Little Known History

Yamasee Indians

“Yamasee Indians were Negroes, what were known afterwards as the fiercest of the Indians tribes of the South- the well known Yamasee Indians were Africans”

Quote cited from the Congressional serial set United States Government Printing Office 57th Congress 1st Session. House of Representatives Document 179 Report of the Industrial Commission on Agriculture and Agricultural labor Washington Government printing Office Year 1901, page 824.

Article



 

Scott W. McIntosh

Creek Freedmen Indians of the State of Oklahoma was the name of the Freedmen Band in the 90’s. The Band was under the leadership of Scott W McIntosh. Mr. McIntosh fought for many years to restore the rights of African Creek Indian Freedmen. Records show the Band met in Boynton, OK, and the Tulsa, Ok.
Silas Jefferson

Also known as Ho-tul-ko-micco (Wind Clan chief), was a leading figure in the African Creek community. He was the only African Creek elected to represent a traditional Indian town and was eventually enrolled by the Dawes Commission on the by-blood roll rather than the freedmen roll(ca.1877). Smithsonian Institution, National Anthropological Archives, negative no 1117. Note of interest many of his siblings were enrolled as Creek Freedmen while other were enrolled on the by blood rolls.


Paro Bruner

Long time African Creek leader and Canadian Colored Town chief. Bruner founded the settlement of Prairie’s Edge on the southwestern edge of present-day Holdenville. Although he aided the Dawes commission in getting African Creeks properly enrolled for allotment, he had warned the assembled Creeks at Okmulgee in 1894, when the Dawes commissioners first arrived in the Creek country, that “nothing good could come of allotment,” and he predicted that the Creeks would be robbed of their homes and driven from their land. OHS, Aylesworth Collection, 1922-41.


Cow Tom (The Oklahoma Cowkeeper)

After the Civil war, when the Creek Nation had not yet surrendered and was in chaos, a former slave (of Yamasee descent) by the name of Cow Tom emerged on the scene by establishing order in the camps at Fort Gibson. He was an Interpreter for Creek leader, Yargee.

The Creek, Seminole, Yamacraw and Yamasee Indians were all tribes of the Creek Confederacy. Africans and Creeks, Daniel F. Littlefield, Jr.


James Coody Johnson

Johnson was the official interpreter for the Seminole Nation as well as an advisor to Chief Halputta Micco at the time. He was also active in the Creek National Council. As Creek Pleasant Porter said at the time, “he carries the responsibilities of two nations on his shoulders.” OHS, James Coody Johnson collection.


Napoleon Davis

In or about 1977, Napoleon Davis, a Creek Indian Freedmen descendant sought to guard the history and culture of Creek Indian Freedmen by first housing the history in a museum built on his family’s original Creek Indian Freedmen land allotment in Taft, Oklahoma. Second, he preserved the legacy of Creek Freedmen by compiling the written history in a book which spanned the years 1858-1921.


Joseph P. Davison

Was a prominent African Creek active in the development of the Creek country and its politics. Davison was born in 1840, the son of Julie Gibson, Sarah Davis’s daughter, and D.N. McIntosh, Chief William McIntosh’s son.


Claude A. Cox, Principal Chief

To the Creek People, Article by Claude A. Cox, Principal Chief regarding Constitutional election, which reads in part…”On April 14, 1979, we must choose between proven failure of the past and a dread for the future of the Creek people, There is but one choice. As a Creek tribal government we must: (3) Elect council representatives from districts rather that tribal towns as was the case under the disastroud[s] 1867 Constitution. While tribal towns continue to be important socially, it far better to be represented by a tribal member familiar with the unique needs of the districts where we live.” page 1 Muscogee Nation News April 1979.


Leguest Choteau Perryman

Extra Census Bulletin- The Five Civilized tribes In Indian Territory, The Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole Nations – Paragraph 6 reads, “The negroes are among the earnest workers in the Five Tribes. The Creek Nation affords the best example of negro progress. The principal chief, virtually a negro, comes from a famous family in Creek annals. His name is Leguest Choteau Perryman”. Department of the Interior Census Office, Washington D.C., United States Printing Office, 1894


Obituaries:

Obituary of Martha Davison Jones, daughter of Patsy McIntosh and J.P. Davidson born in 1865. Father was superintendent of Pecan Mission and Warrior’s Creek Council, representing Arkansas Town. Jones attended Tallahassee Mission School of the Indian Territory and married in 1892.

Obituary of Odessa Myers Division 1913-1994. She attended the Creek Indian Mission School until age 16. At this age she was only able to speak the Indian language. Her grandmother then enrolled her in Peters Chapel School where she learned to speak English and finish her education.
African Creek Indian identity


Congressional Records dialogue;  before a committee held on November 21, 1878 at Muskogee, Indian Territory.” The Committee met. Senators present: the chairman and Mr. Grover, Present on behalf of the Creeks: Messrs. Porter, Hodge and Stidham.

