Collection: History of the Choctaw Chickasaw and Natchez Indians

Horation Cushman

History of the Choctaw, Chickasaw and Natchez Indians

I have sought, found and brought together an amount of information concerning a people that has never before been published; having been born of parents who were missionaries to the Choctaws in 1820, and having been reared among them and intimately acquainted with them during the vicissitudes of a life extending to nearly four score of years. I well know that the Indian race has oft been the subject of the pen, and still continues to be, but only in short details, thus leaving the reader in bewilderment, though historical truths were to be found in abundance among them wherever

The Chickasaws

Conquest or Progress! It is the same, since it is with blood that the book of humanity is written. The pages here devoted to the narrative of the Chickasaw Indians is not an exception; theirs, too, is stained with the seemingly inevitable sanguinary horrors, but nowhere is the trace inexplicable. To some it may seem useless and even wrong to recall these pages of history so distant in the past, which began in wrong, continued in wrong and will end, so for as human observation can judge, in wrong, and then ask nothing better than to be forgotten. Alas, experience has shown

North America Indian Names of Places in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Louisiana

The Indians all over this continent had names, traditions, religions, ceremonies, feasts, prayers, songs, dances all, more or less, with symbolism and allegory, adapted to circumstances, just as all other races of mankind. But the world has become so familiar with the continued and ridiculous publications in regard to everything touching upon that race of people that a universal doubt has long since been created and established as to the possibility of refinement of thought and nobleness of action ever having existed among the North American Indian race, ancient or modern; and so little of truth has also been learned

Mayhew, Brainard, Elliot, and Monroe Missions

From 1822, to the time they were dispossessed of every foot of their ancient domains, and driven away to a then wilderness, the schools increased in numbers, and the ordinances of religion were augmented, and a deeper interest manifested every where over their country never witnessed before; as they, previous to that time, had had intercourse with the debased of the White Race, by whom they had been taught in the school of vice, and nothing but vice: therefore the North American Indians have been accused, from first to last, of having no conception of an over-ruling providence the Creator

A Medicine Man Administering to a Patient - Plate 46

Medicine Man – North American Indians

But among the many things that are associated with the North American Indians as topics of conversation and subjects of the printer’s ink more talked about and less understood is the “Medicine Man.” On Nov. 14, 1605, the first French settlement was made in America, on the northeast coast of Nova Scotia, and they gave the name Arcadia to the country; and on July 3, 1808, Samuel Champlain laid the foundation of Quebec. The character “Medicine-Man” had its origin, according to tradition, among those early French colonists who corrupted the word “Meda” a word in the language of one of

People and Buildings of the Choctaw Nation

The missionaries found the precepts of the Choctaw’s to be moral; and also that they respected old age, and kept fresh in memory the wise councils of their; fathers, whose lessons of wisdom the experience of the past, taught their youthful minds to look upward, and whose teachings they did not forget in their mature years. Their tenderness to and watchful care of the aged and infirm was truly remarkable; they looked upon home and regarded their country as sacred institutions, and in the defense of which they freely staked their lives; they also inculcated a high regard for parents,

Missionaries Among the Choctaw

In 1832, at Hebron, the home of the missionary, Calvin Cushman and his family, was the place appointed for the assembling of all the Choctaws in that district preparatory to their exodus from their ancient domains to a place they knew not where; but toward the setting sun as arbitrary power had decreed. Sad and mournful indeed was their gathering together helpless and hopeless under the hand of a human power that knew no justice or mercy. I was an eyewitness to that scene of despairing woe and heard their sad refrain. I frequently visited their encampment and strolled from one

Tul-lock-chísh-ko, Choctaw Ball Player. George Catlin, 1834

Ball Play amongst the Choctaws

To the ancient Choctaw warrior and hunter, excitement of some kind was indispensable to relieve the tedium of the nothing-to-do in which a great part of his life was spent. Hence the intervals between war and hunting were filled up by various amusements, ball plays, dances, foot and horse races, trials of strength and activity in wrestling and jumping, all of which being regulated by rules and regulations of a complicated etiquette.

Choctaws and their Beliefs about the Great Flood

The Choctaws, at the time of their earliest acquaintance with the European races, possessed, in conjunction with all their race of the North American Continent, a vague, but to a great extent, correct knowledge of the Oka Falama, “The returning waters,” as they termed it The Flood. The Rev. Cyrus Byington related a little incident, as one out of many interesting and pleasing ones that frequently occurred when traveling through their country from one point to another in the discharge of his ministerial duties, over seventy years ago. At one time he found night fast approaching without any visible prospect of

Choctaw Duels

The duelist, according to the white man’s code of honor, was regarded by the Choctaws with utmost contempt, the fool above all fools; and in this, manifesting much better sense than the white man with all his boasted idea of honor. That a man would stand up openly before his enemy to be shot at with the opportunity of getting an open shot at him, was a code of honor beyond their comprehension, a piece of nonsense in the indulgence of which a Choctaw could not be guilty. I did once hear, however, of a young Choctaw warrior accepting a