyond; they hold a council ctnd dec de to defend 
their homes against further, encroachments of the "white 
stranger. The white was strong- and drove the Red Man 
into the mountains, and for the crime of having tried to de- 
fend their homes and families, they are {)laced under a ban, 
and hunted down like beasts. No mafter where they are 
fojind the crime of being a Red Man is a forfeiture, not only 
of all right to prosperty but to life itself. 

"Will not some p^iilanthropist rise above sectional preju- 
dices and undertake the regeneration of this truly noble butv 
dowi^-trodden people? Had I the, wealth of an Astor I would 
not wish a better or nobler field for immortality." Will not 
the philanthropists of^^teUnited States "rise above ''sec- 

tional prejudices, ah^^i^i^rtake the regeneration of these 
truly" infamous, Gifa-forfia.lf^^> white scoundrels, that so 
curse our landP-ifl'I w6uld;'hBt*wish a better or nobler field 
for immortality:"-'. ^'"■- ""'■'■'^-"'"'^ , ■■ . / " ' . ' 

^ "The first man I, net* after my; arrival in the interior 
was an Oregoniah onyL ^'•iebacl!:,*at'med with a revolving ,fifle 
in search of Indians; ''lieih^d Had a stolen, and pre- 

sumed it was taken by an Iridiall ;he swbr^^he would shoot the 
first red skin he met;' arid I had, no 'reason to doubt his 
word; still the chances'wer'e ninety-nine out of a hundred, 
that the horse was stolen by al white man, and the charges of 
the white man upon'the Indian^ are like Nero's setting Rome 
on fire and charging it upon Christiatis. I have no doubt the 
three Indians above spoken of' were wantonly shot while 
walking peacefully along their trail." But alas! who would 
undertake the task of regenerating the harpies\that are, at 
the present day, pursuirig the Indians, and howling at their 
heels. - 

Eugene V. Smalley, in his travels, says: "Near the 
town (Benton) we visited the camp of a doz6n lodges of Pie- 
gan Indians, who had come to. stay all winter for the sake of 
such subsistence as they couldiget from the garbage barrels 
of the citizens. A race of valorous hunters and warriors has 
fallen so low as to be forced to beg at^back doors for kitchen 
refuse. In one of the tepees in the Piegan camp there was 
an affecting scene. A young squaw lay on a pile of rqbes 
and blankets, hopelessly ill and given up to die. In the lines 
of her face and the expression of her great black eyes there 
were traces of beautyandrefinement not often seen in Indian 
women. Crouched on the ground by h6r side sat her father, 
an old blind man with long white hair and a strong, firm face 
clouded with an expression of stolid grief. The Piegans 


and Blackfeet, who possess the great reservation north and 
east of Fort Benton, have suffered g'rievously for want of 
food, and hundreds have died from scrofula and other diseas- 
es induced by insufficient nourishment. In fact the 
government ha^ kept them in a state of semi-starva- 
tion. Father Palladini told me that the speeches of 
Indian chiefs at\ the council, where th^y told of their 
suffering of their tribes and bared their emaciated arms 
and breasts to show what a condition th§y had been brought 
by hunger, were thrilling bursts of Indian oratory, even af- 
fecting listeners who could not, as he did, understand the 
spoken words." What a picture is here represented of our 
policy toward the Indians I What an illustration of the de- 
signs of that arch dissei&bler, the author of the "Severalty 
Bill," whose venal soul plundei^s ^\^elpless people of the 
, homes and little all through j«}rilfjil.';inisi-epresentation and 
brazen-faced falsehood. - WJiat i,,true elucidation of the so- 
called "Indian Problem" which jbur congress has so long 
held up in imaginary suspensiod in mid air as a kind of Mo- 
hamet's coffin ! ,, ;^, lil j,,j 1 .| 

The ancient traditional history ' the Choctaws and Chick- 
asaws, (the former signifying Separation and the latter Re- 
bellion — separafion and rebellion from the Muskogees, now 
known as Creeks, who, according to^tradition, were once of 
one tribe before their migration from some distant country 
far to the west, totheir ancient domain east of the Mississippi 
river, which is of more than dubious authority) claims for 
them a Mexican origin, and a migration from that country at 
some remote period in the- past, under the leidership of two 
brothers, respectively named: Chahtah and Chikasah, both I 
noted and influential chiefs, to their possessions east of the 
Mississippi. Adair, in his "American Indians," says: 
•'The Choctaws and Chickasaws descended from a people 
called Chickemacaws, who were among the first inhabitants 
of the Mexican empire ; and at an ancient period wandered 
east, with ^ tribe of Indians called Choocomaws ; and finally 
crossed the Mississippi river, with a force of ten thousand 
warriors." It is reasonable to suppose that the name 
Choctaw has it's derivation from Choccomaw, and Chickasaw, 
from Chickemacaw (both corrupted) ; as they claim, and no 
doubt justly, the names Choctaw and Chickasaw to be their ' 
ancient and true names. 

Their tradition, in re|:ard to theip origin as related by 
the aged Choctaws to the missionaries iri 1820, was in sub- 
stance as follows: • In a remote period of the past their an- 
cestors dwelt in a country far distant toward the setting 
sun ; r.r.d be'^g conquered and greativ oppressed by a more 



powerful people (the Spaniards under Cortez) resolved to 
seek a country far removed from the possibility of their op- 
pression. \ I " ; 

A great national council was called, t8 which the entire 
nation in one vast concourse- quickly responded. After 
many days spent in grave deliberations upon the question in 
which so much was involved, a day was finally agreed upon 
and a place of rendezvous duly appoiriteji whence they should 
bid a final adieu to their old homes and country and take up 
•their line of march to seek' others, they knew not where. 
When the appointed day arrived it fouild them at the desig- 
nated place fully prepared and ready fdr the exodus under 
the chosen leadership of two brothers, Chahtah ahd Chika- 
sah, both equally renowned for their bravery and skill in 
war and their wisdom and prudence in council ; who, as 
Moses and Aaron led the Jews in their exodus from Egypt, 
were to lead them from a land of oppression to one of peace, 
prosperity and happiness. The evening before their de- 
parture a "Fabussa" (pole, pro. as Fa-bus-sah) was firmly 
set up in the ground at the centre point of their encamp- 
ment, by direction of their chief medicine man and prophet, 
whose wisdom in matters pertaining to things supernatural 
was unquestioned and to whom, after many days fasting and 
supplication, the Great Spirit had revealed that the Fabussa 
would indicate on the following morning, the direction they 
should march by its leaning ; a.nd, as the star led the Magi 
to where the world's infant Redeemer and Savior sweetly re- 
posed, so the leaning of the pole, on each returning morn, 
would indica;te the direction they must travel day by day un- 
til they reached the sought and desired haven ; when, oh the 
following morn, it would there and then remain as erect as 
it had been placed the evening before. At the early dawn of 
the following morn many solicitous eyes were turned to the 
silent but prophetic Fabussa, Lol It leaned to the east. 
Enough. Without hesitation or delay the mighty host began 
its line of march toward the rising sun, and followed each 
day the morning directions ' given by "the talismanic pole, 
which was borne by day at the head of the moving multi- 
tude, and set up at each returning evening in the centre of 
the encampment, alternately by the two renowned chiefs and 
brothers, Chahtah and Chikasah. For weeks and months 
they journeyed toward the east as directed by the undeviat- 
ing fabussa, passing oyer wide extended plains and through 
forests vast and abounding with gam^e of many varieties 
seemingly undisturbed before by the presence of man, from 
which their skillful hunters' bountifully supplied their daily 
^yzrA3. Gb^llv v'zxi^^ th-y h—z a:::p':^, zr. ^hclr :"i::rs 


asylum, many parts of the country through which they 
traveled, but were forbidden, as each returning- morn the un- 
relenting pole stjll gave its silent but comprehended com- 
mand: "Eastward and onward." After many months of 
wearisome travel, sud^denly a vast body of flowing water 
stretched its mighty arm athwart their path. With un- 
feigned astonishment they gathered in groups upon its banks 
and gazed upon its turbid waters. Never before had they 
even heard of, or in all their wanderings stumbled upon 
aught like this. Whence its origin? Where its terminus? 
This is surely the Great Father the true source of all waters, 
whose age is wrapt in the silence of the unknown past., ages 
beyond all calculation, and as they then and there named it 
"Misha fcfipokni" (Beyond Age, whose source and terminus' 
are unknown). \ 

Surely a more appropriate, beautiful and romantic name, 
than its usurper Mississippi, without any signification. But 
who can tell when the waters of Misha ,Sipokni first 

vfound their way from the little Itasca lake hidden in its 
northerly home, to the far away gulf amid the tropics of^ the 
south? Who when those ancient Choctaws stood upon its 
banks and lis'tened to its murmurings Which alone disturbed 
the silence of the vast wilderness that stretched away on 
every side, could tell of its origin and over what mighty dis- 
tances it rolled its muddy waters to their ultimate destiny? 
And who today would presume to know or even conjecture, 

"through what mysterious depths its surging currents strug- 
gle ere they plunge into the southern gulf? But what /how 
says their dumb talisman? Is Misha Sipokni to be the 
terminus of their toils? Are the illimitable forests that so 
lovingly embraced in their wide extended arms its restless 
waters to be their future homes? Not so. Silent and motion- 
less, still as ever before, it bows to the east and its mandate 
"Onward, beyond Misha Sipokni" is accepted without a 
murmur; and at once they proceed to construct canoes and 
rafts by which, in a, few weeks, all we?re safely landed upon 
its eastern banks, whence again was resumed their eastward 
march, and so continued until they stood upon the western 
banks of the Yazoo.river and once more encamped for the 
night; and, as had been done for many months before, ere 
evening began to unfold her curtains and twilight had 
spread o'er all her mystic light, the Fabussa (now truly 
their Delphian oracle) was set up; but ere the morrow's sun 
had plainly lit up the eastern horizon, many anxiously watch- 
ing eyes that early rested upon its straight, slender, silent 
form, observed it stood erect as when set up the evening be- 
fore. And then was borne upon that morning breeze 


throughout the vast sleeping encampment, the joyful accla- 
mation, "Fohah hupishno Yakl Fohah hUpishno Yak! .(pro- 
as Fo-hah, Rest, hup-ish-noh, we, all of us, Ykk, here.) 

Now their weary pilgrimage .was endedi and flattering 
hope portrayed their future destiny in, the bright colors of 
peace, prosperity and happiness. Then, as commemorative- 
of this great event in their national history, they threw up a 
large mound 'embracing three acres of land and rising 
forty feet in a conical form, with a deep hole about ten feet, 
in diameter excavated on the top, and all enclosed by, a ditch 
encompassing nearly twenty acres. After its completion, it 
was discovered not to be erect but a little leaning, and they 
named it Nunih (mountain or mound, Waiyah, leaning, pro. as, 
Nunih Wai-yah). This relic of the remote past still stands half 
buried in the accumulated rubbish of years unknown, dis- 
figured also by the desecrating, touch of time which has 
plainly left his finger marks of decay }ipbn it blotting out 
its history, with all others of its kind, tjiose. memorials of 
ages pasH; erected by the true Native American, about which 
so much has been said in conjecture and so much written in 
speculation, that all now naturally turn to anything from 
their modern conjectures, and speculations v^ith much doubt 
and great misgivings. ' ' 

Several years afterward, according to the tradition of' 
the ChoctawH as narrated to the missionaries, the two, 
brothers, still acting in the capacity of chiefs,, disagreed 
in regard to some national question, and, as Abraham sug- 
gested to Lot the propriety of a separation, so did Chikasah 
propose to Chahtah; but not with that unselfishness that 
Abraham manifested to Lot; since Chikasah, instead of ' 
giving to Chahtah the choice of directions, proposed that: 
they should leave it to a game of chance, to which Chahtah!. 
readily acquiesced. Thus it was played: They stood fac- 
ing each other, one to the east and the other to the west, 
holding a straight pole, ten or fifteen feet in length, in an 
erect position between them with one end resting on the 
ground; ind both were to let go of the pole at the same, 
instant by a pre-arranged signal, and the direction in whicb 
it fell was to decide the direction in which . Chikasah was to-. 
take. If it fell to the north, ChikasE^h and his adherents, 
were to occupy the northern portion of the country, and 
Chahtah and his adherents, the southern; but if it fell to the 
south, then Chikasah, with his followers, was to possess, 
the southern portion of the country, and Cha.htah with his, 
the northern. The game was played, and the pole decreed 
that Chikasah should take the northern part of their^hi^n 
vast and magnificent territory. Thus they were divided 


and became two separate and distinct tribes, each of whom 
assumed and ever afterwards retained the name of their 
respective chiefs, Chahtah and Chikasah. The ancient 
traditions of the Cherokees, as well as the ancient traditions 
of the Muscogees (Creeks) and the Natchez also point back 
to Mexico as the country from which they, in a period long- 
past, moved to their ancient possessiphs east of the Missis- 
sippi river. But Whether they preceded the Choctaws 
and Chickasaws or came after, their traditions are silent. 

Milfort, (p. 269) says : Big Warrior, chief of the Chero- 
Ifees, as late as 1822, not only confirms their tradition that 
Mexico was their native country, but goes back to a inore 
remote period for their origin and clarms that his ancestors 
came from Asia ; crossing Behring Straits in their canoes ; 
thence down the Pacific coast to Mexico; thence to the coun- 
try east of the Mississippi river, where they were first 
known to the Europeans. 

Mr. Gaines, United States agent to the Choctawsin 1810, 
asked Apushamatahaubi (pro. Ar-push-ah-ma-tar-hah ub-ih), 
the most renowned chief of the Choctaws since their acquain- 
tance with the white race, concerning the origin of his peo- 
ple, who replied: "A hattaktikba bushiraioktulla hosh hopaki 
fehna moraa ka minti" (pro. as Arn (my) hut-tark-tik-ba 
(forefather) hiish-ih ai-o-kah-tullah (the west) mo-mah (all) 
meen-tih (came>ho-par-kih (far) feh-nah (very)). And the 
same response was always given by all the ancient Choctaws 
living east of the Mississippi river, when the inquiry was 
made of them, whence their origin? By this they only re- 
ferred to the country in which their forefathers long dwelt 
prior to their exodus to the east of the Mississippi river; as 
Ihey also had a tradition that their forefathers come from a 
country beyond the "Big Waters" far to the northwest, 
crossing a large body of water in their canoes of a day's 
travel, thence down the Pacific coast to Mexico, the same as 
the Cherokees. In conversation with an aged Choctaw in 
the year 1884, (Robert Nail, along known friend,) upon the 
subject, he confirmed the tradition by §tating that his peo- 
ple first came from Asia by way of the Behring Straits. He 
was a man well versed in geography, being taught in bov- 
hood by the missiojiaries prior to their removal from their 
eastern homes to their present abode north of Texas. The 
Muscogees, Shawnees, Delawares, Chippeways, and other 
tribes also have the same traditions pointing beyond Behring 
Straits to Asia as the land whence their forefathers came in 
ages past. Some of their traditions state, that they crossed 
the Strait on the ice, the Chippeways for one ; but the most, 
according to their traditions, crossed in their canoes. But 



■that the ancestors of the North American Indians came at 
some unknown period in the remote past, from Asia to the 
North American continent, there can be no doubt. Their 
traditions, pointing back to ancient historical events,' and 
many other things, though vague by the mists of ageg past, 
yet interestingly strange JFrom proximity to known historical 
truths^ Noah, who lived 3S0 years after the flood, which oc-- 
curred 1656 years from the creation of man, or 2348 B. C, 
divided the earth, according to general opinion, among his 
three sons. To Shem, he gave Asia; to Ham j Africa, and to 
Japheth, Europe, whose posterity are described occupying 
chiefly the western and northern regions (Gen. x, 3-5); this 
well accords with the etymology of the name, which signifies 
widely spreading ; and how wonderfully did Providence en- 
large the boundaries of Japheth! His posterity diverged 
eastward and westward, from the original Settlement in Ar- 
menia, through the whole extent of Asia north of the great 
range of Taurus distinguished by the general namesof Tarta- 
rs and Siberia as far as the Eastern Ocean: and, in process of 
time, by an easy passage across Behriiig Straits, over the en- 
tire continent; and they spread in the opposite direction, 
throughout the whole of Europe, to the Atlantic Ocean ; thus 
literally encompassing the earth, within the precincts of 
the northern temperate zone ; while the war-like genius of 
this hardy hunter race frequently led them into the settle- 
ments, and to dwell in the "tents of Shem," v^hose pastoral 
occupations rendered them more inactive, peaeieable, and un- 

There is much proof in favor of the belief that the Choc- 
taws, Chickasaws, Cherokees and Muscogees, were living in 
Mexico when Cortez overthrew the Aztec dynasty. 

'But heavily has the hand of time, with its weight of 
y^ars, rested upon the descendants of the people over whom 
the two brothers, Chahtah and. Chikasah swayed the 
sceptre of authority as chiefs, counselors and warriors, in 
the unknown ages of the past; and from the time of their 
traditional migration to that of their first acquaintance with 
the White Race, what their vicissitudes and mutations; what 
their joys and sorrows; what their hopes and fears; what 
their lights and shadows, during the long night of historical 
darkness, was known to them alone, and with them has long 
been buried in the oblivion of the hidden past, together with 
that of their entire race. Truly, their legends, their songs 
and romances, celebrating their exploits, would form, if but 
known, a literature of themselves; and though their ghosts 
still ride through the forests and distant echoes of them are 
still heard in vague tradition, yet they afford but a slender 


basis for a history for this broad fabric of romance, while 
around them still cljuster all those wonderful series of myths, 
which have spread over the land and assumed so many 
shapes. But what a volume of surpas!sing romance; of fon- 
dest hopes, of blighted aspirations; of glorious enthuiasms; 
of dark despair, and of touching- pathos, would their full 
history make? THey owned this vast continent, and had 
possessed it for ages exceeding in time the ability of the 
human mind to conceive; and they too speak of the long in- 
fancy of the human race; of its slow advance in culture; of 
its triumphs over obstacles, and of thje final appearance of 
that better day, when ideas of truth, justice, and that ad- 
vanced stage of enlightenment h^d been reached wherein we 
speak of man as civilized. They were of a cheerful and joy- 
ous disposition, and of a kindly nature, the croaking and 
snarlings of ignorance, and prejudice to the contrary not- 
withstanding. Their civilization has been gi-ossly under- 
estimated. We have unjustly contemplated them to a ridicu- 
lous extent through our own selfish ami narrow contracted 
spectacles, and have so loudly talked of and expatiated upon 
their forests, that we have forgotten their cornfields; and 
repeatedly spoken of their skill as hunters, until we have 
overlooked their labors as herdsmen; while, at the same time, 
it has been customai-y every where to4ook down upon them 
with emotions of contempt and to decry their habjts and 
customs. I do not deny the existence of blemishes in many 
of their characteristics; nor deny tha.t superstitions and 
erroneous opinions were pr^evalent. At which we have assumed 
to be greatly horrified; yet, do condemn the modern writers 
for their want of judgment on this point, and their unreason- 
able severity in their condemnation of the Indians, in whom 
they profess to have discovered so manv defects without a 
redeeming virtue; and their disregard of the truth, that, to 
him alone who is without sin is given the right to cast the 
first stone. Therefore, how could it be otherwise than that, 
concerning the dealings of the White Race with the Red, 
there is a sad, fearful and revolting story to be told; while 
losing ourselves in the wild revelry of imagination, we dream 
of the time when our civilization and Quixotic ideas of human 
liberty shall embrace the entire world in its folds. 

The Choctaws were first made known to the European 
world by the journalists of that memorable adventurer, 
Hernando De Soto, who invaded their territory October' 
1540, and introduced the civilized (so-called) race of man- 
kind to the Choctaws in the following manner: A manly 
young Indian of splendid proportions, and with a face ex- 
tremely attractive and interesting, visited Uc Soto after he 


had left Tallase. He was the son of Tuscaloosa /corruption 
of the Choctaw words Tushka, warrior, Lusa, black), a re- 
nowned chief whose territories extended to the distant 
Tombigbee in the west. (Tombigbec'is a corruption of the 
Choctaw words Itombi, box, ikbi, maker), a name given to a 
white man, it is said, who, at an early day, settled on the 
banks of the river and made boxes for the Choctaws, in 
which were plaqed the bones of their dead,'which will be par- 
ticularly noticed elsewhere. , 

The young warrior bore an invitation froln his father 
to De Soto to visit him at his capital. The next day De Soto, 
advancing to within six miles of where the great chief await- 
ed him, made a halt, and sent Louis de Mascosso with fifteen 
horsemen to inform Tush ka Lusa of his near approach. 
Mascosso and his troopers soon appeared before Tush ka 
Lusa, who was seated upon an eminence commanding a 
broad and deliglitful view. He was a man of powerful stat- 
ure, muscular limbs, yet of admirable proportions, with a 
countenance grave and seVere, yet handsome. When De 
Soto arrived Tush ka\Lusa arose and advanced to meet him 
■with a proud and haughty air, and said : "Great Chief ; I re- 
ceive you as a brdther, and welcome you to my country. I am 
ready to comply with your requests." After a few prelimi- 
naries, in company with Tush ka Lusa and his followers, De 
Soto took up his line of march for Mobila the capital of the 
mighty chief. (Mobila is a corruption of the two Choctaw 
■words moma, all, binah, a lodge, literally a lodge or epcamp- 
ment for all.) 

On the third day of their march from Piache, (a corrup- 
tion of the Choctaw woi-'d Pi-a-chih, to care' for us), they 
passed through many populous towns, well stored with corn, 
beans and other provisions. On the foui^-th morning, De 
Soto, with a hundred cavalry and as many infantry, made a 
forced march with Tush, ka Lusa in the direction of Mobila, 
leaving Mascosso to bring up the rear. At eight o'clock the 
same morning, October 18th, 1540, De Soto and Tush ka 
Lusa reached the capital. It stood by the side of a large 
river, upon a. beautiful plain, and consisted of eighty hand- 
some houses, each large enough to contain a thousand men, 
and all fronting a large public square. Dodge says in his 
book styled "Our Wild Indians" that "The aboriginal in- 
hjabitants of the North American continent, have never at any 
time exceeded half a million souls;" yet according to De 
Soto's journalists who w;ere with him in his memorable raid, 
Mobila alone, "consisted of eighty handsome houses, each 
large enough to contaiiji a thousand men;" and if each house 
contained Dodge's "several families consisting of men, with 


two or three wives, and children of all ages and sexes, occp 
py for all purposes one single lodge of 12 or 15 feet in 
diameter what must have been the number of indabitants 
in, Mobila with "80 handsome houses, each large enough to 
contain a thousand men" with two, three, or more wives, 
and children occupying "for all purposes," a space only "12 
or IS feet in diameter"? The reader can make the calcula- 
tion at his own leisure ; though it seems Mobila alone con- 
tained over.half the number of souls that Dodge allows for 
the entire continent, "at one time." 

A high wall surrounded the town, made of immense 
trunks of trees set close together and deep in the grouWd, 
and made strong with heavy cross timbers interwoven with 
large vines. A thick mud plaster, resembling*i handsome 
masonry, concealed the wood work, while port-holes were 
abundant, together with towers, capable of holding eight 
men each, at the distance of fifteen paces apart. There 
were two gates leading into the town, one on the east, the 
other on the west. De Soto and Tush ka Lusa were es- 
corted into the great public square \^ith songs and chants, 
and the dancing of beautiful Indian girls. They alighted 
from their horses, and were given seats under a canopy of 
state. Having remained seated for a ^hort time, Tush ka. 
Lusa now requested that he should no longer be held as a 
hostage; to which De Soto giving no heed, the indignant 
chief at once arose and walked off with an independent atti- 
tude to where a group of his warriors stood. De Soto had 
scarcely recovered from his surprise at the independent con- 
duct of Tush ka Lusa, when Jean Ortez followed the chief 
and stated that breakfast awaited bim at De Soto's table ; 
but he refused to return, and added, "If your chief knows 
what is best for him, he will immediately tak^ his troops out 
of my territdry." At this juncture De Soto secretly sent word 
to his men to be prepared for an attack. Then, hoping to 
prevent an attack until he could again get in possession of 
the chief, De Soto advanced toward him with assumed smiles 
and words of friendship, but Tush ka Lusa scornfully 
turned his back upon him, and was soon hidden among the 
multitude of now highly excited warriors. Just then a warrior 
rushed out of a house, denouncing the Spaniards as robbers 
and murderers and declared that they should nolonger impose 
on their chief, by holding him as a prisoner. HIb words so en- 
raged Baltaserde Gallagas, that he cut the warrior In twain with 
one sweep of his broad sword. At the sight of their slain 
vir^rrior, the Choctaws. with their defiant war-whoop, at once 
rushed upon De Soto and his men. De Soto, placing himself 
8t the head- of his men, fighting and retreating, 


slowly made his way out of i, the,,, /town into, itlie 
plain; and continued ' to retreat, until.' he, ,,had 
reached a considerable distance, upon the , plain. In the- r 
mean time the troopers rushed to secure tl^eiri horses, which 
had been tied outside of the walls. The at once 
knocked the chains from the i hands and feet of the Indian 
prisoners whom-De Soto had brought with him, giving' theni, 
weapons bade them help destroy the perfidious strangers. In> 
the first rush the Choctaws killed five, of the Spaniards, who^ 
had been left outside of the walls, and.i were loudly exulting' 
over their seeming good fortune in dense; masses before the 
gate. At that moment, De Soto with his cavalry, closely 
followed by his infantry, made a fearful chairge upon the 
disordered mass of the Choctaws, who were still on the out- 
side of the enclosures, and with a terrible slaughter drove 
them back into the town. Immediately the Choctaws. 
rushed to the port-holes and towers, and hiirled clouds of ar- 
rows and spears upon the Spaniards, and again drove them, 
from the walls. Seeing the Spaniards again retreat, agfain, 
the Choctaws rushed through the gate and fearlessly attacked 
the Spaniards fighting them hand to hand and face to face 
Three long hours did the battle rage, the Spaniards now re- 
treating, then the Choctaws. Like a spectre De Soto seemed, 
every where hewing down on the right and left, as if /his. 
arm could never tire. That sword, which, had, been so {Mtea 
stained with the blood of the South American, was now re^, 
with that of the North American, a still, braver race. Above, 
the mighty din was heard the voice of Tu^hka Lusa en- 
couraging his warrior's ; his tomahawk, wielded by his mus- 
cular arm, ascended and descended in rapid strokes, like a 
meteor across a scarry sky. Bvti could the feeble bow and 
irrow and the tomahawk avail against the huge lance and 
broad-sword? What the unprotected body of the Choctavir 
warrior against the steel clad body of the Spanish soldier? 
At length the Choctaws were forced to make a permanent re- 
treat within the enclosure of their town, closing the gates 
after them; and at the same time the Spaniards made'a des>- 
perate charge against the gates and walls, but were met 
with showers of arrows and other missiles.' But the infant- 
ry, protected by their bucklers, soon hewed the gates to 
pieces with their battle-axes, and rushed into the town, while 
the cavalry remained on the outside to cut to pieces all •wh(> 
might attempt to escape. Then began a carnage too awful 
to relate. The Choctaws fought in ihe streets, in the 
square,' from the house top, and walls; and though the 
ground was covered with their dead and dying, .relatives a,nd 
fnends, still nonliving' one entreated f 61; t|tfa»:ter. Hotter 


and hotter, and more bloody waxed the desperate conflict. 
Often the Choctaws drove the Spaniard's out of the town, but 
to see them return again with demoniac fury. To such a 
crisis had the battle now arrived, that there could be no idle 
spectators ; and now were seen women and girls contending 
side by side with the husbands, fathers and brothers, and 
fearlessly sharing in the dangers and in the indiscriminate 
slaughter. At length the houses were setson fire, and the 
wind blew the smoke and flames in all directions adding hor- 
ror to the scene. The flames ascended in mighty volumes. 
The din of strife began to grow fainter. The sun went 
down, seemingly to rejoice in withdra>ving from the sicken- 
ing scene. Then all was hushed. Mobila was in- ruins, 
and her people slain. For nine long hours had the battlfe 
raged. Eighty-two Spaniards were killed and forty-jiye 
horses. But alas, the poor Choctaws, who participated in 
the fight were nearly all slain. 

Garcellasso asserts that eleven thousand were slain; 
while the "Portuguese Gentleman" sets the number at twenty 
five hundred within the town alone. Assuming a point be- 
tween the two, it is reasonable to conclude that six thousand 
were killed in and outside of the town. Tushka Lusa 
perished with his people. After the destruction of Mobila, 
De Soto remained a few days upon tbe plains around the 
smoking town ; sending out foraging paj-ties, who found the 
neighboring villages well stocked with provisions. In all 
these foraging excursions, females of great beauty were 
captured, and added to those taken at the close of the battle. 
On Sunday the 18th of November, 1540, this monster and 
his fiendish crevv look their departure from the smouldering 
ruins of Mobila, and its brave but murdered inhabitants; and 
with the poor Mobjla girls, at whose misfortunes humanity 
weeps, resumed thejr westward march." 

Thus the Europeans introduced themselves to the Native 
Americans negirly four centuries ago as a race of civilized and 
Christian people, but proving themselves to be a race of 
fiends utterly, void of every principle of virtue known to man. 
And thus the Native Americans introduced themselves to the 
Europeans as a race unknown to civilization and Christianity, 
yet proving themselves possessed of many virtues that adorn 
man, together with a spirit of as true and noble patriotism, 
martyrs upon the altar of liberty, that has never been sur- 

I challenge history to show a nation whose people ever 
displayed a more heroic courage in defense of their country 
•and homes than did Tushka Lusa and his brave people in 
defending their town Mama-binah. They exposed their 


naked breasts to the feeeii lances and swords of those iron-clad 
Spaniards ■v^ith but stone and bone-tipped spears'and the 
feeble bow and arrow, which were but as tdy pistols agpainst 
the deadly Winchester rifle of the present day; and heroic- 
ally stood face to face with their terrible foes .with their frail 
weapons and disputed every inch of ground, and yielded 
only when none was left to fig-ht. That they should have 
killed eighty two of the Spaniards with their feeble weapons 
is truly astonishing, proving conclusively that had they been 
on equal footing with the Spaniards, not a Spaniard would 
have survived to tell the tale of their cotnplete destruction. 

That the Mobilians, as they have befen called by the early 
writers, were a clan of the ancient Choctaws there can be no 
doubt whatever The early French colonists established in 
the south under Bienville called the Choctaws, Mobilians 
and Pafalaahs (corruption of the Choctaw words pin, our, 
okla, people, falaiah, tall), and also called the Ch'ickasaws 
Mobilians ; they also state that the Choctaws, Pifalaiahs or 
more properly, Hottak falaiahs (long or tall men) and Mobi- 
lians s'poke the same language. The present city of Mobile 
in Alabama was named after the Mobila "Iksa," 9r clan of 
Choctaws by Bienville at the time he laid its foundation. 
Moma binah, or Mobinah (from which Mobile is derived) and 
Pifalaiah are pui-e Choctaw ys^ords. According to the ancient 
traditions of the Choctaws, and to which the aged Choctaws 
now living still affirm, their people were, in the days of the 
long past, divided into two great Iksas ; one was Hattak i ho- 
lihtah (Pro. har-tark, men, i, their holihta, ho-lik-tah, 
fenced ; i, e. Their men fortify). The other, Kashapa okla 
<as Ka-shar-pau-oke-lah): Part people, i. e. A divided people", 
The two original clans, subsequently divided into six clans, 
were named as follows: Haiyip tuk lo hosh, (The two 
lakes.) Hattak falaiah (as, Har-tark fa4ai-yah hosh. The 
long nian or men. Okla hunnali hosh (as Oke-lah huli-har- 
lih hosh. People sixthe. Kusha (Koon-shah) Being broken. 
Apela, (A help.) Chik a sah ha, (A Chckasaw.) 

In 1721, a remnant of the Mobilians were living at the 
junction of the Alabama and Tombigbee rivers, but finally 
united with other clans of the Choctaws, their own people, 
and thus became extinct as an iksa. The laws of the great 
Iksas or families, Hattak i holahta and kash ap a okla, for- 
bade the marriage of any person, either male or female, 
belonging to tl^e same clan; which, as the laws 6f the Medes 
and Persians, were unchangeable ; and to this day, the same 
laws relating to marriage are stirictly observed. 

From the destruction of Mobila by ' De Soto, a long, star- 
less night of nearly two centuries throws its impenetrable 


veil over the Chocta-\Vs shrouding their;history in the oblivion 
of the past. But that they, with othersouthern tribes, 'were 
a numerous and also an agricultural people as far back as 
the fifteenth century there is no doubt ; though agricultural 
to a small extent in comparison with the whites; yet to a 
sufficient degree to satisfy the demands ' of any people to 
who avarice was an entire stranger, and who adhered to the 
maxim "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." 

When De Soto passed through Georgia, his route was 
lined with towns, villages and hamlets, and many ^own fields 
which reached from one to the other. The numerous log 
pens were full of corn, while acres of that which Was grow- 
ing bent to the warm rays of the sun and rustled in the 
breeze. "On the 18th of September, 1540, De Soto reached th^ 
town of Tallase, a corruption of the Choctaw words Tuli^ 
rock, and aisha, abound, i. e. the place of rocks." 

It stood upon a point of land almost surrounded by a 
main river. Extensive fields of corn reached up and down 
the banks. On the opposite side were Other towns, skirted 
with rich fields laden with heavy ears of corn. On the 
third day the of march from Piache, they passed through 
many populous towns, well stored with corn, beans, pump- 
kins, and other provisions." 

But the six great southern tribes, Choctaws, Chickasaws, 
Cherokees, Muscogees, Seminoles and Natchez possessed 
too grand a country not to attract the eyes of the fortune 
hunters of all Europe, and excite their cupidity to the high- 
est degree; therefore, the French in Lousiana, the Span- 
iards in Florida, and the English in Virginia and the Caro- 
linas, early sought to establish a foothold in the territories 
of those warlike and independent triBes by securing, each 
for himself, their trade, with a vieiv of ultimately conquering 
tbepi and thus getting possession of their territories and 
country. As early as 1670 the English 'traders and emissa- 
ries had also found their way to the Choctaws, Chickasaws 
and Muscogees; and but few years had passed before their 
designs, together with those of the French and Spaniards, 
were plainly manifested. 

By each exciting the Indians and influencing them to 
drive the others from their territories; each hoping thus to 
ultimately secure these regions for their own country and 
their personal interests. As the Frencli had artfully gained 
and held the friendship and confidence of the Choctaws, so 
had the English secured and held that of the Chickasaws; 
hence those two brave, and then powerful tribes, were in- 
duced tp ma}ce frequent wars upon each other, and thus 
each foolishly but ignorantly furthering the designs of their 



mutual foes against thelnselves, the Choctaws weakening and , 
destroying the Chickasaws for the benefit Of the French 
alone, and the Chickasaws for the benefit alone of the Eng- 
lish; neither caring a flg Jfor either the. Choctaw or Chicka-, 
saws, only so far as prosecuting their designs the oneagainsti 
■the other; each with the hope of drivitig' thje other! out 
of the country, and then, being enabled easily tO subjugate.' 
the Indians by their weakened condition, they would ,Soott 
secure their country; therefore; the more Itidians killed; no« 
matter by whom or by what means, the better; iThus were 
the grasping hands of the two ijnscrupulous rivals mani-' 
fested as long as they possessed any power or authority upon 
the North American continent now forming the United 
States. ■'' ' , : '.^ . -• 

In 1696, Bienville convened the chiefs of the Choctaws- 
and Chickasaws in council, that he might conciliate their good- 
will by presents; and, v with a view of impressing them with 
his power and greatness by an imposing display, he also- 
called together all the colonists within bis reach; but his effort 
to impress the Choctaws and Chickasaws with an idea of hi& 
greatness proved more humiliating than flattering to the 
pride of Bienville, asr they manifested to him their utter con- 
tempt of such a farcical evidence, of power and g'reatness, by 
propounding a question to him, I through one of their chiefs,^ 
which was a humiliating proof of the low estimation in which 
they held him as well as the entire French people; it was, "If 
his people at home were as numerous as those who had set- 
tled inxtheir country"? In reply, Bienville, who had learned 
to speak their language to some extent, attempted to describe 
to them' by various comparisons the great numbers and 
power of the French. But still the chiefs proved not only to 
be doubting Thomases, but wholy established in the belief 
that all he had said was false, by finally propounding the 
following questions: "If your countrymen are as thickj as you 
say, on their native soil as the leaves on the trees of our 
forests, why have they not sent more of their warriors here 
to avenge the death of those whom we have slain in battle? 
"When they have the power to avenge their death and then fail 
do so, is an evidence of great cowardice or a mean spirit. 
And why is it that the places of the strong and brave soldiers 
that first came with vou, but now dead, are filled by so many- 
little, weak and bad looking men, and even boys? If your 
nation is so great and your people so numerous, they would 
not thus act, and we believe that our white brother talks with 
a forked tongue," Thus was Bienville fully convinced that 
the Choctaws and Chickasaws did not tremble through fear 
of his boasted power; and that they also well knew that he 



only had about fifty soldiers at his command, and that his 
attempted display of power had but convinced them of his 
weakness. And had the Choctaws and Chickasaws been so 
disposed, they could, with a little hajidful of their warriors, 
have wiped out the French colony, Bienville, soldiers and all. 

In 1702, Bienville, then commander of the French at Mo- 
bile, secretly sent out a small party to the Choctaws and 
Chickasaws to solicit their friendship, and thus secure their 
trade. A few chiefs returned with the party to Mobile, 
whom Bienville welcomed and entertained with affected 
friendship and assumed hopitality, bestowing presents and 
soliciting their friendship; yet, "In January, 1704," says 
Barnard de la Harpe, pp. 35, 83, "Bienyjlle induced several 
war parties of the Choctaws to invade the country of the In- 
dian allies of the English, and having taken several scalps, 
they brought them to Bienville, who rewarded them satisfac- 
torily;" thus involving the Choctaws, whose interests he pro- 
fessed to have so much at heart, in dtistructive warfare so 
greatly detrimental to their national interests ; and proving 
the shallowness of his professed friendship for the Indians 
and the perfidy of his nature, in a letter to the French min- 
ister, October 12, 1708, in which he suggested the propriety 
of the French colonists in North America, being allowed the 
privilege of sending Indians to the West India Islands to be 
exchanged as slaves for negroes, and asserting that "those 
Islanders would give two negroes for three Indians." 

There was a tradition of the Choctaws related to the 
missionaries over seventy-five years ago by the old warriors 
of the Choctaws of that day, who for many years before had 
retired from the hardships of the war-path, which stated 
that a two years' war broke out between their nation and 
the Chickasaws, over a hundred years before (about 1705) 
the advent of the missionaries among them, resulting in the 
loss of many warriors on both sides and finally ending in the 
defeat of the Chickasaws ; whereupon peace was restored to 
the mutual gratification of both nations wearied with the 
long fratricidal strife. This war had its origin as the tra- 
dition afiirms, in an unfortunate affair that occurred in Mo- 
bile, (then a little French trading post) between a party of 
Chickasaw warriors (about seventy) who had gone there 
for the purpose of trade, and a small band of Choctaws who 
had preceded them on the same business. While three to- 
gether, a quarrel arose between some of the different war- 
riors resulting in a general fight, in which, though several 
Chickasaws were killed and wounded, the entire little band of 
Choctaws was slain as was supposed; but unfortunately for 
the Chickasaws a Choctaw happening to, be in another part of 


the town at the time of the difficulty, escaped ; and learning- 
at once of the killing- of his comrades, fled for home, where 
aCrrivin^ safely he informed his people of the bloody tragedy 
at Mobile. Without delay the Choctaws adopted measures 
of revenge. Knowing that the company, of Chickasaws 
would have to return home through their country, they laid 
their plans accordingly. The Chickasaws, not without fears, 
however, lest the Choctaws might have heard of the unfor- 
tunate affair, secured an escort from Biefiville of twenty-five 
Canadians under the command of Boisbriant. As they ap- 
proached a village, the Choctaws sent a small company to 
invite arid escort them to a council pretenvedly to be ^in 
session ; which the Chickasaws, feeling safe' under their 
escort, accepted. . They were escorted to the sham council, 
and were given, as was customary on such occasions, the 
inside circles, all seated on the ground ; while the Choctaws 
formed a circle completely hemming them in. A Choctaw 
chief then arose and advanced with great solemnity and dig- 
nity to the speaker's place in the centre, with a tomahawk 
concealed under his dress, which, when he drevv from its 
place of concealment, was the signal for the work of death 
to begin. The speaker went on for ' a few minutes in a 
strain of wild eloquence, "but saying nothing that would 
awaken the least suspicion in the minds of his still unsus- 
pecting guests; when suddenly he snatched the fatal toma- 
hawk from its concealment and in an instant hundreds of 
tomahawks, heretofore concealed, gleamed a moment in the 
air and then descended upon the heads of the doomed Chicka- 
saws, and, ere they had time for a second thought, all were 
slain. The Choctaws knowing that the Chickasaws Would 
hear bf the destruction of their bi-ethjren and would' retaliate 
upon them, rushed at once into their' country and destroyed 
several villages ere the Chickasaws could recover from their 
surprise. But the brave and dauiltless Chickasaws, ever equal 
to any and all emergencies, soon rallied from their discom- 
fiture, and presented a bold and defiant front. Then com- 
menced a two years' war of daring deedfe and fatal results 
between those two nations of fearless warriors, known and to 
be known to them alone. The creek, dividing thkt portion 
of their territories that lay contiguous to the place where 
the band of Chickasaws vvere slain on their return fi-om 
Sfobile, now in the northern part of Oktibbiha county, Mis- 
sissippi, and known as Line Creek, was named by theChoc- 
taws, after the two years' war, Nusih (sleep or slept, Chiab, 
yau-yau slept, that is, you were taken by surprise) in 
memorial of those two tragical events, the surprise and 
destruction of the Chickasaw warriors, and the disquiet and 


discomfiture of their nation at the unexpected attack upon 
them by the Chbctaws, Nusih Chia has been erroneously 
interpreted by some as meaning "Where acorns abound." 
Nosi aiasha — means where acorns abound; 

The killing of this little band of Chickasaws under the 
circumstances, together with that of being under the escort 
and protection of the French, caused the Chickasaws to be- 
lieve it was done through the connivance of the French, and 
ever afterwards they were the most inveteaate and uncom- 
promising enemies of the French, among all the Indian 
tribes, north and south, except the Iroquois, and in which, 
as a matter of course, they were encouraged by the Carolina 
traders from the English settlements. 

That the southern Indians were friendly to their foreign 
intruders and disposed to live in peace with them, and were 
not such a bloodthirsty people as thpy have been repre- 
sented, is clearly demonstrated by the fact that, in 1810 
■there was such a scarcity of provisions, that Bienville had to 
scatter his men among the Indians in order to obtain food 
for them, and so informed his government; a plan to which 
he had been driven before; and had not the Indians pre- 
ferred peace toiwar with the whites, they surely would have 
embraced such favorable opportunities to destroy the un- 
welcome invader of their country. 

In 1711, through the machinations of the English, who 
were ever ready to embrace every opportunity to enhance 
their own' interests; though at the destruction of the Indians', 
the Choctaws Bnd Chickasaws, were again involved in a 
fratricidel war, at the beginning of which, there was a little 
company of thirty Chickasaw warriors instead of Choctaws, 
in Mobile, and fearing to return home through the Choctaw 
nation, they too earnestly requested Bienville to send a com- 
pany of his soldiers with them for protection. Bienville, 
seeing so favorable opportunity of winning the friendship 
of the Chickasaws, and hoping thus to seduce them from 
their alliance to the English to that of the French, cheerfully 
complied to their request by sending his brother, Cha- 
teaugne. to escort them through the Choctaw nation, which 
he safely did. But the cause and result of this war have 
long since paased with its participants into the silence of the 
unknown past. 

Charles Gayarre (Vol. 1, p. 91) says: "In 1714 twelve 
English men, with a large number of Muskogees, came 
among the Choctaws, and were kindly received by all the 
towns except two, who fortified themselves and, while be- 
seiged by the Muskogees, one night made their escape to 
-Mobile. From the above, it appears that the visit of the 


twelve Engflishmen to the Choctaws was attributed to an in- 
vitation extended to them by a Choctaw chief; since ini the 
following year, July 1715, Bienyille sent messengers to the 
Choctaws, demanding the head of Outoct-chito"(a cotfup- 
tion of his true name, Oktak (oketark) (Prairie) Chitoh (Big 
or Big Prairie)) "who had persuaded the English traders to 
visit their nation) and had thereby caused to be driven off 
the inhabitants of two Choctaw towns, who were still in Mo- 
bile. The messengers returned to Mdbile with the head of 
the unfortunate Oktark Chitoh, which had been stricken off 
by the Choctaw chiefs, who now were afraid of Bienville." 

How different the Choctaws then from what they were 
in, 1696, when they closed their interrogatories' to him with 
"the bold assertion, "We believe our white brother talks with 
a forked tongue. " Alas! how rapidly had they fallen from a 
state of perfect independence to that of servile dependence 
within the period of three quarters of a century; the dupes 
at first, only to become the abject slaves of a heartless tyrant. 
Thus did the rivalry of France and England for the posses- 
sion of the North American continent, encouraged and em- 
boldened by their national jealousy and inhate hatred long 
cherished each for the other, involve the deceived Indians in 
continued war-fare with each other, as their respective 
traders and emissaries throughout the length and breadth 
■of the Indian territories to contend for the patrpnage of the 
Indians, and to drive ^ach the other from thps positionse 
where they had established thefmselves, ultimately to end in 
ruin and destruction of the Indians. But the Choctaws, 
though reduced to such servile extremities and seemingly 
wholly under the arbitrary power of the French, were still 
dreaded by many of the neighboring tribes, and, even by the 
English themselves. As an illustration, in 1727, the English, 
being at war with the Spaniards, used every means in their 
power to influence the Indians to make war upon them, and 
by their instigation a tribe, then known as Talapauches, had 
laid seige to Pensacola (corrupted from the Chahtah words 
Puska, bread, and Okla, people, Bread People, or people 
having bread); but Pirier, who had succeeded Bienville in the 
governorship at New Orleans, sent word to the Talapauches 
(corrupted from the Choctaw vi^ords Tuli, rock or iron, and 
Poo-shi, dust; and no doubt an ancient off-shoot of the Choc- 
taws) to return to their homes without delay, or he would 
put the Choctaws after them; and they at once sought their 
homes with much more alacrity than when they left them. 
Such was the dread of the Choctaws an-d such the terror in- 
spired by their name alone. 

In 1733, the Choctaws, as allies to the French, engaged 


in a war with the Natchez, of which I will more particularly 
notice in the history of that tribe. 

On January 13th, 1733, the truly Christian philanthro- 
pist, Oglethorpe, with a hundred ani twenty emigrants 
landed at Charleston, South Carolina. Afterwards sailing- 
down the coast, he anchored his vessel, "Anne," for a few 
days at Beaufort,., while he, with a small company ascended 
the Savannah river to a high bluff on which the present city 
of Savannah, Georgia, now stands, which he selected as the 
place for the establishment of his little colony. And there, 
February 1st, 1733, he laid the foundation of the oldest En- 
glish town south of the Savannah river. In a few days the 
great chief of the Yemacaws, Tam-o-chi-chi, called upon the 
strangers who had thus unceremoniously taken posession of 
that portion of of his people's territories; and then and there 
two congenial spirits, the one of European, the other of an 
American, first met and formed a friendship each for the 
other that was never broken; and at the departure of the 
venerable old man, he presented to Oglethorpe a magnificent 
buffalo robe upon the inside of which w^s painted with elabo- 
rate Indian skill, the head and feathers of an eagle, and said: 
"Accept this little token of the good will of myself and peo- 
ple. See, the eagle is bold and fearless, yet his feathers are 
soft; as the eagle, so are my people bold and fearless in war; 
yet as his feathers, so are they soft and beautiful in friend- 
ship. The'buffalo is strong, and his hair is warm; as the 
buffalo, so are my people strong in war; yet, as his robe, 
they are warm in love. I and my people would be your 
friends, beautiful in our friendship and warm in our love. 
Let this robe be the emblem of friendship and love between 
me and you, and mine and thine." Oglethorpe accepted the 
present with its tokens; nor was the purity of those em- 
blems ever tarnished by a dishonorable act of Tomochichi 
and his tribe or Oglethorpe and his colony, the one toward 
the other. 

It is evident that the Yamacaws were an ancient off- 
shoot of the Choctaws from the similarity of their language, 
habits and customs. The vei-y name of the tribe is plainly a 
corruption of the Choctaw words yummakma (that one also) 
Ka-sha-pah, (to be a part). 

Also the name of their chief, Tamochichi, is also a cor- 
ruption by the whites of the Choctaw words, Tum-o-a-chi 
(wandering away, from the Choctaws in the pre-historic oj 
the past). 

How well did the North American Indians read and 
comprehend the symbolic language of !Nature in all its dif- 
ferent phases ! What white man, whether illiterate or 



boasting tj)e comprehensive g^enius of a United States Colonel 
(Dodge) ■^ho was enabled to discover one race of God's 
created intellig-ences (the North American Indians) to be 
"absolutely without conscience," could have drawn such 
grand sentiments from a buffalo robe and a bunch of eagle 
feathers, since "the money that was in them" would have 
absorbed every other consideration of his soul I Alas! that 
"The love of money" should so engross every noble faculty 
of our souls, that we could not, or would not, comprehend 
those beautiful symbols found in. nature, on earth and in 
heaven, everywhere, and would not, or did not, heed them, as 
they call with their ten thousand voices to the discharge of 
our duty to the Indians and plead, for the perfection of the 
character of both the red and white race, as illustrated in 
those grand sentiments of the no less grand old chief of the 
Yummak ma kasbapas. "I and my people would be your 
(friehds, beautiful in our friendship and warm in our ilove 1" 
How sad! how humiliating the reflection that, during four 
centuries, the North American Indians have found no re- 
sponsive sentiment in the White Race, except in Penn and 
his followers, Oglethorpe and his colony, the self-sacrificing 
missionaries and a few noble philanthropists, though the 
same earnest and ..sincere plea was heard from the mouths 
of every tribe, when first visited by the whites, echoing from 
the Atlantic's stormy shores in the east to the Pacific's rock' 
bound coast in the distant west, "I and my people would be 
your friends, beautiful in our friendship and warm in our 
love;" but only to fall upon the ear of our avarice as a tink- 
ling cymbal, since deaf to all else but the gratification of our 
lov^ of greedy gain, (that stranger to truth and justice, and 
untouched by any emotion of humanity) which demanded 
the extermination of the Indians, as the only guarantee to 
sure possession of their country and hemes ; and then called 
for obloquy to cover their memory as an honorable justifica- 
tion for that extermination. And though Nature, every- 
where in all its phases from the finite to the infinite, and the 
infinitesimal to the grand aggregate of knowledge, is full of 
instruction, by which she would teach us our duty to God, 
pur fellow-men, and to ourselves, yet we heeded not the 
symbolic whispers of her low, sweet plaintive voice pleading 
in behalf of the Red Race; and in so doing, forfeited a privi- 
lege that heaven's angels would have embi'aced with eager- 
ness and joy, for the gratification of our frenzied avarice. 
On the 29th of May following, Oglethorpe held a councfl 
with the Muscogees at Savannah; for whom and all their 
allies, Long Chief of the Ocona clan of Muscogees spoke 
and welcomed Oglethorpe and his little colony to fheir coun- 


try in the name of peace and friendship by presenting- to 
him large bundles of the skins and furs of wild animals in 
which their territories then abounded. And soon so great 
and wide extended became the fame of Oglethorpe and his 
followers as true and sincere friends to the Indian race, that 
the chiefs of the Cherokees, from their distant mountain 
homes, came to see and confer with Oglethorpe and his 
colony, to them a prodigy, a white man and great chief and 
yet a true man to his word pledged to an Indian. Naught like 
this had been known since the days of Penn and his Quakers. 
Was the bright morn of a glorious future about to dawn upon 
their race dispelling the long night of darkness that had for 
ages obscured their moral and intellectual vision? Was the 
White Race truly to prove their benefactor, once so brightly 
shadowed forth in the precepts and pfi-actice of the noble 
Penn and his colony? Indeed it appe.ared as the second 
dawn of hope; but alas, only to flicker a moment as the feeble 
and expiring taper, and then to go out to be seen no more, an 
illusive dream even as the first had proven to be. 

In August, 1739, a great council was convened at Coweta 
in the Muscogee Nation by Oglethorpe, the Indians' undevi- 
ating friend, in which the Muscogoes, Choctaws, CliicUa- 
saws, Cherokees, Yummakmakashapahs and niany' others 
were represented, and in peace and harmony equally par- 
ticipated. The faithful and honest old Tumoachi stood 
among the most conspicuous of the various and distinguished 
chiefs. Coweta was, at that time, one of the largest towns 
of the Muscogee Nation, and many days' travel from Savan- 
nah through the deep solitudes of a vast wilderness, un- 
trodden by the foot of a white man since the days of De Soto's 
march, two hundred years before; but through which Ogle- 
thorpe and his little band of followers fearlessly and safelj'^ 
traveled to fulfill his engagement with, the unknown Indians 
there in council to assemble. When it was learned that he 
had arrived near Coweta, a deputation of chiefs, representa- 
tives of the respective tribes assembled, met and escorted 
him to the town with unfeigned manifestations of pride and 
joy. The next day the council convened, and remained in 
session several days, during which stipulations of peace 
and friendship were ratified, and free trade and friendly 
intercourse to all established, to the mutual satisfaction 
and delight of both red and white; after which the Grand 
Finale was performed, the solemn ceremony of dr'inking the 
"Black drink," and smoking the Pip.e of Peace; in all of 
which the noble Oglethori>e participated, to the great de- 
light and satisfaction of the admiring Indians; then, after the 
closing ceremony of bidding adieu, all to their respective 


homes returned delighted with the happj/ results of the coun- 
cil. Oglethorpe was ever afterwards held in grateful remem- 
brance, and loved and honored by all the southern Indians; 
and was known everywhere as thd Indians' friend, and 
everywhere regarded and received as such with implicit 
confidence. How so? Because he was never known to 
wrong them in a single instance; therefore their admiration 
and confidence for and in him had no limits. 

The morn of the southern Indians' Christian era, as 
professed by the Protestant world, dawned, accolrding to an- 
cient Choctaw tradition, at the advent of Oglethorpe to this 
continent and the establishment of his colony on the banks 
of the Savannah; and was heralded by the two brothers who 
so jufetly rank among earth's illustrious modern great as 
preachers of the Gospel of the Son of God; viz: John and 
\ Charles Wesley, who came with Ogletliorpe in 1733, and ac- 
companied him tb his councils with the, Indians, and there 
preached the "glad tidings of "Peace and Good will toward 
men." Shortly after, John Wesley influenced the renowned 
preacher, George Whitfield, to also come to America. In a 
letter to Whitfield, John Wesley ^hus wrote: "Do you ask 
- what you shall have? Food to eat, raiment to weiLr, a house 
in which to lay your bead such as your Lord had not, and a 
crown of glory that fadeth not away." Upon the reception 
of which, Whitfield said his heart echoed to the call, and to 
which he at once responded; and upon the return of the 
Wesleys to England, he says in his journal. "I must labor 
most heartily since I^canie after such worthy predecessors." 
In 1734, Tumoahchi, with his wife and son and seven 
Muscogee warriors accompanied Oglethorpe to George II. 
and before whom Tumoahchi made a speech in that shrewd 
and captivating manner so characteristic of the North Ameri- 
can Indians; which so pleased the king that he caused the 
American chief and warriors to be loaded with presents and 
even sent him and his wife and son in one of the royal carria- 
ges to Grovesend when he embarked to return to his native 
forest home. Shortly after his return home, the noble old 
chief was taken sick, and was at once visited by Whitfield, 
who says: "He now lay on ablanketj thin and meager, little 
else but skin and bones. Senanki, his wife, sat by fanning 
him with Indian feathers. There was no one who could talk 
English, so I could only shake hands with him and leave 
him." In a few days after, Whitfield returned to the couch 
of the dying chief and was rejoiced .to find Tooanoowe, a 
nephew of Tumoahchi present, who could speak English. 
"I requested him," says Whitfield, "to ask his uncle whether 
he thought he should die? He answered' 'I cannot tell.' I 


then asked where he thought he would g-o after death? He 
replied, 'to heaven.' But, alas, how can drunkards enter 
there? I then exhorted Tooanoowe, who is a tall, proper 
youth, not to get drunk, telling- him that he understood Eng- 
lish, and thei-efore would be pumshed the more if he did not 
live better. I then asked him~"whether he believed in a 
heaven, 'yes,' said he. I then asked whether he believed in a 
hell, and described it by pointing to the fire He replied, 'No.' 
From whence we may easily gather how natural it is to all 
man-kind to believe there is a place of happiness, because 
they wish it to be so; and on the contrary, how averse they 
are to believe in a place of torment becatise they wish it not to 
be so." But if the poor, unlettered, yet, generous and noble 
hearted Tumoahchi, who knew nothing of the sin of dr»nk- 
eness, was 'unfit for heaven becaqse "how can a drunkard 
enter there"? How unfit must be he who made him such, by 
making the whiskey, then taking it thousands of miles to the 
before temperate Indian and teaching him to drink it! and 
how inconsistent with reason and common sense, and how 
insulting to the God of justice it must be, for us to call our- 
selves Christians and the Indians savages! And if Tooanoo- 
we "would be punished the more if he did not live better," 
since "he understood English" a little, what will be the fate 
of us whose native tongue in English, and who, with all our 
boasted attainments, led, influenced and taught them to 
adopt and practice, by precept and example, our "civilized" 
vices, but seldom instructed them in the' virtues of the reli- 
gion of the Bible! Does not the just and merciful Redeemer 
of the. world of man-kind regard with much less approbation 
all external professions and appearances, than do thousands 
of his professed followers found among our own White Race? 
Did he not prefer the despised but charitable Samaritan to 
the uncharitable but professed orthodox priest? And does 
He not declare thatthose who gave food to the hungry, enter- 
tainment to the stranger, relief to the'sick, and had charity 
(all of which are to-day, and ever have been, from their 
earliest known history, the noted characteristics of the 
North American Indians, though they never heard of the 
name of Jesus) shall in the last day be accepted? When 
those who boisterously shout Lord! Lord, valuing themselves 
upon their professed ^aith, though sufficient to perform 
miracles, but have neglected good works shall bp rejected. 
And though we have scarcely permitted the Indians, though 
starving and pleading for moral, intellectual and spiritual 
food, to pick up the crumbs that fell from our tables loaded 
with professed virtues, yet we have displayed a wMMderful 
talent in traducing them and manifest a strange desire that 


tlioy slioiihl he falsely hanflcd down to posterity as crcatui-Ss 
not embraced in the fiat of Him. who said "Let us make 
man." ' 

Never did a North American Indian acknowledge that 
he recognized in the white man a master; nor was ever an 
emotion of inferioiity to the white man experienced by an 
Indian. Nearly four centuries of ' unceasing- effort, by the 
White Race have utterly failed to make the Indian even feel, 
much less acknowledge, the white man as master. 

In 1741, Bienville was superseded by Marquis de Van- 
dreuiJ, to whom the Chickasaws sent a delegation to New 
Orleans to treat for peace. But Vandreuil refused to treat 
unless the Choctaws, allies of the French, were made parties 
' to the treaty. The Chickasaws then made an effort to in- 
duce the Choctaws to form an alliance with them, supported 
by the English, against the French. But their design was 
■discovered and thwarted by the secret intriguing of Van- 
dreuil with Shulush Humma, (Red Shoe), then a noted Choc- 
taw chief and shrewd diplomatist, ciud belonging p3 the clan 
called Okla Hunnali, (Six People and living in the present 
Jasper county, Mississippi, who had been favorably, disposed 
toward the English for several years; and finally, in 1745,. 
through personal interest alone it was thought, he went over 
to the English; and, at the. same time, influencing a chief of 
the Mobelans (properly, Moma Binah, or Mobinah, a clan of 
the ancient Choctaws) to do the same vfith his warriors, and 
also some of the Muscogees, all of whom were, at that time, 
allies of the French. . Shortly after, Vandreuil went from 
New Orleans to Mobile, and there met twelve hundred Choc- 
taw warriors in council assembled, with whom he made re- 
newed pledges of friendsTiip bestowing upon them many 
presents of various kinds. But Shulush Humma stood aloof 
and refused to participate in any of the 'proceedings; and to 
place beyond all doubt the position he occupieii, he, a^ few 
weeks after, slew a French officer and two French traders, 
who unfortunate ventured into his village. 

Thus the Choctaws were divided into two factions; at 
first peaceable, but which finally culminated into actual civil 
war through the instigations and machinations of both the 
French and English. And thus the Chickasaws and the 
Choctaws, blinded to their own national interests, were led 
to destroy each other, the one in behalf of the English and 
the other of' the French; while both the English and French 
under an assumed friendship, used them as instruments 
alone to forward their own selfish designs and self-in- 
terests, though to the destruction of both the misguided 
Choctaws and Chickasaws. Truly misfortune seems to 


have set her fatal weal upon ^le North American Indians, and 
doomed them to eternal misery while up«on earth, in contend- 
ing with the White Race for the right to live and enjoy life 
with the rest of mankind. Unhappy race! What heart so 
lost to every emotion of sympathy but weeps at the re- 
hearsal of your woesl 

In 1750, still infatuated with the belief that the White 
Race sought their interests, the Choctaws still remained in 
two hostile factions, thirty of their villages adhering to the 
French, and only two to the English, who, in a terrible bat- 
tle which ensued, had one hundred and thirty of their war- 
riors slain, and soon after, were again defeated by the 
French, with a party of Choctaws, and compelled to sue for 
peace, while the English stood aloof and left them to fight 
alone against fearful odds, though their accepted friends. 

Three years after (17S3), De Vandreuil was succeeded 
by Kerleree, who, in one of his dispatches, thus spoke of the 
Choctaws: "I am satisfied with them. They are true to 
their plighted faith. But we must be the same in our trans- 
actions with them. They are men who reflect, and who 
have more logic and precision in their reasoning thai,i is sup- 

How tru^ it is, that the above assertion of Kerleree, in 
regard to the Choctaws, may be as truthfully affirmed of the 
entire North American Indian race. And had that truth 
been admitted and acted upon by the White Race in all their 
dealings with the Red Race from first to last, the bloody 
charges that to-day stand recorded against us in the volume 
of truth would not have been written. 

November 3rd, 1763, the King of France ceded to the 
King of Spain his entire possessions in North America 
known under the name of Louisiana; and at which time, a 
treaty of peace was signed between the Kings of Spain and 
France of the one party, and the King of England of the 
other, by which France was stripped of all her vast landed 
possessions to which she had so long and tenaciously laid 
claim at the useless and cruel destruction of thousands of 
helpless Indians who alone held the only true and just claim. 
When the Indians learned of this treaty of cession, and were 
told that they had been transferred fram the jurisdiction of 
the French to that of the English, whom they feared and 
dreaded ten fold more than they did the French, they were 
greatly excited at the outrage, as they rightly termed it; and 
justly affirmed that the French possessed no authority over 
them by which to- transfer them over to the English, as if 
they were but so many horsey and cattle. Truly, as human 
beings, as a free and independent pcpple and as reasoning 


men, how coiikl they but feel the (legradation of being thus 
bartered away as common chattels, and feel the deep humi- 
liation that followed the loss of their, national charalcter and 
national rights. Yet, how little did they imagine the still 
deeper humiliation, degradation and woe that were in store 
for their racel How little did they believe that they were 
soon to be driven away by merciless intruders, from their 
ancient and justly owned possessions and the cherished 
graves of their ancestors, to wander, they knew not where, 
in the vain search of a pity and commiseration, never to be 
found among their heartless oppressors and conquerors! 
Alas I how else but broken-hearted can the surviving little 
remnant be, when no words of consolation and hope ever 
gireet their ears I How can they be industrious when that 
industi-y but brings them in contact with the authors of all 
their misfortunes and woes! How can they forget their 
wrongs and sow, unless it be to sow dragon's teeth with 
the hope that warriors mightspring up to avenge their blood, 
that vengeance justly claimed 1 Did they not in all sincerity 
believe themselves wrongfully oppressed? which they truly 
were; and in/ resisting that oppression, did they do more 
than any other Nation, under similar circumstances, has 
done and will ever do, that claims the right to exist as a 
Nation? They contended for that which- they honestly be- 
lieved to be their birthright, and it was, poth by the laws of 
God and man. Could they have ddnte otherwise, when they 
desired and sought our civilization and Christianity; but we 
would grant it to them only uponthe terms of yielding up to 
us their country, their nationality, their freedom, their 
honor, their all that makes life worth living? Have we not 
treated them from first to last as inferior beings, and in our 
bigoted egotism scorned them and pushed them from us as 
creatures below our notice? Can we establish a just plea 
upon the broad foundation of truth to sustain the right to 
treat them as we have treated them, take their country from 
them by the strength of arbitrary power, aiid call it honor- 
able purchase, and then annoy thfem by reiterated extortions 
and oppress them to exterminajbion? 

In November, 1763, the Choctaws, Chickasaws, Chero- 
kees, arid Muscogees were, through their representative 
chiefs, assembled in council at Augusta, Georgia, with the 
representative Governors of Virginia, North and South Car- 
olina, and Georgia. Butj^wo years later, August, 1765, the 
Choctaws and Muscogees— inveterate enemies— commenced 
a fearful and devastating war, which, acording to their tradi- 
tions, continued six years with unabated hostility; and dur- 
ing which many battles were fought and heavy losses sus- 


tained on both sides, yet each displa}'iiig the most undaunted 
and heroic bravery. But as they had ^no native historians, 
the cause, the progress, the successes, the defeats, as Dame 
Fortune alternately bestowed her favoi"^ upon the one and 
the other, will never be known; for the long period of those 
six years of bloody strife is wrapt in the silence of the un- 
known past, and all that now may be written is contained in' 
"They lived; they fought." Nor has much more been re- 
corded concerning the vicissitudes of Ihe North American 
Indian race, by their white historians; though "they killed, 
they robbed" is but a counterpart of the mutations of the 
White Race also. 

Be it as it may, we find the Choctaw people, amid all their 
vicissitudes and misfortunes, occupying, all albng the line of 
their known history, a prominent place as one of the five great 
southern tribes, -who have been jiistly regarded as being the 
most to be dreaded in war of all the Noi'th American Indians, 
for their skill and invincible bravei-y: and the most to be ad- 
mired in peace for the purity of their "friendship and fidelity 
to truth. And to compare the present enfeebled, oppressed, 
broken-hearted, down trodden, the still surviving little rem- 
nant, to their heroic, free, independent, and justly proud 
ancestors of two centuries ago, or even less than one cen- 
tury ago, is to compare the feeble light of the crescent moon 
lingering upon the western horizon to the blaze of the sun in 
the zenith of its power and glory. But what has wrought 
the feariul change? Who hurled them from their once high 
and happy state down to this low and wretched state of 
humiliation and slavery? Truth points its unerring finger to 
these United States, and says as he to Israel's ancient king, 
"Thou art the man." What the difference? None in princi- 
ple. The one, Israel's king, a murderer, to gratify a beastly 
lust; the other, America's people^ tyrant, to gratify a beastly 
avarice. And yet we claim to advocate the right of freedom 
and self government to all nations of people; and boldly hurl 
our anathemas against the iron heel of England's oppression 
of Ireland, and curse the greedy avarice of a heartless and 
grasping landlordism that for years has sapped the vitals of, 
that unfortunate country and broken the spirit of its noble 
people; while we are guilty of the same greedy avarice that 
has broken the spirit of as noble a people as ever lived; and 
against whom we have exercised the aggressive tyranny, and 
made it a point to preserve to\vards them an attitude the 
most commanding and supercilious, and^gainst whom we have 
Jong cherished and still cherish the basest and most unjust 
prejudice. Alas, how inconsistent are \Ve. 

Many other tribes living in the same regions are men^ 


iioned by the early writers, but who, in comparison to num- 
bers and prominence as a people, fell far below the Choctaws, 
Chickasaws, Cherokees, Muscogees, Seminoles and N.atchez; 
though it is reasonable to conclude that mafiy of them were 
offshoots of the above mentioned. But the cruel and bloody 
scenes that marked the conflicts of the whites with the brave 
warriors of these five nations of the North American Indians, 
before they overpowered them by superiority' in numbers, 
skill and weapons of warfare and drove them fi-om their 
ancient homes under the false plea of "fair and "honorable 
purchase," scattering along the whole lihe of their known 
history, fraud, dissimulation, oppression, destruction and 
death, clothe the, character of this wotfderful people in the 
wildest romance and truly render them worthy heroes of 
fabM and song; of whom it may truly be said that, in point of 
numbei-s; in the magnitude and grandeur of their territories 
abounding in every variety of game that could render them 
truly the paradise of the Indian hunter; in their far sighted 
sagacity; in their peculiar native eloquence; in their legends 
and traditions handed down from generation to generation 
through cycles of ages unknown; in their strange and mys- 
t^rious.-,religious rites and ceremonies; in all that strange 
and peculiar phenomena, that stamp the true Native Ameri- 
cans as the independent aud fearless sons of the forest, un- 
surpassed in daring and heroic deeds in defense of their 
country, the Choctaws, Chickasaws, Cherokees, Muscogees, 
Seminoles and Natchez stand unsurpassed by.^ iany other of 
the North American Indians, or any other unlettered race of 
people on earth. 

Pickett, in his History of Alabama states: "In 1771, the 
eastern district of the Choctaw Nation was known as Oy-pat- 
6o-coo-la, signifying the 'Small Nation;"* and the w'estern disr 
trict was called Oo-coo-la Falaya, Oo-coo-la Hanete and 
Chickasaha," The four names are fair samples of the mis- 
erable corriiption of the languages of the North American 
Indians every where, by the whites. 

And in the above, Pickett is greatly in error in the word 
Oy-pat-oo-coo-la signifying "Small Nation," if he uses It as 
a Choctaw or Chickasaw word. In the first place there is no 
such word in either of their languages, and even admitting 
there is, it cannot signify "small nation." The words of 
both for small nation are Iskitini Pehlichika, small nation or 
kingdom. "And the western district was called Oo-coo-la 
Falaya, and Oo-coo-la Hanete and Chickasaha." It is evident 
also that the^e three names are corruptions from Choctaw 
words. The ^first being a corruption of the wpr49 Okla 


Falaiah, Tall People; the second, "Oo-coo-la Hanete," from 
Okla Hunnali, People Six, or Six People. 

The third, Chickasaha, from Chikasah, Rebellion, all of 
which were names of different clans of the ancient Choctaws. 
There was also an ancient clan named Okla Isskitini, People 
Small, or Small People, which, no doubt, was corrupted to 
Oy-pat-oo-coo-la; if not, some linguist, other than a Choctaw, 
or Chickasaw, will have to give its signification. 

Alas; If the errors of our race were confined alone to 
the orthography, orthoepy and signification of various In- 
dian languages, though as inconsistent and absurd as they 
are in that of the Choctaw, we might be excusable; but 
when they enter into every department of our dealings with 
that people, there can be no excuse whatever offered in justi- 
fication of them. 

See the gross errors set forth in thf publications re- 
garding tht Indians from first to last, clothed in scarcely a 
word'of truth to hide their hideous deformity, so humiliat- 
ing to justice, and all in direct opposition to known truth 
and common sense. The newspapers and periodicals of the 
present day are full of the same old stereotyped edition of 
vile calumniations and base falsehoods against that helpless 
people, the latter of which stand in close and worthy prox- 
imity to that of the devil's to the mother Eve. Even that 
class of literature devoted to the instruction af the young, 
books and papers bearing the title of "School History of 
the United States," "Youth's Companion," etc., are contami- 
nated with 'falsehoods and defamatory articles against the 
Indians; the writers of which seem determined that the 
memory of the North American Indiatis must and shall de- 
scend from generation to generation to the one which shall 
be the fortunate one to hear the tones of Gabriel's mighty 
trumpet sounding a truce to longer defamation of the Red 
Race; and thus escape the nauseating dose which its prede- 
cessors bave been forced to swallow; and though justice 
calls upon these white slanderers of the Red Raqe to turn 
their attention from the arduous labor attending the suc- 
cessful finding of a few defects in the Indians, to the correc- 
tion of the hideous sins of their own race, yet they heed not 
her voice. 

Before me lies a book bearing the title, "School History 
of the United States," under the signature of "W. H. Ven- 
able." by which its author would stuff the minds of the 
present generation, and those to follow, with the false asser- 
tions and self-imagined erudition, in which he has displayed 
as much knowledge of the North American Indians as might 
reasonably be expected to be found in a Brazilian monkey if 

/ I 


writing its views upon the characteristics of the Laplanders 
in their icy homes. 'On page 17 of this so-called "Illumina- 
tion of the Youthful Mind," in the matter of Indiaii charac- 
teristics, is found the following- absurdities: "The Ameri- 
can Indians ,were fit inhabitants of the wilderness.: Children 
of nature, they were akin to all that is rude, savage, and 
irredeemable. Their number within the limits of what is 
now the United States was at no time, since the discovery of 
America, above four hundred thousand individuals, for the 
Indian, hopelessly unchanging in respect. to individual and 
social development, was as regarded tribal relations and. 
local haunts, mutable as the wind.",' 

"Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis' folly to be wise," there- 
fore his "Ipse dixit."- '.; , V 

Again, (page 19) he affirmg: "Stratagem, surprise, and 
the basest treachery were approved and practiced even by 
the bravest." But what of the White Race? Did not Wash- 
ington and his generals "approve 'and practice deception, 
surprise and stratagem" upon the Brit|sh infighting for the 
independence of these /United States? Did not Oglethorpe 
"approve and practice stratagem and deception" upon the 
Spanish fleet, when he gave a Spanish prisoner his liberty if 
he would deliver a letter to one of his own- men who had 
deserted and fled to the Spanish ships, the particulars of 
which are too jvell known to be repeated here? Did not Lee 
and Grant, ye?i, every officer from general down to captain, 
"approve and practice stratagem, deception and surprise,", 
during our Civil war? and when an advantage, by these 
means, was gained, was it not acknowledged as a grand dis- 
play of supferior generalship and dubbed "Military Skill?" 
When "practiced and approved" by the whites, they are 
virtues; but when by the Indians, in their wars of resistance 
against our oppression and avarice, they at once become 
odious characteristics. But when and upon whom, did the 
Indians approve and practice stratagem,' surprise and the 
basest treachery? alone u^on their enemies in war; iiever 
elsewhere. But we have alike "approved and practiced 
stratagem and surprise" in our wars vvith them always ancl 
everywhere; and have, in numerous instances, approved 
and practiced the basest treachery," upon them by false < 
promises, misrepresentations and ' absolute falsehoods of 
^uch hideous proportions as to cause the devil to blush at 
his own impotency in the art, when trying to influence them 
to enter into treaties with us by whifh we would secure fpr 
ourselves tlieir landed possessions, and all under the di's- ^ 
guise of declared disinterested friendship, and deep-felt * 
interest in their prosperity and happiness; and I challenge 


anyone to successfully refute the charge. Yet this man 
would contribute his mite of misrepnesentation and false- 
hood to assist others of his own cong-eniality, to hand down 
the Indians to the remotest posterity as a race of people the 
most infamous; but would have i^ remembered that he and 
his fall below their merits — the white "children of the 

Therefore, he thus continues his lecture to the children, 
as set forth in'^his ephemeral history: ^'Languag'e cannot 
exaggerate the ferocity of an Indian Battle, or the revolting 
cruelty practiced upon their captives of war." Surely this 
sensitive educator of the young, never perused that truthful 
little volume, bearing the name of "Our Indian Wards" as 
written by a Christian philanthropist, W. Manypenny! But 
thus he continues; "The very words tomahawk, scalping 
knife, and torture scaffold fill the fancy with dire images; 
and to say 'as-savage as an Iroquois warrior' is to exhaust the 
power of simile." But in impressing the youthful "fancy 
with dire images"^, while studying his "ScWool ' History of 
tomahawks, scalping knives and torture scaffolds" and in- 
delibly stamping upon their memories his emphatic "to say 
as savage as 'an Iroquois warrior' is to exhaust the powers 
of simile," he is scrupulously careful not to mention, or even 
drop a hint, in regard to the foul massacre of the friendly 
Cheyenne chief. Black Kettle and his band .by Gen. Custer 
and hia soldiers, Nov. 27th, 1868; of which Superintendent 
Murphy, after the diabolical massacre, wrote the commis- 
sioner of Indian affairs; "It was Blc^ck Kettle's band of 
Cheyennes. Black Kettle, one of the best and truest friends 
the whites ever had among the Indians of the plains;" and of 
the "horrible" butchery of the Piegan Indians, on the 23rd 
of January, 1870, who were helplessly- afflicted with the 
small pox, and guilty of no offense except being Indians, but 
in which assassination, one hundred and seventy-three In- 
dians were slaughtered in cold blood by the whites, without 
the "loss of a man; ninety of \vhom were women, and fifty- 
five of them children, none older than twelve years, and 
many of them in their mothers' arms;" and though the 
butchery of these unoffending and helpless hnman beings 
merits the execration of all men, yet the actors in the bloody 
scene lived toi boast among their fellows "I too have killed an 
Indian," though that Indian was an infant in its mother's 
arms; while their head was honored as the "Great" General 
Sheridan, backed by general Sherman, at whose feet syco- 
phants bow and humbly solicit a smile from his august per- 
sonage, then die happy, if obtained, but in despair, if 
refused. Merciful God! If the very words "tomahawk. 

scalpingknife and torture fill the fancy, with dire' images; 
and to say as savage as an Iroquois warrior is to eixhaust the 
powers of. simile," does not the butpher of helpless and un- 
dff ending- -Indian women and children by civilized whites 
equally "fill the fancy with dire images"? and tosay s,s sav- 
age as a Sheridan and Sherman in the blood-thii'sty wars of 
exterminating the Indians of the western plains, to protect 
the white desperadoes in th,eir depredations upon that help- 
less people, and thereby stick another feather in their cap of. , 
war fame to conciliate shouts of the rabble, music more 
sweet to their bloody senses than that of heavenly angels, •. ' 
"is to exhaust every power of simile." In the name of truth, 
justice and humanity, if what Mr. Manypenhy has revealed ' 
in his "Our Indian Wards," a copy of which every lover of 
truth, justice and humanity should purchase and read, as- 
due to the interests of truth, justice, religion and humanity^ 
is not enough to cause an indignant^God to visit these United , 
States with his avenging hand, then indeed, they have noth- 
ing to fear in regard to what they must do. Be it as it may, 
there is abundant reason to tremble, if we would reflect that 
God is just. 

On the 16th of February, 1763, the whole of Louisiana,, 
for which they had so long struggled, passed entirely from 
under -the dominion of the French to that of the English ; 
and all evidences of their occupe^ncy of the sea coast of Mis- 
sissippi, since Iberville first landed there on the 16th of Feb- 
ruary, 1693, are now only remembered as matters of history 
and traditions of the long past. , 

In 1765, through the solisitation of Johnstone, then' act- 
ing as governor, the Choctaws and Chickasaws convened in 
general council with him at Mobile, at which time were con- 
firmed the former treaties of peace and friendship; and also 
regu'^ations of trade were established between them and the 
English; and in 1777, the Choctaws, the first time ever be- 
fore sold a smaU por1:ion of their country then known as the 
Natchez District, to the English Superintendent of Indian 
Affairs, which lay on the Mississippi , river and extended 
north from the bluff then known as Loftus Cliffs to the 
mouth of the Yazoo river, 110 miles above. 

In June, 1784, the Choctaws, Chickasaws and Muscogees 
convened in council, at Pensacola.'tcorriipted from the Choc- 
taw words Puska Okla, People with abundant bread) and 
there made a treaty of peace with Spadn. 

Soon after, Alexander McGillervey, the famdus chief of 
the Muscogees, as representative of the Coweta claim of the 
Muscogees, together with the Seminoles, Mdbelans (prop- 
erly, MobinahsJandTalapoosas (corrupted from the Choctaw 


Words Tuli Pushi, Iron Dust) concluded a treaty of peace 
and friendship with the same nation. 

At this time, the United States set up her claim over the 
entire territories of the southern Indians by virtue of the 
English title, though the Cherokees, Choctaws Chickasaws 
and Muscogees, whose landed possessions were more exten- 
sive than all the southern tribes combined; but out of which 
she finally ousted them, though they had replenished the 
feeble ranks of her army with their warriors, and helped he?r 
out from under the yoke of British oppression fighting un- 
der Gen. Wayne and Gen Sullivan, only to have her yoke of 
oppression placed upon their necks in turn as a recompense 
of reward for their services and as a memento of our "dis- 
tinguished" gratitude to them; while Spain claimed, at the 
same time, the lion's part of their territories by virtue of her 
treaties, not with the Indians, the legal owners, but with 
England and France; while the Indians m whom rested the 
only true and valid title, gazed upon the scene of controversy 
over their ancient domains, as silent but helpless specta- 

That the Choctaws were once a nufnerous people, even 
years after the destruction of Mobinah, the chief town of 
Tushkalusas Iksa or clan, by De Soto, there can be but little 
room for doubt. Their ancient traditions affirm they were 
at one time one hundred and fifty thousand strong, but some 
allowance perhaps should be made upon that statement, 
however, their territory, as late as 1771, extended from Mid- 
dle Mississippi south to the Gulf of Mexico; and from the 
Alabama river west to vthe Mississippi river, embracing as 
fine a country as the eye could possibly desire to behold; 
and De Soto states he passed through towns and villages all 
along his route through their territory, as well as through 
the te'rritorities of other southern tribes. Roman states, in • 
his travels through the Choctaw Territory in 1771, he pass- 
ed through seventy of their towns. Rev. Cyrus Byington, 
who was a missionary among the Choctaws for many 
years previous to their exodus to the west, and had traveled 
all over their country in his labors of love and mercy, com- 
puted their number, all told, at the time of their removal, at 
forty thousand, but at which time six thousand died pn route 
many with cholera, and others with various other diseases 
contracted on the road, as is well authenticated. I was in- 
formed, when traveling over their country in 1884, by an old 
Choctaw with whom I was personally acquainted when living- 
east of the Mississippi, that many, when they first moved to 
their present homes, settled contiguous to the pestilential 
Red river, and in a few years four hundred of the colony 


had died, and the rest move/l away from that stream of death 
to other parts of their territory. 

Picket, in his Histoi'y of Alahama, says: "In 1771 
there were two thousand three hundred warritors registered 
upon the superintendent's books at Mobile* while two thous- 
ands were scattered over the country, eng-aged in hunting." 
But that did not weigh the value of a poor scruple in sustain- 
ing the seemingly advanced position, that the Choctaws at 
that time only numbered about forty-three hundred war- 
riors; as it,is safe to say, the French did not register a fifth 
of the warrioKS, for several reasons: First, from their great 
aversion to their number^ being known to the whites; sec- 
ond, their dread and superstitious fear of having their names 
written in the "white man's books;" third, the great dis- 
tance that the homes of thousands lay from Mobile, but 
few of whom ever saw the place; fourth, the missionaries 
who traveled all over their country found their villages and 
towns everywhere. ' And if the French had twenty-three 
hundred Choctaw warriors' names registered upon the pages 
of their books, I feel confident, froni my own knowledge of ' 
the Choctaws over seventy years ago, in saying Very few; if 
any, of the owners of those registered names knew they 
were recorded there. And if all be taken into consideration, 
the six thousand, the lowest estimate. Slain in the destruc- 
tion of Mobinah, then the great number that must have per- 
ished in their wars with the English and French, a's allies 
first to the one and then to the other; and their wars with 
various other tribes; and the many that were killed and died 
from disease when engaged in our Revolutionary war; and 
the six thousand that died on their removal to the west in 
1832-33; and the multiplied hundreds that died soon after 
their arrival to their present place of abode, from diseases 
contracted en route and from not being acclamated to their 
new country; and in addition to all this, the many depress- 
ing influences they have labored under since they have had 
to do with the White Race, and the terrible dispensation un- 
der which they have lived; they must, at an early period 
have been a numerous people, or long since they would have 
become totally eitinct. 

"The Severalty Bill I" I was in the Indian Teri-itory 
and read a letter from an Indian delegate in Washington , 
City, to a friend in the Territory and was forcibly struck 
with the shameful truth of one sentence ."Congress can and 
will pass any bill to destroy the Indians." Yet nothing 
strange in this, since rascality and debauchery characterize 
that once pure and noble body, if even half be true that is 
said about it, by those who have seen behind the curtains. I 



'also read another letter written by an Indian in the Territory 
to a delegate of his people, then (Feb. IS, 1887,) in Wash- 
ington from which, by request and permission, I copied the 
following- without alteration : 
"Dear old friend:" 

"Wounded and grieved over the action of Congress and 
the President, who gave the Indians his word (which should 
be as his bond) to stand by us, when our rights were trepass- 
ed upon. Behold now, his actions in the severalty bill. Are 
there no honest men, citizens of the United State^? Alas, 
even the highest in power has no regard for^his word ! 
There must be very little honesty among rhem, and if God 
forsakes us, we will soon be remembered only in story. God 
knows, if we had only the power that the United States have 
I would be willing to resent the wrong and insult, if it shoul^l 
be at the sacrifice of every drop of Indian blood that is cir- 
cling in our race." (All praise to that noble and patriotic 
spirit), "Cleveland thinking he might lose the next nomina- » 
tion for President, is willing to sacrifice his word or honor 
(whatever you may choose to call it) to be on the popular 
side. Away with such hypocrisy! He should be a man of 
some principle and stamina, but he lacks all of it. 

"Dawes, when here, said he would do everything to ad- 
vance our cause; that he was surprised to see the intelligence 
and evidences of progress existing among us. See too, what 
he has done! God will surely damn such hypocrites. Poor 
Mr, Brown, I feel sorry for him, standing alone, as it were, 
in the cause of humanity and justice; but I hope he will not 
feel disheartened in tjic^^ood cause, hut will gather strength 
from the ruins of broken treaties and shattered pledges 
made and violated by his so-called great and magnanimous 
government. All honor and peace be his. 

"We will-ever feel grateful to him for the active part he 
took in our behalf. Had there been a few more honest and' 
fearless men like him in Congress, we might have fared bet- 
ter. Inch by inch, does Congress trespass upon and violate 
the solemn vows it ha« made. Surely such an outrage is 
almost enough to drive ua to raise the tomahawk, and di«,. 
every one of us, in fighting for justice against such high- 
handed tyranny and insupportable oppression of our help- 
less and hopeless race. " 

What patriotic heart but leaps with emotions of pride 
at the heroic sentiments expressed in the above. Truth, 
justice, humanity, Christianity, our honor and integrity as a 
professed Christian people, backed by a just and righteous 
God above, demand of us to proclain our fiat to the acoun- 


drels that to-day so curse our country anddisgrace us as a 
people, in a tone of voice that shall be heard ,and obeyed, in 
the imperative command, Halt! v , . \ . 

On June 22nd, 1784, the Spaniards convened a council 
at Mobile, Ala., in which the Chobtaws and Chicka'saws were 
larg-ely represented, also a few other ' smaller tribes came 
with their families. As usual, on all such occasions, the 
Spaniards; unex'celled only by the Americans aftei-wards, 
lavished upori the Indians their flattery and presents, each 
of equal value, with unwearied tong-ues and unsparing' hands, 
thus to induce them to form a treaty of alliance and trade, 
which was successful^ consummated. The last article of 
this treaty then entered into, confirmed,' in the name of the 
Spanish King-, the Indians in the peacejlble possession of all 
their territories within the King's dominions; and further 
more, it was stipulated, should any of them be deprived of 
their lands b}- any of the^King-'s enemies, he would re- 
possess them with other lands within his territories equal 
in extent and value to those lost. But as stipulations and 
promises, never intended to be fulfilled, and cajolery 
and flattery to deceive them into a trusting- belief of true 
friendship, were the means adopted and practiced by the 
foreign nations that contended with each other for a portion 
of the North American Continent, so they, as the vicissitudes 
of war dictated, withdre-vv their interest in and protection 
from the confiding liidians to whom they had made so many 
fair promises of protection, and manifested such high pre^s 
tentions of sincere and disinterested friendship, and un-, 
hesitatingly assume'd the right of transferring them to any 
nation which their interest demanded without a ca,re, or even 
a thought, of the interests and welfare of the Indians; thus 
conclusively proving that they, each haunted with the fear of 
the other, using every effort to secure and maintain the good 
will of the Indians only for the purpose of interposing them 
between themselves and their encroaching rivals, when it 
was to their interests so to do. 

The Spaniards again induced thirty-six of the 'most 
prominent and influential chiefs of the Choctiws and Chick- 
asaws to visit them at New Orleans in 1787, "whet-e they were 
received and entertained with the greatest manifestations of 
sincere respect and friendship, by escorting them to public 
balls land military parades, and the u^sual, bestowal of pres- 
ents and flattery; nor did it ever occurcto the Choctaws and 
Chickasaws that all this was but for the purpose of rendering 
them, their more easy prey, and their assumed friendship de-i 
signed but to throw them off their guard, and thus conceal 
their real intentions; thus they were induced to renew their 



pledges of peace and friendship to the Spaniards, by smok- 
ingf the pipe of peace in confirmation of their former treaty, 
by judging- the actions of .the Spaniards from the standpoint 
of the integrity and honesty of their own hearts. 

