Chronicles of Oklahoma

Skip Navigation

Electronic Publishing Center
Oklahoma Historical Society
Chronicles Homepage
Search all Volumes
Copyright 2001
Purchase an Issue

Table of Contents Index Volume List Search All Volumes Home

Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 10, No. 2
June, 1932

Page 155

The April number of The Filson Club History Quarterly published at Louisville, Kentucky, contains a complimentary review of the series of articles printed in the Chronicles of Oklahoma by Mrs. Carolyn Thomas Foreman, giving the history of the Choctaw Academy—as follows:

"Chronicles of Oklahoma. a quarterly issued by The Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in its December, 1931, and March, 1932, issues presents The Choctaw Academy by Mrs. Carolyn Thomas Foreman (Mrs. Grant Foreman), of Muskogee, Oklahoma. It is a detailed history of The Choctaw Academy, also known as Johnson's Indian School. The School was established in 1825 and continued to operate until 1845. It was founded by Colonel Richard M. Johnson, hero of the Battle of the Thames, and Vice-President under President Van Buren. It was located near his home not far from Georgetown, Kentucky. During the greater part of its existence it was managed by Reverend Thomas Henderson, who bore the brunt of many troubles that otherwise would have annoyed and distracted Colonel Johnson during the years of his public life in Washington. Usually several hundred Indian boys attended; all of them were from the South and Southwest. The names and ages of many are given by Mrs. Foreman. Most of them had assumed or were assigned American names—foolish custom says Mrs. Foreman.

Page 156

In December, 1928, Mrs. Foreman published a twenty-seven-page article in Chronicles of Oklahoma on this Indian school. Her second paper is an elaboration on her former article. She gives extracts from many official documents pertaining to Indian affairs and quotes from many personal letters and school reports. She has dug deep into heretofore untouched source material and prepared a decidedly comprehensive paper. Some Kentucky historians do little more than refer to The Choctaw Academy; a few have written good but short sketches of it. Mrs. Foreman's seventy-five-page paper will, in all probability, long rank as the most complete history of Colonel Richard M. Johnson's once widely known Indian Academy in Kentucky."


The Chronicles presents to its readers in this number contributions from a galaxy of writers of national distinction. It is not often that we find a publication that has so many articles written by persons who are recognized authorities upon the topics concerning which they write.

Among the writers who have helped to make this issue appear the names of six or seven persons who are recorded in Who's Who in America. The research reader may be assured that the information obtained from the Chronicles can be depended upon as coming from the best and most reliable sources.

JUDGE THOS. H. DOYLE contributes an article entitled, "History of the Oklahoma Historical Society." This brief history was prepared for the annual meeting of the Society and is published in this number for the information of our readers, as it contains much valuable data. As to the author—if the reader does not know Judge Thos. H. Doyle, it is certain that he is a stranger in the State of Oklahoma. There is no man in the State better and more favorably known than Judge Doyle. He is listed in Who's Who in America, and while it is an honor to be named in this book, yet, a greater honor to hold the respect and

Page 157

esteem of the people of Oklahoma as does Judge Doyle. He is first vice-president of the Oklahoma Historical Society and has long been a member of the Board of Directors. Judge Doyle was a member of the Territorial legislature from 1897 to 1901, and after statehood was elected a member of the Criminal Court of Appeals, serving from 1908 to 1929, and presided over this court from 1915 to 1923. He is at present chairman of the State Industrial Commission of Oklahoma.

DR. JOHN REED SWANTON of the Bureau of American Ethnology of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C., since 1900, is recognized as the greatest authority upon ethnology, including the development of languages and civilization among men. He has written a most interesting review of a letter by John Howard Payne, author of "Home Sweet Home." From Who's Who in America, we learn that Dr. Swanton was born at Gardiner, Maine, in 1873; received A. B. degree at Harvard 1896; A. M. 1897; was a student at Columbia University 1898 to 1900; Ph. D. Harvard 1900. He has written many books pertaining to the languages, myths, religious beliefs and social conditions of the American aborigines. He is authority upon all subjects pertaining to linguistics of the races of men and is a member of nearly all scientifc club, and societies.

JOHN HOWARD PAYNE whose letter is commented upon by Dr. Swanton, was born in New York, June 9, 1787, and died at Tunis, Algiers, Africa, on April 9, 1852. He was American consul at Tunis when he died. He received his education in Boston, and was by nature and training a dramatist, and as a young man played leading parts in classical plays. He became editor of a paper devoted to drama and the theater, published in New York in 1805. John Howard Payne was a playwright and a poet and was recognized in his day as a literary genius. In his writings he was a sentimentalist who lived above the clouds of materialism and basked in the sunshine of the Spiritual and idealistic. But with all his ability he was not a practical man and possessed no acquisitiveness, and it has been said that he was a wanderer in life. Although he wrote "Home Sweet Home," he never had a home of his own. He wrote

Page 158

much that has been forgotten, yet, his name and memory will be cherished always as the author of the sweetest song ever written. He traveled the World over, had been an honored guest of the great and distinguished, and was welcomed and feted by the literati of all countries.

The Chronicles is certainly proud of having the honor of publishing the letter written by John Howard Payne, describing the "Green Corn Dance," and reviewed by America's most eminent ethnological authority.

