Carolyn Thomas Foreman
Journal of a Tour in the Indian Territory by N. Sayre Harris, Secretary and General Agent of the Protestant Episcopal Church, in the Spring of 1844. Edited and annotated by Carolyn Thomas Foreman.
1The Right Reverend James Hervey Otey was born at Liberty, Virginia, January 27, 1800. He was graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1820. In 1827 he was ordained a priest of the Episcopal Church, and in 1834 was consecrated Bishop of Tennessee, the first in that state. He died April 23, 1863 (Lippincott's Biographical Dictionary, Philadelphia, 1888, p. 1866).
2The Great Raft—in 1825 the legslature of Arkansas asked Congress to remove the Great Raft from Red River so that boats could ascend to the Kiamichi River to reach Fort Towson; General Winfield Scott on October 28 ordered Capt. Birch at Fort Jessup to take twenty five men and remove the Raft. Captain Birch and Lieut. Lee reported that they passed through 96 miles of the raft composed of logs, of all sizes so thickly massed as to prevent removal. William Dunbar in his journal described the Raft in 1805 as a covering that concealed the river for seventeen leagues. It supported vegetation of all sorts native to the forests, even trees of considerable size. Timothy Flint describes the Raft in Recollections of the Last Ten Years...in the Valley of the Mississippi (Boston, 182-6) p. 331, as an obstruction so thick that the river could be crossed on horseback over the logs. The banks of Red River were plainly marked, however, by large forest trees.
When the removal of the Choctaw Indians was started in 1832 an effort was begun to clear Red River for navigation as the Indians were to be settled along it. In 1831, during unusually high water the steamboat Enterprise, 30 or 40 tons, navigated through the Raft, towing two keel boats loaded with provisions for Camp Phoenix which had been established on the site of Fort Towson which had been burned in 1829.
Capt. Henry M Shreve under orders of the War Department began the removal of the Great Raft in April 1833; the work was continued for five years. By 1835, one hundred and thirty miles of obstructions had been cleared and five steamboats had navigated the river. In 1838 the Secretary of War announced the completion of the huge task which was a notable achievement for Army engineers. The Mississippi Valley Historical Review, Vol. XV, No. 1, June 1928, River Navigation in the Early Southwest by Grant Foreman, p. 34-55.
It is of great importance, not only to our citizens and to Texas, but to the Chickasaws and Choctaws, many of whom raise cotton, that Government should continue its appropriations to remove these formidable obstructions to the navigation of this river...we discovered [9th of March, mouth of Red River]...the wreck of the steamer Buckeye. A few days previous, as she was descending the river, with 300 passengers,...she was run into by the De Soto, and in five minutes sunk, carrying 100 passengers [asleep] to a watery grave. The shore was strewed with her wreck...Sixty bodies were found and placed in a common grave. One was there, desolate indeed, and almost crazed looking for the bodies of his wife and seven children.
After some delay at the great Red River Raft, where we made a portage of three miles and took another boat, which, going into some of the bayous for the cotton deposited, brought us back again; we at last reached Fulton3 on the 20th of March, took horses to Washington,4 14 miles...[over indescribable road]...took horses on the 21st for Fort Towson and made forty miles...
Next morning, March 22, came to Ultima Thule.5 On crossing the Choctaw line, came almost immediately to the farms of Messrs. Harris, brothers from the states, who had married sisters in one of the first Choctaw families—the Pitchlynn. Everything wore the appearance of neatness, plenty and comfort, a fine peach orchard in blossom, fields broken up by the plough, a cotton gin, etc., etc., etc., [little Lucy Harris was baptised by the Bishop of Tennessee.]
One of the brothers politely rode with us to our resting place for the night...They are determined,...to keep at a distance all unworthy intruders, and traffic,...They speak highly of Choctaw improvement, and could they only keep whiskey from the lines, all would be well...The Choctaws are making great efforts on behalf of education, and have given their brethren the noble example of devoting their annuity [$18,000] wholly to schools...The
Choctaw language is giving way rapidly before the English. Some thousands still remain east of the Mississippi, 2,000 of whom expect soon to emigrate. Our ride was through a rolling country, covered with oak, dogwood, and pine,—the latter dead, and much of it then burning.
We spent the previous night under the hospitable roof of the Rev. Mr. Byington, at Stockbridge,6 a Missionary of the A. B. C. F. M.; he had made an extensive tour of the Indian country in '37 with the Rev. Mr. Kingsbury,7—is well acquainted with the Choctaw, and gives himself, so far as other engrossing duties permit, to the work of translation, having rendered the Acts of the Holy Apostles8 into Choctaw, and being now engaged upon the Book of Genesis9...He was their physician too, and while sitting with him, a fine looking Choctaw applied to him for medicine for a sick wife.
We could not but admire the cheerfulness with which his lady10 shared his labours, and gave the natives the example of a cheerful Christian home in the wilderness. Aloof from politics, whether of church or state, and occupied solely with the duties of their charge, they did not seem to be aware of the privations they endured;...Mr. B.'s labours as a preacher had not been without a blessing. He preaches in Choctaw, and his congregation here is full
6Revernd Cyrus Byington was born at Stockbridge, Massachusetts, March 11, 1793. He was graduated from Andover in 1819. Byington had acquired almost the appearance and habits of a Choctaw (Outposts of Zion, Cincinnati, 1863 by Rev. William H. Goode, p. 199). He lived among the Choctaws for almost fifty years, and died at Belpre, Ohio, December 31, 1868.
Stockbridge Mission was six miles from Ultima Thule and three-quarters of a mile west of Mr. Byington's home. (Authority of Mr. Peter Hudson, Choctaw translator for Oklahoma State Historical Society).
7Rev. Cyrus Kingsbury was born at Alstead, New Hampshire, November 22, 1786. He arrived at Pine Ridge February 25, 1836. He had immediate charge of Chu-wa-la Female Seminary at Pine Ridge, a few miles from the Fort [Towson] Outposts of Zion p. 199.
8The Acts of the Apostles, printed for the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missons, at Boston, by Crocker & Brewster, 1839.
9Genesis, together with Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, were published in New York, for the American Bible Society, in 1867.
blood...Mr.B. kindly rode with us to Eagletown,11 where we crossed a fork,12 and were introduced to Capitan Hudson13, a member of the Choctaw bar. He looked as though he might be an eloquent pleader. He was certainly a graceful man, commanding in his appearance, and six feet high. Were shown the site of the female boarding-school14 which is to go into operation next fall, under the auspices of the A. B. C. F. M. The position is a very fine one, not far from a new residence just erected for Mr. B., who is to have supervision of the school.
Passed on and forded Mountain Fork and little river — country rolling, pine, oak, black jack, dogwood — some fine cotton land — salamander hills abundant — some beautiful knolls. Came to Wheelock,15 the residence of the Rev. A. Wright,16 a Missionary of the A. B. C. F. M., kindred in spirit and alike efficient and esteemed with his Rev. brother whom we left in the morning. He has charge of a female boarding-school of about 50 scholars (selected from the several clans), sustained chiefly by the funds of the Choctaw Nation. He is assisted by his lady17, now in delicate...health,...and by Mr. and Mrs. Copeland18, with Miss Kerr19.
11Eagletown, Choctaw Nation, was the first settlement made after the removal of the Choctaws, to Indian Territory. A postoffice of that name was established there July 1, 1834, and the missionary Loring S. Williams was named postmaster.
16The Rev. Alfred Wright was born in Columbia, Connecticut, March 1, 1788. He was appointed missionary to the Choctaws in 1820 and removed with them to Indian Territory in 1832. He was a graduate of Williams College and after spending two years at Andover Theological Seminary he tutored in Greek at Williams. He died March 31, 1853.
17Mrs. Harriet Bunce Wright was born at Wethersfield, Connecticut, and she was married to the Rev. Alfred Wright about 1823. She was a cultured, intellectual woman and was of great assistance to her husband in his writing. It is said that she copied the New Testament three times. She died in Florida about the time of the Civil War.
18The Rev. Charles Cook Copeland was born at Dover, Vermont, January 18, 1818. He was educated in Vermont and taught school in New Jersey. In November, 1841, he sailed from Boston for New Orleans having become deeply interester in the Choctaw Indians. He taught at Stockbridge under Byington, and in 1843 was sent to the school at Norwalk. He studied theology under the Rev. Alfred Wright and was licensed to preach in 1845 or 1846, he also served at Mt. Pleasant, Bennington and in 1860 went to Wheelock. Mr. Copeland died at Washington, Arkansas, in 1869.
The buildings were to some extent erected by the Board before the present arrangement went into effect. The usual plan among the Choctaws is for the nation to erect the buildings and sustain four-fifths of the annual expense of the establishment; the Missionary Board to which it is confided the remaining one-fifth. Mr. Wright devotes himself particularly to preaching and translating the Scriptures, giving his chief attention to the New Testament, while Mr. Byington translates the Old. The Church at Wheelock consists of 116 members, connected with five different stations—3 natives studying for the ministry. Two of these were educated in New England, and one at Henrietta, Ohio.20
Had the pleasure of being presented to Miss Burnham,21 who for many years kept a school quite alone on Red River—an example which it would be safer perhaps to admire than to imitate. Miss Kerr is also a teacher, and seems perfectly happy in the duties of her calling—...