The first treaty made with the Choctaws by the United 
States was at Hopewell, on January 3r4, 1786; and between 
this and January 20th, 1825, seven additional treaties were 
made with them; the second being December 17th, 1801, in 
which it was mutually agreed between the Choctaw Nation 
and the United States Government, "that the old line of de- 
marcation heretofore established by and between the officers 
of his Brittanic Majesty and the Choctaw Nation, shall be 
retraced, and plainly marked in such a' way and manner as 
the' President may direct, in the presence of two persons to 
be appointed by the said nation; and that the said line shall 
lie the boundary between the settlements of the Mississippi 
Territory and the Choctaw nation." 

James Wilkerson, as commissioner of the United States, 
and Push-kush Miko, (Baby Chiefj, and Ahlatah Humma, 
iMixed Red, i. e. Mixed with Red), as commissioners of the 
"Choctaw nation, did run and make distinctly this division 
line, and made a report of the same, August 31st, 1803, as 
follows: "And we, the said commissioners plenipotentiary, 
do ratify and confirm the said line of (demarcation, and do 
a-ecognize and acknowledge the same to be the boundary 
which shall separate and distinguish the land ceded to the 
United States, between the Tombigbee, Mobile, and Pascu- 
fgola rivers, from that which had not been ceded by the said 
'Choctaw nation." 

The names of the ancient Choctaws, as well as their 
■entire race, as far as I have been enabled to learn, were 
nearly always connativc referring generally to some animal, 
and often predicating s^me attribute of that animal. Such 
names were easily expressed in sign language; as the ob- 
jectivencss of the Indian proper names with the result, is 
that they could all be signified by gesture, whereas ^he bqst 
sign talker among deaf mutes, it is said, is unable to translate 
the proper names in his speech, therefore resorts to the 
dactylic alphabet. The Indians were generally named, or 
rather acquired a name, and sometimes several in succession, 
from some noted exploit or hazardous adventure. Names 
■of rivers, creeks, mountains, hills, etc.. were given with 
reference to some natural peculiarity; for the Indian had a 
literature of his own, which .grew every year in propoi-tions 
and value; it was the love of Nature, which may be developed 
»n every heart and which seldom fails to purify and exalt. 


Ignorance and prejudice call the Indians savages. I call 
them heroes. You and I, reader, may not fcnow where or 
how they live. God does. , ,. : 

As before stated, the first treaty was made by the United 
States with the Choctaw Nation on Jan. 3d, 1786. The follow- 
ing Articles of this treaty were concluded at Hopewell, on the 
Keowee River, near a place known as Seneca Old Town be- 
tween Benjamin Hawkins, Andrew Pickens, and Joseph 
Martin, commissioners plenipotentiary\)f the United States 
of America, of the one part, Yockenahoma, (I 'give the names 
of the Choctaws as recorded in the treaty, and also give their 
corrections and significations), corruption, Yoknahoma; 
Orig., Yoknihumma Land, Hoommar ,Red, great medal chief 
of Soanacoha, corruption of Sanukoah,.. pro. as' Sar-nook-o-ah 
(I am mad); Yackehoopie, corruption of Yaktii Hopaii pi-o. as 
Yark-nih, (Land) Ho-py-ye (Land of the war thief, leading 
chief of Bugtoogoloo, corruption of Bok Tuklo, pro. as-Boke 
(Creek) Took-lo (Two); Mingohoopari, corruption of Miko 
Hopaii, pro. as Mik-o (Chief) Ho-py-ye (Leader as War Chief), 
leading chief of Hashooqua, corruption of Hashokeah, pro. 
as Harsh-oh-ke-ah (Even the aforesaid); Tobocoli, corruption 
of Tobih Eoh, pro. as Tone-bih Eloh (All Sunshine) great 
medal chief of Congetoo, utterly foreign to the CJioctaw 
language; Pooshemastuby, corruption of Pasholih-ubih, pro. 
as Par-sha-lih (To handle) ub-ih (and kill) gorget captain of 
Senayazo; cor. of Siah (I am) Yo-shu-b'a (as ah) Lost; and 
thirteen small medal chiefs of the first-class, twelve medal 
and gorget captains, commissioners plenipotentiary of all the 
Choctaw nation, of the other part. 

The commissioiiers plenipotentiary of the United States 
of America give peace to all the Choctaw Nation, and re- 
ceive them into favor and protection of the United States of 
America, on the following conditions: 

Article Ist.^ — The commissioners plenipotentiary of all 
the Choctaw Nation, shall restore all the prisoners, citizens 
of the United States (useless demand, as the Choctaws were 
never at war with the United States, and never held any 
citizen of the United States as a prisoner, but always w^re 
their faithful allies) or subjects of their allies, to their entire , 
liberty, if any there be in the Choctaw Nation. They shall 
also restore all the negroes, and a|l other property, taken 
during the late war, from the citizens, to such person, and at 
such time and place, as the commissioners of the United 
States of America shall appoint, if any there be in the Choc- 
taw Nation. , . . , • . i- f 11 

Article 2nd.— The commissioners plenipotentiary of all 
the Choctaw Nation, do hereby acknowledge the tribes and 


towns of the said Nation, and the lands with the boundary 
-allotted to the said Indians to live and hunt on, as mentioned 
in the Third Article, to be under the protection of the 
United States of America, and of no 6ther sovereig^n what- 

Article 3rd.r— The boundary of the lands hereby allotted 
to the Choctaw Nation to live and hun| on, within the limits 
of the United States of America, is and shall be the follow- 
ing, viz.: Beginning at a point on the thirty-first degree of 
north latitude, where the eastern boundary of the Natchez 
district shall touch the same ; thence east along the thirty- 
first degree of north latitude, being the southern boundary 
of the United States of America, until it shall strike the 
eastern boundary of the lands on which the Indians of the 
s;ud nation did live and hunt on the twenty-ninth of Novem- 
ber, 1783, while they were under the protection of the King 
of Great Britain; thence northerly along the said eastern 
boundary, until it shall meet the northc rn boundary of the 
said lands; thence westerly along the said northern boun- 
dary, until it shall meet the western boundary thereof ; 
thence southerly along the same, to tbe beginning; saving 
and reserving for the establishment of trading posts, three 
tracts or parcels of land, of six miles square each, at such 
places as theUnitedStates, in Congress assembled, shallthink 
proper; which posts, and the lands annexed to them, shall 
be to the use and under the government of the United States 
of America. 

Article 4th. — If any citizen of the United States, or other 
person, not being an Indian, shall attempt to settle on any of 
the lands hereby allotted to the Indians to live and hunt on, 
such persons shall forfeit the protection of the United States 
of America, and the Indians may punish him or not as they 

Article Sth. — If any Indian or Indians^, or persons resid- 
ing among them, or who shall take refuge in their nation, 
shall commit a robbery or murder, or other capital crime, on 
any citizen of the United States of America, or person under 
their protection, the tribe to which such offender may be- 
long, or the nation, shall be bound to deliver him or them up 
to be punished according to the ordinances of the United 
States in CongAess assembled: provided, that the punish- 
ment shall not tfe greater than if the robbery or murder, or 
other capital crime, had been committed by a citizen on a 

Article6th.— If any citizen of the United States of 
America, or person under their protection, shall commit a 
robbery or murder, o^- other capital crime, on any Indian, 


sHch offender or offenders shall be punished in the same 
manner as if the robbery or murder, or other capital crime, 
had been cbmmitted on a citizen of the United States of 
America; and the punishment shall be in the presence of 
some of the Choctaws, if any will atteiid" at the time and 
place; and that they may have an opportunity feo to do, due 
notice, if practicable, of the time of such intended punish- 
ment shall be sent to some one of the tribe. 

Article. 7th.^It is understood that the J)unishm€nt of 
the innocent, under the idea of retaliation, is unjust, and 
shall not be practiced on either side,' except where there is a 
manifest violation of this treaty; and then it shall be pre- 
ceded, first by a demand of justice; and if refused, then by a 
declaration of hostilities . (But wherein is this to benefit the 
Choctaws, if, to the best of their j-udgment, "this treaty" 
was violated by us, and their demand of justice was refused? 
Could they hope to obtain justice "by a declaration of hostili- 
ties"? What a farce is such a futile attempt to display our 
wonderful g-enerosity to the Choctaws, when we have openly 
violated every treaty made with them, swhenever it was to 
•our interest so to do, a truth we canno't deny, knovving the 
folly they would be guilty of in declaring war against us 
^vvheii we were as a thousand to one of them in every particu- 
lar as to advantage. Nor have we neglected to use those ad- 
vantages from 1786 down the passing years to^the present, 
to the utter impoverishment and final extermination of the 
too confiding Indians). 

For the benefit and comfort of the Indians, and for the 
prevention of injuries or oppressions on the part of the citi- 
zens or Indians, the United States in Congress assembled 
shall have the sole and exclusive right of regulating the trade 
with the Indians, and managing all tjieir affairs in such man- 
ner as they think proper. 

Then was inaugurated a system of fraud by which the 
Choctaws were conii)letel3^ given into the hands of a few 
soulless white ti-aders who fleeced their victims at will. 

Article 9th, — Until the pleasure of Congress be known, 
respecting the 8th article, all traders, citizens of the United 
States of America, shall have liberty-to go to any of the tribes 
or towns of the Choctaws, to trade with them, and they shall 
be protected in their persons and property and kindh- 

Article 10. — The said Indians shall give notice to the citi- 
zens of the United States of America, of any designs which 
they may know or suspect to' be formed in any neighboring 
tribe, o'r'bv any person .\^homsoever, against the peace, 
tradej or interest, of the United States of Amerida, 


Article 11. — The hatchet shall be forever buried, and the 
peace given by the United.States of America, and friendship 
re-established between the said States on the one part, and 
all th^ Choctaw nation on the other part, shall be universal, 
and the contracting parties shall use their utmost endeavors 
to maintain the peace given as aforesaid, and friendship 

In witness of all and every thing herein determined, be- 
tween the United States of America and all the Choctaws, ^ve, 
the underwritten commissioners, by virtue of our full powers, 
have signed this definitive treaty, and have caused our seals 
to be hereunto affixed. 

Done at Hopewell, on the Keowee, third daj' of Jan- 
uary, 1786 L. S. (Locus Sigilli) Place of the Seal. 

Bknjamin Haw KINS, 
Andkkw Pickkns, 
Joseph Maktin. 

Corruption: Yockenahoma, his x mai'k. Original: Yok- 
ni Humma, pro. Yak-nih Hoom-mah Land Red. 

Corruption: Yokehoopoie, his x mark. Original: Yak- 
ni hopaii (as, hopy ye). Land of the Oar-chief. 

Corruption: Mingo hoopaie, his x mark. Original: Mi- 
kohopaii. Leader, as War-chief. 


Concluded December 17th, 1801, Between the Choctaw 
Nation and the United States. 

Thomas Jefferson, President of the United States of 
America, by James Wilkerson, of the State of Maryland, 
brigadier general in the army of the United States, Benjamin 
Hawkins, of North Carolina, and Andrew Pickens, of South 
Carolina, commissioners plenipotentiary of the United States, 
on the one part,, and the Mingoes, principal men and war- 
riors of the Clioctaw Nation, representing the said Nation in 
council assembled, on the other part, have entered into the 
following articles and conditions, viz.: 

Article 1st.— Whereas, the United States in Congress 
assembled, did, by their commissioners plenipotentiary, 
Benjamin Hawkins, Andrew Pickens, and Joseph Martin, at 
a treaty held with the chiefs and head men of the Choctaw 
Nation at Hopewell, on the Keowee, June 30th, 1786, give 
peace to the said Nation, and receive it into the favor and 
protection of the United States of America; it is agreed by 
the parties to these presents respectively, that the Choctaw 


Nation, or such part of It aa may reside within the limits of 
tjie United States, shall be and continue under the care and 
protection of the said United States; and that the mutual, 
coiifideiice and friendship which are hereby acknowledgfed 
to subsist between the contracting parties, shall be main- 
tained and perpetuated. 

Article 2nd. — The Mingoes, principal men, and warriors 
of the Choctaw Nation of Indians, do hereby give their free 
consent that a convenient and desirable wagon-way may be 
explored, marked, opened, and made, under the orders and 
instructions of the President of the United States, through 
their lands; to commence at the northern extremity of the 
settlements of the Mississippi Territory, and to extend from 
thence, by such route as may be selected and surveyed un- 
der the authority of the President of the Ufaited States, until 
it 'shall strike the lands claimied by the Ghickaskw Nation; 
and the same shall be and continue forever, a high-way for 
the citizens of the United States and the Choctaws; and the 
said Choctaws shall nominate twq discreet men from their 
Nation, -vVho maty be employed as assistants, guides^ or 
pilots, during the time of laying out and opening thei saidl 
high-way, or so long as may be deemed expedient, under the 
direction of the officer charged with this duty, who shall re- 
ceive a reasonable compensation for their services., 

Article 3rrf. — The two contracting parties covenant and 
agree, that the old line of demarkation heretofore established 
by and between the officers of his Brifanic Majesty and the 
Choctaw Nation, which runs in a parallel direction with the 
Mississippi river, and eastward thereof, shall be retraced 
and plainly marked, in such a way and manner as the Presi- 
dent may direct, in the presence of" two persons to be ap- 
pointed by the said Nation; and that the said line shall be- 
the boundary between the settlements of the Mississippi 
Territory and the Choctaw Nation. And the said Nation 
does, by these presents, relinquish to the United States and 
quit claim forever, all their right, title, and pretension, to- 
thfe land lying between the said line and the Mississippi 
river, bounded south by the thirty-first degree of north lati- 
tude, and north by the Yazoo river, where the Said line shall 
strike same; and on the part of. the commissioners it is 
agreed, that all persons who may be settled beyond this line 
shall be removed within it, on the side toward the Missis- 
sippi, together with. their slaves, household furniture, tools,, 
materials, and stock, and the cabins or houses erected b}' 
such persons shall be demolished. 

' Article 4th.— The President of the Unitecl States may., 
at his discretion, proceed to execute the Second Article ofi; 


this treaty; and the Third Article shall J[)e carried into effect 
as soon as may be convenient to the Government of the 
United States, and without unnecessary delay on the one 
part or the other, of which the President shall be judge; the 
Ch'octaws to be reasonably advised, by order of the Presi- 
dent of the United States, of the time when, and the place 
where, the re-survey and re-markingf of the old line referred 
to in the preceding Article will be commenced. 

Article 5th. — The commissioners of the United States 
for and in consideration of the foregoing concessions on the 
part of the Choctaw Nation, and in full satisfaction, do give 
and deliver to the Mingoes, chiefs, and warriors, of the said 
Nation, at the signing of these presents, the value, of $2,000 
in goods and mdVchandi^e, net cost at Philadelphia, the re- 
ceipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, and they further en- 
gage to give three sets of blacksmith tools to the said Na- 

Article 6th. — This treaty shall take effect and be obliga- 
tory on the contracting parties, as soon as the same shall be 
ratified by the President of the United States of America, 
by and with the advice and consent of the Senate thereof. 

In testimony whereof, the commissioners plenipoten- 
tiary of the United States, and the Mingoes, principal men, 
and warriors of the Choctaw nation, have hereto subscribed 
their names and affixed their seals, at Fort Adams, on the 
Mississippi, this the 17tl\ day of December, 1801, and of the 
independence of ^he United States the 2(>. 

Jawics Wilkickson, 
Bknjamin Hawkins, 
Andkicw Pickisns. 

Corruption: Tuskana Hopia, his x mark. Original: 
Tushka hopaii. Warrior of the War Chief. 

Corruption: Toota Homo, his x mark. Original: Tobu 
humm.i, made red. . 

_ Corruption: Mingo Horn Massatubby, his x mark. 
Original: Miko humma ubi (i, as ih) Red chief killer. 

This treaty was also signed by twenty-two other Choc- 
taws, whose names are omitted. 



CoNCi.uDKD OcTOBiCK 17'iH, 1802, Bktwi;i;n iHic Choctaw 
Nation and thio Unh kd Siatks. 

A provisional convention, entered into and made by 
Brigadier (iencral James Wilkerson, of the State of Mary- 


land, commissioner for holding' conferences with the In- 
dians south of the Ohio river, in behalf of the United States, 
oii the one part, and the whole Choctaw Nation, by their 
chiefs, head men, and Pjrincipal warriors, on the other 
part. ' 

Preamble: For the mutual accommodation of the par- 
ties, and to perpetuate that concord and friendship, \Vhich so 
happily subsists between them, they do hereby freely, vol- 
untarily, and without constraint, covenant and agree: 

'Article 1st.— That the President of the United States' 
may, at his discretion, by a commissioner or commissioners, 
to be appointed by him, by and with the advice and con- 
sent of the Senate of the United States, retrace, connect, 
and plainly re-mark the old line of limits, established by and 
between his Britannic majesty and the said Choctaw nation, 
which begfins on -the left bank of the Chickasaw-hay river, 
and runs thciice in an easterly direction to the right bank 
of the Tombigbee river, terminating on the same, at a bluff, 
well-known by the name of Hacha Tiggeby (corruption of 
Hacha toh bichi. You are very white,) but it is to be clear- 
ly understood, that two commissioners, to be appointed, by 
the said nation, from their own body, are to attend the com- 
missioners of the United States, who may be appointed to 
perform this servic^, for which purpose the siid Choctaw 
Nation shall be reasonably advised by the. President of the 
United States, of the particular period at- which the opera- 
tion may be commenced, and the said Choctaw commission- 
ers shall be subsisted by the United States, so .long as they 
may be engaged on thisbusiness, and paid for their services, 
during the said term, at the rate of one dollar per day. 

Article 2nd. — The chiefs, head men, and warriors,, of the 
said Choctaw nation, do hereby constitute, authorize, and 
/.appoint, the chiefs and head men of the upper towns of the 
said nation, to make such alteration in the old boundary 
line near the mouth of the Yazoo river, as may be conven- 
ient, and may be done without injury to the said Nation. 

Article 4. — This convention shall take effect, and become 
obligatory on the contracting parties, as soon as the Presi- 
,dent of the United States, by and with the advice and consent 
of the Senate, shall have ratified the same. 

In testimony whereof, the parties have hereunto set 
their hands and affixed their seals, at Fort Confederation, on 
the Tombigbee, in the Choctaw country, the 17th,' of Octo- 
ber 1802, and of the independence of the United States the 


' Jame^ Wilkerson. 
In behalf of the lower towns and Chickasaw-hay. 


Corrupted: Tuskona Hoopoio, his x mark. Orig-inal: 
Tushkahopaii. Warrior of the Prophet, 

Corruption: Mingo Hoopoio, his x mark. Original: 
Mikohopaii. King of the War-chief. 

The names of twelve Choctaws are omitted who signed 
this treaty. 


CoNCLUDKD August 31st, 1803, Betwkicn Thk Choctaw 
Nation and Thic Unitkd Status. 

To whom these presents shall come: ' 

Know ye, that the undersigned commissioners plenipo- 
tentiary of the United States of America, of the one part, and 
the whole Choctaw Nation of the other part, being duly au- 
thorized by the President of the United States, and by the 
chiefs and head men of said Nation, do hereby establish, in 
conformity to the convention of Fort Confederation, for the 
line of demarkation recognized in said convention, the follow- 
ing metes and bounds, viz: Beginning ^t the channel of the 
Hatche at the point where the line of limits between the 
United States and Spain crosseth th^ same, thence up the 
channel of said river to the confluence of the Chickasaw-hay 
(corruption oi Chikasahha) and Buckhatannee (corruption of 
Buchchah, a range of hills) and Hantah (to be bright) rivers, 
thence up the channel of the Buchhatannee to Boque Hooma 
(corruption of Bokhumma, Red Creek, thence up said creek 
to a pine tree standing on the left bank of the same, and 
blazed on two of its sides, about twelve links southwest of an 
pld trading path, leading from the town of Mobile to the 
Hewanee towns, much worn, but not "in use at the present 
time. From this tree we find the following bearings and 
distances, viz: south 54 degrees 30 miautes west, one chain, 
one link, a blackgum, north 39 degrees east, one chain, 75 
links, water oak; thence with the old British line of partition 
in its various inflections to a mufberry post, planted on the 
right bank of the main branch of ^intee Bogue, (cor. of Sinti 
Bok and pro. as 8een-tih Boke, Snake Creek) where it makes 
a sharp turn to the south east, a large broken top cypress 
tree standing near the opposite bank of the creek, which is 
about three pol^s wide, thence down the said creek to the 
Tombigbee and Mobile rivers to the above mentioned line of 
limits between the United States and Spain, and with the 
-same to the point of beginning; and we, tHe said commission- 
era plenipotentiary, do ratify and condrm the said line of 


' ' *'i I ' ■ ' ' ' ■ ' 

(lemarkation, and do recognize and acknowledge the same to 
be the boundary which shall separate and distinguish ttie 
land ceded to the United States, between the Tombigbee, 
Mobile and Pascagola rivet's, from that which has not been 
ce'ded by the said Choctaw Nation. (Tombigbee, corruption 
of Itombiikbi, Boxmater; Mobile, tbrruption of Momabinah, 
A lodge for all; Pascagola, corruption of Puskaokla, Bread 
people). In testimony whereof,' we hereunto affix , our 
hands and 'seals, this 31st, day of August, 1803, to triplicates 
of this tenor and date. Done at Hoe-Buck-intoopa, (corrup- 
tion of jHoburk, coward intakobi lazy) the day and year above 
written, and in the 27th year of the independence of the 
United State's. 

' James Wilk^ekson. 

Corrupted: Mingo Pooscoos, his x mark; Original: 
Mikopuscus (pro. Mik-o Poos-ko(i)sh) Infant King. 

Corrupted: Alatala Hooma, his x mark. Original: 
Alatalihhumma, (pro. Ar-lah-tah-lih hoom.mah.) 
Witnesses present: Joseph Chambers, U. S. Factor.' 
Young Gaines, Interpreter,.. 
John Bowyer, Capit. 2nd U. S. Regt. 

We the commissioners of the Choctaw nation, duly 
appointed, and the chiefs of the said nation who reside on the 
Tombigbee river, next to Sintee Bogue, do acknowledge to 
have received from the United States of America, by the 
hand of Brigadier General, James Wilkerson, as a considera- 
tion in full for the confirmation of the above concession, the 
following articles, viz.; fifteen pieces of strands, three rifles, 
one hundred and fifty blankets, two hundred and fifty pounds 
of powder, two hundred and fiftj' pounds of lead, one bridle,^ 
and man's saddle, and one black silk handkerchief. (Thus; 
we have an fexhibition of the wonderful generosity expressed i 
in the Government's reiterated "To give peace to all the^ 
Choctaw nation," and the meaningof "and receive them into,' 
favor and protection of the United States of America,"; 
Wonderful protection! to take advantage of their ignorance 
in the value of their lands, and disposses them of hundreds 
of thousands of acres for a few pounds of powder and lead, , 
a few blankets, a saddle and bridle, and- lastly though not 
least, "one black silk handkerchief." i 

: Mingo Pooscoos, his x mirk. 
Alatala Hooma, his x mark. 
Commissioners of the Choctaw nation. 

Corrupted: Pio Mingo, his x mark Original: 
Pin Miko. Our chief . 

Corrupted: Pasa Mastubby Mingo, his x mai-k. Origi- 


■f. * . 

nal: Pisahmiahubih Miko, (pro. Pe-sah-me-ah-ub-ih Miko. • 
To see, g-o ahead and kill the chief.) 

k, » In November, 1805, another portion of their country was 
ceded to the United States; and in October, 1816, still another 
portion; and October 18, 1820, andther portion was ceded for 
and in consideration of a tract of country west bf the Missis- 
sippi river, being- between the Arkansas and Red rivers, the 
lines of which were to be ascertained and distinctly marked, 
by commissioners for that purpose, to be accompanied by 
such persons as the Choctaws mig^ht select. Again, January 
20th, 1825, they ceded another portion of their lands, east of 
the Mississippi river, to the United States. Then in Sep- 
tember, 1830, the climax of the white man's greediness as 
far as the Choctaws ^were involved, was reached, by forcing 
that people to cede the last acre of land they possessed east 
,of the Mississippi riVer. And thus by hypocrisy, deception, , 
/fraud, misrepresentation and unblushing falsehood, has the 
octopus arm of white avarice seized in its insatiable 
embrace the Indiana' country from Maine to California, un- 
; til scarcely enough is left them upon which to eke out a mis- ' 
I erable existence ; and yet, year by year, generation by 
genei-ation, the grasp widens and tightens, and creeps fur- 
-ther and futrher upon them until with its stiff-necked, in- 
! corrigible bfutishness, its hissing is heard, throughout the 
' length and breadth of the land, vibrating upon that harp of a 
(thousand strings that still remains in tune to the same old 
howl "Open to white settlement, open up to white settle 



Concluded Novkmbek 16th, 1805, Bktwicicn tiii'; Choctaw 
Nation and the Uni'ikd Statics. 

Thomas Jefferson, Presiderit of -the United States of 
America, by James Robertson, of Tennessee, Silas Dins- 
more, of New Hampshire, agent of the United States to the 
Choctaws, commissioners plenipotentiary of the United 
States, on the one part, and |the Mingoes, chiefs, and war- 
riors of the Choctaw Nation of Indians, in council assembled 
on the other part, have entered int(3 the following agree- 
ment, viz.: 

Article 1st. — The Mirtgoes, chiefs, and warritjrs, of the 
Choctaw Nation of Indians, in behalf of themselves and the 
said Nation, do, by these presents, cede to the United States 
of America, all the lands to which thoy now have or ever had 


claim, lying- to the right of the following lines ; to say, Be- 
ginning- at a branch of theHumecheeto (Cor. of.Humma chitoh, 
being greatly red), where the same is intersected by the 
path leading from Natches to "^the county of Washington, 
usually called McClary's path, thence eastwardly along 
McClary's path, to the east or left bank of Pearl river,, 
thence on such a direct line as would touch the lower end of 
a bluff on the left bank of Chickasaw hay river, the first 
above the Hiyoo wunnee (corruption of Hiohlih, Standing,, 
uni, berries) towns, called Broken Bluff, thence in a direct 
line nearly parallel with the river, to a poiitt whence an east 
line of four miles in length will intersect the river below the 
lowest settlement at present occupied and improved in the 
Hiyoo wunnee town, thence still east four miles,'thence in a 
direct line nearly parallel with the river to a point to be run 
from the lower end of the Bi-oken Bluff to Falukta bunnee 
(corruption of F^lakna, a fox squirrel, and bujnna, one^'who 
wants) on the Tombigbee river, four riiiles from the Broken 
Bluff, thence along the said^ line to Falukta bunnee, thence 
east to the boundary between, the Creefks and Choctaws on 
the ridge dividing the waters running into the Alabama from 
those running into the Tombigbee, thence southwardly aloi^g 
the said ridge and boundary to the southern point, of the 
Choctaw claim. Reserving a tract of two miles square, run 
on meridians and parallels, so as to include the houses and 
improvements in the town of Fuket chee' pocwita, , (corrup- 
tion of Fakit chipinta, and pro. as Fah-kit che-pin-tah, Tur- 
key very small), and reserving also a tract of 5120 acres, be- 
ginning at a post on the left bank of Tombigbee river op- 
posite the lower end of Hatch a tigbee (corruption of Ha- 
chotukni — pro. Har-cho-tuk-nih, Loggerhead turtle) Bluff, 
thence ascending the I'iver four miles front and two back ; 
one half for the use of Alzira, the other half for the use of 
Sophia, daughters of Samuel Mitchell, by Molly, a Choctaw 
woman. The latter reserve to be subject to the same laws 
and regulations as may be established . in the circumjacent 
country; and the said Mingoe^ of the Choctaw, i-equest the 
government of the United States to confirm the title of this 
reserve in the said Alzira and Sophia. 

Article 2nd. — For and in consideratioji of the foregoing 
cession on the part of the Choctaw Nation, and in full satis- 
faction for the same, the commissioners of the United States 
.do hereby covenant and agree with the said Nation, in behalf 
of the United States, that the said States shall pay to the said 
Nation fifty thousand and five hundred dollars f^r the follow- 
ing purt)oses, to wit, forty-eight thousand dollars to enable 
the Mingoes to dischai-ge the debt due to their^ merchants and 


traders fthus went the poor Choctaws' land and money, to a 
set of white sharpers;) and also pay for tiie depredations 
committed on stock and other property, by evil disposed 
persons of the said Choctaw Nation; (but who were the "evil 
disposed persons of the said Choctaw Nation"? No other 
than the white refugees from the violated laws of the States, 
who had fled to the Choctaw Nation, and of whose character 
the Choctaws were wholly ig-norant; they stole horses and 
killed cattle, not belonging to the Choctaws for they feared 
them, but belonging to the white traders, who charged 
vtp their losses, duly exaggerated, to the Choctaws, thus 
they were swindled and robbed by the shrewd, but not too 
honest, white traders through a credulbus government — the 
truth in a nut shell. );twenty-five hundred dollars to be paid 
to John Pitclilynn, to compensate him for certain losses sus- 
tained in the Choctaw Country, and as a grateful testimonial 
of the Nation's esteem. And the said States shall also pay 
annually to the said Choctaws, for the use of the Nation, 
three thousand dollars, in such goods (at net cosyt in Phila- 
delphia) as the Mingoes may chpose, they ^giving at least one 
year's notice of such choice. 

Article 3d.^-The commissioners of the United States, 
on the part of the said States, engage to give to each of the 
three great metlal Minyfoes Puckshunnubbce (corruption of 
Apucksheubih) Mingo Hoomastubbee (corruption of Humma- 
ubi, Red Killer) and Poosshamattaha (corruption of Anuma- 
ishtayaubih, aimessenger of death), five hundred dollars, in 
consideration of past services in their Nation, and also to pay 
to each of them an annuity of one hundred and fifty dollars 
during their continuance in office. It is perfectly under- 
stood, that neithei" of those medal Mingoes is to share /any 
part of the general annuity of the Natio{i. 

Article 4th. — The Mingoes, chiefs, and warriors of the 
Choctaws, certify that a tract of land not exceeding fifteen 
hundred acres, situated between the Tombigbee river and 
Jackson's creek, the front or river line extending down the 
river from a blazed white oak; standing oii the left bank of 
the Tombigbee, near the head of the .4hoal, next above Ho- 
bukenloopa (corruption of Hobachit Yukpa, a laughing 
echo), and claimed by John McGrew, was, in fact, granted to 
the said McGrew by OpiomingoHesmitta, (corruption of the 
words Hopoamikohimmittah, The hungry young chief) and 
others, many years ago, and they respectfully request the 
government of the 'United States to establish the claim of 
the said McGrew to the said fifteen hundred acres. 

Article 5th. — The two contracting parties covenant and 
.-igree, that the boundary, as described in the second article. 


shall be ascertained and plainly marked, in such way and 
manner as the President pf the United States may direct, in 
the presence of three persons to be appointed by the said 
Nation; one from each of the great medal districts, each of 
whom shall receive for their service two dollars per day for 
his actual attendance; and the Choctaws shall have due and 
reasonable notice of the place where, and time when the 
operation shall commence. ' , 

The first article is presumed to be meant. The second 
<loes not designate a boundary : - 

Article ,6th. — The lease granted for establishments on 
the roads leading- through the Choctaw country, , is hereby 
confirmed in all its conditibns; and, except in the alteration 
of boundary, nothing in the instrument shall affect or change 
any of the pre-existing obligation of the cortracting parties. 

Article 7th. — This treaty shall take effect and become 
reciprocally obligatoi-y so soon as the same shall have been 
ratified bj' the President of the United States of America, by 
and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the United 

Done on Mount Dexter, in Pooshapukanuk (corruption^ 
of Pashiakona, Unto the dust) in the Ghoctavv country, this 
the 6th of November, 1805, and of the independence of the 
United States of America the thirtieth. \ ■ 

James Robertson, 
, Silas Dinsmoric, 
^ Commissioners. 

Puchunnubbee, his x mark 
Mingo Hoomastubbe, his X mark, 
, Pooshamattah, his X mark, ' ' 

Great Medal Mingoes. 
Chiefs and Warriors: — 

Corruption Ookchummee, his x mark; original, Okchulih, 
Tiller of the land. 

Corruption Tushamiubbee, his x mark; Tusuhahmutu- 
bih, to whoop and also kill, and thirty-one others. 


Concluded, October 34th, 1816, Between the Choctaw 
Nation and the United States. 

A treaty of cession between the United States of America 

and the Choctaw Nation of Indians. 

James Madison, President of the United States 6f Amer- 
ica, by General Coffee, John Rhea, and John McKee, 


Esquires, commissioners on the part of the United States, 
duly authorized for that purpose, on the one part, and the 
Ming'oes, leaders, Captains, and warriors, of the Choctaw 
Nation, in g'eneral council assembled, in behalf of themselves 
and the whole Nation, on the other part, have entered into 
the following- articles, which, when ratified by the President 
of the United States, with the advice and consent of the Sen- 
ate, shall be obligatory on both parties: «. 

Article 1st.— The Choctaw Nation, for the consideration 
hereafter mentioned, cede to the United States all their title 
and .claim to land lying east of the following boundary, 
beginning at the mouth of Oaktibuha (corruption of O-ka, 
Water, it-tib-ih, having fought) river, the Chickasaw \boun- 
dary, and running thence down the Tombigbee river, until' it 
intersects the northern boundary of a cession made to the 
United States by the Choctaws at Mount Dexter, on the U)lh 
of November, 1805. 

Article 2nd. — In consideration of the, foregoing cession, 
the United States engage to pay to the Choctaw Nation the 
sum of six thousand dollars annually, for t^venty years; they 
also agree to pay them in merchandize, to be delivered imme- 
diately on signing the present treaty, the sum of ten thou- 
sand dollars. 

Thus we again see the Choctaws swindled out of their 
lands, by getting onlv as many thousands of dollars for their 
lands as they were worth in as many millions. But we had 
taken them under our fatherly protection, and, as a matter , 
of course, they must pay for so great a favor and so great a 

Done and executed in full and open council, (but by 
much misrepresentation and dissimulation, as will be here- 
after shown) at the Choctaw trading house, October 24th, 
1816, and of the independence of the United States the forty- 
first. John CoFFiii:, 

. John Rhea, 
John McKkk, 
Mushoolatubbe, his x mark, 
Pooshamallaha, his x mark, 
Pukshunilubbee, his x mark, 


Concluded, October 18, 1820, Between Thk Choctaw 
Nation and the United States. 

A treaty of friendship, limits and accommodattion, be- 
tween the United States of America and the Choctaw Nation 


of Indians, beg'att and concluded at the treaty ground, in 
said nation, near Doak'siiStand, on the' Natchez road. 

Preamble: Whereas, it is an important object with the 
President of the United States, to promote the civilization of 
the Choctaw Indians, by the establishment of schools 
amongst them; and to "perpetuate them as a nation, by ex- 
changing', for a small part of their land here, a country be- 
yond the Mississippi river, where all, who live by hunting, 
and will not A^ork, may be collected and settled together: 
And whereas, it is desirable to the State of Mississippi, to 
obtain a small part of the land belonging to said nation; for 
the mutual accommodation of the parties, and for securing 
the happiness and protection of the whole Choctaw nation, 
as well as preserving that harmony and friendship which so 
happily subsists between them and the United States, Janles 
Monroe, President of the United States of America, by 
Andrew Jackson, of the State of Tennessee, Major General 
in the army of the United States, and General Thomas 
Hinds, of the State of Mississippi, commissioners plenipo- 
tentiary of the United States, on the one part, and the Min- 
goes, head men, and wafriors, of the Choctaw Nation, in full 
council assembled, on the other part, have freely and volun- 
tarily entered into the following articles, viz. : to promote the 
civilization of the Choctaw Indians, by the establishment of 
schools among them, and to perpetuate them as a Nation, 
and securing the happiness of the whole Choctaw Nation: 

Article 1st. — To enable the President of the United 
States to carry into eiiect the above grand and humane ob- 
ject, the Mingoes, head men, and warriors, of the Choctaw 
Nation in full council assembled, in behalf of themselves and 
said Nation, do, by these presents,' cede to the United 
States of America, all the land lying and being within the 
boundaries Wlowing, to-wit: Beginning on the Choctaw 
boundary, eastbfPearrriver,at a point due south of the White: 
Oak spring, on the old Indian path; thence north to said 
spring ; thence northwardly to a black oak, standing on thc' 
Natchez road, about forty poles eastwardly from Doak's 
fence, marked A. J. and blazed ; thence, a straight line to the 
head of Black Creek, or Bogue Loosa (original Bok Lusa), 
thence, down Black Creek, or , Bogue Loosa, to a small lake ; 
thence, a direct course, so as to strike the Mississippi one. 
mile below the mouth of the Arkansas river; thence, dovi^n 
the Mississippi to our boundary; thence, arouiid and along 
the same to the beginning. , 

Article 3rd. — To prevent any dispute upon the sub-, 
ject of the boundary mentioned in the First and Second 
Articles, it is hereby stipulated between the piarties, that 


the same shall be ascertained and distinctly marked by a 
commissioner, or commissioners, to be appointed by the 
United States, accompanied by such person as the Choctaw 
Nation may select ; said Nation h&ving- thirty days previous 
notice of the time and place at which the operation will com- 
mence. The person so chosen by the Choctaws, shall act as 
a pilot or guide, for which the United States will pay him 
two dollars per day, whilst actually engaged in the performa- 
tion of that duty. 

Article 4th. The boundaries kereby established be- 
tween the Choctaw Indians and the United States, <^n this 
'side of the Mississippi river, shall remain without alteration 
until the period at which said Nation shall become so civiliz- 
ed and enlightened as to be made citizens of the United States, 
and Congress shall lay off a limited parcel of land for the 
benefit of each family included in the Nation. 

Yet, that "period at which said nation shall become so 
civilized and enlightened as to be made citizens of the United 
States," never was realized, since "the boundaries" did 
not "remain without alteration" by the open violation of said 
4th, article on the part of the United States, as will be fully 
shown and established; proving that our professed desire 
and vociferous declarations, concerning the civilization, the 
moral and intellectual interest of the Choctaws, were myths, 
palpable falsehoods, assumed and practised to deceive the 
Choctaws and thereby take advantage of their credulity, as it 
is manifested even unto the present day with unblushing 
boldness in our dealing with the entire Indian race, feeling 
the reproof of conscience in our injustice and inhumanity to 
that unfortunate and helpless people, "and our determination 
to i-ob them of their last acre of land, as a wave separated for 
ii moment by the course of a ship that j)asses through it. 

Article 5th.— For the purpose <>f aiding and assisting the 
poor Indians, who wish to remove to the country hei'ebv 
ceded on the part of the United Stales, and to enable them to 
do well and support their families, the commissinners ol the 
United States engage, in behalf of said States, to give to each 
warrior a blanket, kettle, rifle gun, buUut mould and nip- 
pers, and ammunition for hunting and defence, for one year. 
Said warrior shall also be'supplied with corn to support liim 
and his family, for the same period, and whilst travelling to 
the country above ceded to the Choctaw Nation." (Mirabilc 
dictui When before, in all the annals of time, was there 
such a display of munificence in the simple manifestation of 
an expressed desire "to promote the civilization of the Chi/ - 
taw Indians, and for securing their happiness and protec- 
ti(m." The bestowal of "a blanket, kettle, rille gun, bullet 


mould and nippers." Wonderfull ' Indeed, did not the 
-angels of heaven look with profound astonishment at such a 
display of human magnanimity in its effort "to promote the 
■civilization of the Choctaw Indians," and briiig them into the 
folds of Christianity? Surely the devil may give up his chase 
after the souls of the Choctaws, since they have such a lov- 
ing and powerful protector in the United States of Amei-ica. 
Magnanimous United States I Well may we make the welkin 
ring with oiir huzzas of Liberty, freedom and. equal rights to 
all people of earth's remotest bound, \vhen in the magnani- 
mity of our Christian zeal "to promote the civilization of the 
Choctaws," we made that .munificent bequest of "a blanket, 
flap, kettle, rifle gun, bullet moulds and nippers." and then 
drove them to that distant wilderness, as far from the means 
of being benefitted by the influences of Christianity as vye 
could drive them, there to be civilized and Qhristianized by 
'our remarkable munificent gifts.) 

Article 6th. — The commissioners of the United States 
further covenant and agree, on the part of said States, that 
an agent shall be appointed, in due time, for the benefit of the 
Choctaw Indians who may be permanently settled in the 
country ceded to them beyond the Mississippi river, and, at 
a convenient period, a factor shall be sent there with goods, 
if supply their wants. A blacksmith shall also be settled 
amongst them, at a point most convenient to the population; 
and a faithful person appointed, whose duty it shall be to 
use every reasonable exertion to collect all the wandering 
Indians belonging to the Choctaw Nation, upon the land 
hereby provided for their permanent settlement. 

Article 7th. — Out of the lands ceded by t^e Choctaw 
Nation to the United States, the commissioners aforesaid, in 
behalf of said States, further covenant and agree that fifty- 
four sections of one mile square shall be laid out in good 
land, by the President of the United States, and sold, for the 
purpose of raising a fund, applied to the support of the 
Choctaw schools, on both sides of the Mississippi river. 
Three-fourths of said fund shall be appropriated for the 
benefit of the schools here ; and the repiaining fourth for the 
establishment of one or more beyond the Mississippi; the 
whole to be placed in the hands of the President 
of the United States, cahd to be applied by him, 
expressly and exclusively, to this valuable object. 
(But what was the result of this appropriation "fifty- 
four sections" of their) land to the establishing and 
supporting "of the Choctaw schools, on both sides of the 
Mississippi river." In ten years after, when hundreds of 
dollars, proceeds of the sale_of the fifty-four sections of their 


own lands, had been used in establishing' schools, and these 
schools were flourishing' all over their country, I speak of 
that east of the Mississippi river, and' though, in spite of 
embarrassments, adversities and misfortunes, they were 
making the most rapid progress in civilization and Chris- 
tianity, a quietus was placed upon everything by the United 
States forcing them to sell their entire land possessions to 
them, and driving them, by the unmerciful hand of arbitrary 
power, to the distant wilderness in the west where they had 
driven the former, there to civilize themselves by means of 
a "blanket, flap, kettle, rifle gun, moulds and nippers," 
while their schools and the "fifty-four sections of land" be- 
came things of the past to the Choctaw, to be heard of no 
more by them ; and thus we sacrificed this trusting people, 
our faithful allies, to our avarice, more .odious in all its feat- 
ures than even the nefarious proposal- which Themistocles 
suggested to Aristides, of burning the ships of the allies at 
the very time in which they were engaged in fighting, 
for the common liberties of Greece; since he was blinded 
by the glare of military glory, but we by a sordid, debas- 
ing and degrading avarice. 

Article 8th. — To remove any discontent which may have 
arisen in the Choctaw Nation, in consequence of six thousand 
dollars of their annuity having been appropriated annually 
for sixteen years, \)y some of their chiefs, for the support of 
their schools, the commissioners of the United States oblige 
themselves, on the part of said States, -to set apart an addi- 
tional ti'act of l^nd, for raising a fund equal to that given by 
said chiefs, so that the whole of the annuity may remain in 
the Nation, and be divided amongst tliem. And in order 
that exact justice may be done to the poor and distressed of 
said Nation, it shall be the duty of the agent to see that the 
wants of every deaf, dumb, blind, and distressed Indian, 
shall be first supplied out of said annuity, and the balance 
equally distributed amongst every individual of said Nation. 

Article 9th. — All those who have sepaVate settlements, 
and fall within the limits of the land added by the Choctaw 
Nation to the United States, and who desire to remain where 
they now reside, shall be secured in a tract or parcel of land 
one mile square, to include their improvements. Any one 
who prefers removing, if he does so within one year from 
the date of this treaty, sjiall be paid their full value, to be 
ascertained by two persons to be appointed by the President 
of the United States. 

Article 10th. — As there are some who have valuable 
buildings on the roads and elsewhere, should tliey remove, it 
is further agreed by the aforesaid commissioners, in behalf 


of the United States, that the inconvenience oi doing so shall 
be considered, and such allowapce made as will amount to an 
equivalent. For this purpose, there shall be paid to the 
Mingo Puckshenubbe (original, A-pak-foh-li-chih-ubih), five 
hundred dollars; to Harrison, two hundred dollars; to Cap- 
tain Cobb, two hundred dollars; to William Hays, two hun- 
'dred dollar's; to O'Gleno, two hundred dollars; and to all oth- 
ers who have comfortable hotises, a compensation in the 
«ame proportion. 

Article 11th. — It is also provided by the com^missioners 
of the United States, and they agree in behalf of said States, 
"that those Choctaw chiefs and warriors, who have not received 
compensation for their services during the campaign to Pen> 
sacola, in the late war, shall be paid whatever is due them 
over and above the value of the blanket, shirt, flap, and leg- 
gins, which have been delivered to them. 

Article 12th. — In order to promote industry and sobriety 
-amongst all classes of the Red People in this Nation, but 
particularly the poor, it is further provided by the parties 
that the agent appointed to reside here, shall be, and he is, 
liereby. vested with the full power to seize and confiscate all 
the whiskey which may be introduced into said Nation, ex- 
cept that used at public stands, or brought in by the per- 
mit of the agent, or the principal' chieJFs of the three dis- 

Thus was the law of the Choctaws forbidding the intro- 
duction of any kind and all kinds of spirituous liquors into 
their country virtually abrogated, and their strenuous efforts 
to keep the hideous hydra in its proper place, among its 
makei's and worshippers (the white man) proved unavailing 
as the door was thus opened for the white smugglers — pf 
whom the agents were leaders. 

Article 13th.^To enable the Mingoes, chiefs, and bead 
men, of the Choctaw Nation, to raise and organize a corps of 
light horse, consisting of ten in each district, so that good 
order may be maintained, and that all men, both.White and 
Red, may be cbmpelled to pay their debts, it is, stipulated 
and agreed, that the s,um of two hundred dollars shall be ap- 
propriated hf the United States, for each district, annually, 
and placed in the hands of the agent, to pay the expenses in- 
curred in raising and establishing said corps; which is to 
act as executive officers, in maintaing good order, and com- 
pelling bad men to remove the Nation, who are not 
authorized to live in it by a regular permit from the agent. " 

Article 14th.— Whereas the father of the beloved chief 
Mushulatubbee (original Mosholatubil, with whom I was 
personally acquainted), of the lower towns, for and during his 


life, did receive from the United States the sura of one hun- 
dred and fifty dollars, annually; it is l^ereby stipulated, that 
his son and successor Mushulatubbee, shall annually be paid 
the Same amount during his natural lifp, to commence from 
the ratification of this treaty. 

Article 15th.— The peace and harmony subsisting be- 
tween the Choctaw Nation of Indians and the United States, 
are hereby renewed, continued, and declared to be perpet- 

Article 16th. — These articles shall take effect, and be- 
come obligatory on the contracting parties, so soon as the 
same shall be ratified by the President, by and with the ad- 
vice and consent of the Senate of the United States. 

In testimony whereof, the , commissioners plenipoten- 
tiary of the United States and the Mingoes, headmen and 
warriors of the Choctaw Nation, have hereunto subscribed 
their names and affixed their seals, at the place above writ- 
ten, this the 18th, of October, 1820, and of the independence 
of the United States the forty fifth. 

Andrew Jackson, 
Thomas Hinds, 
^ Commissioners- 

Medal Mingoes: — 

Corrupted: Puckshenubbee, his x mark. Original: 

Corrupted: Poohawattaha, his x mark. Original: Ai'- 
noom-pah-ish-tam-yah-ub-ih . 

One hundred and twenty-eight names of Choctaws, who 
signed this treaty are omitted. « 


/The Dispute in the Right of Ownership op Greer County 
Bktween^the United States and Texas. 

The petition of the Attorney-General of the United 
States affirms that according to the treaty of Feb. 22, 1819 
made by the United States and the King of Spain, which was 
ratified two years later, and so proclaimed by both the Uni- 
ted States and Spain, and that by the third article of the 
treaty it was provided and agreed that "the boundary line 
between the two countries west of the Mississippi River 
shall begin on the Gulf of Mexico at the mouth of the Sabine 
River, in the sea, continuing north along the western bank 
of that river to the thirty-second degree of latitude; thence by 
a line due north to the degree of latitude where it strikes the 


HISTORY Of THE INDtANS; *■ ~" 119 

'Rio Roxo of Natchitoches or Red River; tfaeil following the 
course of the Rio Roxo westward to thedegree' of longitude 
100 west from London and 23 from Washington;' then cross- 
ing the said Red River and running the'nce''by a line due 
n6rth to the river Arkansas: thence following' the course of 
the southern bank of the Arkansas! to its source in latitude 42 
north, and thence by that parallel of latitude to the South 
Sea. The whole being a;s laid down in Melish's map of the 
United States, published at Philadelphia, improved to Jan- 
uary, 1, 1818. 

"The two high contracting parties agreeing to cede and 
renounce all their rights, claims and pretensions to the ter- 
ritories described by the said line. That is to say, the 
United States hereby cede to his Catholic majesty and re- 
nounce forever all their claims, rights, and pretensions to 
the territories lying west and south of the above described 
line, and in like manner his Catholic majesty cedes to the 
United States all his 'rights, claims ?ind pretensions to any 
territories east and north of the said line, and for himself, 
his heirs and successors renounces all claim to the said ter- 
ritory forever." 

"The petition states that at the date of the conclusion of 
the treaty aforesaid Mexico constituted a part of the Spanish 
monarchy, but that Mexico, subsequently, iii the year 
1824, became and was established as a separate and indepen- 
dent power and government, and the boundary line defined 
and designated in the treaty of 181,9, aforesaid, thereby be'- 
came in part the boundary line between the United States 
and Mexico, all the territory of the state of Texas being then 
a part of the Mexican territory. ' 

','The Attorney General's petition to the court then goes 
on to review the different movements of the United States 
and Texas commissioners to establish the line between the 
disputed territory, and which all resulted in a failure to 

"The Attorney General further states that the said 
state of Texas has, without any right or title thereto, claimed, 
taken possession of, and endeavored to extend its laws and 
jurisdiction over the said parcel or tract of land herein be- 
fore described, and does still claim, hold possession of, and 
exercise certain jurisdiction over the same, and has excluded 
the United States from possession of and jurisdiction over 
the same in violation of the treaty rights of your oratrix as 
aforesaid; all of which your oratrix charges is a manifest in- 
vasion of her sovereign rights and tends to the disturbance 
of that amity and peace which ought to exist between the 
authorities of the United States and the state of Texas. 



"The area of the disputed territory is one million, five 
hundred and eleven thousand, five hundred and seventy six 
and seventeen one hundreds acres of la'rid. 

"The petition futher states that the south fork of Red 
river as now named and delineated on the maps, is the Rio 
Roxo or Red river delineated on Melish*s maps, described in 
the treaty of February, 22, 1819, and as the boundary line of 
said treaty to the point where the 100th degree of west longi- 
tude crosses the same, 

"And your oratrix futher states that under and by virtue 
of the terms of the treaty of 1819, between the United States 
and Spain, she became entitled to possession of and jurisdic- 
tion over all that parcel or tract of land which lies between 
what has been herein designated as the Prairie Dog town 
fork or Main Red river, and the north fork or Red river, 
and is more accurately described as the extreme portion of 
the Indian territory lying west of the north fork of Red 
river, and east of the one hundreth meridian of west 
longitude from Greenwich; that she has never voluntarily 
abandoned or relinquished such claim to title and jurisdic- 
tion, but has continually asserted the same at all times since 
the ratification of said treaty of 1819 up to the present time, 
and does still assert the the same; that said tract of land was 
never subject to the jurisdiction or claim of Spain subsequent 
to the treaty of 1819 aforesaid, nor was it subject to any claim 
or jurisdiction on the part of Mexico after her indepertdence 
from Spain was secured and assei\ted." 

The following clause in the petitionof the Attorney-Gen- 
eral states that "in consideration whereof, and for as much 
as your oratrix can only have adequate relief in the premises 
in a court of equity; where nyitters of this nature are prop- 
erly cognizable, and in this court by original bill, to the 
end for the purpose of determining and settling the true 
boundary line between the United States and the state of 
Texas, and to deternijne and put at rest questions which 
now exist as to whether the Prairie Dog Town fork or the 
North fork of Red river, as aforesaid, constitutes the true 
boundary line of the treaty of 1819, aforesaid, and whether 
the tract or parcel of land lying and being between two said 
streams and called by the\iuthorities of the state of Texas 
Greer county, is within the boundary and jurisdiction of the 
United States or of the state of Texas." 

Dr. Gideon, Lincicum who lived in Columbus, Miss, several 
years prior to the exodus of the Choctaws, was present at 
the treaty held by General Jackson and General Hinds at a 
place known as Doak's Stand, in the Choctaw nation, in the 
fall of 1820. The object of the United States in holding this 



treaty was to exchange all that country where the five civil- 
ized tribes now reside south of the Canadian River for a strip 
of territory from the lower and western part of the then 
•Choctaw nation, known as the Huchchalusachitoh — pro* as 
asHuch-chah (River) loo-sah (black) che-toh (big.) i. e.' Big 
Black Rjver country. A'great many Choctaw's were in at- 
tendance, and after GeneralJackson had read the commis- 
sion and the President's letter to them, in a lengthy speech 
he explained the object a;^id purpose for which they had been 
-called together. He 'declared to them, that "to promote 
"their civilization by the establishing of schools among them, 
and to perpetuate them as a nation, was a constant solicitude 
Avith the president of the United Stattes." (But the sequel 
soon proved that ''solicitude" to be false.) 

"To enable 'the President to effect this great national 
-and very desirable object io accommodate the grovs^i^ng state 
of Mississippi and thereby secure grestter safety and protec- 
tion to the Choctaws and their seminaries of learning at 
home, it was proposed by him to exchange for a small part of 
their lands here, a large country beyond the Mississippi 
river, where all who live by hunting and -will not work, and 
who by the nature of their mode of life are widely scattered, 
may be collected and settled together in a country of tall 
trees, many water courses, rich lands and high grass, 
abounding in game of all kinds— buffalo, bear and deer, ante- 
lope, beave"V, turkeys, honey, and fruits of • many kinds, iii 
this great hunting ground they may be settled near together 
for protection and to be-able to pursue their peculiar vocation 
without.danger. , 

'Ailother great benefit to be derived from this arrange- 
ment would be the removal from among the people at home 
■who are already inclined to progress and civilization of the 
' bad example of those who, in their wild wandering propensi- 
ties do not care for improvement. The project recom- 
mends itself to the thinking portion of the industrious com- 
; munity, while it will provide ample means ior the protec- 
tion of the careless stragglers of the Nation. 

'The tract of territory which the President proposes to 
exchange for the, Big Black river country here, lies between 
the Arkansas and Red rivers. It is a large and extended 
country. Beginning where the lower boundary line of the 
Cherokees strikes the Arkansas river, thence up the Arkan- 
sas to the Canadian river fork; thence up the Canadian to its 
source, thence due south to Red river, thence down Red riv- 
«r to a point three miles below the mouth of Little river 
Tvhich enters into Red river from the north, thence on a di- 
rect line to place of beginning. 


'This extensive rich terPitory is offered in exchang-e by 
the President for the little strip of land in the lower part of the 
present Choctaw Nation. It is a much larger territory than 
the whole of your possessions this side of the Mississippi 
river, and is certainly a very liberal proposition. What say 
the chiefs and Choctaw people to this great offer? 

"After the pipe lighters had finished handing the pipes 
around and order was again restored, Apushamatahah arose, 
and, addressing himself to his own people first, told them 
the man who had just finished his big talk was the great 
warrior, General Jackson, of whom theyliad all so often heard. 
Many of them had, no doubt, seen him and, like himself, had 
served under him in many successful battles. His great 
character as a man and warrior, in addition to the commis- 
sion he bore from the President of the United States, de- 
manded from the Choctaw people respectful replies from his 
proppsitions, and for that purpose he moved that the council 
adjourn until the middle of the day, to-morrow, which mo- 
tion was carried and the council adjourned. ' 

"The chiefs and head men went into secret council that 
night, where they very deliberately discussed the merits of 
the propositions that had been made by the United States 
commissioners. They considered it a wise and benevolent 
proposition, and, notwithstanding that the land they offered 
to exchange the large tract of western territory for was 
worth more to them at this time than two such countries as 
the one they were offering, with the Choctaws, the thing 
stood very differently, particularly in relation to the fixing 
of a home for our wandering hunters in the midst of a game 
country. However, good as the proposition is, we must in 
this case adopt the white man's rules in the transaction and 
get all we can from them. General Jackson is a great man, 
but in his talk in making the proposition to exchange coun- 
tries he has been guilty of misrepresentations which he 
knows are such, and others which, perhaps, he is not ap- 
prised of their beiiVg false. Our plan is to meet him in the 
treaty with his own policy and let the hardiest reap the 
profits. If we can do no better we will take them at the offer 
already made." "This much and the appointment of Apush- 
amatahah to do the talking, next day was the result of the 
secret council. i 

"When at 12 o'clock the next day the council had assem- 
bled, the commissioners inquired of the chiefs if they had 
come to any conclusion on the subject of the propositions 
made to them yesterday in relation to the exchange of coun- 
tries? Apushamatahah arose and said that the chiefs and 
leaders of his people had appointed him to reply to the com- 

mSTORY OP , ,THE. iPSTDIANS.i > <v 123 

' A . I 

miasioners on the subjecti He remarked ithat' he fully ap- 
preciated the magnitude of .the propositionj and, his incom- 
petenpy todo it justice, especially while in contact with two 
such master minds as he would have to deal with. He fur- 
ther remarked that when any business wals intended to be 
fairly and honestly transacted it made no difference as to the 
capacity of the contracting parties. One party /might be a 
great man as General Jackson, the other a fool, but the re- 
sult would be the same. The wise man in stlch cases would 
protest the rights of the fool, holdiiig hini firm on safe gound^ 
From what he had already heard he had discovered that the 
great transaction now about to take place between friendly 
nations, was not to be conducted on those equitable' princi- 
ples, and that it would not be safe for him, fool as he was, to 
rely upon any such'^ expectations. He was to come to the 
contest with such powers as he possessed, do the best he 
ould , and his people must be satisfied and abide the results, 
nd consequences. 

' The object and benefits to be derived by the United. 
States were very great and desirable, or they would not 
have sent two of their greatest warrior generals to conduct 
the treaty in their behalf. He was friendly toward the: 
United States, aild particularly to their two distinguished 
agents, for he had served under them and side by side in the 
hour of peril and deadly strife, had aided them in the acqui-^ 
sition of Florida and a considerable portion of the Muscogee 
couiltry with his manhood, and as many of his coiintrymen 
as he could persuade to take part in the dangers of the en- 
terprise. Under all these considerations he intended to 
strike the bargain in the exchange of countries with them if 
he could. He thought it was one of ihoke kind of swaps, if 
it could be fairly made, that would acconimodat.e both par- 
ties. He should do his best, and he hoped to succeed in 
presenting the thing in such a form as to convince the. com- 
missioners that 'further misrepresentation would be entire- 
ly unnecessary. 'D He then sat down. 

"General Jackson arose and grawely remarked: 'Broth- 
er Push, you have uttered some hard words. You have ac- 
cused me of misrepresentation, and indirectly, of the desire 
to defraud the red people in behalf of my government. 
These are hfeavy charges, charges of a very serious charac- 
ter. You must explain yourself in a manner that will clear 
them up or I shall quit you.' "Apushamatahah then arose 
and made a long explanatory speech, but its length precludes 
its production here. , , ,' 

"The closing portion was, 'I shall take much pleasure 
in my explanation to render a plain and irrefutable itlter- 


pretation of what I have said, and which will present in a 
very clear light the misrepresentations in relation to the 
quality of the country west of the Mississippi and the size of 
the country on .this side of the great river. 

'In the first place, he speaks of the country you wish to 
obtain in the swap as a little slip of land at the lower part of 
the present Choctaw Nation, whereas jt is a very consider- 
able tract of country. He has designated the boundaries of 
it, and I am very familiar with the entire tract of land it will 
•cut off from us. 

"In the second place, he represents the country he wishes 
to exchange for the 'little slip' as being a very extensive 
country 'of tall trees, many water courses, rich lands and 
high grass, abounding in game of all kinds, buffalo, bear, 
«lk, deer, antelope, beavers, turkey, h^ney and fruits of 
many kinds.' I am also well acquainted with that country. 
I have hunted there often, have chased the Comanche and 
Wichita over those endless plains, and they too have some- 
times chased mie there. I know the country well. It is in- 
deed a very extensive land, but a vast amount of it is poor 
and sterile, trackless and sandy deserts, nude of vegetation 
of any kind. As to tall trees, there is no timber anywhere, 
^except on the bottom lands, and it is low and brushy even 
Ihere. The grass is everywhere short; as for the game, it 
is not plenty, except buffalo and deer. The buffalo, in the 
western portion of the tract described, and on the great 
plains into which it reaches, are very numerous and easily 
iaken. Antelopes,^ too, are there, and deer almost every- 
-where, except in tne dry grassless, sandy desert. There 
are but few elk, and the bear are plenty only on the Red riv- 
er bottom lands. Turkey are plentiful on all the water 
courses. There are, however, but few beaver, and fruit and 
honey are a rare thing. The bottoms on the river are gen- 
erally good soil, but liable"^to inundq.tion during the spring 
season, and in summer the rivers and creeks dry up or be- 
come so salty that the water is unfit for use.. It isnotat these 
times always salty, but often bitter and will purge a man 
like medicine. 

•This account differs widely from the description given 
by my friend yesterday, and constitutes what, in my reply 
to him, I styled a misrepresentation. He has proven to me 
by that misrepresentation and one great error that he is en- 
tirely ignorant of the geography of the country he is offering' 
to swap, and therefore I shall acquit him of an intentional 
fraud. The testimony that he bears against himself, in re- 
gard to his deficiency of a knowledge of that far-off country 
manifests itself in the fact that hb has^offered to swap to me 


an undefined portion of Mexican territory. He offei-s to run 
the line up the Canadian river to its source, and thence due 
south to the Red river. Now, I know that, a line running- ■ 
due sou1;h from the source of the Canadian would never touch 
any portion of Red river, but would go into the Mexican pos- 
sessions beyond the limits even of my geog^raphical knowl- 
edg'e.' ' 

"General Jackson interrupting him, said: 'See here^ 
Brother Push, you must be mistaken. Look at this map. 
It will prove to you at once that you are laboring under a 
g^reat geographical error yourselfj' and he spread out the 
map. ' , I 

"Apushamataha examined it very minutely, . while 
General Jackson traced out and read the names of the'rivers 
for him. Apushamatahah said: 'The paper, is not true.' 
"He then proceeded to mark -out on the ground with the 
handle of the pipe hatchet, which he held in hi.^ hand while 
speaking, the Canadian and the upper branches of ^Red 
river, and said, holding- the end of the hatchet handle on the 
g-round, 'there is the north,' then rapidly tracing- a deep line 
on the ground, 'here is the soihth, and, you see, the line be- 
tween the two points do not toucK any portion of Red river, 
and I declare to you that it is the natural position of the 
country and its water courses.' , 

"You must be mistaken, said General Jackson; at 
any rate, I am willing to make good the proposition I have 
named.' / 

"Very well,' replied ApushaniataTia, 'and you must 
not be surprised nor think hard of me if I call your attention 
to another subject within the limits of the country you 
designate west of the Mississippi, which you do not seem to 
be apprised of. The lower portion of the land you propose 
to swap to us is a pretty good country. It is true that as high 
up the Arkansas river as Fort Smith the lands are good and 
timber and water plenty, but there is an objectionable diffi- 
culty in the way. ll was never known before, in any treaty 
made by the United States with the Red people, that their / 
commissioners were permitted to offer to swap off or sell 
any portion 'of their citizens . What I ask to know in the 
stipulations of the present treaty is, whether the American 
settlers you propose to turn over to us in this exchange of 
countries are, when we'get them in possession, to be con- 
sidered Indians or white people?' 

"General .Jackson replied and told the speaking chief 
that, 'As for the white people on the land, it was a mere 
matter of moon-shine. There were perhaps a few hunter^ 



scattered over the country, arid I will have them ordered 

I "'I beg your pardon,' said Apushamataha, 'there are a 
great many of them, many of them substantial, well-to-do 
settlers, with good houses and productive farms, and they 
will not be ordered off.' 

" 'But,' said GeneralJacksoh, 'I will send my warriors, 
and by the eternal, I'll drive them intb the Mississippi or 
make them leave.' ^ 

'"Very well,' replied the chief, 'and now the matter is 
settled as far as the land west of the Mississippi river is 
concerned. We will now consider the boundary and coun- 
try the Choctaws are to give to you for it, and if we can 
agree upon that the trade will be completed. You have de- 
fined its boundaries and they include a very valuable tract of 
country of considerable extent, capable of producing corn, 
cotton, wheat and all the ciiops the white man cultivates. 
NoaV, if we do agree on terms and run this line, it must, as a 
part of this contract, be very clearly understood, and put on 
paper in a form that will not die or wear out, that no altera- 
tion shall be made in the boundaries of that portion of our 
territory that will remain, until the Choctaw people are suf- 
ficiently progressed in the arts of civilization to become citi- 
zens of the States, owning land and homes of their own, on 
an equal footing with the white people. Then it may be 
surveyed and the surplus sold for the benefit of the Choctaw 

"'That,' said General Jackson, 'is a magnificent ar- 
rangement and we consent to it readily.' 

'An adjournment of the council was then made until 10 
o'clock next day to allow the chiefs and warriors time to dis- 
cuss the treaty, and the secretary of the commissioners for 
preparing his big paper, t^e treaty, ready for the seal. 
^ "Next day at the appointed; time the council met and 
General Hinds, one ^of the commissioners of the United 
States, made a long talk to the chiefs and warriofs. 

"Apushamatahah was the speaking chief, and demanded 
the following additional remuneration: 

1st.— 'That the United States furnish each of those who 
chose to go to the new country a good rifle, bullet mould, 
camp-kettle, one blanket and powder and lead to last one year. 
Also corn for one year. 

2nd.— "Out of the land about to be swapped, fifty-four 
sections of a mile square shall be surveyed and sold to the 
best bidder by the United States for the purpose of raising 
a fund to support Choctaw schools, all to be placed in the 


hands of the Presideht of the United States to be dealt oilt 
by him for school purposes only in the Choctaw Nation. 

3rd.— "The United States to pay for militai'y services of 
all the Choctaw warriors during the campaign to Pensacola. 

4th.— 'Payment to all having good houses and residing 
on the ceded territory.' 

"All the propositions were agreed to by the United 
States commissioners. The commissioners first signed the 
treaty, them Mushulatube, Apukshinubi and Apushimataha, 
the head chiefs of the upper, middle and lower districts of 
the Choctaw Nation. Then 100 leaders and warriors signed 
with their names or x^^mark. All were pleased and satisfied. 

"Apushimataha was then-requested to speak. His effort, 
now on record, would equal Daniel Webster in any of his fani-/^ 
ous orations. -^ 

"He concluded las follows'': 'I most solemnly declare 
that on my part the sacred words 'perpetual friendship,' 
included in thfe last article of the treaty, shall never be vio- 
lated or suffer the slightest infringem'ent. We have made 
many treaties with the United States, all conducted in peace 
and amacably carried out. but this last one, the greatest of 
all, has been peculiar in its stipulations, giving another arid a 
stronger proof of the fostering care and proctecting inten- 
titons of the United States toward their Choctaw friends. 
In all our treaties we Have been encouraged by them to in- 
situte schools, urging us to prepare ourselves as fast as 
possible to become citizens and mepibers of that great 
Nation. In the treaty which has been concluded to-day the 
subject of schools has been more particularly urged, and 
appropriations more extensively provided than any 
other former treaty. The applauding murmurs on that 
subject have passed thl-ough the camps of the R^d people. It 
meets their approbation. They will most certainly succeed. 
It is a peculiar trait in the Choctaw character, that all the 
national movements turn out to be successes. I am pleased 
to hear so many spealcing favorably of school institutions. 
It tells me that they will have them. It is a national senti- 
ment, and I here venture the prediction, for I am considered 
a sort of a prophet any way, that the time will come, and 
there are many children and some grown men here to-day, 
who will live to see it, when the highly improved Choctaw , 
shall hold office in the councils of that great Nation of white 
people, and in their wars with the Nations of the earth, 
mixed up in the armies of the white man, the fierce war 
whoops of the Choctaw warrior shall strike terror and melt 
the hearts of an invading foe. Mind that; Apushimataha has 
this day declared it and his words of prophecy are not ut- 


tered foolishly. To the chiefs, leaders and warriors of my 
countrymen I may say: Return to your homes and forget 
not the words of this great treaty to which so many of you 
subscribed your names with your White brothers to the same 
big paper, this bright day. Nuktaniabilia, perpetual friend- 
ship, is placed on that paper. You have all agreed to stand 
to it and manifested your consent by having your names 
placed on the big papejr, where they will remain long after 
you have all paseed away to the good hunting ground.' 

Nuktaniabilia are corruptions of the whites and are not 
the Choctaw words fol- "perpetual friendship," The 

Original: Biliahittibaiachuffah. Pro. Be-le-ah (for 
ever) it-tib-ai-ar-chuf-fah (to be one mind) i. e. Perpetual 

How easily could the sentiments and desires expressed 
by the Choctaw people through their noble chief, have been 
realized but for that base venality which demanded their 
country alone and their banishment to the then most inhos- 
pitable region then known upon the western continent, in 
open violation of a thousand as sacred pledges as it is possi- 
ble for man to make to man. Surely we are not a govern- 
ment of law but of brute force impelled alone by that venality 
that knows no principle of virtue whateAfer. ^ 

See the low duplicity and misrepresentation adopted by 
Jackson tu mislead Apushamataha, in regard to the coun- 
try west of the Mississippi River that he was endeavoring to 
exchange with the Choctaws for a portion of their west; and 
to-day, after three quarters of a century has past, it stands 
as a living testimony'of the honesty and truthfulness of the 
noble Choctaw chief. Xjnd when he pointed to the white set- 
tlers occupying a part of the offered land — mark the threat 
of Jackson, "I will send my warriors, and, by the eternal, I'll 
drive them into the Mississippi or make them leave;" which, 
whatever name Truth and Justice deem it merits, was never 
executed; and after remaining five years, the quiet of the 
Choctaws was again disturbed on October 20th, 1825, by the 
voice of the white man howling in iSinai thunder tones: 
"More land!" "More land!" Again were they summoned 
from their peaceful homes by the arbitrary voice of their 
"Great Father at Washington"— great in the unsurpassed 
ability of defrauding helpless Indians)-t(j cede to the United 
States that portion of their land still occupied by the afore- 
said settlers that the "truthful" Jackson had sworn "by the 
eternal" to put into the "Mississippi river or make them 
leave." The- United States got the land, as no doubt, it was 
a pre-arranged plan to keep the whites upon it until the proper 
time arrived, then take it; theioforc, Jackson's "into the 


MissiHwippi" was but a toot of his own horn, understood 
alone by himself, though deceiving the too confiding Apusha- 
mataha. And in ten years after A-push-a-ma-ta-ha had 
made the treaty of 1820 (the last he eyer made) the United 
States Government had defrauded (the word might be used 
as can be proven) the Choctaws out of every acre of their 
country east'of the Mississippi. TheoldherchaSdiedin Wash- 
ington Citysixyearsbefore,andwithhim also died: I'Thetime 
will come when the highly improved Choctaw shall hold office 
in the councils of that great Nation of white people, and in their" 
wars with the Nations of the earth, nrixed up in the armies 
of the white man, the fierce war whoop of the Choctaw war- 
rior shall strike terror ind melt the hearts of an invading 
foe," and buried so deep down under the dirt and rubbish of 
the white man's avarice, that left no hope of a resurrection 
morn. ' _ 

When stretched in his tent upon his bed 0f death he said 
to Jackson standing near: 

"Original, "lUi siah makinli su paknaka ta; pro; Il-lih se- 
ah mar-kin-lih soo park-da-kah,ta; signifying, dead I am as 
soon as me above. '^ • 

"Original, napoh chitoh tokahlechih; pro. narn-poh che- 
toh to-kah-le-chih ; sig. guns big shoot off." Which was done 
according to his request. 

Verily "Let Hamlet" also "be his eulogist:" .• ^ 

'How noble in reason! How infinite in facultiesl. 
'In form and moving how express and admirable:' 
"Let Mark Antony" also "write his epitaph:" 

'His life was gentle ; and the elements 
So mixed in him, that nature might stand up 
And say to all the world: This was a man'." 
His Motto, 
Onward career of duty; 

His Canopy, ; 

A conscious rectitude of purpose^ 
His lamp, truth; , 
, His Motto, 
Nil, nil, desperandum. Never, never, despairf 


Ever since the dispute between Texas, and .the United 
States commenced concerning the title to Greer county, the 
Choctaw Nation 'had two of its ablest men in Washington 
over-hauling the old treaties and watching the movements of 
both disputants. The United States by the Doak's Stand 



treaty in the autumn of 1820 ceded all its territory to the 
Choctaws south of the Canadian river to Red river along^ the 
western line of the Indian Territory. The Cherokees had 
been ceded all north of the Canadian. Texas claimed that 
the Red river mentioned in the treaty of 1819 between the 
United States and the King of Spain rs-the north fork of Red 
river. The United States claimed that the south fork of 
Red river is the true Red river. This is where the dispute 
arose . \ 

"Should a future survey be made to determine the ques- 
tions of boundary lines, and the south fork of Red river be 
declared the true line, the Choctaw Indians would certainly 
be the legal owners. 

"The map used by General Jackson in the treaty at 
Doak's Stand was doubtless Melish's of 1818. That map is 
doubtless on file in the Department of the Interior in Wash- 
ington settle the controversy. General Jackson promised 
to make good the lines shown up the map when the speaking 
chief at the treaty questioned its accuracy. 

"The survey, as to how far west the 10th meridian runs 
has never been made and forty years have passed without 
the boundary line being known. Tliis is why the Choctaws 
have never presented their claims to Greer County. 

The United States conveyed to the Choctaws, on the 
28th of October, 1820, all of their lands west of Arkansas 
between the Canadian and Red rivers, that was within the 
limits of the ynited States at that time ; and on the 19th of 
February, 1821, the United States conveyed a strip off of the 
west end of the same lands conveyed to the Choctaws by the 
King of Spain, in an exchange for the then Province of Flori- 
da. Hence this claim of the Choctaw Nation on what is now 
known as Greer County. In 1855, the Choctaw Nation ceded 
to the United States all their lands, then in their possession 
lying west of the 100", for-the consideration of $800,000. Now 
the Choctaws claim, and justly too, it seems, that they did 
not make a cession, in 1855, of that portion of the land which 
the United States sold to the King of Spain, without their 
consent and for which they have never received a dollar, as 
it was not in their possession to make a conveyance — it then 
being in the possession of Spain and thus beyond their juris- 

Thus the 'United States deal with her Indian Wards, 
whom she had beguiled into her power. 

Made and concluded January 20th, 1825, between John C. 


Calhoun, Secretary of War, being specially authorized 
therefor by the President of the United States, and the 
undersigned chiefs and head men of the Choctaw Nation 
of Indians, duly authorized and empowered by said 
Nation, at the City of Washington, on the 20th day of 
January, 1825, 

Whereas, a treaty of friendship, and limits, and accom- 
modation, having- been entered into at Doak's Stand, on the 
18th of October, 1820, between Andrew Jackson and Thomas 
Hinds, commissioners on the part of the United .States, and 
the chiefs and warriors of the Choctaw Natipn ; and, 

Whereas, the second article of the treaty aforesaid pro- 
vides for a cession of lands, west of the Mississippi, to the 
Choctaw Nation, in part satisfaction for lands ceded by said 
Nation to the United States, according to the first article of 
said treaty; and 

Whereas, it being, ascertained that the cession aforesaid 
embraces a large number of settlers, citizens of the United 
States ; and it being the desire of thfe President of the United 
■States to obviate all difficulties resulting therefrom, and 
also, to adjust other matters in wl]|ich both the United States 
and the Choctaw Nation are interested. The ifoUowing 
articles have been agreed upon, and concluded, between 
John C Calhoun, Secretary of War, especially authorized 
therefor by the President of the United States, on the one 
part, and the undersigned delegates of the Choctaw Nation, 
on the other part : / 

Article 1st. — The Choctaw Nation does hereby cede to 
the United States all that portion of, land ceded to them by 
the Second Article of the treaty of Doak's Stand, as afore- 
said, lying east of a line beginning on the Arkansas, pne 
hundred paces east of Fort Smith, and running thence, due 
south to Red river ; it being understood that the line shall 
constitute, and remain, the permanent boundary between 
the United States and the Choctaws; and,the United States 
agreeing to remove such citizens as ma^ be settled on the 
west side, to the east side oJf,said line, and prevent further 
settlements from being made on the west thereof. 

Article 2nd. — ^In consideration of the cession aforesaid, 
the United States do hereby agree to pay the said Choctaw 
Nation the sum of six thousand dollars annually, forever; 
it being agreed that the said sum of six thousand dollars 
shall be applied, for the term of twenty years, under the 
direction of the President of the United States, to. the sup- 
port of schools in said Nation, and extending to it the bene- 
fits of instruction in the mechanic and ordinary arts of life; 


when, at the expiration of twenty years, it is agreed that the 
said annuity may be vested in stocks, or otherwise disposed 
of, or continued, at the option of the Choctaw Nation. 

Article 3rd. — The eighth article of the treaty aforesaid 
having- provided that an appropriatio5 of lands should be 
made for the purpose of raising six thousand dollars a year 
for sixteen years, for the use of the Choctaw Nation; and it 
being desirable to avoid the delay and expense attending the 
survey and sale of said lands, the United States do hereby 
agree to pay to the Choctaw Nation, in lieu thereof, the sum 
of six thousand dollars, annually, for sixteen years, to com- 
mence with the present year. And the United States fur- 
ther stipulate and agree to take immediate measures to sur- 
vey and bring into market, and sell, the fifty-four sections of 
land set apart by the Seventh Article of the treaty aforesaid, 
and apply the proceeds in the manner provided by the said 

Article 4th. — It is provided by the Ijfinth Section of the 
treaty aforespd, that all those of the Choctaw Nation who 
have separate settlements, and 'fall within the limits of the 
land ceded by the said Nation to the United States, and de- 
sire to remain where they now reside, shall be secured in a 
tract pr parcel of land, one mile square, to include their im- 
provements. It is, therefore, hereby agreed, that all who 
have reservations, in conformity to said stipulation, shall have 
power, with the consent lO^ the President of the United 
States, to sell and convey the same in fee simple. It is fur- 
ther agreed, on the pai't of the United States, that those 
Choctaw^, not exceeding four in number, who applied for 
reservations, and received the i-ecommendation of the com- 
missioners, as per annexed copy of said recommendation 
shall have the privilege, and the right is hereby given to 
them, to select, each of them, a portion of land, not exceed- 
ing a mile square, anywhere within the limits of the cession 
of 1820, where the land is not occupied or disposed of by the 
United States; and the right to sell and convey the same, 
with the consent of the President, in fee simple, is hereby 

Article Sth.— There being a debt due by individuals of 
the Choctaw Nation to the late United States trading house 
on the Tombigbee, the United States hereby agree to relin- 
quish the same; the delegation, on the part of their Nation, 
agreeing to relinquish their claim upon the United States, to 
send a factor with goods to supply the wants of the Choctawa 
west of the Mississippi, as provided for by the Sixth Article 
of thetreaty aforesaid. 

Article 6th.— The Choctaw Nation having a claim upon 


the United States for services rendered in the Pensacola 
campaign, and for which it is stipulated in the Eleventh Ar-* 
tide of the treaty aforesaid, that payment shall be made,. but 
"which has been delayed for the want of proper vouchers, 
which it has been found, as yet, impossible to obtain; th6 
United States, to obviate the inconvenience of further delay, 
aiid to render justice to thie Choctaw warriors for their serv- 
ices in that campaign, do hereby agree upon an equitable 
■settlement of the same and the sum of fourteen thousand 
nine hundred and seventy-two dollars and fifty cents; 
which, from the muster rolls, and other evidence in i the pos- 
session of the third auditor, appears to be about the probable 
amount due, for the services aforesaid, and which sum shall 
be immediately paid to the delegation, to be distributed by 
them to the chiefs and warriors of their Nation, who served 
in the campaign aforesaid, as may appear th them to be 
just. . ' 

Article 7th. — It is further agreed, that the Fourth Ar- 
ticle of the treaty aforesaid, shall be so modified, as that the 
Congress of the United States shall not exercise the power 
•of apportioning the lands, for the benefit of each family, or 
individual, of the Choctaw Nation, and of bringing them un- 
der the laws of the United States, but with the consent of 
the Choctaw Nation. 

Article 8th. — Itappearing that theChoctaws have various 
claims against the citizens of the United States, for spolia- 
tions of various kinds, but which they havej not been able to 
support by testimony of white men, as they were led to be- 
lieve was necessary, the United States, in order to a final 
settlement of all such claims, do hereby agree to pay to the 
Choctaw delegation, the sum of two thousand dollars, to be 
distributed by them in siich way, among the claimants, as 
they may deem equitable. ' It being understood that this 
provision is not to affect sUch claims as may be properly 
authenticated, according to the provisions of the act of 1802. 

Article 9th. — It is further agreed that, immediately upon 
the notification of this treaty, or as so6n thereafter as may 
be practicable, an agent shall be appointed for the Choctaws 
west of the Mississippi, and a blacksmith be settled among 
themin conformity with the stipulation contained in the 
Sixtb Article of the'treaty of 1820. 

Article 10th. The chief Puckshenubbee, (original, Apuk- 
shiubih) one of the members of the delegation, having died 
on bis journey to see the Pres. and Robert Cole recommended 
b/l;he delegation as his successor, it is here agreed, that 
the said Robert Cole shall receive the medal which apper- 
-.tains to the ofiice of chief, and, also, an annuity from the 


United States of one hundred and fifty dollars a year, dur- 
ing his natural life, as was received by his predecessor. 

Article Ixth.— The friendship heretofore existing- be- 
tween the United States and the Choctaw Nation, is hereby 
renewed and perpetuated. 

Article 12th.— These articles shall take effect, and be- 
come obligbory on the contracting parties so soon as the 
same shall be ratified by the President, by and with the ad- 
vice and consent of the Senate of the Unite States. 

In testiseny whereof, the said John C. Calhoun, and the 
said deleg-ates of the Choctaw Nation, havo hereunto, set 
their hands, at the city of Washington, the 20th day of June, 
1825. John C. Calhoun. 

Corrupted: Mooshulatubbee, his x mark. Original: 

Robert Cole, his x mark. 
Daniicl McCurtain, his x mark. 
Tushka Anumpuli Shali his x mark. 
Pro. Tush-kah (warrior) Shah-lih (messenger, > 
Red Fort, his x mark. 
Corrupted: Nittuckachie, his x mark. Original: Ni- 
tak (a, as ah) a chih — To suggest the day. 
David Folsom. 

J. C. McDonald, Talkative warrior. 
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 
Wesleys 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 beau- 
tiful 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 afiSrms, there were several missionaries 
(Roman Catholic) among the Choctaws in 1735; and that tha 
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 rec- 
ord of the White Race pver 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 
w;is named Brainiird, was estiiblislied ;nnong the ClierokeL's 

^ HISTORY pir THE INDIAStS. , ' l35 

by Rev. Cyrus Kingsbiu-y, under the jiirisdiction of the Old, 
School Presbyterian Board of Foreig-n Missions, in Boston, 
Massachusetts, who arrived in that Nation, in company with 
his assistant laborers, Mr. and Mrs.' Williams, January isth. 
1815. J ^ 

In 1818, Mr. Kingsbury, in company with Mr. and Mrs. 
Williams, left Brainard in the charge of Rev. Daniel S. But- 
trick (who arrived there January 4th, 1818, and remained as 
a missionary among the Chefokees until 1847, when hi 
health failing, he went to Dwight Mission also in the Chero^ 
kee Nation, where he died June 8th, 1851) andarrived in the' 
Choctaw Nation near the last o^ June, 1818, and established 
a mission in a vast forest of lofty trees, three miles south of 
Yello Busha, a river (corruption from the Choctaw word s 
Yciloba aiasha; Tadpole^ abounding) and about thirty miles 
above its junction with the Yazoo, (corruption of the Choc- 
taw word Yoshuba — pro. as Yoh-shu-bah, and sig. Lost), 
and 400 miles distant from Bainard, which We named Elliot, 
in honor of the Rev. John Elliot, that distinguished mission- 
ary among the Indians of the New England States. 

They went from Brainard to the Tennessee river, seven 
miles distant, by private conveyance, and there went by way 
of a boat, which had beenengaged to carry them to t he 
Muscle Shoals. A wagon was also placed upon the boat, by 
which they went from Muscle Shoals to the Chickasaw 
agency, two hundred miles away, ' where they abandoned the 
wagon, andcrossed the country on horseback, directed alone 
by little paths that led through thickets and canebrakes, and 
safely arrived at the Yalobaaiasha settlement, where they 
were hospitably received by Capt. Perry, (a half breed) and 
many native families. On the following Sabbath Mr. Kings- 
bury held a religious- meeting and proclaimed salvation 
through the Son of God, for the first time ever proclaimed in 
the Choctaw Nation by the Protestant minister. Capt. Perry 
also supplied them with a house until they were able to build 
for themselves. 

In June, 1818, Moses Jewell and wife, John Kanouse and 
wife, an,d Peter Kanouse left New York for New Orleans, 
and reached the Choctaw Nation, in the following August. 
The ' first tree for. the establishment of the Mission was 
felled on August the ISth, 1818. •— 

The Choctaws seemed to comprehend the benevolent 
designs of the missionaries and received them with every 
manifestation of friendship and good will; though some mis- 
apprehension was indicated owing to the debased lives of the 
white men (without a single white woman), with whom the 


Choctawa had long associated, as true representatives of the 
White Race in toto. 

Soon after came A. V. Williams (brother of L. S. Wil- 
liams, who came with Cyrus King-sbury) and Miss Varnum 
and Miss Chase, whom Mr. King-sbury met in New Orleans, 
and there n^arried Miss Varnum, with whom he had been, 
under matrimonial engagement before he entered the mis- 
sion. They ail returned to Elliot in February, 1819; thefi a 
mission church was orgainized on the last Sabbath of the fol- 
lowing March, and the Lord's supper administered — the 
first ever witnessed in the Choctaw Nation. Ten persons 
composed the number of that church (all connected with the 
mission), and the ten partook of that supper — a strange and 
incomprehensible scene to the Choctaws, who gazed at the 
novel sight with unassumed wonder. 

Within ten months from the time Mr. Kingbury and 
Mr. Williams and Mrs. Williams arrived at the Ya-lo-ba-ai- 
a-sha settlement, seven log houses had been erectecf. and 
completed, the largest 20x22, and the smallest, 12x16; and 
also, had nearly completed a mill, stable and store-house, 
and had nearly prepared timber enough for a school house, 
kitchen, and dining-room, and had sawed by hand 9,000 feet 
of cypress and poplar plank with which to make furniture,, 
floors, doors, &c., the principal labor of all which was dond 
by employed Choctaws directed by the missionaries — so 
eager were they to assist their white friends who had come 
to live among them and bless them by their benevolent teach- 
ings; and before the school house -v^as completed, eight 
children, through a false rufnor that the school was opened, 
were brought over 1^0 miles to be entered. And thus the, 
mission, without a school house, and also pressed by a great 
scarcity of provisions, was greatly perplexed; since,' if the 
children were rejected, an unfavorable impression wpuld be 
the inevitable result, and if they were received, those in the 
neighborhood would claim their equal rights to the same fa- 
vor. However, it was resolved, upon due reflection, to 
receive them as the less of the two evils, and a little cabin 
was appropriated for a school house, arid the school opened 
on the 19th of April, 1819, with ten pupils 

On the firstof August, 1819, the mission was strengthened 
by the arrival of Dr Pride and Isaac Fish, who was a farmer 
and blacksmith. Shortly after, the Choctaws convened in 
national council, and which, Mr. Kingsbury, through earnest 
solicitation of the Choctaws, attended. The subject of 
schools was discussed during the session of the council, in 
which Mr. Kingsbury took part, and among the other things 
suggested, also proposed that all whodpsired to have a schoo 


established among them should signify that desire by sub- 
scribing money, or live stock, as they preferred. At once a 
■subscription was opened in the council, and a considerable 
amount of mony was subscribed; Apakfohlichlhubi (sig. One 
who encircles to kill), the ruling chief, giving $200 of ,the 
rsame, while others gave 90 cows and calves, with the promise 
of as many more yearly, which was faithfully fulfilled; and 
thus the mission-Tvas, at once, amply stocked with cattle. A 
farm was soon opened and every effort made to prepare for 
the reception and accommodation of as many pupils as might 
seek to enter the school. 

The Chickasaws, learning of the school, made appli- 
cation for their children to attend the sphool, also, to which 
ihe Choctaw chiefs, though knowing that the children of the 
applicants of their own nation could not all be accommodated, 
finally give their consent, fearing if they refiised they would 
wound the feelings of their Chickasaw friends, but with the 
following proviso: That all Chickasaw children whose father 
or mother were Chickasaws, would be received into the 
■school, and no others. Such was the zeal manifested for 
schools and churche^among the Choctaws, from the opening 
of the first to the closing of the last, when despoiled of their 
ancient homes and driven to seek others in the distant west. 

