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Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 4, No. 1
March, 1926


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From 1875 to 1885, or the second decade after the Civil War, witnessed what might be termed the beginning of the "Golden Age" of the Cherokee Nation. It was about this time that reconstruction ended and a period of development began which culminated in the best conditions reached under tribal government.

At this time the Cherokees were living under a well organized government with a written constitution patterned after the constitution of the United States. It consisted of six articles with four amendments. Provisions were made for three distinct departments which were known as the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. The legislative branch was made up of two houses; the Senate and Council. These were jointly called the National Council, and they functioned in much the same manner as any state legislature. The chief executive power was vested in a Principal Chief. He was elected by a viva voce vote of the people, and served for a term of four years. The following oath was administered upon his induction into office:1

"I do solemnly swear or affirm that I will faithfully execute the duties of Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the constitution of the Cherokee Nation."

In addition to the Principal Chief, there was an Assistant Principal Chief and an Executive Council to assist in performing the executive duties of the government. The judiciary was composed of nine district courts, three circuit courts, and one supreme court. In addition to these there

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were numerous local courts presided over by Justices of the Peace. The courts were assisted by a High Sheriff, and nine District Sheriffs. Some other officers were: Treasurer, Auditor, Attorney General, and Superintendent of Education. The Cherokee Nation was divided into nine political districts each of which was a local unit of government.

Cherokees were natural politicians and white men who have political aspirations might do well to study some of their methods of conducting political campaigns. Robert L. Owen made the following statement concerning their ability as politicians :2

"The Cherokees are the most ardent politicians on the face of the earth. Each party has a thorough and complete organization, each with its platform, its three district lodge captains, its district managers, its three lead managers, and its manipulators. Each gives barbecues, has speakers to talk for them, and they vilify the opposing party with as much vigor and in as ingenious a manner as could possibly be desired or hoped for in the most enlightened community. They resort to all the schemes known to mortal man to secure voters for their respective parties. They get the voter’s bearing from every point of the compass; they know his church, his neighbors, his kin, his old party difficulties, his boon companions; they measure up his personal pride, his present need, his ambition, and bring all this influence to bear."

So bitter were these political campaigns that there never was an election held that was not followed by a cry of "corruption," and many were contested. On some of these occasions the results produced were little short of civil war. An example of this was the election fight that followed the election of Joel Mayes as Principal Chief over his opponent, Rabbit Bunch. Mayes represented the Downing Party, and defeated Bunch of the National Party by a small majority. The National Party controlled the National Council and refused to declare Mayes elected. After a period of time had elapsed, Mayes and his followers took possession of the executive offices by force. Immediately the followers of Bunch began mobilizing to retaliate. Liquor was distributed among the men, and had it not been for the extreme efforts on the part of a few cool-headed men on each side, a pitched battle would have been fought.

Law enforcement was a rather difficult task in the Cherokee Nation. This may be attributed to two factors. One was the close proximity of white settlements, and the other

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was the lack of courts with proper jurisdiction. The fact that the Cherokee Nation had white settlements on two sides of it, made it a rendezvous for outlaws and desperate characters. Many of the crimes were committed by this class of men. The trouble was augmented by a lack of courts with proper jurisdiction. The Cherokee courts were adequate for the handling of their own affairs, but they had jurisdiction only in cases where their own citizens were involved. All other cases had to be tried in the courts of the United States. There were no such courts within the boundaries of the Cherokee Nation; so these cases had to be taken to the one located at Fort Smith, Arkansas. The distance was far, the transportation poor, and many dangers lurked by the way. All of these made it a very undesirable trip. Serious crimes were permitted to pass unpunished because the bringing of the offenders to trial would necessitate the dragging of a number of witnesses over this long road. Indian Agents complained of these conditions all through this period, and each year they recommended that a United States Court be established somewhere within the boundaries of the territory of the Five Civilized Tribes.

