One of the earliest and most colorful of the mixed-blood lines is the Juzan family (see Charts 14 and 15). The noted Choctaw historian Muriel Wright discussed the history and genealogy of the family in a little-known, private letter to a Juzan descendent in 1931, writing:
“A young Frenchman by the name of De Juzan, acting as military aide to Chevalier De Noyan, fell in a battle [Ackia] between the French and the Chickasaws, in May 1736….Whether De Juzan was connected in any way with the Juzan family among the Choctaws is uncertain at this time, although it has been my understanding that the ancestor of the Juzans was a Frenchman who settled among the Choctaws in the latter half of the 18th century.
“I am of the strong opinion that the fifth signer of the Treaty of Doaks Stand, in 1820, ‘James Hunizon’ was a James Juzan Hunizon being a corruption of the correct spelling ‘Juzan.’ In 1823, the missionaries of the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions (Boston) established a school at Mr….Juzan’s who lived about 85 miles southeast of the Mayhew Mission (present Lowndes County, Miss.) and on the old Choctaw trading path to Mobile. In 1828, Pierre Juzan was among the older Choctaw boys who attended the Choctaw Academy at Blue Springs, Kentucky. He and George Harkins, another student, were reported to have been “an ornament to the nation.” …Major Juzan (probably the father, James) was said to have inspected the Academy and given his approval of the institution In 1829 William Juzan was enrolled as a student. 1
Key to Chart
Probable = P, Countryman = C, Yes = Y, Trader = T,
Married = md, Mixed Blood = mb
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Juzan Genealogy Chart
Wright correctly identifies Pierre Juzan and George Harkins as students at the Choctaw Academy and continues her letter by discussing the Juzan kinship to Pushamataha and other full-blood leaders:
“Both Pierre and Charles, probably brothers, were beneficiaries under the terms of the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in 1830, to the amount of 1240 acres of land. They both lived on the west bank of the Tombigbee River in the vicinity of its confluence known as Shuknachi River (Succornoochee) in Western Alabama. There were twenty-six members in Charles’ family, which included his twenty slaves (slaves were listed in giving the total number of each family under the census). Pierre was single and given the title of Captain.
“Since both Captain Pierre and Charles Juzan lived in the northern part of Chief Nittakechi’s district and not far from the chief’s home, it would seem that they were of the Kusha Okla. Nittakechi himself was Kusha and a nephew of Pushamataha. I have never found a record proving that Pushamataha was Okla hannali Okla (Six Towns people), on the contrary, I believe him to have been of the Kusha. Direct family relationship was based upon whether one belonged to the Hattak iholata or the Kashapa okla, the two great iksas, the laws of which governed marriage among the ancient Choctaws. Perhaps you have proof that that the Juzans were directly related to Pushamataha. It seems quite possible to me; at any rate, both were members of the Kusha okla from which the chiefs of the Southeastern District in the old nation in Mississippi were selected. Because of his intemperate habits, Oklahoma was chief for only a short time after Pushmataha’s death, Nittakechi, another of his nephews, being selected to fill Oklahoma’s position. After the migration of the Choctaws to the Indian Territory, Nittakechi retained his position until 1838, when Captain Pierre Juzan was elected as chief of Pushamataha District. Captain Juzan died in 1841.” 2
Descendants of the Juzan family have also gathered data from extant records, as well as from family lore, which corroborate Wright’s conclusions. A modern relative of the Juzans writes:
“My Juzan information goes back to 1736 thus far….De Juzon [sic] had married a Marie Frances
Trudeau and they had a son Pierre born a month before his father’s death….In Dec. 1781, I find where Pierre Juzan asked for and was given 1280 acres of land on the Tombigbee River. It was the first Spanish land grant, a river tract between Bayou Canyon and La Prado’s bluff (21 mile bluff) which had been British property. He said that he wanted to raise cattle.” 3
In another letter the above writer claims:
