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|Their Early History.—Treaties and Emigration West of
|THE name Cherokee is probably derived from the word Chera-fire: the prophets of this nation being called Chera-taghge, men of divine fire.|
The Cherokees were first heard of about the year 1620, after the Spanish invasion, and in connection with the British settlers of Virginia. Here they had numerous and populous towns, while several of their settlements reached to the Appomattox, from where they were afterwards driven by the Virginians and forced to retreat to the Holsten River. The early Cherokees claimed blood-relationship with the Powhattans, which is probably correct, as these tribes were somewhat similar in their customs and characteristics.
The Holsten River and its tributaries did not long remain the headquarters of the Cherokees, They were attacked by the tribes from the North and driven to the Little Tennessee, where they established themselves permanently. About the same time a large branch of the tribe, hailing from South Carolina, settled upon the main Tennessee, but the greater body appears to have occupied Northern Georgia and North-western Carolina, as far back as they are traceable by the first discoverers.
It is quite reasonable to suppose that the Cherokees were the original inhabitants of the south-eastern portion of the States, from the fact that the other tribes, Choctaws, Muskogees, Natchez, etc., etc., emigrated from the West at no very early day. Scientific research testifies to the antiquity of the Cherokees, and by some they are believed to be the direct descendents of the Mound Builders. It is a curious fact that these mounds are nowhere so numerous as in that portion of the country which was once inhabited by the Cherokees.
About the period of 1700, the Cherokee Nation consisted of sixty-four towns. The Upper Cherokees living on the Tellico and the Tennessee rivers, were continually engaged in warfare with the Northern Indians, while those of the Lower towns, on the Oconee and Savannah rivers were harassed by the Creeks. Then again, they had to fight the French and English at different periods. From these causes, as well as the terrible scourge of smallpox, the Cherokees, in 1740, were reduced from seven to fivethousand warriors.
In physical appearance this people were a splendid race—tall and athletic. Their women especially, differed from those of other tribes, being tall, erect and of a willowy delicate frame, with features of perfect symmetry and complexion of olive. The warriors heads were shaved, except a patch on the back part, which was ornamented with plumes, while their ears were slit and adorned with large pendants and rings.
The Cherokees enjoyed greater longevity than any of the Indian races, owing to the pure air they breathed and the mountain streams from which they drank for they occupied only the most healthful locations.
Unlike other Indian nations, they had no laws against adultery, and both sexes being unrestrained in this particular, marriage was frequently of short duration. They observed some singular rules in relation to the burial of the dead. When a patient was pronounced past recovery, his hair was anointed and his face painted, and the grave being prepared beforehand, he was interred as soon as the breath had left his body.
Of all Indian tribes the Cherokees were the most proud and disdainful. Especially was this trait exhibited in their early intercourse with the Europeans, the soldiery and the lower class of whom they despised most cordially. The warriors would not associate themselves with anybody less than the superior officers and generals of the English and French armies. The first treaty made by the Cherokees was with the British Government, and was consummated at Dover, June 30, 1721. Six Cherokee chiefs appeared before George the Third on this memorable occasion and pledged their fealty to his majesty.
In 1761, Henry Timberlake, a lieutenant in the British service, in order to cultivate friendly relations with the Cherokees, visited the towns on the Tellico and Tennessee rivers and persuaded three powerful chieftains to accompany him to England. These were Outa-se-at, Colhiuna (the Eaven) and his nephew, Okonnostot, chief of the Long-hair clan. They were presented to George the Third, being introduced at Court by Colonel Beamer. Here they exhibited a dignity and bearing in keeping with their rank and influence as representatives of a great nation. During the War of the Rebellion, the Cherokees remained faithful, and were powerful allies of the British until after the Declaration of Independence, when they ceased hostilities and agreed to a treaty with the United States Government.
The first of these calamitous treaties was made at Hopewell, South Carolina, November 18, 1785; the first of a series of ruinous contracts, whereby the Cherokees were coerced or forced by circumstances into relinquishing their rights to the lands east of the Mississippi. Our space is too limited to refer at length to these treaties and the invidious methods adopted to deprive the Cherokees of their inheritance, suffice to say that they suffered inhuman treatment, rarely seeking revenge, although harassed on all sides by the colonists.
In 1792, driven almost to desperation, a body of seven hundred warriors under John Watts, attacked Buchannan Station, near Nashville, Tenn., and would have probably reduced it to ashes, had not their leader fallen beneath his wounds early in the attack. Later on Cavitt's Station, near Knoxville, Tenn., was captured and burned by a force of fifteen hundred braves. Peace was not fully restored to the border until the summer of 1794, when Major Ore destroyed two large Cherokee towns—Running Water and Nickajack.
In the year 1809, the Upper and Lower Cherokees began to develope a difference in tastes and methods of living. The former were making considerable progress in agriculture, while the latter, who chiefly subsisted on the proceeds of the chase, were becoming discontented with the growing scarcity of game. Accordingly, a party of Lower town Cherokees started out for the White River country in Arkansas, with a view of find ing a better hunting ground.
In this the were successful, and in eight years from the date of their first settlement, there were three thousand members of the tribe located on the White River and its tributaries. Then followed the treaty of 1817, whereby the United States government magnanimously presented each poor exile Indian with a rifle, trap and blanket, in lieu of his home claim, and transported him west of the great river to join his comrades and fight the Osages and Quapas, who were incessantly raiding upon the newcomers. The government had promised them protection from the hostiles, but refused to interfere until the remainder of the Cherokees availed themselves of the late treaty and abandoned their homes.