One of the most common offences was the illicit sale of liquor. Some Indian Agents estimated that ninety percent of the crime committed within the Cherokee Nation could be traced to liquor. The United States Government seemed to make an honest effort to stop this nuisance, but with little success. Squads of officers were sent into this country to round up the bootleggers and bring them to justice. Regular camps were established and officer spent many weeks gathering up whisky peddlers. When one was caught he was handcuffed and brought to camp where he was placed under the guard of other officers there. So many escaped after they were caught that offices began to take further precautions. Not only was the prisoner handcuffed, but frequently he was chained to a tree or wagon for safe keeping. It was not unusual to find a number of men chained to trees and wagons in one of these camps. Prisoners often traveled all the way to Fort Smith chained to a wagon. Such processions reminded one of a Roman army returning from a triumphant campaign. Even when these extreme means were used the illicit traffic in liquor was not held in check. The profits were so enor-

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mous that men were willing to take the chances of being caught. Moonshine liquor that could be purchased for fifty cents a gallon was retailed by these men at two dollars a quart.

A further cause of trouble was the lack of cooperation between Cherokee authorities and United States officials. Sometimes it was the fault of one and then again it was the fault of the other. The Cherokees claimed that United States marshal were overbearing and mistreated them. The officials in the employ of the United States claimed that Cherokees refused to cooperate with them and shielded criminals. Occasionally open breaks occurred between the two authorities. J. N. Craig called attention to a case of this kind in his annual report of 1872 to the Commission of Indian Affairs. Trouble arose over Ezekiel Proctor who was a desperate character in the Cherokee Nation. Proctor had killed a Cherokee woman, Polly Chesterson, and had assaulted her husband. The fact that Chesterson was an intermarried white man was used as a claim that the case should come under the jurisdiction of the United States government. Proctor and the woman he murdered were Cherokee citizens, so the Cherokee officers had Proctor arrested and brought him to trial. During the process of the trial a deputy United States marshal, with a posse of whites and Indian enemies of Proctor’s, swept down on the court. A general fight ensued in which a number on each side were killed or wounded. Of the marshal’s group eight were killed and three wounded. In the court group there were three killed and six wounded. Part of the officers, of the Cherokee court were arrested and carried to Fort Smith despite the fact that they were unarmed and took no part in the affray.

The Cherokees maintained a national jail at Tahlequah where prisoners were confined. Inmates wore striped suits, and were forced to perform manual labor much on the same order as penitentiaries were conducted in the States. To the rear of the national jail was a scaffold where a number of convicted men were hung. One peculiarity of the Cherokee courts was that no one was ever sentenced to prison for a period of more than ten years. If the crime justified more than a ten year sentence the victim was hung. The fairness with which trials were conducted and sentences executed was

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a source of pride. One case always referred to was that of a boy who was tried, convicted, and hung for murder. The boy was a nephew of both the Principal Chief and the High Sheriff. Such a case was remarkable in consideration of the fact that full pardoning power was vested in the office of the Principal Chief, and the High Sheriff had charge of all executions.

In some respects the economic life among the Cherokees was much the same as it was in other frontier settlements at this period. In other ways it was quite different. There were three general classes of people here. The most numerous of these were the full-bloods. As a class these people were poor, but the degree of poverty varied. Their average farm ranged in size from five to one hundred and fifty acres. They generally had a number of live stock consisting of horses, cattle, and hogs. These animals were both marked and branded for the purpose of identification. They depended on the range for food the greater part of the year. Enough corn was grown to furnish meal and hominy for the family, feed for saddle horses during the winter season, swill for hogs that did not fatten on the range. Their houses ranged from one room log cabins to frame buildings with a number of commodious rooms. Many full-bloods were lazy and depended upon their neighbors to support them. All full-bloods were quite neighborly and food was divided freely as long as there was any to divide. The mixed-bloods and intermarried whites made up a second class. These were more prosperous than their full-blood brethren. Their farms ranged in size from fifty to five hundred acres, and their living conditions were similar to the homes of any rural community of that time. A third class of people was brought into the Nation as laborers. These never received citizenship and had to obtain permits annually as long as they remained in the Cherokee country.