It was Saturday afternoon; we had not, therefore, the pleasure of seeing the children in school, but observed them, very neatly dressed, walking about the grounds. Mr. Wright rode with us to the residence of Col. Pitchlynn,22 one of the principal men of the Choctaw nation to whom I had letters from the Hon. John C. Spencer.23 We found
20These were probably McKee Folsom and his brother Israel who were educated at the Foreign Mission School at Cornwall, Connecticut, They were the sons of Nathaniel Folsom, a white man, and his Choctaw wife. McKee Folsom acted as interpreter for the Rev. Alfred Wright while Israel assisted Mr. Byington in arranging a Choctaw alphabet. He also helped to prepare a book and translate the Scriptures. He assisted Wright in translating the Gospel of Luke.
22Peter P. Pitchlynn, son of John and Sophia Folsom Pitchlynn, born January 30, 1806, was one of the prominent men of the Choctaw Nation. He was well educated and took a deep interest in the education of the youth of his people. He was, for a short time superintendent of the Choctaw Academy in Kentucky, a member of the National Council and represented the Choctaw Indians in Washington from 1865 until his death in 1881. His wife was Rhoda Folsom whom he had married in Mississippi after his return from the University of Nashville.
23Hon. John Canfield Spencer was born in Hudson, New York, January 8, 1788. He was a member of the House of Representatives and President Tyler appointed him Secretary of War October 12, 1841. He was transferred to the Treasury Department as secretary on March 3, 1843. He died May 18, 1855.
him in deep grief, having recently lost his wife,...He receivd us very kindly, and remarked that anything he could do to promote the education of his people would be cheerfully done.
We took leave of him, and rode on to Fort Towson, passing over some beautiful prairie, a large tract of which was broken up and fenced for cotton. On the left were fine eminences—at length the Kiamicha Hills came in view, though it was quite dark when we reached the Fort, having traveled 46 miles today. The cordial reception of Major Andrews24 and his command, soon made us forget the toils of the way.
March 24, (Sunday)...After service, rode over with Mr. Wright, who has charge of a female boarding school at Pine Ridge,25 to visit the establishment, and after tea rode to Dokesville,26 Mr. K's. [Kingsbury] congregation, between his house and the Fort...We took tea with the family, including the Indian children, about 25 boarders — the school having recently gone into operation under the auspices of the National Council. After tea, the children led by Miss Arms, sang a hymn in Choctaw...Mrs. K's. [Kingsbury's] maternal cares are not without their impression upon them: she pointed out one little girl who on first coming to the school was almost heart-broken. Mrs. K. found her suffering from a contusion, nursed her assidously and successfully, and now the little thing follows her like a shadow and can scarcely be separated from her side long enough to attend school.
Rode over from the garrison to Pine Ridge with some of the gentlemen of the Fort; the Bishop examined the school consisting of 39 girls, day scholars included, in read-
24George Andrews, a native of the District of Columbia, was appointed a cadet at the U. S. Military Academy June 24, 1819. He served many years on the frontier as an officer of the Sixth Infantry. He was severely wounded at the Battle of Okee-cho-bee, December 25, 1837. He was on duty at Fort Towson 1842-43, 1843-45 and at Fort Washita 1845-48. He was retired from active service February 15, 1862.
25Pine Ridge Female Boarding School was established in 1835. Mr. Wright had charge of Wheelock and not Pine Ridge. Mr. Kingsbury was in charge of Pine Ridge (authority of Peter Hudson).
26"Doaksville...commands a fine view of the garrison buildings at Fort Towson, a mile distant, and is within a few miles of Red River and the Texas line" (Outposts of Zion, with Limnings of Mission Life, by Rev. William H. Goode Cincinnati, 1863).
ing, spelling, geography, and grammar. They acquitted themselves very creditably: observed that some of the full blood Indians were quite as ready as the mixed blood. A young lady, Miss Dickinson, has charge of the children when not in school. The buildings seemed rather small, but this is an evil which, in the progress of the institution can be corrected. Mr. K. estimated the cost of adequate buildings for 50 girls at $2,000.00; a girl can be boarded for $1.00 per week, and clothed for $15.00 per annum; term 40 weeks. There are five of these schools for girls among the Choctaws; three in the Puckshanubbee district (Byington, Wright, and Kingsbury), one in Pushmataha (Hotchkin),27 and one connected with Fort Coffee Academy, which has not yet been opened, but will be ere long.28
Conferred with Mr. K. and others fully on the subject of Indian affairs: introduced to Col. D[avid] Folsom, who, in common with all the Choctaws we met, was, deeply interested for the education of the rising generation. Indeed, the danger is that the nation expects too much from education in its narrow sense;...Returned to Fort.
March 26.—The rain prevented us from paying our respects to the Rev. Mr. Potts and others, a few miles from the garrison...In the afternoon, rode out with the Rev. Mr. Kingsbury, and had an interview with Major C—29 one of the finest men of the Chickasaw nation. He was understood to have been educated under Quaker influence, and had all the gentleness and amenity which one looks for in that school.
27Rev. Ebenezer Hotchkin was born in 1803 and was a native of Richmond, Massachusetts. He went to the Choctaw country in 1828 and removed with the nation in 1832. He married Miss Thatcher of Pennsylvania while living in Mississippi. His life was devoted to teaching and preaching among the Choctaw until his death in 1867.
28Fort Coffee Academy occupied the abandoned military post on the high bluff overlooking the Arkansas River. In March, 1843, Rev. William H. Goode was appointed superintendent. The school was under the supervision of the Methodist Episcopal Church and five years after the garrison moved to Fort Smith the buildings were repaired and used as school and dwelling houses for the Indian pupils and missionaries. The old quarters had been built of hewed logs, had window shutters and doors of battens, stone chimneys and formed a square of a hundred feet to the side. The side facing the river was open and afforded a fine view. Henry C. Benson who wrote Life Among the Choctaws (Cincinnati, 1860) was the first teacher at Fort Coffee Academy.
He is a very large and successful farmer, and an enterprising man: sent some goods out to the Rocky Mountains, but found the British influence so omnipotent there, was compelled to bring everything back unsold...
It has been said, rather erroneously we think, that the Chickasaws are equal to the Choctaws. They will, no doubt, soon overtake them. Their annuities are now becoming due, and applicable to education, etc.
The country (bought from the Choctaws) is a very fine one, and, when the obstructions in Red River are removed, they will be encouraged to raise cotton.
Some of these Southern tribes have been very much cheated in various ways—for evidence of which on a faithful and fearless report to government by one of its most accomplished officers, Col. Hitchcock.30 Why the publication of a portion of this truth-telling document was suppressed by Congress, those concerned best know; and why gentlemen implicated in rather questionable transactions in that quarter were retained in their places of honour and profit, is a question that belongs rather to politics than to morals...
March 27.—Took leave of our hospitable friends at the garrison, who...provided us now with tents, and all other comforts usual in campaigning; we found fine saddle-horses placed at our disposal, in addition to a wagon and four, for our camp equipage, etc.
It was impossible...to have done more for our comfort than did Major Andrews and Captain Collins.32 Dr. Baylis, we found had even anticipated the possibility of
30Ethan Allen Hitchcock. soldier and writer, was born at Vergennes, Vermont, May 18, 1798. He was a grandson of Ethan Allen. After his graduation at West Point in 1817 he became an instructor there. He served through the wars in Florida and with General Taylor and General Scott during the Mexican War where he was brevetted for gallant conduct at the battle of Molino del Ray. He resigned from the army in 1855 but was commissioned a major-general of volunteers during the Civil War. He died at Saint Louis, Missouri, on August 5, 1870 (Grant Foreman, A Traveler in Indian Territory, The Journal of Ethan Allen Hitchcock, Cedar Rapids, 1930. W. A. Croffut, Ph. D., Fifty Years in Camp and Field, Diary of Major-General Ethan Allen Hitchcock, U. S. A., New York, 1909).
32Capt. Charles O. Collins, a native of New York, died August 17, 1846 and was buried at Fort Gibson. He was in the Fourth Artillery, erecting barracks for troops at the time of his death, aged forty.
sickness, and put up various prescriptions, accompanied with minute directions. Lieut. Wetmore,33...mounted his charger, and volunteered to accompany us...We parted with regret from these gentlemen, who on the Bishop's recommendation, had elected a chaplain, and rode twelve miles to Spencer Academy.34
This is the principal institution among the Choctaws for the education of boys, and went into operation on the 1st February. It is under the control of the Choctaw authorities, who have taken great pride in its establishment and appropriated $8,000.00 per annum for its support.
The buildings are not yet completed upon the requisite scale, but so impatient was the tribe to send the children they were compelled to make a commencement. Many of the boys are boarded by their parents within a few miles, that they may not lose the advantages it even now offers.
The Rev. Mr. McKenney, a Presbyterian, is the Rector, assisted by Messers. Wilson and Wright, Mr. Dwight interpreter, the scholars in attendance at present, about 75. Rev. Mr. McK.[enney] politely showed us through the establishment. The school-room was quite crowded with Indian boys, intently pursuing their studies, while some were reciting; the quiet and order of the Indian schools is astonishing, and the pupils are said to be tractable in the highest degree. As the bell rang for dinner, we were ushered into the common dining room; we have seen no commons not even excepting that of the Military Academy, where greater neatness, cleanliness, comfort and plenty prevail. The steward Oliver was the presiding genius here; and we are confident, that if these youth are very civilized, Oliver may claim a pretty large share in the result...
33Lieut. Leonidas Wetmore was born in New York and entered the army from Missouri, as a second lieutenant in the Sixth Infantry, December 31, 1839. He fought in the Mexican War and died 18 November, 1849.
34Spencer Academy located in Puck-che-nub-bee district was under the care of the General Council and the patronage of the Secretary of War whose name it bore. It was opened February 1, 1844, with the Rev. Edmund McKinney as superintendent. "The half-breed boys from the wealthy families proved insubordinate, commenced running away, and the 'light horse' of the Nation was put in requisition to bring them back to their places. Matters at length arrived at such a pass that an attempt was made to set fire to the buildings of the institution. All this occured within a little over a year from the time of opening" (William H. Goode. Outposts of Zion, Cincinnati 1863).