Soon after the opening of the school a deep gloom threw its 
dark mantle over the mission in the sudden and unexpected 
killing of aged Chickasaw woman, named lUichih (pro. as II- 
lich-ih, and sig. to cause to die,)and who lived about two liiiles 
from Elliot with a son (20 years of age) two daughters |and 
'two little grand-daughters, and (had endeared herself to 
the missionaries by her many acts 'of kindness and much val- 
■uable assistance. The tragic affair happened thus: 

A Choctaw girl, who lived about thirty miles distant, 
came, a short time before Mr. Kingsbury arrived, to visit 
some friends living near where Elliot was located. The gir'l 
was taken sick, and an old Choctaw woman — a conjuring 
doctress — proposed to cure her. ^ She was at once employed 
in the case. After giving her patient a variety of root and 
lierb decoctions, intei-nally 'and also externally applied for 
several days, at the same time chanting her incantations and 
going through her wild ceremonies over and around her pa- 
tient, she pronounced the girl convalescent and would re- 
cover; the father was duly informed of the happy change, 
and came to take his daughter home; he remunerated the 
apparently successful physician by giving: her a pony, and 
retired for the night intending to start for home with his 
■daughter the next day; but during the night, the daughter 
suddenly became worse and expired in 24 hours. It was at 


once decided that her sudden demise was the result of a 
isht-ul-bih (wftch ball) shot from an invisible rifle in the 
hands of a witch. Without delay her physician was con- 
sulted, who pronounced lUichih to be the witch who had shot 
the fatal bullet. Immediately the father with several other 
men, all armed, went to the home of Illichih and entered her 
cabin. She displayed her hospitality, so universal among all 
Indians, by setting before them the best she had ; and after 
they had partaken of her scanty refreshments, the father 
suddenly spr&ng to his feet and, seizing her by the hair, 
cried out "Huch-ish-no fiopa uno chumpa; aholh-kun-na 
chish-o yokUt, cha ish ai illib, (your life I bought; a witch you 
are, and must die.") To which Illichih, realizing her inevit- 
able doom, calmly replied: "Ohomi holubih, cha ish moma 
yimmih" (others lie, and you all believe.") In a moment she 
was stretched upon the floor a bleeding corpse. 

When her son, who was absent from home at the time of 
the tragedy, returned, his feelings may be imagined but not 
described. He at once hastened to the missionaries, for 
whom he had often worked, and told them his tale of woe. 
Mr. Kingsbury immediately wentto the.lfragic scene of death. 
He found the mangled corpse of his old friend lying upon 
the floor, partially covered with a blanket, with the two 
daughters and grand-daughters sitting around it in the 
deepest grief, and their wailings but feebly expressed the 
anguish of their hearts. Mr. Kingsbury had a coffin made, 
and the missionaries, with the five children, laid poor Illichih 
in he r humble grave, there to await the resurrection morn.. 
The missionaries performed religious ceremonies at the 
grave' and after they had placed the coffin in its last resting 
place, the relatives and friends of the deceased placed all her 
cloth fng and the little money she possessed, and her bedding, 
upon the coffin and filled up the grave — an ancient custom of 
the Choctaws, as well as of all North American Indians, wha 
believed their deceased friends will have need of those things 
in the the world beyond the grave. 

Does the reader exclaim in indignant horror at the slay- 
ing of Illichih, "What inhuman wretches!" But be not too 
hasty in your judgment and condemnation of the acts of the 
.then unenlightened Choctaws; but remember our professed 

civilized and Christian ancestors — the "Pilgrim Fathers" 

stand to-day guilty of the same charge, but sixty fold more 
culpable (professing what they did) than the Choctaws; for, 
as soon as the Choctaws had been insti'ucted in the impro- 
priety and sinfulness of killingf any one for witchcraft, no 
life was ever afterwards sacrificed to avenge the death of a 
bewitched relative or friend. 


On the following- Sabbath after the tragic death of Il-lich- 
ih, Mr. Kingsbury preached from the appropi-iate text, 
"The dark places of the earth are full of the habitation of ' 
cruelty." He spoke fearlessly but calmly to his Choctaw' 
audience of the errors and wickedness of their superstitions, 
and the abhorrence of the Great Spirit in the slaying of their 
own people through the belief that they are witches, who' 
listened in profound silence and with the ' deepest 
attention; and though a few old women in the Yalobaaiasha. 
district fell as sacrifices before the superstition of witch- 
craft, after the establishment of the Elliot mission, yet by 
the influence and exertions of the missionaries the horrible 
practice was soon forever stopped. Though they believed 
that there were white witches also, yet they never attempted 
to kill a white witch, upon the grohnds that the whites eat sa 
much salt, that a witch ball fell harmless when shot against 
an Indian by a white witch. 

But the kindness and interest displayed by the mission- 
aries to and for Il-lich-ih quickly spread over the country,, 
and so won the respect and confidence of the Choctaws that 
all who were in affliction sent for one or more of them; and 
also manifested great interest in their teachings and anxiety 
for the success of all improvements both in churches and 
schools, as suggested by those men and women of God. 

But alas, it is a melancholy and lamentable truth that the 
most that the North American Indians (everywhere over this 
continent) have learned from the whites, the missionaries 
alone excepted, has been, and still continues to be, that of 
their follies and vices. One of the "f ollie^ so incomprehensi- 
ble to the ancient Choctaws was, and still is, that one day, near 
the close of eaeh year, should be devoted by the "pale-faces" 
to eating and drinking, dancing and frolicking, ca,rousing- 
and fighting, called Christmas; — incomprehensible, since so- 
inconsistent with what the missionaries taught them what 
the Bible reasons for rejoicing were, and in what way they 
should be expressed to please God, as J;he advent of his Son 
to earth to redeem man and bring him back from the paths 
o^ slI 1 and folly to those of virtie and righteousness. 

In 1820, Mr. Kinp-sbury started from -Elliot for the pur- 
pose of establishing a mission near the It-oom bih river, and 
arrived at the home of David Folsom, sixty miles distant, 
and then known by the name of "Puch-i A-nu-si," (pro. as 
Push-ih (Pigeon) Ar-noos-ih (Sleep) or Pigeon Roost) from 
the vast numbers of that be^autiful bird that formerly roosted 
there. There Mr. Kingsbury secured the voluntary assist- 
ance of Colonel Folsom to assist him in the selection of a 
proper situation for the contemplated mission; after the sec- 


•ond day's travel they reached Major John Pitchlynn's — a 
white man who, by marrying a Choctaw woman, had been 
adopted by the Choctaws according to their custom, and 
who, at that time, was acting as interpreter for the United 
States Government, and, in conjunction with Colonel Folsom 
and others, was a zealous advocate of the civil and religious 
improvement of his people; while both expressed the utmost 
gratitude to Mr. Kingsbury for his interest manifested 
toward their people, and the bright prospect of the Choc- 
taws' future as presented by the missionaries in schools and 
their preaching among and in behalf of their long neglected 

Alas, how great' the contrast between John Pitchlynn, 
Nathaniel Folsom, Henry Nail, Lewis LeFlore, John Col- 
bert, and others, who over a century ago, voluntarily united 
themselves to the fortunes of the Choctaws in toto, 
standing firmly and fearlessly to the interest of that ap- 
preciative people through their hopes and fears, joys and 

After many days riding over .the country, Mr. Kings- 
bury, Col. Folsom, and Major Pitchlynn selected a place for 
-the mission station on a high point overlooking a grand prai- 
rie towards the south and west, and on the south 
banks of a stream flowing into a stream now known as Tioi 
•(corruption of the Choctaw word It-tib-'i'h — to fight or having 
fought), where they at once erected a camp, preparatory to 
the establishment of the missionary station^-to which Mr. 
Kingsbury gave the name Mayhew. A log cabin or two 
were soon erected by the aid of the neighboring Choctaws, 
also a garden and cornfield opened and planted, when Mr. 
Kingsbury retraced his steps to Elliof and safely arrived 
there March L>')th. 

Soon the news of the establishment of another station, 
and the opening of another school, echoed and re-echoed 
throughout the Nation with astonishing rapidity ; and appli- 
cations were immediately made from various parts of the 
Nation for stations and schools also. And to prove the sin- 
cerity of their applications, councils W^re held, and appro- 
priations were made in various parts of tlie Nation, for 
churches, schools, blacksmith shops, -etc., and in 1820, an- 
nuities were appropriated to these objects to the amount of 
six thousand dollars annlially to run for sixteen years 
These annu'-ties were for lai-ge tracts of land sold by the 
Choctaws to the United States. Their country was at that 
time divided into three districts, Itnow as the western, north- 
eastern, and southern; called Upper Towns, Lower Towns 
and Six Towns. Each district hud a ruling chief, and eacli 


town a subordinate chief, captain, aild warriors, who man- 
ag'ed the local affairs of the people. Elliot was located in 
the western district, over which, at that time, Pushamataha 
COri. A-num-pah-ish-tarn-yah-ub-iM, a messenger of death) was- 
the ruling chief ; Mayhew, in the north eastern, over which 
Puckshenubbee(Orig A-piurk-fo-ltch-ihub-ihTo encircle and 
kill) was the chief and A-mb-sho-lihub-ih of the southern. , 

About this time (1820) the mumps followed by the 
measles' desolated many families and even towns and villages- 
in different parts of the nation, owing to the ignorance of the 
Choctaws concerning the nature of the new diseases and 
their proper treatment. 

In the same year Apakfohlichihubih and Amosholihubih, 
with' seven other chiefs, visited Elliot and were highly elated 
at the progress of the pupils, and exhorted the children in 
strains of native eloquence to learn the teachings of the 
Holisso Holitopa (pro. as Ho-lis-soh Ho-le-to-pah, and sig. 
Book Holy (Bible), which told them how to be good. In a 
social conversation with Amosholihubih while at Elliot, Mr.^. 
Kingsbury referred to the evils resulting to his people by 
the use of whiskey; after listening attentively for some time, 
he replied: "I never can talk with you good missionaries 
without hearing something about the drunkenness and lazi- 
ness of the Choctaws. I wish I had traveled over the wHite 
man's country; then I would know whether my people are 
worse than every other people. But I am determined it shall 
' no longer be thus said. I will summon a council, have a big- 
talk and stop the whiskey; fori am tired ofhearing my people 
called every where lazy and drunkards." He was as good as 
his word. The council was convened; the "big talk" had, 
and the whiskey banished from the Choctaw Nation, and 
kept away, until the Mississippi Legislature in 1830-^abro- 
gated their laws, and turned, by the hand of arbitrary power, 
the corrupting ai^d devastating channel of Whiskey river 
into their country, as the quickest means of securing their 
i-emaining lands, knowing their hoi-rpr of the white man's 
laws with his whiskey as the protector and sustainer of 
human "Personal Liberty." 

Early in the year 1820, an English traveller from Liver- 
pool, named Adam Hodgson, who had heard of the Elliot 
mission when at home, visited the mission, though he had to 
turn from his main route of travel the distjince of sixty miles. , 
He, at one time on his sixty miles route, employed a Choc- 
taw to conduct him te;i or twelve miles on his new way, 
which he did, then received his pay and left him to finish his 
journey alone. Of this Choctaw guide Mr. Hodgson, as an 
example of noble benevolence and faithful trust, states:- 


"After going about a mile, where we became confused in re- 
gard to the correct direction and were halting upon two 
opinions, my guide suddenly and unexpectedly appeared at 
my side, and pointed in the direction I should go, as he 'could 
not talk English. I thanked him and again we parted; but 
again becoming confused by a diverging path, half a mile 
distant, as suddenly and unexpectedly appeared again my 
guide who had still been, silently and unobserved, watching 
my steps. Again he set me right, and made signs that my 
course lay directly toward the sun, and then disappeared;" 
and by carefully keeping the coursA as directed by the 
Choctaw, Mr. Hodgson safely reached the mission, where he 
was warmly received by the missionaries. Yet the Indian is 
still called a savage, who "cannot be educated out of his sav- 
agery." God pity such ignorance, and forgive their duplici- 
ty ill a:.suming to be enlightened Christians, and yet seek to 
hand down to the latest posterity a part of God's created in- 
telligences — the Red Race — as beings incapable of being 
"educated out of their savagery." 

Mr. Hodgson was duly introduced to the members of the 
mission, and then to the school of native Americq.n pupils, 
and expressed his surprise as well as heartfelt gratifica- 
tion with the account the teachers gave of the uncommon fa- 
cility with which they acquired knowledge. After remain- 
ing a few days, Mr. Hodgson left, and was accompanied sev- 
eral miles on his way to Brainard by Mr. Kingsbury, the 
missionary station established five years previous, among 
the Cherokees by' Mr. Kingsbury and Mr. and Mrs. Wil- 
liams, as before stated. 

Mr. Hodgson, in a letter written shortly after he left 
Elliot, thus spoke of his interview wi^h Mr. Kingsbury in 
his own room at Elliot: "A log c&bin, detached from 
the other wooden buildings, in the middle of a boundless 
forest, in an Indian country, consecrated, if I may de allow- 
ed the expression, by standing on missionary ground, and 
by forming at once the dormitory and the sanctuary of a 
man of God; it seemed to be indeed the prophet's chamber, 
with the 'bed and the table, the stool and the candlestick. 

"It contained, also, a little book-case, with a valuable 
selection of valuable books, periodica,ls, biographical, and 
devotional; among which I found many an old acquaintance 
in this foreign land, and which enabled Mr. Kingsbury, in 
his few moments of leisure, to converse with many, who 
have long since joined the 'spirits of just men made perfect ' 
or to sympathize with his fellow-laborers in Staheite, Africa 
or Hindoostan. About midnight we became thirsty with 
talking so much; and Mr. Kingsbury proposed that we 


walk to the spring:, at a little distance. The nig-ht was 
beautifully serene after the heavy showers of the preceding 
night; and the coolness of the air, the fresh fragrance of the 
trees, the deep stillness of the midnight hour, and the soft 
light which an unclouded ttioon shed on the log cabins of the 
missionaries, contrasted with the dark shadows of the sur- 
rounding forest, impressed me with feelings which I can 
never forget." In regard to the >mission family, hesai'd: 
"I was particularly struck with their humility, with .their 
kindness of manner towards one another, and the little at- 
tentions which they seemed solicitous to reciprocate. They 
spoke very lightly of their privations, and of the trials which 
the world supposes to be their greatest ; sensible, as they 
said, that these are often expeHenced in at least a^ great 
degree, by the soldier, the sailor, or even the merchant. .— _ 
Yet, in this V:ountry these trials are by no means tri- 
fling. Lying out for two or three months, in' the woods, 
with their little babes in tents which cannot resist the rain 
here, falling in torrents such as I never saw in England, 
within sound of ^the nightly howling wolves, and occasionally 
visited by panthers, which have approached almost to the . 
door, the ladies must be allowed to acquire some courage; 
while, during many season of the year, the gentlemen can 
not go 20 miles from home (and they are often obliged to go 
30 or 40 for provisions) without swimming their horses over 
four or five creeks. Yet, as all their inconveniences are suf- 
fered by others with cheerfulness, from worldly motives, 
they would wish them suppressed in the missionary reports, 
if ^hey were not calculated to deter m^ny from engaging as 
missionaries, under the idea that it is an easy, retired life. 
Their real trials they stated to consist in their own imper- 
fections, and in those mental maladies, which the retirement 
of a desert cannot cure. I was gratified by my visit to 
Elloit, this garden in a moral wilderness; and was pleased 
with the opportunity of seeing a missionary settlement in its 
infant state, before the wounds from recent separation from 
kindred and friends had ceased to bleed, and habit had ren- 
dered the missionaries familiar with the peculiarities of their 
novel situation. The sight of the children also, many of 
them still in Indian costumes, was most interesting. I could 
not help imagining, that, before me, might be some Alfred of 
this western world, the future founder of institutions which 
are to enlighten and civilize his country, some Choctavv 
Swartz or Elliot, destined to' disseminate the blessings ^f 
Christianity from the Mississippi to the Pacific from the 
Gulf of Mexico to the Frozen sea. I contrasted them in their 
social, their moral, and their religious conditions, with the 



straggling white hunters and their painted faces, who 
occasionally stare through the windows, or, with the half- 
naked natives, whom we had seen a few nights before, dancing 
around their midnight fires, with their tomahawks and 
scalping knives, rending the air w^th their fierce wai*- 
whoops, or making the woods thrill with their wild yells. 

"But they form a still stronger contrast with the poor In- 
dians, whom we had seen on the frontier, corrupted, de- 
graded, debased by their intercourse with English, Irish, or 
American traders. It was not without emo1;ions, that I 
parted, in all human probability forever in this world, from 
my kind and interesting friends, and prepared to return to 
the tumultuous scenes of a busy world from which, if life be 
spared, my thoughts will often stray to the sacred solitudes 
of Yallow Busha, as a source of the most grateful and re- 
freshing recollections." 

Soon afterMr. Hodgson left EJliot, a re-enforcement of 
missionaries arrived at Elliot and Mayhew from Massachu- 
setts, viz: Messrs. Smith, Cushman, Bardwell, with their 
families, Byington, Hooper, Misses Frisselle and Thacher 
from Pennsylvania. They travelled together as far as Pitts- 
burg, Pennsylvania, where (November 4th, 1820) they took 
passage on a large flat boat called, at that day, an Ark, and 
reached the Walnut Hills (now Memphis, Tennessee) about 
the last of December, There Mr. Cushman and his family, 
and Mr. Hooper, took a wagon, and safely arrived at May- 
hew after being about three weeks upon the road; while Mr. 
Smith and family and Mr. Byington and Miss Thacher re- 
mained on the boat until they reached the mouth of the Yoh- 
shu-bah (Yazoo); and Mr. Bardwell and his family and Miss 
Frisselle remained at the Walnut Hills to look after the in- 
terests of the property of the mission, which had been there 
deposited to await the arrival of the Choctaw packet to carry 
it to Elliot and Mayhew. But the river rising to such a 
height as to render it impracticable to travel by water, Mr. 
Bardwell, after waiting many days for the falling of the river, 
procured horses upon which he and his family and Miss 
Frisselle rode to Elliot through the wilderness by the way 
of little paths alone. 

A short time before the arrival of the above mentioned 
missionaries at Elliot and Mayhew, Mr. Loring S. Williams, 
who came with Mr. Kingsbury to the Choctaw Nation, trav- 
elled over that Nation to learn the views of the Choctaw peo- 
ple in regard to the establishment of churches and schools 
among them, and whom he found everywhere delighted with 
the idea. In his travels he visited, among many others, a 
point on the Old Natchez Trace, (to which I will again refer) 


called French Camp, about half way , between Elliott and 
Mayhew where he eventually settled with his family, opened' 
a school and both preached to and taug-ht the Clioctaws, and 
God greatly blessed him in his glorious work. ' 

CZ'In the meantime, Mr. Kingsbury met all their chiefs in a 
great council near and explained to them the nature and de- 
'sign of the missions being established in the Nation; and to- 
which a chief thus responded: "I be not used to make a. 
talk before white man, but when my heart feel glad, me can 
say it. Me and my people have heard your talk before, but 
never understajnd this business so well as now, that the- 
missionaries work for Choctaws without . pay; that they 
leave their homes, and all for good of Choctaws. We are- 
ignorant. We know when day comei and when night come.. 
That be all they know." 

Thus was manifested the eagerness of those ancient: 
Choctaws, as well as all their .race from the days of Elliot, 
the early Apostle to the Red msn of North America, down 
to Cyrus Kingsbury, the Apostle of the Choctaws; 
and thus it would have\ been ., down to the pres- 
ent day, but for the interference with and/ pulling 
down the labors of those men of God, by the hands of thpse 
white men of the devil, whose howls are heard from the cen- 
tre to circumference of, the land, even this day, "Open up to 
white. settlement 1 Open up to white settlement ! " 

But now missions began to be established in Various 
parts of the Choctaw Nation; and now was also seen the long 
closed gates of an age of moral and intellectual - dark,ness,, 
through which even the wing of conjecture is unable to ex-, 
plore in its flight, swinging open to the first echo of the ,ap-, 
proaching footsteps of those pioneers of the Cross bearing 
and bringing the glad tidings t»f peace and good will to the 
Choctaws, and commending the religiofl of Jesus Christ to. 
them, not more by their learning than by their 'life; and pi 
each of whom, both men and women, it truly might be said, 
Israelites "in whom there is no guile." Biit the ever watch-, 
ful and closely observing Choctaws at once learned, to justly 
appreciate the simple beauty of such lives as theirs, never 
before seen nor even heard of, in all their knowledge of andi 
intercourse with the White Race. Consequently, they held; 
them in great respect and reverence; and even to this day, 
though all have passed from their toils below to their rewards 
above, Mr. Cyrus Kiiigsbury, the last of that noble 'little 
band of Christian heroes and heroines, dying June 27th, 1871, 
aged 83 years, 7 months and 4 days, while their names live 
in the memory of the present generation of, the Choctaws; 
since, in all the years of their, long lives p^ labor and love 



among them, they did them no wrong, but only good, and 
thus proving themselves to be their real friends and bene- 
factors, who came to them, not with soldiers and guns as 
their emblems of peace, friendship and good will, but with 
the Bible' alone by whose doctrines unive\-sal friendship, 
peace and brotherhood may be successfully and permanently 
established among all man-kind, of all nations and of every 
tongue; and was successfully and permanently established 
between the missionaries and the Indians every where upon 
the North American continent, from the first sermon 
preached to them by John Elliot down the flight of years to 
the last sermon preached to them by Cyrus Kingsbury. A 
truth incontrovertible, too, clear too certain to admit of dis- 
pute. And had the love of God and one veneration of his pre- 
cepts, as set forth in the Bible, governed the American peo- 
ple in all their dealings with the Indians, as did those eaiiy 
missionaries to that noble race of God's created intelligences, 
they would, long since, have'been a paft and parcel of our 
nationality filling their nook and corner tof our confederacy 
with gloriously redeemed manhood and womanhood that 
would to-day triumphantly stand the scrutiny and verdict of 
the civilized and Christian worhl. But alas, we tried to force 
upon them the falsehood that they were inferior beings, and 
justly failed; and will ever fail so long as a North American 
Indian lives to hurl the idiotic notion back into our teeth, 
though the howls of the modern idiots, who still strive to 
diabolify the noble but unfortunate Red Race, disturb the 
quiet of earth with "No good Indian but a dead Indian," 
"Once an Indian, always an Indian" exterminate the red 
skins; shoot down the "bucks as rabid wolves," followed by 
the doxology upon that "Harp aof thousands strings." "Open 
up their few remainidg acres of land to settlement for the 
children of the Lord." 

Many parents and friends attended the closing exercises 
of the first session of the Mayhew school, and were delighted 
at the improvement of the children, and the day was a happy 
one both to parents and pupils. Arnasholih'ubih, acco?npa- 
nied by many of his chieftains and warriors, also attended 
the examination, and made the following remarks to the 
school: "Such a thing was not known here when I was a 
boy. I had heard of it, but did not expect to see it. \ I re- 
joice that I have lived to see it. You must mind your teach- 
ers, and learn all you tan. I hope I shall live to see our 
councils filled with the boys who are now in this school, and 
that you will then know much more thah we know and do 
much better than we do." And lie did live to see it. All re- 
turned to their homes highly pleased. At the opening of the 


next session of the school, Amosholih'ubih brought two of 
his sons and a nephew to enter the achool:-a,lso anaged Choc- 
taw man brought his grandson and daughter to enter the 
school, and said to Mr. Kingsbury: "I now give them to 
you, to take them by the hand and heart, and hold them fast. 
I will now only hold them by the end of their' fingers." 

To the examination at Mayhew in 1822, many Choctaws 
came from a long distance, and the whole Nation, from qen-- 
tre to circumference, seemed awake upon the subject of im- 
provement," morally, intellectually, and religiously." But 
alas, the devil was not asleep, but secretly busy in trying to 
thwart the good efforts of both the Choctaws and mission- 
aries, by influencing his abandoned white subjects, who had 
fled from the religious restraints of their homes in the 
States, to misrepresent the designs of the missionaries, and, 
in a few instances, succeeded in inducing parents to take 
their children from under the care arid instriiction of the 
schools^ But many Choctaws came the distance of 70 miles 
to learn the truth of the Reports; and, as might be expected, 
returned satisfied of their falsity, and better pleased with the 
missionaries, their churches and schools, than ever before; 
and thus waa the devil and his white subjects gloriously de- 
feated in their nefario»j(s designs. 

Soon after, a brother of Captain Cole (who died ten or 
twelve miles east of Atoka in the present Choctaw Nation, 
Indian Territory, in the year 1884, at the advanced age of 
nearly four score and ten years) sent five children to school, 
and a few months later sent another, but the school was so 
crowded that the sixth could not be admitted, and for causes 
not known, the father sent and took away the fivC/Who mani- 
fested the greatest sorrow in having to leave the school. 
But Captain Cole, after more room had been provided, sent 
a petition with the signature of himself and eig^ht chiefs 
urging the propriety of returning all the six children to the 
school; and not only the six were returned, ^but also six 
others, besides application for two others, one of whom was 
his son, whom he gave to the missionaries, with 'the words:. 
"I want him to remain with yo^ until he obtains a good edu- 
cation, if it takes ten years." 

Mrs. Kingsbury died at Mayhew, on the 15th day of 
September, 1822, and was buried in the Mayhew cemetery — 
u true and self-sacrificing Christian woinan, Avho gave up all 
for the sake of assisting to lead the Red man of ^Torth Aiji- 
erica into the fold of her Divine Master. Her noble husband's 
body rests from its earthly laboi's, in a Choctaw cemetery 
near Old Boggy Depot, Indian Territory, among the people 
he loved so well, and for whose good he labored so faithfully 


for 53 long- and eventful years. She left two little boys, 
Cyrus and John, the last mentioned also lies in the same 
cemeterynearthegrave of his noble fatber;theformer,if alive, 
I know not where he is. The last I heard of him, (years ago) 
he was living- in Iowa. Both were the playmates of my child- 
hood's years, never to be forgotten. 

Ah! How those najnes stir the memories that still clus- 
ter around my early youth! We were five missionary l)oys, 
Cyrus and John, my two brothers and myself, all playmates 
at that age when we felt that we were "monarchs of all we 
survey" and truly we reigned right royally. But with added 
years came the truth that the world was not so eagerly 
moulded to our wishes, for life soon taught its realities to us 
as to all poor humanity whose days are full of sorrow, and 
lives but a s'pan. But it rests me, to pause, here and there, 
in the midst of hurry and care, to sit in this my angle-nook, 
among the present Choctaws Indian Territory, and ponder 
o'er the joys of by-gone days, when I was a fifth part of the 
happy, boyhood group that each day gathered together in the 
long ago. How well I remember it, and how warm my heart 
grows at the thought. The cold adamantine wall that has 
enclosed me in my contact with a busy and seemingly heart- 
less world crumbles to dust and falls away, leaving me again 
a tender, confiding, loving boy. Ah! That beautiful long 
ago! when I received earth as full of sunshine without alloy, 
and sweet song without a discordant note. 

^ Those were days wherein the world seemed to have 
reached its perfection; days, when all things seemed in uni- 
son with harmony, as if Nature would indulge her offspring; 
when all things, animate and inanimate, ^seemed to give 
signs of satisfaction and contentment; and even the horses 
and cattle, scattered here and there in little grpups, some 
reposing on the green sward and others grazing around, 
seemed to be indulging in tranquil thoughts. AhW the mem- 
ory of those days makes me long once more to throw myself 
into the arms of loving Nature, as in the days of yore; but 
not as she smiles in well-trimmed woody gi-oves or in culti- 
vated fields of grain ; but Nature, as she was in that age when 
creation was complete and unadorned by human hand. Yes,. 
I would go again, even in this my life's far decline — back'to 
the land whereof none then the history knew ; back even to 
the Red man, whom I am not ashamed to own I love; to 
whom civilized vice was then unknown; where on every side 
stretched away on illimitable forest scarcely to be distin- 
guished in the shadows of night from the hills beyond; 
while the flowing streamlet, here and there, clearly gleamed 
through the open glades as the ripple qf night breeze gently 


■stirred the forest leaves. But if you, whose eyes may some 
day fall Upon these, my written thoughts, I pray you perse- 
vere, since what I may have to tell you may not be without 
interest, as I have not told it before nor will I again. 

Though the death of Mrs. Kingsbury was a great 
bereavement and trial Ito'Mr. Kingsbury, yet h6 faltered not 
in the cause of his Divine Master among his Idved Choctaws. 
] But two weekfe after he started upon a long journey in the 
southern part of the nation to find suitable points for estab- 
lishing churches and schools among the Choctaws, that their 
children might receive an education near home, and also 
relieve the missions from all expenses except that of the sup- 
port of teachers. After.several days travel, he arrived at the 
home of the celebrated chiefs of the Choctaws, Apushamata- 
liahubih, where he met Mr. Jewell; thence, they journeyed 
together to a point one hundred miles distant, called by the 
Choctaws Oktak Falaiah (Ok-tark, '(Prairie), Far-lai-ah 
t<Long.) ) There they laid the foundations for the establish- 
ment of a school, which was afterwards Emmaus, and 
was near the line between Mississippi and Alabama^ At Ok- 
tak Falaiah they made the acquaintance of Henry Nail, an 
aged white man, who had been adopted by the Choctaws by 
his marriage, many years before, to a Choctaw woman. He 
told Mr. Kingsbury and Jewell that he had twelve children 
living and one dead. He was a chief among the Choctaws for 
many years, and is the progenitor of the Nail family among 
the Choctaws. But I will speak of him again more definitely. 
Thence the two missionaries, in company with Joel Nail, a 
■son of Henry Nail, who lived near his father with a wife and 
several small children, went to Okla Hunnali pro. Ok-lah 
(people) Hun-nar-lih, (Six). While en route, they unexpect- 
edly came upon a large company of Chpctaws assembled for 
a. ball play. As soon as they ascertained that, one of the 
white men was "Na-sho-ba-Ah-o-wa, (Nar-sho-bah, (Wolf), 
Arn-o-wah (Walking) (a name given to Mr. Kingsbury by 
the Choctaws, though one foot was badly deformed by the 
cut of a scythe when a boy) of whom they had heard, they 
postponed their ball play, and both chiefs and warriors 
gathered at once around him, and urgently solicited him to 
give them "a talk" about schools. , He willingly complied, 
while they listened with the deepest interest and in profound 
silence to his propositions, and manifested unassumed joy at 
the prospect of a school. Mr. Kingsbury then bade them a 
friendly adieu, and {he three continued their jotirney thence 
io Okla Hunnali, which comprised six clans, and contained 
:2164 inhabitants. 

Aboha KuUo Humma, (pro. Ar-bo-hah') (House) Kullo 


(strong) Humma (red) or, in our phraseology — (Strong" red 
house — but in the Chpctaw, Red Fort) was the chief of Okla 
Hunnali. The clans of the Choctaws were all perpetuated 
in the female line. When a man married, he was adopted 
into the family of his wife, and her brothers had more au- 
'thor^ty over her children than her hosband; therefore, when 
a lover wi^ed to marry a girl, he consulted her uncles, and 
if they consent to the marriage, the father and mother ap- 
proved. Those of the same clan were never allowed to inter- 
marry. A Choctaw regarded marrying^a girl of his own cla,n 
with. the same horror as the white man did to marry his own 
sister; and equally so did the Choctaw girl, i, 

AbohaKuUo Humma washighly ela!ted at the proposition 
of Mr. Kingsbury to establish a school among his clans, or peo- 
ple;and earnestly importuned Mr. Kingsbury to establish two 
.inhisdistrict;andsuchwerehis pleadings that Mr. Kingsbury 
finally agreed to write a letter to the Pi"udential, 
to solicit more teachers, and Aboha Kullo Humma also, wrote 
a letter, and sent it with Mr. Kingsbury's, a true c6py of 
which I here insert: ... 

Six Towns, Choctaw Nation, October 18th, 1822. 
Brotheks: V ' 

i "The first law I have made is, that when my warriors 
go over the line among the white people, and buy whiskey, 
and bring it into the Nation to buy up the blankets, and 
gu^ns, and horses of the Red people, and get them drunk; 
the vvhiskey is to be destroyed. The whiskey drinking is 
wholly stopped among my warriors. The Choctaw women 
sometimes killed their infants, when they did not want to 
provide for them. I have made a law to have them pun- 
ished, that no more children be killed." ^ 

This law had actually been passed and was then in full 
force, as had been exemplified in the case of a woman who 
had been tried and convicted for killing Jier infant, a short 
time prior to Mr. Kingsbury's visit to Okla Hunnali. She 
was tied to a tree and whipped by the officers of justice until 
she fainted; and not only the woman was whipped, but her 
husband also received the same punishment for not restrain- 
ing his wife in the destruction of the (Jhild. But thus con- 
tinues Aboha Kullo Humma. 

"The Choctaws formerly stole hogs and cattle, and kill- 
ed and ate them. I have organized a .company of faithful 
warriors to take every man who steals, and tie him to a tree 
and give him thirty-nine lashes.". 

This law of punishing theft by whipping has never been 
repealed; but has been amended to this extent, and so stands 

hi§t;Pr.y o;f. the D^jfjiA];]-^. ^ ■ 151 

toTcUy— being fifty lashes on the t)are baak for the firsttheft; 
a hundred for the second, and death bjr.,tl^^'i;^ifle for the third. 
I "The Chpctaws have, spmetimes'/ run ,o,ff with each Oth- 
er's wives. We have now made a la^v^that.tjiose who do so, 
shall be w;hipt)ed thirty-nine lashes; ; tod if a woman runs 
away from her husband withanother man, she is also' to be 
whipped in the same manner. ,The nunxber of men, women, 
and children in the Six TJowns,, is 21641 I want the good\ 
•white people to send men and women 1;o get ' up a schbpl in 
my district; I vvant them to do^it quiet, for I am growing: old 
and want to seethe good work before I die. We have al- 
ways, been p,as^ed , by,! Other, ^ paints, ^f, ,the Nation have 
schools; we ha,ve not; we hive piade tile above laws because we 
wish ,to if plloyi' the ways of th,e white^ people, ; We hope they 
will assist us in getting oujv 'chi.l,dren,i educated.' This is the 
first time I write aletter- LapViMirthe,'fir'st,tirae we make 
ijawsj I say'n,o more, /'l ha.Y.e,;^tbld, ray,' wa'nls. ' I hope you 
wilLnot, forget me.". ■ , !. ■,/''' J'ABOHJ^^'^ito'BvUMA/' ' '^' 
;. |._ : It ^atruth, though unknown tp.thousands, -yet contrar 
.dieted by tl^oii^ands who doknow it'that, from an unwilliTig-, 
ness to admiV anything which , the trq't'h of a. desire ill ith^t:' 
ladians to become ,a |Qiyilized'and|Christian people, Abtrfia 
KuUo Humma's letter expressed tlie true sentiments '<off 
every tribe of North Ainerican Indians, to whom the mis- 
;Sionaries have, gone, from the' days of tie missionary Elliot 
down the flight' of years to the preterit. Instead of the bread 
of eternal life for' which tney so eai-riestly pleaded, except the 
few crumbs the devoted and self-sacrificing missionaries 
gave them, we have given them leaden , bullets; (while the 
iron wheel of -our merciless venality rolled over them, and 
still rolls on like a juggernaut crushing them by^ turns, some 
quickly, and some later on, to us it mattered not, so in'* the 
end all were crushed, and we go in to take their long coveted 
land; though they fled hither and thitner,,and plead for mercy,' 
yet the appeal was vain, for the blind fury of our avarice 
(deaf as the adder) still thunders on only to stop, it seems, 
when the last of the Red Race shall be numbered with the 
past and our cup of iniquity be full, that the God of justice 
may write against us — Tekel, that our' ^hip of State may also 
go down in the vorte caused by,the sinkidg'of theirs. 

From 1822, to tha time they were dispossessed of every 
foot of their ancient dprnainsj ' ai]id d^riveii; away to a then 
wilderness, the schpols increased ih numbers, and the ordi- 
nances of religion vi^ere augmented, 'and, a deeper interest 
manifested every wh^re over their, country— never witnessed 
before; as they,' previous to .thai ,time,^ had had intercourse 
with the defeased of theWhite Race„by whoin they had been 



Uaught"m't"he school of vice, and nothiiig but vice: therefore 
tthe North American Indians have been accused, from first 
;to ladt, of having no conception of an over-ruling- providence 
— ^fhe Creator of all things, and an effort has jjeen made to 
:sustain the charge in that they believed in the supernatural 
Ipower of their rain-makers, their fair-weather-makers, and 
•.the incantations of^their doctors. , But the charge is utterly 
false. 'Tis true, they relied o\ t^eir rain-makers, fair- 
"weather-makers and the conjuring of their doctors, through 
"the belief that, by prayer and supplication, those person- 
ages had been endowed with supernatural powers by the 
•Great Spirit, (th^ir God and ours), in whom all Indians be- 
lieved, and with greater veneration than the whites, and I de- 
f,y successful contradiction. They sought the aid of the 
rainmakers, doctors, &c, just as we do the prayers of our 
preahers in behalf of our sick, and for our rain, etc. Now, 
-whatmore did or do the Red Race than the White? Noth- 
ing. Yet the Indians must be called infidels; though there 
are today, and always have been, ten thousand white ifidels 
to one Indian, and always will be. The Indians have also 
l)een called savage, and are still so called, because he suf- 
fered himself to be tortured with fear and anxiety in the 
belief of the existence of witches and ghosts, and that many 
were slain because they were believed to deal in witchcraft. 
But say you, "Remember Ulichihl" I do; but also point you 
back to Cotton Mather. The slayers of poor Illichih knew noth- 
ing of the injunctions of the Bible, and were called savages; 
"but Cotton Mather was an expounder of the Bible, and his 
ladherents the professed believers of its teachings, but he 
and they are calle/l Christians. Now judge ye, (if ye can do 
so impartially) if "savage" is recorded in heaven against the 
slayers of Illichih, is "Christian" also recorded there against 
the slayers of ^hose charged with witchcraft in Massachu- 
setts? Is it just that the North American Indians alone 
roust still be held up to view by the stigmatizing name. Sav- 
age, thougji years ago, they freed themselves, as a people, of 
all such nonsense; while thousands of ihe White Race among 
the civilized nations, our own included, are to-day the slaves 
■of that most foolis|i of all foolish superstitions, yet demand 
to be called civilized and a Christian people? 

Mayhew, the second mission e'stablished among the 
'Choctaws, as before stated, was located on the eastern bor- 
der of a magnificent prairie that stretched away to the west 
•and south m billowy undulations presenting a scene of 
fascinating loveliness unsurpassed, when arrayed in its 
dress of summer's green, dotted with innumerable flowers 
•of various colors; and the country in all directions for 


miles away, was rich in all the boundless extravagance of 
picturesque beauty, where Nature's irtost fascinating feat- 
ures everywhere presented themselves carelessly disposed 
in wild munificence, unimprbved, and indeed unimprovable 
by the hand of art. Truly the lovely situation of that mis- 
sion is still fresh in mpmory, though more than a half cen- 
tury has passed away; and to-day, as of that Idng ago, the 
eye of memory sees the far ektending prairie on the south 
and west, and the boundless fofests on the north and east, 
with their hills and vales of romantic loveliness, and creeks 
and rivulets combining to give a moral interest to the pleas- 
ure derived from the contemplation of Nature in her bright; 
•est, happiest and most varied aspect. Ahl tlie imagination 
could but fold its pinions, and stand in wondering admira- 
iion amid' the sublime solitudes of the grand forests of that 
■day, while hill and dale seemed as entrancing to the eye with 
iheir beautifully draped garments of green as the weird 
music of the winds amid their branches wis to the. ears of 
fairies played on mystic Memnon's harp tuned, to audible 
minstrelsy under the glancing rays of the morning and even- 
ing sun. 

Their horses, cattle and hogs, which they possessed in 
great numbers, were fed alone from Nature's ample store- 
house filled at all times with the richest varieties of proven- 
der-grass, cane, acorns and nuts; while game of many vari- 
eties roamed over their forests undisturbed only as necessity 
demanded their destruction. Birds- of many kinds, and of 
various plumage, added their enchantment to the scene. 

The missionaries found the Checokees, Choctaws and 
Chickasaws in their native state — that of mortality unadorned; 
_yet struggling into the dawn of civilization as those who had 
ieard afar the roar of the world's civilization and roved im- 
patiently to the shore; and they soon learned (that even the 
^espis^d, defamed and down-trodden Indian rejected not 
■God's IkW — improvement; nor was wanting in ability, while 
their sentiments found an expositor; and every feeling and 
•oracle in his untutored breast. Therefore, they sought to 
make them religious through their best feelings rather than 
their worst; through their gratitude and affections, rather 
than their fears and calculations of risk ' and future punish- 
' ment; and they found by giving them the least advantage of 
instruction they glided into refinement; and also found that 
there was that sentiment in the Indian that gives delicacy to 
thought, and tact to manner; for they listened and caught 
knowledge in the hatural way of beneficence and power of 
•God; of the mystic and spiritual history oimdn; and philan- 
thropic missionaries were charnied by their attention. , How 


true that, in the nature of man— the humblest to the hardest 
—there is something that lives in all of the beautiful or the 
fortunate which hope or desire have appropriated, even in the 
vanities of a childish dream! At the time of the advent of the 
missionaries, the Citierokees occupied the now State of Ten- 
nessee, the Chickasaws the north part of the now, State of 
Mississippi, and the Choctaws the south part including- 
ralso the western part of the now State of Alabama and the 
eastern p?irt pf the now State of Louisiana. Those early 
, missionaries (both nien and.women), who offered their lives 
to the cause and. thought, no more of themselves, wer^ of 
strong character, .firm .resolution and, of, fine taste^ and 
ideals;. and of., thos? missionary women it may be|truthfully 
acWed, they we,re intellig;ent and elegant as they. were hei-oic; 
and the.lpvens pf missiopaj-y lore o^t rpajd, with ; delight the 
ideal romaijce, of their lives. ; , ' ,,,, . ,_,, 

r,f ; /They ifirst Studied and nijide themselves ^.cquainted wjp 
the, various dialects of th^ Indians' Cprnplic^ted languag^!^— 
.(iUfi)i;qlt, because of the combination of signs and wqrds , that 
. cannot, be, ireduced to arjy known rule; they, administered to 
the wants of the sick and dressed the wounded; they brayed 
.sickness and , death apd preached the tidings of pe^ce on 
earth and , good wjl) , to men; and to-day, though, long sjince, 
all haveigoneto receive their,, reward — a blissful immortality 
amjd. eternity's scenes— yet their names and deeds of right- 
eousness stand triumphant and reverecl, while over them and 
those whom they taught and led, the Choctaw, the Chicka- 
saw, the Creek, the Cherokee, the Seminole— waves the 
white banner whoSe only symbol is the Cross of the World's. 

But in their early labors of love among the above named 
people what did those selfsacrificing men and women find? 
They found the Indians confidence was easily gained, and as 
easily retained by just and humane treatment, they found 
that he was not vicious nor bloodthirsty, an untamable 
savage, as he was and ever has been so unjustly represented 
to be; they found that, unlike his white defamei*, he never 
was profane. He took not in vain the name of his God, the 
Great Spirit, nor the names of the subordinate deities, to 
whom his religion taught him the supreme Great Spirit dele- 
gated supernatural powers among men. Whatever he loved, 
he called it good; whatever he hated, he called it bad. Of 
whiskey he said: "0-ka-ki-a-chuk-ma, Water not good, that 
was all. 

They found the men to be, to a greM extent, even as the 
whites, good husbands, loving fathers, and the' most faithful 
of friends; the women, devoted wives, adoring mothers, and 


equally true as friends, and both men and women, i trutlfful 
to the letter, all scorning a lie and a liar .1', , !^ ;. ■ 

They found among all the men the- attributes of t^e 
' heroes, in truth, honesty, fidelity and patriotism,. . unsur- 
passed in the annals of the human race, all sustained by in- 
controvertible testimony for two cijnturies past; yet, with 
many foibles common to the fallen race of man, but with few 
of the prominent and debasing vicesiof the White Race. 

'. .They found them to be a race that defied the tortures of 
an enemy to produce a groan, to shed' a tear or; manifest 
pain . Stake man or woman to the ground and burn .themi to 
death by degi"ees, and they would expire; without a moan 
chantihg his or her death-song defiantly to the last gasp; r-. ' 
' ; ! They found them, in the literal sense of the , word, .to be 
communists. Whatever they had. wasjicheci-fully bestowed 
to any needy of their tribe. "Will I let my brother. suf- 
fer when I have plenty?" repliedan Indian ,to a jwhite man whp 
advised economy by saving his superfluous meat. against) the 
scarcity, of winter, instead of dividing, it;amonghi^ felloK?- 
His'generosity and his hospitality wfere extended, even to an 
' enemy— whose life was safe if he entered h'is cabin.' and :par-, 
took even a drink of water; forithe Indiajn's laws, of jhospitcil- 
ity were inviolate. ,: ■ • ■ ' |>ri ' ' i ii. d .. 

The religion of Jesus Christ fell upyu^ the earipf the Red. 
man as a bright and beautiful elucidation of ;his own Vague 
but often sublime conceptions, and, unfler the mild teachiiigs 
of the devoted^missionaries, he adapted himself to the spirit 
of the age and accepted his new surroundings because the 
power which led him on to civilization was that of the Soldier 
of the Cross instead of the sword. 

The missionaries also found them with the knowledge of 
good and evil; they too were embued vs'ith the eternal princi- 
ples of love and hate; feeling that they were by Nature in- 
tended to be free, yet feeling that they were slaves to circum- 
stances — alike with the human race— seeking the good yet 
too oft finding the bad; but not being able to attribute, both 
the good and the evil to the same All-Wise Being, they im- 
agined that these gods were alike anxious to do them service 
— the one to give them pain and sorrow, and the other pros- 
perity and pleasure; the one ever thwarting them in their 
undertaking, the other encouraging and assisting them; 
they, therefore, desired, and very naturally, too, to appease 
the one and please the other, and < this desire, as a natural 
consequence^ influenced them to the worship of both,the god 
of evil and the god of good; yet those' holy men' of God. also 
found; that the Indians', thoughts (thewild ivy of , the human > 
mind) could be trained upward ' until they too were hung 


around by the tenderest associations and the recollections of 
ail that is Sweet and solemn in man's nature, as it points up- 
wards to a blissful immortality in the skies; and that their 
spirits and hopes at once began to mount up from earth, in 
the pathway thus indicated by the light of truth; to reach 
the blissful home so timely suggested by those men and 
women of God. 

But, alas, for the Choctawsl 

The white man soon disturbed the long and deep rest of 
their happy lives, not for their moral and intellectual im- 
provement and advancement in Christian civilization, but 
alone for their banishment from their ancient domains of con- 
tentment and bliss to impoverishment and humiliation in a 
distant wilderness in the west, with the injunction "Root 
5)ig or die," where there was actually nothing for which to 

There were many things which served to awaken in the 
minds of the early missionaries to the present five civilized 
■tribes, when living in their ancient domainseastof the Missis- 
sippi river, sad ^nd melancholy reflections. They beheld all 
around them indubitable evidence of the former existence of 
a large population who lived long prior to the people among 
-whom they labored, and had in the years of the long ago per- 
formed their part upon the stage of life, and unremembered, 
passed into the secret chambers of oblivion. They felt 
that they walked over the graves of a long succession of gen- 
erations ages before mouldered into dtist; tlve surrounding 
forests were once animated by their labors, (as their rude 
and mouldering fortifications testified), their huntings and 
wars, their songs and their dances; but silence had drawn 
its impentrable vail over their entire history; no lettered page, 
no sculptured monument told who they were, whence they 
came, or the period of their existence. 

But how strange the scene presented to the Cherokees at 
Brainard, to the Choctaws at Elliot, and the Chickasaws at 
Monroe, (the names given to the missionary stations, the first 
established among the peculiar but appi^ciativepeoplel) How 
incomprehensible to them was the conduct of the pale faces 
then and there. How different from all others they had ever 
seen or heard, the white traders, whiskey peddlers, strag- 
glers and refugees from justice! In all their previous know- 
ledge of whose race, they had seen the same motto inscribed 
upon all their flags — "Trafiic and trade. War and strife;" 
but now they came disrobed of every Appearance of greedy 
jrain and all implements of war and strife, and teaching the 
strange tidings of peace on earth and good will to man. Nor 
were the missionaries scarcely less astonished to find the 


people who had been repreaented to them l;iy the tongue of 
calumny as a set of savages, to be quite the revei-se — even a 
remarkable people in many respects; first, for their native 
moral principle, their innocence of all hypocrisy, lying and 
all forms of deceit, in all their social relations with each other; 
secondly, for their virtue, their fair-mindfedness, - their 
great and abiding paternal and ipareittal affection; thirdly, 
their respect for the right of property and the sacredness of 
human character from slander and vituperation. 

This is not an over-drawn picture. Nowhere among 
any people was property, life, and human character more 
sacred, and hypocrisy and lying less known, than among the 
ancient Choctaw and Chickasaw, Cherokee ?Lnd Muskogee, 
people. I speak from personal |knowledge. And the mis- 
sionaries found them, to their agreeable surprise, as little 
meriting the title, savages, which ignorance, prejudice and 
i in beeile e^'otism had applied to them, as any race of unlet- 
tered people that were ever known to exist; and, in viewing 
them in the light of a true catholic spirit, saw much that was 
touching and beautiful in their manners^nd customs. They 
also found them to be a people with immovajjle faith In a 
Supreme Heing, and {assessing a great reverence for powers 
and aliilities superior to those of. earth; though, to some ex-> 
tent, nlaterialistic in their conception, but totally ignorant of 
the white man's ideas and views of Christ and the Father. 
They regarded the Great Spirit at4 the source of general 
igood, and of wlion; they askeil jjuidance in all undertakings, 
and implored aid against their enemies', and to whose power 
they ascribed favors and frowns, blessings, successes and 
disappointments, joys and sorrows; and tliough their faith 
niay have seemed cold to us, and their ceremonies, frivolous, 
ridiculous, and even blasphemous in our eyes; but in such 
lightas th^y had truly walked, with ready and sincere acknowl- 
edgement of human dependence on super-human aid and 
mercy. Can we say as much for ourselves? Do, we walk 
according to the light we have as truly and faithfully as the 
unlettered Indians did? 

But among the many things that are associated with the 
North American Indians as topics of conversation and sub- 
jects of the printer's ink-more talked about and less under 
stood-is the "Medicine Man." On Nov. 14. 160S, the first 
b'rench settlement was made in America, on the north-east 
coast of Nova Scotia, and thev gave the name Acadia to the 
country; and on July .v 18Qg, Samuel Charaplain laid the 
foundation of (Juebec. The character "Medicine-Man" had 
its origin, according to tradition, among those early Frendv, 
colonists who corrupted the word "Meda"— a word in tile- , 


languagfe of one of the Indian tribes of that day signifying- 
chief, into "Medicine-Man," and also called the relig-ious 
ceremonies of the Indian "making' medicine," which was 
afterwards called, as the result, "medicine," and which final- 
ly became in use among the Indians themselves, and has so 
continued to the present day. 

It was a religious ceremony for the propitiation of invisi- 
ble spirits and practised by all of the l^forth American 
Indians, with scai'cely an exception. The ancient Choctaws 
and Chickasaws had their. Medicine Men, with many of whom 
I was personally acquainted in the years of the long ago. 

There were two kinds of Medicine (religious ceremon- 
ies) among' the Choctaws and Chickasaws, the same as 
among all other tribes of their race, the tribal medicine and 
the individual, each peculiar to the individual tribe and in- 
dividual person of that tribe. What the different ingredients 
were, which composed the tribal medicine, no one knew, or 
ever tried to know, except he who secretly collected and 
stored them away in the carefully dressed, highly orna- 
^mented and sacred deer-skin sack; yet it was held as sacred 
in the hearts pf the entire tribe of all ages and sexes, as was 
the ark of the convenant among the ancient Jews. And 
equally so was that of the individual, whose ingredients were 
known only to its maker and possessor. More than once did 
my boyish , curiosity induce me to ask a Choctaw warrior 
what was in his medicine sack, but only to get the repulsive 
reply: None of your business. 

Indeed, the mission of the tribal medicine was to the In= 
dians the same, to all intents and purposes, as that of the sa-, 
cred ark to the ancient Jews when borne through the wilder- 
ness in those days of their historical pilgrimage. It was re- 
garded as the protector of the tribe, in fact, the, visible em- 
bodiment of the promise of the good Great Spirit to provide 
for the tribe all the necessaries of life, and protect them 
from all enemies. So too was that of the individual medicine 
which he had made for himself alone, and which was indeed 
a part of his life, — his assurance in danger, his safety in bat- 
tle, and his success amid all the vicissitudes of his earthly 
career. If the sacred and secret articles that composed the 
contents of the tribal medicine bag, or those of the individual 
medicine bag, should become known to others, than the one 
who collected and placed them therein, the mystic bag at 
once became powerless — even as Saihpson, when shorn of 
his hair by the treacherous hands of Delilah. And was it 
captured in war or otherwise fell into the hands of an enemy 
the greatest consternation fell upon the entire tribe, and su- 
per-human efforts were made to recover it. If they failed in 


this, overtures soliciting- peace, even to humiliation, were 
made at once to ^he ememy. 

But, if an itidividual was in any way deprived of his, 
which he always kept about his person, he made gjiother. 
The making, of another may seem an easy matter to the un-; 
^ informed. But not so. It entailed upOh the maker a long 
period of uttei- seclusion in the solitude and silence of the 
forest far away from the abodes of ijian-kind, with long .con- 
tinued fasting, meditation and prayer, followed by long pro- 
tracted labor in finding and securing the necessary articles* 
suc'.i as earths of different colors, the ashes of various 
weeds, bones of certain birds and snakes, and various other 
things which his fancy may suggest. These were placed 
in a vessel of water prepared for the purpose, and the vessel 
is then placed upon a fire and the contents Continually stirred 
w'ith a st'ck as it became more? and more heated. During 
this process he obtains a sign from some developed peculiarity 
which he regards as infallible, and which enables him to in- 
terpret signs and omens, both of good and evil. A small ' 
portion of the contents of the vessel was placed in his mystic 
sack and accompanied him every where^ In time of peace, 
the tribal medicine was placed in the care of a chief noted 
for his bravery, who carefully guarded it from all profana- 
tion; but in the time of war, the war-chief carried it in front 
of his warrior as they marched upon the war-path. The 
youthful warriors was always instructed in the art of mak- 
ing medicine by the aged men of the tribe, of which he made 
good use and never forgot. 

The philosophy of the ancient Indian ever taught him 
to concentrate his mind upon the spirit land; and that the 
influences which surrounded him in Nature, above, beneath, 
around, are sent direct by the spirits that dwell in an invisi- 
ble world above; that there are two kinds of spirits — the 
good and the bad, who are continually at war with each other 
over him, the good directing all things for his prosperity 
and happiness, the bad directing all things against his pros- 
perity and happiness; that within himself he can do nothing', 
as he id utterly helpless in the mighty contest that is waged 
over him by the good a.nd bad spirits. Therefore, he exerts 
his greatest energies'of mind and body to the propitiation of 
of the bad spirits rather than the good, since the former may 
be induced to extend the sceptre of mercy to him, while the 
latter will ever strive for his good, and his good alone. 
■Therefore, when he is fortunate he attributes it to some good 
spirit; when unfortunate, to some bad spirit. So, when he 
said it is "good medicine," he meant that the good spirit had 


the ascendency; and when he said it is "bad medicine"^he 
meant that the bad spirit had the ascendency. 

Therefore, all thing's in nature, as a natual consequence, 
indicated to him the presence of the spirits, both good and 
bad, — as each made, k^owp their immediate nearness 
through both animate and inanimate nature. The sighing 
of the winds; the flight of the birds; the howlof the lone wolf; 
the midnight hoot of the owl, and all other sounds heard 
throughout his illimitable forests both by day and by night, 
had to him most potent significations; and, by which, he so 
governed all his actions, that he rtever went upon any enter- 
prise, before consulting the signs and omens; then acted in 
conformity thereto. If the medicine is good, he undertakes 
his journey; if bad, he remains at home, and no argument 
can induce him to change his opinion, which I learned from 
personal experience. 

The missionaries found the precepts of the Choctaw's 
to be moral; and also that they respected old age, and kept 
fresh in memory the wise councilsof their fathers, whose les- 
sons of wisdom the experience of the past, taught their 
youthlul minds to look upward, and whose teachings they 
did not forget in their mature years. 

Their tenderness to and watchful care of the aged and 
infirm was truly remarkable; they looked upon home and 
regarded their country as sacred institutions, and in the 
defense of which they freely staked their lives; they also in- 
culcated a high regard for parents, and were always cour- 
teous by instinct as well as by teaching; they held in high 
veneration the names of the wise, the good, and the brave of 
their ancestors, and from their sentiment toward the dead 
grew sweet flowers in the heart. Thej' believed that interity 
alone was worthy of station, and that promotion should rest 
on capacity and faithfulriess; they also had swift and sure 
methods of dealing with the incorrigible, official or private; 
nor were they impatient of the slow processes of the years 
but knew how to wait in faith and contentment; and if they 
were not as progressive, as our opinion demands in its rush 
for gain and pompous show, they had at Icjast conquered the 
secret oi National and individual steadfastness. To-day we 
are a prodigal and wasteful people, the Indians are frugal 
and economical. 

In 14 months after the location of the mission at Elliot 
by the indefatigable perseverance of Mr. Kingsbury, a 
sufficiency of houses were ■ erected, a school was opened, 
apd that then young pioneer of the Cross proclaimed the 
Gospel of the Son of God, where it never before had been 
proclaimed; and at the time the Chactaws were so cruellv 


driven from their ancient domains to make room for our cruel 
and unchristian venality called "Prog-lress," thie BUliot and 
Mayhew missions together with the eleven other established 
in various parts of the Choctaw Natibn, were in a flourishing 
condition; and this earliest effort to evalngelize this worthy 
people, was highly encoui-aging from the readiness, yea, 
absolute eagerness, on their part to receive instruction. 
A considerable and suitable literature bpth educational and 
religious was soon prepared; a school syfetem was also founded 
through which many young Chbctaws, both male and female, 
received the elements of a good education. Many of the 
useful arts of civilized life were introduced; and the mission- 
aries had gathered many Christian congregations of whom 
not a few had received the good seed in an hbnest heart. 
Arid of those noble, self-sacrificing missionaries, it may truly 
be said, "Their works do follow them;" and to-day the names 
Kinp'sbury, Byington, Williams, Cushman, Polly. Hotchkins, 
Hawes, Bardwell and Smith, are still held in grateful re- 
membrance by the Choctaws, as the names of some of those 
who were their true, their noblest and best earthly friends, 
to which the following will truthfully attest. 

In his first annual report of the Elliot Mission, bearing 
date October 28th, 18l9, Mr. Kingsbury says: (I copy firom 
the original MS.) "The first tree was felled on the 13th of ' 
August, 1818. Since we arrived, (himself and Mr. and Mrs. 
Williams) we have been joined by the following persons: 

Mr. Peter Kanaise, Mr. John Kanaise and wife, car- 
penter, Mr. Moses Jewell and wife, Mr.. N. Jersey, Mr. 
N. York, carpenter and millwright, Mr. A. V. Williams,, 
laborer, Mrs. Kingsbury, Miss Chase, Mr. Isaac Fisk,, 
blacksmith, Mr. W. W. Pride, physician. 

"All these came out to labor gratuitously for the benefit: 
of the Choctaws. 

It would be trespassing unnecessarily on the time of 
the secretary to detail the principal circumstances and difiS.- 
culties which have attended the progress of our labors. 
They have been similar to what must always attend such 
enterprises in an uncivilized country f^r removed from those 
places where the necessaries, comforts; and conveniences of 
life can be obtained. ^ 

, Since our arrival, we have been principally occupied in 
erecting buildings. This 'devolved upon us much labor and 
greatly retarded our other business; but by the blessing of a 
kind Providence, we have been prospered inour woi'k, much 
beyond our expectations! ' 

' Within about fourteen months there have been erected at 


Elliott seven commodious cabins which are occupied as 
dwelling houses. ,. 

A dining room and kitchen contiguous, (54 x 20) with 
hewed logs and a piazza on each side.' 

A school house 36ft x 34 hewed logs; and finished on the 
Lancastrian plan. 

A millhouse 34 x 30ft, and also a lumberhouse and 
granary, each 18 x 20ft. 

A blacksmith shop, stable, and tiiree outhouses, all of 
which are nearly completed. 

On the plantation between 30 and 40 acres have been 
cleared and fenced; and between 20 and 30 acres have been 
cultivated, which have produced a considerable quantity of 
corn, potatoes, beans, peas, etc. 

IBesides the above, considei'able time has been spent in 
cutting roads in different directions, and constructing several 
small bridges, which were necessary for transporting with a 
wagon, V 

The stock at present belonging to the mission, consists 
of 7 horses, 10 steers, 75 ccw^, 75 calves and young cattle, 
and about 30 swine. Of the above, 54 cows and calves, and 
6 steers and young cattle have been presented by the Choc- 
taws for the benefit of the school. 

"Therg is no private property attached to the mission. 
All is sacredly devoted to the various purposes of instructing 
the Choctaws. 

"Urged by the importunity of the natives, the school was 
commenced under many disadvantages in April last, with 
ten pupils. As accommodations and means of support have 
increased the school has been enlarged, and there are fifty- 
four students who attend regularly — males and females. 
All th'ese board in our family. They are of different ages — 
from 6 to 20, and could not speak our language when they 
came. More pupils are expected to join the school shortly. 
In ad^dition to the common rudiments of education, the boys 
are acqjuiring a practical knowledge of agriculture in its 
various branches, and the girls, while out of school, are em- 
ployed under the direction of the fem.ale missionaries in dif- 
ferent departments of domestic labor. We have also a full- 
blooded Choctaw lad learning the blacksmith trade; and 
another, now in school, wishes to engage in the same em- 
ployment, so soon as there is opportunity. All the children 
are placed entirely under our control, and the most entire 
satisfaction is expressed as to the manner they are treated. 

"The school is taught on the Lancastrian plan, and the 
progress of the children has exceeded our most sanguine ex- 
pectations. Thirty-one began the A. R, C's. Several of these 


can now read the TeStameht, and others. in easy reading les- 
sons. Most of them have also made considerable progress 
in writing. „ 

"There have been instances of lads 14 to 16 years old, en- 
tirely ignorant of our language, who have perfectly learned 
the alphabet in three days, and on the; fourth day could read 
and pronounce the abs. We have never seen the same num- 
ber of children in any school, who appeared more promising. 
Since they commenced, their attention has been constant. 
No one has left the school, or manifested a wish to leave it.'^ 

"Want of accommodations, but more particularly ^ant of 
funds, has obliged us to refuse man/y children who wish to 
enter the school. If adequate meaiis can be obtained, we 
design to increase the number to 80 or 100. It is our inten- 
tion to embrace in their education, that practical industry, 
and that literary, moral and religious' instruction, which may 
qualify them for useful members of society; and for the ex- 
ercise of those moral principles, and that genuine pietyj 
which form the basis of true happiness. 

"The expenditures of the mission, including the outfit 
and traveling Expenses of the missionai-ies, and exclusive of 
their services (which have all been gratuitous) have been more 
than $9000. About $2000, of this has been on account of 
buildings. It has' been our constant endeavor to impress on 
the people of this nation the advantages of instruction, and 
the propriety of their contributing tovvards the education 
of their own children; and by commencing on a labored and 
, extensive scale for their Wprovement we have drawn forth a 
. spirit of liberality as unexpected as it is encouraging. 

"At a council in August, which by invitation I attended, 
, the natives subscribed ninety-five cows and calves, and more 
than $1300 in cash for the benefit of the school. At a lower 
town district, in September, they unanimously voted to 
appropriate $2,000 (tHtir proportion of the money due from 
the United States for the last purchase of land) to the sup- 
port of a school in that district. It has been proposed in this 
district to make a similar appropriation for the benefit of 
this school. 

; "These measures discl&se the disposition of the Nation 
and evince that under the influence and direction of 
the Executive a fund might be established, which eventu- 
ally would be adequate to the instruction of the Nation, 
We feel a confidence that in future treaties with the Nation, 
this subject will, without any suggestibn of ours, receive 
that attention which its consideration demands." 

"To bring this people," continues that true Christian, 
"within the pale of civilization and Christianity is a great 


work. The instruction of the rising generation is unques- 
tionably the most direct way to advance. Nothing is now 
wanting to put the great mass of children in this Nation, in 
a course of instruction but efficient means. 

It may be proper to observe that the Chickasaws are 
anxious to have similar institutions in their Nation; and 
two more are earnestly desired and much needed by the 
Choctaws. For the support of one of them, two thousand 
dollars for 17 years annually ($34,000) have already been ap- 
propriated by the Choctaws. It is the intention of the Amer- 
ican Board to commence one or more of the establishments as 
soon as they can command the means. It is therefpre desir- 
able that the onp already commenced here should be comple- 
ted without delay and placed on a perm;anent foundation. 

Before closing this report, I beg leave to remark on two 
points relative to the improvement of the Choctaws. ' 

First: We think the introduction of a few respectable 
mechanics of good moral character, would be of great ad- 
vantage in civilizing and introducing industry among them. 
We have a blacksmith of this description, who came out at 
the expense of the American Board, and the. profits of his 
work are devoted to the support of this establishment. Many 
of the mechanics found in the Indian countries are of little 
advantage in any respect; and the conduct of some is an out- 
rage on barbarism itself. 

Second. — "Could the missionaries be relieved from the 
labor of greeting the buildings, it would enable them much 
sooner to direct their attention to thfe improvement of a 
plantation and other necessary preparations for commencing 
the school. 

"With sentiments of sincere respect, I am, dear sir, 
your obedient and very humble servant, 

Cykus Kingsbury. 

From a letter (now before me) written to the then young 
missionary, Rev. Cyrus Kingsbury, bearing date, October, 
2nd, 1819, 1 take the following extract: "In a situation like 
yours, it must be an unspeakable comfort to know that you 
have the prayers of God's people. Many are daily supplicat- 
ing the Throne of Grace for you, and ihe object in which you 
are engaged; but I prfesume you can hardly realize the extent 
of the interest which is awakened for .our missions among 
the Southern Indians. The eyes of all our churches are 
turned toward them with the earnest expectation, which is 
the oflFspring of faith and prayer. The Indian character in 
the estimiltion of even those who have hitherto deemed 
them too savage to be civilized; and those who-acknowledged 
the excellency of many of the native traits of their character. 


but were faithless as to the practicability of making' them 
good citizens, are now convinced by the experiments made at 
Brainard, (among the Cherokees) that the Indians can be 
educated, become good citizens and devout Christians. 
Another evidence that had the whites exercised the same 
credulity in giving heed td the voice of truth that so long and 
loudly appealed to them in behalf of the Indian race, as they 
were credulous to the voice of falsehood, the unfortunate 
Indians would not have so suffered at the hands of ignorance. 
But continues the writer: i 

"Truly, you have seen more to rejoice your Jieart than is 
witnessed by one in -ten of our New England ministers. You 
have witnessed the Christian devotion or characters once de- 
graded. You have withessed the wilderness and the solitary 
place, in one year, became glad before you, and the desert; 
blossom as the rose. After such experience of the smiles of 
Tieaven do not faint or become discouraged. God's promises 
are established in truth, and they are all yours. Blessed 
promises! Thus far the Lord has "faliored you more than 
any Indian missionary for sixty or sevtfhty years ^ast. The 
public are waking up with wondetrful rapidity to* the 
wants of the Indians. You may be distressed and perplexed 
for a season, but it will not last always. • The Lord will come 
and will not tarry." 

. But it does not fall within the present plan of this work 
to enter fully into the history, in all its particulars, of those 
worthy and interesting missions of ^eventy years ago among 
the Choctaws, to them the dawn of hope; the return of spring 
after a long and dreary winter, — but only to present certain 
aspects and features of them, which shall exhibit thei hand 
of God as engaged to renovate and bless a long 'Oppressed 
Nation, and preparing for it a gracious visitation. Shortly 
after the necessary houses for dwellings, school and church 
purposes, had been erected and all things had .settled down 
to systematic business, and the missionaries 'to give their 
whole attention to their ministerial labors,^there was a mov- 
ing of the long stagnant waters, — a presentment of coming 
change; and soon a mental activity that presaged emancipa- 
tion of the Choctaws from the long, dark night of spiritual 
gloom that had brooded over their minds during ages un- 
known, , 

For the first few years the good and glorious work of 
reform went on for the most part quietly though steadily. 
Then there was manifested a greater spirit of inquiry, not 
only about the truth as a matter of speculation, but after 
salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. It was truly 
affecting to see the d§,ep and unaffected interest manifested 


by those unlettered warriors, as they listened for the first 
time to the, wonderful story of the Cross — a theme to them 
incomprehensible and almost beyond human belief. That a 
friend mig-ht peradventure die for a friend was to them a 
possible thing-; but for a father to g-ive Jiis only son to die for 
the benefit of his enemies, and that son also be willing; to 
accept the ordeal of dying- the most excruciating' death that 
their mutual enemies might be benefitted thereby, seemed 
too incredible for belief, and filled them with wondering as- 
tonishment. Yet hundreds of them yielded to the i-egener- 
ating influenoes and power of the Divine Spirit years before 
they were driven from their ancient hoin<fS to seek others in 
a distant wilderness that the progress of the white man in 
his strife for gain might not be impedecl by their presence, 
and lived the exemplary lives of the true Christian, and 
died the death of the righteous in bright hopes of a blissful 
immortality . 

The first conversion among the full-blooded Choctaws 
was that of an aged man. Who lived near Col. David Folsom, 
chief of the Choctaws,«iamed Tun-a pin a-chuf-fa, (Our one 
weaver) hitherto as igrtoi-ant of the principles of the religion 
of Jesus Christ as it is possible to conceive. He manifested 
an interest in the subject of religion about six months before' 
any other of his, people in the neighborhood, and soon began 
to speak publicly in religious meetings, and gave evidence, 
by his daily walk and conversation, of a happy and glorious 
change, to the astonishment of his people, who could .not 
comprehend the mystery. The old man, but now a new 
one, lived the life of a true and devoted Christian the few 
. remaining years of his life, and then died leaving bright 
evidence of having died the death of the righteous. When 
he was received into the church, he waS baptised and given 
the name of one of the missionaries, viz.: William Hooper, 
by his own request, towhom Mr. Hooper had endeared himself 
by many acts of kindess conferred upon the aged and appre- 
ciative Choctaw. ' 

Shortly after he professed religion, he dictated a letter 
to Col.^David Folsom, his nephew, which was written and 
translated into English byMr. Loring Williams, of which the 
following is a copy: 

"Ai-ik-hum-a; Jan. 30, 1828," (A place of learning.) 

"Brother: — Long time h^d'we been as people in a storm 
which threatened, destruction, until the missionaries came 
to our land; but now we are permitted to hear the blessed 
Gospel of truth. You, our brother and chief, found for us a 
good and bright path, and we would follow you in it. Y.tu 
are as our good father, and your words are good. Your 


messengers (the missionaries^, that you sent to us, we hear. 
When we think of our old ways, we feel ashatned." This 
blessed day I have given a true talk. The black and dirty 
clothes I used to wear I have taken off and» cast away. ,Clean 
and good clothes, I now put on. My heart, I hope, had been 
made new. My bad thoughts I throw awajr.' Thewordsof 
the. great Father above I am seeking to have in nly mind.' ' 

The missionaries, in the Choctaw Nation, salute, v The 
missionaries, chiefs, and people, I salute. O my chief, I, 
your uncle, salute you. I am your wari-ior. You must re- 
member me in your love. The letter which! send you, you 
must read to your captains, leaders, and warriors. As I ffeel 
today, I wish to have all my Choctavv brothefs feel. I am 
the first of the Ghocta:ws that talk the good talk. My chief, 
as you go about among your people, you must' tell them this,' 
the dark night to me has gone, and the morning has dawned 
upon me. The,jiiissionaries at Mayhew, I'salute you. Mr. 
Kingsbury, when this letter you see, you will forward it to 
Miko (chief)Folsom. Tunapinachuffa. 

Soon after the writing'of this letter, Mr Williams visited 
the venerable ex-chief and retired- warrior of the Choctaws. 
As he drew near the humble log cabin of the aged Choctaw, 
his attention was attracted by the voice of singing. He halt- 
ed a moment to listen. It was the aged Tunapinachuffa 
singing a song of Zion ; and when Mr. Williams came 
up he found him sitting at the opposite side of his little 
cabin, resting his head on one hand and holding a catachism 
in the other, holding holy anjd sweet communion with his 
newly found Savior; and so absorbed was he in his medita- 
tions, that the presence of Mr. Williams was not known, un- 
til announced by the barking of the dogs; and yet,^sodeep 
and pleasant was his reverie, that he remained seemingly 
unconscious of everything around him until Mr. Williams 
came to his .^ide and spoke to him. He then looked up, 
sprrng to his feet and greeted Mr. Williams with unfeigned 
manifestations of the greatest joy; and, at once, inquired 
after Mr. Kingsbury with expressions of the greatest affec- . 
tion ; then requested Mr. Williams to tell Mr. Kingsbury, 
that "he did. love the Savior with all his heart and soul;" that 
"he took great delight in the Sabbath, and loved to prayi" 
that, "to-day heaven is near; it is not for away^I know it is 
near — I feel it." Mi-. Williams and the new born babe in 
Christ, though feeble alone with the weight of nearly three 
score years and ten-i-the Psalmist's allotted period of man's ^ 
earthly sojourn — joined in a song together; (in praise to Him 
who has said: "Come unto me, ye that are heavy laden, and 
I will give you rest; and then Tunapinachuffa offered up a 


prayer to Him who is the Indian's God as well as the white 

Mr. Williams stated, in speaking- of the interview with 
the venerable Choctaw, that, he prayed with the deepest 
sincerity for his family; then, that all. Ws people "might be 
united'to Christ in peace and love as with an iron chain; and 
that they mig-ht take hold of the Savior with their hands." 
At morning- and at night tVs redeemed Choctaw child of God 
called his household around the family altar, nor ever per- 
mitted business or compainy to interfere with those sacred 

But Tuna pin a chuff a was not an isolated case. Hun- 
dreds of similar cases could be mentioned among the young, 
a^ well as the aged, of those Choctaw converts under the 
teachings of ;the missionaries when living in their ancient 

After the conversion of Tuna pin a chuffa, a great and 
wonderful change for the better was soon seen in not only 
Tuna pin a chuffa's district, but also in other districts — 
both in outward appearance and moral condition. The men 
soon began to acquire habits of industry, cultivating cotton 
and enlarging their corn fields. Temperance rapidly 
gained ground all over the Nation; and in nearly every house 
throughout the country soon were found the cotton card, 
the spinning wheel and the loom, with here and there black- 
smith and wood-shops.. 

Soon large quantities of various cotton cloths were made 
by the Choctaw mothers and daughters; while the father and 
son raised corn, sweet potatoes, peas, beans, and various 
kinds of vegetables; and their willingness to work ran 
parallel with their progress and advancement in Christian 
knowledge. Nor was there any difficulty experienced by the 
missionaries in hiring Choctaws to work for them, both men 
and women, and even boys and girls; many of the men with 
their families, went to the adjoirting States and picked cotton 
for tte white farmers; after they had gathered their own 
crops. As cotton pickers, both in quantity and quality, day 
by day, they had no superiors; therefore, the white farmers 
paid them one dollar per hundred pounds, and also boarded 
them; and a thousand have been known to leave their Nation 
at one time to pick cotton in the States; and before they were 
driven to the wild wilderness far away to the west by the 
inexorable law of the whites, that "IVIight is Right," when 
dealing with the North American Ind4an; fifty, yea a hun- 
dred and fifty, drunken white men could be found in the 
contigudus States, to where one Choctaw would be found in 
the Nation most distant from the neighborhood of the white 


settlements. Much has been said to prove the drunken 
Indian, to be a friend incarnate; and though I have seen 
drunken Indians, yet my experience hqts/ tatight me that a 
drunken white man is far worse than a drunken Indian, and 
more to be feared ten to one, than the Indian . ' 

AfterTunapinachuffa, followed the conversion of Col.David 
Folsom, and many other leading men of the Nation, together , 
with the common warriors and their wives; and to that extent 
was the interest in the subject of religion manifested by, all 
'that a special meeting was appointed in the woods by the 
missionaries; and at which, Col. David FolSom and , others, 
together with the now zealous and good old Tuhapinachuffa, 
took an active part. Though there were fe-j^ Choctaws 
present, yet the Spirit of God was there; and one evening' an 
unusual solemnity seemed to pervade the entire little com- 
pany of worshippers, and so deeply felt by old Tunapina- 
chuffa, that he was unable to longer restrain himself. He 
arose and commenced an exhortation to his people present, , 
and continued for thirty or mpre minutes in such sublime 
Indian eloquence (Nature's gift untarnished by human art) 
such deep pathos, and such irresistible arguments, as are 
seldom hear|d anywhere. 

At the close of hi^ inimitable and indescribable exhorta- 
tion, he, in a persuasive tone of voice, said: "All you whb 
'desire and are willing to receive these Good Tidings from 
above into your hearts and go with me' to the good land 
above, come and sit on this log." What a moment -Was that to 
the noble-hearted and pious missionaries who were so for- 
tunate as to be present ! Who can justly describe it? Fiirst 
one, and then another and another, came foi-ward and' took' 
their seats on that forest log, until it was coVered, thiis mani- 
festing and openly avowing their determination toperve the 
livihg God; and there and then twelve adults becaibe living, 
active witnesses for .the cause of the worl'd's, Redeemer.' 
That little religious meeting, in the deep solitudes of a Mis- 
sissippi forest, closed; but the tidings of its strange pro-. 
ceedings and its more wonderful results , spr^ead "far and 
wide, and it became the subject of conversation and inquiry 
for miles away; and sobn was awakened such a feeling of 
curiosity and desire to learn mdre of this, to them strange 
and incomprehensible thing, that other meetings were ap- 
pointed, to which hundreds gathered, artd the result was they 
were multiplied all over the land and scofes flocked to and 
around the standard of Christianity. 

But this interest was confined for several months, al- 
most exclusively, to the northern part of the Nation contigu- 
ous to Mayhew, whence the missionaries went out among the 


Choctaws aiid taug-h^ and preached to them . The converts 
were at first gftthpred into one church organization though 
widely separated;' henife their sacramental meetings were 
held in the woods under the wide extended branches of the 
mighty forest oaks of that day — ^^God's natural temples — 
where many hundred^ would congregate and spend several i 
days worshipping God; and a more hu-mble. ^nd devout as- 
sembly, of worshippers of the Hying God (without an indif- 
ferent or idle spectator) was never anywhere beheld than 
were those worshipping Choctaws. At one of these forest 
meetings, where the wind, (nature's harp) sighing amid the 
thick and wide extended limbs of the giant forest trees, had 
for ages untold received no response but that of the defiant 
war-hoop, now was mingled the praise of huma.n tongues in 
anthems sweet with nature to nature's God; ninety Choc- 
taws both men and women, were enrolled in the army of the 
Cross; and at another over a hundred, 

Messrs. Williams, Smith, Howse and Bardwell, shortly 
after the establishment of the Mayhew mission, took charge 
of the one established in the southern part of the Nation 
among a clan of Choctaws called Okla Hunnali, (people Six), 
distant seventy or more miles from Mayhew, leaving Messrs. 
Kingsbury, (to whom the Choctaws gave the name Na-sho-ba 
No-wah (Walking Wolf), Byington (whom they named La- 
pish 0-la-han-chih, Sounding Horn), Cushman and a few 
others at Mayhew. 

Soon after the close of the revival tpeetings in the north- 
ern part of the Nation, several new converts, in company 
with Col. David Folsom and a few missionaries of the May- 
hew mission, made ^ journey to the Okla Hunnali mission to 
attend a religious meeting previously appointed. The Choc- 
taws of that district, expecting them, came in large numbers 
from the surrounding villages to the appointed place to wel- 
come them, and manifested the greatest delight regarding it 
as great favor conferred upon them by their friends who had 
come so far to attend their meetings. They assembled 
without ostentation, yet in all the paraphernailia of Choctaw 
custom, presenting a novel appearance to the eye of the 
novice. But the "tidings of great joy— peace on 6arth and 
good will to man".— to the red as well as the white, proclaimed 
and urged upon them with such evidence of truth, sincerity 
and deep feeling, was to thei^i something new indeed, unseen 
and unfelt before. 

Calm reflection assumed (as at the meetings in the north- 
ern section of the Nation) the place of thoughtlessness and 
indifference, (for an Indian can and doQs reflect as well as a 
white man), and soon were seen on many .i painted face 


trickling tears (though not given to' weepi'ug),forii;ing little 
channels throU^^h the vermilion as they coursed, their way' 
down. And this meeting was also blessed' with' a gracious 
visitation of the Holy Spirit, and many, 'precious, souls,, 
(though Choctaws) were gathered into '.the fold of the Great 
Shepherd as had been done m the northern pqrtion. of their. , 
country. At o'rice^a mighty change began, all' over their 
Nation whei-ever the missionaries went, )vho truly, might be ■ 
termed the Apostles of God to the- Choctaws; and soon, one 
by one their aiicient customs and habits we're; 'f driver laid, 
aside, culminating in a general changeof; things' well adapt- 
ed to their then, it may be truthfully stated, progressive,, 
condition. But among the rtiost prominent indicat- 
ing a speedy reformation at this time (1,826), Was. .the enact- 
ing of a law forever baiiishing that curse' of .ajU.' curses O-ka 
Humma (Red Water) or properly O-kaJio-irii (Strong Water) 
which, like that of th^ Medes and Persians chahgeth not, , 
stands to-day unrepealed, and will so continue as long, as 
they are permitted to exist as a Nation. , '.'. 

Mady of the a.ncient Choctaws were; a depts in the art of 
singing their native airs, of which ihey had many; but all 
effort to induce one of them to sirig alone one of his favorite 
song-s was fruitless. They invariably replied to the solicitation 
in broken English, "Him no'good." Then sing me a war- 
song. "Him heap no good'," w^th 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!'I(anancient. 
exclamation of suprise — 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 Ishalt ^nd it after 
many days. More than once has it fallen to my lot to c6n- 
tribute to an Indian's immediate necessities, in days of their 
individual want and weakness; and, in after days— the inci- 
dent by me loiig forgotten; they have, returned, the .favor, 
thirty fold; and for many favors have ,1' become. indebte;d,to, 
them, when I hid nothing to return. T^eir. great, de- 
licacy in conferring' a favor was; not. the least admirable 
part "of their conduct,, of te.n they wQUlcl .leaye ,a, larg^f.wild,, 
turkey upon the door-!4ill,'or place a;y^nifiC!n hjvtn jiist withiti,- 
it, and Steal away .without saying a,;VVord,', as if .^hey -feared,, 
you might stispect them .of trying to buy yoiy friendships 


irfaen not enabled to secure it »lone bj merit: or that, to 
accept a present from a poor Indian mi^ht be hnmiliating^ to 
the pride of the receiver and they woaM >c-ire him the mor- 
ti£catioo :: thanks. Nerer w-s~ a race of people 
more sensitive of iandaess, or more grateful for any little 
act of benevolence exercised toward thpm. or practiced the 
great Christian principle. Charity to a greater degree of 
perfection, especially in regard to strangers, than did the 
North American Indians. The n-i-s: ;nir:e= everywhere 
and among all tribes, met them with Idndnessand coniidence, 
and conducted them^^elre;- by the rules of strict integrity in 
all their dealing with them; and no in-tance baus been re- 
corded, where their confidence iifc the Indiana was betrayed,^ 
or their ecod opinion of them destr:- ved. 

The Cboctaws were great imitators, and possessed a 
nice tact in adopting- the manners of those with wboni they 
ass'>ciated. An Indian, however, is Nature's gentleman — 
never familiar, coarse or mlgar. If he takes a meal with yon, 
he quietly waits to see you make u^e of the unaccustomed 
iai{Aements on the table, and the manner in which yoa eat. 
he exactly ::sit2.tes with a grave decornm and as much appar- 
ent ease, as if he had been accns: >med t.> the -.ame usages 
from childhood. He never attempts to help hiratrc'.f or de- 
mand more food. ^Jt patiently waits until von perceive what 
he requires. This :r.r.ate pi-viteness :r^ natural t :• all Indiir.~. 
But the mixtiire of white bksoc. while ;t may be ^A to add a 
iittle to the physical beauty of the half-^race, yet pr. iucc= a 
deplorable fiJing ; f from the CMT^aal inteirrity of the Indian 
character; which, however, may be attributed wboOy to the 
weH known fact, that the young iiai:-":.rec!s min^'ie witi: the 
'.vb:te> ninety per cent more than tbe i~.'.-t'.- •■.'..-: and ever 
retain that peculiar character— tic of the Indian i. e. c-jr.i- 
dence in^all prvfe^-i- r.- .:•: friendship an.tii proted faKe, then 
never i?ain t.j be trz^ted; th js are they e^~ily made the 
dupes of the whites, and are i^-norantly. and therefore un- 
conscioti^Iy, led ~tep by step oow-n t :• a leve! with their de- 
stroyers, and t:o late awake to :r»c consciousness 
that they are tbe victims. Thus is the pro:e~-ed grandeur 
of our civilizatioa portrayed to t'ne :a'.i-b!o«id Indian. No 
wonder he wants none of it. If :^'.i:h is the resuit of that 
civii:£ati^>n we would have him adopt, no wonder he shrinks 
Iron: it as he would from a fearful contain n. 

No Indian was efer so =^elnsb a> to >n:oVe a'.one in the 
presence of others. I hare c ft attended thar - -cial gather- 
:na"s where, seated oo the ground in little groajr, forming 
little circies. the personificatioa of bli-^ful c ntentment, I 
invariably saw the f»ipe on it=. line of march, and - continued 


until the talk was ended. If but two were seated together, 
and one lighted his pipe, he only drew a few whiifs and then 
handed it to his companion, who also drew a whiff or two 
and returned it; and thus the symbol of peace, friendship \ 
and gjood will passed back and forth until the social chat was 

The Choctaw women did not indulge in the use of tobacco 
in any way whatever when living. east of the Mississippi,'ex- 
cept a few in advanced years; and it was regarded as great 
a breach of female decorum for a Choctaw wom,en to use the 
weed, as it is with the white women of the present day to 
chew or smoke; and even the men confined its use exclusively 
to the pipe. But now they seem to have deviated to some 
extent from that good custom; for in my travels over their 
country during the last few years, I have frequently fallen in 
company with Choctaws, and when offered a chew of tobacco 
it was accepted by a few fuUbloods, atid chewed with as 
much gusto as we rode along together, as I dared to assume 
with all my long years of experience; and thus I ascertained 
that those of the present day do not conijne the use of tobacco 
exclusively to the pipe as did their fathers of the long> ago, 
proving the truthfulness of the adage, "Evil communications 
corrupt good manners," and also good habits. 

The innate politeness of the Indians, when in their 
strength and independence east of the Mississippi River, was 
truly remarkable. The early explorers were surprised at 
the perfection of this characteristic in the Choctaw Indians, 
and many expressed their admiration in their writings. If 
a Choctaw of the long 'ago met a white man with Ayhom he 
was acquainted and on terms of social friendship, he took his 
proffered hand, then with a gentle pressure and forward in- 
clination of the head, said, in a mild and sweet tone of voice: 
"Chishno pisah yukpah siah it tikana su," I am glad to see 
you my friend, and if he has nothing of importance to com- 
municate, or of anything to obtain infoi?mation, he passed on 
without further remarks; no better proof of good sense can 
be manifested, and well worthy of imitation. 

But one of tlie many noble traits among the Choctaws 
was that of unfeigned hospitality; and to that extent that it 
became proverbial — deservingly so. When any one entered 
their house or hunting -camp, be he a friend, mere acquain- 
tance or entire stranger, they extended the hand of welcome 
—and it was sincere,— and after exchanging a few words of 
greeting, the visitor was invited to take a seat; after which, 
they observed the most profound ^silence, waiting for their 
Visitor to report his business. When he had done this, the 
silent but attentive wife brought what food she might have 

174 ' IflSTORY OF THE rNDllvNS. 