All land was held in common. Only the improvements on the land were personal property. The Indians found it to their advantage to lease land to white laborers for a number of years, because they put the land into cultivation and made other improvements. This enabled many to increase the size of their farms, or provided improved places for the young people just starting out in life. Some of the laborers

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attempted to establish citizenship after remaining here for a long time. They caused further trouble by making it possible for a few men to control large tracts of land. All of these things caused many people to object to the laborers. The matter came up for consideration at each annual meeting of the National Council. Some of the attacks made were rather bitter. A correspondent of the Cherokee Advocate referred to these non-citizens as: "Ragtags, bobtails, and pawsuckers, that came here to prove their rights and cannot."3

In 1878 a law was passed which placed close restrictions upon white laborers. This caused much dissatisfaction, and by March of the following year, petitions were received by the Principal Chief asking that a special assembly be called to modify the labor law. It was pointed out that the farms could not be cultivated without this white labor. High school boys were taken out of the seminary to fill in the gap. In spite of the agitation against white laborers the number continued to increase until statehood.

The Cherokees did not coin money, but they had a national script that answered the purpose of money. This script was much on the same order as our national currency and was redeemed by the National Treasurer of the Cherokee Nation. The condition of the treasury determined the value of the script. It ranged from twenty cents on the dollar to par. During periods of depression certain branches of the government refused to accept script in payment of obligations, but later, agitation was sufficient to force the government to accept the script in payment of any debt. Chief Bushyhead raised the value of script from about twenty or thirty cents on the dollar to par, which was one of the outstanding accomplishments of his administration.

Railroads were another economic problem facing the Cherokees during this period. The treaty made with the United States government following the Civil War provided for the granting of right of ways to one railroad crossing the Cherokee Nation north and south, and to another crossing from east to west. In the early seventies railroads were constructed over the protest of many citizens. There were a number of objections made to the railroads. In the first place a portion of their land was taken for right of ways.

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Then timber was cut for ties, and coal beds were stripped to supply the engines with fuel. However, the chief complaint was that the railroads would bring a great influx of white settlers who would eventually take the land from the Indians. Railroads generally revolutionize the industry of a country, and this invasion of the Cherokee Nation was no exception.

The Cherokees had a system of public schools superior to that of any other Indian tribe, and in many ways compared favorably with those established in the States. There was a National Board of Education consisting of three members who had general control of the schools. This board was appointed by the Principal Chief, subject to the approval of the Senate. Directly under the Board was a "Superintendent of Education" who was elected by a joint ballot of the National Council. His powers and duties were defined as follows:4

"To adopt rules and regulations not inconsistent with the laws of the Cherokee Nation, for his own government and for the government of the seminaries, orphan asylum, the colored high school, and primary schools; to prescribe and enforce rules for the examination of teachers, and for admission of pupils to the seminaries; to prescribe and enforce courses of study in the seminaries, orphan asylum, and the colored high school, and primary schools; to prescribe and enforce a series of uniform textbooks in all the schools; to grant or revoke, for immoral, intemperate or unprofessional conduct, certificates of all grades; to remove or discontinue any primary school which does not maintain a daily average of thirteen pupils during the winter terns, and of fifteen during the summer term; to keep a record of its proceedings and to authenticate his acts by the use of a seal; to make requisition on the executive department for funds as they may be needed for the support of the seminaries, orphan asylum and the colored high school, as hereinafter provided; to appoint teachers for the seminaries, orphan asylum, the colored high school, and the primary schools under the regulations adopter by said Superintendent."

"It shall be the duty of the Superintendent to keep a correct record of his transactions in a suitable book for the purpose, which book shall be open to inspection to any one who chooses to do so; to report to the Principal Chief on or before the 10th of October in each year, a statement of the condition of all the schools in the Cherokee Nation—number of children attending the same—the amount of unexpended appropriation, if any; to make estimates of funds required for support of schools for ensuing year, that the National Council may have information upon which to base an appropriation; to furnish blanks necessary to enable teachers and directors to do their duty; when necessary to purchase textbooks, and distribute the same upon requisition of the teacher."

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As has been indicated in the quotation, the educational system maintained seminaries for the training of boys and girls who had completed the grade school course of study; a colored high school for the negro boys and girls; an orphan asylum for taking care of Cherokee orphans; and a system of primary schools for conducting grade work.