About this time the State officials of Georgia began persecuting the Indians, and pressing the United States government tohasten their removal from that State. An agreement had been entered into in April, 1802, whereby Georgia ceded to the United States certain lands lying south of the Tennessee and west of the Chatahouchie rivers, etc., etc., in consideration of $1,250,000, to be paid by the latter, the Indian title to lands in Georgia to be extinguished on peaceable and reasonable terms. As the years flew by without the fulfilment of the latter part of the contract, the citizens of Georgia grew more and more offensive. Governor Troupe went so far as to threaten the Secretary of War with impending bloodshed if immediate action was not taken. In the meanwhile a persecution was instituted by the State officials upon the missionaries and others devoted to the welfare of the Indians. The most illustrious victim of this cowardly inquisition was Dr. Samuel Worcester, who had settled in New Echota in 1828. This conscientious and fearless man, regarding the unlawful encroachment made upon the Cherokee lands as the sure precursor to a forced removal, did not hesitate to boldly cry down the cruelty and injustice of depriving the Indians of their homes. The State officials learning that Dr. Worcester was urging the people to remain, unless ejected by force, arrested him in the very midst of his services on Sunday, July 13, 1831. He was thrice arrested and as many times set at liberty, but the fourth time, he and Dr. Butler were brought before the Superior Court of Georgia and condemned to four years of hard labor in the State Penitentiary. A special law had been passed, that all men residing on Cherokee lands in Georgia should take oath of alleaiance to that State, or leave within a stipulated time. In refusing to abide by this law, Doctors Worcester, Butler and nine others, were arrested and condemned. Among the number was a minister named Trott father of the Trott brothers, of Vinita, I. T,—and a Cherokee named Porter. These two gentlemen, as well as Dr. Butler, were chained by the neck to horses, and in this manner marched to the penitentiary. On their arrival before the gates, pardon was offered to all, on condition that they would not again reside in the Cherokee country. With this offer they all complied, except Doctors Worcester and Butler, who were thrust into prison. Although the United States Supreme Court decided that the missionaries should be at once set at liberty, yet they were not released until January, 1833, the State at first refusing to give them up except at the point of the bayonet. Dr. Worcester died at Park Hill in 1859; he was a hero in the truest sense, and will long be remembered by the Cherokees. His daughter, Mrs. Robinson, and grand-daughter, Miss Alice Robinson, are widely known in connection with the educational and missionary institutions of the Indian Territory.
In the meanwhile, the final treaty was drafted and concluded in December, 1835. This treaty was a clear release of all lands owned by the Cherokees east of the Mississippi, for the sum of $5,000,000. John Ross, the principal chief, who had been at Washington for three or four winters exerting every possible influence towards the welfare of his people, pronounced a decided disapproval to the treaty, and opened a correspondence with the President in the hope of relief, but there was none forthcoming.
Andrew Ross, a member of the Cherokee delegation, on the other hand, was favorable to the emigration, and sugested to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs his willingness to bring together a sufficient number of leading Cherokees with whom a treaty could be effected. A preliminary treaty was therefore concluded on the 19th day of June, 1834, but it was never ratified, although the enrolling books were opened and several names subscribed.
Early in February, 1835, two rival delegations, each claiming itself representative of the Cherokee nation, arrived at Washington. One was headed by John Ross, who had been chief for over eight years, and the other by John Ridge, a sub-chief, and a man of considerable influence among his people. The Ross delegation was implacable in its opposition to removal, while the Ridges, perceiving the futility of further opposition to the demands of the government, were agreeable to accepting the treaty. Rev. J. T. Schermerhorn was authorized by the President to treat with the latter and effected a preliminary treaty on the 14th of March, with the express stipulation that it should receive the approval of the Cherokee people in full council assembled. Such were the terms upon which Ridge, Boudinot and others signed the contract which terminated so fatally for them a short time afterwards.
In October following, the Cherokee people in full council at Red Clay, rejected the Ridge treaty. Ridge. and Boudinot, strong partizans and signers of the Schermerhorn agreement, abandoned their support of the measure and coincided with the mass of the people.
However, at a meeting the December following at Ncav Echota, Mr. Schermerhorn concluded arrangements with the Ridge party, and the treaty was ratified by the United States Senate, May 23, 1836. John Ross and his delegation, wdio had left for Washington soon after the Red Clay council, returned home to commence a vigorous campaign of opposition to the execution of the treaty. They openly refused to recognize the action of the Ridge party, and protested forcibly, through the medium of their chief, against the unconstitutionality of a contract made by a few unauthorized parties to the detriment of a nation.
Doubtless Ridge and Boudinot were under the impression that they were doing that which was for the best interests of their people. The latter was a man of culture and a Christian, and those who knew him best, invariably agree in the belief that his action on this occasion was not prompted by any selfish consideration whatever.
One of the saddest stories on record, is that of the removal of the Cherokees from their eastern homes. Between sixteen and seventeen thousand men, women and youths, leit Brainard late in the fall, with a winter's journey of nearly half a year before them. The severity of the weather, together with the number of old and infirm emigrants, rendered them unable to make over from five to fifteen miles a day. As the season advanced, so did disease attack them with dreadful fatality. Numbers lay down by the roadside never to rise again. Soon the great caravan became a monstrous funeral procession, the averages of deaths reaching thirteen per day.
The time taken to accomplish the journey increased from six to ten months, and when roll was called at the terminus of the trip, over four thousand persons were missing—one-fourth of the great exodus having left their bones by the wayside. What wonder that the survivors should seize the first favorable opportunity to inflict punishment upon those whom they believed to have brought about the calamities which attended this fearful journey.
Immediately after the arrival of the Cherokees, June 10, 1839, Chief Ross called a council meeting at Takuttokah, having in view the unification of the old and new settlers.
Nothing was accomplished, but a time was set for a similar meeting with the same design.
A few days after the adjournment of council, three of the leaders of the treaty party—John Ridge, Major Ridge (his father) and Elias Boudinot, were brutally murdered. The latter was assassinated beside his house at Parkhill, and within a few miles of the chief's residence.
Major Ridge was waylaid and shot close to the State line; while John was taken from his bed and hewn to pieces. There are some who reflect with great severity upon John Ross, the chief, for permitting these cold-blooded murders, but it seems hardly fair to accuse him of sympathy with acts of which, in all probability, he was ignorant. Chief Ross has been several times heard to say: "Once I saved Ridge at Red Clay, and would have done so again had I known of the plot."
No sooner had the Ross party arrived in the new country than hostilities commenced between them and the old settlers, together with the treaty party, that is to say, the Ridge faction. Neither the latter nor the old settlers were satisfied to acknowledge the dictatorship of John Ross, and the result was a succession of feuds and political murders. Of the latter, Agent McKissick reported thirty-three during a space of five months. The feeling of alarm grew so wide-spread, that an additional military force was called out to be ready in case of emergencies. Meanwhile the bulk of the old settlers and treaty party concluding that they could not live in peace with the Ross party, appointed a delegation of forty-five persons to explore the Texas country in search of a new home. They traveled as far South as the San Saba River, coming in contact with several small bands of their tribe that had left home from 1835 to 1843. It was during their trip that the Cherokees first learned of the death of Sequoyah, who went to Mexico two years previously to bring back some of his people who had wandered from the tribe. This illustrious man was the originator of the Cherokee alphabet, which he completed in the year 1821, after some three years' study, during which time he was constantly ridiculed by those who were aware of his enterprise. Sequoyah was the son of a white man named Gist, by an Indian woman. He was totally uneducated, but from youth displayed a wonderful ingenuity, which resulted in a work that will preserve his name for all time.
THE WAR: ITS EFFECT UPON THE CHEROKEES.
