Condition of the Mississippi Indians in 1890

The civilized (self-supporting) Indians of Mississippi, counted in the general census, number 2,030 (1,044 males and 992 females), and are distributed as follows:

Attala County, 24; Greene County, 37; Hancock County, 39; Hinds County, 14; Jasper County, 179; Kemper County, 34; Lauderdale County, 14; Leake County, 435; Neshoba, County, 623; Newton County, 349; Perry County, 38; Scott County, 123; Sharkey County 12; Winston County, 41; other counties (9 or less in each), 74.

To the east of the gate capital in Mississippi in the uplands are a number of counties not traversed by any railroad, and therefore locally known as cow counties from their dependence for communication on roads and trails, suggestive of cow paths. The greater part of the Indians of the state are out in contiguous cow counties. They are remnants of The Five Civilized Tribes, mainly Choctaws, descendants in part of those who originally were found in this region and did not go west of the Mississippi river, and partly representing those who from time to, time have returned from the west.

These people generally own little patches of a few acres, which they cultivate and add to their means of living by working for others, hunting, and some simple handicraft. In the spring they go into the larger towns to dispose of such pelts as they may have collected and sell baskets made in considerable numbers from the cane. White, boys in the towns at the season are generally supplied with blowguns, made by these Indians from the hollow cane stems, and furnished with darts fitted with feathers or cotton down. Wild blackberries for a few weeks are important to them for food and for a little addition to their money by sales. With a few horses, cows, goats, and domestic fowls these people manage to maintain a simple living, paying little attention to church or school and speaking English to but a limited extent.

Department of the Interior. Report on Indians Taxed and Indians not Taxed in the United States, Except Alaska at the Eleventh Census: 1890. Washington DC: Government Printing Office. 1894.

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1 thought on “Condition of the Mississippi Indians in 1890”

  1. Sanders in my family originated in leake and attala counties in Mississippi, some are also from alabama.

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