There were two seminaries. The Male Seminary was located about two miles southwest of Tahlequah, while the Female Seminary was a short distance north and east of Park Hill. Both institutions were housed in commodious brick buildings which were identical in architecture. These buildings were one hundred eighty-five feet by one hundred nine feet. Part of each building had two full stories and basement while the remaining had an additional story. Basements were used for store rooms, furnaces, laundries, and other purposes of a similar nature. On the first floor were recitation rooms, and auditorium, library, science laboratory, textbook room, dining hall, kitchen, steward’s room, parlor, and guest rooms. On the second and third floors were the living quarters of teachers, matrons, and pupils. There were more than eighty rooms in addition to baths, closets, and store rooms.5 There was an average enrollment of about one hundred twenty-five pupils in each seminary. A charge of five dollars a month was made for each pupil. This paid for board, room, laundry, textbooks, and medical care. In the case of indigent children employment was provided which made it possible for them to pay their own expenses. No Cherokee boy or girl, who had sufficient ambition to secure an education, was denied that privilege. The course of study included geometry, arithmetic, geography, botany, history, Latin, Greek, psychology, philosophy, and the Bible. The two seminaries provided the majority of the teachers for the primary schools.

The colored high school was a boarding institution conducted for negroes. The course of study and method of carrying on work was about the same as used in the two seminaries. This school was located about seven miles west of Tahlequah. Provisions were made for taking care of fifty pupils. In order to make sure that the school was properly patronized the act creating it provided that the institution should be discontinued when the enrollment dropped below

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twenty-five. The plan was to admit twenty-five pupils each two years. Pupils were placed in the school by a system of appointments much on the same order as cadets are appointed to the United States naval and military academies. The law creating the colored high school provided that only the pupils making the best grades should be eligible for admittance in the high school. This did not work a hardship on negro pupils for there was little competition. There was seldom a capacity enrollment, and the school was discontinued before statehood.

The Orphan Asylum, located at Grand Saline, took care of about one hundred fifty children; the maximum number that could be cared for was one hundred seventy-five.6 Although it was claimed that the Cherokee Nation was a mother of all her orphan children, a child had to be nine years of age before he could be admitted to the asylum, and he was permitted to remain for a period of seven years, or until he reached his majority. The institution was managed well and fulfilled the purposes for which it was established nicely. For a number of years it had for its superintendent Uncle Joe Thompson, a minister in the Methodist church, and one of the noble men of the Cherokee Nation. In this asylum everything the child needed was furnished. Wholesome food, warm clothing, comfortable quarters, excellent schools, and a Christian atmosphere all went to make up for the loss of parents. A large farm was operated in connection with the school so that pupils were taught both academic and vocational subjects. Many useful citizens received their early training in the Orphan Asylum.

There were a hundred primary schools scattered throughout the Cherokee Nation. These enrolled on an average of 4,000 children each year. The average daily attendance was around 2,500.7 Schools were in session ten months of the year. This was divided into two terms of five months each. Children had to walk from a fraction of a mile to four miles to attend school, and those living in sparsely settled districts had no school opportunities. Several devices were used to encourage attendance. The government refused to maintain schools where less than thirteen pupils attended. Then the

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salary of the teacher depended upon her attendance. Teachers were paid thirty dollars a month where there were fifteen or less pupils in average daily attendance. For each pupil above fifteen, one dollar was paid until the number reached thirty-five. After this number was reached additional pupils did not affect the salary, for fifty dollars was the maximum salary paid teachers of the primary schools. The Cherokee government furnished all the finances for these schools with the exception of the building. Each local community had to furnish a structure that met certain specifications in which school was conducted. A teacher, textbooks, blank forms, and other essentials were furnished by the government. Each primary school was under the supervision of a local board of three members appointed by the Superintendent of Education. The whole school system was financed by interest on investments made by the government of the United States for the Cherokee people.