The years of 1860 and '61 were characterized by great excitement and disturbance among the Cherokees. The bitterness of feeling between the North and South extended throughout the nation. Many of the Indians were wealthy slave holders, and vehemently opposed to the dissemination of any doctrine at variance with their traditional customs. Stand Watie, the leader of the Ridge party, organized his followers under the title of "Knights of the Golden Circle," and struck for the Confederate cause, while a counter organization was formed by those loyal to the United States government, and chiefly from, among the Ross faction. These latter were the Ki-tu-whas, better known as the "Pin" Indians. This society had been organized years before, by John Ross and Rev. Evan Jones. The latter was a strong anti-slavery partisan, and sympathized with the Union, while the former, at first rejected all overtures and determined to remain neutral during the contest. Gen. Albert Pike, in behalf of the Confederacy, endeavored to treat with Ross, but their meeting only resulted in an order from the chief that strict neutrality should be ol)served by his followers. At a meeting held in Tahlequah, August, 1861, in which a large number of Cherokees were present, and loud in their clamours for alliance with the South, John Ross changed his views and determined, like the huge majority, to ally himself with the Confederacy. He thereupon raised a regiment, placing at its head Colonel Drew, of the Home Guard, and in his address mentioned that they were to act in concert with the troops of the Southern Confederacy. ( See treaty, August (6th, Royce, page 329.) This regiment as well as that of Stand Watie, fought side by side at Pea Ridge and elsewhere.
Col. Drew's men, however, were in a wretched condition at the end of ten months' service. Half clad and ill fed, having never received payment for their services, and finding that the Federal troops of Colonel Weir, were obtaining prestige in that portion of the nation, the ill-treated warriors revolted en masse., and went over to the enemy.
Chief Ross, finding himself abandoned by Drew's regiment, concluded to make a virtue of necessity and become a loyal man. Such, he said, had been the impulse of his heart, but he had been overborne by the strength and power of the Confederate government, and felt constrained to save the material interests of his people from total destruction. He was, therefore, escorted out of the country by Colonel Weir's regiment, and went to Philadelphia, where he remained three years. In the meanwhile. Stand Watie, at the head of a small army not exceeding eight hundred warriors, had many engagements with Federal troops, and in the spring of 1863, after the government had returned the refugees to their homes in time to plant their crops, he scoured the country in the vicinity of Tahlequah, and drove before him the frightened tillers of the soil, who fled for safety to Fort Gibson, until that post sheltered no less than six thousand of the refugees. The latter had brought back with them supplies and material for agricultural pursuits, which fell into the hands of Stand Watie and his followers. At the termination of the war, a general council meeting was convened at Fort Smith, which was attended by delegates from the tribes west of Ninety-eight, as well as those of the five civilized tribes. They were met by United States commissioners, who, on the part of the government, proposed various measures for their future. The commission, however, refused to recognize John Ross as a proper representative of his people, as his record had been such as to excite 'a want of confidence. The meeting broke up without the accomplishment of any business, and nothing was done until June 13th, 1865, when the United States concluded a treaty with the Southern Cherokees, represented by E. C. Boudinot. This party acknowledged the freedom of the negro, but refused to adopt him in the tribe. In August, 1863, a treaty was ratihed with the Ross party or loyal Cherokees, not, however, until the commission had agreed to recognize John Ross in his official character of principal chief. The termination of the war was fraught with misery for many of the wretched followers of Stand Watie. The loyal party as soon as they returned to their allegiance in 1863, passed an act of council confiscating all property (houses and stock included) belonging to the Southern refugees, who were living in the Greatest destitution on the banks of the Red River. Before a reconciliation was brought about, the proposition was seriousy considered of securing a home for Watie and his followers in the Chickasaw Nation, but the death of Ross, which took place at Washington, August 1st, 1866, moderated the party feeling, and they finally returned to dwell among their people. Of John Ross, it may be safely said that he was incorruptible, since he had been chief of his nation for forty successive years, and died without leaving to his family the common necessaries of life. Had he been dishonest, the opportunities for immense wealth were constantly within his reach. Ross was of mixed Scotch and Indian blood on both sides, and a descendant of the two great Scottish families—Ross and Stuart. The late chief's unexpired term was filled by his nephew, W. P. Ross, an eminent scholar, but uncompromising in disposition. When asked by Stand Watie's representative at Fort Smith, if the Southern, Cherokees might return to their homes in peace, he answered: "No; never can you or your people come back to live on an equal footing with the loyal Cherokees you who have raided and pillaged your own people," and so forth. Such was the character of W, P, Ross' reply. Louis Downiug who was present, and who had held the office of Lieutenant-Colonel in the Union army, was asked his opinion of Stand Watie's emissary. "If you were chief, Mr. Downing, would you take us back among our people? " to which the latter replied: "I would gladly welcome you back as brothers who had gone astray, and forget the past. The war is over, and we are too few in numbers to stand apart. Yes, I would certainly bid you return to your people." The nature of this reply spread like wild-fire. The exiles on their return, soon afterwards nominated Downing as their candidate for chief—although a member of the opposite or loyal party, and he was elected by a large majority. After serving one term and a half in office, Louis Downing died, and W. P. Ross, who had the majority in both houses, was elected to till the unexpired term. Charles Thompson was the next candidate on the Ridge or Southern party ticket, and defeated Ross for two terms. He was succeeded by Bushyhead, who was also elected over Ross two consecutive terms. Joel Mayes, the present chief, was the next representative of the party, and he also scored two victories over Ross, who, despite the fact of his being the ablest man in the nation, could not secure a seat in the executiye chair. Fate appears to have been against him from the outset. Fitted in every respect to govern his people, a statesman, a scholar and a christian, he was denied the one ambition of his life-time. He died deeply regretted by all. His orations and speeches, together with a life sketch, are at present being published by Joshua Ross, of Muskogee. The proceeds of the sale of the work will be deyoted to the erection of a monument over his grave.
GOVERNMENT, LAWS, PROGRESS, EDUCATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES.
The constitution adopted by the Cherokees, July 12, 1838, is based upon that of the United States and differs only from the Muskogees in a few characteristic features. The supreme executive power of the nation is vested in the principal chief, who is elected by the popular vote for a term of four years. An executive council or cabinet composed of from three to five persons is appointed by the national council, to be at the chief's disposal whenever their services are required. In case of death or removal from office, the principal chief's place is filled by an assistant principal chief. The salary of the former is $2,000, and of the latter $1,000 per annum. Among other important offices are those of treasurer, solicitor-general and auditor, the two former receiving $1,000 and the latter $500 per annum.
The judicial powers of the nation are vested in supreme, circuit and district courts. The former is conducted by three judges, one of whom is appointed by the council as chief justice. These functionaries receive a salary of $800 per year, and hold their commission for four years.