DR. CHARLES N. GOULD has contributed to this number of the Chronicles an article entitled, "The Beginning of Geological Work in Oklahoma." Dr. Gould may well be considered the pioneer geologist of Oklahoma, not only as a practical geologist, but as a teacher in our State University at Norman. We gather from Who's Who in America, some data concerning Dr. Gould. He was born at Lower Salem, Ohio, on July 22, 1868; graduated from Southwestern College at Winfield, Kansas, 1899; studied geology and palo-botany; attended same institution in 1906; Professor of geology University of Oklahoma 1900-11; a resident hydrographer of United States Geological Survey 1902-06; Director Oklahoma Geological Survey 1908-11; consulting geologist, engaged chiefly in petroleum engineering from 1911-24; Director Oklahoma Geological Survey since 1924, with rank of Dean of the University of Oklahoma; member American Institute of Mining and Metallurgy Engineering; Geological Society of America, and many other scientific organizations.

EDWARD DAVIS, professor of history at East Central State Teachers College, Ada, Oklahoma, has contributed to this issue of the Chronicles a scholarly article entitled, "The Mississippi Choctaws." This article contains data that is very valuable from an historical view point and should be preserved by those who are interested in the Indian's business relations with the white man. Professor Davis is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, having received his A.B. and A.M. degrees from this institution.

MRS. CAROLYN THOMAS FOREMAN of Muskogee, Oklahoma, has contributed another very interesting article

Page 159

entitled, "A Journal of a Tour Through the Indian Territory." The article itself is a diary of a member of the church extension of the Episcopal Church and contains notations that he made while traveling through various Indian reservations in what is now Oklahoma, with a view of establishing additional Indian schools and missions. Mrs. Foreman has written copious notes and has given much historical data on this article. These historical notations clarify the story of the Reverend Harris. The eighty bibliographical notes made by Mrs. Foreman contain much authentic history and give many dates concerning events and the establishment of schools and churches that are not to be found without a great deal of research.

Mrs. Foreman is a painstaking writer who has made many contributions to Oklahoma history. The readers of the Chronicles are indebted to her for many articles pertaining to the history of our State and the various Indian tribes who were here before the white man came. Her research work has been a labor of love; she has received no financial consideration for any article published in the Chronciles or for any work done for the Oklahoma Historical Society. She and her husband, Mr. Grant Foreman, are the authors of several books that are recognized as standard works on the history of the West and the Southwest. The Oklahoma Historical Society has been the beneficiary of much of their labors.

MISS MARTHA BUNTIN, of Anadarko, Oklahoma, contributes an article entitled, "Quaker Agents Among the Kiowa, Comanche and Wichita Indians." Miss Buntin is a daughter of Mr. J. A. Buntin, who for many years was superintendnt in charge of the Kiowa Indian Agency at Anadarko. For the past few years she has made a study of the Plains Indians, having lived around them since childhood, she has obtained much of her information for this article from first hand sources. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma at Norman, with M. A. degree and an A. B. from Oklahoma College for Women at Chickasha.

Miss Buntin has recently contributed an article to The Panhandle-Plains Historical Review, published at Canyon, Texas, which deals with the difficulties in the removal

Page 160

of the Wichita Indians from Kansas, in the fall of 1867, to the present Agency. She is now employed by the Oklahoma Historical Society, doing research among Plains Tribes of Indians in Western Oklahoma.

HONORABLE ANGELO C. SCOTT, of Oklahoma City has a sketch of the life and public career of that pioneer newspaper man, J. J. Burke, who passed away recently at Norman, Oklahoma. Dr. Scott is a pioneer also, coming to Oklahoma City on April 22, 1889. He entered the newspaper field, having established the Oklahoma City Journal. He was identified with every movement for the education and moral advancement of the new Territory. He was elected a member of the Third Territorial Council (Senate) from 1895 to 1897. He is a lawyer by profession and a journalist and educator by natural inclination. He is highly educated, cultured, refined, aesthetic. He is a genius in the use of the English language. As a rhetorician he is conceded first place. As a grammarian he is a recognized authority. He is the author of a standard reference book entitled, "Practical English." His knowledge of the classics, his interest in all that exalts and embellishes civilized life, his agreeable personality and his chaste language makes him a most delightful public speaker wherever high ideals are appreciated. As a literary man he ranks high, but with all, he is an unassuming man who loves his friends.

For several years Dr. Scott was an educator and was president of the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College at Stillwater from 1899 to 1908; Dean of the Graduate School of Epworth University; and for 10 years director of the Extension Lecture Department of the University of Oklahoma. He holds a number of degrees from institutions of higher learning. He has for many years been president of the Men's Dinner Club of Oklahoma City, and has long ben enrolled in Who's Who in America.

MRS. CORA MILEY of Oklahoma City, has written a beautiful appreciation of the life and character of her friend Janie Gwin Matson. Mrs. Miley is a member of the National League of American Penwomen.

Page 161

MISS MURIEL H. WRIGHT, of Oklahoma City, also a member of the National League of American Penwomen, contributes a memorial to her father, Dr. E. N. Wright. Miss Wright is an outstanding woman historical writer of the State. She has written a school history of Oklahoma and collaborated with Dr. Joseph B. Thoburn in writing four volumes of Oklahoma history, entitled, "The Story of Oklahoma and its People." She is of Choctaw Indian descent and a granddaughter of the distinguished Choctaw, the Reverend Allen Wright who gave Oklahoma its name.

Return to top

Electronic Publishing Center | OSU Home | Search this Site