Jess Franklin, having been duly sworn, was examined. By the Chairman: QUESTION: What is your name? ANSWER: Jesse Franklin. Q. Are you a Creek? A. Yes, sir. Q. Were you a slave? A, Yes, sir. Q. Were you born here? A. I was born among the Indians. Q. Where? A. In the state of Alabama. Q. What office do you hold in the nation. A. I am a judge of the Supreme Court. Q. Judge of the Supreme Court, are you? A. Yes, sir. Q. How many colored men are on the bench besides you? Any? A. No sir, I am the only one. Q. What are the other four? A. Creek Indians. Q. How long have you been a judge? A. Three years this fall. Q. What is your salary? A. Five dollars per day. Q. While in session? A. Yes sir. Q. How often do you sit? A. As long as there is business to attend to. Exhibit 1

Simon Brown, having been duly sworn was examined. Q. Are you an Indian? A. Yes, sir. Q. Were you born in the Creek nation? A. Yes, sir. Q. Were you a slave? A. Yes, sir. Q. What office do you hold in the Territory? A. I am a Senator Q. Do colored people get their full share of the school fund? A. Yes, sir, so far as allowed by treaty… Q. How many members of the Senate are colored men? A. Three that belong to the Senate. Q. How many belong to the other House? A. I cannot tell exactly all there are. But there are three that belong to the house I belong to besides myself.

WPA interview with Simon McIntosh, “Sugar George and Jesse Franklin (Creek Freedmen) were my uncles and both members of the Creek Council. They, “Coon Creek” Harry and twenty-one other delegates were sent on a mission to Washington. There, the colored delegates were pushed forward to speak for the Indians. They seemed to be able to better express the wishes of the Creek Tribe than the Creeks themselves. The Government officials called upon said: We want to talk to the Indians. What are these colored men doing the talking for”? The Creek delegates said, “What’s the matter? We want them to talk for us” So the Government officials saw that the Creeks thought of the Negroes as being equal with themselves. That is all changed now. Indian Pioneer History, Jerome Emmons, Interviewer, Page 403-404, August 10, 1937.


Intermarriage

Contested Territory Whites, Native Americans and African Americans in Oklahoma, 1865-1907 by Murray R. Wickett –“It was only among the Seminoles, and to a lesser extent among the Creeks, that intermarriage was fairly commonplace. One contemporary commentator noted that among the Seminole and Creek tribes, “intermarriage became so common, so than now (I have it on the best authority) there is not a Seminole family that is entirely free from negro blood; and there are but three Creek families, some make it two, that are of pure blood.” As a result, the Creeks and Seminoles came to be regarded as the most “primitive” of the Five Civilized Tribes in the eyes of contemporary white settlers. Quote from L.J. Abbott, “The Race Questions in the Forty-sixth State,” Independent (July 25, 1907):208; Wilton, M. Krogman, “The Racial Composition of the Seminole Indians of Florida and Oklahoma, “Journal of Negro History 19, 1934): 412-30. Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, 2000. Cite quoted on page 36.

Contested Territory, by Wickett.” On the one hand, some freedmen were part Indian themselves. They tended to be proud of their Indian heritage. One settler remembered that freedmen did not consider themselves black but rather emphasized their tribal affiliation.” page 16.

Beneath the Underdog: Race, Religion and the “Trail of Tears” by Patrick Minges, Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, page 4.”…[t]he Cherokee intermarried with the white missionaries, government agents, and local settlers while the Muscogean people of the deep south did not. A joke developed among the Southeastern nations which highlighted this aspect of Southern society: “A Creek said to a Cherokee…’You Cherokees are so mixed with whites we cannot tell you from the whites.’ The Cherokee.. replied: ‘You Creeks are so mixed with the Negroes we cannot tell you from the Negroes’ quoted in Martin, Joel. Sacred Revolt: The Muskogees Struggle for a New World. Boston: Beacon Press, 1991, page 73.


Creek Indian Freedmen by blood

Interview with Elsie Edwards, daughter of Tustenugee Emarthle (Jimboy), Western History Collection, Indian Pioneer Papers, pages 188,189,192. Note: Tustungee Jimboy was also known as Jimboy, James Tobler, James boy Grayson and Tustenugee Emarthle. See Creek Freedmen Census card 1442 and the by blood cards of other offspring of Tustenugee Emarthle enrolled as Full at 527 by blood.

Alex Manac’s sister is Bettie Bruner at Creek by Blood Card 725 along with husband, Richmond. Betty’s husband Richmond Bruner is son of Paro Bruner. Paro is listed on Creek Freedmen Card Census Card 1. Blood degrees change from field card to enrollment census card. Silas Micmac, son of Joe Micmac and grandson of Alex was later transferred to Creek Freedmen Card 1006.

William Fisher, son of Josiah and Caroline Fisher was transferred to Creek Freedmen Card 1591 despite notation of “see Card 71 Half Blood Creeks.”