There are three judicial circuits, each electing its own judge, whose salary is $600 a year. There is also a district court in each district, and each court is presided over by a judge elected by the people for a term of two years at a salary of $400 per annum. There are nine districts, as follows: Canadian, Illinois, Sequoyah, Flint, Deleware, Going-snake, Tahlequah, Saline and Coo-wes-coo-wee. Each of these districts sends to the national council from three to five representatives, in proportion to its population. The annual council convenes at Tahlequah the first Monday in November, and usually continues for from thirty days to six weeks. The legislative body of the nation is divided into two branches—the senate and the national council—and the members are elected for a term of four years, receiving for their services $5.00 per day while in attendance. The members are nearly all Cherokees by blood, there being but a few exceptions, but the majority of these representatives are men of much more than ordinary intelligence, and there are some in the body legislative that would do infinite credit to the United States Congress. The Cherokee laws, which, as a matter of course, are based upon the common code, are sufficiently complete for all practical purposes, and are carried out with greater precision and punctuality than those of any of the other nations. There is more regularity and formality in the conduct of national affairs, and less lavish expenditure of the public funds than is observable among the Choctaws and Chickasaws. The higher offices of the nation are usually filled by men who are not only competent but willing to discharge their duties to the letter. The local laws, even to the Sabbath observance, are strictly enforced, and, on the whole, there is not a more peaceable, law-abiding country in the world than the Cherokee Nation of to-day.
Note: Tahlequah is the capitol of the Cherokee Nation, not the Creek.
The national capitol, located at Tahlequah, is a fine, solid building, situated in the center of a good business town, surrounded by an agricultural country that is almost unsurpassed. This town is the great central point for education, while most of the national buildings are within easy access. The male and female seminaries, the insane asylum and the national jail are located in the neighborhood of the capitol. The educational institutions are complete in every respect, while in point of architectural beauty and modern improvements the female seminary, at least, is the superior of any establishment of its kind in the Southwest. Some years ago the Cherokees, appreciating the advantages to be gained by municipal government, passed an act conferring upon Fort Gibson and others of the large towns, the privileges of incorporation, so that they elect their mayors and city officers as in the adjoining States. It is needless to reflect upon the wisdom of such a measure, further than suggest the wise precedent to the nations further south.
The Cherokees as a people are better educated, and have better educational facilities, than perhaps any other nation. There are something like one hundred and eighty district schools, furnished with capable teachers and superintendents of education; then follow the higher schools and national academies whose faculties are qualified to prepare the student for the highest collegiate courses.
The importance of female education is equally recognized, and the Cherokee ladies of the present are no less remarkable for their refinement and culture than for their symmetry of form and delicacy of feature. A course of physical culture, including dumbbells and clubs, is one of the branches of education, and one which has proven of great advantage to the pupils.
The first half-breed Cherokee was born in North Virginia as far back as 1620, and was the son of an Irish adventurer named Dogherty. At the date of the treaty of 1836, there were only two hundred and one white persons among the Cherokees. How hard it is for the stranger traveling through this nation to-day and struck with astonishment at the high social status of its people, to realize this fact. It appears as though half a century had wrought a complete change in the physical as well as moral complexion and aspect of the race. The progress made by the Cherokees is chiefly attributed to the influence of the missionaries, and liberal intercourse with the whites. Yet, in our mind, a stronger factor than these was the blessed privilege of a home, or tribal goyernment, whose independence they haye long enjoyed as a grand incentive to ambition. Compare the Indian people who have governments of their own with those raised and educated under the alien laws of the United States and Canada. What a contrast!
The present population of the Cherokees is estimated at 24,000. Of these, more than three-fourths are imbued with white blood. Some who pass for full-bloods are not so in reality, their parents having married back, on either side, into the aboriginal stock. The Cherokee people of to-day are largely descended through their white blood from the Irish and Scotch who inhabited the colonies in the early days. Such illustrious family names as Adair, Ross, Duncan, Crittendon, Wolfe, etc., have endowed the Cherokees with their ancestral heritage of Gaelic and Celtic blood.
We also find the descendants of Norman, Anglo-Saxon, French, and a few German families among the tribe, But they are comparatiyely few; and, it may be here remarked that not only among the Cherokees, but all the Five Nations, does the Scotch and Irish blood largely predominate.
The Cherokees are a liberal people, and treat their adopted citizens, that is to say, the husbands of their daughters and sisters, with hospitality. But should an adopted citizen abandon or divorce his wife, or should he in the eyent of her death marry a white woman, his right and title to citizenship is forfeited. This is a wise law and calculated to preyent wanton marriages.
The Cherokee Nation contains as much good, tillable land as perhaps any other country of equal extent. The soil is capable of producing as great a yariety of products as any State in the Union and even cotton, despite the shortness of the season, produces a good yield in the more southern districts. Although the farms are by no means as large as those in the Chickasaw Nation, yet they are more numerous, and, generally speaking, in a better state of cultivation. Landed property is more equally divided and wealth more equally distributed amono; the Cherokees; and the country does not suffer through syndicate, cattle king or land baron. Although the nation is not essentially a mining country, yet there are some rich leads of copper and lead, especially the latter, which is very plentiful in some districts.
Samples of ore from lands adjacent to the capital exhibit a yield of ninety per cent, lead. Galena has recently been discovered in the same district carrying a large percentage of silver. The Cherokees have an excellent mining law which provides for the operation of claims, and quarterly reports of the results of such operations. Their law, however, forbids the leasing of any mineral land to United States citizens.
THE INDIAN UNIVERSITY.—BACONE.
The people of the Indian Territory are indebted in a great measure to Professor Bacone for his active part in the establishment of the Indian University. It was in a small room in the Baptist Mission House at Tahlequah in 1880, with a few students gathered together, that the work of construction was begun by the professor himself, who at the time had no encouragement whatever, financial or otherwise. "With the help of God, this one thing I do," was the language of his heart, and God did raise friends to assist in the great work. Help for beneficiary students was obtained from churches and Sunday-schools in the East, while after a few months the American Baptist Home Mission Society assumed in part its support. A charter was obtained from the Creek council, and permission granted to locate the institution within that nation. The above society and the friends of the Indians contributed liberally toward the erection of a commodious building, and in 1885 the removal to its present location at Bacone, near Muskogee, was effected. The institution thus began without any available means has within eleven years acquired property in buildings and improvements worth $30,000. Nearly six hundred students, representing ten Indian tribes, have enjoyed its scholastic advantages. Sixty have been in preparation for teaching, and over thirty for the university. There is no doubt but the Indian University will prove to be one of the chief agents in the evangelizing work of the Territory. It is conducted under the auspices of the American Baptist Home Mission Society and Professor Bacone, who has employed the best energies of his life in raising it from its small beginning to its present completeness. He has associated with him a corps of teachers in every respect fitted for their arduous duties.
LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE OF THE CHEROKEES
SKETCHES OF SEQUOYAH, EUBANKS
The Cherokee language differs from other aboriginal languages in the one very important feature—its incapability of expression through the medium of the English alphabet. Through no possible combination of our consonants and vowels can these foreign sounds be rendered intelligible. It was therefore that the early missionaries among the Cherokees labored under greater ditticulties than those whose lots were cast among the Choctaws, Creeks, etc., whose languages came within range of the common alphabet. Not till the year 1821 was this great difficulty removed through the invention of a Cherokee alphabet by a half-breed named George Guess. Sequoyah, as he was named by his people, was the son of a white man of the name of Gist, corrupted to Guess. From early boyhood he evinced traits that were uncommon among the youths of his tribe. At the age of fourteen years he was an excellent silversmith, manufacturing jewelry and a variety of ornaments from silver and other metals. His next acquirement was drawing, which he accomplished before, perhaps, ever having seen a picture or engraving, his propensity for the imitative art being such that he could hardly resist the temptation of making life sketches on the dressed skins of animals. Crude and rough at the beginning, Sequoyah rapidly improved and soon became a skillful artist. The members of his tribe flocked from all quarters to witness the work of one whom they naturally looked upon as a prodigy, so that he became very popular among his people. The circle of his acquaintances increasing day by day, the young artist deemed it necessary to treat his visitors with every show of hospitality, wherefore he introduced whisky as a pledge of cordiality. Without any personal taste for the drink, he spent most of his earnings in regaling his guests, whose numbers increased with great rapidity. At length he fell into the habit of using the liquor himself, and narrowly escaped becoming a drunkard. Such would probably have been the result had not Sequoyah been attracted on first seeing a blacksmith's shop with a strong desire to learn the trade. Fleeing from his bacchanalian companions, he manufactured a bellows and soon acquired complete knowledge of the blacksmith's craft without receiving a single lesson. About the age of manhood Sequoyah was first struck with the idea which terminated in the Cherokee alphabet. Observing while on a trip to a neighboring village that the white man had a method of conveying his thoughts on paper which was not carried on by sorcery, as at first believed by the more ignorant members of the tribe, but by a series of signs or marks, this ambitious young Indian conceived the idea that he also could make marks that would be intelligible to the red man. Accordingly he took up a whetstone and began to scratch figures on it with a pin, remarking that he could teach the Cherokees to talk on paper like white men. The company laughed heartily and ridiculed his attempts, which only served to make him more and more in earnest. The idea that occurred to him was that he could invent characters that would represent sounds, out of which the words could be compounded—a system in which single letters would stand for syllables. He worked on until he had invented eighty-six characters, the complete Cherokee alphabet, after which he made a visit to Colonel Lowry, announcing the completion of his enterprise. That gentleman had heard of Sequoyah's "crazy sign writing," as it was called, for several years, and like others had advised him to employ his time at something less Utopian. Imagine the Colonel's surprise when, on examination, he found that Sequoyah's scheme had turned out a complete success—that he was, in truth, the Cadmus of his country. Soon after the invention Avas adopted by the missionaries and those engaged in the education and civilization of the Cherokees. Types were prepared and books printed and put in circulation.
In 1823, two years after the completion of his alphabet, Sequoyah traveled to visit his people west of the Mississippi, and in the same year the General Council of the Cherokees passed a resolution awarding him a silver medal in token of their approval of his genious. In 1828 he was chosen as a delegate, and with others visited the United State s President at Washington. His death we have elsewhere recorded.
The fifty years that have elapsed since the invention of the Cherokee Aphabet form an era most distintly marked with the footprints of progress. Wonderous is the change wrought within those fifty years among a race of people who, previous to that period, may be said to have esteemed the battle field and the chase as the highest acquirements. To-day the Cherokee Nation can boast with good reason of its poets, prose writers, orators, legislators and inventors. Among the latter we must not overlook William Eubanks, the originator of a Cherokee short-hand, a method of expressing the language the simplicity and brevity of which surpasses any syllabic system on record. William Eubanks was born December 3, 1841, on the Salisaw, in Illinois District, the son of William Eubanks, a white man, and Nancy Timberlake, a half-breed. When but four years of age his parents died, leaving him in charge of his aunt, Susan Sanders, till he was ten years of age, when a half-brother of his named Foster procured him an entree to the Orphan Institute. He was educated at the Baptist Mission near Cincinnati, Ark., and at the outbreak of the war enlisted in the Confederate service, where he remained four years. After the war he taught school for four sessions, and finally settled at Tahlequah, the capital, where he was appointed translator for The Cherokee Advocate, the national paper, and in which capacity he has served ever since, with exception of a couple of terms. William Eubanks, being an earnest student and ever ready to seize upon anything calculated to advance the great cause—the enlightenment of his people—determined to perfect the written language of the Cherokees by inventing a syllabic system whose brevity and simplicity would reduce correspondence to an easy acquirement. In 1890 the idea was first conceived, and in the fall of 1891 the short-hand system was complete and is now in circulation. We regret that we cannot furnish our readers with a copy of these characters. They consist simply of curves and dots, the position of one in relationship to the other designating the character of the sound to be expressed. The system throughout is perfectly uniform, and can be learned with ease by a child of average intelligence. Mr. Eubanks has for several years been engaged tracing the origin of the Cherokees, and will soon, it is to be hoped, give to the world his coming work, "The Cherokee Temple of Light." His researches, so far as language is concerned, develop a great similarity between the Cherokee and Hebrew, and we have reason to believe that Mr. Eubanks will succeed in establishing certain links between his people and the ancients which may result in proving the Cherokees to be of Asiatic origin. That the Cherokees are a reading people requires little further proof than the fact that in one town, Tahlequah, of fifteen hundred inhabitants, there are four weekly newspapers, and one daily in operation during the council term. These papers are The Advocate, the government organ and printed in both languages; The Cherokee Telephone, a paper with a large circulation and started about 1885 by Stone, who was shot by E. C. Boudinot on account of an article that appeared in its columns. Then come The Arrow andd The Sentinel, both well patronized weeklies, while The Dailie News during council term has a host of readers who take a lively interest in the enterprising little publication. In the town of Vinita there are also two weeklies, The Indian Chieftain and The Vinita World. Among the Cherokee literati the names of W. L. Adair and W. P. Boudinot are perhaps the most widely known. Several gems of poetry written by these gentlemen have had quite a wide circulation among the current selections of the day.