-prepared, (they were seldom found without something on 
hand), and her husband said to his guest: "Chishno upah" 
"you eat." To exhibit a true knowledge of Choctaw 
etiquette, it became your duty to partake a little of every 
thing the hospitable wife had placed before you; otherwise 
you would, though unwittingly, cause y«ur host and hostess 
to regard your neglect of duty as a plain demonstration of 
contempt for their hospitality — purposely intended and of- 
fered, y^ 

Whether the Choctaws assembled for social conversa- 
tion or debate in council, there never was but one who spoke 
at>a time, and under no circumstances was he interrupted. 
This noble characteristic belongs to all the North American 
Indians, as far as I have been able to ascertain. In the 
public councils of the Choctaws, as well as in social gather- 
ings and religious meetings, 'the utmost decorum always 
prevailed, and he who was talking in the social circle or ad- 
dressing the council or lecturing in the religious "meeting, 
always had as silent and attentive hearers as ever delighted 
and blessed a speaker. A noble characteristic. And when 
a question had been discussed, before putting it to a vote, a 
few minutes were always given for silent meditation, during 
which the most profound silence was observed; at the expira- 
tion of the allotted time, the vote of the assembly was taken ; 
and which, I have been informed, is still kept up to this day. 
For many years after they had arrived from their ancient 
homes to the present place of abode, no candidate for an 
office of any kind ever went around among the people solicit- 
ing votes; the candidates merely gave notice by public an- 
nouncement, and that was all ; and had a candidate asked a 
man for his support, it would have been the death knell to 
his election. '' 

On the day of the election, the name of all the candidates 
-were written in regular order upon a long strip of paper; 
with the office to which each aspired written opposite to his 
name; and when the polls were opened, this paper, with the 
names of the candidates and the' offices to which each 
aspired written upon it, was handed to the voter when he 
presented himself at the polls to vote, who commenced at 
the top of the list and called out the name of the candidate he 
•wished to support for the different offices; if the voter could 
not read, then one of the officers in charge of the election, 
who could read, took the paper and slowly read the names 
and the office aach aslpirant desired; and the voter called out 
the name of each candidate for whom tie wished to vote as he 
read; and no candidate ever manifested any hard feelings 


toward those ^vlio voted against him. Here was exhibited 
■true libertjr and free sufErag-fe.' ' '■ ;■ " 

De Soto found the southern Indians to beyan agricultural 
people, provident, patriotic, hospitable and geilerous, three 
hundred and fifty years ago; and when he tested their .patri- 
otism at Moihabinah, and Chickasahha he learned to his sat- 
isfaction that their heroic bravery 'in defense of their 
country, their homes and hfeaven bequeathed right, was 
unsurpassed in the history of the world. -^ 

The missionaries found them in 1815 an unlettered 
people, yet far from meriting the title savage in the common 
acceptation of the word. ' They found thtm to be a noble 
hearted and interesting people free of a majority of the de- 
basing vices practiced by the' whites, and alcquainted with 
many of the domestic and agricultural, and posse>ssing many 
utensils and implements belonging to each; on a small scale 
' 'tis true, yet amply sufficient for their Wants. 

They recogiiized and acknowledged a Supreme Being, 
— The Great Spirit, the creator and f uler of all things. This 
■Great Spirit was held in great reverence by all Indians. 
Never did a North American Indian profane the name 6f his 
Creator or deny his power. 

The Choctaw warrior, as I knew hjm in his native Mis- 
sissippi forest, was as fiiie a specimen of manly perfection 
as I have ever beheld, ^^e seemed to be as perfect as 
the human form could be. Tall, beautiful in symmetry of 
form and face, graceful, active, straight, fleet, with lofty and 
independent bearing, he seemed worthy in saying, as tie of 
Juan Fernandez fame: "I am monarch of all I survey." His 
'black, piercing eye. seemed to penetrate and ^ead the very 
"thoughts of the heart, while his firm step proclaimed a feel- 
ing sense of his manly independence. Nor did their women 
fall behind in ill that pertains to female beauty. I have seen 
among the Choctaws and Chickasaws, when living east of the 
Mississippi, as beautiful ydung women as could be found 
among any nation of people— civilized or uncivilized. Many 
of them seemed, and truly were, nymphs of the woods. 
They were of such unnattii-al beauty that they Ittei-ally ap- 
peared to light up everything around them. iTh^eir shoul- 
ders were broad and square and their carriage true to 
Nature which has never b^n excelled by the hand of art, 
their long, black tresses hung in flowing waves, extending 
nearly to the ground; but the beauty of the countenances of 
many of those Choctaw and' Chickasaw girls was so extra- 
ordinary that if such faces were seen to-day in one of the 
parlors of the fashionable world, they would be considered 
as a type of beauty hitherto unknown. It was the wild un- 


trammeled beauty of the forest, at the same time melancholy 
and splendid. The bashful calm in their larg:e, magnificent 
eyes, shaded by unusually long, black eye-lashes, cannot be 
described; nor yet the glance, nor the splendid light of the 
smile which at times lit up the countenance like a flash, ex- 
posing the leveliest white and even teeth. Vainly one was 
tempted to believe a whole nocturnal world lay in those 
eyes, the dark fringe of which cast a shadow upon the cheek; 
while they seemed to glance downward into a depth, dreamy, 
calm and melancholy, without a tinge or shadow of gloom. 
'Twas a beauty indeed upon which they who looked, long 
gazed that they might call it up in after days, as some wild 
melody that haunts them still, when far away. Then the 
Choctaw's boast \yas— and justly 'too — "Chahtah siah I" and 
with as much merited pride as he of old "Romanus sum." 

But alas! what a change has seventy-five years wrought 
upon this once free and happy people! How different the 
present generation from that happy, independent spirit that 
characterized their people when living in their ancient 
domains now the State of Mississippi! That manly bearing 
has given place to weakness and dejection; that eye, once so 
bright, bold and piercing, is now faint and desponding. The 
Choctaws once looked you straight in the eye with fearless 
yet polite, manly independence; his descendants now scarcely 
raise their heads to greet you. They seem no longer to view 
life through the rainbow lenses of sanguine hope, but as those 
in despair. Ah, the world may die, but there are some 
sorrows'in^mortal. I have frequently met, here and there, a 
few Choctaws in Texas bordering on Red River. They 
seemed as strangers wandering in a strange land among 
whose people no voice of sympathy could be heard; no word of 
commisseration to be found; no smile of ertcouragement to be 
seen. With each different little band I tried to introduce a 
conversation only to be disappointed; and though I addressed 
them in their, own native language; I could only obtained a 
reply in a few scarcely audible monosyllables. They remem- 
bered the past and were silent, yet how eloquent that 

In 1832, at Hebron, the home of the missionary, Calvin 
Cushman and his family, was the place appointed for the 
assembling of all the Choctaws in that district prepartory to 
their exodus from their ancient domaines to a place they 
knew not where; but towarc] the setting sun as arbitrary 
power had decreed. Sad and mounful indeed was their gath- 
ering together— helpless and hopeless under the hand of a 
haman power that knew no justice or mercy. 

I was an eye witness to that scene of desparing woe and 


heard their sad refrain. I frequently visited their encamp- 
ment and sti-oUed from one part of it to another; while from 
every part of their. wide extended camp, as I walked, g-azed 
and wondered at the weird appearance pf the scene, there 
came, borne upon the morn and evening breeze from every 
point of the vast encampment, faintly, yet distinctly, the 
plaintive sounds of weeping — rising' and falling' in one 
strang-ely sad and melancholy chorus, then dying away in a 
last, long-drawn wail. It was the wailing of the Choctaw 
women — even as that of Rachel for her children. 

Around in different* groups they sat with their children 
from whose quivering lips sobs and moans came in subdued 
unison; now, in wild concert united, their cries quivered and 
throbbed as they rose and fell on the night air, then dying 
away in a pathetic wail proclaiming, in language not to be 
misunderstood, the pressure of ^he anguish that was crush- 
ing their souls — hidden from human eyes and told only to 
the night. Truly, their grief was so deep, so overpowering, 
that even reason seemed to reel, blighted beneath its wither- 
ing touch, too great to admit the cofnfort of hufnan sym- 

The venerable old men, who long had retired from the 
hardships and fatigues of war and the chase, expressed the 
majesty of silent grief; yet there came now and them a sound 
that here and there, swelled from a feeble moan to a deep, 
sustained groan — rising and falling till it died away just' as 
it began. True, a few encouraging smiles of hope, though 
utterly void of sincerity, would not have been out of place, 
but they were unlearned in such subtle arts; therefore, their 
upturned faces mutely, but firmly spoke the deep sorrow 
that heaved within, as they sat in little groups, their gray 
Kfeads uncovered in the spray of dancing sunshine which fell 
through the branches of the trees from above, while pitiful 
indeed was the feeble semblance of approval of the white 
man's policy which they strove to keep in their care worn 
countenances; while the heart-piercing cries of the women 
and children, seated upon the ground with heads covered 
with shawls and blankets and bodies swinging forward and 
backward, set up day and night, sad tones of woe echoing 
far back from the surrounding but otherwise silent forests, 
presenting a scene baffling in description the power of all 
human language; while the young and middle-aged warriors, 
now subdued and standing around in silence profound, gazed 
into space and upon the' scattered clouds as they slowly 
swept across the tender blue, lending wings to the imagina- 
tion which seemed momentary to still, with a sense of \heir 
own eternal calm, the conflicting thoughts that then composed 


the turbulent garison of their hearts. Inaudible, yet from 
flashing eyes and lips compressed that bespoke the emotions 
that surged within, could be read, "Why longer seek for 
hope amid the ashes of life"? While here and there was 
heard an inarticulate moan seeking expression in some snatch 
of song, which announced its leaving a broken heart. 

But why dwell upon such bitter memories? My soul 
finds no pleasiure in them. Deep down to undiscovered 
depths has my life among, and study of the North Apieri- 
can Indians during over three score and ten years, enabled me 
to penetrate their human nature with all their endurances 
and virtues. What the world ought to know, that I have 
written; and especially for those who desire more light on 
that unfortunate race of people, and feel an interest in truth, 
justice, and what concerns humanity the world over. To 
me was offered the mission, and I accepted it because my 
conscience approved it as right; and I have thus far, exerted 
every power to fulfill even to the letter and shall so continue 
to the end; allowing each reader to freely think his oriher 
own thoughts. , . 

Every missionary among the Choctaws, when he entered 
the mission gave a pledge that he would devote his or her 
life to the service of God in the cause of civilizing and Chris- 
tainizing the Choctaw people, with no remuneration what" 
ever except that of food and clothing for liimself and fam ily . 
This was supplied by the Board of Foreign Missions estab- 
lished at Boston, Mass., to which Board everything pertain- 
ing to the mission in tlie way of property belonged — the 
missionaries owning nothing. This BoBfrd had spent a great 
deal towards the missions, and, in the removal of the Choc- 
taws west, was uilable to build up new missions there of suf- 
ficient number to sup])ly );^jor for all of the missionaries; 
hence, all but three wore absolved from their pledge, who 
soon returned to tlieir friends iu Massachusetts, while the 
three — Messrs Kingsbury, Byington and Hotchkins, with 
their families, followed the exiled Choctaws to their unknown 
homes to be found in the wilderness of the west. Mr. Cal- 
vin Cushman was one of the two who remained in Mississip- 
pi, and died ;it liis old Missionary Post, Hebron, a few years 
after the banishment of his old and long tried friends the 
Choctaws, for whose moral and intellectual benefit he had so 
long and faithfully labored; and the other was Mr. Elijah 
Bardwell, who labored at Ok-la Hun-na-tli sixty miles south 
west of Hebron, but who, after the banishment of the Choc- 
taws, moved toapoint a mile and a half east of the present town 
of Starkville, Mississippi. He too, with all the rest of his co- 
laborers, has long since also gone to hisrcward in the blissfu 



1 Immortality; but whose names still live, in honored remem- 
brance in the hearts of a few aged Choctaws, who still sur- 

As an, example of the faithfulness with which , those 
ancient missionaries adhered to every principle inculcated in 
the religion-they professed among and preached to the Choc- 
taws of the long ago, I will here relate the following as 
worthy of remembrance. ' 

In the early days of the town of i Stark ville, Mississippi, a 
blacksmith, (John McGaughey), established a shop in the 
■embryo city, and, in connection^ with his smithing, also 
■traded in horses, keeping a few on hand all the time. Mr. 
Bardwell knowing this, and wishing- to purchase a horse, 
called at Mr. McGaughey 's shop anfe morningf and asked him if 
he had a horse for sale that would be suitable for a farm. 
Mac. replying in the affirmative they went to the stable, 
vv^here Mr. JBardwell, after examining the animal, asked the 
price.' To this Mr. McGaughey replied: "Eighty-five 
dollars." "I regard that as too high a price," said Mr. 
Bardwell. Mr. McGaughey, well knowing the aged mission- 
ary and having unlimited confidence in his integity, asked 
him what he believed the horse to ke worth. To which Mr. 
Bardwell replied: "Sixty-five dollars." "You can have him 
at that price," responded Mr. McGaughey. Mr. Bardwell 
paid the money and took the horse. The trade wds made in 
the spring of the year. Eai'ly in the following autumn, Mr. 
Bardwell called at the shop and, after the usual salutation, 
handed Mr. McGaughey twenty dollars, saying: "Here is 
that money that I owe you." Mr. McGaughey, in much 
astonishment, replied: 'iYouare certainly mistaken. You 
do .not owe me a dollar, you have always paid me the cash 
for all the work I have done for you in my shop." "True"! 
said Mr. Bardwell. "But this is not for work done in the 
shop, biat is due you in a trade we made last spring." "What 
trade"? asked Mr. McGaughey in unfeigned suprise. "Why! 
in the purchase of a horse from you,", replied Mr. Bardwell. 
"But yoii paid me the sixty-five dollars cash, the price for 

. which I told you, you could have hini." "True," replied Mr. 
Bardwell, "But you judged the horse to be worth eighty-five 
dollars, while I estimated his worth at only sixty-five; upon 
trial I have found him to be well worth the eighty-five dollars, 
the price you first asked ' for him. Here is your money." 
"But, Mr. Bardwell, I cannot accept the money. It was a 
fair trade." "Not so;"replied the aged missionary, "you were 

.right, Mr. McGaughey in your judgment as to the correct 
value of the horse, and I was wrong. I insist upon your 
accepting that which is your just due." Mr. McGaughey 


finally accepted the twenty dollars but only through his g-reat 
respect for Mr. Bardwell, whose feelingij he knew would be 
wounded if he did not accept the proffered twenty dollars. 

Mr. John McGaughey, many years afterwards, frequent- 
ly related this horse trade. 

Seventy years ag-o, the Choctaw hunter generally hunted 
alone and on foot; and when he killed his game, unless small, 
he left it where it had fallen, and turning his footsteps home- 
ward, traveled in a straight line, here and there breaking a 
twig leaving its top in the direction he had gome, as a guide 
to his wife whom he intended to send to brihg it home. As 
soon as he arrived, he informed her of his suqcessand merely 
pointed in the direction in which he the gaAie lay. At once 
she mounted a pony and started in the direction indicated ; 
and guided by the broken twigs, she soon arrived at the spot, 
picked up and fastened thedeadanimalto the saddle, mounted 
and soon was athome again; then soon dressed and prepared a 
portion for her hunter lord's meal, while he sat and smoked 
his pipe in meditative silence. No animal adapted for food 
was ever killed in wanton sport by any Indian hunter. 

As a marksman the Choctaw could not be surpassed in 
the use of the rifle. It mattered' not whether his game was 
standing or running; a bullet shot from his rifle, when directed 
by his experienced eye, was a sure messenger of death. A 
shotgun was regarded with great contempt, and never used. 
The rifle, and the rifle alone, would he use. To surprise a 
Choctaw warrior or hunter in the woods — see him before he 
saw you — was a feat not easily accomplished ; in fact, impos- 
sible by an experienced white woodsman, and extremely 
difficult even by the most experienced. His watchful and 
practiced eye was always on the aler.t, whether running, 
walking, standing or sitting ; and his acute ear, attentive to 
every passing sound, heard the most feeble noise, which, to 
the white man's ear was utter silence. 

Years ago I had a Choctaw (fultblood) friend as noble 
and true as ever man possessed, and whom once to know 
was to remember with an esteem approaching the deepest 
affection; and of whom I was justly proud and in whom I 
took delight; and to-day, had I a hundred tongues,' I could 
not express my appreciation of that noble friend. He was 
indeed a cordial to my heart— oft imparting to me an earnest 
of happiness which I thought had fled. Oft in our frequent 
hunts together, while silently gliding through the den^e 
forests ten or fifteen rods apart, he woiild attract my atten- 
tion by his well-known ha ha (give caution) in a low but dis- 
tinct tone of voice, and point to a certain part of the woods 
where he had discovered an animal of some kind; and though 


I looked as closely as possible I could see nothing whatever 
that resembled a living- object of any kind. Being at too 
great a distance to risk a sure shot,. he would signal me to 
remain quiet, as he endeavored to get closer. To me that 
was the most exciting and interesting part of the scene;, for 
ihen began those strategic movements in which the most 
skillful white hunter that I have ever seen, was a mere bun- 
gler. With deepest interest, not unmixed with excitement,! 
closely watched his every movement as he slowly and stealth- 
ily advanced, with eyes fixed upon his object; now crawling 
noiselessly upon his hands and knees, then as motionless as 
a stump; now stretched full length upon the ground, then 
standing erect and motionless; then dropping suddenly to 
the ground, and crawling off at an acute angle to the right 
or left to get behind a certain tree or log, here and there 
stopping and slowly raising his head .just enough to look 
over the top of the grabs; then again be hidden until he 
reached the desired free; with intense mingled curiosity and 
excitement, when hidden from my view in the grass, did I 
seek to follow him in his course with my eyes. ' Oft I would 
. see a little dark spot not larger than my fist jtlst above the 
top of the grass, which slowly grew larger and larger until I 
discovered it was his motionless head; and had I not known 
he was there somewhere I would not have suspected it was 
a human head or the head of anything else; and as I kept my 
eyes upon it, I noticed it slowly getting smaller until it grad- 
ually disappeared; and when he reached the tree, he then 
observed the same caution slowly rising until he stood erect 
and close to the body of the tree, then slowly and cautiously 
peeping around it first on the right, then on the left; and 
when, at this juncture, I have turnfed my eyes from hirn, but 
momentarily as I thought, to the point where I thought the 
game must be, being also eager to satisfy my excited curi- 
osity as to the kind of animal he was endeavoring to shoot, 
yet, when I looked to the spot where I had just seen him— 
lol he was not there; and while wondering to what point of 
the compass he had so suddenly disappeared unobserved, 
and vainly looking to find bis mysterious whereabouts, I 
would be stg^rtled by the sharp crack of his rifle in a differ- 
ent dii-ection from that in which I was looking for him, and 
in turning my eye would see him slowly rising out of the 
grass at a point a hundred yards distant from where I had 
last seen him. "#ell, old fellow," I then ejaculated to my- 
self, "I would not hunt for you in a wild forest for the purpose 
M obtaining your scalp, knowing, at the same time, that you 
wefe somewhere about seeking also to secure mine; I would 
just call to you to come and take it at once and save anxiety." 


Talk about a white man out maneuvering an Indian in a for- 
est, is an absurdity — veritable nonsense. 

Frequently have I proposed to exchange guns with 
George (that was his name--simply George and nothing 
else) my double barrel shot-gun for his rifle, but he invari- 
able refused; and when I asked for his objection to my gun, 
he ever had but one and the same reply— "Him push." He 
did not fancy the reaction or "kicking" so oft experienced in 
shooting the shot-gun which George had, no doubt, once ex- 
perienced to his entire satisfaction. Generous and faithful 
George! I wonder where you are to-day ? If on the face of 
God's green ear..h, I am sure — humble though you ma.y be — 
there is one true heart above the sod that still beats in love 
for me. 

It was truly wonderful with what ease and . certainty the 
Choctaw hunter and warrior made his way through the dense- 
forests of his country to any point he wished to go, near or 
distant. But give him the direction, was all he desired; with 
an unerring certainty, though never having been in that part 
of the country before, he would go Over hill and valley, 
through thickets and canebrakes to the desired point, that 
seemed incredible. I have known the little Choctaw boys, in 
their juvenile excursions with their bows and arrows and 
blow-guns to wander miles away from their homes, this way 
and that through the woods, and return home at night, with- 
out a thought or fear of getting lost; nor did their parents 
have any uneasiness in regard to their wanderings. It is a 
universal characteristic of the Indian, when traveling in an un- 
known country, to let nothing pass unnoticed. His watch- 
ful eye marks every distinguishing feature of the surround- 
ings — a peculiarly leaning or fallen tree, stump or bush, rock 
or hill, creek or branch, he will recognize years afterwards, 
and use them as land marks, in going again through the 
same country. Thus the Indian hunter was enabled to go 
into a distant forest, where he never before had been, pitch 
his camp, leave it and hunt all day — wandering this' way and 
that over hills and through jungles for miles away, and re- 
turn to his camp at the close of the day with that apparent 
ease and unerring certainty, that baffledall the ingenuity of 
the white man and appeared to him as bordering on the mir- 
aculous. Ask any Indian for directions to a place, near or 
distant, and he merely points in the direction vou should go, 
regarding that as sufficient information for any one of com- 
mon sense. . 

In traveling through the Choctaw Nation in 1884, at one 
time I desired to go to a point forty miles distant, to which 
led a very dim path, at times sc;ircelv deserving the name. 


■and Upon making inquiry of different Choctaws whom I f're- 
quently met along my way, they only pointed in the direction 
I musttraveland passed on; and being- ashamed to letit appear 
that I did not have sense enough to goto the desired point after 
being told the direction, I rode ^n without further inquiry, 
and by taking the path, at every fork that seemed to lead the 
nearest in the direction I had been iold to travel, Ij in good 
time, reached my place of destination. So, after all, the 
Choctaws told me all that was necessary in the ma!tter. 

The ancient Choctaw warrior and hunter ieft the do- 
mestic affairs of his humble home wholly to the management 
o;f his wife and children. The hospitalities, of his cabin, 
however, , were always open to 'friend or stranger, but 
before whom he ever assumed a calfai and respectful reserve, 
though nothing escaped his notice. If questioned he would 
readily enter into a conversation concerning his exploits as a 
warrior and hunter, but was indifferent upon the touching 
episodes of home, with its scenes of domestic bliss or w^oe, 
though their tendrils were as deeply and strangely inter- 
woven with the fibres of his heart as with those of any other 
of the human race. The vicissitudes of life, its joys and 
sorrows, its hopes and fears, were regarded as unworthy the 
consideration of a warrior and hunter; but the dangers, the 
fatigues and hardships of war and the chase as subjects only 
worthy to be , mentioned. Yet, with all this, in unfeigned 
a flection for his vvife, children, kindred and friends; in deep 
a nxiety for thpm in sickness and distress; in untiring efforts 
to relieve their necessities and wants; in anxiety for their 
sa fety in hours of danger; in fearless exposure of himself to 
p rotect them from harm; in his silent yet deep sorrow at 
their death; in his unassumed joy in their happiness; in 
the se all Indians stand equal to any race of people that ever 
liv ed. And when roaming with him years ago in the solitudes 
of his native forests, and have looked upon him, whose nature 
and peculiar habits have been declared by the world to have 
no place with the rest of the human family, and then have 
gone with him to his humble, but no less hospitable, forest 
home, and there witnessed the same evidences of joy and 
sorrow, of hope and fear, of pleasure and pain that are 
every where peculiar to man's nature, I could but be more 
' firmly established in that which I long had known, that the 
North American Indian, from first to last, had been wrong- 
fully and shamefully misrepresented, and though in him are 
blended vindictive and revengeful passions, so much con- 
demned by the civilized world, yet I found these were equally 
balanced by warm, generous, and noble feelings, as wfere 
found in any class of the human race: 


To the ancient Choctaw warrior aod hunter, excitement 
of some kind was indispensible to relieve the tedium of the 
nothin^-to-do in %yhich a great part of his life was spent. 
Hence the intervals between war and hunting were filled up 
by various amusements, ball plays, dances, foot and horse 
races', trials of strength and activity in Wrestling and jump- 
ing, all of which being regulated by rules and regulations of 
a complicated etiquette. 

But the Tolik (Ball play) was the ultimatum of all games 
—"the sine qua non" of all amusements to the Indians of the 
southland to which he attached the ^greatest importance, 
and in the engagement of which his delight reached its high- 
est perfection, and in the excelling of which his ambition fell 
not below that of him who contested in the Olympic games of 
ancient Greece. f 

A Choctaw Tolik seventy years ago, was indeed a game 
that well might have astonished the Titan, and diverted 
them, pro. tern, at least, from their own pastime. But 
when I look back through the retrospective years of the long 
past to that animating scene, and then read in recent years 
the different attempts made by many through the journals 
of the day to describe a genuine Choctaw Ball-play of those 
years ago, it excites a smile and onjy intensifies the hold 
memory retains of that indescribable game. No one, who 
has not witnessed it, can form a just idea of the scene from 
any description given; for it baffles all the powers of lan- 
guage and must be seen to be in any way comprehended. 
The base ball-play of the present day, so popular among the 
whites, in point of deep interest and wild excitement pro- 
duced in the spectator, when compared to the Chashpo Tolik 
(Ancient Ball-play) of the Choctaws ea^sl of the Mississippi 
river, bears about the same relation that the light of the 
crescent moon does to the mid-day light of the mighty orb of 
day in a cloudless sky. However, I will attempt a descrip- 
tion, though well aware that after all that can be said, the 
reader will only be able to form a ver}' imperfect idea of the 
weird scene. 

When the warriors of a village, wearied by the mono- 
tony of every day life, desired a change that was truly from 
one extreme to that of another, they sent a challenge to those 
of another village of their own tribe, and, not infrequently, 
to those of a neighboring tribe, to engage ina grand ball-play. 
li the challenge was accepted, and it wa's rarely ever declined 
a suitable place was selected and prepared by the challengers, 
and a day agreed upon. The Hetoka (ball ground) was 
selected in some beautiful level plain easily found in their then 
beautiful and romantic country. Upon the ground, from 


three Iniiidred to four hundred yards apart, two straight 
pieces of timber were firmly planted close tog-ether in the 
g-round, each about fifteen feet in height" and from four to 
six inches in width, presenting a front of a foot or more. 
These were called Aiulbi, (Ball posts.) During the inter- 
vening time between the day of the challenge and that of the 
play, great preparations were made on both sides by those 
who intended to engage therein. With much 'care and 
unaffected solemnity they went through with their prepara- 
tory ceremonies 

The night preceding the day of the play was spent in 
paintinp-, with the same care as when preparing, for the war- 
path, dancing with frequent rubbing of both the upper and 
lower limbs, and taking their "sacred medicine." 

In the mean time, tidings of the approaching play spread 
on wings of the wind from, village toVillage and from neigh- 
borhood to neighborhood for miles away; and during the 
first two or three days preceding the play, hundreds of In- 
dians — the old, the young, the gay, the grave of both sexes, 
in immense concourse, were seen wending their way through 
the vast forests from every point of the compass, to\ifard the 
ball-ground; with their ponies loaded with skins, fur^, 
trinkets, and every other imaginable thing that was part and 
parcel of Indian wealth, to stake upon the result of one or the 
other side. 

On the morning of the appointed day, the players, from 
seventy-five to a hundred on each side, strong and athletic 
men, straight as arrows and fleet as antelopes, entirely in a 
nude state, exceptmg a broad piece of cloth around the hips, 
were heard in the distance acf'^ancing toward the plain from 
opposite sides, making the "heretofore silent forests ring 
with their exulting songs and defiant hump-hel (banter) as 
intimations of the great feats of strength and endurance, 
fleetness and activity they would display before the eyes_ of 
their admiring friends. The curiosity, anxiety and excite- 
ment now manifested by the vast throng of assembled spec- 
tators were manifested on every countenance. Soon the 
players were dimly seen in the distance through their majes- 
tic forests, flitting here and there as spectres among the 
trees. Anon they are all in full view advancing from opposite 
sides in a steady, uniform trot, and in perfect order, as if to 
engage in deadly hand to hand conflict; now they meet and 
intermingle in one confused and disorderly mass interchang- 
ing friendly salutations dancing and jumping in the wildest 
manner, while intermingling with all an artillery of wild 
Shakuplichihi that echoed far back from the solitudes of the 
surrounding woods. 


Then came a sudden hush — a silence deep, as if all 
Nature had made a pause — the prophetic calm before the 
bursting- stbrm. During this brief interval, the betting was 
going on and the stakes being put up; the articles bet were 
all placed promiscuously in one place, often forming a vast 
conglomeration of things too numerous to mention, and the 
winning side took the pile. This being completed, the play- 
ers took their places, each furnished with two kapucha (ball- 
sticks), three feet long, and made of tough hickory wood 
thoroughly seasoned. At one end of each ka-puch-a a very 
ingenious device, in shape and size, very similar to that of 
the hand half closed, was constructed of sinews of wild 
animals, in which they caught and threw the ball. ' It was 
truly astonishing with what ease and certainty they would 
catch the flying ball in the cups of the sticks and the amaz- 
ing distance and accuracy they would hurl it through the 
air. In taking their places at the opening of the play, ten or 
twenty, according to the number of players engaged, of each 
side were stationed at each pole. To illustrate, I will say, 
ten of the A. party and ten of the B partj^ were placed at pole 
C; and ten of the B. party and ten of the A. party at pole D. 
The ten of the B party who were stationed at the pole C. 
were called Fa-lo-mo-li-chi (Throw-backs); and the ten of the 
A. party also stationed at pole C. were called Hat-tak fa-bus- 
sa (Pole men), and the ten of the A. party stationed at the 
pole D. were called Fala molichi, and the ten of the B. party 
stationed at the pole D., Hattak fab.ussa. The business 
of the Falamolichi at each pole was to prevent, if 
possible, the ball thrown by the opposite party, from strik- 
ing the pole C; and throw it back towards the pole D. to 
their own party; while that of the Hattak fabussa at pole C. 
was to prevent this, catch the ball thetnselves, if possible, 
and hurl it against the pole C, and the business of the Fala- 
molichi and Hattak fabussa at the pole D. was the same as 
that at the pole C. In the centre, between the two poles, 
were also stationed the same number of each party as were 
statidned at the poles, called Middle Men, with whom was a 
chief "Medicine man," whose business was to throw the ball 
straight up into the air, as the signal fpr the play to com- 
mence. The remaining players were scattered promiscu- 
ously along the line between the poles and ov«r different por- 
tions of the play-ground. 

All things being ready, the ball suddenly shot up into 
the air from the vigorous arm of the Medicine Man, and the 
wash-o-ha (playing) began. The moment the ball was seen 
in the air, the players of both sides, except the Falamolichi 
and Hattak fabussa, who rcmaino<l at their posts, rushed to 


the spot, where the ball would likely fall, with a fearful shock. 
Now 'began to be exhibited a scene of wild grandeur that 
beggared all description. As there were no rules and regu- 
lations governing the manner of playing nor any act con- 
sidered unfair, each of course, acted under the , impulse of 
the moment regardless of consequences. 

They threw down and ran over each other in the wild 
excitement and reckless chase after the ball, stopping not 
nor heeding the broken limbs and bruised beads or even, 
broken neck of a fallen player. Like a herd of stampeded 
buffaloes upon the western plains, they ran against and over 
each other, or any thing else, man or beast, that stood in 
their way; and thus in wild confusion and crazed excitement 
they scrambled and (tumbled, each player straining every- 
nerve and muscle to its utmost tension, to get the ball or 
prevent his opponent, who held it firmly g'rasped between 
the cups of his trusty kapucha, from making a successful 
throw; while up and down the lines the shouts of the players. 
— "Falamochi! Falamochil" (Throw it backl Throw it 
back) as others shouted Hoklil Hoklio! (Catch I Catch I) The 
object of each party was to throw the ball against the two 
upright pieces of timber that stood in the direction of ■ the 
village to which it belonged; and, as it came whizzing through 
the air, with the velocity comparatively of a bullet shot from 
a gun, a player running at an angle to intercept the flying 
Ijall, and when near enough, would spring several feet' into- 
the air and catch it in the hands of his sticks, but ere he 
could throw it, though running at full speed, ah. 6pponent 
would hurl him to the ground, with a force seemingly / suffi- 
cient to break every bone in his body-^and even to destroy 
life, and as No. 2 would wrest the ball from the fallen No. 1 
and throw it, ere it had flown fiftyfeet, No. 3 would catch it 
with his unerring kapucha, and not seeing, perhaps an op- 
portunity of making an advantageous throw, would start off 
with the speed of a deer, still holding the ball in the cups of 
his kapucha— pursued by every player. 

Again was presented to the spectators another of those 
exciting scenes, that seldom fall to the lot of one short life- 
time to behold, which language fails to depict, or imagination 
to conceive. He now rupso'ff, perhaps, at an acute angle 
with that of the line of the poles, with seemingly super-hu- 
man speed; now and then elevating above hisi headv his ka- 
pucha in which safelv rests the ball, and'in defiant exultation ■ 
shouts,-"hump-hel hump-he!" (I dare you) which was ack- 
nowledged by his own party with a wild.response of approval, 
but responded to by a bold cry of defiance from the opposite 
side Then again all is hushed and the breathless silen,ce is 


only disturbed by the heavy thud of their runningfeet. For 
a short time he continues his straight course, as if to test 
the speed of his pursuing- opponents; then begfins to tircle 
toward his pole. Instantly comprehending- his object, his 
running friends circle with him, 'with eyes fixed upon him, 
to secure all advantages givento them by any stragetic throw 
he may make for them, while his opponents are mingled 
among them to defeat his object; again he runs in a straight 
■ line; then dodges this way and that; suddenly he hears the 
c^-y from some one of his party in the rear of the parallel 
running throng, who sees an advantage to be gained if the 
ball was thrown tg him, "Falamolichi"! "Falamolichi"! He 
now turns and dashes back on the line and in response to the 
continued crv — "Falamolichi"! he hurls the ball with all his 
strength; with fearful velocity it flies through the air and 
falls near the caller; and in the confusion made by the sud- 
denly turning throng, he picks it up at full speed with his 
kapucha, anc] starts toward his pole. Th.en is heard the cry 
yof his hattak fabussa, and he hurls the ball toward them and, 
( as it falls, they and the throw-backs stationed at that pole, 
rush to secure it; and then again, though on a smaller scale, 
a scene of wild confusion was seen — scuffling-, pulling, push- 
ing, butting — unsurpassed in any game ever engaged in by 
man. Perhaps, a throw-back secures the ball and starts 
upon the wing, in the direction of his pole, meeting the ad- 
vancing thi-ong, but with his own throw-backs and the pole- 
men of his opponents at his heels; the latter to prevent^him 
from making a successful throw and the former to prevent 
any interference, while the shouts of "Falamolichi!"" "Fala- 
molichi!" arose from his own men in the advancing runners. 
Again the ball flies through the air, and is about to fall di- 
rectly among them, but ore it reaches the ground many 
spring into the air to catch it, but are tripped and they fall 
headlong to the earth. Then, as the ball reaches the ground 
again is brought into full requisition the propensities of each 
one to butt, pull, and push, though not a sound is heard, ex- 
cept the wild rattling of the kapucha, that reminded one of 
the noise n^ade by the collision of the horns of a drove of 
stampeding Texas steers. Oft amid the play women were 
seen giving water to the thirsty and offering words of encour- 
agement; Nvhile others, armed with long switches stood read v 
to give their expressions of encouragement to the supposed 
tardy, by a severe rap over the naked shoulders, as a gentle 
reminder of their dereliction of duty; all of which was re- 
ceived in good faith, yet invariably elicited the response 
— "Wah!" as an acknowldgement of the favor. 

From ten to twenty was generally the game. Whenever 


\ - 

the ball was thrown against the ^upright ftabussa (poles), it 
counted one, and the successful thrower shouted; '.'Illi tok," 
(dead) meaning one number less; oft accompaning the shout 
by gobbing vociferously like the wild tur key ^ which elicited a 
shout of laughter from his party, and a yell of defiance from 
the other. Thus the exciting, and truly wild and romantic 
scene was continued, \wth unbated efforts on the part of J;he 
players until the game was won. But woe to the inconsider- 
ate white man, whose thoughtless curiosity had led him too 
far upon the hetoka. (ball ground) and at whose feet the ball 
should chance to fall; if the path to that ball was not clear 
of all obstructions, the 200 players; now approaching 
with the rush of a niighty whirlwind would soon make it so. 
And right then and there, thpugh it might be the first time in 
life, he became a really active man, if the desire of immediate 
safety could be any inducement, cheerfully inaugurating pro- 
ceedings by turning a few double somersets, regardless as 
tp the scientific manner he executed them, or the laugh of 
ridicule that might be offered at his expense; and if he 
escaped only with a broken limb or two, and a first-class 
scare, he might justly consider himself most fortunate. But 
the Choctaws have long since lost that interest in the ball- 
play that they formerly cherished in their old homes east of 
the Mississippi River. 'Tis true, now and then, even at the 
present day, they indulge in the time honored game, but the 
game of the preset day is a Lillipution — a veritable pygmy- 
in comparison with. the grand old game of three quarters of 
a century ago; nor will it be many years ere it will be said of 
the Choctaw tohli, as of anbieiat Troy^'-Ilium fuit." 

To any one of the present day, an aneient Choctaw ball- 
play would be an exhibition far more interesting, strange, 
wild and romantic, in all its features, than anything ever ex- 
hibited in a circus from first to last — excelling it in every 
particular of daring feats and wild recklessness. In the 
ancient ball-play, the activity, fleetness, strength and endur- 
ance of the Misisissippi Choctaw warrior and hunter, were 
more fully exemplified than anywhere else; for there he 
brought into the most severe action every power of soul and 
body. In those ancient ball-plays, I have known villages to 
lose all their earthly possessions upon the issue of a single 
play. Yet, they bore their misfortune with becoming grace 
and philosophic indifference and appeared as gay and cheer- 
ful as if nothing of importance had occurred. The educa- 
tion of the ancient Choctaw warrior and hunter consisted 
mainly in the frequency of these -muscular exercises which 
enabled him to endure hunger, thirst and fatigue; hence 
they often indulged in protracted fastings, frequent foot- 


races, trials of bodily strength, introductions to the war- 
path, the chase and their favorite Tolih. 

They also induced in another g'ame in which they took 
great delight, called Ulth Chuppih, in which but two players 
could engage at the same time; but upon the result of which, 
as in the Tolih, they frequently bet their little all. An alley, 
with a hardjsmooth surface and about two hundred feet long, 
Tvas made upon the ground. The two players took a posi- 
tion at the upper end at which they were to commence the 
game, each having in his hand a smooth, tapering pole eight 
or ten feet long flattened at the ends. A smooth I'ound stone 
of several inches in circumference was then brought into 
the arena; as soon as both were ready, No. 1 took the stone 
and rolled it with all his strength dowrt the narrow inclined 
plane of the smooth alley; and after which both instantly 
started with their utmost speed. Soon No. 2, threw his pole 
at the rolling stone; instantly No. 1, thr«w his at the flying 
pole of No. 2, aiming to hit it, and, by so doing, change its 
course fi-ora the rolling s^one. If No. 2 hits the stone, he 
counts one; but if No. 1 prevents it by hitting the pole of 
No, 2, he then counts one; and he, who hits his object the 
greater number of times in, eleven rollings of the stone, was 
the winner. It was a more difficult matter to hit either the 
narrow edge of the rolling stone, or the flying pole, than 
would be at first imagined. However, the ancient Chahtah 
Ulte Chupih may come in at least as a w6rthy competitor with 
the pale-face Ten-pin-alley, for the disputed right of being 
the more dignified amusement. 

Judge Julius Folsom of Atoka, Indian Territory, inform- 
ed me that a friend of his, Isaac WcClure, found an Ultli 
Chnx)pih ball in a. mound near Skullyville, Choctaw Nation, 
Indian 'territory, and not knowing \Vhat it was, brought it to 
him lor information. This proves that the Indians who 
occupied the territory prior to the Choctaws also indulged in 
the game of Ulth Chuppih. 

The following was furnished me by my learned friend 
II. S. Halbert, of Mississippi, a genuine philanthropist and 
true friend to the North American Indian race: 

"The Great Ball Play and Fight on Noxubee" (a (tor- 
ruption of the Choctaw word Nakshobih, a peculiarly offen- 
sive odor), between the Creeks and Choctaws. 

"In the fall of 1836, there died In the southern part of 
Noxubee county an aged Indian warrior named Stonie Hadjo. 
This old Indian had resided in the county for years and was 
very popular with the pioneers, who regarded him as an up- 
right and truthful man. He was a Creek by birth, a Choc- 
taw by adoption. This old warrior would often tell of a 


^reat ball play and fight which occurred between the Creeks 
and Choctaws in Noxubee county. This event, from date 
given by him, must have occurred about the year 1790. 

"On Noxuljee river there was anciently a large beaver 
pond, about which the Creeks and CJhoctaws had a violent 
dispute. The Creeks claimed it by priority of discovery, 
-while the Choctaws asserted their right to it because it lay 
in their own territory. As the fur trade at Mobile and Pen- 
sacola, (corruption of the Choctaw words puska okla, bread 
people, then small places, but the main points of trade for 
the southern Indians) was lucrative, each party was loath to 
renounce the right to the beavers. The two Nations finally 
agreed to settle the inatter by a balji-play. A given number 
of the best players were accordingly selected from each 
Nation, who were to decide, by ■ the result of the game, to 
which Nation, the exclusive i"ight to the beaver pond should 
belong. Grea;t preparaliojts were made by each party for 
this important event. They commenced preparing on the 
new moon and it took them two whole moons and until the 
full of the third to complete preparations. Great quantities 
of provisions had to be procured, and the ball players had to 
subject themselves meanwhile, to the usual requirement of 
practice, the athletic exercises customary on such occa- 

, "Finally the day came, and Stonie Hadjd said that there 
were ten thouwand Indians, Creeks , and Choctaws, camped 
around the ball ground on Noxubee river. The Creek Chief 
who held the highest command, after seeing his people 
propei-lj'' encamped left to pay a visit of ceremony to gjreat 
ChiSf of the Choctaws, who lived at some distantance. Stonie 
Had jo give the names of thpse two chiefs, but tliese names 
cannot now be recalled." (If I mistake not, the Choctaw 
Chief was Himakubih, now to kill). "Every thing being now 
ready the play commenced, and it was admitted on all sides 
to have been the closest and most evenly matched game ever 
witnessed by either nation. Fortune vascillated from Creek 
to Choctaws and then fi'om Choctaw to Crefek. At last, it 
was a tied game, both parties standing even. One more 
game remained to be played which would decide the contest. 
Then occurred a long and terrible struggle lasting for four 
hours. , Every Creek and every Choctaw strained himself to 
his utmost bent. Finally 'after prodigious feats of stren^h 
and agility displayed on both sides, fortune at last declared in 
favor of the Creeks. The victors immediately began to 
shout arid, singl Tl^e' Choctaws were greatly humiliated. 
At length a high spirited Choctaw, player, unable longer to 
-endure the exultant shouts of the victorious party, made an 


nsulting remark to a Creek player. (Who, in retaliation, 
Choctaws state, threw a petticoat on the Choctaw — the 
the greatest insult that can be offered to an Indian). The 
latter resented it, and the two instantly clutched each other 
in deadly combat. The contagion spread, and a general fight 
with sticks, knives, guns, tomahawks and bows and arrows, 
began among\ the ball players. Then warriors from each 
tribe commenced joining in the fight until all were engaged 
in bloody strife. 

"The fight continued from an hour by the sun in the 
evening with but little intermission during the night, until 
two hours by the suh the next morning. At this juncture 
the great chiefs of th^ Creeks and the Choctaws arrived upon 
the ground and at once put a stop to the combat, runners 
having been dispatched at the beginning of the fight to these 
two leaders to inform them of the affair. The combatants 
upon desisting from the fight, spent the remainder of the 
day in taking care of the wounded; the women watching over 
the dead. The next day the dead were buried; their money, 
silver ornaments, and other articles of value being deposited 
with them in their graves. The third day a council convened. 
The Creek and the Choctaw chiefs made "talks" expressing 
their regrets that their people should have given way to 
such a wild storm of passion resulting in the death of so 
many brave warriors. , There was no war or cause for war 
between the two Nations and they counciled that all forget 
the unhappy strife, njake peace and be friends as before. 
This advice was heeded. The pipe ©f peace was smoked, 
all shook hands and departed to their homes. 

"Stonie Hadjo stated that five hundred warriors were 
killed outright in this ijght and that a great many of the 
wounded afterward died. The Creeks and Choctaws had had 
several wars with each other, had fought many bloody bat- 
tles, but that no battle was so disastrous as this fight at the 
ball ground. For many long, years the Creeks and Choc- 
taws looked back to this event with emotions of terror and 
sorrow. For here, their picked men, their ball players, 
who were the flower of the two Nations, almost to a man 
perished. Scarcely was there a Creek or Choctaw family, 
but had to mourn the death of some kinsman slain. For 
several years the Creeks made annual pilgrimages to this 
ball ground to weep over the graves of their dead. The 
Choctaws kept up this Indian custom much longer. Even 
down to the time of their emigration in 1832 they had not 
ceased to make similar lamentations. 

"After the fight, by tacit consent; the beaver pond was 
left in the undisputed possession of the Choctaws; but it is 


said that soon afterwards, the beaver Entirely abandoned the 
pond. According to Indian superstition, their departure 
was supposed to have some connection with the unfortunate 

"In 1832, a man named Charles Dobbs settled on this ball 
and battle ground. Stonie Hadjo, who was then living in 
the vicinity pointed out to him many of the graves, where- 
in money and other valuables were buried. Dobbs dug 
down and recovered about five hundred dollars in silver, and 
about t\Vo hundred and fifty j dollars' worth of silver orna- 
ments. , 

"This ground is situated on the eastern banks of Noxu- 
bee river, about five miles west of Cooksville and about, two 
hundred yards north of where Shuqualak(corruption of Shoh- 
- pakalih,Sparkling,) creek empties into Noxubee. The beaver 
pond, now drained and in cultivation, is situated on the 
western bank>of Noxubee, about half a mile north of the 

Frequently disputes between the ancient Choctaws and 
Muscogees arose as a result of a ball-play, but which too 
frequently terminated in a fearful fight, followed by a pro- 
tracted war. My friend, H. S.' Halbert, informed me by 
letter, of another, which was told to him by an aged Choctaw 
who remained in Missisippi with others at the time of the 
Choctaw exodus in 1832. Is is as follows: 

"The war in 1800 between the Choctaws and Creeks had 
its origin in a dispute about the territory between the Tom- 
bigbee and Black Warrior rivers, which both Nations claim- 
ed. It wa^ finally agreed to settle the matter by a ball-play. 
The play occurred on the west bank of the Black Warrior, a 
mile below Tuscaloosa. The Creek chief was named Tus- 
keegee, the Choctaw,. Luee, (corruption of La wih,- being 
equal). Both parties claimed the victory. A violent dispute 
arose which resulted in a call to arms followed by a furious 
battle in which many were killed and wounded on both sides, 
but the Choctaws were victorious. This occurred in the 
spring. The Choctaws after the fight withdrew to their 
homes. The Creeks, stung by defeat, invaded the Choctaw 
Nation in the ensuing fall under Tuskeegee and fought the 
second battle in the now Noxubee courjty, in which the 
Creeks were victorious. Luee again commanded the Choc- 
taws." But the Choctaws being reinforced, another battle 
was soon after fought in which the Choctaws under Himar- 
kubih, were victorious and drove the Creeks out of their 
country. I have been told that previous to our civil war the 
trees still showed signs of the ancient conflict. 

The Choctaws, at the time of their earliest acquaintance 


with the European races, possessed, in conjunction with all 
their race of the North American Continent, a vag-ue, but to 
a great extent, correct knowledge of tlie Oka Falama, "The 
returning waters," as they termed it — The Flood. 

The Rev. Cyrus Byingfton related' a little incident, as one 
out of many interesting- and pleasing- ones that frequently 
occurred when traveling- through their country from one 
point to another in the discharge of his ministerial duties, 
over seventy years ago. At one time he found night fast 
approaching without any visible prospect of finding a place 
of shelter for the night, safe from the denizens of the wilder- 
ness through which bis devious path was leading him. Then 
and there roads were unknown and paths alone led the trav- 
eler from place to place. Soon, however, he discovered an 
humble cabin a few hundred yards distant, directly to which 
the little path was leading him, and which he readily recog- 
nized as the home of a Choctaw hunter. Several little chil- 
dren were engaged in their juvenile sp®rts near the house, 
who, upon seeing the white stranger approaching, made a 
precipitate retreat into the house. The mother hastened to 
the door to learn the cause of the alarm — saw, gazed a 
moment, and then as suddenly disappeared. As Mr. Bying- 
ton rode up, he observed an Indian man sitting before the 
door, whose appearance betokened his experience in the vi- 
cissitudes of life to have reached four score years or more, 
who cheerfully extended the hospitality of his humble home 
to the solitary and wayworn stranger. 

But nothing strange in this, for who ever heard of an 
American Indian refusing the hospitality of his cabin, how- 
ever so humble, to a passing stranger? Soon Mr, Byington 
\yas also seated before the cabin door near the aged Choctaw, 
and very naturally took a survey of the surroundings. It was 
a cloudless eve in May, 1825. The calm beautiful day was 
just drawing to a close and the slanting sunbeam fell in a 
dreamy sort of indolent beauty upon the delicate shrubbery 
beneath the majestic trees that towered above in stately 
grandeur gangling with their branches lin a careless radiance 
and throwing upon them such gorgeous tints, as they alone 
can bestow at the last moment of their departing glory. Far 
away before the admiring gaze of the humble" missionary, 
stretched a gently undulating plain which seemed to extend 
beyond the sunbeams into the gray twilight of the distant 
east. Her6 and there dense masses of foliage on the north, 
south and w^est, deepening and darkening into increasing 
depths of shade, blended so imperceptibly with the out- 
stretching shadows which they cast, that it was difticult to 
tell where the reality cca:sk.'<l and the sliadow began. Viirious 


Icinds of birds were now flocking' from the open plain into 
the recesses of the dark foliage of the surrounding trees, 
and, with noisy twitterings seemed disputing for the occu- 
pancy of their favorite roosting place upon some selected 
twig; lovely flowers of varieg^ated hue filled the air with 
sweetest perfume, rendering it a luxury to breathe; while 
here and there little groups of ■ cattle and horses lazily crop- 
ped the new and tender grass or idly lay upon its soft carpet, 
which now covered the ground with living green. The aged 
warrior, true to his nature, had sought his cabin door that, 
undisturbed, he might look upon the scene that, stretched in 
a wild panorama of beauty before his appreciative and admir- 
ing'gaze. Romantic and lovely indeed were all the surround- 
ings of that forest home, so truly characteristic of the Indian 
in the selection of his abode. The old warrior and hunter, ' 
ere his meditations were disturbed by the coming stranger, 
was, no doubt, silently and attentively listening to the voice 
of memory calling him from afar oif, back to^ the sunny days 
of early youth, while his ears caught other, cadences that 
whispered of man-hood's strength, when, untrammeled 
by the weight of years, he roamed o'er his native land, 
and, with eagle-eye and nimble-foot, pursued his game, 
or, with ste^althy step, followed' the war-path in its dubious 
windings through the distant country of his foes. But to 
the cultivated mind of the man of God, who now sat by his 
side and also viewed the glories of the scene, hovs' different 
the emotions awakened I His thoughts arose from Nature's 
beauties to the sublimities and glories of Nature's God. For 
it was the place and hour to enter. Nature's sacred temple 
and there commune with her in her own mystic language; 
to see the beautiful where others see it not; to hear anthems 
that whisper to man of hope and joy in the diapason of the 
gentle zepyrs, making the appreciative heart thankful, to be 
■alive; while pitying the dweller^ in crov^ded cities who never 
see or enjby aught like this. 

After an exchange of a few words, and the aged man 
had learned who his guest was, for he had heard of the good 
missionaries, mutual confidence was at once established be- 
tween the two; especially as the stranger was conversant, to 
some extent, in his native Choctaw tongue. During the con- 
versation of the evening, the good missionary, true to his 
trust, narrated to his aged host the story of the Cross, with 
all its interesting bearings, and in conclusion set forth, vvith 
much eloquence, the importance and necessity of his host's 
immediate attention to the things that appertained to his in- 
terests beyond the sphere of time; to all of which the old 
man listened in profound silencCj and with the deepest inter- 


est and attention; then rising- from his 'seat and taking Mr. 
Byington by the hand and leading him to the corner of the 
little cabin where the setting sun could be seen in full view, 
he pointed to it and said: "Your talk is, no doubt, true and 
good, but it is strange and dark to mi. See yonder is the 
sun of my life; it but lingers upon the western sky. It is- 
now too late for me to follow your new and strange words. 
Let me continue in the path I long have walked, and in which 
my fathers before me trod; the Great Spirit tells me, it will 
lead me to the happy hunting grounds of the Indian, and that 
is sufficient for me." And who can say it was not? With 
unshaken faith he believed the Great Spirit would take him 
at the hour of death to the happy hunting ground — the heav- 
en of the Indian, the only one of which he had ever heard. 
Then pointing to his children and grand-children, he contin- 
ued: "Tell your new talk to them and to my young people. 
They have time to consider it. If it is a better way to the 
happy hunting grounds than the Indian's, teach them to 
walk in it, but persuade me not to now forsake my long 
known path, for one unknown and so strange to me." Mr. 
Byington, deeply interested in his aged friend, related, in 
connection with other Bible truths, the account of the flood. 
Instantly the old veteran's countenance brightened up, and 
with a smile of self-confidence said: "You no longer talk 
mysteries. I know now of what you speak. My father told 
me when a boy of the Oka Falama." Mr. Byington then 
asked him, if he knew how long since it occurred. The old 
veteran, with an air of injured innocence, by the doubt ex- 
pressed in the question of his veracity for truth, stooping, 
filled both hands with sand, then, with an expression of tri- 
umphal confidence, said: "As many seasons of snow ago, 
as I hold grains qf sand in my hand . " 

During the fall of 1887, I was boarding at a Choctaw 
friend's in the territory, a man of noble characteristics, and 
one day related to him the above incident. I was struck with, 
his remark. As I closed, he said in a slow and mournfill 
tone of voice; "Ever thinking of the good of their people, — 
the young and rising generations coming after 'them." I 
asked a more explicit explanation. He replied; "The aged' 
men of my people always expressed more concern for the 
welfare of the young than they did for themselves. Tint 
old Choctaw, of whom you have just spoken, seemed to re- 
alize that it was too late for him to be benefitted by the teach- 
ings of the good white man, but still was anxious for him to 
do all the good he could for the young and rising generation of 
his Nation. Why is the Indian so traduced by the white 
man? Has my race no redeeming traits?" Shame for my 


' • ' ■ ^ 

■own race hushed me \o silence, and I made, no reply, as he 
arose and quietly left my room-«-and me to my unpleasant 

The Choctaw hunter was famous as a strategist when 
hunting alone in the woods; and was such an expert in the 
art of exactly imitating the cries of the various animals of 
the forests, that he would deceive the ear of the most expe- 
rienced. They made a very ingeniously constructed instru- 
ment fpr calling deer to them, in the use of which they, were 
■very expert; and in connection with this,, they used a decoy 
made by cutting the skin clear round the neck, about ten 
inches from the head of a slain buck having huge horns, and 
then stuffing the skin in one entire section up to the head 
:and cut;ting off the neck where it joins the head. The skin, 
thus made hollow from the head back, is kept in its natural ' 
position by inserting upright sticks; the skin is ' then pulled 
upwards from the nose to the horns and all the flesh and 
brains removed; then the skin is repuUed to its natural place 
and laid away to dry. In a year it has become dry; hard and 
inoffensive, and fit for use. All the upright sticks are then 
taken out extept the one next to the head, which is left as a 
hand-hold. Thus the hunter, with his deer-caller and head 
decoy, easily enticed his game within the range of his deadly 
rifle; for, secreting himself in the woods, he commen'^ed to 
imitate the bleating of a deer; if within hearing distance, one 
soon responds; but, perhaps, catching the scent of the 
hunter, stbps and begins to look around. The hunter now 
inserts his arm into the cavity of ithe decoy and taking hold 
of the upright stick within, easily held it uj) to view, and'~at- 
tracted the attention of the doubting deer by rubbing it 
against the bushes or a tree; seeing which, the then no 
longer suspicious deer advanced, and only leairned its mis- 
take by the sharp crack of the rifle and the deadly bullet. 

The antlers of some of the bucks grew to a wonderful 

size, which were shed off every FebruEtry; or rather pushed 

off by the forthcoming ijew horns, a siingularly strange 

freak of nature, yet no less true. There was also, a strange 

and ancient tradition among the Choctaw and Chickasaw 

hunters, before their exodus to their present place of abode, 

that, as soon the horns dropped off, the buck at once pawed a 

hole in the ground with hi^ feet (it being always soft diiring 

' the season of shedding, from the frequent rains) into which 

he pushed the fallen horns and carefully covered them up. 

■ This may seem fabulous, yet there are good grounds upon 

which to establish, at least a probability, if not its truth. I 

/ have heard of white hunters who had been attracted by the 

appearance of something being freshly covered up, with the 


tracks of deer alone at and around the spot, and, upon dig- 
ging- down, have found the horns of a deer. In many hunts 
in the forest of Mississippi, during many years, where the 
deer almost filled the woods, I have never seen a deer horn 
except those attached to a skull — left in the woods by the 
hunter, or those of a buck that had died a natural death. 
The forests were burnt oif the latter part of every March, 
and thus the ground, was entirely naked and a deer's horn, if 
above ground, could have been seen a hundred yards distant,, 
but they were not seen. The fires of the forest were not hot 
enough to burn them. Now what became of them if not 
buried by the bucks, as hundreds were shed yearly? 

The Choctaw warrior was equally as expert in deceiving 
^is enemy as he was in that of the wild denizens of his native 
forests. When upon the war-path the Choctaws always 
went in small bands, which was the universal custom of their 
entire race, traveling one behind the other in a straight line;, 
and, if in the enemy's territory each one stepped exactly in 
the tracks of the one who walked before him, while the one 
in the extreme rear defaced, as, much as possible, their 
tracks, that no evidence of their number, or whereabouts 
might be made known to the enemy. In these war excur- 
sions, the most profound silence was obs'erved; their com- 
munications being carried on by preconcerted and well un- 
derstood signs made by the hand or head; if necessary to- 
be audible, then by a low imitative cry of some particular 
wild animal. 

The dignity of chieftainship was bestowed upon him 
who had proved himself worthy by his ^kill and daring deeds 
in war;, and to preserve the valiant character of their chief, 
it was considered a disgrace for him tq'be surpassed in dar- 
ing deeds by any of his warriors; at the same time, it was 
also regarded as dishonorable for the warriors to be sur- 
passed by their chief. Tnus there were great motives for 
both to perform desperate deeds of valor — which they did; 
nor did they wait for opportunities for the display of hero- 
ism, but sought perils and toils by which they might distin- 
guish themselves. These war parties, gliding noiselessly 
like spectres through the dense forests, painted in the most 
fantastic manner conceivable, presented a wild and fearful 
appearance, more calculated to strike terror to the heart of 
t^e beholder than admiration. Though they advanced in sm^ll ' 
bodies and detached parties, yet in their retreats they scat- 
tered like frightened partridges, each for himself, but to 
unite again at a pre-arranged place miles to the rear. No 
ffiiudy display was ever made in their war excursions to 
their enemy's country. They meant business, not display. 


depending' on the success of their expedition in their silent 
and unexpected approach, patient watching, and artful strata 
gems. To fight a pitched battle in an open field, giving- the 
enemy an equal chance, was to the Choctaws the best evi- 
dence of a want of military skill. But unlike most of their 
race, they seldom invaded an enemy's territory from choice; 
but woe to the enemy, who attributing this to. cowardice, 
should have the presumption to invade their country; like 
enraged bears robbed of their young, they would find the 
Choctaw warriors, to a man, ready to repel them" with the most 
desperate and fearless 'bravery ever exhibited by any race • 
of men. Yet, to theift, no less than to th'e whites, strategy 
was commendable, and to outwit an enemy and thus gain 
an advantage over him, was evidence, of great and praise- 
worthy skill. ' , 

■ Duels. — The duelist, according to the white man's code 
of honor, was regarded by the Choctaws with utmost con- 
tempt, the fool above all fools; and in this, manifesting much 
better sense than the white man with all his boasted idea of 
honor. That a man would stand up openly before his enemy 
to be shot at with the opportunity of getting an open shot at 
him, was a code of honor beyond their comprehension, a piece 
of nonsense in the indulgence of which a Choctaw could not ^ 
be guilty. . • 

I did once hear, however, of a young Choctaw warrior ac- 
cepting a chellenge from a white man in their nation east of 
the Mississippi river. A white man, who had been living in 
one of their villages for several months, taking offense at 
something a young warrior had done, and well-knowing the 
repugnance with which the Choctaws regarded the white 
man's code of honor, thought it a proper time to impress 
them with the belief that he was very brave, since he had but 
.little to fear that he would be called upon to.put it to the test; 
therefore, gave him a verbal challenge, in the presence of 
many other Choctaw warriors, to fight him a duel accord- 
ing to the white man's code; and to impress upon the 
minds of the by-standers that where there was so much 
bravery, there must be a proportional amount of honor, the 
heroic challenger informed the young Choctaw that, as he 
was the challenged party, the white man's code of honor 
nobly awarded to him the choice of weapons, time and place. 
To all ofwhrch the young Choctaw listened in meditative sil- 
ence. All eyes were turned upon him expecting a negative 
reply; none moro so than the "brave" pale-face. At that mo- 
ment he sprang to his feet and with a nimble bound placed him- 
self directly before the face, and within a few feet of his chal- 
lenger, and, with his piercing eyes upon, said in broken 


English, "You say, me hab choice of weapon, time, and place, 
too?" "Yes," responded the now dubious white brave; then 
looking around upon all with a determined eye, to the aston- 
ishment of all, the challenger by no means excepted, ex- 
claimed in a calm tone of voice: "Pale-face, me fight you to- 
marler wid rifle." Then turning to Oije of the by-standers 
he said: "You take him" (pointing to -his challenger) "to- 
marler, sun so high," (pointing to the east) one mile dis way, 
put him behind tree, den you come back." Then turning to 
another, continued: "You take me tcnmarler, sun same so 
high" (again pointing to the east) "one' mile dis udder way, 
put me behind tree, too, den you come ba'ck." Then turning 
his penetrating bjack eyes fully upon the then astonished 
"man of honor," and|1ookingi him straight in the eyes, said: 
"Pale— face, you hunt me to-marler, and me hunt you to-mar- 
ler; you see me first, den youshoot me first; me see you flrst, 
den mp shoot you first." The pale-face warrior, quickly con- 
cluding that prudence then and there was evidently the bet- 
ter part of valor, wisely declined the honor with all the 
prospective pleasure of the morrow's hunt; to Ihe great 
amusement of the Chbctaws, who by their continued tantiliz- 
ing, soon drove the would-be duellist from their territory. 

Upon this subject, I here quote the following from the 
pen of Rev.^srael Folsom, a Choctaw, with whom I was per- 
sonally acquainted, east of the Mississippi river, and kindly 
furnished me by his amiable daughter, Czarena, now Mrs. 
Robb, a noble Christian lady living in Aitoka I. T. (from Ai- 
a-tuk-ko, a protection or shield.) 

"They had duels too; but they were quite different from 
any that has been practiced by any of the Indians of the con- 
tinent or the whites; and which most commonly proved fatal 
to both parties. When a quarrel or difficulty occurred be- 
tween two warriors, a challenge was sent by one to the other; 
not to meet and take a pop at each other with pistols, as is 
the case in civilized and refined Nations, but in reality, it was 
a challenge for both to die. It was understood in no other 
way; this was the mode of trying the man's bravery, for 
they believe that a brave man, who possesses an honest and 
sincere heart, would never be afraid to die: It was usual for 
each one to select his own friend to dispatch him. If one 
should back out from the challenge, they considered it as a 
great mark of cowardice and dishonesty in him, and Tie would 
be despised by his relations and friends, 'and by the whole 
tribe. If a challenge was given and accepted, it was certain 
to end in the death of both parties; this mode of deciding 
difficulties had a strong tendency to restrain men from 
quarreling and fighting among themselves, for fear of being 


challengfed and consequenty compelled to die, or forever be 
branded with dishonesty and cowardice, and afterwards live 
a life of degradation and disgrace. Hence, it was «( common 
saying among them, that a man should never quarrel, unless 
he was willing to be challenged and to die. On one occasion 
a sister seeing her brother about to back out from a chal- 
stepped forward and boldly ofEered herself to die in his 
stead, but her offer was not accepted, and she was so morti- 
fied at her brother's want of i courage that she burst into 

Thus they fought the duel: When one Choctaw chal- 
lenged another the challenge was given verbally, face to face, 
the time and place then and there designated. If accepted 
(and it was almost, certain to be) the two went to the place 
each with his second. The. two combatants then took their 
places unarmed about twenty feet apart, each with a second 
at his right side with a rifle in hand. At a given signal each 
second shot the combatant standing before him. That 
closed the scene. Each had proven himself a Tush-ka Siah; 
(warrior I am) and that was satisfactory to all. 

To have it said, "he died bravely," was the highest am- 
hition of the Choctaw warrior, and thus/ it is even to the 
present day. He regards death as merelfy a transmigration 
to the happy hunting-gi'ound, to which many of his' friends 
had already gone. His rifle, so long his boon companion and 
trusty friend, together with his tomahawk, knife and tobacco, 
he only required to be deposited in the grave by his side as 
all the requisites necessary for him, when he arrived at the 
land of abundant game to resume the sports of the chase; 
frequently a little corn and venison were also placed in the 
grave, by the hand of maternal fore-sight and love, that her 
warrior boy might not hunger during his long journey. 

There was a peculiar custom among the ancient Choc- 
taws, prior to 1818, which, according to, tradition, was as 
follows: For many years' after the marriage of her daughter, 
the mother-in-law was forbidden to look upon her son-in-law. 
Though they might converse together, they must be hidden 
the one from the other by some kind of a screen, and when 
nothing else offered, by covering her eye^. Thus the mother- 
in-law was put to' infinite trouble and vexation least she 
should make an infraction upon the strange custom; since, 
when travelling or in camp often without tents, they were 
necessarily afraid to raise theibr heads, or open their eyes 
through fear of seeing the interdicted object. 

Another peculiarity, which, however, they possessed in 
common with other tribes, was, the Choctaw' wif^ never 
called her husband by name. But ^ddr^ssed him as "my son 


or daughter's father;" or more commonly using- the child's 
name, when if Shah-bi-chih, (meaning, to make empty, the 
real name of a Choctaw whom I kno\^) for instance, she 
she calls her husband "Shah-bi-chih's father." Another 
oddity in regard to names was, the ancient Choctaw warriors 
seemed to have a strange aversion to telling their own names, 
and it was impossible to get it unless he had an acquaintance 
present, whom he requested to tell it for him. 

The Choctaw ya-yahs ; CiiiES Over the Dead. — Their 
manifested sorrow and wailing over the graves of their dead 
were affecting in the extreme — ^truly tfordering on the sub- 
lime in their severe simplicity; and had the Indian character- 
istics been rightly' understood, and the nature of their 
lamentations justly comprehended by the whites, their an- 
cient "Yayahs". might well have been compared to the com- 
plaints of the mother of Euriauls, in the ^Enead: the same 
passionate expressions of deep sorrow, and the same ex- 
travagance of grief, whose affecting tones sank deep into the 
inexperienced heart. For twelve months, at various inter- 
vals, the wom^n repaired to the grave of the last deceased 
relative or friend there to weep and express their unassum- 
ed, heart-felt griefs to the memory of the dead, loved in life 
and lamented in death, thus manifesting the tender sensi- 
bility of the Indian female. And though those tender and 
affecting exhibitions of affection may be regarded by the 
arrogant whites as having their origin in ignorance, super- 
stition and error, yet how hard that heart must be that par- 
dons not the illusion that soothes the sufferings of a bereaved 
soul. But that age in which superstition held her empire 
undisputed in the Choctaw mind has long since past; and 
that noble people, however seemingly low, or however op- 
posed in their progress by conflicting and opposing circum- 
stances, have years ago turned towards truth, land have long- 
since attained that goal which reason has erected in their 
breasts equ^ to that of the White Race. 

The deep and unaffected grief of a Choctaw mother at 
the death of a daughter, and that also of a father at the loss 
of an only son in whom rested his fondest hopes, words are 
inadequate to describe. With tearless eyes and solemn 
countenance the bereaved father strolled about his little 
premises, seemingly unconscious of all the surroundings, 
vvhile the frequent outbursting of grief in the loud lamenta- 
tions of the mother was truly a Rachel weeping for her child-' 
ren. There never lived a race of people jnore affectionate 
one to another than the Choctaws in their ancient homes. 
They actually seemed as one great brotherhood— one loving, 
trusting family; nor has there been gny material change 


from that day to this. 'Tis true, they were subject to like 
passions with all imperfect humanity, and in momentary fits, 
of passion, excited by the white man's "Personal Liberty," 
one sometimes killed another; but as soon as his drunken fit 
had worn off and momentary anger cooled, he manifested 
the deepest sorrow for the unfortunate affair; nor did he 
ever try tb escape from the-^punishment attending the crime 
— ^never; but calmly offered himself as a voluntary sacrifice 
to the offended law. 

They held spfecified cries for the dead, which to us of the 
present day would appear strange and even bordering upon 
the romantic, yet cotild not be witnessed without emotions 
of sadness. After the death and burial, the time was set by 
the near relations' of the deceased for the cry, and notice was 
given to the neighboring villages for their attendance, to 
which all gave a ready response. When assembled, as many 
as could conveniently, would kneel in a close circle around the 
grave, both men and women; then draWing their blankets 
over their heads would commence a wailing cry in different 
tones of voice, which, though evident to a sensitive ear that 
the rules of harmony had been greatly overlooked, produced 
a solemnity of feeling that was indescribable, to which al^o 
the surroundings but added to the novelty of the scene: for 
here and there, in detached little groups, were seated upon 
the ground many others, who in solemn demeanor chatted 
in a low tone of voice and smoked the indispensible pipe; 
while innumerable children of all ages and sexes, engaged in 
their juvenile sports and in thoughtless glee mingled their 
happy voices with the sad dirge of their seniors; which ad- 
ded to the barking of a hundred dogs intermingling with the 
tinkling chimes of the little bells that were suspended upon 
the necks of as many ponies, made a scene baffling all des- 
cription. At different intervals, one, sometimes three or 
four together, would arise from the circle of mourners, qui- 
etly walk away and join some one of the many little groups 
seated around, while the vacancy in the mourning circle was 
immediately filled by otbers, who promptly came forward, 
knelt, drew their blankets over their heads, and tookMip the 
mournful strain;' and thus for several days and nights, the 
wailing voices of the mourners, the gleeful shouts of thought- 
less yet innocent and happy childhood; the howling and 
barking of innumerable dogs, and the tinkling of the f>ony- 
bells of every tone ima,ginable, in all of which dissonance was 
a prominent feature, was heard for miles away thi'ough the 
surrounding forests, eohoing a wild, discordant note, more 
incomprehensible than the united voices of a thousand of the 
different denizens of the wilderness, of which no one, who 


has not been an eye witness, can form even the most remote 
conception. If alone in the silent gloom of the wilderness, 
the boldest heart would quail, and the strongest nerve relax, 
unless the course and meaning- were known and understood; 
for he could but believe that all the lost spirits of the lower 
■world had left their dark and dismal abodes, ascended to 
earth, and, in one mystic concert, brayed the fearful discord. 
More than once have I witnessed the scene and heard the 
wailing thereof. Oft, in the calmstill hours of a starry night, 
have I heard the dubious tones of a distant Choctaw Indian 
cry, and as the ^disconnected sounds, borne upon the night 
breeze, floated by in undulating tones, now plainly audible, 
then dying away in the distance, I must confess there was a 
strange sadness awakened in my breast, unfelt and unknown 
before or since. It must be heard to be comprehended. 
"When the time for the cry had expired, the mourning was 
exchanged for a previously prepared feast; after the enjoy- 
'ments afforded in the participation of which, all joined in a 
jolly dance; thus ha'ppily restoring the equilibrium so long 
physically and mentally disturbed. Then each to his home 
returned, while the name of the departed was recorded 
among the archives of the past, — to be mentioned no more. 

The relatives of the deceased, who lived at too great a 
distance to conveniently to cry over the grave of the dead 
set up a post a short distance from the house, around which 
they gathered and cried alternately during a period of 
twelve months. Such were some of the ancient characteris- 
tics of this peculiar but interesting people of the long ago, 
most of which, however, have long since been abandoned and 
numbered with the things of yore. 

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 fine hairs (if 
hairs they might be called) here and there upon the face, 
but they were few and far between, ahd extracted with a 
pair of small tweezers whenever discovered. Oft have I seen 
a Choctaw warrior standing before a mirror seekng with 
untiring perseverance and unwearied eye^, 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 to-day, 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 

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, I 
believe. I have been among- the Cpmanches, Kiowa's and 
other western Indians, and have ofien seen them bathing, 
men and women, promiscuously together, in the rivers of 
V, their country, and found it was the same with them, their 
heads alone were adorned with hair." 

In conversation soon after with a Creek friend upon the 
subject in regard to the full-blood Creeks, he said, "They have 
no hair whatever upon the body, excfept that of the head, and 
the same is the case with all full-bloods that I have seen of 
other tribes." It is'also the testimony of all the early ex- 
plorers of this continent. 

In their ancient councils and great national assemblies, 
the Choctaws 'always observed the utmost order and decorum, 
which, however, is universally characteristic of the Indians 
everywhere. In those grave and imposing deliberations of 
years, ago convened at night, all sat on the ground in a circle 
around a blazing fire called "The Council Fire." The aged, 
who from decrepitude had long retired from the ' scenes of 
active life, the war-path and the chase, formed the inner 
circle; the middle aged warriors, the next; and the young 
warriors, the outer circle. The women and children were 
always excluded from all their national assemblies. The old 
men, beginning with the oldest patriarch, would then in 
regular succession state to the attentive audience all that had 
been told them by their fathers, and what they themselves 
had learned in the experience of an eventful life — the past 
hifetory of their nation; their vicissitudes and changes; what 
difficulties they had encountered, and how overcome; their 
various successes in war and their defeats; the character and 
kind of enemies whom they had defeated and b}^ whom they 
had been defeated, the mighty deeds of their renowned 
chiefs and famous warriors in days past, together with their 
own achivements both in war and the chase; their nation's 
days of prosperity and adversity; in short, all of their tradi- 
tions and legends handed down to them through the suc- 
cessive generations of ages past; and when those old seers 
and patriarchs, oracles of the past, had in their turn gone to 
dwell with their fathers in the Spirit Dand, and their voices 
were no longer heard in w>jpe counsel, the next oldest 
occupied the chairs of state, and in turn rehearsed to their 
young braves the traditions of ' the past, as related to them 


"by the former sages of their tribe, together with their own 
knowledge; and thus were handed down through a long line 
of successive generations, and with much accuracy and 
-truth, the events of their past history; and when we consider 
the extent to which all Indians cultivated that one faculty, 
memory, their connections in the history of the past is not 
so astonishing* I will here relate a little incident (frequently 
published) in the life of the famous Indian chief. Red Jacket, 
as an evidence of strength and correctness of the Indian's 
memory. It is said of Red Jacket, that he never forgot any- 
thing he once learned. On a certain occasion, a dispute 
arose in a council with his tribe and the whites, concerning 
the stipulations made and agreed upon in 'a certain treaty. 
"You have forgotten," said the agent, "we have it written on 
paper." "The paper then tells a lie," replied Red Jacket. 
"I have it written down here," he added, placing his hand 
with great dignity on his brow. "This is the book.the Great 
Spirit has given the Indian; it does not lie." A reference 
was immediately made to the treaty in question, when, to the 
astonishment of all present, the document confirmed every 
word the unlettered warrior and statesman had utttered. 
There can be little doubt but that a large majority of their 
1 traditions are based upon truth;' though passing as they have 
through so long a period of time, it is reasonable to suppose 
that many errors have crept in. 

But one has given his opinion, on page 92 of his "History 
of the Indian Tribes of North America," in the following 
positive and presumptuous assertion, though his apparent 
ignorance of all the characteristics (well known to the thous- 
ands of the White Race who tave lived among them and 
studied them a long life-time) of the North American Indians 
so plainly manifested throughout his entire work, entitles 
his assumed learned opinion regarding the truth or untruth 
Qf the traditions of the North American Indians, or anything 
else concerning that people, to but little, if any, credit. He 
boldly asserts, with a seemingly great indifference as re- 
gards its truth, that "Nothing can be more uncertain, and 
more unworthy, we will not say of credit, but of consid- 
eration, than their (the Indians') earlier traditions; and 
probably there is not a single fact in ail their history, sup- 
ported by satisfactory evidence, which occurred half a cen- 
tury previous to the establishment of the Europeans," 
Though all admit that the voices of tradition coming from 
all Nations— even from our own ancestors, the Britons— are 
enshrouded, to a greater or less extent, in dense and dubious 
fogs, and become more dim and distant as we go further 
back into the past. Yet that does not necessarily bring even 


the traditions of the North American Indians under his edict, 
^'Nothingf can be more uncertain, and more unworthy, we 
Avill nt>t say of credit, but of consideration, than their tra- 
ditions,"as here comes to our aid modern Oriental Discovery, 
with records engraven on rocks and stamped 6n bricks — 
records contemporary with the events, and in all cases inde- 
pendent of the modern authority — since the, records have 
been hidden from the eyes of both the believer and disbe- 
liever. Inscriptions are disclosed, in languages how dead, 
in characters long forgotten, and to which every key had 
been apparently lost. Ancient cities and countries, Thebes, 
Ninevah, Pompeii, Balbee, Babylon, Jerusalem and Egypt 
rise to testify and confirm the credit of many of the tra- 
ditons, fables and legends of the Old M^orld. Xnd so also, 
from the buried past of the New World, hundreds of wit- 
nesses have already been summoned, and are still being 
summoned, that confipln the credit jof the traditions and 
legends of the North American Indians, and to which they 
pointed back through the long vista of ages past, ere the 
Indians were known to the White Race, and give the merited 
contradiction to ^the assertion th;at their traditions "merit 
not even consideration." 

An ancient Choctaw tradition attributes the origin of the 
prairies along, the western banks of the Tombigbee River, to 
some huge animals (mammoths) that existed there at the 
advent of their ancestors from the west to Mississippi. 
Their tradition also states that the NahuUo, (Supernatu:-al) 
a race of giant people, also inhabited the same country, 
with whom their forefathers oft came in hostile contact. 
These mighty animals broke off the low limbX of the trees in 
eating the leaves, and also gnawed the bark, off the trees, 
which, in the course of time, caused them to wither and die; 
that they roamed in different bands, which engaged in des- 
perate battles whenever and wherever they met, and thus 
caused them to rapidly decrease in numbers; and that, in the 
course of years all had perished but two large males, who, 
separate and alone, wandered about for several years — each 
confining himself to the solitude of the forest many miles 
from the other. Finally, in their wanderings they met, and 
. at once engaged in terrible conflict in which one was killed. 
The survivor, now monarch of the forests, strolled about for 
a few years wrapt in the solitude of his own reflections and 
independence — then died, and with him the race became 

That the Choctaw traditions of both the mammoth and 
great men, was based on truth as to their former existence 
in the southern and western parts of this continent is Satis- 


factorily established by the many mammoth skeletons of 
both men and beasts and fragments of huge bones that have 
been, and are continually being found in different parts of 
the country, and all of whom, according to their tradition 
were contemporary with the ancient fathers of the present 
Indian race. It is well known that the ancient existence of 
those giants and mammoth was wholly unknown to the 
White Race, until the excavation of their bones proved their 
former existence; yet were known to the Indians to have 
existed and so declared; but which was regarded by the 
whitesas only an Indian fable, unworth-y of belief or even a 
second thought. A huge skeleton of one of those ancient 
animals was found in March, 1877, four miles east of the 
town of Greenville, Hunt county, Texas. I secured a frag- 
ment of the skeleton, evidently a part of the femoral bone, 
which measured twenty-one inches in circumference. A 
tooth measured three inches in width, five inches in length 
along the surface of the jaw bone and five inches in depth 
into the jaw, and weighed the seemingly incredible weight 
of eleven pounds. The teeth proved the monster herbifer- 
ous, the anamel of which was in a perfect -state of preserva- 
tion. The greater part of the frame crumbled to dust, as 
soon as exposed to the action of the air. 

Here then it had found a burial place, among others of 
the prehistoric population of the various animals which held 
possession of this continent before, perhaps, the advent of 
man, rising up before us like some old granite dome, weather- 
beaten and darkened by the lapse of a^es past. But death 
came to it, as to its predecessors, who^e cemeteries time has 
opened here and there, and revealed to the scrutiny of the 
curious, the testimony of vanished ^ge. Many citizens of the 
immediate neighborhood visited the place of disinterment, 
and viewed the solitary grave and looked with wondering in- 
terest upon this stranger of hoary antiquity arising from his 
forest tomb where he has so long slept in silence, unknown 
and unsung; whose history, as that of his mighty race, is 
wrapt in the eternal silence of the unknown past. Yet, to 
one who seeks to muse o'er the mysteries of the unwritten 
long ago, this fossiljtells a story of the mystic flays of yore 
and of the multiplied thousands of years since old Mother 
Earth commenced to bear and then destroy her children. 

Ah, could the records of the ages to \\ hioh they point be 
restored, how many doubts and problems would be solved? 
But they only tantalize us by their near approach and uddi- 
minished' inscrutableness, while imagination shrinks from 
the comtemplation of the intervening years between. Yet, 
from those relics of the ages past, an ur\Jimited field for the 


imagination is open to view, which many thinkers have 
attempted to explore only to find themselves utterly lost. 

"Hupimmi hattak tikba a mintih hushi aiokatula" (our 
forefathers came from the west), declare the ancient Choc- 
taws through their tradition, and "they saw the mighty 
beasts of the forests, whosfe tread shook the earth; but our 
forefathers' ancestry came from the northwest beyond the 
the big water." 

'"Tis but the tradition of the ignorant Indiad, — a foolish 
fable," responded he of the pale-face, of boasted historical 
attainments. When lol accident unearths the long hidden 
monster of traditional record, and the truth of the rejected 
declaration of the despised Indian is established, and 
with equal truth establishing the fact that, mid ja.U 
our boasted ancient pedipree, theirs is more ancient, and 
perhaps more honorable, reaching back through the vista of 
pre-historic times to the dim and hazy regions of ages past 
and unknown. , / 

Also of the tradition of the Ghoctaws which told of a race 
of giants that once inhabited the now State of Tennessee, 
5ind with whom their ancestors fought when they arrived in 
Mississippi in their migration from the west, doubtless -Old, 
Mexico. Their tradition states the Nahullo (race of giants) 
was of wonderful stature; but, as their tradition of the mas- 
todon, so this was also considered to be but a foolish 
fable, the creature of a wild imagination, when lol their 
exhumed bones again prrove the truth of the Ghoctaws' tradi- 
tion. In the fall of 1880, Mr. William Beverly, an old gentle- 
man 84 years of age living near Plano,jCol]in County, Texas, 
and who was born in west Tennessee and there lived to man- 
hood, stated to me that near his father's house on a small 
creek were twenty-one mounds in consecutive order forming 
a crescent, each distant from the other about fifty feet 
and each with a base of seventy-five or eighty feet in. 
diameter, and rising to an average height of forty feet;, that 
he, when a boy twelve years of age, was present with his 
father, when an excavation was made in one of the mounds in 
which human bones of enormous size were found, the femoral 
bones being five inches longer than the ordinary length, and 
the jaw bones were so large as to slip over the face of a man 
with ease. 'This statement was confirmed by Rev. Mr. 
Rudolph of McKinney, Texas, and several others, all men of 
undoubted veracity, which places the truth of the former 
existence of the mounds, their excavations and results, as 
well as the Choctaw tradition, beyond all dou-bt and even 
controversy. ■ / 

In regard to the race of giants that once occupied the 


now State of Tennessee and mentioned in the tradition of the 
ancient Choctaws, Mr. H. S. Halbert, an esteemed friend, 
says in a letter to me, January 22, 1878, "I will give you some 
facts which modern researches have thrown upon the 
ancient occupancy of this continent, on the Atlantic seaboard 
of the United States stretching from the coast of North 
Carolina up to and through New England. I refer particu- 
larly to the seaboard . 

"I am satisfied that the Indian race were in occupancy of 
this seaboard region only about 200 years before the discov- 
ery of America in 1492, I give the reasons: 

"About the year 1000, A. D. (I quote the date from 
memory, not having the authories before me) the Northmen 
discovered America and made some settlements on the New 
England coast. AH this, as you know, is historical. The 
Northmen there came in contact with a people \yhom they 
called Skrellings. Now these Skrellings, from the descrip- 
tion given by them were not Indians, but Esquimaux. They 
were the sanle kind of people the Northmen had previously 
met in Greenland and whom they callec^ also Skrellings, or 
rather Skraellinger. This is plain iiroof that 500 years be- 
fore Columbus, the Esquimaux race was inhabiting the sea- 
board of New England and not the Indians. 

"Again, the Tuscarora Indians, now living in Canada, 
but formerly from North Carolina, state in their traditions 
that they came from the west and settled on the North Caro- 
lina seaboard about the year A. D. 1300. Their traditions 
also state that they came in contact with a people of short 
stature, ignorant of maize and eaters of raw flesh. \ 

"Now to whom does this descriptiqn apply but to the 
Esquimaux? Thirdly, relics have been discovered — imple- 
ments of various kinds, along the seaboard exactly similar to 
those used by the Esquimaux of the present day. All this 
is plain proof to my mind, that the Esquimaux once inhabited 
the Atlantic seaboard as far south as North Carolina, and 
that they were pushed northward by the influx of the incom- 
ing Indian tribes; and that the Indian had not been settled 
but for comparatively a short period in this seaboard at the 
time of Columbus' discovery. The Mound Builders seemed 
to have never occupied this seaboard stretching from North 
Carolina upward. Now as to the Delaware tradition. 

"The Delawares, or Leni Lenape as they style them- 
selves in their native tongue, have a tradition that they came 
from the west. When they came to the Great River, 
perhaps, somewhere in the latitude of St. Louis, they 
found a people of tall stature, and living in towns. This 


people the Delawai-es called AUegewl. They asked 
the AUegewi for permission to cross the river, which was 
granted. The AUegewi, however, peeing- the Indians con- 
stantly coming- from the west in such large numbers, 
and fearing- they would ultimately dispossess them of their 
country, commenced war upon them. After yeafs of fight- 
ing, the AUegewi were defeated and driven out of their 
country — retreating southward, and the Delaiwares and other 
tribes took possession of their country^ .Now these AUegewi 
are without doubt the same stock of people spoken of in Choc- 
taw tradition as the Nahoolo." 

The word Nahoolo is a corruption of the Choctaw word 
NahWlo and is now applied to the entire White Race, but 
anciently it referred to a giant race with whom they came in 
contact when they first crossed ihe Mississippi river. These 
giants, says their tradition, as related to the missionaries 
occupied the northern part of the now States of Mississippi 
and Alabama and the western part of Tennessee. The true 
signification of the word Nahullb is a superhuman or super- 
natural being, and the true words for white man are Hattak- 
tohbi. The Nahullo were of white complexion, according to 
Choctaw ti-adition, and were still an existing people at the 
time of the advent of the Choctaws to Mississippi; that they 
were a hunting people and also cannibals, who killed and 
ate the Indians whenever they could capture them, conse- 
quently the Nahullo were held in great dread by the Indians 
and were killed by them whenever an opportunity , was 
presented; by what means they finally became extinct, tradi- 
tion is silent. . .; 

"Chemical analysis of the bones of this giant race in, 
Tennessee and elsewhere," says Mr. H. S. Halbert, in a 
letter of January 3rd, 1878, "indicate the ra-vages of one of 
the most terrible diseases to which flesh is heir.' Bones ex- 
humed from these ancient cemeteries indicate with painful 
certainty that syphilis was, at least, one cause of the extinct- 
ion of this ancient people. It was long supposed that syph- 
ilis was imported into this continent by the Bui'opean race . 
That may have been the case, in the historical period, but I 
have no doubt it prevailed with awful fatality among that 
ancient people, who dominated a large - portion of this 
continent before the advent of the Indian race. 

"Mr. Grant Lincicum, (Ur. GideonLincicum, with whom 
I was personally acquainted, was an educated white main, 
who came to the Choctaw Nation after the advent of the mis- 
sionaries, and settled at Columbus, then a small place, and 
afterwards wrote a MS. of the Choctaw habits, customs, 
traditions and legends, which has been lost) "stated that 


they (the Mound Builders) were, accoFding to the Choctaw 
tradition, a huntings people. He certainly must be in error 
on this point. (Not so; Lincicum used the pronoun "they" 
with reference to the Nahullo, and not to the Mound Build- 
ers, of whom their traditions never spoke). Now I believe 
that the Mound Builders were of much fairer complexion 
than the Indian, perhaps almost, if not quite, as fair as we, 
and were an agricultural people also. Disease and war no 
doubt were the main causes of their extinction. Detached 
offshojts of them may have amalgamated with the Indian 
tribes, and thus lost their physical peculiarities, but at the 
same time kept up with their tribal organization. The Man- 
dan Indians (now extinct) are supposed to have been a de- 
generate and amalgamated offshoot of the Mound Builders, 
In their manners and customs they were strikingly differen. 
from the other Indians. I have no doubt but the researches 
of antiquarians in some manner, to Us yet unknown, will 
throw much light upon the early occupants of this con- 

Be that as it may, I still believe in the Choctaw traditions 
— that the Nahullo who inhabited North Mississippi and Ala- 
bama, and West Tennessee, were "a hunting jieoplc," as 
they have left no trace whatever of having been agricultur- 
ists, as the unbroken forests of majestic trees of ages 
growth, that covered the land everywhere at the advent the 
of the Europeans, evidently prove. 