Newspapers and magazines were read rather extensively in the Cherokee Nation. Such publications as the Globe Democrat, Saint Louis Republican, Harper’s Magazine, and territorial newspapers were found in many homes.8 The most common newspaper is the Cherokee Advocate. This paper was owned and published by the government and was read by practically everyone within the Cherokee Nation. It was published in both the Cherokee and English languages, so all could read it. The arrangement or style of the paper was somewhat similar to that of any good weekly published at the present time. It carried news items concerning all the activities within the Nation. All legal notices were published here, and the government news was always featured. Bills introduced in the National Council were generally published in their entirety. Court actions, sales, and other advertising had a portion of the space. One feature of the paper which gave an insight into the times was letters from the people and country correspondents. Quaint names were adopted by these writers; a few typical ones were: Black Fox, Rain Crow, U-no-kah, Handsome Dick, and Charles Bruno. They discussed everything from the lightest humor to the weightiest problems of government and religion. U-no-kah was one whose thoughts seemed to run in a lighter vein despite the fact that he was always in trouble. He was a rather regular

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contributor and the following item entitled "U-no-kah’s Trouble’s No. 2," is a typical example of his style of writing: 9

"Truly Meester Editor, lif is purty ful of tribulations, and we git about 2 mouth fuls ov the bitter 2 one of the sweet al the wa thru, and sometimes the bitter al kums in a lump, and we git the sweet only in hour imaginashuns. Thru had luck, or threw the evil plot of Miranda Emmeline, we no not which for sertin, we are now lying on a lied of pane. (an several men of our akuintance can li without any pane.) Last evenin after hour regular meel ov unions, lettis, corn bred and mill, was over Miranda informed your korrespondent, that the ole hen who has a nest in the north-west korner of the ole stable loft whur a fu shuks from last winter’s supply of forig was left over, and who had furnished the. U-no-kah househole the daly eg for sum time, and had konkluded 2 ‘set’ an that az she waz not an expurt in the klimin line she would take me along and I cood du the klimin part of the bizzness. Nowing the uselessness of expostulashun, (aint that a big word?) I went along all the time silently wishin every hen in the univers waz mad in 2 1 immence ‘pie’, and I waz whur labor ov all kinds waz unknown. I don’t like Miranda az well Meester Editur as formerle, because I think she put up the job on me, and new al about the infernalness of that old hen. I klambered up after much dificulte 2 whur the ole reprobate waz, and unsuspectediy stooped down 2 place the eggs under her; when the purty part of me (i. e. any face) had kum in klose proximete to the hen, she gav a squal of anger and pitched strate at my probosciss, which iz the most promienent part of mi fisciognome, and succeeded in gittin a ‘detli grip’ on its extreinite; dais caused me 2 giv a jump and in doing which I struck nay hed or ‘knowing box’ against the ruf of the stable, with such force thet I saw ever star menshund in ‘Uncle Watts sky sketches’ at a single glanc, Konsiderably stund by the ruf striking me ‘cranium’ so hard, it waz suns time b4 I began to notice that the air waz ful of insekts, each one carrying a konsiderable amount ov fire at its hindmost end, and Meester Editur there waz ‘much of them’. They did not wate for further invitation, but kivered me—each 1 intent on pokin his firey eend in the softest place. Mi tactics waz ‘2 fire and fall back’, Miranda hed alreddy ‘fell back’ without firing, for with a cry of ‘wasps wasps’ she broke and run immedijately after the fracas begun, and the egs they ‘broke and run’ directly afterwards. I was making rapid progress 2wards the hole threw which I had reached the loft when upon ateppin on a 3 cornered rail the worst cat-as-tro-fe of the hole happened. One foot koncluded 2 go north, and the other south, each threw a crack, and I set down very forcible on the ‘unmentionable’ part of mi trousers, astride the rail, while the peasky varmints continued 2 walk over mi neck and shoulders, an their feett was very hot Meester Editur indeed. In mi frantik efforts 2 extricate miself, the rale changed sides, and I changed ends—hed-downwards. I then diskivered the old dog, had been, attracted to the seen of action, and thinking me in the semi-darkness 2b an immense coon, was making desperate efforts 2 reach me, each jump he made he succeeded in gitting a mouthful of hair from mi skalp, while mi britches legs now formed inverted funnels which the