CHEROKEE COAT OF ARMS—ITS HISTORY AND
This beautiful coat of arms or seal of the Cherokee Nation was adopted by Act of Council during the administration of Louis Downing, after the close of the Civil War. It was designed by Dr. W. L. G. Miller, an adopted citizen. It was dated back to the union of the two divided branches of the Cherokee family. The seven-pointed star alludes to and perpetuates the remembrance of the ancient but now extinct seven clans among the Cherokees. Their names are as follows: (1) Wolf—Ah-ne-wah-he-yah; (2) Red—Ah-ne-woh-ti; (3) Deer—Ah-ne-kah-we; (4) Blue—Ah-ne-sah-hoh-ni; (5) Longhair—Ah-ne-ge-loh-hi; (6) Fairview—Ah-ne-goh-tah-gay-wi; (7) Holly—Ah-ne-stah-sti.
The wreath is intended to be of oak, with some acorns thereon, the signification of which our informant was ignorant. The Cherokees are perhaps the only aboriginal American tribe that have adopted a coat of arms on the national seal.
CHEROKEE MEMENTOS AND LITERARY CURIOSITIES.
Scattered here and there among the Cherokees of the present generation are many interesting mementos of their past glory. The bow, the quiver, the tomahawk, the peace pipe and other articles suggestive of war may be seen among the older citizens. Wampum belts and curiously wrought necklets of bead work are also to be found. The collection now in possession of Robert Ross, of Tahlequah. and transmitted to him through his deceased relative, W. P. Ross, is the most complete that has come within our notice. Among this collection is the national peace pipe, handed down by Chief John Ross, and which was in use among the tribe about the year 1800, twenty-five years before it came into his possession, which was in 1826 or thereabouts, when he first became chief of the Cherokees. This pipe weighs over four pounds, is eleven inches round the bowl, twelve inches long, and capable of holding nearly half a pint of smoking material. It is manufactured from a species of earth indigenous to a limited region in Georgia, which in appearance is almost similar to the Ponca pipe clay, but is much harder and heavier. The wampum belts belonging to this collection, and numbering eight or ten, are very beautiful and intricate in workmanship. The bugle-shaped beads with which they are wrought are manufactured from the inside of the clam shell, each bead being a task in itself. It was the custom long ago among the Cherokees for the warrior who killed another to present his widowed wife with a belt of wampum, then the most costly of all presents. The widow retained the belt until another homicide had taken place, when the slayer in turn purchased the belt, paying a large ransom for it, and presenting it to the last widow, and so on.
But by far the most interesting articles in the possession of Robert Ross are the old letters and documents treating of the removal of the Cherokees, and the unceasing war waged upon these unhappy people by the barbaric and blood-thirsty Legislature of Georgia. I hope that no Geogian of to-day could read these letters without a blush of shame. The most lengthy document in the collection, written by Chief Ross in a clear and neat hand, describes graphically his arrest by the Georgian Guard. The illustrious John Howard Payne was visiting the chief at the time of the occurrence, and was not only made prisoner, but insulted and smitten in the face, by a certain Sergeant Young, of the chivalrous Georgian Guard. Chief Ross and the author of ''Home, Sweet Home," were then ordered to mount their horses and conducted by the State troops through a heavy torrent of rain to the prison or guard house at Spring Place. The prison, which was a narrow log hut, contained one unfortunate in chains, a son of the distinguished warrior, Going Snake, who had fought and bled in the cause of the Union at the battle of Horse Shoe Bend, and who for many years was Speaker of the National Council. In this guard house a Cherokee captive was found dead, suspended by a rope around his neck. In this den the illustrious prisoners were continued for ten days without the privilege of writing to the President or the Governor of Tennessee. On the release of Chief Ross he inquired from Colonel Bishop, the commander of the Guard, as to the charges brought against him, whereupon that functionary was prudent enough to withhold further information, for in point of fact there was no charge against the chief from any quarter. For this high-handed infraction upon his rights and liberties, together with damages sustained by him through the failure of the United States to protect him in the enjoyment of his rights as a Cherokee upon his own domicile, together with spoliations and destruction of property. Chief John Ross claimed compensation in the sum of $164,250,621½, $100,000 of that sum being the amount at which he estimates the outrage committed upon him by the Georgian Guard.
The documents relating to the above are most interesting manuscripts, and in a good state of preservation. There is also a letter from John Howard Payne, as well as the copy of Chief Ross' correspondence with that gentleman. The latter sets forth in broad terms the value which the chief attributed to whatever council or advice he was in the habit of receiving from Payne, In one letter addressed to that gentleman at Washington Februarv 10, 1838, he requests him to come to the Nation as soon as possible, and offers to defray all expenses. In another place he says: "Please accept this small check herewith inclosed and apply it to your own benefit." This, as well as other suggestions of the same nature, tend to the supposition that a warm sympathy existed between the two men; and not only this, it also exhibits the magnanimity of Chief Ross to one of a race that had robbed him, and were now on the point of driving him and his people forever from their hearths and homes.
Among this collection of letters is a leaf of stained paper from what appears, to have been a diary. The following sentences are legible:
Saturday Evening, November 7th, at 11 o'clock.J. H. Payne came to my house 28th September, 1835, * * * * I promised to prepare such an address, and if approved it was to be sent around by runners for the signatures of every Cherokee within the country. It was approved and * * * * to be taken for obtaining signatures of all the people.
[Signature.]Perhaps none but those conversant with Cherokee national affairs at the time the above was written will comprehend the signification of the document. It was written, however, by Chief Ross, the handwriting being unmistakable.
Among the collection is also a document containing the opinion of the Supreme Court by Chief Justice Marshall on the motion of the Cherokee Nation for writs of injunction and subpœnas against the State of Georgia at January term, 1831.
There are also letters from the War Department addressed to the chief, relative to the removal of the Cherokees, and one to Major-General Winfield Scott, then quartered at Athens, Tenn., authorizing him to enter into immediate arrangements for the tribal emigration, the latter bearing date May 23, 1838.
THE TOM STARR TREATY.
