Family of Peter Folsom

The following is from the pen of a missionary who has long labored among the Choctaws and knew of what he spoke, and is sufficient testimony of the moral worth of him of whom he wrote:

Choctaw Nation, April 9, 1885.
“Dear Brother Murrow:

I write you a sad letter. Our old Brother Peter Folsom is dead. He was taken sick the first day of April, and has been growing worse ever since. He died today. I am writing by his beloved body. His spirit is in heaven. I can write no more. Please publish his death in the Champion that all friends may know.

“Your brother in Christ,
Simon Handcock.”

Such was the sad news that reached me. I knew Bro. Folsom personally for twenty-seven years. Truly, a great man has fallen. He was great first and chiefest, because he was good. He was good in a moral and Christian sense. He was the first Choctaw who united with a Baptist church. This was in the year 1829. No charge of unfaithfulness to Christ has ever been made against him for over fifty years. He was an eloquent and active preacher of the Gospel. He established a number of churches, and developed and trained excellent pastors for them all. He might appropriately be termed the father of the Baptist mission work in the Choctaw Nation. His piety was known and read of all men. He enjoyed the confidence and esteem of everybody red, white and black. He walked with God, and is not, for God has taken him.

Second. “He was ‘great’, because he was useful as a; citizen. Uncle Peter was a true Choctaw. He loved his people; he sought their interests. For many years he was a prominent man in the councils and national affairs. He was a safe and wise counselor; was never accused of betraying a party to any crookedness or a member of any ring. He often represented his Nation at Washington City. While there he always maintained his moral, upright character. His religion and purity were not left at home.

Third he was great, because he was charitable; but the greatest of these is charity, or love. I think Uncle Peter loved everybody and everything that was good. His heart, his home, his purse were always open. Indeed, he was, perhaps, too charitable, for he was often imposed upon. The poor, the needy, the distressed, whether red, white or black, were never turned from him without help or comfort. For many years he enjoyed a competency of this world s goods, for he was a good manager. But the war broke him up, and he died in poverty. And yet he held an interest in a large and just claim against the United States Government. A claim recognized by Congress as just and ordered paid. Technicalities and red-tape delays hindered this payment. O what a shame! A rich and prosperous Government, with millions piled up in the treasury vault, owing money justly to a feeble people who need it, and who die in poverty and suffering for the want of it. But our brother needs it not now. He is free from poverty and injustice. He is rich and happy.

“J. L. Murrow.”

Rev. Peter Folsom had two sons Jerry and William. He had also three daughters Susan Francis, Sophia and Kizia all of the daughters are deceased.




Cushman, Horatio Bardwell. History Of The Choctaw, Chickasaw and Natchez Indians. Greenville, Texas: Headlight Printing House. 1899

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