Amid the generous plenty of their board, the Indians sighed for their 'Tom Fuller,' a preparation of Indian corn (like hominy) which is left in the water they boil it in and serves, under different names, both for food and drink among all Indians. Some of these poor little fellows unable to do without their beloved Tom Fuller, ran off to their homes two days' journey and bivouacked at night among pigs in order to keep warm. They were brought back, however, and the steward warned by this significant hint, that his labours would be in vain, if Tom Fuller was not admitted to his table, gave it a place there; the boys were satisfied.
The boys work one and one-half hour in the morning, and one and one-half in the evening; are employed at present in improving the grounds, but will ere long be made to raise sufficient cotton to keep them in groceries and clothing...We regretted to perceive that the health of the Rector's lady35 was impaired by the climate...
Pursuing our journey, we made 22 miles; the first part of our road destitute of pine, blackjack abundant; the most beautiful violets and cardinals along our path, and the dwarf plum in blossom. Reached the middle of the Seven Brothers—a series of hills so called—and encamped on the banks of a small stream, in which, after supper, and by torch light, we caught fish enough for our breakfast.
March 28.—Broke up the camp quite early,...and crossed the remainder of the Seven Brothers. Along our route was strewed the most beautiful sand-stone, resembling that of which Trinity Church is built, much of it blocks as though hewn by art; passed the crest of the Kiamicha mountains,...pine abundant, and the scrub oak looking like orchards—the wild gooseberry in great abundance: a novel chase of a rabbit by two crows. Crossed the Kiamichi in fine style, and encamped near Mr. Anderson's,36 having made 31 miles. The weather had been excessively warm, and we had scarcely pitched our camp, when rain came on,
36Capt. John Anderson bought the Council House at Nun-ne-wa-ya in Push-ma-ta-ha District (authority of Peter Hudson). Nun-ne-wa-ya Academy was on the Kiamichi River. Nun-ne-wa-ya means "bending mountain" (Henry C. Benson, Life Among the Choctaw Indians,... Cincinnati, 1860).
which, during the night poured in torrents:...and on the 29th, having been joined by Mr. Randolph, a gentleman of New Orleans,...left camp quite early, the rain continuing and wind blowing...Came upon a beautiful high prairie; forded several streams, which were much swollen by the rain: stopped by one about 17 miles from our camp, 12 feet water,...The stern realities of the missionary work now came upon us—a furious snow-storm—smokey fire we fared much better, however, than our poor horses, who were exposed to the weather all night.
March 30.—Snow this morning two inches deep: icicles a foot long: a very cold but bright morning: forded the stream at 9 o'clock, and at noon crossed the dividing ridge between the waters that flow to Red River on one side, and the Arkansas on the other: Passed a number of rapid streams almost too much for the horses. The Poteau ford,37 about 25 miles from our last encampment, was the point selected for the next, till that stream should run down.
Riding in advance of the party, came to a slough filled with back-water from the Poteau, which was half a mile distant: as there was no current, rode in, and very soon the horse was swimming—... returned to the party, which had halted at Mr. T's, from whom they had learned the state of the slough: Fortunately for comfort the Lieutenant had a spare suit—...it was a full dress uniform. Here we determined to rest for the night in one of Mr. T's log cabins He was an educated Choctaw: had been at the Foreign Mission School, Cornwall, Ct.,:38 Could speak English very well, and swore almost as fluently as a white man: had a well cultivated farm, and many comforts around him: raised corn and sufficient cotton for family use: had a loom under his piazza in operation: his partner seemed very industrious: all dressed in America costume. On being asked by the Bishop if he did not bring some books with him from the East, replied, "Yes, a trunkful, as far as Augusta, Ga., but had to leave them there and had not since recovered them."...said they had meetings at
38The Foreign Mission School at Cornwall, Connecticut, by Carolyn Thomas Foreman, Chronicles of Oklahoma, Vol. VII, No. 3, p. 242-259.
Cornwall three times on Sunday, and on Wednesday evening: seemed to have no very pleasant recollections of his Sunday fare at the Mission School, "nothing but a biscuit for dinner."
March 31.—(Palm Sunday)...our teamster rode over to the Poteau, and brought back word that he had found 17 feet water, which might not run down before Tuesday.
April 1.—Detained still by high water: rode out to visit some Indians six miles distant: lost the trail: started a fox: recovered the trail, which brought us to the house of Mrs.——, a Choctaw widow, with a large and interesting family of children, the daughters dressed in white cotton of their own manufacture: a black woman interpreted: had been brought up in the family: was quite intelligent and useful. There are a number of people of colour among them, who seem to be very happy: fare as well as the Indians, and are of great service to them in many ways. About the house and grounds there was the appearance of great neatness, thrift and comfort: a well stocked, well worked farm: the same remark applies to other houses and grounds we saw in the neighborhood: one of the sons is at Spencer Academy: two on horse back in conjunction with six dogs, were engaged in a very animating pig drive and chase.
A Choctaw, educated at the east, preaches once in three weeks. Returning to the camp found the Poteau had fallen 7 feet.
April 2.—Broke up camp and forded the Poteau without difficulty: rode today for the most part through a prairie country, some of it truly beautiful. Sugar Loaf mountain soon came in sight; ten miles from our camp, came to Col. McK's.,39 an influential Choctaw, to whom we had letters. He expressed a very lively interest in the education of Choctaw youth, and tendered us a hearty welcome to their country. After conferring with him, rode on passing several well looking farms; started some deer, turkey, and grouse; found the heat excessive, and made 30 miles. Much to our disappointment, found no fodder for our horses, and were compelled to ride on—the near-
est house 10 miles; fortunately met a waggoner, who supplied us, and we encamped within 18 miles of Fort Smith.
April 3. ...in the saddle before sunrise; passed first through a beautiful prairie, the remainder timber. It was evident that we were now approaching the abodes of civilized man, and crossing the line which separated the Indian Territory from Arkansas: unequivocal proof of this was presented by a half a dozen empty whiskey barrels standing around the cabin...and rode on to Fort Smith where Government has recently expended some $200,000.00 in commencing the erection of brick quarters for troops, surrounded by a strong stone wall, to keep out the fresh air and Indians. This is very thoughtful and praiseworthy in Government. $200,000.00 expended for schools, or chaplains, would ruin any administration that should recommend it; but where our frontier-men kindly furnish the Indians with whiskey, and are satisfied with their blankets, guns, horses, etc., when they have no money, to pay, it would be hard not to furnish them with a strong place run to, on occasions when the Indians drink too much, and become rude and quarrelsome. This work, Fort Smith, reflects so much credit on those who successfully carried out the design of it, viz. to spend public money, it is not a little surprising that no one can be found to father the plan. The buildings are half finished, and will of course require an additional appropriation...We were informed that not far from Fort Smith, (a town near the garrison), six hundred barrels of whiskey were stored, and Indians came in daily and carried away any quantity they could pay for. The garrison at present occupies a well shaded eminence a mile from the new fort :40...
April 4.—Leaving the Bishop to receive the attention courteously extended by General Taylor,41 rode out with
41Gen. Zachary Taylor of Virginia, entered the army in 1808. After service in various regiments he was transferred to the Sixth Infantry July 7, 1843. He was president of the United States from March 4, 1849 to his death July 9, 1850.
Major Hunter42 to the Choctaw Agency,43 (Major Armstrong's) who is at the same time the Superintendent of Affairs in the southwest. Passed through a noble canebrake vegetation very luxuriant, a grape vine eighteen inches in diameter; delivered my letters, and stated the object of our visit; the presence of others on business also curtailed our opportunity, the less to be regretted as Major Armstrong proposed taking the same boat with Bishop Otey, to descend the Arkansas. After dinner, rode on to Fort Coffee, beautifully situated on a projecting rocky point of the Arkansas, 75 or 100 feet above the level of the river and now occupied by the Methodists as a manual labour school for boys.44 The principal, the Rev. Mr. Good,45 was absent; Mr. Benson46 was hearing the boys
42Major David Hunter was born in the District of Columbia and appointed to the Military Academy at West Point from Illinois on the 14 September, 1818. After service in the West he resigned in 1836 but was re-appointed as paymaster in 1842. He was the same year sent to Fort Smith where he remained until the war with Mexico. He served throughout the Civil War and was retired July 31, 1866, "he being over 'the Age of 62 years," (George W. Cullum, Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates o f the U. S. Military Academy...New York, 1863.
45William H. Goode, was for ten years a member of the frontier conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was at South Bend, Indiana, when summoned to join the missionary forces on the 16 of March, 1843. After a journey made difficult by illness and severe winter weather Mr. Goode reached Louisville, where he boarded the Gallant on April 15, on the twentieth he reached Montgomery's Point at the Mouth of White River, and Fort Smith on the morning of the twenty-seventh. General Taylor advised him to charter the Gallant which had brought him safely although she had been condemned, and he and some of his friends were landed upon the shore below the promintory where Fort Coffee was located. The Rev. Mr. Goode remained at Fort Coffee until March 3, 1845. He was ably assisted in his duties among the Choctaw by his wife, Sarah B. Goode. Having five children she yet found time to supervise the stores, the larder and the dining room at the mission.