Still I admit, with friend Halbert, that, possibly the Al- 
legewi of Delaware tradition may be the Nahullo of Choctaw 
tradition, — if they were of white complexion, as the word 
Nahullo is empha^cally applied to the white race and no 
other. If white, may they not be of the Northmen, who, it 
is said, "established a few colonies upon the Atlantic coast 
A. D. 1000. ?" Then, if the North American Iiidians are not 
the Mound builders, (which has not yet been satisfactorily 
proved) may not the Northmen be? 

So^e hare believed that the Nahullo we're the Carib 
Indians, as they were said to be of gigantic stature and also, 
cannibals, and who once inhabited our Gulf coast. They 
were found by Columbus in the West Indies, and they are 
still found in the isles of the Caribbean sea and Venezuela. 
The early French writers of Louisiana Called the Caribs by 
their Indian name Attakapas, and Attakapas Parish inLouis- 
iana took its name from that tribe. The French translated 
Attakapas, Man-eater. Attakapas is ,a corruption of the 
Choctaw words Hattakapa, (man eatable) which they (the 
French), no doubt, got from the Choctows, who gave the 
tribe that name. I am inclined to believe that the .J^ahullo 


of the Choctaw tradition were not reg-iilar cannibals, but that 
they sacrificed human victims in their relig-ious ceremonies, 
which in extreme cases may, perhaps, have required their 
officiates to eat a portion also of the victim's flesh. The same 
also of the Carit>s,— hence Hattakapa, (man eatable) instead 
of Hattakupa, eater. . 

That the fore-fathers of the present Choctaws, Chicka- 
saws, Cherokees and Muscogees 'migrated ages ago from 
Mexico to their ancient abodes east of the Mississippi riyer 
there can be scarcely a doubt; and that they were a branch 
of the Aztecs there is much in their ancient traditions and 
legends vipon which to predicate, at least, a reasonable sup- 
position, if not a belief. The Aztecs are regarded by some 
as the first of the human race that came to the North Amer- 
ican continent, and by others as one of the oldest races of the 
human family upon earth, whose records and traditions point 
back to those of the books of Genseis and Job . Though 
the historical legends of the above named tribes do not divide 
the ages past 6t their race into four epochs as the Aztecs, as 
Gama Dom Vasco Da, the Portuguese mariner and discov- 
erer of the maritime route to India near the close of the 14th 
century, asserts; and the first of which terminated in a de- 
struction of the people of the world by famine, the second by 
wind, the third by fire, and the fourth by water, (very simi- 
lar to the traditions and legends of the Hindoos), yet they do 
point back to many historical facts of the Christian's Bible, 
which have been handed down by tradition through ages and 
point to great and important events of the long past, equally 
showing that their rac^, as well as the Aztecs, are among 
the oldest of the human race, and also among the first that 
came to the North American continent. These legends, 
traditions and parts of histories point back to pestilences, 
plagues and cataclysms preceded by long periods of dark- 
ness, then dense clouds followed by the return of light to the 
earth, during which the human race was nearly exterminated, 
which are fully sustained by the geologists of the present \ 
day, who affirm that there has been an age of thick clouds 
and of floods, snows and glacier ice. 

The Choctaws' endurance of pain^even to excruciating 
torture — and to him the true exponent of every manly virtue, 
was equal to that of any of his race and truly astonishing to 
behold; and he who could endure the severest torture with 
the least outward manifestation of suffering, was regarded 
by his companions as most worthy of admiration and adula- 
tory praise, the bravest of the brave. No race of the human 
family, of which I have read or heard, ever endured turture, 
without a murmur, groan or sig^h, as did the North Ameri- 


can Indians when inflicted by an enemy to elicit a groan or 
sigh — to them a , manifestation of disgraceful Aveakness; 
therefore, both men and women, endured the fire at the 
stake, or to be cut to pieces by piece-meal, without any mani- 
festation of pain whatever; but derided their tormentors and 
mocked at thejr efforts to force even a groan from their vic- 
tim. Of all the animals of their forests, there were but two 
that no torture could force from them a manifestation of p^i'i 
— the wolfe and the opossum: 

Even the little Choctaw boys took delight in testing the 
degrees of their manhood by various ways of inflicting pain. 
I have often seen the little fellows stir up the nests of yellow 
jackets, bumble-bees, hornets and wasf)s, and then stand 
over the nests of the enraged insects which soon literally 
covered them, and fight them with a switch in each hand; 
and he who stood and fought longest without flinching — fore- 
shadowed the future man — was worthy the appellation of 
Mighty Warrior. But the business ends of the hornets, 
bees and wasps, noted for their dispatch in all matters of 
this kind, universally effected a hasty retreat of the intruder 
upon their domiciles, sooner or later — much to the delight of 
his youthful companions and acknowledged by an explosion 
of yells and roars of laughter. But thediscomfitted embryo 
warrior consoled himself by daring any one of his merry- 
making companions to "brave the lion in his den," as he had 
and endure longer than he did the combined attacks of the 
valiant little enemy. The challenge was most sure to be ac- 
cepted, but invariably with the same result, a retreat at the 
expense of a hearty laugh. From one to three minutes was. 
the average length of a battle, the insects holding the field 
invariably. I have also seen them place a hot coal of fire on 
the back of the hand, wrist and arm, and let it burn for 
many seconds — bearing it with calm composure and without 
the least manifestation of pain; thus practicing those first 
lessons of endurance which were to enable them, when ar- 
rived to manhood, to undergo the most dreadful tortures 
without manifestation of pain, or experience the deepest 
sorrow without the slightest emotion. Verily, who can offer 
a better claim than the North American Indian to the title, 
"The stoic of the woods— the man without a tear?" As a 
race of people, they have exhibited a power of enduring the 
severest torture of which it is possible to conceive without a 
murmur, without a groan, or even the movement of a mus- 
cle; in this differing from all Nations of people that have ever 
been known to exist. A few years ago, in the Sherman and 
Sheridan's wars of exterminating the unfortunate and help- 
less western Indians, it is stated that, during a fight with 


some white men who had made an attack upon au Indian vil- 
lage of a western tribe, an Indian mother concealed her little 
daughter— a mere child— in a barrel, telling her to iremain 
perfectly quiet no matter what should take place. After the 
battle the soldiers found the little girl with her arm fearfully 
shattered by a minnie ball, but the little sufferer had not, 
littered a word. "Was there ever recorded of any other Na- 
tion of people such manifestations of heroic fortitude? 

Patience was also considered among the Choctaws .a 
bi-ight and manly virtue and in connection with that of en- 
durance, formed the basis from which they derived all the 
other qualities of their chai-'acters; and they estimated their 
success, both in war and hunting, as depending almost ex- 
clusively upon their unwearied patience and the ability of 
great and long endurance. , , 

The ancient Choctaws were as susceptible to all the 
pleasing emotions produced by the sweet copicords of sound 
as any, other people, yet their musical genius, . in the inven- 
tion of musical instruments, never extended beyond that of 
a cjane flute and a small drum, which was constructed from 
a section cut from a small hollow tree, over the hollow part 
of which was stretched a fresh deer skin, cleansed from the 
hair, which became very tight when dried; and when struck 
by a stick mad^ a dull sound, little inferior to that of our 
common snare-drum; which could be heard at a considerable 
distance; and though uncouth iri appearance, and inharmo- 
nious in tone, as all drums, still its "vjpice" was considered 
an indispensable adjunct as an accompaniment to all their 
national and religious ceremonies; even as the ear-splitting 
discords of the civilized snare or kettle-drum, united with 
the deafening roar of the base drum are considered by the 
white man as indispensable in all his displays of harmony. 
Yet the ancient Choctaw, in all his solemn ceremonies, as 
well as amusements and merry-makings, did not depetid so 
much upon the jarring tones of the diminutive drum, as he 
did upon his own voice; which in concert with the monoto- 
nous tones of the drum, — to the cultivated and sensitive ear 
a mere jargon of sound, — was to the Indian ear the most ex- 
citing music, and soon wrought him to the highest state of 
excitement. In all their dances they invariably danced to 
the sound of the indispensable drum, accompanied with the 
low hum of the drummer, keeping exact step with its mo- 
notonous tone. In the social dance alone were the women 
permitted to participate, which to the youthful maiden of 
"sweet sixteen," was truly the ultimatum of earthly bliss. 

But little restraint, parental or otherwise, was placed 
Upon their children, hence they indulged in any and all 


amusements their fancy might sugg-est. The boys in little 
bands roamed from village to village at their own pleasure, 
or strolled through the woods with their blow-guns and bow 
and arrows, trying their skill upon all birds and squirrels 
that were so unfortunate as to come in their way. They were 
but little acquainted with the principles of right and wrong, 
having only as their models the daring deeds of their fathers 
in war and the chase, they only yearned for the time when 
they might emulate them in heroic achievements ; and one 
would very naturally inf*er that these boys, ignorant of all 
restraint from youth to manhood, would have been, when 
arrived to manhood, a set of desperadoes, indulging in every 
-vice and committing every crime. But not so. No race of 
young people ever grew up to manhood in any nation who 
were of a more quiet nature and peaceful dispositions than 
the youths of the old Mississippi Choctaws. They seldom 
quarreled among themselves even in boyhood, and less, when 
arrived to the state of manhood. To them in youth as well 
as in advanced years, as to all of their race, the dearest of all 
their earthly possessions from childliood to manhood, from 
manhood to old age, and from old age to the grave, was their 
entire and unrestrained freedom; and though untrammeled by 
mortal restraint, yet there seemed to exist in their own 
breasts a restraining influence, a counteracting power, that 
checked the ungoverned passions of their uncultivated na- 
tures through life, and kept them more within the bounds of 
prudence and reason, than any race of uneducated people I 
ever knew. 

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 fiod, and Supreme 
Being, universally known among all Indians as the Great 
Spirit; and with whose attributes wer* 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 to-day excel, and over 
have excelled, th^ whites in their due respect and true devo- 
tion 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 in 
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 Spir'it. Immortality, that 
most sublime thought in all the annals of fallen humanity. 


lias ever found a I'esting- place immovably fixed in evei-y 
Indian'sheart, not one excepted;and under its benigninfluence, 
their tmculttvated minds have- expanded and shadows of 
death been disarmed of terror; and though, through all the 
ages past has been "heard the inc[uiry— "Is there a latent 
spark in the human breast that will kindle and glow after 
death?" and though earth's learned of all time have pondered 
over it, and pronounced it the world's enigma, and affirmed 
and still affirm, death to be the end of all, eternal oblivion, an 
endless sleep, yet the unlettered children of nature, the 
•despised, down-trodden Indians, have long had the problem 
solved to their own satisfaction arid peace of mind, never 
experiencing a doubt. 

To the Choctaws, as welf as to all Indians, the voice of 
-the distant muttering thunder that echoed from hill to hill 
through their wide extended forests; the I'oaring wind and 
lightning flash that heralded the approaching storm, were 
but the voice of that Great Spirit, and they made them the 
themes that filled their souls with song and praise. They 
«ver heard the voice of that unseen Great Spirit throughout 
all nature — in the rustling leaf arid the sighing breeze; in the 
roaring cataract and the murmuring brook; and they ex- 
pressed their souls' adoration; understood and comprehend- 
ed by them alone, in their songs and dances. To them all 
nature ever spoke in language most potential, and their im- 
mortality and future existence in another world they never 
doubted, though their ideas of future rewards and punish- 
ments beyond the tomb were feeble and confused. 

It was their ancient custom to leave the murderer in the 
hands of the murdered man's relatives and friends; and, as 
"an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth" was recorded 
upon their statute book, he was, sooner or later, most sure to 
fall b}' an unknown and unseen hand. Sometimes, however, 
the slayer appeased the avenge'i- by paying a stipulated 
amount; but this was of rare occurrence. . Soon after the 
missionaries were established among, them, a company of 
armed and mounted police, called "Light Horse Men," were 
organized for each district, in whom Was vested the power 
of arresting and trying all violators of the law. The}' were 
continually riding/over the country settling all difficulties 
that arose among parties or individuals, and arresting all 
violators of the law. The custom of leaving the murderer to 
be disposed of as the relatives of the deceased saw proper, 
was then set aside, and the right of trial by the Light Horse 
who acted in a three fold capacity— sheriff, judge and jury, 
was awarded to all offenders. The Light Horse were com- 
posed of a brave and vigilant set of fellows, and nothing es- 


caped their eagle eyes; and they soon became S terrftl" to 
white whiskey peddlers who invaded the Choctaw territories 
at that time. When caught, the whiskey was poured upon 
the ground and the vender informed th^t his room was pre- 
ferable to his company. 

When a murder was committed, the Light Horse at once 
took the matter into consideration, and after hearing all the 
testimony pro and con, pronounced the verdict in accordance 
thereto. If the person accused was found to be guilty, there 
and then, the time and place of his execution was designated, 
and the doomed man was informed that his presence would 
accordingly be expected. He never failed to make his ap- 
pearance at the appointed place and hour, and all things be- 
ing ready, a small red spot was painted directly over his 
heart as a target for the executioner; and, being placed in 
position, calmly received the fatal bullet, soon the grave 
closed over him and thus the matter ended. Sometimes the 
condemned would request a short respite, a few days exten- 
sion of time, assigning as a reason for the desired delay, that 
a grand ball-play, dance or hunt, was soon to take place, in 
which he desired to participate, and as it did not take place 
until after the appointed day of his execution, he requested 
the favor of postponing his little affair until afterward. The 
request was seldom refused. Q'^he doomed man then desig- 
nated the day and hour on which he would return and attend 
to the matter under consideration. He went to the ball-play, 
the dance, or the hunt, engaged in and enjoyed his anticipated 
fun, then returned true to his promised word and paid the 
penalty of the violated law, by calmly receiving the fatal shot. 
The rifle was invariably used as the instrument of execution, 
for the soul of the Choctaw who had been executed by hang- 
ing was regarded as accursed — never, being permitted to 
join his people in the happy hunting grounds, but his spirit 
must forever haunt the place where he was hung. Hence 
their horror of death by hanging, and the gallows has ever 
been unknown among them. . If the condemned should fail to 
appear, which was never known to be, at the time and place 
of his execution, or should manifest any emotion of fear dur- 
ing his execution^ it was, regarded as a disgrace to himself, his 
relatives, and his nation as a Choctaw warrior, which no length 
of time could ever efface; hence their honor, resting upon 
their firmness in the hour of death, wis watched with jeal- 
ous care. Never was a full-blood Choctaw known to evade 
the death penalty, passed upon him by the violated law, by 
flight. If he violated the law he calmly abided the conse- 
quences, hence all places of imprisonm'ent, were unknown. 
Eor minor offenses, whipping was tfie punishment; fifty 


lashes for the first offense, one hundred for thie second, and 
death by the rifle for the third offense in case of theft, and 
so it is today. 

He who had been condemned to receive this punish- 
ment never attempted to evade it; but promptly presented 
himself, or herself, at the designated place of punishment. 
This punishment was inflicted several times at the mission 
of Hebron, to which I was an eye witness. Before the hour 
appointed, the neighborhood assembled around' the church 
which stood about forty rods distant frbm the mission-house, 
where they indulged in social conversation and smoking; 
never, however, mentioning, or even hinting the subject 
which had brought them together. The culprit was as gay 
and cheerful as any of them, walking with an air of perfect 
indifference, chatting and Simoking with the various groups 
sitting around on blankets spread upoij the ground. Precisely 
at the moment designated, the Light-Horse, 'who constituted 
a sort of ambulatory jury, to arrest, try and punish all 
violators of the law, would appear. The crowd then went 
into the church, closed the door and commenced singing a 
religious hymn, taught them by the missionaries, which they 
continued until the tragedy outside was over. At the same 
time the culprit shouted "Sa mintihl" I have come! then 
ejaculated "Sa kullol'' (I am strong!) He then elevated his 
arms and turned his back to the executioner and said: "Fum- 
mih!" (whip). When he had received fifteen or twenty 
blows, he calmly turned the other side to the Fum-mi (one 
who whips); and then again, his back, uttering not a word 
nor manifesting the least sign of pain. As soon as tne 
whipping was over, the church ' door was opened and the 
whole assembly came out and shook hands with the "Fum- 
ah" (whipped), thus reinstating him to his former position in 
society, and the subject was then and there dropped, . never 
to be'mentioned again, and it never was. 

The Choctaws had great, pride of race. The warrior,s 
proudest boast was Choctaw Siah! (I am a Choctaw!) and he 
still clings to it with commendable tenacity even as he does 
to his native language. It has been said that no people have 
been truly conquered who refuse to spfeak the language of 
the conqueror; therefore the North American Indians, that 
subdued, yet unsnbduable people, havfe never ceased to speak 
their native tongue. 

The law on whipping for minor offenses, especially that 
for theft, was, fifty lashes on the bare back for the first 
offense; one hundred for the second, and death by the rifle 
for the third. This law is still in force in the Choctaw Nation. 
Truly, if the whites would adopt this method of dealing with 


their own thieves, would there not be less stealing among 

As an illustration of this peculiar characteristic of the 
Indians — so different from that of any race of whom I have 
heard — i. e., never fleeing from, or in any way attempting 
to evade the penalties of the violated lc|,w, I here introduce 
the sad scene in the execution of Chester Dixon, a Choctaw 
youth convicted of murder at a term of the Circuit Court of 
the Choctaw Nation in December, 1883. 

Chester Dixon was a young, full-blood Choctaw, about 17 
years of age. He was subject to fits, during which he seem- 
ed to be unconscious of his acts. A-side from this malady, 
he was considered rather a bright boy. He lived with his 
mother and step-father, five or six miles from Atoka. Their 
nearest neighbors were a Choctaw knownas Washington and 
Martha, his wife. One evening Washington, on his return 
home from Atoka, was shocked in finding the body of his 
wife lying on the floor of his cabin fearfully mangled, the 
head severed from the body, with several frightful gdshes, 
evidently inflicted with an ax, which lay by the side of the 
corpse. The alarm was given, and it was soon ascertained 
that Chester Dixon was /seen coming from the house, in 
which the deed had been committed, covered with blood. 
He was arrested, tried by the Choctaw law, condemned, and 
sentenced to be shot on^an appointed day, at noon. He was 
neither confined nor guarded, but went where he pleased, 
having pledged his word of honor, however, that he would be 
at the place of execution punctual to the hour appointed. 
Here I would deviate a little from the subject, to show how 
prone the whites are to misrepresent the Indians in nearly 
everything they write about them; and it docs seem that 
they cannot write a half dozen words about this people with- 
out shamefnlly misrepresenting them. It seems incredible, 
nevertheless it is true, as the thousands of publications that 
flood the country prove. I saw an ar,ticle in a Texas news- 
paper in regard to this very case 6f Chester Dixon, in which 
the writer says: "The laws of the ^hoctaws provide for no 
APPiCAL, or poor Chester's case might have been re-consider- 
, ed;for after his conviction he was attacked with one of his ac- 
customed fits, which was conclusive and satisfactory evidence 
that he was subject to temporary aberration, during which 
he was irresponsible for his actions. His attorney had neg- 
lected to make this plea in behalf of his client during the 
trial, and once the sentence of death.havlng been pronounced 
it was unalterable." Now, the above is utterly false, and the 
writer should learn to keep in respectful distance of the 
truth, at least, before he attempts to write about the Choc- 


I J ■ 

taws. The truth is, the laws of the Choctaws provide for 
three appeals — first from the County Court to the District 
Court; thence to the Supreme Court; thence to the United 
States Supreme Court. But to return to Chester Dixon. A 
few days before the execution, Dixon came wi^th his 
step-father to Atbka for the purpose of oi'dering- his coffin. 
He had his measure taken for the grave, and then calmly 
informed his step-father where he wished to be buried. 

The day of execution came; and a few, mostly whites as- 
sembled at the place of execution to witness the sad scene. 
The doomed boy did not make his appearance to wi;thin 
twenty or thirty minutes of the appointed time, and many of 
the whites, judging from their own standpoint, began to 
doubt the integrity of the Choctaw, and expressed those 
doubts one to another. But true to bis plighted word, the 
truthful youth soon rode up; and, dismounting from his 
horse, quietly walked up to a little groUp of Choctaws, who 
were sitting around a fire, without taking any notice what- 
ever of the surroundings, and calmly took his seat upon the 
ground, with his head bowed between his knees as if lost in 
meditation. An aged Choctaw man soon approached him, 
and, speaking to him in his own language, encouraged him to 
bravely meet his fate as a young Choctaw brave; and to die 
willingly, since nothing but his life could atone for the one 
he had taken; and also to feel that his people had been just 
in condemning him. He spoke not a word nor raised his 
head during his old friend's conversation; but at its conclu- 
sion he looked up and around for a moment, then grasped 
the old man's hand, as if to say, I'll be firm, and he was to 
the last. Then his Choctaw friends, both nien and women 
came up and bade him their last earthly adieu; with all of 
whom he shook hands, but spoke not a word. After which, 
the sheriff brought the unfortunate boy a change of clothing, 
in which he clothed himself for the grave, without the least 
discernible sign of agitation; he then took; his seat on a 
blanket spread for him, and his mother combed his hair with 
calm composure— her last act of matef-nal love; and though, 
with a heart bleeding at every pore, no outward manifesta- 
tion was made, yet her face told the storm of grief that raged 
within; while, true to her nature, she clung to her boy to the 
last moment, to console him with a mother's presence and 
a mother's love. 

The sheriff then told Chester that the hour of execution 
had come. He arose at onte and quietly walked to the spot 
pointed out to him by the sheriff, and stopped facing his 
coffin— the personification of calih composure and firm resig- 
nation. His step-father and cousin then walked up, the 



former taking him by the rig-hthand and the latter by the left. 
The same venerable old man who had first approached him, 
again came forward and made a little black spot upon his 
breast, just over the heart, and once more whispered a few 
words of parting encouragement, ^^hen walked away. The 
sheriff then bound a handkerchief over his eyes, asked him 
to kneel, and beckoned to a' man who had until then kept 
himself concealed. This man was a cousin of Chester Dixon, 
and had been chosen hy Chester to do the shooting. He now 
advanced, and taking his position five or six paces from the 
poor boy, leveled his Winchester rifle and fired. 
The ball went to the mark. At the report of the rifle 
Dixon fell forward, and died without a struggle. The 
mother now came forward took charge of the lifeless body of 
her boy, and with the assistance of frieuids, laid it away in 
the grave. No confusion nor even the semblance of excite- 
ment disturibed the solemn proceedings. And when con- 
trasted to the civilized mode of punishment that of hanging 
— the Choctaw method is certainly more humane and effec- 
tive, to sayi the least of it. 

I will state another instance that took place among the 
Choctaws when living in their ancient domains. 

A Choctaw unfortunately killed another in a fit of pas- 
sion. He was duly tried, convicted, and sentenced to be 
shot on a cectain daj^; but requested a stay of the execution, 
upon the plea that his wife and little children would be left 
in a destitute condition unless he was allowed to return 
home and finish making his brop. His i-equest was granted 
with no other assurance than his pledged word that he would 
return and receive his death sentence. The day of execution 
was fixed at a time when the crop would be matured, and 
the doomed man returned to his home and family. The fatal 
day came and found the necessary labor on the crop finished 
and also the noble Chectaw at the appointed hour and place, 
where he calmly received the fatal bullet which at once 
closed his earthly career. 

Thus sacred was held the noble virtue, Truth, among 
the ancient Choctaws when they lived east of the Mississippi 
river; and thus sacred is it still held among the full-bloods 
west of the same river; and I have never known or heard of a 
full-blood Choctaw or Chickasaw, during my personal ac- 
quaintance with that truly grand and noble people for seven- 
ty-five years, who violated his pledged word of honor by fail- 
ing to appear at the time and place designated, to suffer the 
penalties of the violated law, be it death by the rifle or fifty 
or a hundred lashes at the whipping post. And truly it may 
be said: No race of people ever adhered with greater ten- 


acity to truth, or the greater hatredfor thefalsehood, than did 
and do the Choctaws. They truly abhoired and still abhor a 
liar. Years before the ^advent of the missionaries among- 
them, one of their chiefs was strangely addicted to lying; 
and so great did their disgust finally beconie that they, in 
council assembled, banished him from their Nation under 
pain of death if he ever returned. This exiled chief then 
settled with his family in the now parish of Orleans, Louisi- 
ana, on a small tract of land which projec^ into lake Pontch- 
artrain, and erected his lonely cabin near a feayou which is 
connected with the lake. And to this day, that small tract 
of land, it is^said, is called Ho-lub-i Miko (.Lying- Chief), hav- 
ing- taken its name from the exiled Choctaw chief. 

Tie 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, aud Chickasaws, north. 
They possessed upwards of sixty principal towns, and 
could muster, as was estimated, twenty-five thousand war- 

The Cho(;taws called all fables Shukha Anump (hog 
talk) as a mark of derision and ^contempt. Some of their 
fables, handed down by ti'adition through unknown genera- 
tions, were similar in the morals taught by those of the 
famous ^sop. 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 ter- 
rapin one bright and beautiful spring morning, thus accos- 
ted him with an expression of great comtempt; "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 believ- 
ing such an absurdity, I'll run the race with you," responded 
the turkey with marked disgust. The day was appointed, 
the distance marked off, and the agreements entered into, 
one of which was, the terrapin was to run with a white 
feather in his mouth by which the turkey might be able to 
distinguish him from other terrapin; another was, the turkey 
was to give the terrapin the advantage of one hundred yards 
in the start. ^ In the intervening time of the race, the wily i 


terrapin secured the assistance of another terrapin to help 
him out of his dilemma, and thereby establish the reputation 
of the terrapin family in point of fleetness to the discomfiture 
of the haughty turkey. Therefore, he' secretly placed his 
assistant, with the white insig^nia also in his mouth, at the 
terminus to which the race was to be run. Early on the 
morning- of the day agreed upon, the competitiors were at 
their posts — the contemptuous turkey at the goal, and the 
dispassionate terrapin a hundred yarfls on the line. The 
turkey was to give the signal for starting by a loud gobble. 
The signal was given, and the race was. opened . The turkey 
soon came up with the terrapin, who had gotten but a few 
feet from his goal, and shouted derisively as he passed by 
"What a fooll", 

To which the terrapin ejaculated — "Not as big as you 
imagine." The confident turkey ran on about half way, and 
then stopped and turned off a little distance to secure his 
breakfast, but kept an eye on the track that the terrapin 
might not pass unobserved. After feeding about some time 
and not seeing any thing of th6 terrapin, he began to fear he 
had pa'^sed him unobserved; therefore, he started again at 
full speed; and not overtaking the terrapin as he expected, 
he redoubled his exertions and reached the goal breathless, 
but to find the terrapin with the white feather in his mouth 
(his supposed opponent) already there, Moral. — The scorn- 
ful are often outwitted by those upon whom they look with 

In estimating character, all the ancient Indians that once 
lived east of the Mississippi river, if the statement of the 
, early writers and noble missionaries be true, and he, whose 
■ incredulity would make him doubt their statements is in- 
capable of believing any thing — even hia own senses — regard- 
ed moral worth alone; The man must possess truth, honor, 
patriotism, bravery, hospitality and virtue — all of which 
seemed intuitive to the minds and hearts of those North 
American Indians of the south. I know this will be regarded 
by thousands of my own race as untenable ground. Never- 
' theless, I speak of that I know — obtained by a long life, 
personal acquaintance with the Choctaws and Chickasaws, 
and the same acquaintance with different missionaries to the 
Gherokees, Muscogees and Seminoles, all sustained by the 
great phi^nthorpist Oglethorpe and the noted ministers of 
the gospel John and Charles Wesley, and (Seorge Whitefield, 
and their missionary successors sent out to the Indians by 
the Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptist churches; and morg, 
proving bej'ond doubt the susceptibility of the North Ameri- 
can Indians to easily become civilize<l and christianized. 


In the disposition of their dead, , the lancient Choctaws 
practiced a strange method different from any other Nation 
of people, perhaps, that ever existed. After the death of a 
Choctaw, the corpse wrapped in a bear skin. or rough kind 
of covering of their owii manufacture, \Vas laid out at full 
length upon a high scaffold ei'ected near the, house qf the 
deceased, that it might be protected from the wild beasts of 
the woods and tl-je scavengers of the air. After the body 
had remained upon the 'scaffold a sufficient time for the flesh 
to have nearly or entirely decayed,' the. Hattak fullih nipi 
foni, (Bone Picker) the principal official in their funeral cere- 
monies and especially appointed for that duty — appeared 
and informed the relatives of the deceased that he had now 
come to perform the^last sacred duties of his office to their 
departed friend. Then, with the relatives and fi'iends, he 
marched with great- solemnity of countenance to the scaffold 
and, ascending which, began his awful duty of picking off the 
flesh that still adhered to the bones, with loud groans 
and fearful grimaces, tovwhich the friends below responded 
in cries and wailings. 

The Bone-Picker never trimmed the nails of his thumbs, 
index and middle fingers which accordingly grew to an as- 
tonishing length — sharp and almost as hard as flint — and well 
adapted to the horrid business of their owner's calling. 
After he had picked all the flesh from the bones, he then 
tied it up in a bundle and carefully laid it upon, a corner.of 
the scaffold; then gathering up the bones in his arms he de- 
scended and placed them in a previously prepared box, and 
then applied fire to the scaffold, upon which the assembly 
gazed uttering the most frantic cries and moans until it was 
entirely consumed. Then forming a jprocession headed by 
the Bone-Picker the box containing the bones was carried, 
amid weeping and wailing, and deposited in a house erected 
and consecrated to that purposie and called A-bo-ha fo-ni, 
(Bone-house) with one of which all villages and towns were 
supplied. Then all repaired to a previously prepared feast, 
over which the Bone-Picker, in virtue of his office, presided 
witfi much gravity and silent dignity. (^' 

As soon as the bone-houses of the neighboring villages 
were filled, a general burial of the bones' took place, to which 
funeral ceremony the people came from far and near, and, 
in a long and imposing procession, with weejping and wailing 
and loud lamentations of the women, bore off the boxes of 
bones to their last place of rest, and there despositing them 
in the form of a pyramid they were covered with earth three 
or four feet in depth forming! a conical mound. All then 


returned to a previously designated villag-e and concluded 
the day in feasting. 

Thus many of the mounds found in Mississippi and 
Alabama are but the cemeteries of the ancient Choctaws; 
since, as often as the bone-houses became filled, the^boxes of 
bones were carried out to the same cemetery and deposited 
on the previously made heap commencing- at the base and 
ascending to the top, each deposit being covered up with 
earth to the depth of three or four feet, and thus, by con- 
tinued accession through a long series of ages, became thie 
broad and high mounds, concerning which there has been so 
much wild speculation with so little foundation for truth or 
common sense. Even at the time the missionaries were 
established among them (1818), many of the mounds were of 
so recent date that not even bushes were growing upon them, 
though the custom of thus laying away their dead had become 
obsolete: still a few Bone-Pickers had survived the fall of 
their calling, and were seen, here and there, wandering about 
from village to village as ghosts of a departed age, with the 
nails of the thumb, index and middle fingers still untrimmed, 
and whose appearance indicated their earthly pilgrimage had 
reached nearly to a century, some of whom I personally 

Shortly before the advent of the missionaries, the cus- 
tom of placing the dead upon the scaffolds was abolished, 
though not without much opposition; and that of bui'ial in a 
sitting posture was adopted, -with also new funeral ceremon- 
ies, which were as follows: Seven men were appointed 
whose duty it was to set up each a smooth pole (painted red) 
ai-ound the newly made grave, six of which were about eight 
feet high, and the seventh about fifteen, to which thirteen 
hoops (made of grape vines) were suspended and so united 
as to form a kind of ladder, while ory. its top a small white 
flag was fastened. This ladder of hoops was for the easier 
ascent of the spirit of the deceased to the top of the pole, 
whence, the friends of the deceased believed, it took its final 
departure to the spirit land. 

They also believed that the spirits of the dead, after their 
flight from the top of the pole to the unknown world, had to 
cross a fearful river which stretched its whirling waters 
athwart their way; that this foaming stream has but one 
crossing, at which a cleanly peeled sweet-gum log, perfectly 
round, smooth and slippery, reached from bank to bank; 
that the moment the spirit arrives at the" log, it is attacked 
by two other spirits whose business is to keep any and all 
spirits from crossing thereon. But if a spirit is that of a 
good person, the gu.irdians of the log h:i-ve no power over it. 


and it safely walks over the log' to the opposite shore, where 
it is welcomed by other spirits of friends gone before, 
and where contentment and happiness will-forever, be the lot 
of all. 

But alas, when the spirit of a bad person arrives at the 
log--crossing- of the fearful river,; it also is assailed by the 
ever wakeful guards,' and as it attempts to walk the slippery 
log they push it off into the surging waters below, to be help- 
lessly borne down by the current to a cold and barren des- 
-ert, where but little game abounds and over which he is 
doomed to wander, a forlorn hope, naked, cold and hungry. 

When a death was announced, which was made by the 
firing of guns in quick succession, the whole village and sur- 
rounding neighborhood— ^almost to a man— assembled at 
once at the home of the deceased, to console and mourn with 
the bereaved. On the next day a procession was formed 
headed by seven men called Fabussa Sholih (Pole-bearer), 
each carrying on his shoulder a long, slender pole painted 
red, and all slowly and in profound silence marched to the 
■grave, where the poles were at once firmly set up in the 
-ground — three on each side of the grave, and one at the head, 
on which thirteen hoops wei;e suspended while on its top a 
small white flag fluttered in the breeze. The corpse was 
then carefully placed in its last earthly place of restj the 
grave filled up, and all returned to the former home of the 
departed. They had specified cries at the grave of the de- 
ceased, which continued for thirteen moons. At the termi- 
nation of each cry, a hoop was taken off of the pole, and so 
on until the last one was removed; then a grand funeral cere- 
■ mony was celebrated called Fabussa halut akuchchih, (pole 
to pull down). And the manager of the pole-pulling was call- 
ed Hattak iti i miko, (their chief man); ' and the hunters sent 
out to provide venison for the company on that occasion, 
were called Hattak (man) illf(dead) chohpa (meat). That is, 
meat for the dead man; or, more properly, meat for the obse- 
quies of the dead man. 

To this celebration, or last commemoration the dead, 
when all had assembled, the Fabussa halulli, (the same Fa- 
bussa Sholih who had set up the poles) under the command 
of the Hattak iti i miko (the same who bore and set up the 
long pole upon which was attached the hoops and flag) slowly 
and silently marched in solemn procession to the grave and 
pulled up the poles, and carried together with the 
hoops and concealed them in a secret place in the forest 
where they were left to return to dust forever undistui-bed. 

As soon as the Fabussa HalluUi had disposed of the 
poles and hoops, preparations were begun for the finale — a 

228 msTORY OF the Indians. 

feast and the grand Aboha hihlah, home dancing, or dancing 
home of the deceased good man to the land of plenty and 
happiness, and the bad man to the land of scarcity and suf- 
fering. ^ ' 

The festivities continued durihg the day and the night 
following the pole-pulling. On tho next morning all returned 
to their respective homes; and from that day he or she of the 
grave became a thing of the past, whose names were to be 
mentioned no more, And they were not. 

Among the ancient Choctaws, a mare and colt, cow and 
calf, and a sow and pigs were given to f^ach child at its birth, 
if the parents were able so to do, — and -all, with few excep- 
tions, were able; this stock, with its increase under no cir- 
cumstances whatever, could be disposed of in any way; and 
when he or she, as the case might be, became grown, the 
whole amount was formally conveyed over to him or her. 
Thus when a young couple started out in life they had a 
plenty of stock, if nothing more. 

Diseases, they believed, originated }n part from natural 
causes, therefore their doctors sought in nature for the 
remedies. Graver maladies, to them, were inexplicable, and 
for their cures they resorted to their religious superstitions 
and incantations. They were very skillful in their treat- 
ment of wounds, snake bites, etc., Their knowledge of the 
medicinal qualities of their various plants and herbs, in 
which their forests so bountifully abounded, was very great. 
'Tis true they were powerless against the attacks of many 
diseases — importations of the White Race, such as small-pox, 
ineasles, whooping-cough, etc; yet, they did not exhibit any 
greater ignorance in regard to those new diseases, to them 
unknown before, than do the doctors of the White Race, who 
have had the experience of ages which has been handed 
down to the^ through the art of printing, manifest in regard 
to the new diseases that so oft attack their own race. The 
art of blood-letting and scarifying was well understood and 
practiced by many of their doctors, as well as the virtue of 
cold and warm baths; and in many of {he healing arts they 
fell not so far below those of the White Race as might be 
aup^osed, ttough many white doctors imagine themsalves. 
perfect ip the healing art, since forsooth their diplomas 
boast the signatures of the medical faculties in the world. 

In cases of bowel affections tliey use persimmons dried 
by the heat of the sun and mixed with a light kind of broad. 
In case of sores, they applied a poultice of pounded ground 
ivy for a few days, then carefully washing the afflicted part 
with the resin of the copal-tree. For fresh wounds they 
made u poultice of the root of the collon-lrce wliich proved 


very efficaqiouis; to produce a copious perspiration, a hot 
•decoction, of the China root swallowed, had the desired effect. 
They^jossessed an antidote for the bite and sting of snakes 
and insects, in the root of a plant called rattle snake's master, 
h-Av'mg a pungent yet not unpleasant odor. The root' of the 
plant was chewed, and also a poultice made of it was applied 
to the wound, which at once checked the poison and the 
patient was well in a few daysi The medical properties of 
the sassafras, sarsaparilla, and other medicinal plants, were 
known to them. They possessed majny valuable secrets to 
■cure dropsy, rheumatism, and many other diseases, which, 
no doubt, will ever remain a secret with them, proving- that 
their powers of observation, investig-ation and discrimination, 
.are not, by any means, to be regarded as contemptible; 
while their belief, that the Great Spirit has provided a 
1-emedy in plants for all diseases to which poor , humanity 
seems an heir, and never refuses to make it known to those 
who seek the knowledge of it by proper supplications, is 
praiseworthy in them to say the least of it. 

Their doctors were held in great veneration, though 
they oft practiced upon their patrons many frauds. Mill- 
fort, p. 298, says: "when one of them had a patient on hand 
a long time, and the poor sick'fellow's means. had been ex- 
hausted he privately told the relatives that his skill was ex- 
hausted, that he had done all in his power to no avail, and 
that their friend must die within a few days ait farthest; and, 
with great seeming sympathy, set forth the propriety of 
killing him, arid so terminate his sufferings at once. Having 
the utmost confidence in the doctor's judgment and knowl- 
edge of the case, and also believing the case hopeless, the 
poor fellow was at once killed." In proof of this, he states 
that in 1772 a doctor thus advised concerning one> of his pa- 
tients. "The sick man," he says, "suspecting, from thp 
actions of his physician, that he was advising the propriety' 
of ending his suffering by having- him killed, with great effort 
succeeded one night in crawling out of the house and making 
good his escape. After much suffering ,he succeeded in 
making his way into the Muscogee Nation, and fortunately 
went to the house of Col. McGillivry, who, Samaritan like, 
took him into his house, and soon restored him to his usual 
health. At the expiration of several months he returned to 
his home, and found his relatives actually celebrating his 
funeral by burning the scaffold which they had erected to his 
memory, with the accustomed weeping and wailing, — be- 
lieving him to be dead. His unlocked for appearance among 
them; at that solemn hour and place, threw them'' into the 
(greatest consternation, and, in horror and wild dismay, all 


fled to the woods. Finding himself thus received by his 
own relatives and friends, he returned in disg'ust to tl e 
Muscogees and spent the remainder of his dayi' among 
them. But when his relatives had become truly sat'sfied 
that he did not die, and was actually alive and well, they 
made the doctor pay heavily for the deception he had prac- 
ticed upon them, by killing him." 

The greatest mortality among thesi was most generally 
confined to the younger children; while longevity was a 
prominent characteristic among the aduits. After the age of 
six or eight years the mortality of disease among them was 
less than among the white children of the present day after 
that age. But after those baneful diseases, scarlet fever, 
measles, mumps, whooping-icough, diseases unknown to them 
before, had been introduced among them, the fatality among 
the children was distressing, frequently destroying the 
greater number of the children in a village or neighborhood; 
— being/wholly ignorant as they were of the proper mode of 
treatment was a great cause of the fearful fatality. Mental 
or nervous diseases were unknown to the ancient Choctaws; 
and idiocy and deformity were seldom seen . But of all the 
"diseases" introduced among them by the white?, the most 
pernicious and fata.l-in all its features, bearings, and con- 
sequences, to the Choctaw people, was, is, and ever will be, 
Okahumma (red water "'or whiskey)^ which, when once 
formed into habit, seemed to grow to a species of insanity 
equal even to that so often exhibited among the whites. , 

"The Medicine Man," was a dignitary who swayed 'his 
scepter alike among all Indians, 'but was altogether a very dif- 
ferent personage from the common physician. The Medicine 
Man professed an insight into the hidden laws of Nature; he 
professed a power over the elements, the fish of the waters 
and the animals of the land; he could cause the fish to volun- 
tarily suffer themselves to be caught, and give success to the 
hunier by depriving the denizens of the forest of their natural 
fear of man; he could impart bravery to the heart of the war- 
rior, strength and skill to his arm and fleetness to his feet; 
yea, could put to flight the evil spirits of disease from the 
bodies of the sick. He could throw a spell or charm over a 
ball player that would disenable him to hit the post; or over 
the ball-post that would prevent its being hit by anyone 
whom he wished to defeat. Such were the professed attain- 
ments of the Indian "Medicine Man." But whether he 
possessed all or any of the supernatural powers he profess- 
ed, it matters not, it is certain, however, that he possessed 
one thing, the power, art, or skill, call it which you may, to 
"*Tmnke his people believe it, and that was all-sufficient for him 


—even as it is with all humbiijJTs. The' Choctaws regarded 
dreams as the direct avenues ^o the iavisible world, the divine 
revelations of the Great Sr,ii-it. If a. vision of the' spirit of an 
animal appeared to the h unter in his-dream, he felt confident 
of success on the morrow's hunt. But thbugh he invoked the 
friendship, the protoction and the good will pf spirits, and 
besought the mediation of the Medicine Man, he never would 
confess his fear of death. But chide not too harshly, reader, 
the poor, unlettered Indian for his superstitions and wild 
beliefs, for the same long existed among the civilized Na- 
tions of the world, nor are they entirely exempt even, at the 
prf sent day, nor is it likely they ever will be. 

They lived in houses made of logs, but very comfortable; 
not more rude or uncouth, however, than many of the whites 
even of the present day. Their houses consisted generally 
of two rooms, both of which were used for every domestic 
purpose — cooking, eating, living and sleeping; nor was their 
furniture disproportionate with that of the dwelling — for the 
sitting room,, a stool or two; for the kitchen, a pot or kettle, 
two or three tin cups, a large and commodious wooden bowl, 
and a horn spoon, constituted about the ultimatum — 'twas all 
they needed, all they wanted, and with it they were perfectly 
contented and supremely happy. 

Tafula; (pro. Tarm-ful-ah, hominy; corrupted to Tom- 
fuller), is made of pounded corn boiled, using lye for fermen- 
tation, and tafula tobi ibulhtoh (boiled corn niix^d with 
beans) were, and are to the present 4ay, favorite dishes 
among the Choctaws; nor need it be thought strange, as they 
are dishes worthy the palate of the Stnost fastidious. The 
tafula, their favorite and indispensable dish was put into alarge 
bowl, around which all gathered, and each in turn using the 
horn spoon to. replenish his waiting mouth with the coveted 
luxury. But little pains was taken in .the preparation of 
their food, which was as rude, though clean and nice, as the 
means of preparing it. Having no tables or dishes, except 
the wooden bowl, nor knives and forks, they squatted around 
the pot of boiled meat and bowl of tafula, and each used his 
or her fingers in extracting the contents of the pot, and con- 
veying it to the mouth, and the horn spoon by turns in 
doing obeisance to the tafula — all in perfect harmony and 
jollity. , ' 

They use another preparation for food called Botah 
Kapussa, (cold flour) which was made of parched corn 
pounded very fine; an ounce of which mixed with a little 
water would in a few minutes become as thick as soup cooked 
by a fire. Two or three ounces of this were sufficient to 
sustain a man for a day. In their war' expeditions it 



was an indispensaU'e adju.ict — the sine qua non — to the 
warrior's bill of fare, as they I'ould not shoot game, with the 
rifle when upon the war-path in i}?eir enemy's territories for 
fear of giving- notice of their preser.ce. Bunaha was another 
foo^ much used in the long ag-o. It was made of pounded 
meal mixed with boiled beans te whicli is added a little lye, 
then made into a dough wrapped in corn husks and boiled. 
Oksak (hickory nut), atapah (broken in) is :utill another; this 
was made of pounded meal mixed with the meat of the 
hickory nut instead of boiled beans, and cooked ns bunaha. 
I l^ave eaten the three kinds, and found them very palatable. 

They were great lovers of tobacco; yet never che\^ t^d it, 
but confined its use exclusively to the pipe, in which they 
smoked the weed mixed with the dried leaf of the aromatJ.'- 
sumac, which imparted to the smoke, a delightful .ftiAvr, 
agreeable even to the most fastidious nose. But they nww 
have learned to chew, which I ascertained by actual observa- 
tion, when riding over their country yisiting them during 
the year 1884 to 1890. Fi-equently I have ridden several miles 
with different Choctaws,, with whom I accidentally fell in com- 
pany, and to whom I offered a chew of tobacco, which was 
frequently accepted; and I noticed they chewed it with as 
much apparent delight and gusto, as their white brothers, 
proving themselves worthy rivals in the accomplished art. 
However, I could state that the habit is not as universal, by 
great odds, as among the white. 

All the drudgery work about the house and the hunting 
camp was done by the wife assisted by her children; an(l as 
the wife of the Choctaw warrior and hunter was regarded as 
the slave of her husband, so likewise may equally be 
regarded the unfortunate wives of many of the boasted 
civilized white men of this 10th century. 

With the Choctaw wife, as with all Indians, parturition 
was matter that gave no uneasiness' whatever; nor did it 
interfere with her domestic affairs, but for a few hours. 
Unlike her civilized sister, she neither required nor desired, 
nor accepted any assistance whatever. I have known them 
to give birth to a child during the night, and the next morn- 
ing would find them at the cowpen attending to the affairs 
of the dairy. To have a man physician, on such occasions, 
was as abhorrent to her sense uf modesty and revolting to her 
feelings, as it was wholly unnecessary. And the old cus- 
tom is still adhered to by the present Choctaw wife and 
mother. After a child was born, after undergoing the usual 
necessary preliminaries, it was placed in a curiously con- 
structed receptacle called UUosi afohka, (infant receptacle) 
where it spent principally the first year of its life, only 

■ \ . . 


when taken out for the purpose o."i' washing and dressing-. 
This curiously made little cradle rfor such it may truly be 
called) was often highly ornamented with all the pharapher- 
nalia that a mother's love and car^ could suggest or obtain. 
The little fellow's face, which was always exposed to view, 
was carefully protected by a piece of wood bent a few inches 
above and over it. Conteiited as Diogenes in his tub, the 
babe would remain in its little ' prison for hours without a 
whimper; part of the time asleep, and part of the time awake 
looking ai-ound in its, intiocence with calm and tranquil 
resignation. According to her convenience, the rtiother sus- 
pended her thus cradled child t»n her back, when walking, 
or the saddle when riding;'or stood it up against a neighbor- 
ing tree, if a pleasant day, that it might enjoy the fresh and- 
pure air, and exhilarating sunshine; or suspend it to the 
projecting limb of a tree there to be rocked to sleep and 
pleasant dreams by the forest breeze. As soon as it was 
old enough to begin to^crawl, it bade an informal adieu 
to its former prison, but to be found 'perched upon its moth- 
er's back, where it seemed well contented- in all its journeys 
— long or short. It was triily astonishing with what appar- 
enlt ease the Choctaw mother carried her child upon her back. 
The child was placed high up between the shoulders of the 
mother, aind over it was thirown a lai-ge blanket, which was 
dravtntightly at the 'front of the. mother's neck, forming a 
fold behind; in this the child was placed and safely carried, 
with seeming'ly little inconvenience to either mother or child. 
When the little chap had grown to such proportions as to be 
no longer easily thus\ transported, he was fastenedv to the 
saddle upon the back of a docile pony, which followed the 
company at pleasure; though here and there stopping 
momentarily to bite the tempting grass that grew along the 
pathway, then briskly trotting up until it had again reached 
its proper place in rank' and lile, indifferent to the jolting 
experienced by the youthful rider tied upon its back, who, 
however, seemed to regard it with stoical indifference. 
When arrived at the age of four or five years, he was con- 
sidered as having passed through his fourth and last chrys- 
alis stage, and was then untied from the saddle and bid ride 
for himself; and soon did the young horseman prove himself 
a true scion of the parent tree, as a fearless and skillful 
rider. ^ 

Though the Allosi afohka has long since passed kway 
with other ahcient customs, still the Choctaw mother carries 
her child upon her back as she of a century ago, and loves it 
with the same fond and strong love; and though she did not, 
nor does not, express it by any outward manifestations, yet 


her love was and is real, perfect and constant; nor was she 
ever known to trust her babe to a hired nurse. The love 
for their children and untiring devotion to their homes and 
families, and their profound reg'ard for the aged^^ were in- 
deed beautiful and touching traits in the characteristics of 
the Choctaw women. In fact, the great respect and uniform 
kindness paid by the Indians everywhere, and under all cir- 
cumstance, to the aged of their people, might justly bring 
the blush of shame upon the face of many of the 3'oung twigs 
of the professed enlightened white race. The Choctaw 
women of years ago were a merry, light-hearted race, and 
their constant laugh and incessant prattle formed a strange 
contrast to the sad taciturnity of the present day. The 
easily conjectured cause precludes the necessity of being^ 
mentioned here. 

Adair (p. 89) says; "the Choctaws, in an early day» 
practiced the custom of flattening the heads of their infants 
by compres"sion,"and were first known to the whites by the 
name of Flat Heads." ■ Be that as it may, the custom had 
long ceased to be practiced, when later known. 

Wherever they went, distant or otherwise, many or 
few, they always traveled In a straight line, one behind the 
other. They needed no broad roads, nor had they any; 
hence, they dispensed with the necessity of that expense, 
road-working, so grudgingly bestowed by all white men. 
Paths alone, plain and straight, then led the Choctaws where 
now are broads roads and long high brfdges, from village to 
neighborhood, and from neighborhood tp village, though' many 
miles apart; and so open and free of logs, bushes, and all 
fallen timber, was their country then, rendered thus by their 
annual burning off of the woods, it was an easy matter to travel 
in any direction and any distance, except through the vast 
cane-brakes that covered all the bottom lands, which alone 
could be passed by paths. 

On hunting excursions, when a parjty moved their camp 
to another point in the woods, whethjer far or near, they 
invariably left a broken bush with the top leaning in the 
direction they had gone, readily comprehended by the practi- 
ced eyeof the Choctaw hunter. They kept ona straight line to 
where a turn was made, and whatever angle there taken, they 
travelled it in a straight line, but left the broken bush at the 
turn indicating the direction they had taken. If a wandering 
hunter happens to stumble upon the late deserted camp and 
desired to join its former occupants, the broken but silent 
bush gave him fhe information as to the direction they had 
gone. He took it and traveled in a straight line perhaps for 
several miles; when suddenly his ever watchful eye saw a 


broken bush with its top leaning in another direction. He at 
once interpreted its mystic language — ','Here a turn was 
.made." He too made the turn indicated by the bush; and 
thus traveled through the unbroken forest for miles, directed 
alone by his silent but undeviating guide, which was sure to 
lead him to his desired object. 

All North Ailierican Indians, have always held their lands 
' in common; occupancy alone giving the right of possession, a 
custom peculiar to the North American ({ndians, and a living 
proof ojf practical communism, as far as land is concerned, at 
least. When a Choctaw erected a house upon a spot of 
ground, and prepared a few acres for his^orn, beans, potatoes^ 
etc., so long as he resided upon it as his home, it was exclus- 
ively his, and his rights were strictly respected by all; but if 
he left it and moved to another place, then his claim to hi& 
forsaken home was forfeited; and whoever saw proper could 
go and take possession; nor was the second occupajit expected 
to remunerate the first for the labor he had done, However, 
if No. 1, afterward should desire to return to his previous 
home he could do so, provided no one had taken possession. 
The present time, if one improves a place and leaves, it, no one 
has the right to take possession of the deserted place without 
permission of the one who improved it. 

The famous little Choctaw pony was a veritable forest 
camel to the Choctaw hunter, as the genuine animal is to the 
sons of Ishmael. His unwearied patience, and his seeming'ly" 
untiring endurance of hardships and fatigue,' were truly 
astonishing — surpassing, according to bis inches, every other 
species of his race — and proving himself to be a worthy de- 
scendant of his ancient parent, the old Spanish war-horse, 
introduced by the early Spanish explorers of the continent. 
In all the Choctaws' expeditions, except those of war in. 
which they never used horses, the chubby little pony always 
was considered an indispensable adjunct, thel'efore always 
occupied a conspicuous place in the cavalcade. A packsaddle 
which Choctaw ingenuity had invented expressly for the 
benefit of the worthy little fellow's back, and finely adapted 
in every particular for its purpose, was firmly fastened upon 
his back, ready to receive the burden, which was generally 
divided into three parts, each weighing from forty to fifty 
pounds. Two of these were suspended across the saddle 
by means of rawhide rope one-fourth of an inch in diameter 
and of amazing strength, and the third securely fastened 
upon the top, over all of which a bear or deer skin was 
spread, which protected it from rain. All things being 
ready, the hunter, as leader and protector,' took his position 
in front, sometimes on foot and sometimes astride a pony of 


such diminutive proportions, that justice and mercy would 
naturally have sugg-ested a reverse in the order of things, 
and, with his' trusty rifle in his hand, without which he never 
went anywhere, took up the line of marph, and directly after 
whom, iri close order, the loaded ponies followed in regular 
succession one behind the other, while the dutiful wife 
and children brought up the rear in regular, successive 
order, often with from three to five children on a single pony 
— literally hiding the submissive little fellow from view. 
Upon the neck of each pony a little bell was suspended, 
whose tinkling chimes of various tones broke the monotony 
of the desert air, and added cheerfulness to the novel scene. 
Long accustomed to their duty, the faithful little pack-ponies 
seldom gave any trouble, but in a straight line followed on 
after their master; sometimes^ however, one here and there, 
unable to withstand the temptation of the luxuriant grass 
that offered itself so freely along the wayside, would make a 
momentary stop to snatch a bite or twb, but the shrill, dis- 
approving voice of the wife in close proximity behind, at once 
reminded him of his dereliction of order and he would hastily 
ti'ot up to his position; and thus the little caravan, with the 
silence broken only by the tinkling pony bells, moved on amid 
the dense timber of their majestic forests; until the declin- 
ing sun gave warning of the near approaching night. Then 
a halt was made, and the faithful little ponies, relieved of 
their wearisome loads which they had borne throughout the 
day with becoming and uncomplaining patience, were set 
free' that they might refi-esh themselves upon the grass and 
cane— nature's bounties to the Indian^that grew and cover- 
ed the forests in wild abundance. Late next morning— (for 
who ever knew, an Indian, in the common affairs of life, to be 
in a hurry or to value time? Time! He sees it nut; he feels 
it not; he regards it not. To him 'tis but a shadowv name — 
a succession of breathings, measured forUi by the change of 
night and flay by a shadow crossing the dial-path of life) 
the rested and refreshed ponies were gathered in, and, each 
having receivetthis former load, again the tinkling chimes of 
the pony bells alone disturbed the quiet of the then far ex- 
tending wilderness, announcing in monotonous tones the 
onward march, as the day before, of the contented travelers; 
and thus was the journey continued, day by day, until the 
desired point was reached.' 

The Indian unlike the white man, often received a new 
name from some trivial incident or sonne extraordinary ad- 
venture, which frequently occurred, especially in their wars. 
Anciently the Choctaws and Muscogees were uncompromis- 
ing enemies, ever making raids into each others territories. 


At one time a Muscoycc party invaded the Choctaw cotmtry, 
and made a sudden and unexpected attack upon a band of 
Choctaw warriors. The Choctaws, thoug-h surprised, made 
a brave resistance, and, after a short but furious fight, de- 
feated and put their assailants to flight. A vigorous pursuit 
at once ensued in which a fleet young Choctaw warrior nam- 
ed Ahaikahno, (The Careless), had far in advance of his 
comrades, killed a Muscogee, and was in the act of scalping 
him, when two Muscogee warriors turned and rushedtoward 
him with their utmost speed. The Choctaws in the rear, 
seeing the danger of Aljaikahno, who was ignorant of his 
two fast approaching foes, shouted to him with all the 
strength of their voices — Chikke-bulilih chia! Chikke bulilih 
chia! (pro. Chik-ke (Quickly) bul-elih (run) che-ah (you!). 
Ahaikahno, hearing the shout and seeing his danger, was 
not slow in heeding the advice. Ever afterwards Ahaikahno 
bore the additional name Chikke Bulilih Chia. Both parties 
lost many warriors in this short iiut bloody fight, and the 
little mound erected by the Choctaws oVer the common grave 
of their slain warriors was still to be seen dowfi to the year 
of the Choctaw migration west, in l831-'2. 

Nearly every river, creek, lake, rock, hill and vale, was 
endeared to them, by a name given to it from some peculiar- 
ity, some incident or adventure of the past, that wais signifi- 
cant of the same; and in whibh were embodied the reihem-^ 
brance of the heroic achievements of a long line of ances- 
try; some in nature's rocks, mountains^ hills, dells> woods, 
and waters; while others took substantial form in the im- 
pressive memorials reared by loving hearts and willing hands 
in the form of mounds over their dead. Many of those names 
were beautifully significant; but alas, how corrupted by the 
whites, to that extent indeed, that not even one has retained 
its original purity. Think you, reader, it was an easy matter 
for the Choctaws, with such a country as they then posses- 
sed, endeared to them by ten thousand times ten thousand 
ties as strong as were ever interwoven around the human 
heart, to cut loose from this their ancient home, and set sail 
on an unknown sea for distant ports in an unknown land, and 
under the pilotage of those pretended ' friends, who they 
bad found could riot be trusted. 

Of all the wild aninials of the cane-brake, the wild boar 
truly merited the name'of being the most dangerous, when 
brought to bay, the panther or bear not excepted, and in at- 
tacking him, coolness and a steady nerve were as necessary 
as perfect marksmanship. In this kind of sport a novice would 
always find it the better part of valor to keep in mind that 
"distance lends enchantment to the view;" for he seldom 


made a charge without leaving- his mark, since that charg^e 
I can attest by frequent observation, was no child's play. One 
stroke with his long, keen tusks, was all he wanted to kill an 
offending dog, or even disembowel a horse; and woe to the 
hunter that carelessly or with foolhardiness approached too 
near; if he failed to make a dead-shot, his life was the forfeit; 
for with the rush of a whirlwind, and the agility of a cat, he 
sprang from his lair, and more sure and fatal was his stroke 
as he passed, than the stroke of a dagger in the hands of an 
enraged man. An effectual shot was only made by shooting 
him through the brain, as his shoulders were protected by 
a massive shield extending from his short neck two-thirds of 
the way to the hips, and impervious even by a ball shot from 
the rifle of that day; his' enormous head, set of by ears about 
Ihe size of a man's hand, standing straight up, and his pow- 
erful jaws, armed with four fearful tusks, two short stubby 
ones protruding from the upper and two long, dagger-like 
ones from the lower lips, with a backward curve, combined 
with his strength and activity, rendered him a formidable 
foe, and made him truly the monarch of the Mississippi cane- 
brake 70 years ago. From his short legs and sluggish ap- 
pearance, when secretly seen from a distance moving about 
at his leisure, one would have supposed him slow in point of 
speed; but such was not the case. For as soon as you gave 
him a good cause to bestir himself, he .did it to such a good 
purpose that it was hard for a common horse to escape his 
pursuit for a short distance, or to overtake him in his flight. 
But of the two contingencies the latter, so far as the hunter 
was concerned, was immeasurably the safer; since his temper 
was as short as his legs, and very little indeed sufficed his 
boarship's philosophy to constitute sufficient provocation, to 
make a sudden whirl, present and about face, and instantly 
make a furious charge; then, if the horseman was not as 
quick to make the turn, there vvas a collision, always to the 
great advantage of the boar. 

To intrude upon his retreat when at bay,/ even though 
no malicious propensities had been proven against the tres- 
passer, was madness; for he charged the intruder without 
hesitatioi^ and with positively such terrific impetuosity that 
proved there w^s no reservation about his conduct nor 
opportunity intended to be given to the incautious visitor for 
making any mistake as to his intentions; and he then and 
there learned to his entire satisfaction that, if he intended to 
have apologized to his boarship, it would be policy to do so in 
writing at some future day; as, at that moment, it was de- 
cidedly the best to get out of the way nor seek leisure for 
explanation of the intrusion, since the monster was coming 


down upon him, with now and then a siTort, that emphatically 
said, "Out you go," as intelligibly as ever snorts said any- 
thing, yet singularly exprefesive, unmistakably meaning 
prompt ejection from his premises; and though his 
progeny were styled the "racers, razor backs, subsbilers, 
jumpers, and rail splitters," by the early white settlers, yet, 
with his fleetness, agility, strength and savage snout armed 
with those terrible tusks— ^veritable lancets indeed — which in 
many instances grew to incredible dimensions both in size 
and length — his majesty was justly styled the undisputed 
monarch of the Mississippi cane-brakes. His courage was 
indeed fearless and defiant, and with a reckless ferocity that 
no sane hunter had the nerve to resolutely receive. Oft he 
waited not for presumptuous provocation, but waged 'war 
at once on hunter and dogs as soon as trespassing on his 
domains,. whom he calmly faced with a defiant front that, 
indicated a business propensity not to be safely misjudged, 
as he slowly turned from side to side seemingly to scan the 
immediate surroundings and take in the situation; but when 
he set himself to going after man or dog, he displayed an 
agility and address which those who have once experienced 
it pronounced amazing, nor desires ever again to test his 
boarship's peculiarities by personal experience. He often 
wandered companionless, then he became more morose and 
malignant, and more dangerous to intrude upon. One of 
this character, for reasons best known to himself, ventured 
under the cover of a dark night, to sleep with the tame hogs 
belonging to the missionary station, Hebron, over which ^r. 
Calvin Cushman had jurisdiction, soon after the exodus of 
the Choctaws.. At that early day, hounds were a protective 
necessity against the carnivorous wild animals that numer- 
ously abounded in the forests, though Mr. Calvin Cushman 
was never known to fire a gun at a wild animal of any kind, 
■or to go into the woods as a hunter, but left that wholly to 
others, among whom his three sons were generally found. 
The visitor had overslept himself, or, at least, was a little - 
dilatory the next morning in starting for his home in the 
cane-brake, and thus,vvas discovered about daybreak, .by one 
of the hounds between whom and his boarship uncompromis- 
ing hostility existed. At once the hound gave notice to his 
companions in the yard <Jf the presence of their hated and 
dreaded enemy by loud and vociferous barking,_ to which the 
whole pack, gave iminediate response by rushing headlong 
over the vard fence, and in full cry hastened to the call of 
their fellow. At once they rushdd for the wild intruder, 
who, taking in the surroundings, broke at once for his citadel 
in the swamp two miles away across an injtervening forest 


with no undergrowth in which to shelter himself in case of 
being overtaken by his pursuing foes. My brother and I, 
knowing from the wild outcry of the hdumls that they had 
discovered some wild animal of merit, seized our rifles, rushed 
to the barn, saddled our hunting horses and mounted; then 
list/ned a moment to ascertain the bearings jOf the hounds 
whose cry was now faintly heard in the distance, but gave 
evidence that the object of their pursuit was no small matter. 
At once we started at full speed through the open forest, and, 
after running a mile or more, stopped to listen, when we 
ascertained that they had overtaken the night intrudei^ 
whatever he was, and brought him to bay, but still nearly a 
mile distant; Again we put our horses at full sliced, and 
thus continued until we had reached the top di a high ridge» 
where came into full view, about three hundred yards distant, 
the hounds encircling a huge wild boar. For a minute we 
silently stood and gazed upon the exciting scene. 

The hounds (eight in number) knovving, fi-om sad e-i- 
perience, the characteristics of their foe, were running this 
way and that around the old monarch of the canebrake, but 
observing the judicious caution to keep twenty or thirty feet 
distant from him, who defiantly stood in the centre of 
the circle and boldly solicited closer quarters. No under- 
growth obstructed our view, and the whole play was being 
enacted before us. Now a hound would make a dash at his 
rear only to be met by the about face of the agile boar, which 
caused the hound to also make an about face followed by a 
hasty retreat, then one would succeed in giving him a snap 
in the rear, which cAused the boar, not only to make a quick- 
turn, but also to make a rush for a few paces after the now 
retreating dog, but to be again pinched in the rear by some 
one of his more venturesome assailants. Finally one made a 
dash at the rear of the boar with high expectations of secur- 
ing a good bite; but poor Pete was not quick enough in his 
whirl, for the boar, in his sweep, struck him with his curv- 
ing tusks upon the thigh making an ugly wound three or 
four inches in length and to the bone. Pete at once acknowl- 
edged his defeat by a shrill cry and immediate retreat to the 
rear. Thinking it time to take a hand in the fray, we dis- 
mounted, and leaving our horses concealed, cautiously ad- 
vanced to the scene of action, but taking care not to let his 
boarship learn of our proximity. But not much danger of 
that, as his attention was wholly engaged with the still tor- 
menting dogs. When we had approached within a hundred 
yards, \ye halted behind a large tree and formed our plan of 
attack, .-IS we silently peeped from our hiding place and \\l-\v- 
cd the scLtic. 'J^h«i boar was still ignorant of our i)rcsenct'; 


but the hounds had evidently stispected our presence some- , 
where, by frequently looking back and sniffing the air, and 
then barking' more vigorously at the boar and making bolder 
and more frequent ajttacks upon his rear. 

He was truly a magnificent specimen of his race, of a 
sandy color, full grown, and in fine condition. His huge 
head was adorned with enormous, curving tusks with one 
sweep of which he could cut a man, dog or horse into 
threads. His little red eyes, nearlj- cdvered with shaggy- 
hair, now glowed like coafs of fire, beneath a pair of ears 
about the size of a man's hand which stood perfectly erect; 
'his tail, though curled once at his body, nearly touched the 
ground with its long shaggy hairs; his cavernous mouth was- 
white with foam — proof that he was mad all over; his bristles 
about four inches long, extended from his ears to his tail, 
and stood up erect and stiff, while every hair upon his body 
seemingly quivered with rage; the massive sinews of his 
great chest stood out like small ropes as he turned from side 
to side, exposing also to view the outlines of the almost im- 
pervious shield that enveloped his shoulders. He was truly 
an incarnation of immense strength, activity, courage, and 
brutal ferocity. j 

Our curiosity being satisfied in yiewing his dimensions 
and appearance, it was resolved that my brother, who was 
the more courageous and the better marksman, should crawl 
to a large tree that stood exactly between us and the boar, 
which would bring him within fifty or sixty yards of his boar- 
ship, and also, the sure range of his rifle, while I was to keep 
my position as a rear guard in case of a Compulsory retreats 
By good fortune he gained the tree uno*5served by hound or 
boar; then arose to his feet and brought his rifle to his shoul- 
der, with the barrel resting against the right side of the tree,, 
thus being enabled to keep his body wholly concealed. Soon 
I saw the boar turn his head, exactly toward the tree and in- 
stantly the crack of the rifle mingled with the baying of the 
hounds, and the fierce brute pitched over on his nose to be 
instantly covered with exultant dogs who bit and snapped 
their fallen foe. We hurried up, only to see §. convulsive shiver 
run through the huge mass of flesh and bone, and the fierce 
glare of the eye as it died out slowly ,Jike a coal fading in the 
sunlight as the white ashes cover it. The rifle ball had ac- 
complished its mission of death. 

In conclusion, I will but ajid: If those, who to-day talk 
about dangerous game, would like to enjoy a rough and tum- 
ble encounter, I would, could I recall the last seventy years, 
recommend to them a wild boar of the. Mississippi cane- 



breaks, with strong testimonials; nor would they have far to 
go, at that day, to find him. 

O-ka-it-tib-ih-ha- county, Mississippi, as well as its 
sister counties, has been the scene of many hard strugg'les 
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 
intrenchments, that were plainly visible, ere the ploughshare 
had upturned her virgin soil, and her native forests still 
stood in their primitive beauty and grandeur. From those 
rude fortifications, plainly identified many years after the 
advent of the missionaries, strong positions were evidently 
held by each contending party; yet they seemed to have 
been constructed with no regard to mathematical skill, but 
rather as circumstances demanded or would admit, 'Such 
at least were the intrenchments enclosing the Shakchi 
Humma old fort; and the many evidences, such as rusted 
tomahawks, arrow-heads, human bone», teeth and fragments 
of skulls that were continually being ploughed up for 
many years, proved the hard contested tight of the Shak- 
chi Hummas and the allied Choctaws and Chickasaws; and 
that the brave but greatly put-numbered Shakchi Hummas 
had disputed every inch of the ground, and had only yielded 
to the superior numbers of the combined Choctaws and 
Chickasaw warriors. The ancient Choctaws, as well as all 
other Indians, did notconfine their battles to forts and in- 
trenchments, but fought as circumstances offered, oftener 
in small bodies than in large. Hence, they never drew out 
thdr forces in open field, but fought from behind trees, 
stumps and logs; each seeking every possible advantage of 
his enemy, regarding all advantages gained as wholly at- 
tribuiable to superior skill; all advantages lost, to want 

According to the statements made by the Choctaws to 
Mr. Calvin Cushman, when first established among them 
as a missionary, nearly eighty years ago, the Shakchi 
Hummas, a warlike and very overbearing tribe of Indians, 
were wholly exterminated by the combined forces of the 
Choctaws and Chickasaws about the year 1721. 

I was personally acquainted with a remarkable old Choc- 
taw warrior, by the name of Ish-iah-hin-la, (you liable to go) 
who claimed to have fought through the Shakchi Humma 
war. lie was said to be llic last surviving Choctaw warrior 
of. that memorable conllict, and died in 1H2M at the advanced 


sage of 107 years, SO he claimed to be. Indeed the old war- 
rior's w^hite locks, wrinkled face, shriveled and decrepit 
body, indicated life's journey to have reached that point; 
and, as long-evity was frequent at that time (as even to-day) 
among the Indians, many then living whose ages reached 
eighty and ninety years. I did not doubt the old man's state- 
ment. He took great delight in relating many incidents of 
that war and oft amused my boyish fancy in telling many 
thrilling scenes in which he participated . This war had its 
■origin from the overbearing disposition of the Shakchi Hum- 
mas, and the frequent murders committed by their war par- 
ties upon the Choctaws and Chickasaws. The account, as 
related bj-^ the Choctaws to the missionaries, is in substance, 
about as -follows: Many years after the Choctaws and 
Chickasaws had established . themselves east of the Missis- 
sippi river, a Choctaw chief, named Shakchi Humma (Craw- 
fish Red), recrossed the Mississippi river, with his family 
and a large number of his adherents, and established a col- 
ony (under the name of their chief, Shakchi Humma) in, 
now the state of Arkansas, 

In the. course of years this colony became greatly en- 
larged by cofastant accessions; and, with increasing nunibers 
and strength, also became insolent and overbearing to that 
extent that a war arose between them and another tidbe, in 
Avhich they were defeated and driven' back over the Missis- 
sippi to their former country. After being established 
there, (not as Choctaws but as Shakchi Hummas, disregard- 
ing their ancient kindred ties) they adopted- an arrogant and 
aggressive policy towards both the Choqtaws and Chicka- 
saws, who, provoked beyond longer endurance, formed a 
secret alliance in an exterminating war against the Shakchi 
Hummas. 1 

Then followed a three years war of extermination (fa- . 
mous in Choctaw tradition) culminating, at the battle of Oski 
Hlopah and blotting out the Shakchi Humma nation. The , 
Choctaws and Chickasaws' took the warpath together, re- 
solving to exterminate their insolent enemies or be exter- 
minated themselves. At thisjuncture, several large parties, 
of Shakchi Hummah hunters were camped on Noxubee 
creek, ' as much game had congregated there owing to the 
destruction of the range in many pai-ts of the country by the 
accidental fall fires. The Choctaws, being aware of the lo- 
cality of the Shakchi Humma hunters, opened the war by 
making an unexpected attack upon them and slew the greater 
part, throwing their dead bodies into the cr^ek which caused 
an awful stench, which ^ave .the name Nahshobili to the 
creek, and opened hostilities in good earnest between the 



Choctaws and Chickasaws on one side and the Shakchi 
Hummas'on the other. 

Extermination beings th ewar-cry adopted b}' the con- 
testants, both parties fought with desperation. But, un- 
expectedly as the two allied tribes had rushed upon their 
unsuspecting' and unprepared enemies (thus in the outset 
gaining great advantage) yet the ShakcHi Hummas soon 
rallied from their discomfiture caused by their surprise; and 
then commenced one of those fierce and bloody conflicts, so 
oft engaged in by the Red Men in the years of the hoary 
past, but known only to themselves. In union there is strength, 
IS (an old but true adage; and thus it proved to the Choctaws 
and Ghickasaws, Though fortune for a while appeared to 
waver, vacillating from the one side to the other and seeming 
at a loss on whom to bestow her smiles, but finally looked 
with favor upon the two allied tribes. The Shakchi Hummas, 
after many reverses and great losses, finally sought to pro- 
tract the strong struggle by taking refuge in their intrenched 
villages. But one after another of these fell into the hands of 
the victorious Choctaws and Chickasaws, who now had 
become fearless by their success, and, e're the third year of 
the desperate conflict had closed, every village had been 
taken, and destroyed, and the majorify of the inhabitants 
slain. The few who esca^d united their strength and finally 
took their last stand at a point now known as Lyon's bluff on 
Oski Hlopah (Cane stripped) river known now as Trimcane,. 
about nine miles northeast of Starkville, Mississippi, hope- 
less, yet determined to fight to the death. Sheltered by a 
few logs and banks of earth, the last of that once powerful 
and arrogant tribe, now' fought as only men in despair can 
and do fight, sending many of their enemies to precede them 
to the hunting grounds in the great beyond. How true it is, 
that man is a being, when placed in danger and devoid of 
hope — that oasis amid the arid desert of life — who is to be 
dreaded! When hope has fled, despair ^isurps its place; and 
none despair till they behold death staring them in the face; 
and when life, with all its beautiful shades and colors, is 
bleached with the bitterness of death, 'tis then man becomes 
desperate; and even the n^pat timid have then accomplished 
feats of daring seemingly incredible. Such was the forlorn 
hope cooped up in that little fort, if fort it might be called. 
Surrounded on all sides without the possibility /of escape, 
and sheltered only by a few logs and piles of dirt; yet they 
baffled all attempts of their enemies to dislodge them. 

Like tigers at bay, they fought day and night, though 
hour by hour tliinncd in numbers, till' :it List Init few re- 
mained; yet tliat handful yielde<l not, n<;r iisKed fur <|«;irler, 


but singingf their death song-, and ever and anon hurling 
back their defiant war-whoops, they continued, to fight, kill- 
ing everyone who attempted to scale their little breast-work 
■of logs and earth. For many days did the warriors of that 
log and mud fort successfully hold out, bravely driving back 
their assailants in every charge. At length, the Choctaws 
and Chickasaws, maddened at the obstinate resistance of the 
now desperate Shakchi Hummas, and the continued falling 
here and there of, their own warriors, with a mighty rush 
broke over the feebly defended walls of logs and earth, but 
to be ipet by the little squad of still defiant Shakchi Hum- 
mas, who received them with the last shout of their still defi- 
ant war-whoop. Then, for a few moments, was heard the 
clashing and ringing of the tomahawks as the busy scene of 
death went on; each Shakchi Humma warrior fighting, not 
for life or for glory, but in mad despair — seeking to kill ere 
he was killed. But jsoon the last death-dealing blow was 
struck that blotted out forever the Shakchi tlumma Nation. 
Only one of, the whole tribe was left, and that one was a 
young girl about sixteen or eighteen years of age, who was 
spared on account of her wonderful beauty. She was adopt- 
ed by the Choctaws, and lived to be nearly or quite a bun-' 
dred years old, and was living some y?ars after the advent 
of the missionaries among them. Mr. H. Peden, who lived 
fourteen miles from Hebron, the home of Mr. Calvin Cush- 
man, stated that Mr. P. P. Pitchlynn, who had often spoken 
to him of this old Shakchi Humma captive, one day pointed 
her out to him at a religious meeting of the Choctaws. Mr. 
Peden stated that she was the oldest looking huinan being 
that he had ever seen, and from her appearance, he judged 
her to be over a century old. She died a few years before 
the venerable old warrior, Stahenka; but lived to hear the 
tidings of the Cross preached to her race, though the only 
survivor of her own tribe, exterminated in the bright morn 
of her youthful biit eventful' life. Alas, the single combats 
■of the heroes of history or fable may ^muse the fancy and 
engage the admiration; the skillful evolutions of wai'^ may 
inform the mind; but in the uniform and terrible picture of 
a general assault, all is blood, horror and desolation; nor shall 
I further attempt to delineate, at the distance of nearly two 
centuries, a scene at which the actors themselves were in- 
capable of forming any just or adequate idea. But such is 
the only history of the Shakchi Hummas whose blood still 
runs in the veins of a few Choctaws — descendants of the girl 
.saved at the tragic destruction of her tribe— one of whom 
became a chief of the Choctaws and died in 1884 at his home 


a few miles east of Atoka, Choctaw Natibn, Indian Territory. 
His name is Coleman Cole. 

The Choctaws, like all of their race, had no written laws, 
and their government rested alone on custom and usag'e, 
g^rowing 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 sq 
little artifice. As they had no money, their traffic con- 
sisted alone in mutual exchange of all commodities ; as 
there was no employment of otters for hire, there 
were no contracts, hence judges and lawyers,, sheriffs 
and jails were unknown among thenl. There were no beg- 
gars, no wandering tramps, no orphan children unprovided 
for in their country, and deformity was almost unknown, 
proving that nature in the wild forest of the wilderness is 
true to her/type. Their chief had no crown, no sceptre, no 
body guards, no outward symbols of authority, nor power to 
give validity to their commands, but sustained their author- 
ity alone upon the good opinion of their tribe. No Choctaw 
ever worshipped his fellow man, or submitted his will to the 
humiliating subordinations of another, but with that senti- 
ment of devotion that passed beyond the region of humanity, 
and brought him in direct contact with nature and the imag- 
inary beings by whom it was controlled, which he divined but 
could not fathom; to these, and these alone, he paid his hom- 
age, invoking their protection in war and their aid in the 

The ancient Choctaws believed, and those of the present 
day believe, and I was informed by Governor Basil LeFlore,. 
in 1884, (since deceased) that there is an appointed time for 
every one to die; hence suicide appeared to them as an act 
of the meanest cowardice. Though they regarded it as a 
sacrilege to mention the names of their dead, still they spoke 
of their own approaching death with calmness and tran- 
quility. No people on earth paid more respect to their dead,, 
than the Choctaws did and still do; or preserved with more 
affectionate veneration the graves of their ancestors. They 
were to them as holy relics, the only pledges of their history; 
hence, accursed was he who should despoil the dead. They 
had but a vague idea of future rewards and punishments. 
To them a future life was a free gift of the Great Spirit, and 
the portals of the happy hunting grounds would be opened 
to them, in accordance as their life had been meritorious as 
a brave war-rior. They were utterly ignorant of the idea of 
a general resurrection, and it was difficult for them to be in- 
duced to believe that the body would again 'be raised up. 


But to-day finds the Choctaws advanced in knowledg'e aiid 
improvement, which has produced a revolution in their moral 
and intellectual ctondition and in the current of their thoughts 
and ideas. Though seemingly slow to many , has been their 
progress, yet not more so than other nations. For it must 
"be remembered, that to-day .there are many nations on the 
eastern continent, where a knowledge of letters has been 
known for centuries, and whose intellectual advantages liave 
been much supei-ior to that of the North American Indians, 
who have not yet reached that moral and intellectual culture 
that many tribes of the Indians have. It required over 2000 
years for us to rise from a state of savage barbai-ity to our 
present state of advancement, though, 'tis true they have 
had, to a small extent, the advantages of our civilization; but 
when we take into consideration the great disadvantages 
which even the five civilized tribes have laborifed under and 
the many oppositions they have had to encounter fi-om .first 
to last, in their commendable efforts to moral and intellectual 
improvement, (though enjoying the advantages of the teach- 
ings of the faithful and noble missionary for half a century) 
from the corrupting influences and pernicious examples i of 
the base white men who have ever chrsed their country, even 
as fated Egypt of old was cursed by the visitations of the 
locusts, frogs and lice, we have just and good reasons to, be 
surprised that they have made the progress they have. 

As a proof of the Indian's love of country and the scenes 
of his childhood, so cruelly denied^him by his oppressors, I 
will state that a few iears after they had moved west, a few 
Choctaw warriors, seemingly unable to resist the desire of 
once more looking upon the remembered scenes 6f the un- 
forgotten past, returned to the homes of their youth; for 
a few weeks they lingered around, the very , pers^onification 
of hopeless woe, with a peculiar something in their manner 
and appearance, which seemed to speak their thoughts as 
absently following a lojig dreatti that was leading them to 
the extreme limits of their once interminable fatherland. 
But their souls could not b^ook the change, or the ways of 
the pale-face. They gazed awhile, as strangers in a strange 
land, then turned in silence and sorrow from the loved vision 
theynever'would enjoy or look upon again, but which they 
never would forget, and once more directed th6ir steps to- 
ward the setting sun and were seen no more,^ But nothing 
strange in this; for who does not delight, eveti in after years 
to return to the well remembered walks of early life! the 
touch of the long vanished hands, and the'echo of the voices 
that are hushed, all seem to return,' reminding us in touch- 
ing accents of unutterable patbQg,,of the days that are no 


morel ag-ain are we united with the days of childhood, call- 
ing up by-gone joys. Truly, what a hallowing glory invests 
■our past, beckoning us back to. the haunts of boyhood's daysl 
again the songs we sang sweep o'er the harp of memory in 
tones of sweetest melody! again the faces that early went 
down to the tomb, that cheerless habitation of the dead, 
smile on us with unchanging love and tenderness. The 
pastl To every heart, what a fairy land. Who would not 
keep the memory of those days unsullied, unalloyed from 
those that raise a sadness in the soul! Ah! as a token from 
some lost loved one, whose name is orily spoken within the 
secrets of the heart, would I cherish and keep them with 
memories that never die. 

The Indians have ever been termed a nomadic^ race, and 
as such have been represented by all who have written about 
them. There certainly never has a gr.eater error been pro- 
mulgated about any people. I refer to the southern Indians 
who formerly lived ea^t of the Mississippi river. How far 
"the Indians of the western plains may merit the title, I 
will not attempt to judge, being but little acquainted with 
their habits and customs, ancient or modern. But I have no 
fears in saying that no people merited less the appellation, 
nomadic, than those who formerly dwelt east of the Missis- 
sippi river. Webster, the standard authority, gives the defi- 
nition of nomadic as signifying, "Moving from place to 
place," and how that word could in any way justly be ap- 
plied to the Choctaw, Chickasaw and Muscogee Indians, who 
were never known to move in the knovvledge of the whites, 
until moved by them from their ancient domains to their 
present location, is a difficult matter to comprehend. In 
1540, De Soto found them in the very spot from which the 
.government moved them in 1832, 1836, and 1840. In 1623, 
the early settlers of Virginia found them exactly where De 
Soto had left them. When the French established them- 
selves in Mobile, Alabama, they found them still where the 
Viginia settlers had found them. In 1735, the Carolina 
traders found them exactly where De Soto, the Virginians 
and the French had found them. In 1744, Adair found them 
still \yhere De Soto, the Virginians, the French, and the 
Carolina traders, had found them, and lived among the 
Chickasaws thirty years. In 1771, Roman still found them 
at the very place where De Soto, the Virginianrs, t)ie French, 
the (".irolina traders and Adair, had found tliom; and slates, 
in his travels ' through the Choctaw Nation, he passed 
through seventy of their towns. In 1815, the missionaries 
still found theni exactly where De Soto, the Virginians, the 
I'^iench, tho.earoliiiian traders, Achiir, and Koman had found 


them. In 1833, the United States Government found them 
still where De Soto, the Virg-inians,. the French, the Caro- 
lina traders, Adair, Roman, and the missionaries had found 
them, and moved them to their present place of abode in 
1832; and 1899, A. D. finds them just where the government 
put them sixty-seven years ago. So they have "moved from 
place to place," once in 359 yeirs, and then moved by the 
-force of arbitrary power, they ar^ called nomadic. ( 
Of the Indians it may be truly said: " 

"But on the natives of that land misused, 

Not lOBg.the sUenoe of amazement hung, ^ / 

Nor brooked they long their friendly faith abused; 
For with a common shriek, the general tongue 
Exclaimed, 'to arms '.' and fast to arms they sprung." 

They were truly men of the past, as well as men of the 
•woods, yet noble and true, glorying in their ancestors, and 
living in their deeds by reverencing what they had handed 
down to them. 

The Choctaws, from their ^arliejst history, have ever 
maintained their independence, and their love of country, 
amounting to almost idolatry, which cannot be described by 
words ; and, in defending it, they utterly despised danger 
and mocked at fear. • 

Having no alphabet nor written language', their know- 
ledg:e was conveyed to the eye by rude imitation. In the 
pictures of various animals which had been drawn on smooth 
substance, a piece of bark, or tree, there he recognized a 
symbol of his tribe; and in these various figures which he 
«aw sketched here and there, he read messages from his 
friends. The rudest painting, though silent and unintelligi- 
ble to I, the white man, told its tale to the Choctaws. He 
abhorred restraint of any kind, while liberty, free and un- 
restrained, was the ruling passion of ,his soul; the natural 
and unrestrained propensities of his wild nature were his 
system of morals, to which he firmly adhered and tenaciously 
followed. They had no calendar, but reckoned time thus: 
The months, by the full or crescents moons; the years by 
the killing of the vegetation by the wintry frosts. Thus, for 
two years ago the Choctaw would say: Hushuk (grass) illi 
(dead) tuklo (twice); literally, grass killed twice, or, more 
properly, two killings of the grass ago. The sun was called 
Nittak hushi — the Day-sun; and the moon, Neuak hushi, 
the Night-sun and sometimes, Tekchi hushi —the Wife 
of the sun. Their almanac was kept by the flight of 
the fowls of the air; whose coming and going announced to 
them the progress of thd* advancing and departing 


seasons. Thus the fowls of the air announced to the then 
blessed and happy Choctaw the prog'ress of the seasons, 
while the beasts of the field g-ave to him warning- of the 
g-athering- and approaching- storm, and the sun marked to 
him the hour of the day; and so the; changes of time were 
noted, not by figures, but by days, sleeps, suns and moons — 
signs that spoke the beauty and poetry of nature. If a shorter 
time than a day was required to be indicated two parallel 
lines were drawn on the ground, a certain distance apart, 
then poiriting to tHe sun he would say: "It is as long as it 
would take the sun to move from there to there." The time 
indicated by the moon was from its full to the next; that of 
the year, from winter to winter ag^ain, or from summer to 
summer. To Keep appointments, a bundle of sticks contain- 
ing the exact number of sticks as there were days from the 
day of appointment'to the appointed, was kept; and every 
morning one was taken out and thrown away, the last stick 
announced the arrival of the appointed. This bundle of 
twigs was called Full (sticks) kauah (broken) broken sticks. 

The abundant game of his magnificent and wide extended 
forests, which he never killed in wanton sport, no more than 
a white man would kill his cattle, but only as his necessities 
demanded, together with the fish of his beautiful streams, 
his fields of corn, potatoes, beans, with that of the inexhaus- 
tible supplies of spring and summer berries of fine variety 
and flavor, and winter nuts, all united to consummate his 
earthly bliss in rendering him a successful huntsman, 
a good fisherman, and cheerful tiller of the ground. 
The Choctaws have long been known to excel all the North 
American Indians in agriculture, subsisting to a considerable 
extent on the produce of their fields. In mental capacity the 
Choctaws, as a race of people, both ancient and modern, were 
and are not inferior to the whites; and their domestic life, 
as I know them seventy years ago, would sustain in many 
respects, a fair comparison with average civilized white com- 
munities. Their perspective faculties were truly wonder- 
ful; and the Choctaws of to-day, to whom the advantages of 
an education have been extended, have given indisputable 
evidence of as great capacity for a high order of education 
as any people on earth, I care not of what nationality. 

There were po degrees of society among them, no dif- 
ference in social gatherii;igs; all felt thepiselves equal, of the 
same standing and on the same terms of social equality. 
And it is the same to day. They had nosur-names,yet their 
names were peculiar, and most always significant, express- 
ive of some particular action or incidenrt; even as the names 
given to their hills, rivers, creeks, towns and villages. As 


those of ancient, classic fame in the eastern world, so to the 
superstitious mind of the Choctaw of the, western world, 
caused him also to regard the sudden a|)pearance of certain 
birds and their chirpingfs and twittering's, the howl i of the 
wolf and thelonely hootoftheowl,asomeflsbf evil,whilepthers 
asomensof good; the spiritual significance of which, however, 
he interpireted according to the dictation of his own judg- 
ment, instead of that of an augur differing in this particular 
from his ancieiit brothers of Rome and Greece; yet like them 
he undertook no important enterprise without first Consult- 
ing his trusted signs, whether auspicious or otherwise* , If < 
the former, he hesitated not its undertaking; if the latter, no 
inducement could be offered that would prevail upon him to 
undertake it; but he returned to his , cabin and there re- 
mained for favorable omens. 