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wasps at once availed themselves of, 2 go in2 winter quarters, and well Meester Editur times were hot and desperate purty jineraly, and what my ‘latter end’ wood have bin cood easily be imajined had not Miranda then rallied her retreeting forces, and come 2 the rescue, and when Miranda tales a notion Meester Editur things goes reckless ‘you bet’—with a grab, she caught the dog by the handle, and gave him a sling which landed him outside the stable, then taking me by the hair slue snatched me from mi perch, or ‘roosting place’, and then ordered a general retreat which order I obeyed readily. I have seence bin confined 2 mi bed Meester Editur, but Miranda has tried very hard 2 atone for the part she played in the drama, by poulticing me muchly and she even went 2 da and cooked the ole hen for dinner out of revenge on her. But I still bleeve Miranda knew them wasps was there, all the while and I told her so this morning boldly, but after I recover Meester Editur you are liable 2 here of blood shed at the U-no-kah househole; because I’m purty mad, and ma say something about it when I git up again."

The following description of "A Ball at Childer’s Station" gives further light on social conditions at this time. After giving some preliminary remarks concerning his approach to the home the correspondent describes the house and inmates: 10

"The house was a log cabin 14x16 with a 10 foot side room. A board table was in the northeast corner of the room, a lamp without a chimney was on the table. In the corner by the table, seated on a three legged stool was an old lady seventy years old, smoking a cob pipe. On the opposite side of the table seated on a cigar box was a lady twenty-five years old, who held a white headed baby about three years of age on her lap, and by her side on the floor was a little girl about ten years old. To the right of the door was an old man seventy-five years old seated on a black-jack chunk. In one hand was a fine large twist of homespun tobacco, with the other he was breaking off bits filling his mouth until his jaws puffed out. In the middle of the floor stood a girl about seventeen with a quid of tobacco in her month. In the corner to the right of the fireplace seated in the only chair was a very nice looking girl about eighteen. She wore a dark calico dress buttoned in the back, a white fichu around her neck, and very heavy bangs in front. In front of the fire seated on a shoe box was a girl about twenty-one. Her costly rig would indicate that she was the belle of the community. She had a ten cent box of snuff that she was dipping with a brush. Her lips were brown and dry. By her side seated on one end of the box was a chuckled headed boy. He wore a frock-tail coat, hickory striped shirt, pair of overalls that did not quite come to his ankles, a pair of brogan shoes tied with a grass rope, and a chew of tobacco. Three or four overgrown boys were seated on the bed. The fiddler wore a Texas jeans coat, a pair of blue jeans pants and a shirt that we could not tell of what material it was made. Suddenly a robust young fellow called out: ‘men get you’re gals’ and in a moment four couples were on the floor."

Reports of the general prosperity of this country spread

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until thousands of people were anxious to establish homes within the Cherokee Nation. Different means were used in attempting to do this. Many tried to get established through commercial channels. Others tried to slip in and remain without being found out. The surest method was to establish Cherokee citizenship. This could be done by marrying into the tribe, or by proving that one was entitled to citizenship through inheritance. Hundreds of letters were received each year by the government officials concerning the establishment of citizenship. The majority of these had nothing upon which to base their claims. The two letters given below were taken at random from a large file of these inquiries: 11

Joplin, Mo. Dec. 14, 1885.

Mr. Bushyhead
Dear Sir, seeing a peace published in the Joplin paper, in regard to your being chief of the nation at present. I thought I would write and tell you what I knew of my descendants I have always been told on my mother side I was Indian descent. My Great Grandmother was born near Jamestown Virginia her name was Eustace and her mothers was woodfork and was a half Indian so I was told and a niece of Pocahontas. As the paper stated that yourself and others were looking into who had any right there. I wish to know if I could have any right to a home in your beautiful country. If you can and will help me in this I have many relatives, who will reward you if we ever receive anything. My Grandmother was young during the revolutionary war and remembered a goodeal[sic] about it, was born sometime in 17 Hundred in Buckingham or Bolingreen Co. Virginia, please take notice enough of this to answer and oblige