46Rev. Henry C. Benson, a graduate of Asbury University, was a member of the Indiana Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, when he was engaged as the principal teacher for the Fort Coffee Academy. He married Miss Matilda Williamson, of Greencastle, Indiana before leaving for his station among the Choctaw Indians. They set out for their field of labor on June 8, 1843 and boarded a steamboat at Louisville, reaching Napoleon on the 19th where they took a boat up the Arkansas River. Aboard this boat they became acquainted with two distinguished Arkansas citizens, Colonel Sevier and Judge Johnson, the brother of the famous Richard M. Johnson of Kentucky. On the 26 of June they arrived at Fort Coffee where they remained until May, 1845.
spell; 33 were in attendance, they rise at dawn, breakfast one hour after, work till half past eight o'clock; school from nine to twelve, and from half past one to half past four; work till sundown; use Goodrich's books. Looked at the dormitory and kitchen. This school promises very well; the police was much inferior to that at Spencer Academy, but it is fairly attributable to the mistake of patching up the old quarters instead of pulling them down and building new ones. It was humiliating to hear that the Government had required the Methodists, a body co-operating with them for the improvement of the Indians, to pay for the old buildings at Fort Coffee, which were not worth the powder it would require to blow them up. This is the most beautiful site for a school any where met with; the boys appeared to be very happy and were said to improve rapidly. Returned to the garrison, the day's ride 35 miles.
April 5.—At reveille took horse for Van Buren, 5 miles from the Fort to pay respects to Bishop Otey, who was there visiting the parish and to take leave of him. It was gratifying to know that his general health had improved by the journey...Put horse on steamer and returned to Fort Smith, whence we ascended the river towards Fort Gibson, a party of officers making it very pleasant—touched at Fort Coffee, and had the pleasure of seeing the principal, the Rev. Mr. Goode, and also the Rev. Mr. Browning,47 who is about establishing a Female Boarding School near the Agency.
April 6.—Ascending the Arkansas. This river is one of the avenues to the Indian Territory—perhaps the best when the water is high. You may generally find it in boating order from 1st of December to 1st of June. Travelling with little baggage, you can even in summer by stage, reach Fort Smith, or Van Buren—the mouth of the Arkansas being but 450 miles from that of the Ohio, and 670
47Rev. Wesley Browning of Pittsburgh arrived at Fort Coffee from the Missouri Conference in the spring of 1844 to take charge of Nun-na-wa-ya and remained in the country several months. "...the institution, which he came to take charge of, never went into operation. The arrangement was changed by an act of the Council and the fund distributed among other schools" (Rev. William H. Goode, Outposts of Zion, Cincinnati, 1863.
from New Orleans; it is a central highway to persons from the south or north. The Arkansas is sometimes up when the Red River is down, and free from ice when the Missouri is not navigable. Fort Gibson, near its banks, is more central to the Indian Territory than the Forts on either of the other highways.
April 7.—(Easter Sunday). Reached Fort Gibson on the Neosho, 6 miles from its mouth, at 7 A. M., and had the gratification of proclaiming the risen Saviour to my former brethren in the army. Four companies of infantry and two of dragoons are stationed here under the command of Lieut. Col. Loomis,48 a devoted Christian...
April 8.—Had a talk with Micanopy,49 the Principal Chief of the Seminoles, through the interpreter, Gopher John.50 Told him what I wanted; he said there had been a man talking about something about a school, but he did not know much about it—could not tell whether his people would send their children or not. The "governor," as Gopher John called him, seemed rather sleepy, and to care more about the contents of the bottle he carried with him, than whether his people were educated or not.
Rode to the Seminole camp, half a mile from Fort Gibson; found 200 of the most miserable looking men, women and children I had seen anywhere; the men had been on a drunken frolic, from the effects of which they had not yet recovered; the women usually select some day, when their lords are sober, and do not require their care to enjoy their frolic. The night previous, there had been a severe thunder shower, which failed however to break up their
48Lieut. Col. Gustavus Loomis of Vermont was appointed to the Military Academy June 15, 1808. For many years he served in the artillery and was transferred to the infantry in 1821. He saw service at Fort Towson, during 1842-43, at Fort Gibson 1843-44, was returned to Fort Towson 1845-46, after which he served at Fort Gibson 1846-48. He was retired from active service June 1, 1863, "Having been borne on the Army Register more than 45 years" (Cullum, Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the U. S. Military Academy,...New York, 1868).
49Mikanopy, the hereditary chief, long resisted removal of his tribe to the West. He has been described as "short and gross in person, indolent, and self-indulgent in habits, having none of the qualities of a leader" (Handbook of American Indians...Edited by Frederick Webb Hodge, Washington, 1912).
dance. One who recollects how they have been hunted and driven about in Florida, for some years, can readily conceive the appearance their camp presented—...
The country assigned to them is between forks of the Canadian: too cold in winter and too hot in summer for those who have been accustomed to the equable climate of Florida...Much to the annoyance of the Cherokees, whose cattle suffer, this large band have settled down here, where they do nothing but depredate and carouse, and yet the Agent left them in this predicament and went to Washington...It is perfect folly for the Government to have designated the boundaries of Indian Tribes in such close contact with each other, unless it compels respect to them. The Seminoles complain of the Creeks and the Government for not keeping its pledges to them—the Cherokees of the Seminoles, &c. &c.
The Seminoles, who have settled in the Canadian Fork raise corn and rice; have 1000 blacks among them, slaves for the most part, who pay a small tribute to their master, say two or three bushels of corn, or when they raise stock a beef or two.
John Bemo,51 a Seminole Indian boy, some nine years ago, was carried to sea from St. Augustine, and about twelve months since, by singular good fortune, found his way into the family of the Rev. Mr. Douglass, Pastor of the Mariner's Church, Philadelphia. Here he was instructed in letters and duty...this young person who is named John Bemo...being sent to Indian Territory, under the patronage of the Department. He is not more than twenty years of age, and returns after much wandering and an absence that separated him from the horrors of war, to a savage, but his native tribe, an educated but religious
51John D. Bemo was named Jean Bemeau by his abductors, one of whom was a Frenchman, the other an Englishman. He was carried away from the Seminole tribe about 1834 when nineteen or twenty years old. Bemo claimed to be a nephew of Osceola. After being educated he was sent to the Seminole Nation to teach full-blood Indians at a salary of $300.00 a year. His wife was a Creek named Harriet Lewis. He had three sons and one daughter who was named Iona by her father who had sailed among the Ionian Islands. The sons were named Alex, Alson Douglas and John. John Bemo lived for many years northwest of Muskogee, in the vicinity of Fern Mountain, and descendants of his still occupy the old homestead. Bemo taught school at Prospect Hill, in the Creek Nation.
youth, qualified and zealously willing to instruct his brethren. His story taken from Commissioner Crawford's report. He and the old man to whom Micanopy alluded, are endeavouring to raise a school, &c. The Seminole have no annuities however and unless Government takes pity on their destitution, and having removed them here, does all it can for them, they must soon become extinct...
April 9.—Rode out with Adjutant Belger52 of the 6th, to pay our respects to Judge [Field],53 of the Cherokee bench. He had just finished a very fine and commodious house, on a commanding eminence, but received us at his cabin. His lady, a Philadelphian of Quaker parentage—his daughter, educated in the east, very attractive. While there Micanopy, Alligator,54 and Wild Cat,55 followed by a troop of braves and canaille, some on foot and two on a horse, squaws at a respectable distance, with the usual allowance of dogs, came up to hold a council in regard to their matters.
Micanopy, (the "Governor") brought an empty bottle, which with some significant gestures, he handed to the Judge. The interpreter (Gopher John) signified that the Governor was growing sleepy, whereupon something was produced to quicken the old gentleman's faculties. This, after partaking himself, he handed to his brother chiefs, but not a drop to the parched throats of his followers, who, from the nodding in the course of the council, did not seem to have recovered from their late frolic. The governor began his speech by complaining that for sometime past councils had been held by the band near the fort, without
52Adjutant James Belger was a native of New York. He received his appointment from the ranks and served as adjutant from February 1, 1840, to January 1, 1846. He died December, 10 1891.
53Judge Richard Fields. His second wife of whom the journalist is speaking was Henrietta Ridgeway. He had a large house near Menard Bayou, east of Fort Gibson. His daughter Elizabeth was educated at Keene, New Hampshire, remaining under the care of Mr. and Mrs. Parker from her twelfth to her eighteenth year. She became the wife of William Shorey Coodey (A Cherokee Pioneer, Ella Flora Coodey Robinson, by Carolyn Thomas Foreman, Chronicles of Oklahoma, Vol VII, No. 4, p. 364-374).
55Wild Cat, (Coacoochee) the celebrated Seminole chief who made a sensational escape from the fort at St. Augustine in October, 1837, with seventeen warriors and two squaws to the great disgust of General Jesup.
consulting him, and then alluded to a power of attorney given by some not all of the chiefs, to their agent, (Mr.——,) to negotiate for them with the government in reference to sundry points of interest. Among these was entire discretion as to the point of their submitting to the Creek laws. Old Micanopy was alarmed lest his people would not submit to that rule, and had some apprehensions, no doubt, as to the two or three hundred blacks called "Micanopy's slaves."
The Judge...suggested their sending on a delegation to Washington, which has since visited that city, with what effect we have not learned. The Judge (and others bore the same testimony), spoke of the Cherokees as not having advanced, but on the contrary, retrograded within ten years: ascribed it to circumstances growing out of their removal...