But how far may be found a more just cause for admi- 
ration of the religious superstitions of the ancient Romans 
and Grecians than that of the North American Indians, it is 
difficult to see, since the Iiidians, alike with them, acknowl- 
edged, everywhere in nature, the presence of invisible be- 
ings; and it was the firm belief that his interests were under 
the special care of the Great aiid Good Spirit that the Choc- 
taw warrior went upon the war-path, arid the hunter sought 
the solitudes of his native forests in search of his game; and 
that his career in life was mairked out for him by a decree 
that could not be altered. True, he was free to act, but the 
consequences of those actions were fixed , beforehand; his 
daily food, life, joys, all, everything, were acknowledged as 
coming from the Great S.pirit, who' knew all things and im- 
parted his wisdom to man; rewaraed good deeds and pun- 
ished crimes; implanted unwritten laws of right and wrong 
on the human heart, and unfolded to him comigig events 
through dreams. The mystery of nature ha,d its' influence 
upon the untutored minds of all Indians, as well as its phe- 
nomena upon his senses; which, to them, were represented 
by the inferior " spirits that surround the Great Spirit, who 
was the all-controlling deity; and to Him they all turned in 
gratitude for blessings, and for aid in all the affairs of life. 
Surely, it is the part of humanity in us,who have lived under 
a higher dispensation, in tracing the deep influences that 
the mythology of this strange, wonderful and peculiar peo- 
ple had over theip; to admire rather than condemn wi|;hout 
admitting the many extenuating circumstances. And 
though the rites and ceremonies of the Indians, by vsrhich 
they expressed their belief in their dependence on the Great 
Spirit, was made in offerings of corn, bread, fruits, etc, in- 
stead of the sacrifices of animals; and sought omens in the 

252 rasTORY OF the Indians. 

actions of living animals, instead of an augury in the entrails 
of'dead animals; yet the sincere feelings of piety, of grati- 
tude and dependence, which gave origin to those offerings, 
gave origin also to that universal habit of self-examination 
and secret prayer to the great Spirit, so characteristic of the 
Indian race. They believed that the Great Spirit communi- 
cated his will to man in dreams, in thunder and lightning, 
eclipses, meteors, comets, in all the prodigies of nature, and 
the thousands ,of unexpected incidents that occur to man. 
Could it be otherwise expected from those who walked by 
the light of nature alone? And though few assumed to have 
attained the power of revealing the import of these signs and 
wonders, yet hiany sought the coveted prize but found it not, 
therefore, became self-constituted prophets, but remained 
silent as to the charaqter and functions of the spirits, with 
whom they held their mysterious intercourse, thus leaving 
little*fou'ndation by which to identify their mythology. But 
that they derived their religious beliefs from the common 
seed with' which man first started, there can be no doubt; 
but ere it had developed to any extent they strayed from the 
parent stock, and it assumed different aspects under d iff er- 
en circumstances, during the long period "of isolation that en- 
sued. Still, we find existing everywhere among mankind 
the same sensitiveness to the phenomepa of nature, and the 
same readiness and power of imagininig invisible beings as 
the cause of these phenomena. 

The tendency of the Indian mind was thoroughly pi-ac- 
tical, stern and unbending, it was not filled with images of 
poetry nor high strung conceptions of fancy. He struggled 
for what'was immediate, the war path, the chase and council 
life ; but when not engaged ^herein, the life of the national 
games, under the head of social amusements, filled up the 
measure of his days — the ball play, horse-race, foot-race, 
jumping and wrestling — to them as honorable as the gym- 
nastic exercises of the eastern nations of antiquity; enduring 
heat and cold, suffering the pangs of hunger and thirst, fa- 
tigue and sleeplessness. The object of the Indian boy also, 
was to gain all the experience possible i-nall manly exercises, 
therefore at an early age he went in search of adventures. 
Their tribal council consisted of the best, wisest and most 
worthy of the tribe. A fact from which we might draw 
many useful lessons. In its meetings, the most important 
topics of their country were the subjects of their delibera- 
tions; nor was the question ever asked in regard to any new 
question presented before that body, "If there was any riioney 
in it?" the guod of tlieir common country was the only thini/- 
discussed or even thought of. It was a bodv, which, in i>o\nt 


of true dignity, if not of wisdom, has seldom been equalled 
and never surpassed; and which was regarded the supreme 
power of the tribal commonwealth.; They had but few laws, 
biit the few were rigidly enforced. "^ 

There were many natural orators among the ancient 
Choctaws when living in undisturbed prosperity and happi- 
ness east of the Mississippi river. Their orations were 
very concise, animating and abounding in many beautiful meta- 
phors; and who, bad they possessed the embellishments of a 
refined education, would have compared well with any race 
of mankind that ever existed. 

The Choctaws, like all their race, deliberated with great 
dignity and solemnity on national affairs; and in all their 
assemblies, both, national and social, everything was carried 
on in the' best order and unassumed decorum. Their treaties 
were ratified by smoking the pipe of peacd — an emblem 
respected, honored, and held sacred by all Indians every- 
where. As with all their race, so war was, in the estimation 
of the ancient Choctaws, the most patriotic avocation in which 
a man could engage; they seldom began a war with another 
tribe, but rather waited for an attack, then no braver or more 
resolute warriors ever went upon the war-path. The open- 
ing of hostilities was alwas preceded by the famous Hoyopa- 
hihla. War-dance. Night was the chosen time for engaging in 
that time-honored ceremony; and as soon as evening began 
to spreadher dark mantle o'er their forests,ahuge pile of dry 
logs and brush previously prepared was set on fire, whose 
glaring and crackling flames intermingling with their hoyopa- 
taloah (war-songs) and soul-stirring hoyopa-tassuhalj, (war- 
hoops) presented a scene as wild and ro.mantic as can possi- 
bly be imagined. 

The manly forms of the dusky warriors with their paint- 
ed faces illuminated with the wildest excitement; the huge 
fire blazing and crackling in the centre of the wide extended 
circle of excited dancers, which, now and then, a kick from a 
dancing^ warrior, caused to send- the flames and sparks 
high up among the wide extended branches of the mighty 
forest tf ees that stood around; the stern visages of the old 
warriors, whom age and decrepitude had long since placed 
upon the retired list from further duty upon the war-path or 
in the chase, sitting around in' little groups where the light 
of the burning log-heap disputed- precedency with the gloom 
of night, calm and silent spectators of the weird scene in 
which they could no longer participate, bat which awakened 
thrilling memories of the past; the Goddess Minerva's fav- 
orite birds, allured from their dark abodes in the forest by 
the glaring light, flitted here and there overhead through 



the extended branches of the overshadowing oaks, and anon 
joined in with their voices, to which in wild response, the 
distant howl of a pack of roving wolves filled up the meas- 
ure of the awe inspiring scene. But those who have wit- 
nessed it will not be easily satisfied with any vain attempt to 
depict it on paper; and those who have not will hardly halve 
their anticipations realized by anything short of the opportun- 
ity of judging for themselves. Therefore, have I contented 
myself with giving a mere outline of my Own impressions; for 
he who would attempt to picture a Choctaw Hoyopa-hihla, as 
it was exhibited seventy years ago in the midnight solitudes 
oi a Mississippi forest, would have to aim at condensation and 
exaggeration and yet expect failure in both; for adjectives 
would only confuse and sentences but veil the scene; besides 
any description tha^ could be made would not express the 
thousandth part of what ought to be said, and if but a weak 
picture was drawn, even then it would be called the wild hal- 
lucinations of a disordered brain. But that the reader may 
be able to form a faint idea of the scene, I know of nothing 
more appropriate, (judging from what I have read and also 
been told by eye witnesses) to which it may be compared, 
than a Chicago political convention of the present ago, with 
this exception however; the yells of the Indian squaws were 
not heard intermingling with the war-whoops of the forest 
warriors in wild cadences of the war-dance, as the yells of 
the white squaws are heard mingling with th6 political 
whoops of the white warriora'in the crazed scenes of the con- 
ventional dance. 

On the return of a successful war-path, the village at 
once became the scene of festivity and triumph. The varied 
trophies — scalps, painted shields, etc., were hung on poles 
near the houses. Then followed war-feasts, scalp-dances, 
accompanied with war-songs and shouts of victory, while the 
old men went from house to house rehearsing in a loud tone 
of voice the events of the battle and the various daring ex- 
ploits of the warriors. But, amid all this, sounds of another 
kind were also heard mingling in discordant tones with those 
of joy; they were the piteous wailings of the women borne 
upon the air from the surrounding hills, where they had 
retired to mourn in darkness and solitude for tlieir slain in 
battle. There the mother, wife and sister gave full sway to 
the anguish of their hearts; reminding the intelligent hearer 
of lihat affecting pasasage of Scripture, "In Rama was there 
a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, 
Rachel weeping for her children and wOwld not be comforted 
hccauso they were not." 

As all nations of the human family,. so the Choctuws of 


both sexes dfellghted in ornaments. Though the Choctaw 
warrior, in his training for the duties of manhood, inured 
himself to fatigue and privation, and in defense of his country 
and home, and resenting an insult, was as brave as bravery 
itself ; yet he \Vas fond of admiring himself befot^e a mirroi' 
when arrayed in the paraphernalia of Choctaw fashion; i. e. a 
red turban, highly decorated with the gay plumage of varions 
kinds of birds encircling his head; with face painted accord- 
to Choctaw etiquette; with crescents of highly polished tin 
supehded from his neck and extending in regular order 
from the chin to the waist; with shining bracelets of the same 
metal encircling his wrists and arms above the elbows; with 
a broad belt around his waist, tastily interwoven with 
innumerable little beads of every gay and flashing color; 
with feet encased in moccasins soft and pliant, and highly 
decorated with little beads of sparkling hue, did the young 
Choctaw warrior walk forth among the admiring beauties of 
his tribe as mucl^ the personification of a modern, first-class,' 
white dude, complete and perfect, as ev6r' contested for the 
honor of superiority in the "laudable" occupation; yielding, 
the palm of victory to his pale-face brother disputant, only in 
the "gift of continuance;" since the Choctaw, after indulging 
in momentary paroxysms of self-admiration, turned from his 
mirror, doffed his effeminate plumage ' to soon forget what 
, manner of man he appeared, since the thought of his noble 
aspirations and strivings returned to excel as a warrior and 
conselor in his nation, but leaving his pale-face opponent 
mastei'of the field to live and die contented and happy in his 

The Choctaws were strong in their belief in the exist- 
«nce of hat-tak holth-kun-a Cwitches); even as our own "en- 
lightened" ancestors in the days of Cdtton Mather — differ- 
ing, however, in this particular; the Choctaws selected bid, 
and decrepit women as victims of their superstitions, while 
their white brothers, whose boasted civilization had rendered 
a little more fastidious, manifested their superiority in 
intellectual attainments over the Indians, by selecting the 
young as the victims of their wild theories. But ghosts 
and w-itches have long since been to the Choctaws as things 
of the forgotten past. v 

The restless and fertile imagination of the Choctaws, 
as well as all their race, peopled with beings of a higher or- 
der than themselves the mountains, plains, woods, lakes, 
fountains and streams. But in regard to the origin of man, 
the one generally accepted among the Choctaws, as well as 
many other tribes was that man and all other fornls of life 
had originated from the common mother earth through the 


agency of the Great Bpirit; but believed that the human race 
sprang from many different primeval pairs created by the 
Great Spirit in the various parts of the earth, in which man 
was found; and according to the different natural features^ of 
the world in which man abode, so their views ■- varied with 
regard to the substance of which man was created; in a 
country of vast forests, they believed the primeval pair, or 
pairs, sprang from the trees; in a mountainous and rocky 
district of country, they sprang from the rocks; in valleys 
and prairies, from the earth; but their views as to the time 
this creation of man took place, whethe-r at the same time 
throughout the various inhabited regions or at different 
periods, their traditions are silent. 

To the unlettered and untutored mind of man thi-ough- 
out the world, all things are endowed with individuality and 
life; from which arose, no doubt, the great number of mystic 
conceptions, regarding the sun, moon, stars, clouds, winds 
and storms, as being animate bodies, possessing, life as all 
animate creatures. The traditions of some of the North 
American Indian tribes are said to state, that the sun was 
once caught in a snare by a great hunter, and was set free^ 
by the moles, but at the loss of their eyes from its intense 
light, and have ever since been blind. Perhaps the primi- 
tive fathers of those tribes possessed some knowledge of 
Joshua's command to the orb of day. Brinton s^tes in his 
"Myths of the New World,"^page 55, that the legend of the 
Peruvian Incas, in regard to the sun, is, "He is like a teth- 
ered beast who makes a daily round under the eye of a 
master." Many of the North American Indian tribes be- 
lieved, in regard to the eclipse of the sun and moon, that 
some animal, wolf, dog, etc., was devouring the sun, and 
made every effort to drive him away. Some whipped their 
own dogs during an eclipse because a "Big dog" was eating 
the sun or moon, and believed the "Biglclog" might be in- 
duced to postpone his meal by the howls of their whipped 

The ancient Choctaws believed an eclipse was caused by 
a little black squirrel, which had resolved to devour the sun, 
and which could oqly be saved from the little gormandizer 
by frightening him away by a great noise, to which I have, 
more than once, been an eye witness, and to the modus oper- 
randi adopted to give him a scare; and ajlso testify from ex- 
perience as to the virtues of the music; at least the sun came 
out all right; but as to the strict adherence to the accepted 
rules of harmony, during the performance, I will write more 
definitely on some other page. It is also stated, that the 
South American Indians believed tliat the inoon, when in an 



eclipse, was being- devoured by dogs, and, to scare them off, 
the natives, made a great noise. (Tyler, "Culture," Vol. 1, 
p. 296.) Also of the African Moors, says Grimm, "Teuto- 
nic Mythology," Vol, 2, p. 707. When the sun eclipse was at 
its highest, we saw the people running about as if mad, and 
firing their guns at the feun, to frighten the monster who, 
they supposed, was wishing to devour the orb of Gay. The 
women banged copper vessels together, making such a din, 
that it was heard miles away." 

A legend of the Mongolians states that a monster con- 
tinually pursues the sun and moon, and when overtaking -the 
one or the other an eclips_e is the result. The Chinese be- 
lieve, even at the present day, the sun and moon are being 
devoured by a great dragon during an eclipse. During the 
eclipse of the sun in 1887, the Chinese authorities, in accord- 
ance with the usage. of the empire, commanded the Buddhist 
and Tauist priests to perform their incantations to rescue 
the sun from the jaws of a devouring monster. It was at 
the time of the celebration of' the Emperor's birthday, 
when all the officials were required to wccir embroidered 
robes; but it is also the law that during an eclipse officials 
who participate in the ceremonies must wear ordinary 
clothing until the sun is rescued. An edict had to be ob- 
tained from the Emperor to settle it. He ordered the offi- 
cials to ignore his birthday and attend to the wants of ^he 
sun. So they all wore ordinary clothes. The Esthonians 
believed the syn and mooin were being eatep during an 
eclipse by some animal, and endeavored to fi-ighten it away 
by conjuring, "The Hindoos, to this day, believe that a. 
giant lays hold of the luminaries, and tries to swallow them. 
Thei Romans flung fire-brands into the" air and blew trum- 
pets and clanged brazen pots and pans." During an eclipse 
in the I7th century the Celtics "run about beating kettles y 
and pans thinking thfeir clamor and vexations 'available to llie 
assistance of 'the higher orbs." (Tyler, Op. Cit. p. 301.) 
So also it is said of the Northern Asiatics, and of the Finns 
of Europe. ' 

The traditions of the Polynesians state that Maui and his 
brothers thought the sun went too fast for their convenience, 
and determined to check him; therefore, they made strong 
ropes, and then went "very far to the eastward, and came to 
the very edge of the place out of which the sun rises." 
There they placed a noose to catch the sun. "He rises up, 
his head passes through the noose, and it takes in more and 
more of his body, until his fore paws pass through; then 
are pulled tight the ropes. The sun Screams aloud; he 
roars; Maui strikes him fiercely with many blows. They ' 


hold him for a long- time; at last they let him go; and then 
weak from wounds the sun crept slowly along- his course," 
(Grey's Polynesian Mythology, p, 35-8.) It is said, however, 
ihat there are different versions of this leg-end; one, that 
Maui finally released the sun; another that he still has him 
roped, and holds him in check; and the Polynesians still be- 
lieve they can see the ropes at the rising^ and setting of the 
sun, to which they point and exclaim — "Behold the ropes of 
Maui," while we say, "the sun is drawing- water," both 
equally absurd. 

The Australians, it is said, regarded the sun as a woman. 
•'Every night she descends among the dead, who stand in 
•do\ible lines to greet her and let her pass. She has a lover 
among the dead, who has presented her with a red. kangaroo 
skin, and in this she appears at her rising." To us how 
foolish, yet how similar to our own ancestors, who regarded 
the dawn a red cow, and the sun her calf. (Zoological Mytho- 
logy, Vol. r, p. 50.) So also of the Vedas whose Ushas (Dawn) 
"opens the darkness as a cow her stall." Hence the sacred- 
ness of the cow to the Hindoos in their worship; and also, it 
might be added, the red heifer among the Israelites. (Num. 

And thus it appears that all other nations of mankind 
are, and have been, theorizers, even as the North American 
Indians; and though these theories were crude yet they 
found embodiment in stories handed down to posterity as 
-traditions and legends. They were not allegories, but man 
in his primitive state endeavoring to find out and to explain 
the mysteries of nature around him; and, as learning and 
intelligence advanced, these absurdities passed alike into 
forgetfulness. So it is evident, we have little ground upon 
which to base our contempt for the Indians in regard to their 
myths, since we have also passed through the same. 

The Choctaws had several classes of dignitaries among 
them who were held in the highest reverence: The Medi- 
cine Man or Prophet, the Rain Maker, the Doctor— a veritar 
ble chip of Esculapius. Well indeed did each fill his allotted 
position in life, and faithfully discharge the mystic duties 
appertaining thereunto, both in their own opinion as well as 
that of their people. The Choctaws' Materia "Medica, like 
all their race, was Nature, herbs and roots furnishing 
their remedies both externally and internally; and the 
success with which they used those remedies proved 
their knowledge of the healing properties of the various 
herbs and roots in which their extensive forests abounded. 
They had a specific for the bite of the sintullo (rattle snake). 
Their doctors relied much on dry-cupping, using their 

HISTORY Of the INDIANS. , 259 

mouth alone in all such cases. Oft have I witnessed the 
Choctaw physician, east of the Mississippi river, administer- 
ing to the necessities of his suffering patient through the 
virtues found in the process of dry-cupping.' Stretching the 
sufferer upon a blanket spread upon the ground, he kneeled 
beside him and began a process of sucking that part of the 
body of which the patient complained, or where, in his own 
judgment, the disease was located,, making a guttural noise 
'during the operation that reminded one of dog worrying an 
opossum; at different intervals raising his head a few inches 
and pretending to deposit into his hands, alternately in the 
one and the other, an invisible' something which he had 
drawn from his patient, by a magic power known alone to 

' After sucking a sufficient length of time to fill both 
hands, judging from the frequent deposits therein made, 
with great apparent dignity and solemn gravity, this worthy 
son of Esculapius arose and stepping to the nearest' tree, 
post, or fence, wiped the secret contents of his apparently, 
full hands thereon; then with an air of marked importance 
walked away to the enjoyments of his own reflections, while 
the sufferer, in real or fancied relief, acknowledged the efficacy 
of the physician's healing powers by ceasing to complain, 
turned over and sought f orgetf ulness in .the arms of refresh- 
ing sleep. If there ensued a change for the better he claimed 
the honor and praise as due the noble profession of which he 
recognized himself a worthy and important member; but if 
the disease proved stubborn and refused to yield to the medi- . 
cinal virtues of his herbs, roots and dry-cupping, he _ turned 
to his last resort^the Aniika, (Hot-house.) This edifice, an 
important adjunct in all Choctaw villages, was made of logs 
rendered nearly air tight by stopping ail cracks with mortar. 
A little hole was left on one side for an entrance. A fire was 
built in the centre of this narrow enclosure, and soon the 
temperature within was raised to the desired degree, then 
the fire was taken out and the patient instructed to crawl in; 
which being done, the little opening was closed. As a matter 
of course, the patient must bake or sweat; which,, however, 
resulted in the latter; and when, in the opinion of theAlikchi, 
(doctor) he had undergone a thorough sweating, the entrance 
was opened, and the patient bidden to come forth; who, upon 
his exit, at once runs to the nearest water into which he 
plunged head first; but if not of sufficient amount and depth 
for the correct performance of that ceremony to its fullest 
extent, he d,ucks his head into it several times, thus making 
practical the wholesome theory of the hygienist: "Keep 
your head cool, but your feet warm." In case of common 


intermittent fever, the efficiency of tiiis mode of proceeding- 
(the sweat and cold bath) was truly astonishin;^, seldom 
failing- to effect a cure. 

But if the patient died — ah, then! with that shrewdness 
pecular to all quacks the world over, he readily found a 
cause upon which to base his excuse for his ineflicrtcy to 
effect a cure; differing somewhat, however, from his white 
brother alikchi, who attributes the cause of his failure to 
innumerable "where-as-es and ifs," while he openly ackowl- 
edged and emphatically declared the interposition of a hat- 
tak holth-kun-na (witch), which counteracting the beneficial 
virtues of his remedies, had caused the death of his patient 
by thus placing him beyond the reach of mortal skill, noth- 
ing more nor less. Sometimes, for the sake of varict}', 'he 
attributed the death of his patient, if occurring very sudden- 
ly, to an Ish tulbih (witch ball) shot from an invisible rifle in 
the hands of a witch. At this important juncture of affairs, 
it now becomes his duty to find the witch that he, she, or it, 
may be brought to pay the penalty of the law in all such 
cases- — death. As a matter of course, the doctor, not very 
scrupulous in the matter of shifting the blame from his own 
shoulders to that of another — so natural to all mankind — 
easily found a witch in the person of some attenuated old 
-woman, whom he designated as the guilty part}', and who 
consequently was immediately sla,in by the relatives of the 
deceased; an illustration of which I have already given in the 
case of the unfortunate Il-lich-ih. 

In the, matter of rain, the Choctaw Rainmaker truly 
swayed the sceptre of authority in that line of art, undis- 
puted, and was regarded with reverential awe by his people. 
In all cases of protracted drouth, which was quite frequent 
at an early day in their ancient domains, the Hut-tak Um-ba 
Ik-bi, (man rain maker) was regarded as the personan^c in 
whom alone was vested the power to create rain; therefore 
to him they went with their offerings and supplication^s, tlic 
former, however, partaking moreof a persuasive nature th/in 
! the latter, in the judgment of the Umba Ikbi, as an effectual 
means to bring into requisition his mysterimis power in the 
matter of rain. He without hesitation promised to heed 
their solicitations, but gently hinting that, in his judgment, 
the offerings were not in as exact ratio to their importuni- 
ties as they should have been. However, he now assumes 
an air c,f mysterious thoughtfulness and,^"grand, gloomy 
and peculiar wrapped in the solitude of his own imagina- 
tion," strnlled from village to village, y-azing at the sun by 
day and the stars by night, seeming to Mold communion with 
the sinniN of the ui)per worlds; linally h.- ventured his repu- 


tiitioii by spccifj'iny ;i certain day upon which he would 
make it rain. The da}' arrived, andi if haply came 
with it a rain the faith of his dupes wasconfirmed, his mystic 
power unquestioned, and the Uraba Ikbi made comfortable. 
But if otherwise, he did not as the Alikchi, attribute his fail- 
ure to the ccmnteracting influence of a witch in the person 
of an old woman, but to that of a brother Umba Ikbi living in 
some remote part of the nation, with whom he was just then 
at variance. He now informs his unfortunate but not faith- 
less people that an Umba Ikbi's mind miist be free of all 
contending emotions while engaged in the mystic cerefno- 
nies of rain making; that he was now angry, too much mad 
to make it rain. Upon which annouricement, the now de- 
spairing people earnestly solicited to know if they, in any 
way could assuage his wrath. He replied in the negative; 
but promised, however, to consider the matter as soon as his 
anger abated. He now became more reserved; sought soli- 
/ tude where undisturbed he might scan the sky and per- 
chance discern some sign of rain. Sooner or later, ^e 
discovers a little hazy cloud stretched along the distant 
western horizon; attentively and carefully watches' it as 
broader and higher it ascends, untij he feels surp he can 
safely risk another promise; then leayes his place of secret 
and thoughtful meditation, and, with countenance fair as a 
summer morn, presents himself before his despairing 
people and announces his anger cooled and wrath departed; 
that now he would bring rain without delay, yet dropping a 
casual hint as to the efficacy of a coveted poiiy, cow, blanket, 
etc., being added, as a sUrer guarantee, sidce "the laborer 
was worthy his hire." The hint was comprehended ai/d 
fully complied with in hopeful expectation. Anon the low 
mu^ttering thunder vibrates along the western horizon in 
audible tones, and the lightning flash is seen athwart the 
western sky heralding the gathering and approaching storm; 
soon the sky is overcast with clouds of blackest hue while 
the lightning's flash and the thunder's i^oar seem to proclaim 
to the people their wonderful Umba Ikbi's secret power in 
the affair of rain; and, as the vast sheetg of falling water wet 
the parched earth they sing his praise; which he, with as- 
sumed indifference, acknowledged with an approving grunt; 
then, with measured steps, sought his home, there to await 
another necessity that would call him forth to ^again deceive 
his credulous adm'irers. But all such delusions soon van- 
ished before the teachings of the missionaries. 

In connection with this peculiar one of the Choctaws, I 
will here relate an incident that took place during a great 


drouth that prevailed in their Nation soon after the estab- 
lishment of the mission called Hebron. . 

The Rain Maker had long been appealed to through sup- 
plications and fees, but all in vain; and it seemed that the 
stubborn drouth had unitediwith more than one distant broth- 
er Umba Ikbi in rendering- his present worship prodigiously 
mad, not only with them but also with himself and the world 
in general, as his ears seemed deaf to all appeals upon the 
subject of water. Since wells and cisterns were luxuries 
then unknown to the Indians, they depended upon their 
rivers, creeks, lakes and ponds, which seldom failed to sup- 
ply. Amid the prevailing gloom an aged Choctaw widow 
named Im-ai-yah (to go by) living two miles south of Hebron, ' 
came one day, as she oft had done before, to talk with her 
pale-face friend, Mrs. Cushman, concerning the drouth. She 
soon stated that she believed there would be plenty of rain in 
a iew days. When asked upon what she based her belief, 
she replied: "On my way here this morning, I sat down at 
the roots of a large tree; while sitting there these thoughts 
came to me. Our Rain Maker cannot make it rain, or he 
would. If he can make it rain, why should not I be able to 
make it rain too? Why should not anyone? Then I asked 
myself; who made this big tree? Somebody made it, and he 
who made it surely can make it rain too. I know he can; and 
I will ask him to please make it rain very soon. I then kneel- 
ed down at the roots of that big tree an^ earnestly prayed to 
him who made tjie big tree to please make it rain; and while 
I was praying a little cloud formed directly over the tree, 
and a little shower fell and many of the di-ops of water, pass- 
ing through the leaves of the tree, fell on me. I know now 
who can make it rain." "Who?" earnestly asked the deejily 
interested pale-face listener. "He who made that tree. Is 
he your God of whom you have told me?" "He is," replied 
the poor widow's pale-face friend and spiritual teacher. But 
I will leave the further conversation that ensued betwen the 
tvvo red and white friends to the imagination of tlie readei', 
with this only: No two women were more devoted friends, 
the one to the other, than were the poor Choctaw widow and 
the "paleface" missionary. But what ef that prayer at the 
roots of that "big tree?" It was heard and answered by the 
\ Maker of that "big tree;" who has said,. "I will not bruise the 
broken reed nor quench the smoking flax." Yes, in a few 
days, an abundance of rain fell; vea, more. From that lime 
the mystic power of the Umba Ikbis began to wane, and soon 
vanished as a summer dream from the Choctaw Nation. 
And he who cannot believe that Israel's God heard the hum- 
ble request of that earnest petitioner, and did' not then and 


there ackno\Vleclgc its virtue i/i the little shower of rain, and 
in a few days ansWer that prayer of faith by an abundant 
shower, Is thrice welcome to his unbelief. 

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 
hke 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 tjie 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 crimcj 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 thfe Choctaws, as it had a salutary 
> effect in restraining them' in the heat of passion, by render- 
ing them cautious in their disputes and ' quarrels, lest blood 
should be shed; knowing the absolute certainty of murder 
being avenged sooner or later upon the murderer himself, or 
some one of his nearest male relatives; hence no man, or 
family, would with impunity commit or permit, if they could 
avoid or prevent it, an act that would be sure to be avenged, 
no one could tell when or where. Dajs, weeks, and even 
months perhaps,[might pass, yet the avenger sleepeth not nor 
has he forgotten; and, at an hour l^ast expected and from a 
source least apprehended, the blow at last falls, and there 
the matter ends. Nor did the slayer find ^ any protection 
from any source whatever, not even from his nearest rela- 
tives. Yet calmly and with stoical indifference awaited his 
certain doom; nor was the avenger, though known, inter- 
rupted ii;i any manner whatever, either before or aftei' hfe had 
accomplished his revenge. The avenger of blood never took 
the life of a female of the slayer's family, but satisfied him- 
self in the death of the slayer himself or in the person of some 
one of his nearest male relatives. If the murderer had fled, 
and the life of one of his male relatives had been sacrificed in 
lieu of his own, he then could return without fear of molesta- 
tion; but the name of coward was given to him — an appella- 
tion more dreaded and less endurable than a hundred deaths 
to all North American Indians.. 


A few instances have been known among- the Choctaws, 
where a relative proposed to die for the slayer, and was ac- 
cepted on the part of the relatives of the slain; but such 
instances were very rare. I remember of an instance re- 
lated^ of undoubted authority, which deserves to be held in 
lasting remembrance if nothingf more than to forever silence 
and put to eternal shame the foolish croaking-s of those who 
deny to the Indian the possession of any of the finer feelings 
and emotions of the heart, and to establish the fact that the 
height, depth, and breadth pf an Indian mother's love can 
only be equalled by that of her white sifter, botb immeasur- 
able, incomprehensible, unfathomable. The case which I 
here relate, was Toh-to Pe-hah (Red Elm Gathered Up), an 
aged Choctaw mother, who gave her life for that of her old- 
est son;and which clearly illustrates the depth and strength, 
the sensibility and tenderness of maternal affection in an 
Indian woman, whose name, had she lived in the days of 
classic lore, would have been handed down to all future ages 
in the songs of the poet minstrels, and upon the pages of the 
historians. But alas! she was unfortunately an Indian an(| 
virtue in an Indian is, with many of the present day, not a 
virtue; while vice, in their defamers, is. This poor widowed 
Chdctaw mother, came with others of her friends to the 
place of execution on the day her son was to be shot for kill- 
ing an aged Choctaw man living many miles distant from 
that of his own home. This killing was done before the 
establishment of the law that the slayer should be tried by 
law, and no longer left in the hands of the "avenger of 
blood." Of her four children he was tlje oldest, her darling 
first-born, on whom she mainly depended for assistance in 
the support of her little famil}-, and whom she had named 
Hoh-tak Lah-ba (Luke Warm). 

When the mother arrived at the plaice of execution, she 
found many had already assembled; but with emotions, felt 
and known only by and to a mother, she pressed through the 
throng to where her doomed boy stood, close to the execu- 
tioner with the deadly rifle in hand, upon which Hohtak Lah- 
ba looked with steady eye and unshaken nerves. All were 
silent. Not a whisper disturbed the profound hush tiiat 
rested like a gliiomy pall upon that ass;embly. The mother 
glanced a look of love at the erect form nf her son, who stood 
as a statue before her eyes;then turned them a moment upon 
the executioner with an appealiny^ look for compassion; then 
beseechingly upon the re]ati\'es of the man slain, and at once 
bi-oku the silence with 4n irresistible appeal ti> them to take 
her life instead of Hohtak Lahba's, "IK is yuung, and 1 am 
old," she cried. "His wife and child, his two little sisters and 



brother, will Kiiffcr if he is taken from them. They cannot 
live Avithout him, they can without me. I am old and can do 
but little for them, nor that little long-. Your relative he 
killed w^s an old man. Why take a young life for an old life? 
Take mine in the place of Hohtak Lahba's. Let the avenger 
of the death of your kinsman be satisfied with my death.- 
Blood for blood satisfies our violated law. It seeks no more, 
it demands no more, What more should vou require? Speak 
kinsman of the dead! Will you accept my life. as sufficient 
propitiation, a just compensatibn for the life of your slain? 
I await your atiswer." A murmur of approval was heard in 
the crovcd, and soon one of the nfearest in kindred to the slain 
arose and accepted the offfer in a firm and, distinct tone of 
voice. A smile of joy lit up the countenance of Toh-to Pe-hah 
as she responded, " 'Tis well." A few moments were given 
her to bid an adieu to her loved ones, and give her last 
admonitions to her wayward boy; after which she calmly 
presented herself before the executioner, and, ' nerved with 
a mother's love that bids defiance to fear, bade him do his 
duty. Then the sharp crack of the rifle broke the pi'ofoun^ 
stillness rof the moment, and the spirit of that loving Choc- 
law mother winged its flight to Him who has said: "Where 
little is given, little is required." Such was the. custom of 
^ this, peculiar people in the years of the long ago. "An eye 
for an eye, and a tooth for; a /tooth," was ever found 
written in all Indians' code of laws, and'to the execution of 
-which they adhered with the strictest punctuality. The 
spirit of the murdered Indian could never take its flight from 
earth, or find rest anywhere in the eternal unknown, until 
blood had atoned for blood, a belief as firmly fixed upon the 
Indian heart as that upon the Phristian*s, that the blood pf 
the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, atoned for the sins of 
the woi4d. 

It is na1(ural to suppose that Hohtak Laliba would have 
refused the offer of his devoted mother. But custom denied 
him the privilege of any action, whatever in the matter. If 
the offer was made and accepted by the relatives of the slain, 
he no longer stood condemned before the Adolated law, or in 
the eyes of the avenger, and he or she, who had voluntarily , 
assumed the position, could onh' make the atonement. The 
mother, in this case, had offered her life, a voluntary sacri- 
fice for that of her son's; it had been accepted as a sufficiency 
by the avenger, and, eveii as the law of the Medes and Per- 
sians that "changeth not," so Tohto Pehah could not re- 
verse her accepted proposal, even if she had relented, nor 
the son refuse, she must die, and Hoh tak Lahba must live; 
and the Amen was the response of the law. The unfortu- 


nate Hoh tak Lahba, though the aveirger of the blood of his 
slain victim had been appeased at a fearful cost to him, was af- 
terwards often taunted by the relatives and friends of the 
old man he had slain, with the accusation of cowardice, which 
to all Indians is more to be dreaded than death. 

For several years he bore up under their taunts until 
he eventually began to believe that all regarded him as a cow- 
ard, and life to him had became a burden too great to be 
longer borne. But what could he do? To take his own life 
would not do, since that act would stamp tlje seal of woe 
upon his eternal destiny. How then was he to secure for 
himself an honorable death and wipe off the stain of coward- 
ice that had been attached to his name, and depart to the 
eternal and happy home that awaited all brave warriors? 
His cogitative mind at last suggested a plan; it was, only by 
killinganother man. Thishe adopted and put into immediate 
execution; and to makehis death the more certain, he sought, 
found, and slew a son of the very man for whose death his 
doting mother had so heroically atoned; and though his 
victim lived many miles distant, hewell.knew the deed would 
speedily bring the avenger to his side. But that 'he might 
effectually wipe forever from his name the stain of coward- 
ice, to his own honor and that of his kindred, he at once re- 
solved to take his own life, since now it would be blood' for 
blood, and self sacrifice would no longer fix upon him the 
penalty of eternal woe. Quietly but resolutely he dug his 
own grave before putting his dreadful resolution into effect; 
and when completed, calmly stretched himself therein to as- 
certain if it was complete in every particular. As soon as he 
had slain his victim he hastened home with his utmost speed, 
and at once told his relatives and friends what he had done, 
and then said: "You know that I have )ong been accused of 
cowardice, but now I will prove to you tiiat I can also 
meet death like a brave warrior." Well they knew his fear- 
ful determination and the impossibility of dissuading him 
therefrom, as they sat in gloomy silence awaiting the ap- 
proaching fearful scene that was soon to be enacted. Slow- 
ly he went through with his preliminary death ceremonies 
with that stoicism so peculiar to his race; the careful exami- 
nation of his rifle,j to see if it would still be as true to its 
trust as it so loag had proved in his many conflicts with the 
wild beasts of his native forests; the singing of his death 
song, (the Indians adieu to earth) and the farewell shaking 
of the hands of his relatives and friends present, consisting of 
his wife, two sisters and brother, who sat in a mournful 
group a little to one side, with eyes vacant and fixed as if 
upon some distant object, but presenting a picture of silent 


woe that baffles desci-iption; while the old men of the neigh- 
borhood sat in little groups around, smoking their pipes in 
doleful silence. No wailing, not even a half smothered sigh, , 
broke the silence of the solemn scene. Nothing was heard 
but the voice of Hoh tah Lahba, as he now and then chanted 
his death-song. When he had bidden all his last adieu, he 
seized his bottle of whiskey, that "bright insignia" of tlie 
white man's "Personal Liberty," drank a long draught then 
hurled the bottle with its contents to the ground with all his 
strength, as if invoking a curse upon its maker arid vendor, 
then snatched his rifle from its leaning position against a 
tree, rushed to his waiting grave, and the sharp crack of the 
rifle that immediately followed told but too plainly that Hoh- 
tah Lahba was dead. Then burst forth a long restrained 
wail of grief from his bereaved wife, sisters, and other fe- 
male friends alone, (as an Indian man never expresses his 

' grief by any external emotions) heretofore smothered in re- 
spect to Hoh tah Lahba's request, "that all emotions of 
grief be restrained in his presence j" that echoed far back 
from the surrounding forests. ~ ' .' 

What Christian heart could witness such a scene without 
emotions of sorrow, since it exhibits > the human mind 
shrouded in the greatest error, while at th^ same time it , 
exhibits the elements of a noble naturd. Contemplate the 
love of that unlettered motherl Listen again to her arguments 
before that stern court of inflexible jhsticei, pleading her own 
destitution of all further usefulness to her people, as a just 
reason for the preservation of her son's manhood and useful- 
ness I View the son too, though sacrifijcing the life of his 
loving mother by his wayward life, yet manifesting as great 
a sense of shAme and fear of public censure, as his civilized 
white brother, (yet far more honorable) who sacrificed two 

' lives also under his so-called exalted views of honor in fighting 
a duel ! Now turn aside from a long, lingering gaze upon the 
desolate hearts of that wife, now widowed, and those weeping 
sisteirs ; hear again that fearful, undissembled shriek as the 
crack of the rifle announced that its messenger of death had 
accomplished its work; listen to those lamentations loud, as 
they rush to the fatal spot and throw themselves upon the 
quivering body, and then will you, can, you, longer deny to 
the Indian mother, wife, sister,'daughter, any of those flivine 
and holy sensibilities so justly awarded to the white females? 
Truly .may it be said of the North American Indian 
woman as a general thing, that they rank higher in those 
feminine virtues that so peculiarly belong to women than any 
unlettered race known in history or otherwise. And for that 

highest of all female virtues, chastity, 'the full-blood North 


American Indian woman can fearlessly clvalleng-e her white 
sistel-s of the entire United States, without the fear of the 
possibility of defeat. Duringf my sojourn among- the Choctaw 
and Chickasaw people in the years 1884 to 1890, I made fre- 
quent inquiries relative to this subject, both of native citizens 
and white citizens married among them, and whites living- 
among- them as renters of tjieir farms, and they have spoken 
in the highest terms of praise of the chastity of the Choctaw 
and Chickasaw women, and to which Tadd my own, based 
upon a knowledge of over seventy years personal acquaint- 
ance with these two branches of the Indian race, and also 
that of the missionaries who labored among them when 
living east of the Mississippi River. Ih conversation \vith :i 
Chickasaw (half blood) in February, 1886, an ex-auditor of 
the Chickasaw Nation and a man of undoubted veracity, who 
lived near the line of division between hi's own people and the 
war-like Commanches, and with whom he had formed an 
extensive acquaintance by trading among them, he thus 
replied to ray inquiries concerning the c-hastity of the Com- 
manche women: "It is an absolute impossibility to i-ob a 
Commanche r^man of her virtue, only by' superior physical 
force. No professions of love, no promisos of marri.-ige, no 
temptation of bribery, can avail anything in inducing her to 
step from the path of rectitude, virtue and honor.' I was 
informed by a gentleman who lived in the southern part of 
Arizona, that he was well acquainted with a tribe of Indians 
whose women it was impossible to influen.-o from the path of 
virtue. Many of the early writers speak in the highest com- 
mendation of the native Indian women. All praise to th4 
North American Indian women! uneducated, uncivilized, 
with no advantai^cs of moral culture, yet true to the nalui-al 
instincts of morality, "adorning" no cities, towns and villagers 
with houses erected for the prostitution of theii- bodies and 
the eternal damnation of their souls. 

The Choctaw women were of medium height, lieautiful 
in form, strong and agile in body; strictlv honest, truthful, ; 
light-hearted and gay, and devoted in their affection t(j fam- 
ily and friends, while common custom protected them against 
all offense, even as it does at the present day;— how com- 
mendable to the Choctaw men. 

There a'lways have existed among the North American 
Indians, and stjll exist, many examples of intellectual ability, 
of genius, of high moral feeling and as iiMbk-and pure patri- 
otism as was ever found in any nation of people and as proof 
of this fact I relate the following: Some twenty-five years au-., 
a photographer of Chicago, being in Arizona on .-i vacatirm 
trip, found and rescued from an Apache cainpan abandoned 


Indian m/ilo infant of full blood. The photograplier became 
possessed with a desire to take the boy home with him and 
adopt him . In spite of vvarning-s that the child would prove, 
a viper in his bosom, he carried out his intentions, and rear- 
ed the boy, to whom the. name of Charles Montezuma was 
given, as a member of his family. The young- Apache grew 
up to be in face and physiqufe 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 g-entle, polite, 
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 averag-e of his class; that he is likfed by his claSsmktes 
and has never manifested any desire to resume the barbai-- 
ous habits of his relatives, or shown any savage traits what- 
ever; that he supports himself, during his studies at the 
medical college, by filling- prescriptions at a 'Chicago drug ' 
store where be is looked upon as an expert pharmacist, and 
that every circumstance indicates that he will make a suc- 
cessful professional man. 

But long^ since has it been proven and established beyond, 
contradiction that they posses^sed capacities as susceptible 
of the hig-hest refinement as that of the White .Race, which, 
wrapt in the garb of self-importance impervious to truth 
and reason, regarded the Indians as inferior beings, unworthy 
its consideration, except as objects to be plundered and 
destroyed; and in justification of which, called them savages, 
but-with as little justice and reason as the Indians had to 
call them Christians. ^What unlettered nations, utterly 
without books, colleges and schools, have ever produced such 
men, worthily renowned as orators and statesmen incouncil, 
and brave in the field of battle as patriots, as the' true Native 
Americans of the North Western Continent, in their Mas- 
sasoits, Phillips, Pontiacs, Red Jackets, Black Hawks, Te- 
cumsehs. Humming- Birds, Red Shoes, Apushamatahahs, 
Weatherfords, Osceolas, Ridges, Rosses, Colberts, and 
hundreds of others of equal renown? They are not to be found- 
in tradition on in ancient or moddrn history. , 

who that has read Cooper's "Last of tHe Mohicans," 
but remembers Uncas, the yonng Mohawk warrior, and 
jointly with that of his white friend Leather Stocking, the 
ifiero of the story? It is said his Indian name was Tschoop; 
but if it is corrupted as badly as all other Indians' names 
when put in print by the whites, it is as foreign from his 
true name as that by which he figured in the "Last of the 


Mohicans," However, he has been handed down as a noted 
warrior among' his people — the once powerful and warlike 
Mohawks who inhabited the now State of New York in the 
years of long past — famous for his daring exploits in war, 
and his fiery eloquence in the councils of his Nation. In 
1741, he was often visited at his home by a Moravian mis- 
sionary, named Christian Rauch, who often spoke to him 
upon the su'bject of religion during their frequent socal con- 
versations; and finally asked him if he had any desire to save 
his soul. "We all desire that," responded Uncas. The 
good missionary^ in his zeal, became persistfent in urgiug 
upon him the importance and great necessity of his becom- 
ing a Christian, praying and pleading with him — often with 
tears; and after many months of prayer and entreaty, the 
pious Rauch was delighted to see his forest pupil a changed 
man — a truly pious Christian, whom he baptised under the 
name of John. In a letter Uncas afterwards sent to the 
Delaware Indians, he said: "I have been a bad, very bad, 
man. But a white preacher told me there is a God. I said: 
Do I not know that? Return whence you came. 

Then another came and told me that God was offended 
at me when I did any bad acts. Again I said: Do I not know 
that 'too? Do you think that I am a fool? Then Christian 
Rauch came into my cabin and sat down by me and told me 
of my crimes, of Jesus who died to save me from them; and 
this he did day after day, until I became tired^ of his talk and 
treatened to kill him if he came to my cabin again. But one 
day I came home and found him in my cabin sound asleep. 
I stood and looked at him, and said to myself — "What sort 
of a man is this? How easily I might kill him; yet he is with- 
out fear, for he says his Jesus will protect him from all 
harm. Who is that that Je^us? I too must and will find 
him." And, reader, he did find him; and soon after he be- 
came not only an humble and devout follower of the Lbrd 
Jesus Christ, but also became a preacher of the Gospel with 
the same fiery eloqtience which had given him a power among 
his race, and spent many years in traveling among the neigh- 
boring tribes of his day — who long sinc6 have all been num- 
bered with the events that were fading before the tide of the 
white man's Christian oppression like a shadow that leaves 
no trace behind, except in the persons of a few who have 
survived the wreck of years, only, it seems, because they 
have the right to, live. 

Curiosity was one of the chief characteristics of the 
Choctaws, and held a prominent position in their breasts. 
They were desirous to know everything peculiar or strange 
that was transpiring about them;-not more so, however, than 


any others of the human race. Yet the Choctaw differed 
from his white brother in this particular; the white man ex- 
pressed openly his curiosity at anything- unusual or strang^e, 
and asked innumerable questions concerning it, and 
manifested the g-reatest excitement until his curiosity 
was gratified; but the Choctaw asked no questions, 
nor manifested any surprise whatever,^ no matter how 
strang-e or incomprehensible to him, but walked around with 
an air of seemingly perfect indifference; yet was attentive to 
any and all explanations that were b^ing- made by others. 
The ingenuity of the white man as displayed in his vari- 
ous inventions was, to him, as to all his race, the deepest 
mystery, an incomprehensible enigma that placed the pale- 
face, in his opinion, in close relationship to super-human 
beings; and influenced an aged Indian chief .to exclaim, when 
viewing the mysterious workings of a steam engine when 
once at Washington City, "I hate the avarice of the white 
■ man's heart, but worship the ingenuity of his mind." The 
astonishment sometimes depicted upon the countenances of 
the Indians when beholding the wonderful performances of 
the white man, audibly expressed by the ancient Choctaws 
in the sudden ejaculation, "Wah?" was often very divert- 

On one occasion a vtenerable old Indian man, who, in 
order to light his pipe, was trying to catch a spark upon a 
piece of punk struck from his flint and steel; after many 
fruitless attempts, a white man standing near had observed 
the old' man's unsuccessiful efforts to obtain the desired 
spark, and anticipating a little laugh might be had at the ex- 
pense of the old veteran, stepped up ^ and proposed to bring 
down fire from the sun with which 'to light his pipe. At 
this astounding pi'oposal, the old man looked up and shook 
his head with an incredulous grunt, which being interpreted 
evidently signified: "You are a fool." The white man then 
slowly taking a sun-glass from his pocket, held it concealed 
in his hand directly over the well filled pipe of tobacco. The 
focal rays of the sun soon did their work. "Now smoke," 
said the white man. The old man:obeyed, and at once his 
mouth wq.s filled with smoke. That was enough. He at 
once puffed the smoke from his mouth; then stopped and 
looked at the white man, then up at the sun; then down at 
his well lighted pipe; then again at th« white man and the/ 
sun, with that expression of amazenjent and awe which 
plainly expressed his now changed opinion, that, instead of 
a fool, that white man was nothing more nor less a person- 
age than the devil himself; and, with eyes askant resting 
upon him, he slowly arose and walked away with his last 


formed opinion which no argument could h.ave induced him 
to ag-ain chanffe; yet not with as de\\)tional a spirit, it is pre- 
sumed, of he of the steam engine, 

As an evidence of the tenacity with ^\•hich the ancient 
Choctaws adhered to the veracity of their traditions handed 
down through a long line of ancestrj', I>vill here relate a little 
incident in which my twin brother and myself (then seven 
years of age) were the chief actors, and shared all the glor}'. 
At that time, there was a remembered tradition of their an- 
cestors which they truly believed, that "pale-face" twins (if 
boys) possessed-the magic power of dispelling all depreda- 
ting worms and insects from cornfields, gardens, etc., which, 
in some years, at that early day, proved quite destructive, 
especially to their corn during the milk sta^. Now it so 
happened during one summer, that the corn-worms were 
unusually numerous and were committing great depredations 
upon their fields of green corn. This corn-worm, with which 
all southern farmers are well acquainted, but entertained no 
dread, is, when fully grown, about an iijch and a half or two 
inches long, and about the size of a wheat straw, and commits 
its depredations (if depredations it may now be called) only 
when the corn is in the millc stage, entering the ear at the 
top and gradually working downward, but leaving it as soon 
as the grain becomes hard. Now it also happened, they had 
learned that Mr. Cushman, the "good pale-face," as he was 
termed, had a pair of twin boysja propitious opportunity (long 
desired) was now offered to secure for themselves, by an 
occular demonstration, the traditional efficacy of the pale-face 
twins' supernatui-al power, which they joyfully embraced. 

Unexpectedly, one beautiful June morning, a company 
of line-looking Choctaw warriors were seen approaching on 
hor.seback at full speed. They halted at the gate of Mr. 
Cush man's 3'ard and called for him. He at once I'esponded 
by walking out to them. After the usual friendly salutations 
had been passed, they inquired if he had a pair of twin sons, 
to which he replied in the affirmative. They then-informed 
him bf the depredations being committed upon their fields of 
green corn, and also of the traditions of their ancestors, re- 
questing at the same time the loan of his twins that they 
might, by that mysterious power possessed alone by pale- 
face twins, rid them of the voracious pests that were then de- 
stroying their fields of corn. Mr. Cushman, ignorant of 
such a pdwer having been bestowed upon his twin boys, at 
first demurred; but they becoming more importunate in 
their rt.>ii^(.st, he finally told them he would give them an an- 
swer in :i few minutes. He then stepped into the house and 
pre>.enled the liise to Mrs. t'usliman for cdnsitlor.iliou, who 


at once, from a mother's natural apprehensions that would 
arise in such a novel case, most positively refused her con- 
sent; but after a few minutes! deliberation reluctantly yield- 
ed, to the great joy and satisfaction of the twins, who had 
been attentive spectators and listeners to the whole proceed- 
ing's, and had become eager to test their attributed power, 
(unknown before) and to enjoy the anticipated novel sport so 
closely connected with the horseback ride that was present- 
ed. Mr. Cushman at once led his little twins to the gate and 
introduced them to the now jubilant warriors, by telling 
them the ■ respective names of the "wonderfully gifted" 
twins; and then granted their request upon the promise that 
they would return his boys in the evening of the day, before 
the sun had set. The promise was given and accepted by 
Mr. Cushman without the least apprehension of its violation, 
while Mrs. Cushman stood in the door and viewed the pro- 
ceedings with that doubtful anxiety known and felt only by 

Mr. Cushman then set each of his boys upon a horse be- 
fore a warrior, accompanying the act with t^e parting re- 
quest: "Take good care of my little boysl" Unnecessary 
appeal, as not a Choctaw in that little band but would have- 
shielded the entrusted twins from injury even at the ex- 
pense of his life. At 6nce we galloped off in the direction of 
their village three miles distant called Okachiloho fah. 
(Water^falling, or Falling water.) When we arrived in sight,, 
their success was announced by a shrill whoop to which the 
villagers responded their joy by another. As soon as we rode 
into the villajge, we were immediately surrounded by an ad- 
miring throng, and being tenderly lifted from our positions' 
on the horses, we were handed over to the care of several old 
men, who took us in their arms and with much gravity 
carried us into a little cabin, vifhich had previously been set 
in order for our reception, where we found prepared a va- 
riety of eatables, to us seemingly good enough to excite the 
appetites of the most fastidious twift epicures; after 
which the venerable old seei-s of the village instructed 
us in the mystic rites and ceremonies of their , tribe, 
preparatory to calling into requisitioii the magic power 
of our twinship in all its bearingsi upon the duties 
of the day. Then showing us our weapons, which 
consisted of iron, wood and lire, the two former in the shape 
of a frying-pan, in which we were to b.urn the worms after 
picking them from the corn, and a blazing chunk of fire, tw& 
stout and straight sticks about six feet in length, with the 
proper instructions in regard to the manner of using them 
effectually. Having been thoroughly drilled in these pi*e- 


liminaries, the line of march was taken up toward the field 
• where the enemy were said to be strongly intrenched; ir 
profound silence and with unfeig-ned gravity, the Palokta 
Tohbi, (Twins White, or White Twins) led the van, borne 
upon the shoulders of twopowerful warriors closely followed 
by three others bearing- the arms, while the villagers, headed 
by the veteran seers, brought up the rear presenting an im- 
posing appearance with a considerable smack of the ridicu- 
lous, even as Don Quixote astride of his famous Rosinante 
followed by his valuable squire in like position on his mule. 

When the field was reached a halt was made, and two 
venerable looking old men, whoSe hoary locks and wrinkled 
faces bespoke their earthly pilgrimage had extended man}- 
years beyond their allotted three score years and ten, came 
to the front and, with solemn misen, lifted us from our perches 
and gently placed us over the fence into the field; then hand- 
ing the frying pan, chunk of fire, and sticks, our weapons, to 
us, with a word of encouragement whispered in our ears to 
prove ourselves Valiant and worthy our traditional fame, they 
bade us charge the foe. The plan of the campaign was to 
attack the enemy first in the center; there build a hot fire 
with the dry wood, previously prepared by the theughtful 
Choctaws, upon which place the frying pan and into which 
throw all prisoners without discrimination, as our flag bore 
the motto — "Neither giving nor asking quarter;" and like- 
wise also at the the four corners of the field. The centre 
was gained, the fire made, and upon it placed the pan; then 
we made a vigorous attack upon the strongholds of the 
enemy dislodging them and at the same time taking them 
prisoners of war; then hurrying them to the centre hurled 
them hors de combat into the frying pan heated to a red heat, 
and with our ready sticks stirred them vigorously, while the 
wreathes of smoke that ascended from the scene of carnage 
and floated away before the summer breeze, together with 
the odor, not as fragaant to the sensitive nose, however, as 
the lily or the rose, gave undisputed evidence of our victories; 
while our waiting Choctaw friends, acknowledged their 
approval from the outside of the field, (since the tradition for- 
bade them sharing in the dangers of the conflict— the Palok- 
tasmust fight alone) filling our youthful hearts with heroic 
emotions unfelt before or afterwards. j 

After we had immolated two or three panfulls of the 
enemy at the center and at each corner of the field, nor lost a 
man, we returned in triumph to our waiting friends, 1)V 
whom we were receiv(?d with unfeigned manifestation's of 
affection and pride. Thence we wure borne as before to 
other fields, where were enacUd the same prodigies of valor 


with similar results until the declining sun gave warning of 
•their promise not being fulfilled if the Paloktas were not re- 
turned ere the sun went down. Therefore' we were carried 
from our last field of slaughter back to the villagfe in "glori- 
ous triumph," where never were offered to frail mortality 
more sincere homage and unfeigned devotion than were be- 
stowed upon the Paloktas by those grateful Choctaws., They 
seemed only to regret not being able to manifest a still 
greater degree of gratitude, and to do more for us as a man- 
ifestation of their appreciation of the great favor 
we had conferred upon them. With zealous care they 
watched over us while ilnder . their care, that no 
harm might befall us. . As we came so we returned, and 
safely reached home ere the sun sank behind the western 
horizon. We were aftei'wards" frequently called upon, 
much to our gratification and delight, it was fun for us, to 
bring into requisition our mysteriously delegated power in 
behalf of^their cornfields; and we became the special favor- 
ites of that kind-hearted and appreciative people; and woe to 
him or them who should impose upon or attempt to injure 
their little pets, the pale-face Paloktas. But the boyish 
pride that filled my heart on those occasions, though seventy 
years have fled, is remembered to this day, haunting the 
imagination with a mystic power, as thought goes back to 
many a vanished scene recalling associates incident to the 
days of the long past. 

But curiosity might now be inquisitive enough to ask: 
"Did the worms cease their depredations on the green 
cprn?" To which I reply: Many of them certainly did; and, 
as iao further complaint was made by the Choctaws during 
that season, it is reasonable to suppose those that were left, 
after the immolation of so many of their relatives, took a 
timely hint and sought other quarters where pale-face Palok- 
tas were unknown; but whether actuated through fear of a 
similar fate as had befallen a goodly number of their com- 
panions, or because the corn had become -too hard, by age for 
easy mastication and healthy digestion, I will leave for future 
consideration and determination of those who feel more 
interested in its solution. than I do just now. However, this 
much I can and will unfold; as the little pale-face Paloktas 
honorably sustained the reputation of their mystic art, at 
least in the opinion of their Choctaw ffiends, who were ren- 
dered supremely happy in the indulgement of their faith in 
the truth of the ancient declaration of their honored an- 
cestors; appreciative and gratefuljto the "Good Pale-face" for 
the loan of his favored twins; and the twins enjoyed the new 
and novel sport, and nobody hurt, (unless the worms, who 


are at liberty to render their own complaint,) we will let it 
pass without further ado as being- only a little superstitious 
yet novel affair, not less unreasonable however, in all its con- 
comitants than other sup;erstitions so oft indulged by the 
human race of all nationalities, even of to-day as well as in 
the years of yore. 

There were many traditions among- all North American 
Indians, many of which bordered on tfie poetical and from 
which I will select one or two more, which shall suffice as 
examples of a few of the peculiarities of this peculiar yet 
interesting people. 

.Thus says the tradition of "Ohoyo Osh Chisba," (The 
Unknown Woman.) In the days of many moons ago, two 
Choctaw hunters were encamped forthe night in the swamps 
of the bend of the :S^labama river. But the scene was not 
without its roinance. Dark, wild, and unlovely as a swamp 
is generally imagined to be, ^et to the musing heart and 
contemplative spirit, it had its aspects of beauty, if not of 
brightness, which rose up before the mind as objects of se- 
rene delight. 1 speak from long personal experience. Its 
mysterious appearance; its little lakes and islands of repose: 
its silent and solemn solitudes; its green cane-breaks and 
lofty trees, all combined to present a picture of strange but 
harmonious combination to which a lover of nature in all its 
diversified phases could not be wholly insensible. The two 
hunters having been unsuccessful in the chase on that and 
the preceding day, found themselves Ayithout anything on 
that night with which to satisfy the cravings of hunger ex- 
cept a black hawk which they had shot with an arrow. Sad 
reflections filled their hearts as they thought of their sad dis- 
appointment^ and of their suffering families at home, while 
the gloomy future spread over them its dark pall of despon- 
dency, all serving to render them unhappy indeed. They 
cooked the hawk and sat down to partake of their poor and 
scanty supper, when their attention was drawn from their 
gloomy forebodings by the low but distinct tones, strange 
yet soft and plaintive as the melancholy notes of the dove, 
but produced by what they were wholly unable to even con- 
jecture. At different intervals it broke th^ deep silence of 
the early night with its seemingly muffled notes of woe; and 
as the nearly full orbed moon slowly ascended the eastern 
sky the strange sounds became more frequent and distinct. 
With eyes dilated and fluttering heart they looked up and 
down the river to learn whence the sounds proceeded, but 
no object except the sandy shores glittering in the moon- 
light greeted their eyes, while the darfe waters of the river 
seemed alone to give response in murmuring tones to the 



strang-e notes that continued to float upon the night air from / 
a direction thej^ could not definitely locate; but happening to 
look behind them in the direction opposite the moon they 
saw a woman of wonderful beauty standing upon a mound a 
few rods distant. Like an illuminated shadow, she had sud- 
denly appeared out of the moon-lighted forest., She was 
loosely clad in snow-white raiment, and bore i*i the folds of 
her drapery a wre^ath of fi-agrant flowers. She .beckoned 
them to approach, while she seemed surrounded by a halo of 
light that gave to her a supernatural appeai-ance. Their im- 
agination now influenced them to believe her to be the Great 
Spirit of their nation, and that the flowers she bore were re- 
presentatives of loved ones who had passed from earth to 
bloom in the Spirit-Land; truly, a beautiful sentiment that 
touches ev6ry heart, for who has not some treasure in that 
immortal home? Reason as we maj', there is something, in- 
describable though it may be, that draws us to the unseen 
world; and we pine for a Word or token from the dear ones 
who have thither gone. Call it heathenish if you will, a relic 
of superstition, of the days when every rock, tree and plant 
were deemed the abode of a deity, but we never gather a 
flower that we do not feel- for the life thus ended. It may be 
an error clothed with beauty and tenderness, and far more 
harmless than the theory that thrusts us helpless into life 
and leaves us to grope our way through it uncared for, then 
to die unnoticed and forgotten. 

' The mystery was solved. At once they approached to 
where she stood, and offered their assistance in any way they 
could be of service to her. She replied she was very hungry, 
whereupon one of them ran and brought the roasted hawk 
and handed it to her. She accepted it with grateful thanks; ,- 
but, after eating a small portion of it, she banded the remain- 
der back t'o them replying that she would remember their > 
kindness when she returned to her home in the happy hunt- 
ing grounds of her father, who was Shilup Chitoh Osh — The 
Great Spirit of the Choctaws. She then told them that when 
the next mid-summer moon should come they must meet her 
at the mound upon which she was then standing. She then 
bade them an affectionate adieu, and was at once borne away 
upon a gentle breeze and, mysteriously as she came so she 
disappeared. The two hunters returned to their camp for the 
night and early next morning sought their homes, but kept 
the strange incident a profound secret to themselves. When 
the designated time rolled around the mid-summer full moon 
found the two hunters at the foot of the mound but Ohoyo 
ChishbaOsh was nowhere to be seen. Then remehibering 
she tolithem they must come to the very spot where she 


was then standing, they at once ascended the mound and 
found it covered with a strange plant, which yielded an ex- 
cellent food, which was ever afterwards cultivated by the 
Choctaws, and named by them Tunchi; (Corn). 

Somewhat similar to the tradition of the Ohoyo Chishba 
Osh is that of the Hattak Owa Hushi Qsh, (The Man Hunt- 
ing For The Sun.) 

The Choctaws once, a great amount of corn having been 
made and as a manifestation of their aplpreciation and gratifi- 
cation and gratitude to the Great Spirit, their benefactor, 
held a Great National Council at which their leading prophet 
spoke at great length upon the beauties of Nature which 
contributed so much to their pleasure, and the various pro- 
ductions of the earth and the enjoyment derived therefrom, 
attributing much of all to the effects of the sun. That great 
lighter and heater of the earth came from the east, but 
whence it went after it had passed behind the western hills, 
had long been a subject of debate, never satisfactorily de- 
termined. Again the mooted question was brought .up by 
the prophet in his speech at the aforesaid council, who, in 
a strain of wild eloquence, cried out, "Is there not a warrior 
among all my people who will go and find out what becomes 
of the sun when it departs in the west? " At once a young 
warrior, named Oklanowah, (Walking People) arose in the 
assembly and said: "I will go and try to fihd where the sun 
sleeps, though I may never return." He soon took his de- 
parture on his dubious errand leaving behind him one sad 
heart at least, to whom he gave a belt of wampum as a token 
of remembrance. 

But after an absence of many years he returned to the 
home of his nativity, only to find himself an entire stranger 
among his people. After many days search, however, he 
found one in the person of an aged and decrepit woman, who 
remembered the circumstances connected with the young 
hunter who had gone many years before on his adventurous 
exploit to find the sleeping place of thfe sun; and though he 
was satisfied that she was his identical betrothed — the loved 
one of his youth— oft spoke with the deepest affection of her 
long lost Oklanowah, yet no arguments could induce her to 
acknowledge the old man before her as her lover of the past. 
The unfortunate and forlorn Hattak O.wa Hushi Osh spent 
his few remaining days in narrating his adventures to his peo- 
ple, the vast prairies and high mountains he had crossed; the 
strange men and animals he had seen; and, above all, that 
the sleeping place of the sun was in a big, blue water. Still 
after hearing all this, the old woman, more incredulous than 
"doubting Thomas" of Biblical fame, refused to believe, bui 


secliuled herself in her lonely cabin, and alone occupied the 
sad hours of the days and years that came and went in 
counting the wampum in her belt, the sacred memento of her 
Oklanowah^oved, but' lost; lost, yet loved. Spring return- 
ed, but ere^ the leaves were grown Hatiak Owa Hushi Osh 
died, and Avas buried near the ancient mound Nunih Waiyah, 
and ere the moon of the corn planting hadi come, the old 
woman also died, and she to was buried at the sacred Nunih 
Waiyah by the side of her unre!cognized yet faithful Okla- 

Another specimen of their love legends is exhibited in 
t^hat of Chahtah Osh Hochifoh Keyu — the Nameless Chah- 
tah. In the days of the long past there lived in the Choctaw 
village Aiasha, (Habitation), the only son of a g^eat war- 
chief. This son was noted for his wonderful beauty of form, 
and features and manly bearing. The aged men of the 
Nation predicted, on account of his known and acknowledged 
bravery, he would become a renowned warrior. But as he- 
had not distinguished himself in war either by slaying an 
enemy, taking a prisoner, or sti-iking^ the dead (a feat ac- 
companied with the greatest danger, as every efEort is made 
by the friends of the fallen warrior to prevent such an insult; 
to the dead), he wa^ not permitted t'oi. occupy a seat in the 
councils of the tribe, though respected and hoiiored,' and his:. 
bravery uiidoubted by all. f 

According to the custom of the ancient Choctavvs, a boy 
was not given a specific name in childhood .unles^ he merited^ 
it by some daring act; and the young warrior, by some un- 
avoidable chain of circumstances, passed through his chrys- 
alis stage of life without having won a, reputation according 
to his youthful ability; therefore went by* the general name 
Chahtah Osh Hochifoh Keyu. The Nameless Chahtah. Ili 
the same village of Aiashah, there also lived, according to the 
legend, the most famous beauty of the tribe, the daughter of 
a noted warrior and skillful hunter, and the beti-othed of 
Chahtah Osh Hochifo Iksho. Though they often met at the 
great dances and,festivals of the tribe, yet she (whose name 
the legend does not state) treated him with distant reserve 
(then the universal custop of the Choctaw girls) though the- 
ardent lover of the nameless hero. Still one cloud cast its. 
gloomy shadow over their happiness; it was the knowledge 
of the stubborn truth, that'the laws of their Nation, as those- 
of the Medes and Persians, were unalterable; and that they 
could never become husband and wife until he had acquired 
a name by some daring deed in battle with' the enemies of 
his country. But time sldvvly rolled away and summeif again 
camewith a balmy day followed , by its evening twilight,. 


which witnessed the lovers seated tog^ether upon the summit 
■of a hill shaded by the foliag-e of innumerable and immense 
forest trees. Far below from a distant plain ascended the 
light and smoke from the fire of a war-dance, around which 
danced in wild excitement four hundred Choctaw warriors, 
preparatory to a war-expedition against the Osages, far dis- 
. tant to the west, and that night was the last night of their 
preparatory ceremonies. Previous to that night Chahtah 
Osh Hochifoh Keyu had acted as one of the most conspicu- 
ous in the dances engaged in the four previous nights before, 
but on the last night, had retired from the dance to enjoy a 
parting interview with his betrothed. There they parted, 
and ere the morning's sun again lighted up the eastern hori- 
zon, the "sound of revelry by night" had ceased, while 
silence again resumed her sway o'er Nature's vast expanse, 
and bespoke the four hundred warriors with Chahtah Osh 
Hochifoh Keyu were many miles upon the war-path that led 
to the country of the Osages among the headwaters of the 
Arkansas river. ' 

, The hostile land was reached, and soon they discovered 
a large cave into which they entered, that concealed they 
might the better arrange their plans for future operations, 
being then in the enemies' country. Two scOuts, however, 
were sent out to reconnoitre, one to exaniine the surround- 
ings east, the other west. The latter wfis Chahtah Osh 
(Hochifoh Keyu. But alas for human bopes! The evening 
passed away and night came on bringing one Osage hunter 
■who had oft before sought the cave and found a safe resting 
j)lace for the night. But as he drew ijear the cave, his ob- 
servant eyes, ever on the alert, discovered signs which told 
him of the presence of others; further examination revealed 
that they were his nation's most bitter and unrelenting ene- 
mies, the hated Choctaws. Silently he stole away undis- 
covered by the Choctaws, until safely distant, then sped 
away through the darkness on nimble feet to his village and 
told of his discovery; at once a large band of Osage warriors 
rushed for the cave, and as they drew near gathered up small 
logs, chunks, limbs and brush with w^ich thev silently and 
effectually closed the mouth of the cave, and to which they 
applied the torch, and the sleeping Choctaws awoke but fb 
read their inevitable doom— all perished. The Choctaw 
scout who had gone east returned during the night, but ere 
he reached the cave the flames revealed to him the tale of 
woe; he approached near enough, however, to comprehend the 
whole; stooda moment and gazed in mazy bewilderment, then 
turned and fled for home where he s.afely arrived and re- 
vealed the sad intelligence of the wretched fate of his com- 


rades'to their relatives and frieads. It was also believed by 
all that Chahta Osh Hochifoh Keju had been discovered and 
had also been ?lain. The sad tidings fell heavily upon all 
and the wail of woe was nekrd in many a village and cabin; 
but upon one it fell with terrible weight; and the promised 
wife of, "The l^meless Choctaw" at once began to droop 
and soon withered away as a rose severed from the parent 
stem; and ere another moon had passed away she was laid 
iway in a grave upon the very spot (by her request) where 
she had last shared the parting embrace with her adored 
Chahtah Osh Hochifoh Keyu, upon whose tomb-stone, had 
one been erected to her memory, could justly have borne the 
epitaph — "A broken heart." 

But the supposition that he too had been slain proved 
untrue. Though he had" been discovered by the Osages and 
vigorously pursued for several days and nights, he finally 
was fortunate enough to escape. During the chase his flight 
had been devious, and when he had gotten beyond the^danger 
of further pursuit by his fearful foes, he found himself to be 
a bewildered man, wretched and forlorn. Everything ap- 
peared wrong, and even the sun appeared to him to rise in 
the wrong direction, all nature was out of order. After 
several days of dubious wanderings, hither and thither, he 
knew not where, he came to the foot of a mountain, whose 
sides were covered with a kind of gi-ass entirely diffferent 
from anything he had ever seen before. Then, in the course 
of his wanderings, he -strayed, at the close of another^ day, 
into a lovely wooded valley, where he camped for the night, 
kindled a fire and cooked a rabbit he had killed, of which he 
made his sup'per, and then sought temporary forgetfulness 
of his woes in sleep. Morning again dawned, but to awake 
him to a stronger sensibility of his loneliness and Wander- 
ings he knew hot where. Many moons came and passed 
away and left him a lost wanderer. Summer came, and he 
called upon the Great Spirit to make his paths straight, that 
they might lead him out of bewilderment." He then hunted 
for a spotted deer, found and killed one, and offered it a sac- 
i-ifice to the Great Spirit, after reserving a small portion to 
satisfy his own immediate wants. Night again came on, and 
as he sat by his little campfire in lonely solitude, he heard 
the near approach of footsteps in an adjoining thicket, but 
before he could talte a second thought, a snow-white wolf of 
immense size was crouching at his feet, and licking his 
moccasins with the utmost manifestations of affection. Then 
looking him in the face said: "Whence came you, ind why 
are you alone in this wilderness?" To which Chohtah Osh 
Hochifoh Keyu gave a full account of his misfortunes. The 



wolf then promised to lead him safely out of the wilderness 
in which he had been so long- wandering- and return him 
to his country, and they started early on the following' 
morning. i 

Long was the journey, and dangerous the route; but by 
the time that the corn-hoeing moon came the forlorn wan- 
derer entered once more his native village, the anniversary 
of the' day he had bidden his betrothed adieu; but alas, only 
to find his village in mourning for her premature death. Alas 
too, so changed was he that none recognized in the wayworn 
stranger the lost Chatah Osh Hochifoh Keyu; nor did he 
make liimself known. Often, however, did he solicit them to 
rehearse to him the account of her death; and oft he chanted 
his wild songs, to the astonishment of all, to the memory of 
his loved one,/ dead yet love4, loved yet dead. During his 
frequent nightly visits to her lonely grave upon the hill which 
had witnessed their last parting, he once came on a calm, 
cloudless night — 'twashislast — and stood by thegravethatheld 
his dead at a moment when the Great Spirit cast a sh?idow 
upon the moon, then fell upon it and died. They found him 
there, and then was he recognized as the long lost Chatah 
Osh Hochifoh Keyu, and, there buried by the side of his 
earthly idol. For three consecutive nights the silence of the 
forests contiguous to the lovers' graves was broken by the 
continual wailing howl of a solitary wolf, then it ceased and 
was heard no more; but the same wail was taken up by the 
pine fbrest upon tlie hill where the lovers parted in hope, but 
thereto be buried in despair, and that mournful, wailing 
sound they have continued from that day dawn to the present 

The traditions of the Choctaws corfcerning the Oka Fal- 
ama (Returned waters— the Flood) is as follows : In ancient 
time, after many generations of mankind hadlived and passed 
from the stage of being, the race became so corrupt and 
wicked — brother fighting against brother and wars deluging- 
the earth with human blood and carnage — the Great Spirit 
became greatly displeased and finally determined to destroy 
the human race ; therefore sent a great prophet to them 
who proclaimed from tribe to tribe, and from village to vil- 
lage, the fearful tidings- that the human race was soon to 
be destroyed. None believed his words, and lived on in 
their wickedness as if they did not care, and the seasons 
came again and went. Then came the autumn of the year, 
followed by many succeeding cloudy days and nights, dur- 
ing which the sun by day and the moon and stars by night 
were concealed from the aarth ; then succeeded a total dark- 
ness, and the sun seemed to have Been blotted out ; while 


darkriess and silence with a cold atmosphere took posses- 
sion of earth. Mankind wearied and perplexed, but not re- 
■ penting or reforming, slept in darkness' but to awake in 
darkness ; then the mutterings of distant' thunder began to 

- be heard, gradually becoming incessant, until it reverbera- 
ted in all parts of the sky and seemed to echo back even from 
the deep center of the earth. Then fear and constei-nation 

-seized upon every heart and all believed the suii would neve;r 
return. The Magi of the Choctaws spoke despondently in 
reply to the many interrogations of the alarmed people, and 
sang their death-songs which were but faintly heard in the 

\ mingled confusion that arose amid the gloom of the night; 
that seemed would have no returning morn. Mankind went 
from placte to place only by torch-light; their food stored 

• away became mouldy and unfit for use ; the wild animals of 
the forests gathered around their fires bewildered and even, 
entered their towns and villages, seeming to^ave lost all 
fear of man. Suddenly a fearful crash of thunder, louder 
than ever before heard, seemed to shake the earth, a,nd im- 
mediately after a light was seen glimmering seemingly far' 
away to the North. It was soon discovered Inot to be the 
light of the returning sun, but the gleam of great waters ad- 
vancing in mighty billows, wave succeeding wave as they on- 
ward rolled over the earth c^estroying everything in their 
path. I . ; . 

Then the wailing cry was heard coming from all direc- 
tions. Oka Falamah, Oka Falamah; (The returned' waters). 
Stretching from horizon to hoi'izon, it came pouring its mass- 
ive waters onward. "The foundations of the Great Deep 
were broken up." Soon the earth was. entirely overwhelmed 
by the mighty and irresistible rush of the waters w^hich swept 
away the human race and all animals leaving the earth a des- 
olate waste. Of all mankind only ,one .was saved, and that 
one was the njiysterious prophet who had been sent by the 
Great Spirit to warn the human race of their near approach- 
ing doom. This prjaphet saved, himself by making a raft of i 
of sassafras logs by the direction of the Great Spirit, upon 
which he floated upon the. great waters that covered the, 
earth, as various kinds 6i fish swam around him, and twined 
among the branches of the submerged trees, while upon the 
face of the waters he looked upon the dead bodies of men 
and beasts, as they arose and fell upon the heaving billows. 
After many weeks floating he knew, not where, a large 
black bird came to the raft flying in circles above, his head. 
He called to it for assistance, but it only replied in loud, 
croaking tones, then flew away and was seen ho more. .A 
few days after a bird of bluish color, with red eyes and beak 


ca!me and hovered over the raft, to which the prophet spoke 
and asked if there was a spot of dry land anywhere to be 
seen in the wide waste of waters. Then it flew around his 
head a few moments fluttering its wingfs and uttering a 
mournful cry, then flew away in the direction of that part of 
the sky where the new sun seemed to be sinking- into the 
rolling waves of the great ocean of waters. Immediately a 
strong wind sprang up and bore the raft rapidly in that 
direction. Soon night came on, and the moon and stars 
again made their appearance, and the next morning the sun 
arose in its former splendor; and the prophet looking around 
saw an island in the distance toward which the raft was 
slowly drifting, and before the sun had gon^ down seemingly 
again into the world of waters, the raft had touched the 
island upon which he landed and encamped, and being wear- 
ied and lonely he soon forgot his anxieties in sleep; and when 
morning came, in looking around over the island, he found it 
covered with •^ll varieties of animals — excepting the mam- 
moth which had been destroyed. He also found birds and 
fowls of every kind in vast numbers upon the island; and 
among which he discovered the identical black bird which 
had visited him upon the waters, and then left him to his 
fate; and, as he regarded it a cruel bird, he named it Fulushto 
(Raven) — a bird of ill omen to the ancient Choctaws. 

With great joy he also discovered the bluish bird which 
had caused the wind to blow his raft upon the island, and be- 
cause of this act of kindness and its great beauty he called it 
, Puchi Yushubah (Lost Pigeon). 

After many days the waters passed away; and in the 
course of time Puchi Yushubah became a beautiful woman, 
whom the prophet soon after married, and by them the world 
was again peopled. 

Whence this tradition with such strong resemblance to 
the account of the deluge as given in the Sacred Scriptures? 
It is not fiction or fable, but the actual tradition of the ancient 
Choctaws as related by them to the missionaries in 18t8. 
Whence .this knowledge of the flood of the Bible? Does one 
reply, they obtained it from the early European explorers 
of the continent? Not so; for the earliest explorers speak of 
the North American Indians' various traditions of the Flood. 
May it be possible that their ancestors, far back in the early 
dawn of the morn of Christianty, received it from some one 
or more of the apostles, as ours did — the ancient Britons? 
Who knows? It is not a thing impossible, if we admit they 
drifted ages ago from Asia's shores to the western conti- 
nent. If not, whence and how have they this knowledge of 
the flood? ^ 


St. Paul himself declares, in his epistie to the Gklatians, 
that soon after he had been called to preach Christianity 
among-. the heathen, he "went into Arabia." The dissen- 
sions which arose in the Eastern church, in the early part of 
the third century, breaking- it up into seqts, drove many into 
exile into i^emote parts of the East, and planted the Chris- 
tian faith among the principal tribes of that region. 

Another Choctaw Version of their traditional flood (Oka- 
falama) is as follows: In, the far distant ages of the past, 
the people, whom the Great Spirit had created, became so 
wicked that he resolved to sweep them all from the earth, ex- 
cept Oklatabashih (People's mourner) and his family, who 
alone did that which was good. He told Oklatabashih to 
bujld a large boat into which he should go with his family 
and also to take into the boat a male and female of all the an- 
imals living upop. the earth. He did as he was commanded 
by the -Great Spirit. But as he went out in the forests to 
bring in the birds he was unable to catch a pair of biskinik 
(sapsucker), fitukhak (yellow hammer), bak bak, (a large 
red-headed woodpecker); afe these birds were so quick, in 
hopping around from one side to the other of the trees upon 
which they clung with their sharp 'and strong claws, that 
Oklatabashih found it was impossible for him to catch them, 
therefore he gave up the chase, and returned, to the boat, 
and the door closed, the rain began to fall increasing in vol- 
ume for many days and nights, until thousands of people and, 
animals perished. Then it suddenly ceased and utter dark- 
ness covered the face of the earth for a long time, while the 
people and animals that still survived groped here and there 
in the fearful gloom. Suddenly far in the distant north was 
seen a long streak of light. They believed that, amid the 
raging eleipents and the impenetrable darkness that covered 
the earth, the sun had lost, its way and was rising in the 
north. All the surviving people rushed towards the seeni- 
ingly rising sun, though utterly bewildered, n^ knowing 
or caring what they did. But well did Oklatabashih in- 
terpret the prophetic sign of their fast approaching doom. 
Instead of the bright dawn of another long wished-for day, 
they saw, in utter despair, that It was but the mocking light 
that foretold how near the Okafalama was at hand, rolling 
like mountains on mountains piled atid engulfing everything 
in its resistless course. All earth was at once overwhelmed 
in the mighty return of waters, except the great boat which, 
by the guidance of the Great Spirit, rode safely upon the 
rolling and dashing waves that covered the earth. During 
manv moons the boatfloated safely o'er tlje vast sea of waters. 
Finally Oklatabashih sent a dove to see if any dry land could 


be found. She soon returned with her beak full of grass, ' 
which she had gathered from a desert island. Oklatabashih 
to reward her for her discovery mingled a little salt in her 
food. Soon after this the waters subsided and the dry land 
appeared; then the inmates of the great boat went forth to 
repeople another earth. But the dove, having acquired a 
taste for salt during her stay in the boat continued its use 
by finding it at the salt-licks that then abounded in many 
places, to which the cattle and deer also frequently resorted. 
Every day after eating, she visited a salt-lick to eat a little 
salt to aid her digestion, which in the course of time became 
habitual and thus was transmitted to her offspring. In the 
course of years, she became a grand-mother, and took great 
delight in feeding and caring for her grand-children. One 
day, however, after having eaten some grass seed, she un- 
fortunately forgot to eat a little salt as usual. For this 
neglect, the Great Spirit punished her and her descendants 
by forbidding them forever the use of salt. When she re- 
turned home that evening, her grand-children, as usual be- 
gan to coo for their supply of salt, but their grand-mother 
having been forbidden to give them any more, they cooed in 
vain. From that day to this, in memory of this lost privil- 
ege, the doves everywhere, on the return of spring, still con- 
tinue tlieir cooing for salt, which they will never again be 
permitted to eat. Such is the ancient tradition of the Choc- 
taws of the origin of the cooing of doves. 

But as to the fate of the three birds who eluded capture 
by Oklatabashih, their tradition states : They flew high in 
air at the approach of Okafalama, and, as the waters rose 
higher and higher, they also flew highfer and higher above 
the surging waves. Finally, the waters rose in near prox- 
imity to the sky, upon which they lit as their last hope. 
Soon, to their great joy and comfort, the waters ceased to 
rise, and commenced to recede. But while sitting on the 
sky their tails, projecting dow,nward, were continually being 
drenched by the dashing spray of the siu-ging waters below, 
and thus the end of their tail feathers became forked and 
notched, and this peculiar shape of the tails of the biskinik, 
fitukhak and bakbak has been transmitted to their latest 
posterity. But the sagacity and skill manifested byl these 
birds in eluding the grasp of Oklatabashih, so greatly de- 
lighted the Great Spirit that he appointed them to forever be 
the guardian birds of the red men. Therefore these birds, 
and especially the biskinik, often made their appearance in 
their villages on the eve of a ball play ; and, whichever one of 
the three came, it twittered in happy tones its feelings of 
joy in anticipation of the near approiich of the Choctaws' 


favorite game. But in time of war one of these bird^ al- 
ways appeared in the camp of a war party, to give them 
warning of approaching danger, by its constant chirping 
and hurried flitting from place to place around their camp. 
In many ways did these birds prove their love for and 
friendship to the red man, and he ever cherished them as 
the loved birds of his race, the remembered gift of the 
Great Spirit in the fearful days of the mighty Okafalama. 

The French in making their voyages of discovery along 
the coast of the Gulf of Mexico in 1712, under the command 
of Iberville, anchored one evening near an island (now known 
as Ship Island) which they discovered to be intersected with 
lagoons and inhabited by a s.trange and peculiar animal 
seemingly to hold the mediiim between the fox and cat, and 
they give it the name Cat Island, by which it is still known; 
thence they passed over the main land, where they discovered 
a tribe of Indians called Biloxi, among whom they afterwards 
located a town and gave it the name Biloxi — now the oldest 
town in the State of Mississippi. This .tribe .of Indians 
proved to be a clan of the Choctaws, and the iname Biloxi, a 
corruption of the Choctaw word Ba-|uh-chi, signifying hick- 
ory bark. Thence going eastward they discovered another 
tribe weich they called the Pascagoulas, which also proved 
to be a clan of the Choctaws, and the nam£ Pascagoula, a 
corruption of the two Choctaw words Puska (bread) and 
Okla (people), i. e: Bread People, or people having bread; 
but which has been erroneously interpreted to mean "Bread 
Eaters." A remnant of the Ba-luh-chis still exist among the 
■Choctaws, while the Puskaoklas have been long lost by unit- 
I ing with other Choctaw clans. There was an ancient tradi- 
tion among the Puskaoklas, which stated that, in the years 
long past, a small tribe of Indians of a lighter complexion than 
themselves, and also different in manners and customs, in- 
habited the country near the mouth of the Pascagoula river, 
whose ancestors, according to the tradition, originally emer- 
ged from the sea, wherp they were born; that they, were a 
kind, peaceful and ij^offensive people, spending their time in 
public festivals and'amuse^ments of various kinds; that they 
had a temple .in which the^ worshiped the figure of a Sea 
God; every night when the moon was passing from its cres- 
cent to the full, they gathered around the figure playing upon 
instruments and singing and dancing, thus rendering hom- 
age to the Sea God. That shortly after the destruction of 
Mobilla (now Mobile, Alabama,) in 1541, by De Soto, there 
suddenly appeared among the Sea God worshippers a white 
hian with a long, gray beard, flowing garments and bearing 
a large cross in his right hand; that he took from his bosom 


a book, and, after kissing- it again and again, he began to ex- 
plain to them what was contained in it; that they listened 
attentively and were fast being- converted to its teachings 
when a fearful catastrophy put an end to all. One night, 
when the full moon was at its zenith, there came a sudden 
rising of the waters of the river, which rolled in mighty 
waves along its channel; on the crest ofthefoamingwaterssat 
a woman, with magnetic eyes, singing in a tone of voice that 
fascinated all; that the white man, followed by the entire 
tribe, rushed to the bank of the stream in wild amazement, 
when the siren at once, modulated her voice to still more 
fascinating tones, chanting a mystic song with the oft 
repeated chorus, "Come to me, come to nie, children of the 
seal Neither hook nor cross, from your queen, shall win ye;" 
Soon, an Indian leaped into the still raging waters, followed 
by the remainder in rapid succession, all disappearing as 
they touched the water, when a loud and exultant laugh was 
heard, and then the waters returned to their usual level and 
quiet leaving no trace of their former fury; the white man 
was left alpne, and soon died of grief and loneliness. 


It is stated of the Papagoes, (known as the short-haired 
Indians of the Southwest) that an ancient tradition of their _ 
tribe proclaims the coming of a Messiah by the napie "Moc- 
tezuraa." They affirm that, in the ancient past, he lived in 
Casa Grande, the famous prehistoric temple on the Gila 
river; that his own people rebelled against him and threaten- 
ed to kill him, and he fled to Mexico. But before leaving 
them he told them that they would experience great afflic- 
tions fdr many years, but eventually, at the time of their 
greatest need, he would return to them from the east with 
the rising sun; that he would then cause the rain to fall again 
upon their arid country, and make it bloom as a garden, and 
make his people to become the greatest on earth. There- 
fore, when Moctezuma arrives, that he ({lay see all the doors 
open and none closed against hinj, tlj^humble people, with 
a pathetic faith, make the only entrSfice to their houses, 
toward the east and leave the door' always standing open 
that their Messiah may enter when he comes. During the 
years 1891, 1892 and 1893, a three years' dro'u'th had destroy- 
ed their crops, dried up their water, cut off their supply of 
seeds, and killed great numbers of their cattle. Truly it 
was the time of their greatest suffering, and surely Mocte- 
zuma would now come tu their rescue; and it was enough to 
move the heart of the most obdurate infidel, to see the people 


ascending just befoi'e sunrise to the top of the suiTounding 
hills and look anxiously toward the risingf sun for Moctezu- 
ma, until disappointment usurped the place of. hope, and 
one by one, each returned patiently to his house, but to 
hope on. ' r ■ 

Christianity, it is said, dates' back from the return of 
the Hellenist Jews and proselytes from, "Egypt and the 
parts of Libya about Cyrene,'* who heard St. Peter preach, 
on the day of Pentecost. 

