Collection: Life Among the Choctaw Indians

Cooks Leave

The German man and wife who had been employed by Mr. G. and brought from Cincinnati, when he first came to Fort Coffee, became dissatisfied. They had been employed to do the cooking and chamberwork of the institution, but the situation did not please them. They had no German friends with whom to associate, and were anxious to return to Cincinnati. We were reluctant to let them go; they were pious, intelligent, and faithful; and we had become very much attached to them. But they would not be reconciled, and so returned to their former home and friends. Our plans

The First Quarterly Meeting at Fort Coffee Academy

Near the close of December our first quarterly meeting was held at Fort Coffee. Revs. J. C. Parker, J. Harrel, and Andrew Hunter were present. At the recent session of the conference they had been appointed a committee to audit the books and accounts of our mission during the preceding year. J. C. Parker was the presiding elder, but left on Monday morning without having held a quarterly conference; but in the evening we met in an upper room to organize and hold the first quarterly conference ever held in the northern district of the nation. The members present were

Crimes and Debauchery

A grand ball-play recently came off at Ayakni Achukma, at which some avaricious and unprincipled trader succeeded in smuggling whisky into the camp. Soon after the liquor was distributed the excitement became wild, intense, and irrepressible; the play was summarily closed, and a general bacchanalian carousal and debauch were the results. While the whisky lasted the drunken revelry was kept up, each one contributing his part in the disgusting orgies. At length, having exhausted the supply of liquid fire, they struck their camps and dispersed, each in the direction of his own neighborhood and cabin. Cornelius Macann and family, who

Louisville Convention

The month of March had come, and all the conferences in the slave states, except Baltimore, had voted in favor of a division of the Church, and had accordingly chosen delegates to meet in convention, in the city of Louisville, on the first Monday of May, 1845, to effect a separation and to “erect” the southern fraction into a distinct ” ecclesiastical organization.” It will be remembered that the Indian Mission conference had elected J. C. Berryman and W. H. Goode delegates to said convention, and D. B. Cumming a reserve delegate. As the time was drawing near for the

Fort Coffee Quapaws

On the fourth day of September two Indians, a man and his wife, came to Fort Coffee, to seek admission into the school. They were, according to their statement, Quapaws, and belonged to a remnant of a once numerous tribe, residing near the south-west corner of Missouri, in the vicinity of a mixed tribe of Senecas and Shawnees. The Quapaws then only numbered a fraction over three hundred souls. The Rev. S. G. Patterson, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, had been laboring with them as a missionary for several years. The Quapaw’s name was Villiers, and his wife was sister

Murder of Mr. Vore and Family

About the last of September we received intelligence of the murder of Mr. Vore and family, who had resided for some years a few miles above Fort Coffee, in the Cherokee nation. As the rumor spread the people became excited and aroused to an unusual extent. Mr. Vore was a merchant, an upright, honest, and reputable man, who had been very highly esteemed by his Cherokee neighbors; he had been engaged in selling goods, buying peltries, and in a general traffic with the Indians. On the evening of the twenty-fourth of September a man called at the residence of Mr.

Freshets in the Streams

It will be remembered that, during the spring of 1844, unprecedented floods prevailed in the south­west. The rivers west of the Mississippi all overflowed their banks, inundating all the low lands adjacent. The Arkansas and Red rivers had never been known to be so high. Having their sources in the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains, and having numerous and lengthy tributaries, the continuous rains and the melting of the immense quantities of snow in the mountains, caused vast torrents of water to pour down the gorges and flood the channel of each stream. And as the rains continued to

School Duties

The plat of ground inclosed by our buildings was rectangular, the sides of which were one hundred feet in length. In the center of this square a post or column was firmly planted, upon the upper end of which a bell was hung. In the winter season the bell was rung at five o’clock, and in the summer at sunrise, as the signal for rising. In one hour after the first bell the second bell was rung as the signal for assembling in the chapel for family worship, which consisted of the reading of the Scriptures, singing, and prayer. From

Opening of the Fort Coffee Academy

On the ninth day of February, 1844, the school opened with six students from the Pushmataha district; they presented certificates of appointment signed by J. Folsom, chief, and S. Jones, Trustee. On the following day a number of pupils came from the Puckchenubbee district with certificates signed by James Fletcher, chief, and P. P. Pitchlynn, Trustee; also from the Moshulatubbee district, with certificates from Nat Folsom, chief, and Thomson M’Kenny, Trustee. In a few days we had received thirty pupils into the school to be clothed, fed, and taught. In addition to these we had consented to teach all the

Contraband Traffic

The proper authorities have made laudable efforts to keep intoxicating liquors out of the Indian territory, and with a good degree of success. The Indian superintendents and agents were invested with authority in the premises. No one could lawfully carry intoxicating liquors into any of the border tribes; and if a man should be found over the line with liquors in his possession, it was regarded as prima facie evidence of guilt, and any one was authorized to seize the contraband article, break open the casks, and pour the liquors out upon the ground. The technical language of the Indians