Left the Seminoles debating among themselves what course they would take, and returned to the fort. In the afternoon, Col. Loomis kindly drove eighteen miles to Park Hill, one of the stations of the A.B.C.F.M., under the charge of the Reverend Mr. Worcester,56 whose devotion to Indian improvement, ere yet the Cherokees left Georgia, and his patient suffering there for what he deemed truth and duty, enlisted the respect and sympathy of Christians everywhere: and yet we learned afterward that even this friend of the red men, unto bonds and imprisonment, was more than once on the eve of being expelled from the country, on the suspicion of dissatisfaction with some one of the parties into which the Cherokees are split...Mr. W. confines himself to preaching and translating. He presented a copy of the Gospels printed in Cherokee, after the alphabet of Mr. Guess...57
The Missionaries at once seized upon the invention of Guess, much to his annoyance, for he was understood to say, that had he anticipated such an application of it, he would never have made it. The press at Park Hill, which we inspected, was first set up at Union in 1835, and remov-
56Rev. Samuel Austin Worchester was born at Worchester, Massachusetts, January 18, 1798. He arrived at Park Hill December 2, 1836.
ed to Park Hill in 1837; a number of books and pamphlets in Cherokee, Creek and Choctaw, and a small primer in them, have been printed there—H. [John] Candy, native printer.
Miss Avery58 instructs the day school, of about 25 scholars; Miss Thompson59 is also connected with the mission...Met Mr. F------, to whom I had been introduced at Judge ——'s; a Chickasaw himself, he had married a Cherokee; they lived near. Mr. F. had been with the Chickasaw previous to their removal from the east, and knew their deep feeling of repugnance to that measure none were in favour of it till they saw it was inevitable, their feeling to the whites for compelling it was anything but cordial; even the white men who married Indian wives did not escape the odium of their race. When they moved to the west, no missionaries were encouraged to come with them...
We spent the evening very pleasantly with the missionary family: much information was gained from Mr. W. [orcester]: The ladies seemed very happy and very devoted to the spiritual concerns of their Indian friends...
April 10.—Walked out with Mr. W. to look at the schoolhouse, church, and printing office; the former occupy a building erected by the unfortunate Boudinot60 for his residence: the spot was pointed out to me where this excellent and distinguished man was killed.
Having met him many years ago at the residence of his patron and friend, Dr. Boudinot, in Burlington, N. J., the story of his tragic end was listened to with peculiar interest
58"Miss Avery, who was an accomplished and interesting young lady" (Henry C. Benson, Life Among the Choctaw Indians,...Cincinnati, 1860, p. 232).
59Miss Nancy Thompson..."had gone into the Cherokee country when a young lady; had emigrated with the Indians from the State of Georgia to their present home." Ibid. "Nancy Thomposon was born in Washington County, Virginia, March 20, 1792...She arrived at the mission at Haweis in 1826...In 1833 she was transferred to the mission at Willstown and to Creek Path in 1836. In 1839 she removed to Park Hill, Indian Territory, and continued her labors there among the Cherokees until 1846." Robert Sparks Walker, Torchlights to the Cherokees, (New York, 1931). Miss Thompson was matron of the school at Tullahassee, Creek Nation, for many years and lived to a venerable age, beloved by all.
...The tree at whose foot he fell was pointed out, between his house and that of the Rev. Mr. Worcester. This increased the discontent already existing, and scarce one with whom I conversed believed it possible now to unite the Cherokee as one people.
Returned to the Fort, regretting that it was not possible to visit the Rev. Dr. Butler ,61 at ——, to whom letters had been kindly given to me by Rev. Mr. Brigham, of the American Bible Society.
Crossed the river and rode to the residence of Captain Dawson,62 U. S. Agent for the Creeks. He entertained the subject of my visit very cordially, and is extremely solicitious that schools should be introduced among them. Among the Cherokees, in addition to the Mission Schools there is a system of common or district school's, two for the smaller and three for the larger of the eight districts into which their country is divided; but nothing of the kind exists among the Creeks; they are, however, in some respects in a far more hopeful condition than their neighbours—less dissension and bad feeling among them. Their chief, M'Intosh,63 had hitherto been opposed to much innovation and prefers that the Indians should retain their usages, etc., rather than with the intelligence of the whites to learn also some of their vices.
There is an orphan's fund, which has accumulated till it amounts to $15,000.00. Those for whom it was designed are dead or out of the way; $4,000.00 per annum are now
61The Rev. Elizur Butler, was born at Norfolk, Connecticut, June 11, 1794. He accompanied the Cherokees to the West after having lived among them in the East from 1821. He lived at Park Hill, Fairfield Mission, and served as steward of the Cherokee Female Seminary. He died in 1857.
62Capt. James Low Dawson of Maryland resigned from the army December 31, 1835. He was appointed Indian agent in May 1842. Dawson and his brother-in-law John Baylor killed Seaborne Hill, a trader, near Fort Gibson in July, 1844. Dawson died January 13, 1879.
63Roley McIntosh was a brother of Chief William McIntosh. He lived with his mother Susanna on her plantation overlooking the Verdigris River until her house was burned by Northern troops during the Civil War. The family fled to Texas and Roley made his home there. He served as chief until his death in 1863. He was buried in Marion County, Texas.
locked up in Col. Johnson's school in Kentucky,64 to which they very wisely decline (taught by experience) to send their children.
Here is a fund, $11,000.00, which might support four common and two large schools.
It is not a little mortifying that a gentleman of Col. Johnson's standing and aspirations should have permitted himself for so long a time to stand in the way of the Indian's desire to have their children educated among themselves. Could not but blush for him at hearing the remarks of some intelligent Indians upon himself and his institution, and for the government, that could barter the best interests of its unfortunate wards for a mess of political pottage...
April 11.—Returned to the fort, and addressed the following note to the counsellor to the principal chief General M'Intosh:
"The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, feeling a deep interest in the measures adopted or projected in the Indian Territory, for the extension of religion and learning, has directed the undersigned to make a visit to the Territory with a view to ascertain in what way it can best co-operate in so good a work. Captain Dawson has informed me, how much you have at heart the best interests of the Creek Nation, and recommends me to address you on the subject of my Mission..."
64Col. Richard Mentor Johnson established the Choctaw Academy in Scott County, Kentucky, in 1825. (The Choctaw Academy, by Carolyn Thomas Foreman, Chronicles of Oklahoma, Vol. VI, No. 4, December 1928; Vol. IX, No. 4, December, 1931; Vol. X. No. 1, March, 1932; Mrs. Shelley D. Rouse, Colonel Dick Johnson's Choctaw Academy, Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly, January, 1916).
65Lieut. Henry W. Wharton was born in the District of Columbia and entered the army from Alabama, October 31, 1837. He served in the sixth Infantry and died March 23, 1868.
66Lieut. Ralph Wilson Kirkham was born in Massachusetts and appointed to the Military Academy July 1, 1838. He was a second lieutenant in the Sixth Infantry when he was married to Miss Catherine Mix; the daughter of Elijah Mix of New Orleans. Miss Mix was visiting the home of Colonel and Mrs. Gustavus Loomis at the time of the wedding. Mrs. Loomis and Eliza Mix were sisters and daughters of Jonathan Mix of New Haven, and both were said to have been in love with Loomis but he chose the younger sister. Lieutenant Kirkham and Catharine Mix met for the first time when he received her on her arrival by boat at Fort Gibson in place of her uncle, Colonel Loomis who was ill. They were married in the autumn of 1846 and occupied a small cottage in the post. Kirkham was absent for a year and a half serving in the war in Mexico. Miss Eliza Mix died May 26, 1844, at Fort Gibson while the guest of her sister and is buried in the officers circle in the National cemetery there. Kirkham was made a brigadier general March 13, 1865. He resigned from the army February 10, 1870 and died May 23, 1893. He was brevetted four times for gallant and meritorious conduct and was wounded at the storming of Chapultepec, Mexico. After his resignation from the army he resided at Oakland, California. Facts regarding General Kirkham, his wife, and her aunt Eliza Mix were kindly supplied the writer by Mr. Stanton Davis Kirkham, who is the grandson of General and Mrs. Kirkham.
Leavenworth; two dragoons accompanied us in search of health, and one was detailed as a guide. The road being for the most part now on the prairies, the Lieutenants selected a light wagon as their conveyance, the rest of the party on horseback. Proceeded twelve miles over the very rocky road, our general course NE to the house of Mr. L.——, a sturdy yoeman from New York; he had married a Cherokee, and opened a farm in the nation; his house, log, two stories; some acres in corn; had set out 100 apple trees, a fine peach orchard in front of his house; the walk from his gate, of fine gravel; taken from the cellar, secured by a border of hewn logs; improvements, though not completed very promising; country rolling, prairie interspersed with timber; limestone; water excellent. Such a farm invaluable as a pattern to the Indians, many of whom had profited by it...
Population rather sparse here; the rule among the Choctaws and Cherokees is, that a man may select a position for his residence and improvements where he pleases, and no one can then settle within half a mile without his consent; here, however, farms were usually within five miles of each other; this rendered it difficult in some neighbourhoods, to send their children to school; the system of common schools prevails here, but politics, he observed, exerted a baneful influence even on these. Boarding being very high, ($1.00 per week) he would send his boys to New York for their education...
April 12.—Made an early start; much of the way through a beautiful prairie, here and there an improvement; started two deer; partridges abundant...severe
thunder storms...Came to Mr. ——'s, a half breed, father a Scotchman, mother a Cherokee; many of the principal men here have received their descent in this way, a number of Scotchmen having left the British army at the close of the war, and settled amongst the Cherokees.
Left the party here for the night, and rode on—rain still pouring in torrents,...—to a Moravian missionary, five and a half miles in advance. The country here was singuarly beautiful, deep indentations on either side of the road, which was like a gravelled walk, firm and fine along the ridge till it sunk into a lovely valley...Emerging from this, came in view of the Missionary's establishment, on a fine hill; the bell so elevated that its tones might be heard afar off...gaining the eminence came to two log huts, one a school house, the other the humble but hospitable abode of Rev. Z. Smith, who gave me a cordial welcome. For six months, the only companion of his solitude was a cat, at present a fine Cherokee lad shared it, the son of pious parents,...