It is well known that, in the history of the early church,, 
no city is more famous than Alexandria. From that citj 
cam^ Apollos ; there, too, Mark, the evangelist, is said tO' 
have preached ; and from it Pantemusas was sent as a mis- 
sionary to India ; in it also dwelt Clement, Athanasius and- 
Origin. Carthage and , Hippo have given to the world the 
names of Cyprian, TertuUian and Augustine. In the fifth 
century there were 560 Bishoprics in North Africa. The 
Coptic church in Egypt, and its daughter church in Abys:- 
sinia which still survive, though in corrupted state, while of" 
the ancient North African church, not a vestige, it is said,, 
remains, being wholly swept away by Mohammedism in the: 
seventh century. '■ 

May not the ancestors of the North American Indians- 
have dwelt in soifae of those regions of count;ry' in which the' 
gospel was preached by those ancient missionaries? aSld 
also have been among those of the early Christians who fled 
before the persecutions of the Turk and Tartar, artd cross-- 
ed over to this continent by way of Behring Strait, or the 
fabled sunken continent Atlantis (if it ever existed), bring- 
ing with them the many Asiatic characteristics they possess- 
in their manners and custorns and religious ceremonies,, audi 
their traditional knowledge of the flood ? But alas 1 upom 
this we can but conjecture, there we can but begin and there 
we have to end. 

The belief of the ancient Choctaws iil regard to the 
eclipses of the sun was not more inconsistent, than that of 
any portion of the human family, whose minds had never 
been enlightened by the rays of spiritual light from the gos- 
pel of the Son of God. The. Romans, the Celtics, the Asia-, 
tics, the Finns of Europe, and, no doubt, Britons, too, 3.II? 
had their views in regard to eclipses a^ absurd as the Choc- 
taws. The Choctaws, .as before stated, attributed an eclipse- 
of the sun to a black squirrel, whose eccentricities often led 
it into mischief, and, among other things, that of trying to- 
eat up the sun at different intervals. When thus inclined, 
they believed, which was confirmed by long experience, that 
the only effective means to prevent so fearful a ^catastrophe- 


liefalling the world as thei blotting out of that indispensable 
luminary, was to favor the little, black epicure with a first- 
■class scare'; therefore, whenever he manifested an inclination 
to indulge in a meal on the sun, every ingenuity was called 
into requisition to give him a genuine fright that he would 
be induced, at least, to postpone his meal on the sun at that 
particular time and seek a lunch elsewhere. As soon, there- 
fore, as the sun began to^draw its lunar veil over its face, 
the cry was heard from every mouth from the Dan to the 
Beersheba of their then wide extended territory, echo- 
ing from hill to dale, "Funi lusa hushi umpa! Funi lusa 
hushi umpa," according to our phraseology. The black squir- 
rel is eating the sun! Then and there was heard a sound of 
tumult by day in the Choctaw Nation for the space of an 
hour or two, far exceeding that said to have been heard by 
night in Belgium's Capital, and sufficient in the conglomera- 
tion of discordant tones terrific, if heard by the distant, 
little, fastidious squirrel, to have made him lose forever 
afterward all relish for a mess of suns for an early or late 
dinner. The shouts of the women and children mingling 
■with the ringing of discordant bells as the vociferous pound- 
ing and beating of ear-splitting tin pans and cups mingling 
in "wild confusion worse confounded," yet in sweet unison 
with a first-class orchestra of yelping, howling, barking 
dogs gratuitously thrown in by ihe innumerable and highly 
excited curs, produced a din, which even a "Funi lusa," had 
lie heard it, could scarcely have endured even to have in- 
dulged in a nibble or two of the sun, tthough urged by the 
•demands of a week's fasting. 

But during the wild scene the men were not idle specta- 
tors, or indifferent listeners. Each stood a few paces in 
front of his cabin door, with no outward manifestation of 
excitement whatever — so characteristic of the Indian war- 
rior—but with his trusty rifle in hand, which so oft had 
proved a friend sincere in many hours of trial, which he 
loaded and fired in rapid succession at the distant, devastat- 
ing squirrel, with the same coolness and calm deliberation 
that he did when shooting at his game. More than once have 
I witnessed the fearful yet novel scene. When it happened 
to be the time of a total eclipse of the sun, a sufficient evi- 
dence that the little, black epicure meant business in regard 
to haying a square meal, though it took the whole sun to fur- 
nish it, then indeed there were sounds of revelry and tumult 
unsurpassed by any ever heard before, either in "Belgium" 
or elsewhere. Then the women shrieked and redoubled 
their efforts upon the tin pans, which, under the desperate 
blows, strained every vocal org;tn to do its utmost ;ind wliolo 


duty in loud response, while the excited children screamed 
and beat their tin cups, and the sympathetic dogs (whose 
name was legfion) barked and howled^ — all seemingly deter- 
mined not to fall the one behind other in their duty — since 
the occasion demanded it ; while the warriors still stood in 
profound and meditative silence, but firm and undaunted, as 
they quickly loaded and fired their rifles, each time taking- 
deliberative aim, if perchance the last shot might prove the 
successful one ; then, as the moon's shadow began to move 
from the disk of the suii, the joyful shout was heard above 
the mighty din Funi-lusa-osh mahlatah ! The black squirrel 
is frightened. But the din remained' unabated until the sun 
again appeared in its usual splendor, and all nature again 
assumed its !|iarmonious course ; then quiet below again as- 
sumed its sway, while contentment and happiness resumed 
their accustomed place in the hearts of the grateful Ghoc- 
taws — grateful to the Great Spirit who had given them the 
victory. But the scene 6f a total eclipse of the sun in the 
Choctaw Nation in those ancient years must he witness-' 
€d to be justly comprehended by the lover of the romantic, 
and heard by the highly sensitive ear to be fully appreciated 
and enjoyed. , 

On the road leading from St. Stephens then a little town 
in Alabama, near which wias the home of the renowned Choc- 
taw Chief Apushamata hahubi in 1812, to the city of Jackson, - 
Mississippi, stood the mound Nunih Waiyah erected by the 
Choctaws in commemoration of their migration, as has been 
previously stated, from a country far to the west to their 
homes east of the Mississippi river, where they were first 
tnown to the Europeans. I read an article published some 
vears ago in a newspaper, which stated that an ancient tra- 
dition of the Choctaws aflirmed that they derived their 
origin from Nunih Waiyah, their ancestors' swarniing from 
the hole on the top as bees swarming from the hive in sum- 
mer, and thus was that part of the world peopled with Choc- 
taws. The Choctaws did not so state their origin to the 
■early missionaries of 1818. They always have claimed their 
origin from a country far to the West, and the above men- „ 
tioned tradition with all its absurdities, so numerous in the 
writings of the majority of those of the present age, who, 
having nothing more, clothe their nominal Indian in myths 
and hide him in impenetrable fogs, had its origip in the 
prolific brain of the writer, who assumes to be gifted with a 
vivid imagination, even as his congenial fellow writers of the 
present day when getting up a "send-off" upon the Indians; 
and who imagine themselves wiser than even seven men who 
can render a reason, though they have advanced no further 




in Indian lore than the widely circulated hear-say's- 
' elementary spelling--book; and, having learned all there is to 
be known in that branch of historical mformation, they feel 
themselves incapable of receiving any further instruction 
in reg-ard to the North American Indian characteristics, 
from any source whatever, yet they are lacking in one very 
essential thing; i. e. Not tu know how little they do know. 
But nothing better could be expected from such "Worldly 
' Wisemen," whose heads have been stu'ffed with naught else 
but tales of "Indian devils and Indian ghosts; Indian fairies 
and Indian elves; Indian tomahawks and Indian scalps;" and 
with ears full of. such hobgoblins, they fell in love, as soon as 
"vtheygrewto manhood, with thedesiretoanathematize that un- 
fortunate race as naturally as a bird sings; yet blinded as ef- 
i, fectuallyto the enemity and atrocity of the wrongs and in- 
juries done to the helpless Indians, as that drunkenness of 
heart which follows up long, continued success, creating' 
utter insensibility and remorselessness of conscience, but 
establishing the fact, that morally the Indians are immeasur- 
ably supei'ior to any and all such oppressing, plundering and 
defaming specimens of humanity. 

The Choctaws lived around their honored memento of 
the past for many successive generations, and some, even in 
large excavations made in its sides. And when interrog'ated 
by the whites with the question "Whence came they?" 
alluding to the origin of their race, Jhe Choctaws, thinking 
their interrogator wished to learn from what part of their 
nation they came, replied: "From the.Mound;" while those 
who dwelt in the excavations made in .its sides, answered: 
"From out the Mound,',' meaning they lived in the mound. 
No Choctaw was such a fool as to believe, or even assert, 
their ancestors jumped out of the hole on the top of Nunih 
Waiyah full fledged warriors, as they of fabled renown who 
spring from the dragon's teeth sown in the earth. And 
when speaking to.them of this tratiition, with seeming emo- 
tions of pity mingled with contempt, they have replied: 
"That fellow did not Icnow what he was talking about;" a 
self-evident truth to all who know anythi-ng about the Choc- 
taw people. True, they held Nunih Waiyah in great rever- 
ence; but not as the author of the tradition would make 
believe, that, in their degraded ignorance, they cherished it 
as the place of their origin which sent them forth in num- 
bers "as swarming bees," but as an ancient relic handed 
down to them through a long line of honored ancestry; and 
even as the great pyramid, Cheops, of the arid desert, points 
the Egyptian back to the cycles (if ages past, so too di<l Nu- 
nih Waiyah remind the Choctaw of his Iwng line of descent as 


he proudly gazed upon its hoary and weather-beaten sides. 

As an evidence of their admiration and veneration for 
thus ancestral memento, the Choctaws, when passing, would 
ascend it and drop into the hole at its top various trinkets, 
and sometimes a venison ham, or dressed turkey, as a kind 
, of sacrificial offering to the memory of its ancient builders, 
who only appeared to them through the mists of ages past; 
and a,s the highest evidence of their' veneration for this 
relic of theii: past history, it was sometimes spoken of by 
the more enthusiastic as their Iholitopa Ishki, (beloved 
mother). . 

In 1810, the United States Agent, George S. Gaines, was 
one day ridirig along the road that leads near Nunih Waiyah, 
and to satisfy his curiosity turned and rode to its base, then 
dismounted and walked to its top. While thefe, he noticed 
a large band of Choctaw warriors passing along the road; 
and being desiroiis of their company, he hastily descended, 
mounted his horse and soon overtook them. ~^As he rode up, 
and the usual salutations had been exchanged, the chief, 
who was no less than the renowned Apushamatahaubih, with 
a significant smile in which fun and innocent mischief were 
most prominent, said: "Well, friend Gaines,'! see you have 
been up to pay your compliments to our good mother." 
"Yes, I concluded to pay her a visit as I was passing," re- 
plied Mr. Gaines. "Well, what did she say to you?" asked 
the great chief. "She said," responded Mr. Gaines, "that 
her Choctaw children had become too numerous to longer 
be prosperous, contented and happy In theii* present coun- 
try, therefore, she thought it besffor them to exchange 
their old country and lands for a new country ahd lands 
west of the Mississippi river, where the game was' much 
more abundant, and the hunting grounds far more exten- 
sive." With a loud laugh in which his warriors also heartily 
joined, Apushamatahah then exclaime4 "Holobihiholubit ish 
nohowa nihl (It's a lie.) Do not go about telling lies. Our 
good old niothei* never could have spoken such words to 
you." After the laugh of the joke was over, Apushamata- 
hahubih expressed himself freely with Mr. Gaines upon vari- 
ous subjects relative to his people as they rode along 
together; among many, things that were mentioned, that of 
uheir origin was brought up; and to the inquiry of Mr. 
Gaines, "Whence they came to the country then occupied by 
ihem," the chief replied: "Our ancestors came from a 
country far to the west many suns and moons ago. And this 
was the iny&riable reply made by all the Choctaws when 
asked concerning their traditional origin. 

The Choctaw^ Nation, from its earliest known history to 


the present time has, at different intervals, produced many 
great and good men; who, had they have had the advantages 
of education, would have lived upon the pages of history 
equally with those of earth's illustrious great. 

The first of whom we have any historical account, is 
Tush-ka Lu-sa, (the heroic defender of Moma Bin-na, a 
Lodge for All — corrupted first to Mobila, then to Mobile)" 
who perished, with many thousands of his people, in that 
bloody tragedy of three and a half centuries ^ago, while de- 
fending his ancient city against the Spaniards, nothing more 
however, has been handed down by which we can judge of 
his ability as a wise and judicious ruler, but the fact that De 
Soto found his Nation in a prosperous condition; his people 
dwelling in large and well fortified towns, comfortable houses, 
subsisting to a very large extent by the cultivation of the 

But of the patriotism and undaunted bravery of Tush- 
' kai Lusa, and his ability as a commander of his warriors, 
DeSoto had satisfactory proof at the battle of Momabinah. 
But so little of the history of those ancient Choctaws has 
escaped oblivion that in sketching a line of their history at 
such a distance of time we necessarily pass thi-ough un- 
known fields so wide and diversified that it is lilie gliding 
lightly and swiftly over thfe numberless waves of the agita- 
ted ocean, and only touching here and there some of their 
highest tops ; while, as we approach oUr own times, merely 
the outline of their history, if accurately drawn, would fill 
many volumes ; therefore, in the selection of objects to pre- 
sent to the reader, with a due regard for his pleasure and 
profit, I shall have continual reference to the power of as- 
sociation, and endeavor to present such as will be most 
likely to bring to my Choctaw and Chickasaw friends, for 
whom the work is especially written, the remembrance of 
many incidents and.-circumstances, which once were fresh, 
but now are fading in their minds, by devoting here a few 
pages to the brief sketch of the lives of some of their emi- 
nent men now living, together with some of their distin- 
guished dead. Noblemen they were; the fame of whose 
virtues belong not to the world, but alone to their own Na- 
tion and people, though I am well aware that the whole sub- 
ject of the North American Indians is so tinged with ro- 
mance and fiction that did not the interest of correct history 
demand that at least an attempt should be made to shed a 
ray of light upon that wonderful people, I would not, as a 
truthful chronicler, have attempted to lift the veil and look in 
upon this mystic people, so long known, but so little under- 
stood by my own race. 


It is ^n accepted fact that one grand requisite to give, or 
sufficiently comprehend a biography, lies in a knowledge of 
the times to which it refers. I can truly say that with a 
knowledge of the times to which most of the following bio- 
graphical sketches refer, I am fully acquaiinted ; but I am 
well aware, however, that the standard of public regard is. 
so constantly changing that a character half a century ago 
would have attracted the adulation of the world with its ex* 
cellence ; in the present age receives but a moderate share; of 
praise, however meritorious, aside from that of its own fel- 
low citizens and people. 

Biit the custom of commemorating the virtues and emi- 
nent characteristics of those who have won the admiration,, 
confidence and affection of, their fellow citizens, and have 
passed away from eafth's tragic scenes, has always com- 
manded the services of civilized life; as it has been deemed 
useful to their contemporaries to awaken and keep alive in 
their thoughts those grateful deeds that are hallowed by 
memory, and to transmit a record of those deeds to the 
future, in order to act as incentives and models to succeeding- 

.Therefore, that the following biographical sketches may 
be as incentives and models to the yoiing ^men of the Choc- 
taw and Chicaksaw people, has been one of the inducements 
that has actuated me in writing them. Still to notice the 
virtues of 'humble individuals, lacking kingly ancestry and 
high position in the civilized world, with h6ne of the accom- 
plishments of birth, fortune and name, is an incident so un- 
usual, that I might forbear, were I not writing to and for 
their own people, who will read not to criticise, but to bear 
testimony to the excellence and worth of their noble dead. 

It has been said that there is a place for every man in 
the theatre of life. • If true, it is equally so, that every man 
does not always find his true place, nor occupy the positiom 
best suited to his capacity or ability. The circumstances, 
and incidents of human life, as they are daily unrolled, have- 
much to do in throwipg men in the various situations in soci- 
, ety, some of which they neither occupy nor faithfully ,fill. There 
should be a fitness for the man for the place; else a statue of 
Vulcan would as well adorn a niche in the temple of the Muses, 
and a clown in his colored dress suitably represent the stern 
judge.' I claim, however, for the subjects of this biography,, 
not only a proper place, but an entire fitness for the varied 
duties incident to the occupancy of the place. Therefore, 
whether we look upon them as the faithful men, the intelli- 
gent and judicious citizens or the Jealous rulers, they 
challenge alike a just adimration and worthy praise. In the 


•various relations in \yhich they stood among .their people, 
they won the confidence, affection and • esteem of all who 
knew them, both of their own race and also of the white; and, 
under the influence of a laudable ambition, they spared 
neither labor, time, nor well directed exertion to elevate their 
people in the scale of morality, prosperity and happiness. 
To their signal success in these eiforts, the intelligence and 
prosperity of their people to-day, bear indisputable testimony, 
as the result of the labors of those who, in conjunction with 
the missionaries, carried all the ardor of their souls, all the 
strength of their minds, and all the application and concen- 
tration of their powers that were necessary for securing- 
their object in view. The responsibility of the stations they 
thus honored, they felt in all their force, and earnestly, 
honorably, and nobly they endeavored to discharge theni. 

None but those who personally knew them, can form 
any just conception of the manly efforts put forth by those 
truly noble and honest patriots, Jn their exertions to elevate 
the standard of their Nation in the estimation of the Chris- 
itian world. They sought and obtained every useful informa- 
tion that could give them additional mental power in the 
■pursuit of their favorite object, and studiously gathered the 
ripe experience of others, both by the study of books and 
■observations in their travels among the whites, in their visits 
to Washington City on business of national affairs; and it is 
.a matter -of aatomshment that amid the many difficulties 
they had to overcome in counteracting the evil influences of 
the lawless whites who invaded their country, that they ac- 
complished what they did. Yet they were but in a prepara- 
tory state for enlarged usefulness among their people, when 
the hand of disease was laid upon them and they were re- 
■moved from their labors. Many of them in the very prime 
of their powers, in the very morn of the expansion of their 
matuyed minds, were cut down in the bright promise of a 
glorious future. But they had done enough to make their 
lives:notable, and to justify- the presenting of the records of 
their lives as containing laudable incentives to encourage 
others in the path of honorable usefulness, and meritorious 
examples as a model for them. >. 

Tushka Lusa, the hero of Moma Bina, as before stated, 
is the only Choctaw chief whose name has been handed down 
from that tragic scene through the long line of historic 
silence, to the year 1745, when in the English and French 
wars, in which each were contending for supremacy upon 
.the western continent, involving both the Choctaw and Chick- 
asaw Nations, a few chiefs arose to the surface whose names 
.have escaped •oblivion by their daring achievements during 

\piSTOftY OF THE DfDIANS. * 297 

those scenes of blood and carnage; the most prominent'of the 
Choctaws were Shulush Humma and Ibanowa, (one who 
walks with) Miko (chief) whom I will more particularly 
speak in the history of the Chickasaws. From 1745 to 1785 
no other names of Choctaw chiefs haVe been preserved, all 
alike having- gone down into the silence of eternal forgetful- 
ness, but from 1785 the names of many of their great chiefs 
have been preserved, though long since deceased; among 
which, as the most prominent, stand that of A-piish-a-ma-ta- 
hah-ub-i, (a messenger of death; literally, one whose rifle, 
tomahawk, or bow alike fatal in war or' huntirigi) A-pak- 
foh-li-chih-ub-ih, (t6 encircle and kill, corrupted by the 
whites to A-puck-she-nubee, and so used by the Choctaws of 
the present day.) A-to-ni Yim-in-tah, (a watchman infatuated' 
with, excitement) Olubih,,(to take by force); Coleman Cole, 
Greenwood La Flore, Nit-tak-a chih-ub-ih, (to suggest the day 
and kill); David Folsom, Peter P. Pitchlyiln, (the CalhoUn of 
the Choctaws); Isaac Folsom, Silafe Pitchlynn, Israel Fol- 
som, (The Wesley of th^ Choctaws) and many o^ers. 
With the last seven mentioned I was, personally acquainted. 
The distinguished waj-rior and chief of the Choctaws, 
Apushamatahah, was born, as near as can be ascertained, in 
theyeaxa764. He was of the Iksa, called Kun-sha (A reed 
— the name of the creek along whose banks the Kunsha Clan 
dwelt.) Kunsha-a-he (reed— potato) is the full name of the 
clan, which took its name from the thick reeds and wild 
potatoes that grew together in the marshy ground along the 
banks of the creek — Cane and Potato creek. 

At an early age Apushamatahah (Foi^ the sake of brevity 
the ubi is dropped) acquired great celebrity among his peo- 
ple as a brave warrior and successful hunter. His love for 
the facinating iexcitement of the chase and dai-ing adventures 
frequently led him into the deep solitudes of the then distant 
and wild forests west of the Mississippi river untrodden by 
the foot of the white man, to engage in hunting buffalo, a 
sport considered by the red man, and at a later period by the 
white also, as the noblest ever engaged in upon the North 
American continent. ^ The buffalo, at that day, congregated 
in seemingly incredible'numbers, and roamed over the entire 
wide extended western valley, grazing in countless multi- 
tudes upon the rich grasses of the vast prairies that extended 
before the vision to where eai-th and sky seemed to embrace. 
But now that noble game is numbered with the things of the 

In those distant hunting expeditions and daring adven- 
tures, accompanied only by a small number of youthful and 
■congenial spirits, Apushamatahah encountered many dangers 


and ended many privations and hardships; which consti- 
tuted, to the young, free and independent Indian warrior and 
hunter, the Veritable elixir of life, the ultimatum of earthly 

At one time, while engaged in one of those hunts on Red 
river with a little party of Choctaw "braves," his camp was 
unexpectedly and unceremoniously attacked, by a large band 
of Cal-lag-e-hah warriors, (Callage-hah is evidently a cor- 
ruption of the words,! Chah lih hihla, (fast dancers). These 
Indians may possibly have been a clan of the Choctaws be- 
fore they left Mexico, and .afterwards followed on to join the 
main body, but never crossed the Mississippi river, hence 
became forever lost from the parent stock) and being 
greatly outnumberedj^Apushamatahah and his little party, 
after a brief skirmish, were totally defeated, and but few 
escaped, each taking care of himself. Apushamatahah, 
being one of the few, found himself alone. After experienc- 
ing great hardships and dangers in eluding the vigilance of 
his wily enemies, he fortunately stumbled upon a Spanish 
settlement, in which he remained many months, hunting for 
the Spaniards^ and secretly preparing his plans for revenge 
ag^ainst the Callagehahs for their unceremonious attack upon 
his camp, and which he successfully executed, as the sequel 
will show. At this time (1793) Missouri, Kansas and Arkan- 
sas were under Spanish Dominion. 

After he had thoroughly laid his plans of revenge, he 
bade his Spanish employers a formal adieu, and started for 
his distant and long absent home by devious paths, until he 
came upon a camp of his enemies, the Callagehahs, upon 
which he rushed at night with the ferocity of a tiger, and 
slew seven of its occupants and secured their scalps, ere 
they could recover from their surprise; tfi-en shouting back his 
war-whoop of defiance, he fled with the nimble feet of the 
antelope, directing his course homeward, where he, in the 
course of several weeks safely arrived, to the astonishment 
and joy of his relatives, who had regarded him among the 
number of the slain, who had fallen on the fatal night of the 
raid made upon their camp by the Callagehahs. He remain- 
ed at home two or three years, but had not forgotten the 
attack made upon his hunting camp in the distant solitudes 
of the forests west of the Mississippi river, and the death of 
his comrades; while his proud spirit still chafed under the 
imagined disgrace of his defeat, he yearned to punish the 
Callagehahs still more severely for their audacity and insult; 
therefore, he again started with a select company of warriors 
for his enemies' territories; where again surprising one of 
their unsuspecting camps he slew three warriors without sus- 


taming loss; after which he withdrew from the Callagehahs'' 
country, but remained west of the Mississippi river for sev- 
eral months in the fascinating amusements of the chase, that 
exciting occupation that renders the hunter, both red and 
white, oblivious to all else. Again he t-eturned home with 
. his little band; yet his restless spirit could not rest in iil- 
activity longer than a few weeks; and once more, Avith anoth- 
er little company of congenial spirits of about twenty-five in 
number, he started for the land of his foes and was gone 
several months, when he again returned home with a dozen 
or more Callagehah scalps, without the loss of a single one of 
his little party. He remained at. home, after this exploit, 
nearly a year, then again, but for the last time, sought the 
distant tei'ritories of the Callagehahs with another band of 
his warriors; again fortune smiled upon her seemingly 
chosen favorite; for he struck another death dealing b,low, 
obtaining many scalps, then bade the unfortunate Callage- 
hahs a final adieu, returned to his native land with his vvar- 
riors, and annoyed them no more. 

The,Choctaws and Muscog'ees, in years long past, were 
proverbial enemies, and hated each other with uncompromis- 
ing bitterness ; therefore, embraced every opportunity to 
manifest their hostility the one toward the other. On One 
occasion a party of Muscogees secretly entered the Choctaw 
territories and, among other ; depredations committed on 
their devious i-oute, they burned the house of Apushamata- 
hah, who, with his family, was absent from home engaged 
inhis favorite amusement— a grand ball-play. As soon as he 
returned home and found it a heap of smoking ruins, and 
learned who had committed the mischief, he at once collec- 
ted a company of warriors and sought the Muscogee Natipn 
with the same determination and resolution that he. had pre- 
viously sought that of the Callagehahs; and when arrived, 
he repaid them ten foljd for the destruction of his home. 
Many years afterward Apushamatahah was the first Choc- 
taw chief who led a war-party of 800, warriors against the 
Muscogees in what is known as the Creek War of 1812. 

Several Choctaw companies joined Washington's army^ 
during our Revolutionary war, and served during the entire 
war; some of them were at the battle of Cowpens, under 
General Morgan; others, at the battle of Stony Point, under 
General Wayne, and others, at the battle of Tilico Plains, un- 
der General Sullivan, sent by General Green to punish 
the Tories and northern Cherokees (at that time the 
only Cherokees hostile to the Americans) for the destruction 
of Fort Loudon, situated on the Tennessee river in the terri- 
tories then of North Carolina, whom he overtook at Tilico 




Plains, engaged and routed, with great loss on the part of 
the tories and Cherokees.also securing the women and child- 
ren whon they taken had prisoners in the fall of Fort Loudon, 
and devastating the country of the hostile Cherokees ?is he 
went, in driving them, (Tories and Cherokees) through 
Deep Creek Gap, in Cumberland mountains, into the now 
State of Kentucky; and there ending th^ pursuit, Sullivan re- 
turned and joined his command near Yorktown. It is said, 
those Cherokees never did return to their former homes, 
but became incorporated with other Indians in Kentucky; 
others, were under Washington at the capture of Yorktown, 
and witnessed the surrender of Cornwallis. 

An amusing incident was related to me when in the Choc- 
taw Nation in 1888, in which a Choctaw scout, under General 
Sullivan, previous to the defeat of the Tories and Cherokees 
at Tilico Plains, was the chief hero. This scout, from his 
short and thick set form, was given the name Dutch Johnnie, 
by the soldiers. Dutch Johnnie was an uncompromising 
enemy to the hostile Cherokees, for the re ison that a scout- 
ing party of theirs had killed his wife and only child; and in 
revenge he had sworn, as he of ancient Carthage, eternal 
hatred against the Cherokees. Learning this. Gen. Sullivan 
appointed Dutch Johnnie as one of his chief scouts, much to 
the joy of Johnnie, as it gave him a broader tield in which to 
seek and obtain the much desired revenge for the death of 
^his wife and child. He soon became noted for his intrepidity 
endurance, skill, and valuableireports in regard to the enemy; 
and by his many noble traits also became the pet of the army. 
At one time, he was returning to the command from a long 
scout of several days absence, and had reached within ten or 
fifteen miles of the army, when night overtook him at an old 
and long deserted house. It had been raining all day, so the 
story goes, and was still raining and growing dark. As any 
port in a storm had long been Dutch Johnnie's motto, he at 
once resolved to accept the offered hospitalities of the for- 
saken mansion; and, without formality, entered the open 
space, where once had hung the door that then lay upon the 
ground, a wreck of its former glory, and surveyed its apart- 
ments. He found it consisted of but dne room, with but one 
ingress or egress, one chimney of sticks and dirt, and four 
or five logs extending across the room above, about 
four feet apart, upon which were loosely laid some 
boards extending from one to the ot|jer. 

Being a good retreat from the rain and chill without, 
Dutch Johnnie soon stretched himself upon the puncheon 
floor in his wet clothes, too considerate to build a fire in the 
hearth by which to dry and warm himself, and thus attract 


the eye of an enemy engaged in .the same business as him- 
self, and was just passing into the shadows of the land of 
dreams, when his ears, ever wakeful sentinels and always 
on the alert, whispered "danger without." He instantly 
arose to a sitting posture and heard approaching footsteps. 
Instantly he seized his rifle and quickly and noiselessly 
climbed up t^ie wall and laid down upon the boards, and there 
waited future developments. The approaching footsteps, 
grew plainer until they stopped before the house. Then all 
was hushed for a few moments, and then the intruders en- 
tered. Dutch Johnnie from above could see nothing, ' so in- 
tense was the darkness ; but soon learned that his visitors 
were a company of Tories and Cherokee warriors, who, alike 
with him, had sought the hospitality of the deserted house 
from the inclemency of the night. He understood enough 
English to learn much of their plans as the Tories convers- 
ed with each other. In the course of an hour all had stretch- 
ed themselves upon the puncheon floor, and were shortly 
after wrapt in sleep ; yet with a sleepless sentinel eig'ht feet 
above, who could see nothing — not even his hand before him 
— but hear evei-y thing, even to the low breathing of his un- 
welcome visitors below. Poor, entrapped Johnnie, how 
was he to safely get out'^f the dilemma? If he remained 
until morning some curiosity seeker might climi) the wall to 
see what lay above," and then Dutch Johnnie's doom was in- ' 
evitable. After . cogitating the matter over carefviUy, he 
finally concluded he would try and escape by noislessly de- 
scending the wall which he had ascended ; but the question 
arose in his mind — how far from the wall in vvhich the door- 
way was cut was the first parallel joist over which space he 
discovered there were no boards when he first entered the 
house. When he had taken his position above he had 
stretched himself full length (face downward) upon the 
boards, with his head toward the wall he desired to descend. 
He began at once to reach out with his right hand into the 
darkness for the wall, but his arm was too short. Again 
and again he stretched it out, but to no avail. Anxiety, at 
length, overcame his prudence ; for, in attempting to extend 
his body a little over the joist that he might be enabled, per- 
chance, to reach the coveted wall, the boards, which were 
not nailed to the joist, slipped from their places and, in con- 
fusion worse confounded, fell together with Dutch Johnnie^ 
in a promiscuous mass upon the sleepers below. The scene 
of confusion that then ensued may be imagined only. 

The sleepers, thus suddenly aroused, were utterly be- 
wildered, and unable to decide whether a cyclone had struck 
the house, an earthquake was upon.them, or the knell of time 


was at hand. But Dutch Johnnie's presence of mind, which 
liad so oft brought him safely out of difficulties that tried 
men's souls, forsook him not in this hour of peril, but ren- 
dered him equal to the emergency, having, however, the ad- 
vantage of his foes in knowing why he had made such a des- 
perate charge, alone and in utter darkness, upon them; for 
he seized a board with both hands, sprang to his feet, and be- 
gan to strike, right and left in the dark, with super-human 
force, accompanying the act with reiterated Choctaw war- 
hoops intermingled with General Sullivan's war-cry in Eng- 
lish; which at once caused the Tories and Cherokee wari-iors 
to believe that, instead of a cyclone, earthquake, or the knell 
of time, or all together, it was Sullivan and his troopers upon 
them; therefore, each one, actuated with the frantic desire 
of self-preservation alone, sought, in frenzied haste, the one, 
and only egress into the open air, jumping, tumbling, falling, 
rolling out, while Johnnie's wild war-hoops uttered in both 
Choctaw and English, with his board wielded by his vigoroufe 
arms, whizzing through the darkness this way and that thus 
oft meeting in collision with heads and bodies, added wings 
to the retreat of his foes. Soon the house was left in 
possession of Dutch Johnnie alone; then to make the victory 
complete, he, sprang to the rifles of his foes stacked in a 
corner of the room and then to the door, where he fired off 
each one in rapid succession accompanied with reiterated 
war-hoops, which made each flying Tory and Cherokee 
believe that himself alone had escaped. As he seized a gun 
and fired it off, he threw it upon the floor, and sprang for 
another, and so continued to do until he had fired the last; 
then, not knowing what might still be in the house, since the 
pitchy darkness prevented anything being seen, he leaped 
out, uttered several war-hoops of victory, and sought safety 
amid the darkness of the forest feeling his way as best he 
could. When he had ' gone far enough to feel safe from 
immediate danger, he sat down and waited for the light of 
the returning morning; then hastened to the encampment, 
where he arrived in safety about an hour after sunrise. He 
soon related his adventure to.General Sullivan, who sent a 
company of troopers back with Dutch Johnnie to prove the 
statement of his romantic adventure, and night conflict with 
the emeny, over whose unknbwn numbei-s— unlike Sampson 
with his jaw bone of an ass, but like Dutch Johnnie alone— 
with a post-oak board, he had gained a complete victory. 
When the company had reached the battle ground and enter- 
ed the again tenantless and silent fort, they found the fallen 
boards upon the floor under which lay Johnnie's rifle— suffi- 
cient proof of his rapid descent upon the enemy, while the 


I, ■ , 

twenty empty rifles that lay upon the floor, gave entire satis- 
faction, none more so than to Dutch Johnnie himself, that he 
had defeated his enemies as one to twenty, by his rapid de- 
scent upon them with his shower of boards, followed by the' 
vigorous use of one alone in his stalwart hands accompanied 
I with his terrific war-hoops. Of course, he became the hero 
of the day. The twenty rifles were justly awarded to him 
as trophies of his victory; which he traded' for various articles 
necessary for his comfort and protection in his anticipated 
future adventures. He lived through the war as ' an indis- 
pensable scout, proving himself fearless in battle, and oft 
dazzling his comrades by his daring acts. 


I will .here give a true narrative of an incident in the life 
of the great and noble Choctaw chief, Apushamatahah, as re- 
lated 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 noraf terwards befell the lot of a white man to witness, 
except that of Sam Dale, the great scout of General Andi-ew 
Jackson, who witnessed a similar one^that of Tecumseh in 
council assembled with the Muscogees, shortly afterwards 
— of which I will speak in the history of that once powerful 
and war-like race of people. 

Colonel John Pitchlynn was adopted in early manhood by 
the Choctaws, and marrying among them, he at once became 
as one of their people; and was named by thetn "Chahtah It- 
ti-ka-na," The Choctaws' Friend; and long and well he 
proved himself Worthy the title conferred upon, and the trust 
confided in him. He had five sons by his Choctaw wife,' 
Peter, Silas, Thomas, Jack and James, all of Whom proved to 
be men of talent, and exerted a moral influence among their 
people, except Jack, who wis ruined by the white' man's 
whiskey and his demoralizing-examples and influences. I 
was personally acquainted with Peter, Silas and Jack, the 
former held, during a long and useful life, the highest posi- 
tions in the political history of his Nation, well deserving the 
title given 'him by the whites, "The Calhoun of the Choc- 
taws;" but of whom I will speak more particularly else- 

England, in her anticipated war with the. United States in 


1812, early made strenuous efforts to secure the co-operation 
of all the Indian tribes, both north and south, as allies 
against the Americans, as she had done against the French 
previous to supplanting them in 1763; though, not with that 
success that she did in arraying them in opposition to the 
Americans; for to the honor and praise of the majority of 
the early settlers of the French among the North American 
Indians be it said, that they had won the respect, confidence, 
and love of the northern Indians especially, by their freedom 
from all arrogance, abuse and oppression, and by honest 
dealing with them, comparing well in this particular with 
the Quakers, and thus seeming to the highly appreciative 
Indians, more as affable companions anil genial friends, than 
insolent and pretended masters, as the English had assumed 
to be, and afterwards the Americans, who followed in their 
wake; both of whom, early and late, introduced the traffic in 
whiskey among them, which had been effectually prohibited 
by the French down to that time. 

Having secured the co-operation, however, of many of 
the northern tribes to operate under the command of the 
cruel Proctor, the English then turned their attention to the 
securing of the southern tribes as allies, especially the five 
great and most war-like tribes then within the boundaries of 
the United States, viz: The Choctaws, Chickasaws, Chero- 
kees, Muscogees and Seminoles, whose warriors were then 
justly considered as the shrewdest, bravest and most to be 
dreaded in war of all the North American Indians; and that 
they might the more effectually and with greater certainty 
secure the aid of those brave, skilful and daring warriors of 
the south, the renowned Shawnee chief, Tecumseh, was sent 
to persuade them by his great influence and unsurpassed 
native eloquence to unite with them as allies in the expected 
war. As one of the bravest and most skilful Indian chiefs 
that ever trod the American soil; as a statesman in the 
council of his nation; as a foresighted politician; as a man of 
integrity and humanity, according to the morals of . his 
people; as a man of comprehensive mind, rich in resources 
for every emergency; as a man of undaunted nature, Tecum- 
seh stands with no superiors and few equals upon the pages 
of Indian history; and his name still hovers among the 
northern and western tribes, with those of Sassacus, chief 
of the Pequods, in 1637; Philip, chief of the Pokanokets in 
1674; Canonochet, chief of the Naragansetts in 1675; and the 
great Pontiac, chief of the Ottawas in 17()3; Red Jacket, of 
the Senecas; Black Hawk, of the Sacs, and Fox, and others, 
who figured along down the path of tiiVie in their noble but 
vain endeavors to protect their homes and country from the 


encroachment of foreign vandali, cls the heroes, who, in th6 
days of their prospferity and strength, liad each devised the 
plan for unity of action among' all the tHbes' in driving back 
the usurping whites from their common territories, and 
conducted their mighty but unavailing struggles with seem- 
ing destiny for the continued independence of their race, as 
men who loved no enjoyment equal to that of perfect per- 
sonal freedom in the companionship of nature, as it then 
presented itself in its ■ picturesque ga^l'b of mountains ihd 
valleys, rivers and lakes, forests and prairies, tiffctrding them- 
all the necessaries of life, and Uniting to consiimmate their 
earthly bliss as a free, indepdndent, contented and happy 
people. Therefore one master spirit filled and ruled the: 
hearts of those ancient chieftains, and gave to their whole- 
lives their character. ' ' 

Willingly, therefore, did Tecumseh accept the embassy 
to the southern tribes, in behalf of the English ; nor could 
they have confided their mission with greater hope of suc- 
cess to a more influential chief, or a more bitter enemy tO' 
the Americans than to Tecumseh. North and South, fai' 
and near, was the name of the great Shawnee Chief andl 
warrior known. From their youth the vvarriors of all the 
tribes, at that day and time, had heard of his great achieve- 
ments in battle ; of his irresistible eloquente in debate and. 
the devastation that marked his footsteps upon the war-patfr ;: 
for his tomahawk was like the lightning bolt in force and' 
power, atrmed with sWif t and sure destriiction to all upon.. 
whom it fell when wielded by its master's hand, to all In- 
dians, a meritorious commendation and worth]ir all accepta-; 
tion. Unknown to fear, yet it is ^aid of .Tecumseh that,; 
his heart was tender as a child's, and the sufferings of a. 
friend whom he loved could torture him with the keenest; 
anguish. His mother was a Muscogee and his father ai 
Shawnee ; and both were born, in Alabama, at a village called' 
Sau-van-o-gee (afterwards known as "Old Augusta") on the 
Tallapoosa river, though Tecumseh's father and grand par- 
ents belonged to the Shawnees of the North. They moved 
to the then wilds of the now State of Ohio with their family 
of several children, wher^, in 1768, Tecumseh Was born, who 
became so distinguished m the history of his race as a chief 
and warrior. He had five brothers, all of whom were noted' 
warriors. He also had one sister named Tecum-a-pease^ 
who was highly endowed as a woman of strong character 
and sound judgment, and a great favorite of. her vrar-like 
brother, over whora she exercised great influence. At the 
age of nineteen years Tecumseh visited the South, once the 
home of his parents, where he spent a few years principally- 


among the Muscogees, the relatives and friends of his 
mother — engaging with them in their hunts and various 
amusements, and winning their admiration by a heroism free 
from temerity, and a friendship free from partiality. 

In the spring of 1811, Tecumseh, with thirty congenial 
spirits all well mounted, again left his northern home and 
directed his course once more to the South to visit those dis- 
tant friends, not as before, a pleasure seeker in their hunts,, 
national festivals and social amusements, but as one seeking 
co-operative vengeance upon a common foe, the pale-face in- 
truders and oppressors of their race. Silently and fearlessly 
did the little band of resolute men, keep their course with un- 
wearied resolution and unerring judgment through the vast 
wilderness that intervened; over hills and endless wastes; 
swimming broad rivers and narrow creeks, and working 
their way through wide extended cane-brakes, where seldom 
or never before had trod human feet, the sun their guide by 
day, the stars, by night, until they reached the broad terri- 
tories of the Chickasaws through which they passed, nor 
ceased their march, until they entered the Choctaw Nation 
in the district over which Apakfohlichihubih was the ruling 
chief and there pitched their camp. Soon the tidings of the 
arrival and encampment of the renowned Shawnee chief and 
his thirty warriors as an embassy were borne as on wings of 
the wind, throughout the district fanning the hitherto' quiet 
inhabitants into a blaze of the wildest excitement, and many 
rushed at once to see the great Chieftain and his warriors; 
actuated more however through curiosity than expectation of 
learning anything concerning the intent or purpose of their 
coming; for an Indian embassador is ever silent upon the sub- 
ject of his mission, and opens not his mouth but in council 
assembled, and thus manifesting good sense and profound 
judgment. In solemn pomp, therefore, Tetumseh and his 
warriors were escorted to the home of Apakfolichihubih, to 
whom Tecumseh stated that his business was of a national 
character and of the most vital importance, to the Choctaw 
Nation. At once Apakfolichihubih, summoned the warriors 
of his district to convene in council, at which a resolution was 
passed calling the entire Choctaw Nation to assemble in a 
great council, extending the invitation alike to the Chickasaw 
Nation, stating as a reason, that it was made through the 
request of Tecumseh, as in embassador of the Shawnees; 
that he, with thirty warriors, was now a guest of Apakfolih- 
chihubih, and had a proposition to lay before the coi^ncil of 
vital import to both Nations. A day was also appointed and 
the place designated, in and at which the two Nations should 
assemble in united council to hear the words of the mighty 


■Shawnee. The place sele.cted at which the, council was to 
convene, was at a point on the Tombighee river, five miles (by 
land) north of Columbus, Mississippi, and'now known by the 
name of Plymouth. " 

Immediately runners (news horsemen) were sent out to 
the remotest points of their country, also to the Chickasaws, 
to notify all of the comings event; and soon they were seen on 
their fleetest horses speeding in wild haste and in all direc- 
tions', over their wide extended territory; even as was wit- 
nessed when our Declaration of Independence was first pro- 
claimed, and the "Old Liberty Bell" rang out its joyous peals 
echoing imid wild shouts along the hills of the Atlantic 
shore, biyt to die away in mufted tones. among the rocky bat- 
tlemeiits.of the far-away Pacific coast; and as the tones of 
the "Old Liberty Bell" secured responsive ears, so too the 
call of Tecumseh secured the speedy response of every 
Choctaw and Chickasaw warrior, however remote his cabin 
from the designated place of rendezvous. ^ 

For many days previous tojthe convening of the council, 
hundreds upon hundreds of warriors, in various groups, 
were seen slowly and silently wending their way through 
the forests from every direction toward the designated place 
for the meeting of the two Nations in council with the mighty 
chief and Shawnee eimbassador; and when the appointed day 
came, many thousands had presented themselves. 

Col. John Pitchlyhn stated to the missionaries who es- 
tablished a mission among the Choctaws several years after, 
that he never saw so great a number of Indian warriors 
gathered together. It was indeed a congregation vast of so- 
licitous and expectant men, whose breasts heaved and tossed 
with the conflicting emotions of the wildest imaginations, 
for rumor of war between the United States and England 
had reached them In their distant villages situated along the 
banks of their rivers and creeks, and ill their humble cabins 
found scattered everywhere amid the deep solitudes of their 
seemingly illimitable forests ; therefore hope and fear alter- 
nately held dubious sWay o'er their minds as to the design 
of Tecumseh's unexpected visit, and the calling them to- 
gether in council, which seemingly foreshadowed evil, also to 
their respective nations as compulsory allies to the one or to 
the. other of the belligerent parties ; still no external mani- 
festations of any kind whatever were seen that betrayed the' 
secret emotions within, as profound silence and the utmost 
decorum were always and everywhere observed by the North 
American Indians' when assembling and having assembled in 
national council. • 

But the light of that memorable day seemed to wane 


slowlj', and its sunset was followed by that seemingly breath- 
less pause and stupor so oft experienced in a southern clint'e. 
The increasing dusk crept on by degrees, while the outlines 
of familiar objects became blurred, then dim and fantastic 
in the uncertain light. At length the leaves began to stir 
and the placid waters of the itombi ikbi trembled in the 
darkness, for the night wind had sprung up freighted with 
the cool breath and sweet odors of the surrounding forests, 
as twilight dropped her mantle to her successor — night. 
Then a huge pile of logs and chunks, previously prepared, 
was set on fire — the signal to the waiting multitudes, who 
sat in groups of hundreds around chatting in low tones and 
smoking their indispensable pipes, constructed in the heads 
of their tomahawks. Each group arose without delay or 
confusion and in obedience to its mandates, marched up in 
solemn and impressive silence, and took their respective 
seats upon the ground forming many wide, extended circles 
around the blazing heap, but leaving an open space of twenty 
or thirty feet in diameter for the occupancy of the speaker 
and his attendants. ' 

The chiefs and old warriors always formed the inner 
circle; the middle aged, next, and so on to the outer circle, 
which was composed of the young and less experienced war- 
riors, thus carrying out the old pi*ecept, "The old for 
counsel, the young for w;|ir." All being seated, the pipes, 
indispensable adjuncts in all the North American Indians' 
national and religions assemblies, were lighted, and com- 
menced their rounds through the vast concourse of seated 
men; and each one, as a pipe came to him, drew a whiff or 
two, and then, in turn, passed it on to the next, while pro- 
found silence throughout the vast assembly reitned su- 
preme, disturbed alone by the crackling and sputtering of 
the burning logs. 'Twas indeed a silence deep, as if all 
nature had made a pause prophetic of the gathering storm. 

What a beautiful characteristic of the North American 
Indians was that of repressing every emotional feeling when 
assembled in, council or otherwise, and observing the most 
profound silence when one of their number was speaking! 
Even in the social circle, never but one speaks at a time 
while the closest attention is given and the most profound 
silence observed by the others. This was and is a part of 
their education, an established rule of their entire race, into 
the violation of which they were seldom if ever betrayed by 
any kind of excitement whatsoever; and in visiting the Choc- 
taw and Chickasaw councils in 1885, 1 fofund they still adhered 
to the old established rule with the same rigid tenacity as 
did their ancestors oast of the Mississippi river in the days 


of the long-ago. For this noble virtue (for virtue it may be 
•called) they are termed taciturn and grave, yet their national 
.sensibilities are deep, active and strong. 

Soon Tecumseh was dimly seen einergipg f i-om the dark- 
ness beyond into the far reflected light , of , the blazing logs, 
followed by his thirty warriors. Witli. measured steps and 
grave demeanor they slowly advanced. But no wild shouts 
heralded their coming. No deaf ening yells proclaimed their 
welcome. Silence deep and profound swayed her sceptre 
there. Yet that vast assembly of silent men seated in cir- 
cles upon the ground, while clotids of tobacco smoke g-ently 
floated o''er their heads; witli countenances beaming with in- 
quiry as their calm but piercing eyes, glistened in the reflect- 
ed light of the blazing logs^ spoke a language to Tecurtiseh 
more potent than the wild huzzas of the whites ever did to 
their approaching political favorite. In silence, the circle 
was opened as Tecumseh and his followers drew near 
through which they slowly marched, tjien immediately closed 
behind them surrounding them by thousands of strangers; 
but nothing to fear, for the Peace Pipe yas in the left hatod 
of the mighty Shawnee, an elnblem rigidly respected by all 
North American Indiahs all bver the colitinent. When Te- 
cumseh had reached a point near the fire, he halted and ihis 
thirty warriors at' once seated themselves on the ground 
formmg a crescent before their adored chieftain, while he, 
the personification of true dignitjr knd manly beauty, stood 
erect and momentarily flashed his piercing eyes over the 
mighty host as if to scan each countenance (that index of the 
soul) and read its import, the better thereby to lay a proper 
basis for the successful effect of, his arguments dn ,the sup- 
port of his mighty scheme. -~ 

Every eye was now fastened upon him, while, in turn, 
beneath his high forehead flashed his'own black and restless 
eyes; and though his face wore a calm expression 
jret there was a nervousness about him- withal that plainly 
indicated one of those sensitive organisms that 
kindle at the slightest warmth. But he sought not the 
personal admiration or tlie praise of his audience. He 
meant business serious and weighty; business, in which he 
felt was involved thefuture.destinyof the entirelndian racefor 
weal or woe. Noble and unselfish patriot! How true thy 
far-sighted statemanship! But alas, how unavailing! What 
an imposing and impressive scene was there! A hundred 
closely formed circles of silent men seated on the ground 
from whose dark features were reflected, by the lip^ht on 
the burning log-heaps, a thousand cenflicting emotions of 
.hope and doubt, as they gazed in profound, silence upon the 


imposing figure that stood in their midst. The scene at 
this juncture, stated Col. Pitchlynn, was grand and impos- 
ing indeed, and worthy the pencil of a Raphael. Every 
countenance told of suppressed feelii^g, and every eye 
sparkled with mental excitement. An enthusiasm border- • 
ing on ecstacy marked the manner of the elder, while the 
young, sturdy fellows in the flower of manhood's strength, 
had more than usual expression upon their faces, which 
indicated'that some of the deepest chdrds in their natures 
had already been struck, holding out a promise to them of 
things undreamed of before, by touching that note to which 
their every breast gave more or less response. 

Tetumseh's observant eye read its import at a glance, 
and at once the tones of his voice broke the, stillness. Now 
he seemed nothing but nerves, and shot out magnetism that 
electrified his hearers into like intensity of feeling, and every 
nerve and muscle of the vast assembly seemed to take up 
the measure and tingle with the same enthusiasm and feel- 
ing, as the wild orator yoiced the sentiments of his audience. 
In the outset he unfolded the designs of the whites and their 
schemes to accomplish them ; he portrayed the consequences, 
that would inevitably ensue in case they should get the as- 
cendency ; he^Jared no artifice, omitted no topic that would 
have a tendenc^to alarm their concern for their country, or 
their fears for themselves; he arraigned all the conduct of 
the whites since their first introduction among their race, 
and portrayed in vivid colors their ingenuity in concealing 
their avarice and covetousness under a veil of most gener- 
ous and disinterested principles ; and how insidious and vile 
their schemes had ever befen, and still continued to be ; he 
made good use of the figures which gave force and energy 
to his discourse, for no one better understood the designs of 
the ;^hite man, and no one could better explain them than he; 
therefore he drew his lines, sketched hiis plans, and well did 
the drawings and sketches manifest the master's hand ; and 
ere he had closed, strange alternatives of elevating hope were 
manifest in the countenances of his silent and attentive 
hearers. , 

He began his speech in a grave and solemn manner, 
stated Col. Pitchlynn, which I here give in substance, as 
follows : , 

"In view of questions of vast importance, have we met 
together in solemn council to-night. Nor should we here 
debate whether we have been wronged and injured, but by 
what measures we should avenge ourselves ; for our merci- 
less oppressors, having long since planned out their proceed- 
ings, are not about to make, but have and are still making 


attacks Upon those of our race who have as yet come to no 
resolution. Nor are we ignorant by >what steps, and by 
what gradual advances, the whites break in upon our neigh- 
bors. Imagining themselves to be still undiscovered,, they 
fehow themselves the less audacious because you are insen- 
sible. The whites are already nearly a match for us all 
united, and too strong for any one tribe alone to resist ; so 
that unless we support one another with our collective and 
united forces ; unless every tribe unanimously com bines to 
give a check to the ambition and avarice of the whites, they 
will soon conquer us apart and disunited, and we will be 
driven away from our native country and scattered as 
autumnal leaves before the wind. 

■ "But have we not courage enough remaining to defend 
our country and maintain oUr ancient independence? Will 
we calmly suffer the white intruders and tyrants to enslave 
. us? Shall it be said of our race that we knew riot how to ex- 
tricate ourfeelves from the three most to be dreaded calami- 
ties — folly, inactivity and cowardice? But what need is 
there to speak of the past? It speaks foi- itself and asks, 
'Where to-day is the Pequod? Where the Narragansetts, 
the Mohawks, Pocanokets, and many other orice powerful 
tribes of our race? They have vanished before the avai-ice and 
oppression of the white men, as snow before a summer' suh. 
In the vain hope of alone defending their ancient possessions, 
they have fallen in the wars with the white men. Look 
abroad over their once beautiful country, and what see you 
now? Naught but the ravages of the pale-face destroyers 
meet your eyes. So it will be with yOu Choctaws and Chicka- 
saws! Soon your mighty forest ti-ees, under the shade of 
whose wide spreading branches you have played in infancy, 
sported in boyhood, and now rest your wearied limbs after 
the fatigue of the chase, will be cut down to fence in the land 
which the white intruders dare to call their own. Soon 
their broad roads will pass over the grave of your fathers, 
and the place of their rest will be blotted oUt forever. The 
ainnihilation of our race is at hand unless we unite in one 
common cause against the common foe. Think not, brave 
Choctaws and Chickasaws, that you can remain passive and 
indifferent to the common danger, and thus escape the com- 
mon fate. Your people too, will soon be as falling leaves 
and scattering clouds before their blighting breath. You too 
will be driven away from your native land and ancient do- 
mains as leaves are driven before the wintry storms." 

These were corroding words; and well might terrible 
thoughts of resistance pass through the minds of those 
freemen and patriots, as, by the light of the burning heap 



^gleamingf through the darkness of the night, they in admir- 
ing silence gazed upon the face of Tecumseh and listened to 
his untaught eloquence, which thrilled and swayed their 
hearts and moved the deep waters of their souls, as he plead 
the cause of right from the. vindications of his own heart 
Tipon which was written the statute — "A favor for a favor, an 
injur}' for an injury." 

"Sleep not longer, O Choctaws and Chickasaws," con- 
tinued the indefatigable orator, "in false' security and delu- 
sive hopes. Our broad domains are fast escaping fi^om our 
rgrasp. Every yeair our white intruders become nliore greedy, 
•exacting, oppressive and overbearing. Every year con- 
tentions spring up between them and our people and when 
blood is shed we have to make atonement whether right or 
wrong, at the cost of the lives of our greatest chiefs, and the 
yielding up of large tracts of our lands. Before the pale- 
faces came ampng us, we enjoyed the happiness of unbounded 
freedom, and were acquainted with neither riches, wants, 
nor oppression. How is it now? Wants and oppressions are 
•our lot; for are we not controlled in everything, and dare we 
anove without asking, by your leave? Are we not being strip- 
ped day by day' of the little that remains of our ancient 
liberty? Do they not even now kick and strike .us as they 
do their black-faces? How long will it be before they will tie 
us to a post and whip us, and make us work for them in their 
• K:orn fields as they do them? Shall we wait for that moment 
-or shall we die fighting before submitting to such ignominy"? 

At th4s juncture a low, muffled groan of indignation 
forced its way through the clinched teeth running through 
the entire assembly, and some of the younger warriors, no 
longer enabled to restrain themselves, leaped from their 
seats upon the ground, and, accompanying the act with the 
thrilling war;whoops of defiance, flourished their toma- 
hawks in :i frenzy of rage. Tecumseh turned his eyes upon 
them with a calni' but rebuking look, which spoKe but too 
well his disapproval of such,, an undignified and premature 
display of feelings, which had interrupted him; then with 
a gentle wave of the hand, the interpretation of which was 
not very difficult, he again continued: . "Have we not for 
years had before our eyes a sample of their designs, and are 
they not sufficient harbingers of their future determina- 
tions? Will we not soon be driven from our respective 
countries and the graves of our ancestors? Will not the 
bones of our dead be plowed up, and their graves be turned 
into fields? Shall we calmly wait until they become so numer- 
ous that we will no longer be able to resist oppression? 
Will we wait to be destroyed in our turn, without making an 


effort worthy our race? Shall v^e give up our homes, i our 
•coun,try, bequeathed to us by the Great Spirit, the graves of 
■our dead, and everything that is dear and sacred to us, with- 
out a struggle? I know you will cry vvith me, Neverl 
Neyerl Then- let bs by unity of action destroy them all, 
which we now can do, or drive them back whence they came. 
War or extermination is now our only choice. "Which do 
you choose? I know your answer.. Therefore, I now call 
on you, brave ChoctAws and Chickasaws, to assist in the just 
cause of liberating bur race from the grasp of our faithless 
invaders and heartless oppressors; 'I he white Usurpation 
in our cominon country must be stopped; or W^, its rightful 
owners, be forever destroyed and wi^ed out as a. race of 
people. I am npw* at, the head of many warriors backed by 
the strong arm of-Bftglish soldiers, Choctaws and Chicka-i 
sawsi you have too lon^ borne tvith grievoiis usurpation in- 
flicted by • the vki-Eogant : Americans. Be 'no longer their 
dupes. If there b&pne here to-night who believes that his 
rights will not sooner", or later, be taken from him by the 
avaricious AmericiSinp?ile-faceSi his ignorance ought to excite 
pity, for he knows little of the character of oiir common -foe. 
And if there be one among you mad enough to undervalue 
the growing power of the white race among us, let him 
tremble in considering the fearful woes he' will bring down 
upon our entire race, if by his crin^inal' indifference he 
assists the! designs of our commbti enellny against our com- 
mon country. Then listen to the voice of duty, of honor,, 
of nature and of your endangered country; Let us form one 
body, one heart, and defend to the'la^t warrior our country, 
our homes, our liberty, and the graves of our fathers. 

"Choctaws and Chickasaws, you are among thejfew of 
our race who sit indolently at ease. You have iildeed enjoy- 
ed the^ reputation of being brave, but will you be indebted 
for it more from report than fact? Will you let the whites 
encroach upon your domains even to your very door before 
' yo\i will assert your rights in resistance? Let nd one in 
this council imagine that I speak more from malice against 
the pale-face Americans than just grounds of complaint. 
Complaint is just toward friends who have failed in their 
duty; accusation is against enemies guilty of injustice. 
And surely, if any people ever had, we have -good and just 
reasons to believe we have ample grounds to accuse the 
Americans of injustice; especially when such great acts of 
injustice have been committed by them upon our race, of 
which they seem to have no manner of regard, or even to re- 
flect. They are a people fond of innovations, quick to con- 
trive and quick to put their schemes into effectual execution. 


no matter how great the wrong and injury to us; while we 
are content to preserve what we already have. Their de- 
signs are to enlarge their possessions by taking yours in 
turn ; and will you, can you longer dally, lO Choctaws and 
Ghickasaws? Do you imagine that that people will not con- 
tinue longest in the enjoyment of peace who timely prepare 
to vindicate themselves, and manifest a determined resolu- 
tion to do themselves right whenever they are wronged? 
,Far otherwise. Then haste. to the relief of our common 
cause, as by consanguinity of blood you.are bound ; lest the 
day be not far distant when you will be left single-handed 
and alone to the cruel mercy of our most inveterate foe." 

Though the North American Indians never expressed 
their emotions by any audible signs whatever, yet the frown- 
ing brows, and the flashing«eyes of that mighty concourse of 
seated and silent men told Tecumseh,,as he closed and took 
his seat upon the ground among his warriors, that he had 
touched a thousand chords whose yibrjations responded in 
tones that were in perfect unison an^.harmony with his own, 
and he fully believed, and correctly too, that he had Accom- 
plished the mission whereunto, he was sent, even beyond his 
most sanguine hopes and eApectations. V 

Afewof the Choctaw and Chickasaw chiefs now arose 
in successioi;! and, walking to the centre, occupied, in turn,, 
the place which Tepumseh , had just vacated and expressed 
their opinions upon the question so new and unexpectedly 
presented to them for their consideration; the majority lean- 
ing to the views advanced by the Shawnee chief, a few doubt- 
ing their expediency. Tecumseh was now jubilant, for his 
cause seemed triumphant. But at this crisis of affairs, a sud- 
den and unexpected change came o'er the scene. Another, 
who, up to this time, had remained a sijent but attentive 
listener, arose and, free of all restraint, marched to the cen- 
tre mid the deep silence that again prevailed. A noble speci- 
men also, was he, of manly beauty, strength, and unlettered 
eloquence, who was to fasten a ring in the nose of the mighty 
Shawnee to lead him before all the Philistines at his royal 
will and pleasure. As he drew himself up to his full height, 
there was revealed the symmetrical form of the intrepid and 
the most renowned and influential chief of the Choctaws, a 
man of great dignity, unyielding firmness, undisputed brav- 
ery, undoubted veracity, sound judgment, and the firm and 
undeviating friend of the American people. He was Apush- 

All eyes were ^at once turned to and riveted upon him, as 
he momentarily stood in profound silence surveying the faces 
of his people with that indescribable expression which in- 


dicated to the stranger, and none the less to the astonished 
gaze of Tecumseh, that under it lurked such fearlessness 
as commanded respect. How ; truly q.nd plaihly the soul 
writes its tale on that expressive a4id plastic tablet-J-the face 
of, man! Though habitually of a lively knd jovial disposition, 
y^t Apusharaatahah could rival the lynx when he applied his 
penetrating mind to detect the weak points of his opponent, 
and present his arguments in such a manner as to uiiravel 
the hidden meaning of those of his antagonist. Free from ^ 
any nervous agitation he calmly looked over his audience. 
His long black idckfe fell back from a broad manly brow^ 
from which shone dark, eloquent eyes full of depth and fire; 
his facEv broad and of .^i clear olive tint, his lips thin and 
compressed, all united to give an expressidn of firmness and . 
intellectuality. The solemn manner and long silence that he 
assumed as be calmly gazed upon the scene before him, was. 
as full of eloquence as any words he could have' uttered, and 
fell with unmistakable meaning upon the silent -throng, upon 
whose faces still shone the light of the blazing council ■ fire, 
reflecting no longer conflicting emotions, but one seeniingly 
united all pervading sentiment. Wan andi extei-mination to 
the whites. Apushamatahah's observant eye read its deep 
signification. But nothing daunted, he began in a low but 
distinct tone of voice, which increased in volume and pathos as 
he he becahie more and. more animated. It was then that his 
eloquence also struck other sympathetic chords in that 
silent'and attentiv%audjence, and caused hundreds of hearts 
to pulsate faster under the magnetic influence of his words, 
and feel at once that before them stood, what many already 
knew, a great man. He also began his speech in the ancient 
method of opening an address (long since obsolete), thus: 
"0-mish-ke! A numpa tillofasih ish hakloh.". (Attention!, 
Listen you to my brief remarks) j and then contniued in 
substance as follows: . 

"It was not my design in coming here to ^nter into a 
disputation with any one. But I appear before you, my 
v arriors and m v pb)l le not to throw in my plea against the 
accusations of Tecumseh; but to prevent your forming rash 
and dangerous resolutionsuppn things of highestimportance, 
through the instigations of others, I have myself learned 
by experience, and I also see' many of you, O Choctaws 'and 
Chickasaws, who have the same experience of years that I 
have, the injudicious steps of engaging in an enterprise be- 
cause it is new. Nor do I stand up before you to-night to 
contradict the many facts alleged against the American 
people, or to raise my voice against them in useless accij^sa- 
tions. The question before us now is itot what wrongs. 



they have inflicted upon our race, but what measures are 
best for us to adopt in reg'ard to them; and though our race 
may have been unjustly treated and shamefully wrongfed by 
them, yet I shall not for that reason ^alone advise )'ou to de- 
stroy them, unless it was just and expedient for you so to do; 
nor, would T advise you to forgive them, though worthy of 
your commiseration, unless I believe it vvould be to the in- 
terest of oui- common good. We should consult more in re- 
gard to our future welfare than our present. What ^people, 
my friends and countrymen, were so unwise and inconsid- 
erate as to engage in a war of their own accord, when their 
own strength, and even with the aid (5f others, was judged 
unequal to the task? I well know causes often arise which 
force men to confront extremities, but, my countrymen, 
those causes do not now exist. Reflect, therefore, I earn- 
estly beseech you, before you act hastily in this great matter, 
and consider witjh yourselves how greatly you will err if you 
injudiciously approve of and inconsiderately act upon Te- 
•cumseh's advice^ Remember the American people are now 
friendly disposed toward us. Surely' you are convinced that 
the greatest good will result to us by the adoption of and ad- 
hering' to those measures I have before recommended to 
you; and, without giving too great a sco])e to mercy or for- 
bearance, by which I could never pjermit myself to be se- 
duced, I earnestly pray you to follow ray advice in this 
weighty matter, and in following it resolve to adopt those ex- 
pedients for our future welfare. My friends an^ fellow 
countrymenl you now have no just "Ause to declare war 
against the American people, or wreak your vengeance upon 
them as enemies, since they have ever manifested feelings 
jof ^friendship towards you. It is besides inconsistent with 
your national glory and with your honor, as a people, to vio- 
late your solemn treaty; and a disgrace to the memory of 
your forefathers, to wage war against the American people 
merely to gratify the.maliceof the English. 

"The war, which you are now contemplating against 
the Americans, is a flagrant breach of justice; yea, a fear- 
ful blemish on your honor and also that of your fathers, and 
which you will find if you will examine it carefully and judi- 
ciously, forbodes nothing but destruction to our entire race. 
It is a war against a people whose territories are now far 
greater than our owft, and who ai-e far better provided with 
all the necessary implements of war, with men, guns, 
horses, wealth, far beyond that of all our race combined, and' 
where is the necessity or wisdom to make war upon such a 
• people? Where is our hope of success, if thus weak and un- 
prepared we should declare it against them? Let us not be 


deluded wi'th the foolish hope that this war, if beg-un, will 
soon be oyer, even if we destroy all the whites within our 
territories, and lay waste their hoilies and fields. Far from 
it. It will be but the beginning of the end that terminates 
in the total destruction of our rac^. And though we will 
not permit ourselves to be made slaves, or, like inexperienced 
warriors, shudder at the thought of war, yet I am not so in- 
sensible and inconsistent as to advise you to cowardly yield 
to the outrages of the whites^ or wilfully to connive at their 
unjust encroachments ; but only not/yet to have recourse to 
war, but to send embassadors to our Great Father at Wash- 
ington, 'and lay before him our grievances, without betraying 
too great eagerness for war, or mahif esting any tokens of 
pusillanimity. Let us, therefore, my fellow countrymen, ' 
form our resolutions with great caution and prudence'upon 
a subject of such vast importance, and in which such fearful 
consequences may be involved. ( 

"Heed not, O, my countrymen, the opinions of others to 
that extent as to involve your country in a war that) destroys 
its peace and endangers its future safety, prosperity andi 
happiness. Reflect, ere it be too late, on the great uncer-i- 
tainty of war with the American people, and considei" well, 
ere j'ou engage in it, what the consequences will be if you 
should be disappointed jn your calculations and expectations, i 
Be not deceived with illusive hopes. Hear me, O, my coun- > 
trymen, if you begin, this war it will end in calamities to us 
from which w^ are now free and at a distance;;. and upon 
\<'hom of us^ they will fall, will only be determihed by the un-. 
certain an tf hazardous. event. Be riot, I pray you, guilty of 
rashness, which I never as yet have known you to be; there-.' 
fore, I implore you, while healing measures are in the elec- 
tion of us all, not to break the treaty, nor violate your pledge 
of honor, but to submit our grievances), whatever they may 
be, to the Congress of the United States, according to the 
articles of the treaty existing between us and the American 
people. If not, I here invoke the Grea.t Spirit, who takes 
cognizance of oaths, to bear me witness, that I sh'all endeavor 
to avenge myself upon the authors of this war, by whatever 
methods you shall set me an example. Remember we are a 
people who have never grown insolent with success, or be- 
come abject in adversity; but let those^ho invite us to haz- 
ardous attempts by uttering our praise, also know that the 
pleasure of hearing has never, elevated our spirits above our 
judgment, nor an endeavor to exasperate us by a flow of in- 
vectives to be provoked the sooner to compliance. From , 
tempers equally balanced let it be known that we are warm 
in the field of battle, and cool in the hours of debate ; the for- 


mer, because a sense of duty has the greater influence over 
a sedate disposition, and magnanimity the keenest sense of 
shame; and though good we are at debate, still our education 
is not polite enough to teach us a contempt of laws, yet by its 
severity gives us so much good sense as never to disregard 
them. ■ _ 

"We are not a people so impertinently wise as to invali- 
date the preparations of our enemies by a plausible haran- 
gue, and then absolutely proceed to a contest; but we reckon 
the thoughts of the pale faces to be of a similar cast with our 
own, and that hazardous contingencies are not to be determinedv 
bv a speech. We always presume that the projects of our 
enemies are judiciously planned, and then we seriously pre- 
pare to defeat them. Nor do we found our success upon the 
hope that they will certainly blunder in their conduct, but 
upon the hope that we have omitted no proper steps for our 
own security. Such is the discipline which our fathers 
have handed down to us; and by adhfering to it, we have 
reaped many advantages. Let us, my countrymen, not forget 
it now, nor in short space of time precipitately determine a 
question in which so much is involved. It is indeed the duty 
of the prudent, so long as they are not injured, to delight in 
peace. But it is the duty of the brave, when injured, to lay 
peace aside, and to have recourse to arms; and when success- 
ful in these, to then lay them down again in peaceful quiet; 
thus never to be elevated above measure by success in war, 
nor delighted with the sweets 6f peace to suffer insults. For 
he who, apprehensive of losing the delight, sits indolently at 
ease, will soon be deprived of the enjoyment of that delight 
which interesteth his fears; and he whose passions are in- 
flamed by military success, elevated too high by a treacher- 
ous confidence, hears no longer the dictates of judgment. 

"Many are the schejnes, though unadvisedly planned, 
through the more unreasonable conduct of an enemy, which 
tiirn out successful ; but more numerous are those which, 
though seemingly founded on mature counsel, draw after 
them a disgraceful and opposite result. This proceeds ^rom 
that great inequality of spirit with which an exploit is pro- 
jected, arid with which it is put into actual execution. For 
in council we resolve, surrounded with security; in exe:u- 
tion we faint, through the prevalence of fear. Listen to 
the voice of pruden^i, oh, my countrymen, ere you rashly 
act. But do as you may, knoiv this truth, enough for you to 
know, I shall join our friends, the Americans, in this war." 

The observant eye of Tecumseh saw, ere Apushamata- 
hah had closed, that the tide was turning against him ; and, 
maddened at the unexpected eloquence, the bold and irre- 


sistible arguments of the Choctaw orator, the moment 
Apusharaatahah had taken his seat he spring to the center 
of the cirtle and, as a last effort to sustain his waning cause, 
cried out in a loud, bold and defiant tone of voice, "All who 
will follow me in this war throw your tomahawks into the 
air above your heads." Instantly the air for many feet above 
was filled with the clashing of ascending, revolving and de- 
scending tomahawks, then all was hushed. Tecumseh 
then turned his piercing eyes upon Apushamtahah with a 
haughty air of triumph, and agaih took.his seat.' AH eyes 
were instantly turned to where the fearless hero sat. At 
once the mighty Choctaw, nothing daunted, sprang to his 
feet, gave the Choctaw hoyopatassuha (war-whoop), then, 
with the nimble bound of an antelope, leaped into th.e, circle, 
and hurling his tomahawk into the air, shouted-in a loud and 
defiant tone, "All who will follow me to victory and glory in 
this war let me also see your tomahawks in the air." 

Again the air seemed filled* with tomahawks. Again 
sifence prevailed. The test has been made, and what is the 
issue? The two forest orators have just counterpoised each 
others' arguments, making an equal division in opinion 
among the vast assembly of warriors, which caused a strange 
alternative of hope in the one, arid of apprehension in the 
other, of the now newly formed and opposing parties. Truly, 
that -midnight council presented as wild and romantic a 
scene S,s can pOssibly be imagined, but which neither words 
nor pencil can justly express or paint; the wild glare of the 
burning log-heap alternately presenting in different shades 
the imm.ediate surroundings in all -their picturesque and 
romantic appearance; the voice of nature's unlettered and 
untutored orators alone disturbing the stillness of the night; 
friends and countrymen besieged by conflicting emotions 
expressed alone by the face. What a medley was there and 
then presented! some incredulous, some convinced; some 
hopeful, some despairing; bHt all breasts heaving with the 
wildest, conflicting emotions. But I leave the reader to turn 
his thoughts upon it, and view it through the whole of its 
pi'oceedings by the power of his imagination, which he can 
only do. ' 

What now was to be done in this dilemma of a diibious 
issue? If half followed the suggestions of Tecumseh, and 
took sides with the English, and the other, those of Apush- 
amatahah declaring for the Americans, it would virtually be 
civil war, and that should not — must not. be. To settle the 
questidn, after many conflicting suggestions had been pro* 
posed and rejected' by first one and then the Other of the two 
opposing parties, it was finally resolved to refer the matter 


to an aged Choctaw seer, living' some distance away, and 
abide by his decision. The council adjourned to await his 
coming. A proper deputation was immediately sent to 
request his presence without delay, which returned in the 
evening of the second day accompanied by the old and vener- 
able Choctaw hopaii (seer) whose white locks and wrinkled 
face proclaimed life's journey had passed' many years beyond 
man's alloted period of three score and ten. As the twilight 
of the declining day approached, the council fire was replen- 
ished, and when night again had thrown o'er all her sable 
mantle, the council once more convened. 

Again Tecumseh made the opening speech, rehearsing 
his designs and plans before the attentive seer and warrior 
host in strains of the most fascinating eloquence. Again 
followed Apushamatahah, who fell not behind his worthy 
competitor in native eloquence and logical argument. No 
other spoke, for both partie^ had mutually left the mooted 
question in the hands of the two great chiefs, statesmen and 
orators. When the two distinguished disputants had been 
respectively heard by the aged seer, he arose and slowly 
walked to the centre of the circle, gazed a moment over the 
silent but solicitous throng, and then said: "Assemble here 
to-morrow when the sun shall be yonder— rpointing to the 
zenith — build a scaffold there — pointing to the spot — as.high 
as my head; fill up the intervening space beneath with dry 
wood; bring also a red heifer two years old free of all disease, 
and tie her near the scaffold; and to-morrow the Great Spirit 
will decide for you this great question." 

On the next day the appointed hour found the multitude 
assembled; the altar erected; the wood prepared, and the 
sacrificial offering in waiting. The seer then ordered the 
heifer to be slain; the skin removed; the entrails taken out 
and placed some distance away; the carcase cut up into 
small pieces and laid upon the scaffold; he then applied a 
brand of fire to the dry wood under the scaffold; then com- 
manded the vast multitudes,! all, everyone, to stretch them- 
selves upon the ground, faces to the earth, and thus tore- 
main in profound silence until he ordered them to rise, which 
command was instantly obeyed; then seizing the bloody skin 
he stretched it upon the ground, hair downward, and 
quickly rolled himself up in it, and commenced a series of 
prayers and doleful lamentations, at the same time rolling 
himself backward and forward before the consuming sacri- 
fice uttering his prayers and lamentations intermingled with 
dissonant groans fearful to be heard; and thus he continued 
until the altar and the flesh thereon were entirely consumed. 
Then'frecing himself from the skin, he sprang to his feut 


and said: "(Ssh (the) Ho-che-to (Great) Sliilup (Spirit) a- 
num-pul-ih (hag^poken). Wak-a-yah (rise) ah-ma (p.nd) Een 
(His) a-num-pa (message) hak-loh (hear). All leaped to their 
feet, and gathered in close circles around their venerated 
seer, who, pointing to the sky, exclaimed: "The Great 
Spirit tells me to warn you against the dark and evil designs 
of Tecumseh, and not to be deceived by his words; that his 
schemes are unwise; and if entered into by you, will bring 
you into trouble; that the Americans are our friends, and 
you must not take up the tomahawk against them; if you do, 
you will bring sorrow and desolation upon yourselves and 
nations. Choctaw and Chickasaws, obey the words of 
the Great Spirit." Enough I As oil upon the storm' agi- 
tated waters of the sea, so fell. the mandates of the Great 
Spirit upon thfe war agitated hearts of those forest warriors, 
and all was hushed to quiet; reason assumed again her sway; 
peace rejoiced triumphant, as all in harmony sought their 
forest homes; and thus the far scattered white settlers, in 
Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Flbrida, and the western 
portion of Tennessee, escaped inevitable destruction; for, 
had Tecumseh been successful in uniting those five then 
powerful and warlike tribes into the adoption of his schemes 
scarcely a white person would, have been left in 
all their broad teri'itories to „tell the tale of 
their complete exterpiination; since the wily Shawnee 
had laid off for each tribe its particular field of 
operation, before he had left his northern home to entice 
them into daring schemes. The whites werie then but few, 
scattered here and there, and at great distances apart, and 
could not have competed even with the Choctaws alone, as 
they, at that time, numbered between thirty and forty thou- . 
sand warriors, and, besides, the blow would have fallen upon 
them when least, expected and most unprepared. 

But the long cherished hopes of Tecumseh were blas- 
ted, and Apushamatahah erected his trophies upon his de- 
feat. Though greatly disappointed, yet not disheartened, 
Tecumseh at once set his footsteps toward' the Muscogee 
Nation, now the State of Gepi-gia. 

Apushamatahah, who then lived near St. Stephens, now 
in Washington county, Alabama^ turned his steps directly 
for that little town. Rumor of Tecumseh's presence among 
the Choctaws and Chickasaws, and the cpuncil on the Tana- 
poh Ikbih river, had preceded hira ; and when he arrived at 
the little place he found it in a blaze of excitement, for a 
thousand exaggerated reports had but added to the conjec- 
ture as to the convening of the two tribes in common coun- 
cil, with the noted Shawnee Chief. But their fears were 


^vTiolly allayed when the noble Apushainatahah, whose vera- 
city none questioned, rode into the little town, and gave a 
short sketch e/t the proceedings at t;he council, and also 
proffered the services of himself and warriors to the Ameri- 
cans, which. were cordially accepteJd Ipy George S. Gaines, then 
United States agent to the Choctaws, and who, in company 
"with the noble chief, immediately hastened to Mobile, to in- 
form General Flournoy of Apushamatahahls proposition. 
To the astonishment of all, General Flournoy refused to ac- 
■cept the offer of the great Choctaw chief and warriors; while 
from every mouth loud curses and bitter denunciations were 
heard against his considered folly an4 seeming madness. 
With heavy heart and unpleasant forebodings Gaines return- 
iSd to St. Stephens with Apushamatahah, whose grave silence 
iut too plainly told the wound inflicted. 

iFortunately, however, Flournoy reconsiflered his re- 
fusal, and at once sent word to Gaines not only to accept the 
proposal of Apushamatahah in the name of the United States, 
but also to go immediately into the Choctaw Nation and se- 
cufe the Choctaws as allies in the approaching war. There 
had been grgat apprehension lest the Choctaws would "Unite 
"With the Muscogees and other disaffected tribes, as allies to 
the English; which they would, perhaps, have done, had 
yiournoy's rejection of Apushamatahah 's proposal been 
"given previous to the council held but a few days before. 
Apushamatahah, without delay, returned to his people then 
in the northern district of his Nation — contiguous to the 
Chickasaw Nation, and there assembled his warriors in coun- 
£ril; while Gaines hastened to Colonel John Pltchlynn's house, 
ne«.r where the council with Tecumseh had but shortly 
adjfttiii'Jied, and where he was fortunate enough to meet 
ColoneJlMcKee, United States Agent to the Chickasaws. At 
that time, ;lbe Choctaw Nation was divided into three dis- 
tricts, o.fvWhich Apushamatahah was the ruling chief of the 
;eastern, ApSkfa)hlicbihubih, of the northern, and Amosho- 
lihubih of the southern. Gaines at once left Colonel Pitch- 
Jynn'B and hastened to the Choctaw council, where he found 
Apushamatahah and several thousand of his warriors already 
q^sembled; to whom Apushamatahah made a long and elo- 
iquent speech denouncing the ambitious views of Tecumseh, 
and extolling the friendship of the American people; then 
offered to lead all wjio would follow him, to victory and glory 
against the enemies of the Americans. As soon as he had 
concluded his speech, a warrior sprang from his seat on the 
ground, and striking his breast repeatedly with the palm of 
Ms right hand, shouted: "Choctaw siah! Tushka chitoh 
siah aicnal I'immi miko uno i.iUiy;ih. (A Choctaw I am. L 


am also a. great warrior, I will follow our chief) . To which 
taction and sentiment the whole council at once responded 
In the mean time, McKee hastened with Colonel John Pitch- 
lynn to the Chickasaw Nation, and by mutual efforts suc- 
ceeded in assembling- them in council, and successfully 
secured them also as the allies to the Americans. Thus, by 
the firmness, influence and eloquence of the great and good 
Apushamatahah, Tecumseh's plans were thwarted, and those 
two then powerful tribes, the Choctaws and Chickasaws, 
secured as allies to the Americans, in the war with England 
in 1812, and also in that known as "The Creek war." 

In the council convened, in which the Choctaws declared 
in favor of the Americans against the English and the Mus- 
•cogees, Apushamatahah publicly announced that, every 
Choctaw warrior who joined the Muscogees, should be shot, 
.if ever, they returned home. Still, there were thirty young 
warriors under the leadership of a sub-chief named Illi 
Shuah (Dead Stink), virho joined the Muscogees. It was said, 
five or six lived to return home after the defeat of the Mus- 
cogees, all of whom Apushamatahah caused to be shot. But 
an aged Choctaw (long since deceased) whom I interviewed 
concerning the subject, stated that all the thirty warriors, 
who joined the Muskogees under Illi Shuah, were slain in 
battle to a nian; ibut Illi Shuah escaped and finally returned 
home, but he did not remember whether Apushamatahah 
had him shot or not. In the "Creek war," Apushan^atahah, 
assisted General Jackson with seven hundred warrior^; and 
in the "Battle of Orleans," with five hundred. In both of 
which they proved themselves to be worthy allies in bravery 
■and in the use of the deadly rifle. 

The noble . Apushamatahah descended not through a 
successive line of chiefs, but was of common parentage. Yet 
of whom it may be truly said: He was one of nature's nobil- 
ity, and born to command^a man who raised himself from 
the obscurity of the wilderness unlettered and untaught; 
but by his superior native talents, undaunted bravery, noble 
generosity, unimpeachable integrity, uiiassumed hospitality 
to the known and unknown, won the admiration, respect, 
confidence and love of his people; and also, of all the whites — • 
high or low, rich or poor — who were personally acquainted 
with him. He was truly and justly the pride of the Choctaw 
people when living, and their veneration today though long 
dead. He acknowledged no paternity. Yet, his own state- 
ment in regard to his genaeolo'gy, as related to me by the 
aged Choctaws of the past, and is still mentioned by their 
■descendants at the present dajj, with great pride, as charac- 



teristic of the manly independence of their honored chief- 
tain, is worthy of record. It is in substance as follows: 

On one occasion a deputation was sent by the Choctaws 
to Washington City to present the respects of their nation to 
the President of the United States who, at that time, was 
Andrew Jackson, and to assure him of their abiding' friend- 
ship toward him as the "Great Chief" of the American peo- 
ple, and to also confer with him relative" to the future inter- 
ests and welfare of their nation. The renowned Apushama- 
tah^h was one of the deputation. A few days after their 
arrival in the city a reception was given to them, at which 
many of the cabinet and representative officers were pres- 
ent. Among the many and various questions that were 
asked of the different members of the delegation was the 
'question, How they became so distinguished among their 
people ? To which various answers were given, each telling 
his own story of the exploits which brought him out of ob- 
scurity^ and placed his name in the temple of human fame. 
Apushamatahah, up to this time, had said nothing. At length 
President Jackson requested the interpreter to ask him how 
he became such a great warrior and renowned chief. To 
which Apushamatahah coolly and with unassumed indiffer- 
ence replied: "Tell the white chief it's none of his busi- 
ness." This unexpected retort attracted the attention of 
all present, and all eyes were at once turned upon the bold 
chief. Jackson, amused at the reply, and pleased at the 
manly independence of the noble chief, requested the inter- 
preter to propound the same question again ; which was 
done, but to which Apushamatahah seemed to give no heed. 
The curiosity of all being greatly excited, the question was 
asked still again. To which Apushamatahah then replied : 
"Well, if the white chief must know, tell him that Apusha- 
matahahubih has neither father nor motlier, nor kinsman 
upon the earth. Tell him that once upon a time, far away 
from here in the great forests of the Choctaw Nation, a dark 
cloud arose from the western horizon, and with astonishing-' 
velocity, traveled up the arched expanse ; across its dark 
face the bright lightning played in incessant flashes, Avhile 
the rolling thunder reverberated in muffled tones from hill 
to hill amid the vast solitudes of the surrounding forests. 
Swiftly and majestically it climbed the western sky, 
while the lightning flashed, followed by the thunder's roar in 
successive i)eal iifter peal. In silence profound, all animate 
nature stood apart ; soon the fearful cloud reached the zen- 
ith, then as quickly spread its dark mantle o'er the sky en- 
tire, shutting out the light of the sun, and wrapi)ing o;irth in 
midnight gloom, lighted only in lucid intervals by the li-lit- 


ning's fitful glare, fbllowcd by peals of thunder in deafening 
roar. Then burst the cloud and rose the wind; and while * 
falling rains and howling winds, lightnings gleam and thun- 
ders roar, in wild confusion blended, a blinding fla^h blazed 
athwart the sky as if, to view the scene, , then hurled its 
strength against a mighty oak — an ancient monarch of the 
woods that for ages had defied the Storm with his boasted 
power — and cleft it in ecfual twain from utmost top to lowest 
bottom; when, lol from its riven trunk leaped' a mighty 
man; in statm-e, perfect; in wisdom, profound; in bravery, 
unequalled — a full-fledged warrior. "TwasApushamatahah- 
ubih." M '^^ ' - 

In November ■ 1812, Apushamatahah visited General 
Claiborne. When he approached the General's tent, he was 
received by thelieutenanton guard, who invited him to drink, 
that "civilized" method of the whites to prove' the sincere 
emotions of the heart in regard to friendship. Apushama- 
tahah answered only with ailook of contempt. He t-ecognized 
no equal with one epaulette., 'When Gen Claiborne walked 
in, the Choctaw Chieftan shooli him by the hand and proudly 
said, as to one equal, "Chief,, ' I vvill drink with you.*' He 
was six feet two inches in height, of powerful frame and 
Herculean strength, and with features after the finest models 
of the antique, composed, dignified, and seductive in'his de- 
portment,- and was the most remarkable man the Choctaws 
ever produced since the days of ChahtSih, the Great Miko of 
their traditional past. He was Sometimes called Koi Hosh, 
(The Panther); and sometimes,' Ossi Hosh; sometimes Oki 
Chilohonfah (Falling Water); The tWo first alluding to his 
quick movements and daring exploits in vvar, and the latter, 
to the sonorous and musical intonations o| his voice. 

Sam Dale, the renowned scout of General Andrew Jack- 
son in the "Creek war" of 1812, and as, famous in his day, 
as Kit Carson in the narrative of Gen. Fremont in his ex- 
ploring expeclition over the Rocky Mountains, stated that he 
had heard Tecumseh and the Prophet of the , Shawnees; 
Bill Weatherford of the Muscogees; Big Warrior of the 
Cherokees, and Apokfohlichubih of the Choctaws, besides 
the most distinguished American orators in congress, but 
never one who had such music in his tones, such energy in 
his manner, and such power over his audience as Apushama- 
tahah, the Choctaw chief, patriot and warrior. 