Rarely has a government or a nation been forced to the extremity of entering into a treaty of peace with one of its own subjects. We have, however, an instance of it in the Cherokee Nation. Though his reputation was by no means enviable, yet it will be recognized by those who understood the surroundings of Tom Starr that his outlawry was due to a combination of circumstances that appeal strongly to the sympathies of his fellow-men in his behalf. His history is without parallel in the annals of his nation. Nor do we pretend to furnish it in these pages, his adventures being numerous and interesting enough to fill a large volume. Born in the old nation, the son of James Starr, a good, law-abiding citizen, there was nothing in his boyhood indicative of the strange, nomadic life that was to follow; on the contrary Tom was an energetic, ambitious lad, eager to advance with his people in their onward strides toward civilization. His father was a member of the Ridge and Boudinot party, and one of the signers of the treaty whereby the Cherokees disposed of their lands in the old States and agreed to a removal to their present homes, west of the Mississippi. [It is due to the Ridges, Boudinot, Starr and other supporters of the treaty, to assume that they believed it best for the welfare of their people to submit to, rather than oppose, the United States in this matter.] James Starr, with his family, including Tom, moved to the new country in 1833, and lived in peace until a short time after the murder of Boudinot and the Ridges, when the life of James Starr was threatened. This aroused the slumbering fire in the heart of young Tom, who was then but nineteen years of age. When the threat was made he had a premonition of what was about to happen. He knew that the parties who had murdered the others would find a time and place to carry out their threats toward his father. Therefore he began the onslaught instead of assuming the defensive. The first act that compromised Tom Starr, and outlined his desperate career, was the killing of David Buffington. A number of people had assembled to witness a foot-race between a white man named Frank Marrs and a negro, the property of one of the Johnsons. Angry words were exchanged between Butfington and Starr relative to the political troubles of the time, which ended in a duel between them. The former used a pistol, the latter a long knife. Starr, being quick as lightning in his movements, succeeded in stabbing his opponent fatally before the other had time to use his pistol with effect, and David Bufiington was slain. From that time forward Tom Starr became an outlaw, on the scout from place to place, and rarely sleeping beneath a roof for months at a time. His father was murdered soon afterward, and this fact only tended to render the young man more reckless, for be determined to slay every Boss man that he met with to whom he could attribute any enmity toward his father while alive, or any share in his subsequent death. Tom had, no doubt, many warm friends among the Ridge party, to whom he could occasionally look for shelter, but he rarely trespassed upon the privacy or exclusiveness of anybody; he was outlawed by the party in power, and he accepted the inevitable. He was not very long on the scout before he was joined by several white men who, like himself, were fugitives from justice. But a more daring outlaw than Tom Starr never existed since the days of Robin Hood. While the enemy was hot upon his trail he would occasionally stop at a house and eat a hurried meal, leaving instructions if anybody should inquire for him, to put the pursuers directly on his trail, and furnish them with the correct time that he had taken his departure, adding, further, that he, Tom Starr, would ride slowly until the party had overtaken him. Such bold challenges are supposed to have saved his life on more than one occasion, for Tom swore that he would never be taken alive, and he never was. The number of men killed by this daring outlaw has been variously estimated, and it would be an utter impossibility to reach the correct truth. During the first nine months succeeding the Ridge and Boudinot murders. United States Indian Agent McKissick reported thirty-three assassinations. A fractional portion of these killings have been charged to Tom Starr, but he has no doubt been credited with a number of crimes that he had no object in the world in committing. He never killed wantonly nor for plunder's sake, but only for revenge. He was carrying on a war of extermination singy, and, once having marked his man, he rarely, if ever, failed to "wipe him out." Although fearing not to face any living mortal, he was more than once obliged to strike his enemy when off guard, or else lose his chance completely. On one occasion he had pursued a full-blood Cherokee, aged about fifty years, whose name need not be mentioned. Having sought him in vain for some time, he at last discovered him lying asleep and drunk, stretched on a carpenter's bench; approaching within a step of his victim, he plunged his knife-blade to the hilt into the breast of the unconscious sleeper. While inquiries were being instituted, Tom was many miles away—probaby on the track of another sworn enemy. Three years of outlawry had scarcely passed away (during which time the Cherokee Government had offered rewards and done everything in its power to capture Tom), when it was at length decided to make a treaty with the outlaw and offer him a free pardon on condition that he would return to his home and cease hostilities. It was satisfactory to Tom, and he carried out his agreement for two years, until the authorities, for some cause or another, proceeded to arrest him. This he would not submit to, and once more fell back into the old mode of living. He was again relentlessly pursued by the officers of the law, and met with some such hair-breadth escapes as have seldom been recorded even in the most sensational literature. On one occasion, it is said, when closely followed by marshals and a pack of bloodliounds, he leaped into the Canadian River and swam to a spot where an overhanging branch touched the water's edge; catching on with his teeth, his mouth and nose over water, his head and entire body concealed from view, he remained in that position until his pursuers, supposing him drowned, at last gave up the chase. For a short time after this incident Tom Starr was reported dead, but he was heard from in Eastern Texas a few weeks later. A large reward was placed upon his capture, dead or alive, and fully half a dozen deputy marshals and Cherokee officers laid plans to ambuscade or otherwise entrap him. Starr was not a highway robber as reported by his enemies, nor was he a robber at all. True, he once, when in a terrible strait for the means of subsistence, carried off some negroes and disposed of them to the first bidder: but in his case it was a matter of steal or starve, as he could not stop long enough at any one place to work for wages. Horses he never laid hands on with the intention of appropriating them to himself, though several times, when closely pursued, he leaped into the first empty saddle that met his eye, or, leaving his tired beast, exchanged it for a fresh horse wherewith to continue his flight. Such actions are not to be placed on a par with horse-theft, an offense which Tom Starr looked upon with contempt, as did all men possessing a spark of honor or principle.
I remarked before that Tom Starr was never captured, and such is the case: he had too many friends willing to sacrifice much for his sake. In him they recounized a certain nobility of nature that elevated him above the petty criminality of theft. Had he been a thief, this sympathy would never have existed he was one of themselves, outlawed by the cruel combination of adverse circumstances. It is true that he was often associated wdth lawless men, who. like himself, Avere fugitives from justice, but it was impossible for him to avoid this contact, though it is almost universally believed that he liad no personal interest in their transactions. He used them when it suited his purpose, and they never failed to assemble at his call. His favorite signal was the scream of the night-owl, which he imitated to perfection. When the notion struck him, Tom Starr would leave the territory sometimes for many months, having once or twice gone as far as California. He constantly visited South- eastern Texas and Louisiana. Traps of various kinds were set to catch the wily outlaw, but he was shrewd enough to be out of reach at the time he was expected, for he had a verv keen scent for danger when it was in the wind. His vengeance was especially directed on those of his own people who were wont to betray him into the hands of the law, and whenever he discovered that a friend or acquaintance had turned traitor with a view of aiding in his capture and gaining the large rewards offered for his arrest, then he became a savage, and was merciless.
This warfare was carried on with slight interruption till the death of Chief John Ross, who had held the reins of government for forty years. The change of administration that followed in the election of Louis Downing to the chieftaincy put the Ridge party in power, and order was restored. The government once more, but under different auspices, entered into a treaty with Tom Starr, offering to condone all his offenses and cancel all the warrants against him if he would return to his home and live the life of a peaceful and law-abiding citizen. The offer was eagerly accepted, for Tom was weary of his nomadic career, and cheerfully settled upon his place- beside the Canadian aiKl close to Briartown, where he lived quietly until his death, which occurred about 1890, at the age of 7-4 years.