...The missionary kneaded some flour, prepared some fish he had taken from the hook, and with the help of a few eggs discovered by me in putting up my horse, we made a sumptuous repast. It was a great treat to commune with this excellent young man; his father before him was a missionary, the first among the Cherokees; and he, reared among them, commands their entire confidence; about seventy-seven souls constitute his cure. He ministers on Sundays in holy things, and during the week instructs the children of his flock, about fifteen full blood Cherokees, who are, he thinks, more apt than white children in receiving instruction. The feelings of the Cherokees against the Missionaries was much stronger ten years ago than since. An attempt was made upon the life of the Rev. Mr. ----, who was thought to have taken too much interest in politics; Rev. Mr. —— was supposed to be equally warm on the other side, and he was restricted to five acres of land and twenty-five head of cattle. The whole body of Missionaries became obnoxious for the supposed, or rather alleged interference of one or two in secular affairs.
The Upper Cherokees were those who in the old country inhabited the hills—the Lower, the valleys. They now live together; the Upper are generally more poor, uneducated, and opposed to the Gospel. The Lower have more half breeds among them, and are better farmers. They have two dialects, the upper have r where the Lower have l; in some cases the word is quite different. They can understand each other, but sometimes with difficulty; all that has been written yet is in Lower Cherokee.
The orphan children of this nation have a fund, from which they are boarded out (75 cents per week,) and enjoy the benefits of public schools. The Missionary establishment—himself, Cherokee boy, and horse—cost at the rate of $150.00 per annum, clothing not included.
April 13.—It had rained all night: rising early,...Mr. S.[mith] prepared our breakfast...he produced a slice of dried venison, which having been hung at the top of his chimney for three or four days in the winter, was delightfully cured...Saddled our horses and essayed to cross Spring Creek; before reaching its channel, however, wet feet admonished us that it was swimming, and we turned back: rode over to Mr. —— to turn back Lieut. W.[harton] if he should have set out: found he had concluded to remain where he was: at noon, however, it cleared. The party set out, and on reaching the Creek, which had its source about five miles off, found it fordable: proceeded fifteen miles to Mosely Creek, which was also deep: here the wagon encountered a log. The Lieut. whipped up the horses and away went the single-tree: this officer and a dragoon jumped in, waist deep and extricated the horses: everything wet: passed on to the Espavanau67 in advance
67Spavinaw Creek. "Espavanau. On the surface it appears to me, as it does to you, French. The 'u' ending is very unusual in Spanish. There is a possibility that the word is a French corruption of a Spanish expression: Es Pavanado, which means 'it is a red color.' Pavando, strangely enough also means a dark sky blue color. Its first use is generally in connection with the colors used on a palette. The dark blue color as the meaning is more common. With regard to reconciling Espavanu with Es Pavando, I can only suggest that it is quite customary for the Spaniards of southern Spain and many of the Spanish-Americans to elide the 'd' in words of this character" (Dr. Alfred B. Thomas, The University of Oklahoma). This interpretation of the word "Espavanau" was confirmed in a personal interview with Dr. David Rubio, Consultant in Hispanic Literature on the Huntington Foundation in the Library of Congress.
of the carriage: reached it about dark and found it running quite a current, and deep, the opposite landing being also unfavourable: no house here: retraced our steps: struck the road, and there tried a left-hand trail, which brought us to the house of Jo Walker, a Cherokee. Lt. Kirkham went back to find the carriage and guide it; his horse, being a white one, was a good directory.
Lt. W.[harton] proved himself a fine driver: the marvel next morning was how he came in safely: our horses fared well—so did we: restricting Jo and his family to their kitchen, we felt we had a palace in a hut 12 by 15; then commenced the preliminary process of drying: the Lieut.'s wardrobe put up with great solicitude for his comfort, without his knowledge, contained a little of everything and a great deal of many things;...A cup of water eked out our tea, at which with appetites that nothing could purchase and scarcely anything could satisfy...
Jo Walker did not speak a word of English nor we of Cherokee yet we contrived to understand each other. "He is a specimen perhaps of Cherokee in the very early stages of civilization, yet has comforts around him which vindicate the superiority of the agricultural to the hunter state. He had 200 bushels of corn secured in a substantial log crib: stock sufficient for all his wants: children the picture of health, looked as though they had never lacked Tom Fuller, or as it is called here, Sophky. The boys had their blowguns and bows and arrows, and seemed as wild as fawns. In our cabin was one piece of embroidery and that stitched in blue and red upon the only cotton tapestry in the room; what name to give it would have baffled Adam: it might have been intended to represent a boy in the act of catching a horse. Over it hung the glass: this was the place of the toilette, and the Cherokee matron had put her taste in requisition to make it the attractive corner of her dominion...
April 14, (Sunday)—Showers still. Two of the men went to inspect the river ,and judged it to contain eight feet water; crossing was therefore out of the question. This was a disappointment as I had proposed to spend the day
with the Moravian Missionary68 at Beattie's prairie, four miles beyond the other bank:...
April 15:—Rained during the night, so all hope of taking the carriage across vanished. The Lieut. permitted me to take a dragoon and attempt to cross with our horses: all rode down accompanied by Jo Walker on his pony, to the bank: river had fallen but a foot since Saturday: ford pronounced impracticable. The Indian then led the way to another ford, which he intimated was better: pointed out the course we must take to strike, if possible, where a slough joined the river. The dragoon's horse was soon swimming. We watched him with great anxiety, but he was the best swimmer, and carried over his rider very handsomely. My turn came next; the horse took a wrong "chute" and came out on the same side: not willing to risk him by my inexperience in swimming, gave him to Joe Walker to swim and took his pony, substituted slippers for heavy boots tied coat to the saddle-bow, strapped on an air pillow and went in again. Joe made the landing very well the pony being somewhat barrel-formed, after getting me fairly into the river, rolled first on one side and then on the other, till he unhorsed me, and a swimming match commenced .... the poney reached the brush first,...eyeing me swimming for a tree about waist deep, which I succeeded in reaching:...Remounting, the slough was crossed without difficulty, and ascending a steep hill, a trail conducted us to the military road: leaving our kind friends, the Lieutenant and the invalid dragoons, on the opposite bank till the stream should run down...
...Passed Beattie's prairie and the wet prairie, well named: came to Honey Creek, also swimming but the
68The Moravian Mission on Beattie's Prairie was established in 1840 after the mission on Barren Fork had proved unhealthful. A log cabin about a mile from Thompson's home was first occupied. A small cabin at Lydia Chisholm's (mother of George Hicks) was also used until houses could be built. The lumber had to be hauled about 20 miles. While the missionaries were living in this small cabin they were visited by John Howard Payne. A school house 18x22 feet was built in a beautiful oark grove and Herman Ruede opened classes in September, 1840 with seven pupils. A school for girls was opened by Mrs. Vogler in May, 1841. A Sunday school with five classes was taught by Martin Thompson and Delila Hicks, the daughter of George Hicks, who had been educated at Spring Place, Georgia and Salem Female Academy.
banks on both sides being good, our horses passed it without difficulty;...passed onto Cowskin river,69 and struck it a little above the falls, where we found a flat boat...with the aid of poles and boughs of trees, whose trunks were immersed ascended several hundred yards, and then shot across to the opposite shore, the passage very handsomely effected,...
Crossed the Cherokee line, and, without instruments, knew we were in the states once more, by coming upon a large distillery which can "turn out" its one hundred barrels of whiskey per week. Hard by is the grist mill of the Senecas, and two miles beyond came to Buffalo Creek...
Soon came to the shelter of Mrs. Adam's house in the Seneca nation. Our hostess, a Stockbridge, formerly from New York, had recently lost her husband, Mr. Daniel Adams, a Mohawk Indian...
April 16.—Came to the Seneca Agency, B. B. R. Baker, Esq.; not at home. Rode on to Lost Creek, much swollen. [Indians helped him to cross on a tree that had been felled making a bridge]. Had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Baker, the agent of the Senecas, Senecas and Shawnees, and Quapaws, (the Neosha sub-agency), in company with the Rev. Mr. Patterson, a Methodist clergyman; who has a fine school, though not very well located, five miles west of the farm...The agent [does all he can to prevent whiskey being sold]. In paying the annuities to them, he advised not to pay the whiskey dealers, as the debt was an unlawful one...The proportion of children among the Quapaws is said to be greater than among other Indians. They have 60 less adults on his pay roll than at a previous payment. They have a fine body of land. Government sent out some looms, the use of which they did not understand. A Frenchman became possessed of some of them. He did not know what they were; and they now lie as useless lumber about his premises.
The Agent...accompanied me to the house of Mr. R[ogers], who, with thirty Cherokee families, resides on a portion of the Cherokee lands, detached from the main body,—a tract of 800,000 acres, purchased for $500,000.00
—more, it is thought, than it was worth, three-fourth of it being prairie,—the remaining fourth, however, very fine. 1000 Cherokees, from the east of the Mississippi, are expected to remove here this season. This portion of the Cherokees does not receive any of the annuities of its tribe, —is much dissatisfied, and is willing to separate. Their agent is too far off (at Fort Gibson), and often not at home when they go to see him. They would prefer to be attached to the Osage, or Neosho sub-agency. Justice, too, is difficult of administration. The Indians have to go to Little Rock Arkansas. The establishment of a Circuit Court near this frontier, would be preferable. Between Indians of different tribes, it is not promptly administered. When the Indian complains to the Agent, the reply is, "Keep Quiet," and so the injury goes without redress. The Osages, for instance, are troublesome, and do not respect the right of property. As game disappears, they must either suffer themselves, or make others suffer, unless they give up their roving habits and become cultivators of the soil.