“I have started only the Choctaw [sic] side of the family tree. As you can see, there is Choctaw [sic] blood on both the Brashears and Juzan side. One court record called Jesse Brashears a full blood but that is not true. I believe he was as much French as Choctaw.” 4
Peter J. Hamilton, a noted Mobile historian, states that a Juzan was involved in Indian trade and was an early resident of the city:
“The first grant near the city [Mobile] was December 18, 1781, to Pierre Juzan, His Majesty’s c2pcommissaryr the Indians in the Town of Mobile….” 5
In a more detailed statement, Halbert and Ball explain further about Juzan’s involvement with the Indians and his style of living:
“Pierre Juzan, a noted French Indian countryman, at this time  was living at Chunky Town. He had settled among the Choctaws in early life, and had married a Choctaw woman, a niece of Pushamataha, and raised an Indian family. He spoke English, French, and Choctaw with equal fluency. Juzan had several trading houses among the Choctaws, one being at Coosha Town, situated three or four miles southeast of old Daleville, on the right bank of Issuba in Kannia bok (Lost Horse Creek); and another at Chunky. His dwelling house at Chunky was on the west side of the creek and about two hundred yards from it. He had here an apple orchard, — a rare thing in an Indian country — the trees or scions for which he had brought from France. He also had another residence at Coosha. Juzan died about 1840, at Tuscahoma, on the Tombigbee. Some time after his death, his family, with the exception of a daughter, emigrated west. 6
Halbert and Ball also discussed an interesting example of mixed blood influence on their full-blood relatives when Pierre Juzan rebuffed the noted Shawnee leader, Tecumseh, when he visited Choctaw country not long before the War of 1812:
“On the day of their arrival at Chunky, Tecumseh and Seekaboo called upon Juzan and had a long interview with him in the coarse of which they endeavored to persuade him to use his influence with the Choctaws to induce them to join with the Indian Confederacy. Juzan became greatly indignant and spurned the Shawnees’ proposition. He turned away and would hold no further conversation with them. It so happened that same day that Oklahoma, a noted mingo from Coosha, a nephew of Pushamataha and brother of Juzan’s wife, was in Chunky with a number of warriors. He was soon informed by Juzan of the object of Tecumseh’s visit, whereupon he became greatly enraged and forthwith ordered his warriors to mould bullets and prepare to make battle against the Shawnees.” 7
Juzan’s allegiance to the Americans during Tecumseh’s famous visit to the southern Indians was paralleled by the actions of other countrymen and mixed bloods and was instrumental in the continued Choctaw fealty to the United States during the ensuing Creek War. 8
Another acquaintance of Juzan, Gideon Lincecum, mentions him in his autobiography:
“I had, however, never seen the Eliccha chito [Indian doctor) of the Six Towns, and I wrote a letter to P. Jurzong, a half-breed, instructing him to see the doctor, and enquire of him if he would be willing to meet me….I received from friend Jurzong a very satisfactory letter.” 9
Juzan, it appears, was an intermediary between the individual Choctaw and whites on more than one occasion.
Members of the Juzan family intermarried with the mixed-blood Brashears, Trahernes, LeFlores, Walkers, and Walls, as well as the Indian marriages they made, demonstrating once again the high degree of Intermarriage tatting place between the various mixed-blood families. The family also engaged in agricultural pursuits beyond normal Indian plantings, as evidenced by Pierre’s apple orchard. The early family involvement in cattle raising and trading also demonstrated successful farming practices to their Indian relatives.
- Muriel Wright to Bill Hunkapillar, October 5, 1931, Lackey collection, USM. For a listing of Muriel Wright’s prolific contributions to Choctaw history see Francis Paul Prucha, A Bibliographical Guide to the History of Indian-White Relations in the United States (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1977).
- Wright to Hunkapillar, October 4, 1931, Lackey Collectionr., USM
- Coppick to Goldman, October 5, 1979, Lackey Collectionr., USM
- Coppick to Goldman, October 27, 1979, Lackey Collectionr., USM
- Hamilton, Colonial Mobile, 323
- Hallbert and Ball, Creek War. 47-8.
- Ibid., 211-2
- Lincecum, “Autobiography, “ 494.