Fort Coffee

Distinguished Men

The Honorable Nat Folsom was our district chief, a full-blooded Indian, uneducated, and able to converse but little in the English language. His residence was in the vicinity of Pheasant Bluffs, thirty miles from our mission. When I first saw him he was probably fifty years of age, large and well-developed; and, though considerably gray, …

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Fort Coffee Academy

In the month of March, 1813, Rev. William II. Goode was appointed Superintendent of Fort Coffee Academy, and Henry C. Benson was appointed teacher. At the time, the former was presiding elder of South Bend district, and the latter was the junior preacher of Mooresville circuit; both were of the Indiana conference. We were regularly …

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Progress in Study

Various and conflicting have been the opinions entertained with regard to the intellect of the North American Indians. They are generally reputed to be shrewd, cunning, sprightly, and fluent in speech. It must occur to every reflecting mind, however, that there must be great diversity as to intellect among the different classes, and that habits …

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Choctaw Government

A number of the larger tribes had adopted republican forms of government, modeled after ours in their leading features. On the first day of July, 1839, the wise men of the Cherokee nation assembled in convention, or council, to frame an organic law, or constitution, for the government of the nation. After patient and mature …

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Western Garrison Life

Grant Foreman describes the early life in a Western Garrison; providing insights on some of the traders in the region, the deaths of Seaton, Armstrong, Wheelock and Izard, all soldiers obviously familiar to him. But he also shares the story of the elopement of Miss Sarah Knox Taylor, daughter of General Taylor, to Lieutenant Jefferson Davis… yes, THAT Jefferson Davis.

An interesting section of the chapter are the references to the punishments inflicted upon the soldiers in the event of their disobedience.

Painted by Catlin in 1834, the picture attached is of Clermont, chief of the Osage Tribe. Clermont is painted in full length, wearing a fanciful dress, his leggings fringed with scalp-locks, and in his hand his favorite and valued war-club.

Life Among the Choctaw Indians

Henry Benson worked as a missionary amongst the Choctaw at the Fort Coffee Academy for Boys in the mid 1800’s. In this manuscript he depicts the formation of the Academy and missionary amongst the Indians, providing valuable insight into the tribal customs of the Choctaw after they had been forcibly moved to the Indian Territory. He also provides glimpses into the lives of westerners before the Civil War in the south-west.

Indian Annuities

About the middle of December Major Armstrong received at Fort Coffee sixty thousand dollars in specie, to be paid over to the several Indian agents, to be distributed as annuities to the tribes embraced in that superintendence. It had been boxed and officially sealed at the New Orleans mint, each box containing one thousand dollars. …

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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 …

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