|JOHN LYNCH ADAIR.|
John Lynch Adair was born in Georgia, and left there with the general removal of the Cherokees in 1839, while a small boy. His father was Thomas Benjamin Adair, a descendant of a brother of General James Adair, the Indian historian. His mother was Rachel Lynch, from whom he derives his Cherokee blood. His parents died while he was a mere child, and he was consigned to the keeping of his aunt, Mrs. Maria Thompson, afterward Cunningham by marriage, and to the guardianship of two of his uncles, Joseph M. Lynch and James Allen Thompson, the latter by marriage. He had one sister, who died in the great removal West. He began his education in a Moravian missionary school, under the supervision of a Mr. Vogler, a Moravian minister. At this school he learned more how to endure pain than from the speller and catechism, as he was daily whipped for idleness and disposition to mischief. The boy was quick, active and swift of foot, and fond of rough and tumble exercises aud coon-hunting with the "niggers" at night, of whom his uncles and aunts had hundreds. That there might be a chance for his reformation, he was taken from his old associations and put in the family of Rev. Cephas Washbourne, who had formerly been a missionary at Dwight Mission, in the Cherokee Nation, and then living near Bentonville, Arkansas. Here he took on more of Yankee habits and speech than knowledge of common school studies—so much so, that he was often taken for one of that peculiar distinction. In the family of this excellent divine and scholar, Mr. Adair resided for about three years, when he was sent to Ozark Institute, near Fayetteville, Arkansas, while Mr. R. W. Mecklin, or "Uncle Bob." as he was called by the boys, was preceptor. At this school were a score or more of Cherokee boys, and to it many yet living can ascribe any distinction they may have achieved. Here the subject of this sketch first began to make any noted progress in his studies. Language was his favorite study, and in the Latin he became a rather proficient scholar, and in the Greek to a small extent. In 1849, when the gold excitement in California was at its highest, and his guardians had refused to send him to college when he wished to complete his studies, because, as they believed, he had education enough to be a doctor, he and a cousin of his, by the name of William Buffington, concluded to try their fortunes in the gold fields of California. His guardians and uncles and aunts, not being loath to such an undertaking, and believing there would soon be a return of two boys thoroughly disgusted with rambling, an ox-wagon and a team of four yoke of cattle were procured, with a lame negro to drive them, and with enough provision to have gone on an Arctic exploration. In about four years they returned, with a good deal of experience, but with very little gold. After his return, in 1853, Mr. Adair married Miss Jeffries, of Springfield, Missouri, and entered upon the duties of an "affectionate husband and an indulgent father." The char acter of his life up to the beginning of the War of the Rebellion was entirely private, his occupation being principally farming. Casting his fortunes with the South, he raised a company of home guards, and was commissioned captain. He was never in any con siderable battle but one, and that was at old Fort Wayne, near Maysville, Arkansas, in 1862. As a scout he was in many skirmishes and hand-to-hand fights, where differences were decided in a few minutes. After the Confederate armies had been driven South, and General Stand Watie, of the Cherokee regiments, had been stationed as an advance guard south of the Arkansas River, Captain Adair disbanded his company, which, in fragments, made its way through the enemy's lines to General Watie's command. He served through the entire war, and after the surrender returned to the Cherokee Nation in 1868, with his family, from Bellview, Texas, where he had moved them in 1863. On his arrival in his own country he settled at Tahlequah, the capital town of the Cherokee Nation. He reached that place with a helpless and hungry family, and seventy-five cents in his pocket. He did various kinds of work to support himself and family, and was finally relieved from drudgery by being appointed, first, auditor; next, clerk of the Cherokee Senate; executive councilor under Chief Downing; commissioner to re-survey the boundary lines between his nation and the States of Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas, as far west as the Arkansas River; delegate to Washington City in 1876, in 1880 and in 1889 was twice member of the board of education was assistant executive secretary under Chief Bushyhead, and secretary under Chief Mayes was editor of the Cherokee Advocate, the official organ of the Cherokee Nation was editor of the Indian Chieftain, published at Vinita, and is now editor of the World, published at the same place. Mr, Adair is a gentleman of refinement and learning, and a poet of no ordinary ability, having contributed several gems to the collections of "American Poems," now in circulation.
JOHN L. ADAIR. SR
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