Rarely, if ever before, has a nation been forced to the extremity of making a treaty of peace with one of its own subjects.
|THIS thriving Cherokee town is located at the junction of Missouri Pacific Railroad and the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad, 210 miles from Denison, Tex., and 28 miles from Chetopa, Kas. It has a population of 1,500 people and three church buildings, viz.: Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregational; besides two church organizations, the Baptist and Christian. Vinita has two planing mills, and a flour mill with a capacity of one hundred barrels per day, four hotels—the Hotel Cobb being the principal of these, and one of the finest and best equipped in the Indian Territory. Vinita can also boast of two institutions of learning, the Willie Halsell Institute and the Worcester Academy, an engraying of which will be found elsewhere in this work. There are fifteen general mercantile houses, three hardware and two drug stores in Vinita, besides a commissioners' court, an opera house, five or six blacksmith shops, two lumber yards, several carpenter and barber shops, and others of minor importance. There are some very handsome residences in town, besides a bank, established in 1891, with a capital of S50,000. Vinita is an incorporated town, being the second corporation established in the Indian Territory. Its present mayor is J. J. Thompson. The town is situated on a fertile prairie about 8,000 feet above the level of the sea. Being located in the forks of Big and Little Cabin Creek, Vinita is plentifully supplied with excellent water, and is considered a very healthy town.|
|Tahlequah, the capitol of the Cherokee Nation, is located on the grounds where the Cherokees first assembled in council after their removal West, In 1846 an act was passed by the council to lay off the Tahlequah council ground into town lots, and to dispose of the same. From that time the town has been rapidly growing, till its population, according to the printed city ordinances of 1890, has reached two thousand souls, Tahlequah was incorporated in 1890, and the town ordinances compiled by W, P. and E. C. Boudinot. The present mayor, Jeff Roberson, and the members of the town council were elected December 7, 1891. Tahlequah is twenty-two miles from Fort Gibson, the nearest railroad point, and has a large country trade. It has seven general mercantile stores, two drug stores, three hotels, four churches, and a bank building recently completed and opened about December 15, 1891. Tahlequah is also furnished with a fine flour and grist mill, two livery stables, court-house, rock jail, lumber yard, opera house (one of the largest in tlie territory), blacksmith, carpenter and barber shops, and lunch stands. There are four weeklies (and a daily issued during council) published in Tahlequah. The Advocate the national organ of the Cherokees, but the Tahlequah Telephone appears to have the largest circulation in the nation. The Indian Arrow and the Indian Sentinel are also well patronized. Tahlequah is the great center of national education. The Cherokee male and female seminaries are located close to the eapitol, and few States in the Union can boast of more beautiful structures or better conducted institutions. The insane asylum is also located close to Tahlequah, and there are also Presbyterian and Baptist mission schools and a Moravian church in the suburbs. Few towns of its population can boast of prettier residences, or a more enlightened class of people than Tahlequah. It is located in a dry, healthy spot, and well supplied with excellent water.||
|Claremore is situated at the junction of the Kansas and Arkansas Valley, and St, Louis and San Francisco railroads, thirty-eight miles from Vinita and forty-three from Muskogee. It contains a population of 300 inhabitants, has five general mercantile stores, one drug store, with a second in course of erection, one saddle and harness shop, three blacksmith shops, one shoe shop, two saloons, two lumber yards, three hotels, two livery stables, two depots and a district court-house. For many miles around Claremore the land is in a good state of cultivation, and fruitful in the growth of corn and small grain. There is a good grist and corn mill situated on the borders of town. Claremore has two subscription schools and one church belonging to the Presbyterians, but used by three other denominations on successive Sundays. The town is incorporated, and its mayor is John M. Taylor, a prominent politician in his district.||
|Fort Gibson, the first incorporated town in the Indian Territory, is situated on the Kansas and Arkansas Valley Railroad, eight miles from Muskogee and twenty-two from Tahlequah. It has a population of about 300, and was at one time the United States garrison point for the Indian Territory. The post buildings are still in good condition and in possession of the government, together with a land tract comprising eight miles, which, according to treaty was to revert to the Cherokees after its abandonment by the troops, but the government has not yet made the transfer. Fort Gibson is beautifully situated on the east banks of Grand River, near its junction with Arkansas and Verdigris, and is one of the most picturesque little towns in the United States. It was at one time the home of Jefferson Davis, General Zach Taylor and other prominent leaders. Fort Gibson contains four general mercantile stores, three drug stores, mills, gins, lunch stands, two hotels, churches, schools, etc. It was incorporated November 27, 1873.|
|"THE INDIAN ARROW."|
|The Indian Arrow is an eight column paper, published every Saturday at Tahlequah, Cherokee Nation. It was founded at Fort Gibson, in the year 1887, by the late Colonel William P. Ross, who was recognized as one of the ablest journalists of his race, having obtained a thorough education in an Eastern college. In early life he was offered a large salary to remove to New York and take charge of the literary department of a paper in that city. He was also an able statesman, having served one term as principal chief of the Cherokee Nation. The purpose for which the Arrow was established was the defence of Indian rights, and especially those of the Cherokees, and the diffusion of useful knowledge, not only among the Indians, but that the people of the States might become educated as to the true status of the five civilized tribes. And to this end, while Colonel Ross was editor, he consistently labored. On account of official duties, which called him away from home, he was compelled to give up the editorship. Judge John T. Drew then took charge of the paper and moved it from Fort Gibson to Tahlequah, the capital of the Cherokee Nation, where he labored for one year in the laudable course of his predecessor, when Mr. Waddle Hudson, the present editor, became his successor. Mr. Hudson is the son of Thomas J. Hudson, who founded the National Farmers' Congress of the United States, an organization now flourishing throughout the Union. Mr. Hudson is a young man of good education, a practical printer and an able writer; in short, he seems to have inherited the genius of his father as a journalist. This fact is more than demonstrated by the success of his paper today. The Arrow is the paper of the Cherokee Nation. It is fearlessly outspoken, knows no criterion but to be right for right's sake; and, having pursued this course from its very first existence, it has become endeared to the hearts of those whose cause it defends, and commands the respect and admiration of all who read its columns. Hence its success.||INDIAN CHIEFTAIN.|
|This popular weekly newspaper was started in 1882 by a stock company of Cherokee citizens. It was the second or third paper established in the Indian Territory, but its growth and importance was much accelerated when M. E. Milford, city editor of the Daily Commonwealth, Topeka, Kansas, assumed the business management of the company, since which the Chieftain has obtained a large circulation and a solid footing in the country. It is independent in politics, and has ever advocated the rights of the people. During the past five or six years the Indian Chieftain has been edited by able and well-known writers, and its columns are now under the control of David M. Marrs, the promising young editor.|