Many characteristic anecdotes are related of him, and 
of which I will mention a few: ' A feud once existed fetWeen 
him and another Choctaw chief of the Yazoo district, and it 
was generally believed that when they met their tomahawks 
-would settle the difference betweeri them. One day his rival 


was seen approaching in company with a large party of war- 
riors; and on a nearer approach, manifested great agitation 
irresolutely grasping his tomahawk. Apushamatahah, as 
soon as he discovered him shoutedhis challenging warwhoop, 
rushed toward him with his long hunting knife m his hand, 
then suddenly stopped, and with a smile of the utmost con- 
tempt, cried out "Hushi osh chishikta! Katihma ish wun- 
nichih! Hosh mahli Keyumahlih. Ea, ho bak! Ea! 
(Leaf of the red-oak! Why. do you tremble? The wind 
blows not. Go, coward! Go!) The woV'd hobak is consid- 
ered by the Choctaws, as a word of the greatest reproach 
and most unpardonable offense that cduW possibly be ap- 
plied to a man, its true signification being an eunuch, 

Apushamatahah was very sensitive at the appearance of 
anything that even bore the appearance of oppression. A 
few soldiers, at that day, were stationed at the agency among- 
the Choctaws, as they are and always have been among all 
Indians, as a bright (?)manifestationof the great confidence(?} 
the whites cherished in the integritpr and friendship of all 
Indians; and one of the soldiers being addicted to drunk- 
enness, and at one time having become boisterously drunk, 
he was tied to a tree, for the want of that necessary ap- 
pendage to an Indian Agency, as well as to all towns among 
the whites, a jail or guard house,' until he became sober. 
Apushamatahah happening to pass by and seeing the 
soldier tied asked him of what he was guilty, that he should 
be placed in so humiliating a condition; being told the cause, 
he at once released th6 unfortunate man, exclaiming, "Is 
that all? many good warriors get drunk." 

Apushamatahah, in unison with the ancient custom of 
the Choctaws, had twO' wives. Being -asked if he did not 
consider it wrong for a man to have more than one living- 
wife, he replied: "Certainly not. Should not every woman 
be allowed the privilege of having a husband, as well as a man 
a wife? and how can everyone have a husband when there are 
more women than men? Our Great Father had the Choc- 
taws counted last year, and' it was ascertaifted that there 
were more women than men, and if a man was allowed but 
one wife many of our women would hav^ no husbands. 
Surely, the women should have equal chances with the men 
in that particular." 

During the Creek war of 1814, in which Apushamatahah 
was engaged with eight hundred of his warriors as allies of 
the United States, as before stated, ia small company, of 
Choctaw women, among whom was the wife of Apushamata- 
hah, visited -their husbands and friends then in the Ameri- 
can army in the Creek Nation. A white soldier, grosslj'- 


insulted the wife of the distinguished Choctaw chief, for 
which the justly indignant chief knocked him down with the 
hilt of his sword, instead of plunging it through his body, as 
he should have done. Being arrested for the just and: meri- 
torious act, and asked by the commanding general the rea- 
sons for his act, he fearlessly answered: "He iiisulted my 
wife, and I knocked the insolent dog down; but had you,. 
General, have insulted her as that common soldier did, I 
would have used the point upon you instead of the hilt, in 
relenting an insult offered to my wife." And he. would have; 
been as good as his word; for a Choctaw then, as now, is not 
slow in resenting any insult offered to the female portion of 
his family, and his work is quick and sure; and had not the 
noble Apushamatahah regarded the soldier who insulted his- 
wife, as too contemptible a creature for the point of his. 
sword, he would have plunged" it through his body without a. 
moment's hesitation; and that he only knocked him down, 
with the hilt, is sufficient evidence that he did! not regard! 
him worthy its point. 
1 Apushamatahah was exceedingly fond of engaging in: 

I that ancient and time-honored amusement, tbe famous To- 
lih ("ball play) ; and in which the Chdctaws,, as well as the 
southern portion of their race, took great delight— a gymna- 
sium indeed, where were exhibited and tried the various 
physical powers of man, unsurpassed on earth.; and in which 
even those of ancient Greece and Rome dwindle into insig- 
nificance. / ' 

While battling with his warriors for the interests of the- 
Americans under Andrew JacksonJ' in 1814, General Jacksom 
presented to Apushamatahah a complete military suit audi 
sword, as worn by the American generals ; which he wore- 
with manly and becoming dignity until the close of the war; 
which, after the close, he took off and hung up in his cabin^ 
and never afterwards put on the suit ; but donfled hip native 
garb and once more became the Apushamatahah of his peo- 
ple. Having become wearied, however, *'in looking upon the 
white man's insignia — that feeble representation of true 
greatness in the opinion of the Choctaw hero— he took the 
suit from its resting place, rolled it up and fastened it to' one 
end of a long rope, then attached the pther end to his belt;; 
and then, with quiver full of arrows hung over his left 
shoulder and bow in hand, marched through various parts of 
his village, dragging the insignificant badge of meritorious 
distinction on the ground behind him ;. at each house he apr- 
proached, he shot a chicken, if one was found ; took it up and 
. inserted its head under his belt ; then he continued his silent 
walk, and seeking another house, there shot another chicken,: 


also slipped its head under his belt : and thus he continued 
his march from house to house with a solemn and silent g"rav- 
ity, taxings each a chicken until he had shot as many as he 
could slip heads under the belt. The owners of the chickens 
said nothing-, knowing that some fun was ahead. He then 
walkgd to an untaxed house with his load of chickens dang- 
ling' from his belt, had them nicely dressed and cuoked, then 
invited all from whom he had taken a chicken' to come and 
partake of th(2 feast he had thus unceremoniously prepared 
for them. They went and had a jolly time, Apushamatahah 
fig^uring- as the gayest among the ga.y. Pie left his suit lying 
upon the ground before the door of the house at which he 
deposited the chickens, a frail memento of human greatness 
with its hopes departed. v 

In 1823, Apushamatahah, then about sixty years of age, 
walked about 80 miles from his home (being too poor to own a 
horse, and too proud to borrow one) to attend a council of his 
Nation. Mr. John Pitchlynn, then United 8tates interpreter 
to the Choctaws, and Mr. Ward, United States agent, (with 
both of whom I was in boyhood personally acquainted), were 
present at'the council. At the adjournment of the council, 
Mr. Ward suggested to Mr. Pitchlynn that they purchase a 
horse for the old chief. Mr. Pitchlynn readily acquiesced 
in the proposition, but with the proviso that Apushamatahah 
must pledge his word that he would not sell the horse for 
whiskey. Apushamatahah cheerfully gave the pledge, re- 
ceived the horse and departed for his distant home highly 
elated with his unexpected good fortune. A few months 
after he visited the agency, and Ward discovered that he 
was again minus a horse, and learned, upon inquiry that he 
had lost the presented horse in betting him on a ball-play. 
Ward at once accused him of violating his pledged word; 
which Apushamatahah as firmly denied. "But you promised," 
continued Ward, "that you would ' not sell the horse." 
"True I did;" retorted the venerable old chief. "But I did 
not promise you and my good friend, John Pitchlynn, that I 
vvould not bet him in a game of ball. Ward conceded the 
victory to Apushamatahah, and chided him no more. 

In 1824, this groat and good man visited Washington 
City m c<)mpany with other Choctaw chiefs, as delegates of 
their Nation to the United States govei-nment; at which time 
he made the following remarks to th£ Secretary of War, 
wh^ich were written down as he spoke them. 

"Father, I have'been here many davs, but have not 
talked, have been sick. I belong to another district, differ- 
ent from these my companions and countrymen. You have 
no doubt heard of me, I am Apushamafahahubih. When in 


•my own country, I often looked towards this Council House, 
and desired to see it, I have come, but I am in trouble, and 
would tell my sorrows; for I feel as a little child reclining 
in the bend of its father's arms, and looks up into his face 
in childish confidence ito tell him of its troubles; and I would 
now recline in the ben'd of your arm, and trustingly look in 
j-our face, therefore hear my words. ' .( 

"When at my distant home in my own nSitive land, I 
heard that men had been appointed to talk to us; I refrained 
from speaking there, as I preferred to come here and speak; 
therefore I am here to-day. I can boastingly say, and in so 
doing speak the truth, that none of my ancestors, nor my 
present Nation, ever fought against the United States. As 
a Nation of people, we have always been friendly, and ever 
listened to the applications of the American People. We 
have given of our country to them until it has become very 
small. I came here yearte ago when a young mail to see my 
Father Jefferson. He then told mp if ever we got into 
trouble we must come and tell him, and he would help us. 
We are in trouble, and have come; but I will now let another 
talk." ■ 

The above was but a preliminary to a speech he intended 
±0 make, and which, had he lived to have delivered, ' would 
have proved to his hearers in Washington his great nativ4 
■eloquence, which had been so long and much eulogized by 
the whites who had often heard him around the council fires 
of his Nation. ' 

In conversation with the noble General Lafayette during 
the same visit to Washington City Apushamatahah closed 
with the following : "Thisiis the first time I have seen you, 
and I feel it will be the last. The earth will separate us for- 
■ever^— farewell 1" How prophetic 1 He died but a few days . 
after. When stretched upon his bed of death, fully con- 
scious of his near approaching end, he calmly turned his 
eyes upon the faces of the Choctaw; delegates standing 
around him, and said : "I am' dying, and wifl never return 
again to our native and loved land. But you will go back to 
our distant hbmes ; and as ypu journey you v?ill see the wild 
flowers of the forests and hear the song-s 6f the happy birds 
of the woods, but Apushamatahahubih will see and hear 
them no more. ' ' 

•'When you return home you will be asked, 'Apushama- , 
tahah kaltimmaho?' (where is Apushamatahah?), and you 
will answer, 'lUitok' (dead to be). Atld it will fall upon their 
ears as the sound of a mighty oak falling in the solitude of 
the woo'ds." His dying words were — "Illi siah makinli sa 
paknaka tanapoh chitoh tokalichih" (As soon as, I am dead 


shoot off Hhe big guns above). The request of the dying" 
hero was strictly complied with. The minute-guns were 
fired on Capitol Hill as the solemn an^ imposing procession 
of half a mile in. length marched to the cemetery — that silent 
and melancholy habitation of the dead — and there the great 
Choctaw Chief and warrior found a grave where all distinc- 
tions cease and where neither flatteries, nor censures, nor 
proffered wealth, nor honors, could seduce his incorruptible 

His . surrounding brother chiefs erected, a monument 
over the. grave of their distinguished chieftain, with the fol- 
lowing meritorious epitaph, — "Apushamatahah, a Choctaw 
Chief; lies here. • This monument to his memory is erected 
by his brother chiefs who were associated with him in a dele- 
gation from their nation, in the year 1824, to the government 
of the United States. 'Apushamatahah was a warrior of 
great distinction. He was wise in council, eloquent to an 
extraordinary degree ; and on all occasi6ns, and under all cir- 
cumstances, the white man's friend. He died in Washing- 
ton on the 24th of December, 1824, of the croup, in the 60th 
year of his age." 

Apushamatahah had only one son, who was named John-y 
son. He moved with his people to their present homes, 
and served them in ;the capacity of -Prosecuting Attorney 
for many years, in Apushamatahah District. He lived to 
prove himself worthy of his distinguished father, and in 
many respects was a true scion of the parent trunk. 

Truly, if the adventures through which Apushamatahah 
passed had been preserved, they would have furnished alone 
abundant material for all the writers of romance in the 
United States, for years. 

It is conceded by all who knew him, that he was the 
most renowned warrior and influential chief of the Choctaw 
Nation, since their acquaintance with the whites. He was a 
man who never surrendered nor disguised hisopinionsand con- 
victions upon any subject whatever. His recoil from all that 
which was mean, selfish, false, and unjust resembled the im- 
pulse with which the strongly bent bow recoils from the 
curve to which the strong arm of the experienced archer has 
forced it. 

Nor did Tecumseh, whom I would not pass unheeded by, 
fall below Apushamatahah; and he too may deservedly have 
a place among the greatest of the North American Indian 
chiefs;and truthfully may it be said of him, his arm pervaded, 
his vigilance detected, his spirit animated, and his generosity 
won, in all directions, and he ever maintained the. standing- 
he acquired among all his race everywhere. 


That Tecumseh was a man of tender feelings and noble 
principles is sufficiently attested in his actions at Fort 
Miami. -^ When the white prisoners, taken at Fort Meigs in^ 
1813, were confined in Fort Miami by General Proctor, some 
of them were being' slain by the Indians in, ihe presence of 
Proctor, and his officers, when suddenly a thrilling voice in 
the Shawnee language was heard, and soon Tecumseji was- 
seen approaching on his horse at full speed, and spring- 
ing to the ground where two Indians were in the act of kill- 
ing an American prisoner, he hurlAd them both to the ground,, 
then brandishing his tomahawk he threatened death to the 
Indian that dared to kill another prisoner.^ "AH knew toa 
well that the fearless chieftain threatened not >m vain, arid 
the killing instantly ceased. Then he called out in the loud- 
est tone of voice, "Where is Proctor?" but at the same in- 
stant, seeing him standing a few rods distant, he sternly 
demanded of him why, he permitted the mi/rdering of the 
American prisoners? To which Proctor replied: "I cannot 
govern your warriors." Upon which Tecumseh fixed his 
keen and penetrating eyes upon him a moment, and then, 
with the utniost contempt, cried" put, ' "Begone! you are not 
fit to command; go put on a petticoat," an epithet, denot- 
ing the Indian's supreme disgust and highest contempt. 

To Tecumseh the idea of selling land was an absurdity. 
On one occasion, he cried out in unfeigned astonishment: 
"What 1 sell land ! As well sell air and water. The Great 
Spii-it gave them in common to all— ^the air to breathe, the 
water to drink, and the land to live upon — you may as well 
sell air and water as sell land;" and in the same light did all 
the North Ameritan Indians view it, and hence their opposi- 
tion to land severalty which they cannot understand nor 
comprehend. [ 

Tecumseh, signifying Flying Arrow', (it is said) belonged 
to the clan called Panther of the Kickapoo tribe. His mother 
was a Muscogee and his father a Shawnee, though born 
among the Muscogees in the feouth, and af erwards moved to 
Ohio among his own tribe and settled upon the banks of the 
Sciota river, but while upon the journey Tecumseh was 

The Kickapoos of the present day are supt)Osed to be a 
branch of the Shawnee tribe proper, as the traditions of 
both give nearly the same accounts of their union and separa- 
tion, besides their language is said to identically the same.- 

The Shawnee traditions declare their ancestors formerly 
dwelt in <t foreign land, but the reason for the abandonment 
of their ancient sites is not stated. 

But when the day appointed for their exodus rolled 


around, they were informed by the Great Spirit through their 
prophets, to march in a body to the shore of a sea, and then 
select a leader from the multitude, who would be clothed by the 
Great Spirit with that supernatural power that the waters of 
the sea, as soon a:s he touched them, would seperate and he 
would conduct them on dry land safely across to another 
country, Havingf reached the sea, a selection was made but 
-the incredulity of the chosen caused him to refuse the 
honor as well as the responsibility; many h;iving been chosen 
with like results, it began to awaken "no little trepidation, 
when one, who was selected from a clan called The Turtle 
Clan, accepted the position, and confidence wis again restored. 
All things being duly prepared to resume their journey, still 
to many of uncertain issue, their chosen leader boldly placed 
himself at the head of the host, and fearlessly stepped into 
the sea, upon which the waters at once divided to the right 
and to the left, and they safely walked across on the bottom 
and thus came to this country; reminding one of the account 
given by Holy Writ of Moses and the Jewish host encounter- 
ing the waters of the Red Sea. To what else can the Shaw- 
nee tradition point, but the crossing of the Red Sea by the 
Israelites in their exodus from Egypt and their flight before 
Pharaoh and his pursuing army? 

The Shawnees had another tradition whose shades of 
tcoloring seem greatly Jewish. It is, that the Shawnees were 
originally divided into twelve tribes^ each one having., a 
■distinct and separate name ; and each of which was aftep 
wards sub-divided into clans, called The Eagle, The Pah- 
Iher, The Turtle, etc., the animals whose names they bore 
constituting their coat-of-arms, or totem. ^Their traditions 
also affirm two of the original tribes became extinct, as also 
were their names; while the other ten are still extant, though 
but four are wholly distinct^ and are called The M^-kas-tra- 
ke, The Pick-a-way, The Kick-a-poo, and the Ch'il-i-coth-e 
Clans; the other six, according to their tradition, having been 
incorporated with the four. It has been stated by the early 
missionaries to them, that to a late date their counLil houses 
were separated into four divisions, each one of which was 
assigned to the occupancy of each one of the tribes separate 
and apart from each other, and was invariably so occupied. 
And that it was impossible for the whites to discriminate in 
the least whatever, yet the Indians themselves could tell, to 
which clan any one belonged as soon as they saw him. 

Truly, what an interesting and instructive volume 
-would the early history of the North Atnerican Indians have 
.been, with all the various traditions of their migrations, 
vicissitudes and changes, had they been preserved. 


It long has been believed that Col. Richard M. Johnson 
killed Tecumseh at the battle of the'^hames, and the follow- 
ing from the pen of Benjamin B. Griswold strengthens, if 
not wholly confirms it. "I had an interview with Noon-day, 
chief of the Ottawa tribe, about the year 1838. ' This ghief 
was six feet high, broad shouldered, well pr6portioriedfwith 
broad high cheek bones, pibrcing black eyes, and lohg black 
hair which hung down upon his shoulders, and he possessed 
wonderful muscular power. He was converted to the 
Christian religion by the preaching of a Baptist missionary 
named Slater, whose mission was located about three miles 
north of Gull Prairie,' in the county of Kalamangoo, Michi- 
gan. Just over the county line and in the edge of Barry 
county, this chief and iabout one hundred and fifty of his 
tribe were located and ' instructed in farming.'' A church 
was erected which answered for p. school hoflse, and here, 
residing near them, I attended their church and listened to 
the teachings of Mr. Slater in the Indian dialect, and to the 
prayers of this old chief. To get a history of any Indian 
who fought on the 'side of the British has ever been a dif- 
ficult task; but through the Rev. Mr. Slater I succeeded, to a 
limited extent, in getting a sketch from this old chief of the 
battleof the Thames, in which he was engaged; After rehears- 
ing the speech which Tesu'mseh madeto his warridrs previous 
to the engagement and how they all felt, that they fought to 
defend Tecumseh mqre than for the British, he was ksked, 
were you near Tecumseh when he fell? 'Yes; directly on 
his right.' Who killed him? 'Richard M. ,Johnson.' Give 
us the circumstances. /He was on a horse; and the horse 
fell over a log; and Tecumseh, with his tomahawk, rushed 
upon him to kill him, when he drew a pistol from his holster, 
shot him in the breast, and he f fell dead on his face. Iran 
to him and, with the assistance of Saginaw, carried him 
from the field. When he fell the Indians all stopped fight- 
ing and the battle ended. We laid him down upon a blanket 
in a wigwam, and we all wept, we lovfcd him so much. I took 
his hat and tomahawk.' Where, are they now? 'I have his 
tomahawk and Saginaw his hat.' Could I get them? 'No; 
Indian keep them.' How did you know it was Johnson who 
killed him? 'General Cass took me to see the Great Father, 
Van Buren, at Washington. I went to the great wigwam, 
and when I went in I saw the same man I see in Battle,' an 
Indian never forgets a man's face (once seenj. The same 
man I see kill Tecum^ee. Johnson replied that he never 
knew who it was, but a powerful Indian approached him and 
he shot him with his pistol. 'That was Tecumseh. I see 
you do it.' Noon-day finished his story of Tecumseh by 


telling of his noble traits, the tears meanwhile trickling' 
down his cheeks." There can be no doubt of Noon-day's 
unvarnished narative; and he who would doubt it, is well 
prepared to doubt any truth. 

It is a matter of regret that so little has been preserved 
of Ap,ushamatahah and Tecumseh, and so few circumstances 
have escaped oblivion, which would most clearly have eluci- 
dated their private characters. Both were men respected, 
honored, and loved^ by all who knew them. Tecumseh, by 
the Indians and English, and the Indians 
and Americans. Noble men ! (^Though history may not re- 
cord their names with earth's illustrious great as worthy 
remembrance in the years to come, yet they were, as well as 
thousands of their race, mortals of no common mould, and 
worthy a place 'mid names of high degree. 

But why-have not the services of Apushamatahah — that 
remarkable friend of the American people — been written ? 
Alas ! he was an Indian. ,. But I mistake ! They have been 
written ; and to-day, after the lapse of nearly three quarters 
of a century, the aged Choctaws speak his name with loving 
reverence, while the young listen with wondrous delight to 
the thrilling stories of his life in manj' an humble home in 
their territory. 

The death of Apushamatahah shrouded the countenances 
of the bereaved chiefs at Washington in the deepest unaffec- 
ted gloom during their remaining short stay in the city, tell- 
ing a tale of sorrow that nothing but a full realization of 
their loss could create. One, however, a young warrior of 
noble mien, whose power of self-command was not equal to 
,his seniors in age and experience, betrayed emotions that 
told of a heart overwhelmed with the keenest and deepest 
anguish, though manifested by no outward expression of 
feeling. To oifered words of consolation by some of the 
whites, he replied : "I'm sorry" ; and being questioned why 
he should be moi-e deeply grieved than the others, answered: 
"I'm sorry if was not I who had died" ; signifying that his 
country would have sustained but little loss In his death, in 
comparison with the loss sustained by the death of Apusha- 
matahah, and thus expressed it — "I'm sorry it was not I." 
But the recorders of the incident have greatly misrepresen- 
ted that young Cho:;taw by stating that the firing of the 
minute-guns and the pageantry displayed at the burial of 
Apushamatahah alone pi;oduced the deep sorrow manifested, 
because he himself was not the subject of the honors con- 
ferred. That young a.nd sorrowing Choctaw youth was Ni- 
takachieubih (Give us the day to kill), the nephew of A-push- 
a-ma-taha, and proved himself to be a worthy scion of the 


ancestral tree, as a statesman and counselor among- his peo- 
ple, sustaining his high honors with dignity through a long 
and useful life and dying as his noble uncle — ^lamented by 
his nation. 

In traveling through their present country, many of the 
aged Choctaws (old friends when living east of the Missis- 
sippi river) have expressed great indignation that Nitakachie 
was so unjustly misrepresented. Indian men die every day, 
Avhose lives are grander than those of the world's historic' 
Tbattle heroes ; yea, and women too, before whose pure devo- 
tion the heroism even 6f Joan of Arc would fade away ; yet 
the world knows nothing of them. / 

We, the Amel-ican people of to-day, still pky (and justly 
ioo) the highest honors to the name of General La Fafayette, 
who extended so generously a helping hand to our fathers in 
their darkest hour of need; remembering him with filial 
reverence and gratitude unalloyed,, but silently bury -in 
■oblivion the name Of Apushamatahah, as unworthy of eulogy 
or even a place in the annals of histoi*y; though he, at thi? 
head of his brave warriors, with purity of motives and with- 
out expectation of reward, also extended to them a helping" 
hand in a gloomy hour of their history, and saved the primi- 
tive white settlers of Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia — 
then few, far between, and feeble — from actual, extermina- 
tion. ^ r 

But had he lived, whose character and noble deeds form 
the subject under consideration, some centuries ago; had he 
saved a portion of the citizens of a Romaii or Grecian province 
from destruction, as he did' the American citizens of the 
above named States in 1811, Old Rome and Greece would 
have deemed no applause too loud, no honors to great, no 
laurals too exti^vagant, yea, would have embpdied him in 
columns of unfading marble; yet the name of the old hero of 
the past, though forgotten by the white beneficiaries of his 
friendship, still live written upon that imperishable monu- 
ment, the hearts of his people. 

In a letter to me, September 5th, 1891, Judge JuliusFol- 
-som, son of Rev. Israel Folsom, thus wrote: "'In the year 
1861, two Delegates of the Choctaw Nation, Peter P. Pitch- 
lynn and Israel Folsom, were in the city of Washington, D. 
C, attending to business in which our Nation was interested, 
but accomplished nothing, as the prospect of an approaching 
war between the North and South absorbed every other con- 
sideration. The two delegates, as soon as they learned that 
war had actually commenced between the North and South, 
\ hastened home that they might use their influence (which no 
two men exercised more over their Nation than they) in an 


effort to keep the Choctaw Nation upon neutral grounds 
But alas, they were too late! Already had the Confederate 
troops taken possession of our country, and they found 
everything in a state of wildest confusion. Up to this time, 
our protection was in the United States' troops stationed at 
Fort Washita, under the command of Colonel Emory. But 
he, as soon as the Confederate troops had entered our coun- 
try, at once abandoned us and the Fort; and, to make his 
flight more expeditious and his escape more sure, employed 
Black Beaver, a Shawnee Indian, under a promise to him of 
five thousand dollars, to pilot him and his troops out of the 
Indian country safely without a collision with the Texas 
Confederates; which Black Beaver accomplished. By this 
act the United States abandoned the Choctaws and Chicka- 

Our Indian Agent, Duglas H. Cooper, also betrayed the 
United States bv his acte, for he at once joined the rebellion, 
and urged the Indians of both the Choctaw and Chickasaw 
tribes to do the same, backing his arguments with the threat 
of confiscation of both land and stock if they refused. But 
under all this pressure, abandoned by the North, and threat- 
ened by the South, they stood upon neutral grounds until the 
middle of June, 1861! Then, there being no other alterna- 
tive by which to save their country and property, they, as 
the less of the two evils that confronted them, went with the 
Southern Confederacy.* Your friend, Julius Folsom." 

Contemporaneous with Apushamatahah was the Choctaw 
chief Apakfolichihubih who was of the Ilai-yipa-tuk-lo Clan 
(meaning Two Lakes.) He also was a Choctaw whose blood 
was uncontaminated with anything foreign, a man pf sterling 
merits, whose name is held in grateful and proud remem- 
brance by his people to this day, as a worthy and faithful 
chief in the national affairs of his common country and the 
interest of his people. He was also a quiet and unobtrusive 
man, but faithful in the discharge of his dutys as chief; and 
his seemingly premature death was 4 national loss to his 
people, and deeply deplored by them. He lost his life by 
accidentally stepping off a balcony at night, at a hotel in Mays- 
ville, Kentuckey, his neck beirtg dislocated by the fall, while 
going to Washington City as a deligate with Apushamatahah 
and others of his Nation. Little has been preserved of 
Apakfolichih's life but that he was an Honest man. Knough! 
Requiescat en pace. Amen! Amosholihubih (To destroy 
as by fire), was a noted chief of the Oklafalaiah Clan (Long 
People). It is said the name of this clan had its origin in 
a Choctaw family who, both parents and children, were un- 
commonly tall. Amosholihubih, than wliom a more far- 


sig^hted man, white or red,^ is seldom found, was a true 
patriot; he was calm and dignified in pouncil; possessing a 
black, keen penetrating eye, and a lowering yet meditative 
brow on which a thousand emotions of conflicting thoughts 
and designs seemed to have stamped a portion of their 
obscurity. Many years prior to the expulsion of his people 
from their ancient homes, his character was assailed by, the 
white intruders who strolled about over the country, and olf 
whom he had seen and learned enough to convince him, "as 
well as many others, of theirutter want of scarcely a redeem- 
ing trait of character; therefore, strenuously advocating 
measures for their explusion from the Choctelw country and 
prevention of their return, he was called Hattak-upi-humma 
okpuloh, (a Bad Red Man.) 

Amosholihubih through whose veins unadulterated Choc- 
taw blood alone coursed, and of which he was justly proud, 
moved with his people to their present homes, where he speilt 
the few remaining years of his life (for he was then an old 
man) in encouraging their desponding hearts to rise above 
misfortune and adversity. Though not a fluent speaker, yet 
he spoke with a dignified but gentle humility; he addr,pssed 
the reason and good sense of his hearers, and not their pas- 
si(^s and prejudices. His untutored delivery was indeed 
graceful; his argument connected '^and convincing, and his 
manners, calculated to attract audiences and hold attention. 
He lived several years beyond the allotted life of mail, reach- 
ing nearly four score years and ten. He died at home among 
bis friends and people, honored, respected and loved by his 
nation, though age seemed not to have diminished his mental 
faculties, and, but slightly impaired his physical powers; and 
to the last he. continued a grand old man, who, while he yvas 
as confiding as a child in those who had won his confidence, 
was full of fire and vigor when he was convinced that wrong 
had been done either to himself or his people. Always a 
hater of shams and deceits, liars and , def^itner^, and being 
never a dissembler nor a coward, liar 'or defamer himself, 
there was no room to doubt the side onl which he wolild be 
found in any cause where there was a questioja about its 
truth or its justice; and withal a kindlier, gentler spirit than 
Amosholihubih possessed was seldom foUndC'^'Ilhe, years of 
his aged wife, who survived her venerable husband many 
yeai's reached within a few years of a century. 

Apushamatahahubih, Apakfolichihubih and Amosholih- 
ubih were the head chiefs of the Choctaw Nation in 1814, 
the latter being the youngest;, but after the demise of the 
two former, Coleman Cole and Nittakachihubih, the nephew, 
of the renowned Apushamatahahubih were' chosen as their 


successors a few years previous to the treaty of 1830 at 
Bok Chuckfiluma Hehlah (dancing rabbit creek), Nittaka- 
chihubih succeeding his uncle and Coleman Cole, Apakfol- 

Subsequently Greenwood Le Flore superseded Coleman 
Cole as leading chief of the Apakfolichihubih District, and 
David Folsom superseded Amosholihubih District ; to the 
proceedings of the latter succession Amosholihubih taking 
exceptions, and being strenuously supported by Nittakachi- 
hubih, he openly disputed the claims of David Folsom to the 
chieftaincy over him ; while Coleman Cple, who was of Shuk- 
chih Humina descent, and proved himself an upright and 
honest man during his whole public, as well as private life, 
quietly returned to private life after he was superseded bj' 
Le Flore, moved west with his people and spent his remain- 
ing days in using his influence by precept and example, for 
their welfare and happiness, and died in the fall of 1884 at 
the honored age of four score and ten, at his home near 
Atoka, Indian Territory. But Amosholihubih, still chafing 
under his political defeat, and viewing the appointment of 
Colonel David Folsom as chief of the district over which he 
had 'so long ruled, as an unjust encroachment upon his 
rights, resolved to sustain his claims at ajll hazards. At this 
time there had just been paid to the Choctaws an annuity, 
which getting into the hands of Amosholihubih, sustained by 
a strong party of his adherents, and also by Nittakachih and 
his entire district, he refused to pay it, or any part of it, into 
the hands of Colonel Folsom, the proper person to hold it 
for distribution. This seemingly bold step at once threw 
the entire nation into a high state of excitement. A council 
w^s immediately called, to be represented by the two dis- 
tricts — the one over which Nittakachih presided and the one 
over which Colonel Folsom had just been appointed. The 
council at once convened and, as was expected, controversy 
ran high and the dispute waxed warmer and warmer, and 
the breach grew wider and wider, resulting in the adjourn- 
ment of the council sTme die, without any definite conclusion 
being attained ; and each party, with anything but amicable 
feelings the one toward the other, returned to their respec- 
tive homes— Colonel Folsom and his partisans to their 
homes in the northern part of the district, the others to 
theirs in the southern. 

Nittakachih was as true a specimen of the North Ameri- 
can Indian warrior as ever lived. True courage, thaH which 
no other quality commands so great admiration among men, 
seemed to have been written in i;very lineament of his face, 
and his unflinching eyes convincud at a glance that no earth- 


ly power could intimidate him. Thoug^h small in stature, 
yet nature had cast his limbs in a mould of delicate yet man- 
ly beauty, and also endowed him with a constitution which 
seemed to bid defiance to almost all changes, as 'well as to 
fatig-ue and privations of every kind. His disposi'tion seem- 
ed, in a g^reat degree, to partake of the qualities of his bodily 
frame; and as the one possessed great activity, strength and' 
endurance, the other, under a calm semblance, had.much 
of the fiery love of glory which constituted the principal 
attribute of the Indian character, constituting them, in the 
estimation of the inconsiderate, a remarkable phenomenon; 
though not more so to be regarded than many of the Nations 
of antiquity, whose love of war fell not behind that of the 
North American Indians, yet have not been considered as a 
remarkable phenomenon. But the face of Nittakachih might 
well be termed a luminous medium of the passions. The 
bright or the dark, the lurid cloud and the calm sunshine, 
made themselves known, not only in the voice and gesture, 
but also in the ever-varying expression of his eloquent coun- 
tenance. His self-cbmmand under any and a.11 circumstances, 
and his calm and unassumed fearlessness in the hour that 
tests the soul of man, weire truly wonderful; and, as an illus- 
tration, I will here relate an incident of his life, in connection 
with that of Colonel David Folsom, having its origin in the 
deposal of Amosholihubih and the elevation of Colonel David 
Folsom to his place as a chief concerning which I have just 

As soon as the council adjourned, C^olonel David Folsom, 
fearing the hot words passed in the council might be but the 
preliminaries to something serious, immediately sent a mes- 
senger to Greenwood Le Flore then living in the extreme 
western portion of the Nation to inform him of the unpleas- 
ant state of affairs existing in his district, and the causes; 
and also the fears he entertained of its resulting in blood- • 
shed. Le Flore, comprehending the situation at oiice, col- 
lected a large body of his warriors without delay and hasten- 
ed to Colonel Folsom's place of residence, then known as 
The Choctaw Agency, twelve or fifteen miles south of the 
present town of Starkville, Mississippi, on the road now 
leading from Columbus to Jackson, then known as the "Old 
Robinson Road." 

In the meantime rumor was on the vising that Amosho- 
lihubih and Nittakachih had threatened to depose Colonel 
Folsom and reinstate Amosholihubih even if it had to be 
done bv the tomahawk and rifle. Colonel Folsom at first re- 
garded" the rumor as having no foundation in truth— a feHnt 
on the part of Amosholihubih and Nittakachih to bring him 



to their measures— but soon learned to his surprise and sor- 
row that they evidently meditated hostilities, as they were 
actually collecting- their warriors at the then trading-house 
of the Choctaws with the whites, on the Tanapo Ikbi river, 
now known as Demopolis. ' Colonel Folsom now fully com- 
prehended the gathering storm no longer of doubtful mien ; 
for the distant thunder in its low mutterings, and theglitter- 
ings here and there of the lightning's flash, while he felt the 
heaving and rocking of the convulsed mountain, all unmis- 
takably portended a terrific eruption .and it was now mani- 
fest that but a spark was wanting to kindle the flame of" civil 
war, and who could tell the moment that spark would ap- 
pear! Colonel Folsom immediately sent out his runners 
(fleet horsemen) to call together his warriors; and then were 
seen these runners, mounted upon their fleetest horses, 
speeding with the velocity of the wind fi'om village to village 
and from neighborhood to neighborhood, calling to arms. 
Truly, it was astonishing in how short a time the Choctaws, 
at that day and time, could send any intelligence they desir- 
ed to convey, from any part of their country to another. If 
anything of importance occurred to-day in anj' part of the 
Nation itwas known on the morrow at distances seemingly 

All was now in a blaze of wild excitement. The mfissiOn- 
aries in their qu^et and peaceful homes, though not indif- 
ferent totheseeminglyapproaching eventsthatwere thenand 
there extending their shadows before, did not anticipate 
anything serious at first, even as was thought by all that the 
events that foreshadowed our civil war of 1861, would have its 
origin in blustering only to terminate in an empty noise; but 
the thrilling warwhoop that now disturbed the hitherto 
quiet, echoing by day and by night from hill to hill through 
their then boundless forest; the renewed life and active 
energy displayed by the warriors, who but the day before 
reclined in silent reverie before their cabin doors, or in list- 
less indifference smoked their pipes, but too plainly an- 
nounced to them, that a , fearful storm was not only fast 
gathering, but seemed ready to burst with all its terrific 
fury upon the Choctaw Nation, and who could tell where or 
upon whom its fury would be spent! The pale-face intru- 
ders, loafers, stragglers, and traders, taking the hint, bade 
the country a hasty adieu; but the missionaries hoping for 
the better, still lingered with their families, but stood in 
readiness for precipitous flight at a moments warning, should 
safety absolutely require it. Colonel David Folsom's resi- 
dence, then known and long after remembered as the old 
Choctaw Agency, was appointed as the place of rendcv.vous 



for his .assembling- warriors, there to unite with the coming 
forces of LeFlore, the warriors of Colonel Folsom living in 
the northern part of his district, passed directly by Hebron, 
the missionary station and hoftie of Mr. Calvin Cushmari, 
■on their way to the point of rendezvous. Many parties 
stopped in passing and conversed with him concerning the 
unfortunate state of affairs; and replied to his interroga- 
tories, as to the propriety of his leaving the nation with his 
family at once, or wait for further developments, by urging 
him to remain, and assuring him, at the same time, a timely 
notice of approaching danger, and also a sufBcient escort to> 
conduct him and family to a place of safety. Mr. Cushman, 
having implicit confidence in their plighted word, resolved to 
remain, though not entirely free of all apprehensions, but 
^tood in, readiness to depart with his faniily at any mo- 
ihent. . . 

For two or three days, and frequently during the night, 
bands of warriors continued to pass dre'ssed in all the Choc- 
taw paraphernalia of war, and painted as an Indian otily can 
paint — an art known but to him by which the countenance is 
made to assume a most frightful and awe-creating express- 
ion, and the eye that deadly ferocity, which to be compre- 
hended must be seen. Invariably when passing, night or 
day, as they drew near Mr. Cushma|ij's hortie the thrilling 
war-whoop broke the stillness of ( tlie''*'fc>reBts that stretched 
around and awav from that liumbl^' p,tidqt*eac;ef ul missionary 
habitation,, as a 'signal to its ocdStpatitg.-ihat, though it pro- 
claimed war to others, it was d^Mi?bM'ger of , peace to them; 
tnit which, after all, was not, to ' tKe' tinaccustomed ear, in 
strict accordance with the rules of h&irmoiiy. Or to the timid 
heart very persuasive in its melody. V ' 

But this difficulty, the result bt^hich Seenjed would in- 
evitably terminate in a civil war, was brought to a happy 
settlement by an incident unparalleled in' the annals of an- 
cient or modern history, and which I will here relate from 
memory as I heard it in my boyhood, when narrated to Mr. 
Cushman by Colonel David Folsom, who was one of the two 
who figured as the most conspicuous in the novel scene; and 
which was so impressed upon my youthful mind, that dis- 
tance nor time has been able to efface it from the pages of 
memory; Still I do not presume to be able to present before 
my readers the vivid picture that was presented to my de- 
lighted imagination by the eloquent tongue of Colonel David 
Folsom, who both saw and felt that which of itself alone 
-could give unwearied wings to the imaginative mind and un-^ 
■deviating eloquence to the tongue., 


Colonel Folsom stated to Mr. Cushman, in substance, 
as follows; and which I will place under the caption: 


When the council, convened for th'e adjustment and 
final distribution of the annuity, adjourned in such confus- 
ion, together with the animosity manifested and openly ex- 
pressed by both contending partiesthe one toward the other, 
(a similar scene never before witnessed in a Choctaw coun-^ 
cil) 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 ascer- 
tained that Nittakachih and Amosholihubih were truly assem- 
bling 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. Inevi- 
table war — kindred against kindred and bi"othcr against 
brother — with all its horrors and irreparable consequences 
now seemed to stare me in the face, with no alternative 
but to speedily prepare {l5i,meetit; therefore Le Flore and 
myself, after due deljb^rrvtion, resolved, if we must fight, to 
confine the fighting a^ rnucl^ ^s possible within Amosholihu- 
bih 's and Nittakachih's,ovKi;iVdistricts. We at once took up 
our line of march south td^jvard Demopblis which was in the 
district of Amosholihubih, and vvhere they had assembled' 
their warriors. , 

At the termination of our second days march, we ascer- 
tained through our scout^,- that Amosholihubih and Nittaka- 
chih Were also advancing with their warriors to meet us. 
In vain I still sought for some pacific measures that might be 
advanced to stop further demonstrations of war. To send a 
flag of truce, requesting a conference with the two disaf- 
fected chiefs, would, I felt, prove unavailing, as it would be 
attributed to fear on the part of myself and LeFlore, and 
but render them the more obstinate and unyielding. On the 
morning of the third day we were informed by our scouts 
that they were only a few miles distant, slowly but boldly 
advancing In a few hours marching, I looked ahead and 
dimly saw the outlines of the front warriors here and there 
visible among the trees, and then the whole army appeared 
in full view about half a mile distant, all in full war dress 
and armed complete, advancing slowly and in good order.. 


Even up to this moment I had . cherished the fond hope that 
matters would not be carried to the extreme; but now hope 
fled, and the speedy destruction df my people and country 
seemed inevitable. In vain I endeavored to think of some 
plan that might yet avail and prevent bloodshed. A few 
moments more and it would be too late for reflection, as. each 
army with stern brows, firm steps and resolute hearts, were 
slowly but fearlessly shortening the distance between. 
But now the time for futile reflection had passed^ and stern 
determination claimed the hour. - ' 

Nearer and nearer the fearless warriors were steadily 
approaching each other. Not a word had been spoken, nor a, 
sound of defiance uttered by either the one or the other of 
the stilL advancing parties; and thus in profound' silence each 
continued to advance, the one toward the other, until not ex- 
ceeding two hundred yards intervened, when Nittakachih 
gave the signal for his warriors to halt, which they instantly i 
obeyed. LeFlore and myself instantly gave the same to 
our men, which was as quickly obeyed. Forseveralminutes 
the armies stood and gazed upon each other in profound 
silence. To me what minutes of indescribable suspense! I 
speak not boastingly when I affirm that my own safety had 
not the weight of the sixteenth part of a poor scruple in my 
reflections. The terrible consequences that woMd follow 
the firing of a single gun absorbed my every thought; and 
how soon that might be done by aomp inconsiderate and 
reckless one, no one knew. I still clung to a feeble and 
lingering hope that the unfortunate affair might yet be ami- 
cably adjusted; but what step to take that could lead to that 
desirable and'happy result, at that advanced stage of affairs, 
I was utterly at a loss. 

At this juncture of alternate hope and despair my aston- 
ishment was unbounded wheni saw Nittakachih leave his men 
where they were standing arid alone advance tovvard. us with 
slow and measured steps, looking with a calm and steady 
gaze upon us. Every eye was upon him in a moment, as with 
firm and dignified steps he continued to advance until he had 
reached a point half way between the now wondering, but 
still silent, warriors ; then stopped and,^slowly raising his 
arms, he gently folded them across his breast and, in calm 
and dignified silence, looked with fearless eyes upon me, Le 
Flore, and our astonished men. Truly, what a scene I What 
a picture ! There he stood in his shining war-dress midway 
between the gazing and admiring warriors, the personifica- 
tion of calm courage and heroic daring; his dark eyes flash- 
ing, and his proud lips curling seemingly in fearless defi- 
ance, and presenting one of the finest specimens of a North 


American Indian warrior conceivable. No fig^ure of bronze 
could have been more rigid than that of Nittakachih, as he 
there stood erect and in calm silence ; truly a more striking^ 
subject- for a picture was n^ver exhibited than was presen- 
ted in Nittakachih in that attitude. What a theme was he to 
whom fear was a stranger! 

But what his in thus presenting himself — delib- 
erate as it was strange — none could comprehend, or even ad- 
vance a remote conjecture. Yet, all could read that what- 
ever it might be, he meant it ; for no onje did him the injus- 
tice by evei;i supposing that the situation was contrived for 
dramatic effect. Ah 1 it is comparatively an easy matter to 
unravel those characters which appear before us in butter- 
fly colors, whose easy dispositions and familiarities of man- 
ner preclude the possibility of deception; but to uq^erstand 
the secret and hidden workings of that mind which lies con- 
tinually wrapped up in its own solitude — to trace the secret 
springs and solitary windings of the mysterious power 
within, and read the intents of the heart as they are made 
manifest, in the attitude, the look, the silence, the act, re- 
quires an intimate knowledge of the human soul which but 
few, if any, possess, and which nothing but long experience 
can ever secure. 

To all it^eemed a fearful scene, terrific, in its conse- 
quences, was about to be enacted. In vain I sought for 
some token, some sign expressive of his wish ; but his silent 
and motionless form, indexing a determined soul, was all 
that seemed animate. Like a statue he still stood, calm, sil- 
ent and motionless, presenting a picture grand and beautiful 
even to sublimity, while silence profound seemed to brood 
over everything animate. Even the gentle breezes seemed to 
have sung themselves to rest;and a solemn hush prevailed, as 
though all nature in pitying suspense had made a pause, to 
stay the death dealing struggle that se.emed about to ensue 
between kindred and friends. It was a bright October morn- 
ing, clear, sunny and cool, with the bluest of blue skies over- 
head, dotted here and there with little white clouds that 
floated about like sails upon an ocean, while the sunlight 
filtered jlown between the branches of the trees and fell in 
bright flecks upon the ground. The melancholy haze of 
Indian Summer wrapped every distant object in the soft, 
purple veil; the dim vistas of the surrounding forests ended 
in misty depths; through the openings the majestic trees of 
endless variety and gigantic size were dropping their dying 
leaves, and here and there along a ravine, crimson maples 
gleamed against the back-ground of dark green sweet-gums. 
In all directions, the forest foliage painted with autumnal 


hectic, were strewjng the bier of the departing' year, casting 
over all a melancholy, dreamy, appearance that approximated 
to the sublime; and which, under other circumstances, 
would have awakened the harp of memory to the sweetest 
tones, carrying- the thoug-hts back to the haunts of the olden 
time, under the magic melody of boyhood's by-gone joys; but 
then all was wrapped in that mysterious silente which pro- 
duced sensations not unsimilar to that experienced by the 
birds beneath the basilisk glare of the serpent. What 
emotions thrilled my soull emotions which seemed to isolate 
my whole being from all surrounding objects, but that silent 
and motionless form before me, wrapt in the impenetrable 
silence of his own heart. / 

Again I loooked around for some one from whom I might 
receive even a conjecture as to the interpretation of the in- 
comprehensible enigma, that so mysteriously and unexpec- 
tedly had presented itself before us, but none ventured to 
break the stillness by a word. 

I then resolved to go to him alone, be ,the consequences 
what they might ; and a ray of hope illuminated the darkness 
of my despairing soul, as I thought a word to him might, 
perhaps, be as oil upon the troubled waters, and the threat- 
' ening storm of war yet be hushed to peace. With emotions 
known only to myself, yet with a calm exterior, I started to- 
ward him with a slow but firm step, and had walked but a 
few paces when I observed Nittikachih's warriors 'silently, 
but steadily raising their rifles to their shoulders and bring- 
ing them to bear directly upon me; and at the same instant 
heard behind me the ominous click of the ififle-locks of my 
own men — the signification of which I vi^ell understood. 
With deadly aim Nittakachih's warriors held their rifles up- 
on me, as I drew nearer and nearer to their adored chieftain 
who still stood silent and motionless, but with his black, pen- 
etrating eyes upon me as if he would read the very thoughts 
of my heart; yet without a visible sign of emotion, and ut- 
terly unheeding the thousand rifles that also rested upon 
him,withasmany clear andiresolute eyes glancing along their 
dark barrels. The silence was still profound. Not a word, 
not even the chirping of a bird or rustling of a leaf b'"oke 
the fearful stillness. I well knew everything was suspended 
at this juncture upon a pivot which the slightest breath 
might turn the equally poised scale for the worst, and give a 
signal for several thousand rifles to begin their work of 
death, and Nittakachih and myself would be the first to fall 
riddled with bullets, ^and our position but made it doubly 

With a secret bracing of my nerves I continued to stead- 


ily advance, and when within a few paces of him I met his 
eyes fixed upon mine with that baffling expression, which, I 
must confess, caused me to feel an inward alarm, as if some- 
thing vaguely dangerous had suddenly reared himself in my 
path, which by its very charm instinctiv'ely bade me beware. 
But I as quickly subdued my apprehensions, by thinking, 
with a certain haughty pride which I fear will never be elimi- 
nated from my nature, of the dangers I had already met and 
overcome in myl brief but troubled life, and meeting his 
calm and steady gaze with a smile which I knew to contain a 
spice of audacity, stopped immediately before and near him, 
and calmly said, as I noticed the strife of expression be- 
tween his eye and lip; the one hard, cold and unyielding; the 
other deprecating in its half smile and falsely gentle, as if 
the mind that controlled it was even then divided between -its. 
wish to subdue and the necessity it felt to win: Nittakach- 
ih, it would be only folly for me to speak as if nothing had 
occurred to justify your present attitude. It would be do- 
ing your good sense and sound judgment but little honor; 
and putting myself, or rather, ourselves, for we, as chiefs, 
should be one in the matter of our country's interests, in a 
position which would make any after explanations exceed- 
ingly difficult. For explanations can be .given, and in a word, 
for what has doubtless appeared to yoji as strange and un- 
warrantable on our part, explanations which I am sure you 
will cheerfully accept, as it is not natural for you to nurse 
suspicions contrary to your own candid and noble nature. 
I calmly waited for the words I felt to be hovering upon hi& 
lips, but they were scarcely the ones I expected. He replied 
that he was satisfied with my proffered words of reconcilia- 
tion, and, as he spoke his voice assumed its confident tone, 
whatever might have been the disturbance communicated to 
his inward nature.' Then looking with his dark and pierc- 
ing eyes into mine, as if to read the secret thoughts of my 
heart, and see if perchance treachery^ lurked not beneath 
the smile of friendship: finding none, , the dark cloud of defi- 
ance that greeted my approach ipstantly gave place to the 
sun-lit rays of confidence, and he continued: "I feel that I 
can and will again give y9u the title of friend. Will you ac- 
cept it from me, and with it my past confidence and esteem?" 
I responded, I will in behalf of the common interests of our 
people; and then extended my hand to him, but in a steady 
mechanical way that I felt committed me to nothing, for I 
was fully alive to the possible consequences of my every act. 
He took it, though the slight unmistakable pressure he re- 
turned seemed to show that he accepted it for a true sign of 
restored friendship, if not of absolute surrender. "You 


have removed a great weight from my ' heart," he againre- 
marked. "Had you been one of the common place type of 
men, you might have made this a serious matter for us." 

What have I said and done, I reijlied, though not so bit- 
terly, or with as much irony as I might have done, had that 
desire to understand the full motive of a condescension I 
could but feel was unprecedented in his arrogant nature, been 
less keen than it was, to influence you to suppose that I will 
not yet do so? "Your glance and your honest hkrxd are your 
surety," he answered; then with a real smile, though it was 
not the reassuring and attractive one he doubtless meant it 
to be, we both turned our faces toward our anxious and 
waiting warriors, and each gave the signal of pfeace and 
friendship restored. Instantly every rifle was lowered, and 
the two armies slowly marched in perfect order to where we 
stood, and there all shook hands. A council was then and 
there convened; satisfactory explanations made and accepted; 
peace and friendship restored, and a terrific civil war 
averted. And then, as the party turned their faces home- 
ward, all fired oflE their guns as an acknowledgment that not 
a particle of animosity lingered i in the heart of a single one 
of either party, but that entire confidence and friendship 
was restored. 

In more aijicient times, when difficulties between two 
clans of parties had been settled they stacked their arms to- 
gether, and as an evidence that entire confidence, friend- 
ship and good wijl was restored; which ceremony was called 
"Tanapoh Aiyummih," signifying guns mixed. 

Such was the narrative (in substance) related to Mr. Cal- 
vin Cushman by Colonel David Folsom sixty years ago, por- 
traying a scene in actual life that stands unequaled in the) 
annals of historic warfare; while also displaying a self-skc- 
rificing and patriotic heroism (especially in Colonel David 
Folsom") that should put to shame and confusion of tongue 
those ignorant and senseless babblers who deny to the 
Indian race^the possession of a single virtue. 

Nittakachih moved west with his people; remained a 
few years, and then returned to the home of his nativity in 
Mississippi to attend to some unfinished business, and while 
there was taken sick and died; and thus secured for himself 
the gratification of dying in his native land, and having his 
body laid away in peaceful rest among the graves of his an- 
cestors — a privilege so much coveted by the North American 

Had Nittakachih possessed the advantages of a thorough 
education, he would have placed his name high on the roll of 
fame among earth's illustrious great as a brave, patriot and 

348 rasTORY OP the Indians. 

honest statesman; yet, without any o/ those advantages what- 
ever; few, if any, among the whites could equal him in point 
of true native eloquence, g'enuine patriotism, self-CQmmand, 
and moral courage, under any and all circumstances. It was 
my fortune to be personally acquainted with him, and never 
have I seen, nor do I ever expect to see, a finer specimen of 
nature's true man, than was exhibited in Nittakachih. He 
left one son, who,was known as Captain Jackson Nittakachih, 
and also one son-in-law named Tunapoh Humma, (Red Gum). 
He was chief at one time of the Kunsha-ache Iksa, which 
lived on the creek then called Lussah Hochcto, (Big Swamp), 
now known as Big Black. They both ipoved with their peo- 
ple to their present place of abode, and died soon after the 
death of their noble father and father-ift-law. 

Colonel David Fo,lsom, the first chief of the Choctaws, 
elected by ballot, was a man whose generosity of nature was 
conspicuous, not merely in the ordinary acceptance of that 
term, but in its fullest and broadest sense ;^an'd I hazard 
nothing in saying if posterity shall do justice to his memory, 
history will accord to David Folsom a high rank as a just and 
honest ruler, a noble patriot and an exemplary Christian; and 
it is no doubtful proof of the distinguished talents of this il- 
lustrious Choctaw, that he administered the national affairs 
of his people for thirty years, during a period the most crit- 
ical and perilous in the annals of the Choctaw Nation, con- 
jointly with other kindred spirits venerable for their age, 
prudence and integrity and of which their nation seemed re- 
markably prolific, and whose names and eulogy might fill a 
volume. Colonel David Folsom was a good man in the full 
sense of that word. Continually filling offices of greater or 
less importance in his country, still he ever carried the traits 
of honesty, faithfulness, zeal and energy into every position. 
He was truly one of thbse characters that naturally come to 
the front in all matters, and possessed many of the charac- 
teristics of a leader of men. It was natural that such a man 
should sometimes encounter antagonism and be misunder- 
stood, but his noble heart and generous nature could not 
carry malice or harbor revenge. No man was more ready 
for reconciliation and forgiveness, whether the cause of mis- 
understanding was just or unjust. Of his worth as a citi- 
zen, public or private, and his Christian faith and life, his 
people know full well and justly appreciate. 

He was elevated to the chieftaincy at a time when his 
country was agitated by many conflicting emotions; his 
people were just emerging from the state of nature to that 
of Christianity and civilization; and the fountains of the great 
deep of their hearts were being broken up by the new order 


of thingfs that were being established among them in govern- 
ment and in morals; and in connection with this, the ex- 
change of their homes and country for others remote in the 
distant and unknown west, by a process of coercion, fi-aiid 
and tyranny unsurpassed in the annals of man, but justly 
aroused their fears to the highest pitch, and filled every 
heart with misgivings and the deepest gloom. - I witnessed 
their indescribable agitation, and heard their wail of woe. 
Yet, amid the raging storm of conflicting emotions that 
everyv/here prevailed. Colonel David Folsom stood pre-emi- 
nent; the prudent, wise and wholsome counsels he then gave 
upon all questions to the subordinate chiefs and his agitated 
people; his calm and noble bearing amid the all pervading 
confusion; the firm and undaunted rebuke which his en- 
lightened and enlarged philanthrophv administered to the 
wrong policy of the uninformed and inconsiderate, were as 
oil tipon the troubled waters and conspired to make him the 
chief influence for good. 

But in his home life Colonel Folsom's virtues shone in 
all their'unvarnished beauty. ' This was his chosen sphere; 
here he delighted to receive and entertain the friends who 
were privileged with his intimate acquaintance, of&cial or 
private, rich or poor, high or low; and for warmth of affec- 
tion to his people, kindred and cherished friends; for singu- 
lar unselfishness, he had few equals . and no superioi's any 
where. His sympathies were as prompt and as tender as a 
.child's, and it was natural and became habitual for his peo- 
ple to go to him when in trouble, to seek council and sympa- 
thy which they never sought in vain; nor did he wait to be 
sought. He loved outward nature too as the source of con- 
scious pleasurable emotions. He would say, "It rests me to 
look upon its varied and lovely scenes, landscapes which, are 
really a means of education to the susceptible mind, and 
which so often have been invested with the charms of poetry 
and romance. " ■ ' ■ '. 

During a visit to the Choctaw Nation, in 1884, I unex- 
pectedly came upon a cemetery in my devious-wanderings 
wherein I found the graves of many Choctaws. Conspicu- 
ous amdng many monuments, stood that of Colonel David 
Folsom, vvhom I had known from youth's early morn. Thus 
reads the epitaph: 

"To the memory of Colonel David Folsom, the first Re- 
publican Chief of the Chahtah Nation, the promoter of indus- 
try, education, religion, and morality;- was born January 
35th, 1791, and departed this life, September 34th, 1847, 
aged 56 years and eight months. 

"Ete being dead yet speaketh." 


His son, then my companion, and old friend from early 
youth, informed me that the above appropriate epitaph was 
dictated by Rev. Cyrus Byington, the long- known and faith- 
ful friend of Colonel David Folsom and his people. To all, 
Colonel Folsom seemed to have died in the very midst of his 
great usefulness and the brightest glory of his days; but 
those years and the responsibilities that had attended them, 
had already added dignity to his firm, bold brow, with its 
strongly marked eyebrows above black penetrating eyes. 
For many years he had been the ruling spirit among his 
people, and this sense of mas.tery had given him some touch 
of kinglinessto his general appearance, his tone and manners 
something of that look and demeanor which is seen in re- 
nowned statesmen and famous warriors. 

In strolling o'er that silent and lonely habitation of the 
dead, I found the graves of many of my old Choctaw and 
■phickasaw friends of the long-ago; and in reading their 
names carved upon the hard, white stone, how beautifully 
those cherished friends , of other days seemed to rise up 
again in the perspective of memory, calm and serene, as an- 
gels of life from the paradise of the past. 

Close by that of Colonel David FoJsom's was the grave 
of Joel H. Nail, a brother-in-law to Colonel Folsom, and 
grandfather of Joel H. Nail, now living in Caddo, Indian 
Territory. He was another true and noble specimen of a 
Choctaw Christian man. A beautiful marble monument also 
marked his place of rest, and the following told the curious 
and inquisitive passer-by who was the occupant: 

"Sacred to the memory of J. H. Nail, of the Chahtah 
Nation, who died at his residence near Fort Tawson, Au- 
gust 24th, 1846, in the S2nd year of his ^ge. 

"Reader prepare to meet thy God." 

The present Nail family of the Choctaws are the de- 
scendants of Henry Nail, a white man, who came among the 
Choctaws about the time Nathaniel Folsom, John Pitchlynn 
and Lewis Le Flore came ; and as they, so did he, marry 
among them, was adopted and thus became identified among 
that people. He rose to the position of child and exerted, as 
did the other three above mentioned, a moral influence among 
that noble and appreciative people with whom he had cast his 
lot. He had four sons— Joel, Robert, Morris and Joseph ; 
Joel Nail had seven daughters— Harrfet, Delilah, Selina, 
Catharine, Isabelle, Melvina and Emma; and three sons — 
Jonathan (father of the present J. H. Nail), Adam and Ed- 
win. Robert Nail had one son — the only chief— named Ed- 
win, who was drowned in Blue river; and Jonathan had 
only one son, thu present Joel H. Nail, ;is above stated, :in<l 


who is a worthy scion of the old stock and still living ; he is 
a quiet and good man ; noble and good in his integrity of 
■character; attractive in the benevolence Of his life; great 
and good in his benefaction add charity to his fellow-man ; 
with a life full of gentleness, always ready, he lives as one 
whom only those can understand who knew him and enjoyed 
the benefits of his virtues. 

Near to this this stood another emblem of frail liiortality, 
which told of one who had lived and died, and upon vv^hose 
smooth face I read love's ^tribute of affection. "Sacred to the 
memory of, Major Pitman Colbert, who departed this life 
February, 26th, 1853, aged 56 years. He lived an exemplary 
life. Ever devoted to the welfare of his people (the Chicka- 
saws), and died respected by all who knew him." 

Of Major Colbert it may justly be said: He was emin- 
ently a 'Christian reformer. His sympathy for his people 
was intense. He sought to create love and harmony among 
them; and to show them that purity of life, generosity, 
honor, truth, are blossoms that springevenfrom stagnant pools, 
•which to know may be found, not faultless, but still tru4.and 
lovable, and learn that mercy and charity are needed as 
well as justice to see what is beautiful in any life. His 
hearty contempt for cant and snobbery in any form found a 
ringing echo in his noble nature. He was a true disciple in 
the temple of knowledge; ever devoting his time and labors 
to those useful pursuits, which alone adorn and embellish 
the mind, fitting it for the abode of truth. To the light of 
jiature and reason he added the light of the Bible and Revela- 
tion; and prompted by 'a higjier and nobler motive, moved 
;and instigated by a Divine impulse, by that Spirit that comes 
^rom above, he spent the morn, noon and' evening of his life 
iTn trying to alleviate the sufferings Of others; to lift the 
fallen,-support the weak, confirm the good, elevate the scale 
of excellence among his people, and with the laudable pur- 
pose of making them the better by his having lived; and who, 
in his devotion to the great principles of morality and vir- 
tue, lived a life of pleasant toil, supporting and elevating his 
race wherever fallen, curbing the vices of the vicious, cor- 
recting the waywardness of the dissolute, sustaining the 
right and condemning the wrong. 

But what visions of the long past 4woke to memory as I 
stopped before a monument, whose beautiful symmetry of 
form had attracted me and read; "In memory of Louis 
Garland; died Agust 14th, 1853, aged 33 years. Generous, 
upright and virtuous, he lived an example for all who seek 
.the favor of the good." 

More appropriate and truthful words never adorned the 


tombstone ofjnan. We were fellow students during the 
years 1839-40-41 and 1842 at Marietta College, Ohio; and 
both professors and students who may now be living, could 
they read the epitaph that records Lewis Garland's "place of 
rest, would attest to its truth without a "dissenting voice; and 
I too, though years have intervened with their varied vicis- 
situdes, would here offer some tribute, though feeble yet 
sincere, to this my Choctaw friend, though an Indian, yet 
loved none the less. I was born among his people and 
thus wa^ early initiated into the "mys.teries of the Indian 
character;" and a friendship and love for them, of which I 
am not ashamed, but justly proud, was formed; not only for 
them but their entire race, which time nor distance has been 
able to weaken; and even to-day, in these my declining years, 
my heart oft turns to these true children of the Great Spirit, 
known during the long period of life, ;and among whom I 
have yet to find my first false friend; and though during my 
sojourn and travels among them, I could but feel that 

We met like ships upon the sea, 
Who hold an hour's converaa— 
One little honr! and then speed away, 
On dlyerglng paths— to meet no more— 

and my heart still goes out in fond affection to all those old 
Choctaw and Chickasaw friends of my youth; in whose 
honest hearts I have ever found a friendship that never be- 
trayed and a constancy that never wearied. 

Continuing my walk through the ceinetery, I discovered 
a grave that had no marble 1;oken to tell of its silent occu- 
pant. Upon inquiring of my Choctaw companion, he in- 
formed me that it was the grave of his brother, Cornelius ; 
another fellow-student of boyhood's merry time. We were 
chums for two years in college life, and there and then be- 
came sincere friends, linked to the recollections of life's 
early morn, ere sorrow's dark pall had fallen athwart our 
pathway; but hope with rosy finger still pointed to the flat- 
tering possibilities of the promising future. But alas! Con- 
sumption claimed him as its own, and he returned to his 
southern>home but to fall into a premature grave. In college 
he vvas a diligent student, and stood high in his classes. The 
high elements of his noble nature were so fully developed 
that he commanded the respect and admiration of both pro- 
fessors and students. He was consistant in all things, and 
his moral character was blameless ; and the highest testi- 
mony to this was the respect which all classes of students 
manifested toward him. But here, dear Cornelius, old 
chum, loved friend and companion of school-boy days, I let 

J J J J J J J 


■I ■ 

the curtain drop over thy blameless life, closed by a calm and 
peaceful death and blessings well bestowed. Thou went 
loved and honored while living-, and thy early death deeply 
mourned by all thy frieiids both red and white ; and friend- 
ship without alloy still drops a 'tear o'er thy early grave, 
while thy name and virtues are engraved ontstill loving hearts 
that need no voiced urn or marble inscription to perpetuate 
thy memory. ; ' 

But adieu, old friends of the past. After life's fitful 
fever, there you sleep. No persecution and oppression dis- 
turb yo,u now. The tall forest oaks stand like sentinals 
around your graves as if keeping watch over this bivouac of 
the noble dead, which I visited with deep emotion, and left 
with tfiflectionssad. Why should not history preserve their 
names? /But all unnoticea by the^busy world, they lived and 
died, because they were Indians. That tells tale. 

As a sample of Colonel David Folsom's ability as a letter 
writer, I will insert a few of his letters written to Rev. Blias 
Cornelius and others, copied ftomthe original without altera- 
tion; and when it is taken into consideration that he never 
went to school but six months, they may justly cause the 
blush of shame (if such a tiling be within, the line of a possi- 
bility) to appear upon the cheeks of thousands of white men, 
who have gone as many years, and yet cannot do.half as 
well. 1 

To Rev. Elias Cornelius : — ' ' 

Choctaw Nation, Pigeon Roost. July 16, 1818. 
My Dear Sir: — 

Your letter dated Knoxville, June 2nd has come duly to 
hand, safe this morning, which I am rejoice to learn that you 
and brother McKee and three other boys are all well and 
happy. I did learn from you and McKee, when you wrote 
from Cherokee Nation to me by Mr. Kingsbury, and did 
write you and direct the letter to City Washington, agree- 
able to your direction to me. Rev. Mr. Kingsbury was here 
few days ago from Yellobusher, and he requestpd that he 
wanted my brother Israel under his care, and that he was 
much in need for company in traveling about the nation and 
which his request was very certainly most pleasing talk to 
me and Israel. He is under Mr. Kingsbury's care and as he 
is very industrious boy I make no doubt but he will be use- 
ful to Mr. K, by the first opportunity that K. may have he 
will send Israel on to you. My dear friend, I have no 
means to inform you at present in the regard of my nation 
as we have had no council since you left here. But I know 
and all I can say for liny /nation they are a people much in 


need for help and instruction, and we look up to the gfovern- 
ment of the U. S. for instruction, and which I do know the 
establishment of this school will be the: means of the great- 
est good ever been done for this nation. Our hunting are 
done for these many yeai^s ^)ack and for wanting good Father 
and good Council that the general run of peoples at the Na- 
tion have still hunted for game an they have in many become 
in want. But I know that your wish is pure and love and 
good for this nation, and therefore I have been talking to my 
peoples and have advice them for the best during their inten- 
tion to industrys and farming, and lay our hunting aside,and 
here is one point of great work is just come to hand before 
us which is the establishment of a school, and the Choctaws 
are appear to bd well pleased. I thank you for the good and 
love you have, and what have, already done for my nation. 
Not long aince I have heard from Rev and Mrs. Williams. 
They are all well. I have not seen them yet. I wish you 

I am your true friend till death, 

David Folsom. 

N. B. You will excuse my bad writing, as I did inform 
you that I had only but six months schooling. 

Chahtah Nation, Pigeon Roost, Nov. 3, 1818. 
To Rev. Elias Cornelius: 

My dear sir: — I have just returned from the Chahtah 
Treaty, and I inform you that Chahtah did not sell or ex- 
change lands with the United States the Chahtah said that 
it is but two years ago when the Nation sold a large track of 
country to the United States and therefore they said that 
they had no more lands to sell, which they cannot think to 
sell the land which we are living on it and raising our 
children on it. And I inform you also that the nation a great 
of friendships to the United States Com. The Nation talk 
of in Council and mention fhat it was great benefit for us 
Chahtah to have school in our Nation, and appear to be well 
please and rejoiced to have such aids in our Nation. The 
chiefs wrote a letter to the president of the United States 
a most friendly talk and I must inform you in one part of 
the letter to the president, our chief said, Father we' are 
most thankful for your kindlv favor that you aided the 
Society School in our nation. The chiefs are I believe in 
notion of visiting the father, the president. Give my warm 
love to my brother McKee and Israel when you shall see 
them, and tell them we are all well. 

I remain your most dutiful friend till death, 

David Foi som. 


Chahtah Nation, Pigeon Roost, July 6th, 1832. 
My Dear Friend Rev. Byingtoti: 

I was rejoiced to learn from Rev. Kingsbury goodinews 
from Elliott, and that health of family was much better. It 
is indeed, good news to rac/to hear that Mr. Ward has 
brought the large boys under his Government once more. 

, After all our fuss and talk and grumbling and dissatisfaction 
on the part of we Chahtahs, I hope good will result from it. 

' I did feel sorry when I was there to witness some bad con- 
duct of the scholars there. But I hope good may overrule for 
the best — this is my sincere wish. Some days since 1 was 
at Mayhew and staid there few days, an4 I am happy to say 
to you that family were well, and the scholars are doing well, 
and all in good health. The children go out to work cheer- 
fully, and come in the school cheerfully, and mine their 
teacher cheerf ull)^, and on the hole I think they improve 
most handsomely — and the missionary spirit at Mayhew I 
think it is good — they all appear to do what they can. We 
shall have a council 18th inst. at Mayhew — with the chiefs and 
warriors of this District. I shall want Mr. Kingsbury to 
give them a straight talk. I have no news to inform you at 
present that is worfli your notice. Give me some news if 
jou have any. Present my best wishes to the Mission fam- 
ily. I am — Dear Sir — your friend, 

David Folsom. 
Rev. C. Byington. ' 

January 7th, 1829. 
My Dear Friend Rev. C. Byington: — 

I am informed you have gone to Columbus, and I do not 
know it is best that you were there with the lame hand you 
had. I diii'not like the look of y^Ur hand other day. I think 
it would be well for you to be very careful hereafter and en- 
deavor to get your hand well. As to our appoint at Aiikhuna 
■ (a school or place of learning), you need not feel any disap- 
pointment. I shall try to go over agreeable to promise, it 
was made to the people, if I should be permitted to go by the i 
almighty hand. I shall try to go and see the people— if I only 
just go' there and shake hands and see the people. Mr. 
Williams will be there, and he can preach to the people if it 
be necessary to do so. I trust, if I am not deceived, the 
Lord has' done great things for my soul. Pray for me 
brother. / • ■ 

I am, dear sir, your friend, , , : 

Aiikhuna. ^ ^^r""^?^ ., 

I have copied the above four letters of Colonel David 

Folsom from the original without any alteration whatever. 

356 msTORY OF the Indians. ' f 

Though there are defects, yet, when we consider the limited 
opportunity offered in six months tuition — and only Six 
months — and the writer beginning' at the alphabet of a lan- 
guage foreign to his native tongue, and of which he compar- 
atively knew nothing, are they not remarkable productions, 
especially in that of their orthography? And when we also 
take into consideration that Colonel David Folsom is but one 
of hundreds of Choctaws, as well as of other North American 
Indians all over the continent, as will be successfully estab- 
lished, do not the united voices of truth and justice pi-oclaim 
the falsity of the assertion, "The Indian could never be ed- 
ucated from his savagery." Here I will introduce to the 
reader the Rev. Israel Folsom, a younger brother of the 
great and good Colonel David Folsom, either of whom to 
know was to love, yet true Choctaw Indians. But Rev. Israel 
Folsom 's name belongs alone to the religious history of his 
country and people, by whom such a man cannot be forgot- 
ten. The cause for which he so prodigally spent himself is 
his people; but I honor his name. What Christian can be 
dead to the lesson of self-sacrifice, and life-long devotion, 
which his noble career so eminently exemplified? Who of 
those who knew him can doubt that after life's journey hb 
entered into that everlasting rest which, while on earth, he 
so wistfully contemplated, and so interestingly discoursed 

His conversion to the Christian religion was somewhat 
peculiar. After he had become the head of a family, he came 
in possession of some deistical books handed to him by some 
of that class of whites who would not only degrade the In- 
dian upon earth but also damn his soul in eternity. But the 
God of pity and love thwarted the designs of thq white mis- 
creant by interposing in behalf of his untutored, inexperi- 
enced and unsophisticated child of nature, as the sequel will 
prove. For several years he carefully and diligently read 
the deistical works, to the gradual neglect of the religious 
books, especially the Bible, all of which, had been furnished 
him by those devoted missionaries, with their frequent 
prayers for God's blessing to accompany them. Those 
prayers of faith followed the Choctaw* student from his home 
east of the Mississippi river to his new home in the wes|; 
when he still read his deistical books, and devoted much 
thought and calm reflection) upon thefr teachings while en- 
gaged in the duties of his 'extensive farm and stock ranch. 
One beautiful spring morning, having ridden out upon the 
prairie to look after his cattle, and while reflecting upon 
what he had read the night before, which denied the exist- 
ence of a First Great Cause, lie asked himself: "Then 


whence came the green grass that now covers this vast 
prairie as with a carpet, that stretches away before me on 
every side? Whence'came the innumerable flowers of varie/ 
gated colors that so delight my eye? Whence came the cattlfe, 
the horses, the birds, and all other animals? Ah! Wljence 
came I, myself? There must be a God. . There is a God!" 
Then and there he sprang from his horse, fell iUpon his 
knees, and in earnest prayer sought light from Him, who 
hath said, "In the day that ye seek me with all thy heart, 
I will t>e found of thee," and arose a changed man. Heat 
once turned his steps homeward, entered his house, an,d 
without speaking a word gathered every deistical, and in- 
fidel book that had so long contaminated and polluted his- 
house and led him astray,' and in one pile threw them into 
the fire; then went out of the house, took. his stand, where 
he could see the top of the chimney, and, as the black smoke, 
made blacker by the consuming falsehoods of their infamous 
contents, ascended in dark rolls to the sky, shouted as he 
waved his hand to its final adieu^ "Behold ini^delitj^"! and 
from that moment gave his life to the ministry, and in that 
capacity filled a large sphere of usefulness, aiid sat upon the 
throne of a wide public esteem. | 

By precept and example, he endeavored to lea^ the 
minds of his people into the paths of virtue and truth. His 
great effort was to train them morally by impressing uj)on 
them the value of Christian truth, as the basis of Christian 
character and life. In his nature he was modest and retir- 
ing, but his 'social qualities were of the highest order; and 
as husband, father, citizen, friend and preacher of the Gos- 
pel, he illustrated in his daily life all those noble attributes 
which make up and form the highest type of true manhood. 
His fine sensibility fitted itself to every deitiand that could 
be mg,de upon it in his family and social relations. He was 
happy in making others happy, tender, true and devoted; 
and his ways were truly the ways of simplicity and gentle- 
ness. Thus lived and died this great man— great, not in 
the present acceptation of the word in this age of folly and 
sin, but in that of truth, an ornament to the truth, and a 
gem in the diadem of his Redeemer. Truly, so grand a 
specimen of the old school of Presbyterianism should not be 
lost from the view of succeeding generations; who, in 
strength of faith, ardbr of hope, and zealous devotion to the 
cause of man's Redeemer, and unwearied labor for the sal- 
vation of souls, had few equals in any age of that glorious 
church of Christ. . 

One has spoken of him as "orie of the saintliest men 
with whom.he had ever been acquainted"; and all those who 


khew him will fully acquiesce in the truth of that statement.. 
He was indeed a most sincere Christian; a man of great 
spirituality; in which there was nothing morbid or senti- 
mental, nor yet bustling and obtrusive; but unaffected and 
genuine, and at the same time most active and efficient. The 
elemei.ts of character which contributed to his success 
were his simplicity, solidity and godly sincerity. He was 
one who believed what he preached, and practiced what he 
taught. He united gentleness with decision of character, 
and was firm in his convictions, yet free of obstinacy; and 
when convinced of his errors, he at once retracted. No one 
ever knew him to knowingly sacrifice a right principle, frus- 
trate a worthj' purpose, shrink from a known duty, betray a 
sacred trust, speak evil of his fellowman, forsake a friend 
or injure an ^nemy. Insincerity was a stranger in his 
breast, and to say or do anything for effect never entered his 
honest mind. Though not what the world would call a bril- 
liant preacher, yet he possessed what many brilliant preach- 
ers lack — good, common sense; for extravagances or eccen- 
tricities never marred his own labors, nor were the legiti- 
mate effect of his pulpit works cancelled by his erratelife. 

Rev. Israel Folsom always gave owe- tenth of his annual 
income to the church; and in his will, left one tentli of his 
property to the church to which he was attached; and 
though time seemed to have prematurely whitened his locks, 
yet Lt also seemed to have gently touched his stalwart frame, 
and his manly features indicated to the last a character that 
had met life's vicissitudes as a man should meet them. Hjs 
native strength and force still seemed like the beautiful 
country in which he lived — once wild and rugged indeed, but 
now softened and humanized by years of culture. It was 
evident that he looked at the world, as mirrored before him, 
not with cynicism nor mere curiosity, but with ;i heai't in 
sympathy with all the influences that were making it better. 
He died April 24, 1870, and was buried at Old Boggy Depot, 
Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory, ag^d 67 years, 11 months 
and 22 days. Such was Rev. Israel Folsom, of whom it may 
be said: He was a remarkable illustration of the power of 
Christianity — a great mind, once entangled in the meshes of 
error, but broke away, grasped the' truth and yielded not 
with his expiring breath. His was a religion that endured ; 
a bright and shining light to all his people; a morning star 
that had arisen, casting its wild light over the dark cloud 
which, for untold centuries, had hung its dark and gloomv 
pall over his nation; and though it seemed to set prema- 
turely, yet it cast back a light that illuminated the path of 
truth. But the veil of silence has been drawn over as true 



and unselfish a life as was ever laid at the Master's feet; 
ytet his grand Christian life will remain a brig-ht, shiningf 
light, animating and encouraging his loved ones left behind, 
while memory endures. 

I will here give the following of the Choctaw people, 
from the pen of their great and good countryman, Rev. 
Israel Folsom, which I have copied from the original without 
alteration whatever, furnished me by his daughter Czarena, 
now Mrs. Rabb, and never 'before published: 

"The history of the aborigines of America has been one 
of the most prominent and interi'esting subjects of inquiry 
and resea/rch of the present age. The, manners, habits, 
customs and peculiarities of the different Indian tribes, have, 
for many years, formed a theme of deep interest and praise- 
worthy investigation to the philanthropic and scientific 
world. While their traditions are worthy of being pre-' 
served, on account of their similarity to some of the won- 
drous and attractive events recorded in the Old Testament, 
various and unsatisfactory are the conjectures set forth re- 
garding their parent root or origin. Some, with a good show 
of plausibility, have attempted to prove that they are of i Jew- 
ish extraction and constitute a.remnafit of the lost ten tribes 
of Israel; others as earnestly agree, that they are but a, 
branch or off-shoot from the\ Tartar, Sclavonic or |Tyrus 
race; while, on the other hand, a class of speculative his- 
torians make bold to assert that they are not of Asiatic line- 
age, and do not, therefore, owe in common withfmankind 
their descent from Adam. The first view is supported by 
the Indians themselves, but gives little strength or addition- 
al force 'to the argument. Whatever value, or otherwise, , 
may be attached to one or all of these theories., which to a 
large extent they only are, one thing is clear and beyond 
contradiction, that the white people in general have, com- ' 
paratively speaking, but a very imperfect knowledge of the 
Indian race. 

"During the earlier period of the history of America, and 
shortly after its discovery, the monarchs of Europe, fired 
with the lust of conquest and spoil, attempted, , but in vain, 
to subjugate the Indians and rivet the shackles of slavery 
upon them. They however, carried this purpose so far into 
execution, as cruelly to tear them away from their peaceful 
homes and endeared families, and transported them by 
thousands into various parts of the world. These unjust 
proceedings, instead of quenching the indomitable love pf 
liberty, which so strongly and brightly burned ni their 
bi'easts, served only to arouse the full power of resistance 


against their oppressors, which ultimately had the effect of 
freeing them from such bondage. 

'Tliey may bury tbe steel In the Indian's breast; 
Thev may lay bim low with hia aires to rest, 
His scattered race from their heritage push, 
But his dauntless spirit they cannot break.' 

"From that period up to the pi-esent time, the Indians 
have been and are gtill receiving everything but justice. In 
fact ever since the Christian world gained a foot-hold upon 
the American continent and erected the cross on its shores 
they have had no rest, but have been defrauded, trodden 
down, oppressed, scattered, and weakened. Their condi- 
tion has been one of constant suffering and injustice. 
Avarice, the demon of civilized man, has worked heavily 
upon them, the result of which is, that.only a sad and melan- 
choly history can be written in regard to their past and 
present conditions. Yet a people possessed of such rare 
and remarkable traits, should not be permitted to pass away 
without some notice and record of their history. 

"But how true, when nature is wounded through all her 
dearest ties, she must and will turn on the hand that stabs 
and endeavor to wrest the poniard from the grasp that 
aims at the life, pulse of her breast! And this she will do in 
obedience to that immutable law, which blends the instinct 
of self-preservation with every atom of human existence. 
And for this, in less felicitous times, when oppression and 
war succeeded alternately to each other, was the name 
Indian blended with the epithet 'cruel,' therefore, when they 
(the whites) talk or write about the Indians' wild, savage, 
and irreclaimable nature, they speak not nor write as they 
know or feel, but as they hear, by which and through which 
they have been educated to regard the Indian race as beings 
forming a lower link than humanity in the chain of nature, 
and finding only a place for them in the ranks of ferocious 
beasts of prey; but this, with other innumerable errors of 
both excusable ignorance, but in most cases, that of inex- 
cusable Ignorance and great want of principle, is shamefully 
-unjust; since the Indians' cruelty to the White Race as a 
whole, has not been greater than that practiced upon them 
by the White Race, proving that they possess as humane 
dispositions as any nation of people under the same 
circumstances and in the same state of moral and intellectual 

"As comprising an important chapter of this great sub- 
ject, I will now prc^ceed to give a brief narrative of the Choc- 
taw tribe of red people— their traditions, government, relig- 


ions belief, customs and manners, anterior to the introduc- 
tion of the gospel among- them. To guard against any 
misconception, however, I deem it proper to state that their 
traditions and history are so much commingled, it is difficult 
to separate them without destroying, in a great measure, the 
interest of the subject, and I have, therefore, to some ex-{ 
tent, interwoven them. 

Name and Migration from the West. — The Pro- 
phet Warrior, and the Enchanted Pole. ^ — "The 
name Choctaw, or Chahtah is, derived from a ' pro- 
phet warrior who flourished at a time too remote for fixing 
any date, as it is only handed down by tradition from one gen- 
eration to another. 

"Headed by him, tradition informs us, the people in one 
grand division migrated to the East from a country far to- 
ward the setting sun, following the Cherokees and Musco- 
gees, iwho had moved on, four years previous, in search of a 
suitable spot for a permaneht location. He is said to have 
been possessed of all the characteristics essential to the car-\ 
rying out of such an enterprise to a successful termination. 

• His benevolence and many other virtues are still cherished 
and held in sacred remembrance by hi^ people. The coun- 
try whence they migrated, or the causes which induced them 
to seek another place of habitation, is wrapt in mysterious 
oblivion, as their tradition begins'abruptly with the epoch of 
migratfon. In moving from places to place, Chahtah is said 
to have carried a high staff or pole which, on encamping, was 
immediately placed in front of his wigwam, where it re- 
mained until they broke up encampment. His wigwam is 
represented to have been placed in the van of all the tribe. 
When the pole inclined forward — a power which it was be- 

' lieved to possess — the people prepared to march. This is 
somew^hat analogous to the cloud by day and pillar of fire by 
night, by which the Lord, through His beloved servant, 
guided the children of Isi-ael from Egypt. After many 
years of wanderings, during which they, in common with 
those who have ever engaged in similar enterprises, suffered 
many trials and privations, they at length arrived at a cer- 
tain place, where the staff stood still and, instead of bending 
forward, inclined backward, which was regarded as a sign 
they were at their journey's end. To this place where the 
staff stood still, Chahtah gave the name of Nun-nih Wai-ya. 
The exact period of the termination of their wanderings is 
unknown. So soon as they got in some degree settled, Chah- 
tah called the warriors together for the, purpose of organiz- 
ing a dode of laws for their government. At this place of 
rest, Nunnih Waiya, they built strong fortifications in order 


to protect themselves from anyvfoe wto might conceive hos- 
tile intentions ag-ainst them. Whether or not they were ever 
assailed sre unknown. The remains of the fortress, how- 
ever, is still to be seen in Mississippi. Along time did not 
elapse before their newly acquired territory was found to be 
too limited to hold their rapidly increasing numbers, and 
they were in consequence compelled to spread themsplves 
over the adjacent country, and form themselves in villages. 
It is a well authenticated fact that fronj this out-pouring or 
scattering, sprung the Indians called Shukchi, Hummas and 

Domestic Government. — "In the domestic government 
the oldest brother or uncle was the head; the parents being 
required merely to assist in the exercise of this duty by 
their advice and example. This was similar in a great de- 
gree to the Patriarchal government in vogue among the 
Jews. • 

Tribal Government. — "The -tribal or national govern- 
ment was vested in the royal family. Their criminal code 
was simple in the extreme — life for life. For minor offenses 
they inflicted punishments or imposed fines suited to the 
nature of the case. They were under the government of 
custom or coYnmon law of the Nation. All their matters of 
dispute or difficulty were settled in open council. They 
had no such officers as constables or sheriffs, but the chief 
had power at any time to order out any number of warriors 
to bring offenders to justice. The* chief's office was one 
merely of supremacy or leadership, and consequently there 
was no pay attached to it as at present. 

Idols — Spirits — Sacred Fires. — They, never worshiped 
idols, or any works of their own hands, as other savage 
nations. They believed in the existence of a Great Spirit, 
and that He possessed super-natural power, and was omni- 
present, but they^did not deem that He expected or required 
any form of worship of them. They had no idea of God as 
taught by revealed religion — no conception of His manifold 
mercies, or the atonement made for sin. All they felt was a 
dread of His attributes and character, made manifest to 
them by the phenomena of the heavens. But in common 
with the believers of the Scriptures, they held the doctrine 
of future rewards and punishments. They differed from 
them, however, as to the location of heaven and their views 
of happiness and misery. Heaven, or the happy hunting 
grounds, in their imagination, was similar to the Elysian 
fields of the heathen mythology. There the spirit of those 
who had been virtuous, honest and truthful, while on earth, 
enjoyed, in common with youthful angels, all mannfer of 

hISTORY of the INDIANS. 363 

games and voluptuous pleasures, with no care, no sorrow, 
nothing but one eternal round of enjoyment. They be- 
lieved that angels or spirits seldom Visited the earth, and 
cared but very little about doing so, as being supplied in 
heaven with everything suitable to their wants, nothing was 
required from the earth. According to their notion, heaven 
was located in the southwestern horizon, and spirits, instead 
of ascending, according to the Christian idea, sped their 
last journey in a line dire'ctly above the surface of the earth 
in the direction of the southwest horizon. Previous to a 
spirit's admission into the happy hunting ground, it was ex- 
amined by the attendant angel at the gate, who consigned it 
to heaven or hell according to its deeds on earth. Their hell, 
or place of punishment, as they termed it, was the reverse 
of the happy hunting ground—a land full of briers, thorns, 
and every description of prickly plants, which could inflict 
deep cuts, causing intense pain frorii which there was no 
escape; onward they mu'st go— no healing 'oil for their 
wounds— nothing but an eternity of pain — no games — fto 
voluptuous pleasures — nothing save an illimitable land of 
blasted foliage. : ^ 

They also believed in the existence of a devil, whom they , 
designated Na-lusa-chi-to, a great black bein^, or soul eiter, 
who found full occupation in terrifying and doing all manner 
of harm to people. He accofds well with the one described 
in thfe Scriptures; "who goeth about like a roaring lion seek- 
ing whom he may devour." Previous to a spirit winging its 
flight to the happy hunting ground, or the land of briers and 
blasted foliage, it was supposed to hover around the place 
where its tabernacle lay for several days — four at least. 
They believed that the happy hunting ground was at a dis- 
tance of many days journey. When a person died, provis- 
ion was jirepared for the journey under the supposition that 
the deparjted spirit still possessed hunger. Upon the death 
of a man, his dog Was killed, that its spirit might accompany 
that of its master. Ponies, after they were introduced, were 
also killed, that the spirit might ride. They believed that 
all animals had spirits. During four days a fire was kept 
kindled a few steps in front of the wigwam of the deceased, 
whether the weather was cold or hot. They imagined, that 
if the'spirit found no fire kindled in that manner for his 
benefit, it would become exceedingly distressed and angry, 
especially when the night waS cold; dark and stormy. A 
bereaved mother, on the loss of her child, would kindle; up a 
fire and sit by it all night. The wife on the loss of a husband 
performed th,e same vigil. In either case a rest in sleep was 
denied. For six months or more, in case of the deajth of a 


chief, the sorrowing' and mourning relations indicated their 
grief in many ways. The men, in the early part of their 
time of mourning, remained silent and subdued, ate very 
sparingly, and abstained from all kinds of amusements,- and 
from decking themselves out in their usual manner; the 
women did the same, with this difference, that they remained 
at home prostrated with grief — their hair streaming over 
their shoulders, unoiled and undres^d,-^ being seated on 
skins close to the place of burial or sacred fire. They not 
unfrequ'ently broke the silence of sadness by heart piercing 
exclamations expressive of their grief. For a long time they 
would continue to visit the grave regularly morning and even- 
ing to mourn and weep. 

Mode of Burial — Bone-Pickers.— Origin of the Mis- 
sissippi Mounds. — "The mode of burijil practiced by the 
Choctaws consisted in placing the corpse five or six feet 
from the ground upon a platform of rough timber made for 
that purpose, covered with a rough kind of cloth of their 
own making, or skins of wild animajs and bark of trees. 
After remaining in that condition until the flesh had very 
nearly or altogether decayed, the bones were then taken 
down by the bone-pickers (persons appointed for that duty) 
and carefully put in wooden b