April 17.—Mr. Rogers has selected a beautiful spot on the Spring river, a tributary of the Pomme de Terre which flows southwest into the Neosho, and erected a substantial and commodious edifice: his children have not access to schools, nor is there one in this portion of the Cherokee nation: he desires one that may unite the acquisition of a trade with that of letters. When the expected Cherokees shall arrive, unless they bring teachers with them, this would be a good point for a school, the remainder of the tribe being to some extent, provided.
It is much to be regretted that white trespassers are allowed to cut the timber on this tract, which has not more than enough for its future population...Afternoon.—Commenced the passage of Spring river with the intention (the distance to Fort Scott being 57 miles) of making 15 today and going in tomorrow. The river was higher than Mr.—— thought it easy to swim.
Proceeded fifteen miles over a beautiful prairie, here and there a little timber, till we came to the creek, on whose banks, we proposed to bivouac. There was no house within 28 miles on the other side, and the whole distance prairie; so that this was the only spot at which we could have a fire
two dragoons as guides in the direction of the Osage village,...the occasional howl of the prairie wolf, the note of the whipper-will, which one of the dragoons translated as "Who cooks for you."
April 18.—Our course lay over a prairie,...flocks of plover were feeding: the prairie hen would now and then be roused by our approach: the lark fly up and circle around us...We pursued our solitary way over this sea of beauties and sweets for 28 miles, when a narrow strip of timber occurred, then another prairie, and a small stream, fordable only since yesterday,...and arrived at Fort Scott, snaking over 42 miles, by 1 1-2 o'clock.
Major Graham and his officers received us with their wonted courtesy.
April 18.—Fort Scott is on the Marmiton, a small stream, and fronts upon a wide expanse of prairie,...
The garrison was placed here ostensibly—(we say ostensibly for the true reason in these cases is not always so easily arrived at...An officer was once sent from Fort Gibson to confer with the authorities of Arkansas, upon the establishment or re-establishment of Fort Wayne, or some other Fort on that frontier. There was present at the interview, one of the constituency, just drunk enough to be honest, who listened with as much patience as he could, to the "ostensible" reasons, why and wherefore a Fort should be established, till murder must out. "Governor, I say the people must have troops here, for if they can't do anything else, they can eat our provision and fodder."...) to keep the Osage in check. This tribe as well as the Kansas, who are virtually the same people, is indigenous to this country. The agent recently displaced...understanding at the Fort,...that a new agent had been appointed, and was expected at the Osage village this evening,—furnished through the politeness of Captain Swords70 with a fresh horse, rode out in company with Lieut. Norton,71 and
70Capt. Thomas Swords was a native of New York and was appointed to the Military Academy from that state, July 1, 1825. He served in the Fourth Infantry and the First Dragoons. He became a captain March 3, 1837 and died March 20, 1886.
71Lieut. Allen Higbee Norton was born in Ohio and appointed to the Military Academy in July, 1838. He served in the First and Fourth Infantry and was drowned November 27, 1846.
45 miles distant...Reached the Neosho nearly opposite the village, through a fine belt of timber, hickory, ash and oak, about 3 o'clock, and found a number of Indians on this side to which they had brought their horses to ride out and meet the agent when he should approach. We learned however, through a runner, that he would not be in before the morrow ..and...made preparations to cross the Neosho, which was very full.
We preferred seeing the Osages take across our horses to attempting it ourselves—...taking the halters between their teeth they swam before the horses, hand over hand,...We crossed in a canoe and came to a village of about 50 lodges,72 containing about 10 each, of the wildest kind of Indians. Whiskey had done its work the day previous, and the women, many of them, were in the corn field, so that the camp was comparatively quiet. The lodges were elliptical and formed by poles covered with mats. Those we entered were very neatly kept. Baptiste Mongrain73 introduced us to his, which contained many comforts and luxuries. A young squaw, who, from her dress and general air of quiet satisfaction, seemed to be the favourite bride, was stretched flat upon the floor, her heels in the air eating with much seeming gout, bowl of corn, with a wooden spoon; our entrance did not seem to disturb her at all.
Walked around the village, which was built without plan—some of the lodges nearly 100 feet long, others not more than 30. The young squaws many of them engaged in playing ball—they manage their blankets very gracefully. We were entertained by Monsier Papin,74 of the American Fur Company, who has spent nearly all of his life in the Indian country. It has been made a matter of charge against the Company, that "they discourage the Indians from following agricultural pursuits, telling them they do not want to buy corn or cattle, but buffalo skins and furs; thus prompting them to keep up the chase. They also advise them not to have schools or any religious instruction among them. Hence there are no schools or Missionaries among them at this time."
73Baptiste Mongrain interpreter from French into Osage at the conference held at Fort Gibson in March, 1833.
Report of a visit to some of the Tribes, etc., by John. Lang and Samuel Taylor an interesting and valuable document. The reply of Mr. Papin to our inquiries on this subject was, "We should prefer the Indians to raise corn and stock, and not spend their money in the settlements for these things. All their money then would be spent with us to purchase clothing and other comforts for their families. We discourage, for the same reason, their going into the settlements for whiskey. 'Tis true we encourage them to hunt, but these hunts are made at seasons of the year when they could not employ themselves in agriculture. They wait in the spring till their corn is sufficiently grown to take care of itself, and then make their hunt, returning in time to gather it. In the winter they could do but little if they were at home."
There can be no doubt that these gentlemen are alive to their own interests, but some system of trade must prevail, and we do not believe that they are in worse hands now than they would be if Messers A., B., and C., could eject them from the country and introduce their own friends. Their Repugnance to Protestant Missionaries arises more, we think, from the fact; that most of the persons who, in the employ of the Company, come in contact with the Indians, are either Romanists or strongly biased towards them. I discovered that at a council to be held in a few days, a Missionary of this Church was invited by a trader to be present, and have no doubt that efforts will be made to secure them a foothold there. There was a Protestant Mission some years since (Harmony, *) 75 *Quasi lucus, etc. among them, but a Diotre plus spirit crept in; they all were bishops—and it came to naught. Missions to the Osages were commenced in 182076 under the patronage of
75Harmony Mission was established among the Osage Indians on the Marais de Cygne River in Missouri in 1821. Washington Irving, Count Portales, Charles Joseph Latrobe and General William Clark were guests of the missionaries in 1832 during the journey that resulted in Irving's book Tour on the Prairies.
76The first mission among the Osages established by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions was Union near Grand River in the present Mayes County, Oklahoma. The members of Union Mission were Rev. William F. Vaill, Rev. Epaphras Chapman, Dr. Marcus Palmer, Stephen Fuller, Abraham Redfield, Alexander Woodruff, John M. Spaulding, George and William Requa, Miss Clarissa Johnston, Miss Susan Lines, Miss Mary Foster, Miss Dollie E. White, Miss Eliza Cleaver, Miss Phoebe Beach, together with the wives of Chapman and Vaill and the four children of Mr. and Mrs. Vaill. These devoted people were all natives of New York and the New England states.
"the United Foreign Missionary Society," two preachers, one physician, two farmers, a carpenter, a stonecutter, teacher, blacksmith, and eight females. Much privation was endured—much effort made. In the following season it was determined to send a second Mission77 to the Little Osages. When this became known, more than one hundred persons, both male and female, volunteered their services in this laborious and self-denying enterprise—twenty-five were sent, making with the children, a Mission family of forty-six souls.
One of these missionaries, Rev. Mr. Dodge,78 more persevering than the rest, came with them to their present abode; "tried each art, reproved each dull delay," showed them how to split rails, hold the plough, etc., but was not seconded by the then Government agent and of course failed. He was spoken of in the highest terms by all, had secured the affections of the Indians, but a miserable "Father" spoiled it all. I was pointed to a hill where, years ago, substantial buildings crowned its summit, to a plain once fenced and cultivated, the buildings gone, the field as though never broken up-all because the humane views of our Government had been frustrated by the man who ought to have carried them out.
There was recently a large amount of appropriation paid this tribe in cattle, swine and agricultural implements. The Indians...soon sold and gave away all their ploughs, killed the cattle and swine, and the whole plan was frustrated...
Mr. P.[spin]'s housekeeper, an Indian woman, did the honours with a great deal of savoir faire, and spread me a couch of mats, skins, and blankets, on which I enjoyed a repose which was proof against all the dancing and powwowing.
78Rev. Nathaniel B. Dodge was born in Winchester, New Hampshire, June 5, 1781. He arrived at Harmony August 8, 1821 and was released from his duties there March 29, 1836.
Saturday, 19th.—[April] Was introduced to the chief off the band Pah-sha-sha, who courteously invited us to tarry some days with him...He is a fine-looking man, and expressed himself favourably disposed to the improvement of his people. The camp was alive this morning with preparations to receive their new agent. The former one had been very unpopular, and at last, after the efforts of a year or more to remove him...a new father had been sent to them...Here you might see a group of these fine fellows, with their (pocket?) glasses before them, carefully painting their faces with vermilion; others adjusting their head gear, or furbishing and ornamenting their lances, and decorating their horses...a runner had been dispatched to the lower village, six miles distant, to summon that band to meet them on the opposite bank...a little more than an hour afterwards, this man was pointed out to me as having performed his journey and returned. There was no indication of fatigue about him,...Coming up, we were introduced to the Agent, Major Edwards of Virginia, [had two well-filled wagons of specie and goods].