Peoria Ills Dec 1885

Chief of Indian Nation
Dear sir I write this note to you fer information, will you please write and tell me if you think it will be appropriate fur me to move into your nation I am a widdow 34 years old and have two children I am in Love with your country I passed through there some years ago I cannot address you as I wish I could I do not know your name but, I hope I will hear from you soon and get your full address If you know of a good Indian who would like to marry a white Lady please give him my address and I will send my photo on receipt of a letter from him Please give this your attention with regards, I remain Yours Mrs. Susie Grey 407 Franklin street Peoria Ills
P S I beg your pardon if you think I am intruding I write to you in confidence I hope you will regard it as such I am in earnest in all I write you


Some other letters were not as mild as this one. One

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writer from Texas refers to himself as a "bloody Indian" (blooded Indian) and demands that his rights be regarded. Others contained long lists of affidavits concerning their ancestry.

The Cherokees borrowed customs and festive days from the whites. The whites in turn have taken over many of the Cherokee institutions and developed them. The Muskogee Free State Fair is an outgrowth of the old "Indian International Fair." The following extract was taken from information contained on the stationery of this association in 1879:

"The Indian International Fair: Opens September 30, closes Oct. 3, 1879.
"The 6th Annual Fair of the Indian International Fair Association will open at Muskogee, Sept. 30. and close Oct. 3, 1879.
"One thousand dollars bas been appropriated for premiums and individuals.
"$100 for premiums in Ladies department.
"There will be a reunion of the Northern and Southern Indian Brigades on the 1st day of October at the Fair grounds. Capt. A. W. Robb, A. A. G. Northern Brigade, Major I. G. Vore, A. A. G. Southern Brigade. All officers and soldiers of both Brigades are especially invited to attend.
"Full Blood friends from the plains will be largely in attendance.
"Singing in their native tongues by full blood choirs.
"Educational and Sabbath School Union of this Territory, Rev. John Elliott Chairman of Committee on Arrangements, all the Sabbath Schools in the Territory are expected to respond.
"The Temperance Society of the Territory and Western District of Arkansas will hold a convention at Muskogee Oct. 2, during the fair.
"Our friends from the States are invited to bring in their fine stock, manufactures and farm impliments, including threshing machines, portable engines, cotton gins and wagons. There will be a department for their special exhibits. Exhibitors wishing space should apply at an early date. Diplomas in this department will be awarded as premiums. This department will be known as the ’State Department’ and will compete against the States only.
"Capt. John Hammer, Supt. of Speed Rings.
"People of the Territory are especially invited and expected to be present and we hope every energetic family will be represented with specimens of work, products or animals.
"A public sale of fine live stock and other article by a. competent auctioneer.

Joshua Ross, Sec.
J. A. Foreman, Pres."

Below is a Thanksgiving proclamation issued by Chief Bushyhead in 1884:12

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"Proclamation of Thanksgiving, Executive Department of the Cherokee Nation. To the people of the Cherokee Nation,
"It is the duty of all men and all governments to humbly recognize Him in whose hands are the destinies of nations as well as individuals, and with earnest and grateful hearts to return thanks to Him for the innumberable blessings bestowed by his hand. Therefore, and in accordance with the Proclamation of the President of the United States of America, I, D. W. Busbyhead, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, do hereby designate and appoint Thursday the 27th day of November, 1884, as Thanksgiving Day for the People of the Cherokee Nation.
"Let the Cherokees rejoice in their security, material prosperity, health, and social happiness, making it a day of pleasant family reunions renewing ties of friendship, remembering generously the poor and unfortunate and praying that as at this time we gratefully render at the same alter, with our whiter and stronger brothers our common thanks to God, they may remember that He will deal mercifully and kindly with them as they show magnamity and justice to their weaker brethren, over whose lives and property they exercise an earthly guardianship.
"In testimony whereof I hereunto set my hand and affix the Seal of the Cherokee Nation on this the 18th day of November, 1884.

D. W. Bushyhead, Principal Chief.

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