The Major expressed himself determined to exert all his influence in favor of schools and Missionaries;
Regained our trail, and reached the garrison about "retreat".
April 20.—[Addressed a long note to Major Edwards giving plans for schools, for a Bishop for Indian Territory; female boarding schools in the various tribes; one central manual labour boarding school for boys; prices for tuition, &.c.] Took leave of Major Graham and his officers...ferried across the Marmiton,...reached the Marie des Cygnes, 28 miles, a Pottawatomie village of 1000 souls is fourteen miles from this point; their agent, Mr. Carpenter, was absent at St. Louis. The Romanists have a Mission among them. The principal, Rev. Dr. Verryette,79 had re-
79Father Felix L. Verreydt was born in Belgium, February 18, 1798. He came to the United States with five other young men in 1820, and studied for the priesthood at White Marsh, Maryland. With his five companions he accompanied Father Van Quickenborne to Missouri in 1823, and he helped in the establishment of the Jesuits at Florissant, Missouri. These pioneer priests endured hardships and privations; their beds were "pallets on the floor", and eight of them were lodged in one small log cabin for several months after their arrival.
Father Verreydt was ordained a priest by Bishop Rosati in 1827 and assigned to a church at St. Charles, Missouri. He was transferred to Portage des Sioux near St. Louis and in 1834 he built a brick church there. In 1837 he located a mission among the Kickapoo Indians near where Fort Leavenworth is, and in August, 1841 he went to the Jesuit colony at St. Mary's Mission on Sugar Creek where Centerville, Kansas, is now located. It was here that he organized an anti-liquor brigade for the protection of the Indians.
Father Verreydt chose the location on the Kaw River where St. Mary's, Kansas, now stands in November, 1847 and the next year he selected the place where St. Mary's College is located for a school for Indian girls. He made two trips to the Osages on the Neosho River in 1843 and 1846. He passed to his reward at St. Xavier's College, in Cincinnati, Ohio, March 1, 1883 and was buried in the Jesuit cemetery at St. Stanislaw's Seminary at Florissant, Missouri.
paired to the Osage village...The school, consisting of two departments, especially the female, taught by ladies of the order of the "Sacred Heart," was highly spoken of...
My room-mate tonight was a Canadian engagee,...told me he was a catechumen of the Missionary: of whom he spoke in raptures: "When Indian sick, priest he on the floor and give him his bed; if he have no covering he cover him; do anything for Indian."
April 23.—Reached Bartelson's, 40 miles from the Marie des Cygnes.
April 24.—Took leave of Major W. and his party, and rode over to Major Cummins, U. S. Agent, for the Shawnees, Delawares, Kansas, and Kickapoos,—informed me that there were three missions among the Delawares, a Methodist, Moravian and Baptist. Three among the Shawnees, Methodist, Baptist and Friends. One among the Stockbridge, Baptist. One among the Kickapoos. None among the Kanzas. The Methodists tried for many years to establish one without success. Major Cummins said decidedly there was no more room for more missionaries in his agency, unless it were among the Kanzas.
Passed on to the Methodist Manual Labour School among the Delawares, for boys and girls. Rev. Mr. Berryman80 is at the head of it...It would provoke all Christians to good work, to witness the energy, liberality, and success with which this effort has been carried on.
80Rev. J. C. Berryman was appointed superintendent of the Indian Mission Conference in 1844. "He was an excellent preacher, a man of good address, and endowed with an unusual amount of energy, ambition, and perseverance..." (Benson, Life Among the Choctaw Indians, Cincinnati, 1860), p. 258.
Here were extensive brick buildings, adapted to all the wants of such an institution. A steam grist-mill, which not only was adequate to the supply of flour for their large family, but to all the Indians round about it, who formerly knew not what to do with their corn but to pound it, but who are now encouraged to raise grain...Here also they find a market for their wood, which they sell at $1.50 per cord. Carpenter and wheel-wright and black-smith shops, a brick yard, looms, dairies—in short, every facility for imparting instruction not only in letters, but in the mechanical arts. Five fields of 100 acres each, were under the cultivation of the School, and everything wearing a most promising aspect...expended $70,000—(but $10,000. of which came from Government,) upon this one institution for the red man...It is a central school for all the tribes among whom they operate...averages one hundred pupils—60 boys and 40 girls. The latter make the boy's clothing; candles, soap—they wash and cook and in short are taught to be useful...Mr. P....accompanied me to the Baptist Mission School and printing press. Rev. Mr. Barker, Mr. Wells had ridden out, and Mr. Stanley, the superintendent, had gone to the East. They have 212 acres under fence, one half of which is cultivated by the boys under the eye of Mr. Stanley and his assistant. The proceeds arising from the farm this year defray the expenses of the institution, except salaries and building. These are provided by the yearly meetings of Friends of Baltimore, Ohio and Indiana, who at the request of the Indians, instituted the school...
Passed on to the Kansas river—the boundary between the Shawnees and Delawares...on either side is a good ferry boat, managed by the Indians. The Delawares are great rovers and successful hunters...Rev. Mr. Peery,81...He has been many years in this country...
81The Rev. John Thompson Peery was born in Taswell County, Virginia, February 18, 1817 and died at Clinton, Henry County, Missouri, in 1890. In 1844 he married Mrs. Mary Jane Chick Johnson of Kansas City, and his nephew is Mr. Dan W. Peery, Secretary of Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Mr. Peery began his ministry in the Methodist Church in 1837 or 1838 and preached for more than fifty years to congregations of that denomination, He was the first Methodist minister in Kansas City, Missouri and he served as superintendent of the Shawnee-Delaware Mission for several years. He was transferred to the Indian Mission Conference and preached at Parkhill mission near Tahlequah from 1847-50. He was present at the Methodist conference at Atoka in 1847. The Rev. Mr. Peery occupied a high position in the esteem of his fellow-workers.
Within two miles of his house is a remnant of the Munsees a branch of the Delawares, formerly residing on the Lehigh—among the Moravians, for more than half a century interested in them, have a missionary—the venerable Brother Micksch. Some are mixed with the Stockbridges, other among the Shawnee, a few at Green Bay they number perhaps 200, and have a school of 15 or 20...at this moment he is building a new church...In a clear day you may see, as you approach Fort Leavenworth, at a distance of sixteen miles, the "star-spangled banner" floating from the staff...and taking leave, 27th April, descended the Missouri, 450 miles to St. Louis...and pausing a moment in Cincinnati...reached New York,...on the 14th May.
The Choctaws...have many large farms; much live stock, such as horses, mules, cattle sheep and swine; three flour-mills, two cotton-gins, eighty-eight looms, and two hundred and twenty spinning wheels, carts wagons and other farming utensils...
The Choctaws have several schools, under the control of A. B. C. F. M. are the following: Wheelock, Rev. A. Wright, Mrs. W.; Mr. H. K. Copeland, Mrs. C., Miss Kerr. Stockbridge, Rev. C. Byington, Mrs. B.; Pine Ridge, C. Kingsbury, Mrs. K., Miss Arms, Miss Dickinson.
Norwalk, Mr. C. Copeland, Miss Burnham; Goodwater, Rev. E. Hodgkin, [Hotchkin] Mrs. H.; Mount Pleasant, J. Potter, Mrs. P.; Baptists—Providence, Rev. R. D. Potts, Mrs. P.
Methodists—Fort Coffee Academy, Rev. W. H. Good, Mr. Benson. Nunnawaya Academy, Rev. Mr. Browning and also several local preachers. Government Schools, Puckshenubbee District, Mr. H. G. Rind, Mayhew; on Boggy, J. P. Kingsbury; Spencer Academy, Rev. Mr. McKenney
(Presbyterian), Messers. Wilson and Wright—Mr. Dwight, interpreter...
The Creeks. . . Rev. Mr. Loughridge, Presbyterian, and a Methodist missionary, are the only ones at present among them. Messers. W. N. Anderson and J. R. Baylor have schools.
Of the latter Creek emigrants who reached Arkansas in the winter and spring of 1837, about 200 died on the road, and before the first of October succeeding their arrival about 3500 more fell victims to bilious fever. In the same year 300 of the earlier emigrants died.
The Cherokee Schools are sixteen in number. There are two in each of the three large districts, viz. Delaware, Going Snake, and Flint—one each in Skin-boyou, Illinois, Canadian, Tahlequah, and Saline districts. Scholars number in all of these nearly five hundred, which with the several Missions and other neighboring schools, says Mr. Foreman, the late Superintendent of Common Schools, do not more than half supply the demand. From five to ten orphan children are supported at each of these schools. The Moravians have two stations, Beattie's Prairie and Spring Creek, Rev. Messrs. Volger, Bishop and Schmidt. The A. B. C. F. M. have three stations: Dwight, Mr. Hitchcock, Mrs. H., Mr. Day, Mrs. D., Miss Stetson and Miss Moore, Fairfield, Dr. Butler, Mrs. B., Miss Smith Park Hill, Rev. Mr. Worcester, Mrs. W., Miss Thompson, Miss Avery. Baptists, Cherokee—Rev. E. Jones, Mrs. J., T. Frye, W. P. Upham, Miss S. H. Hibbard, H. Upham. Delaware—Miss E. S. Moore; Flint—J. Bushyhead, native preacher. Methodists have among the Upper Cherokees, 10 local preachers, 9 exhorters, 13 class-leaders, and about 600 members.
Seminoles...In October, 1837, they were reduced by sickness nearly one-half. During these awful times of mortality among them, some of the dead were deposited in the hollows of the standing and fallen trees, and others for want of these, were placed in a temporary enclosure of boards, on the open prairies...Of the 2,023 emigrants who had reached their new homes prior to October 1832, not more than 1600 remained alive.