Saturday, December 29, 2018

Chickasaw Freedmen Community Project-Stonewall, Indian Territory

Township 2 North, Range 7 East
Enumeration District #121
Population of Freedmen: Approximately 165

Unlike most researchers who have a connection to the freedmen of Indian Territory I have tried to concentrate my interest on the larger communities of freedmen, especially the formerly enslaved of the Chickasaw Nation. It has been my contention for years that if I take the time to learn about these larger communities I will discover my family within them. I have not been disappointed.

This method of research allows me to look at these communities and settlements as historical places on the landscape of Chickasaw history, Oklahoma history and the history of black people who have not have their story fully told. It is within that framework I have extracted some of the vital information on Dawes Cards for Chickasaw Freedmen to develop a way to look at what these communities may have been like.

The people who populated the larger settlements known as Stonewall, Berwyn, Woodford, Pontotoc, Burneyville, Homer, Hennepin, Tatum and Wynnewood just to name a few provide a very good look into how the Chickasaw Freedmen progressed in a very hostile nation that refused to accept them as citizens.

By reconstructing these communities and using the Dawes cards as a basis for information we can begin to look for the institutions that make up a community; businesses, schools, churches, homesteads, leaders and much more.

We know that the Dawes enumeration process that documented the residences for the Chickasaw Freedmen began around 1896-1899 and that is like a snapshot in time that allows for research that takes you beyond just getting to know your immediate family because in the end, these families were inter-connected through blood, culture and marriage that illustrates they were more than just names on a piece of paper.

When you take into consideration that the 1900 United States Census for Indian Territory was just one or two years following the Dawes enrollment process we can see the beginnings of a community of people that preceded Oklahoma statehood and follow them up to the migration of freedmen descendants throughout the country as they sought to find more opportunities that would provide for their family’s and the generations to follow.

There were certainly individuals in these communities and settlements that stood out as leaders like Charles COHEE, William ALEXANDER, Mack STEVENSON and my great grandmother Bettie LIGON yet there are others who have a story to tell and by telling the story of their communities I hope to bring well deserve attention to their story; our story!

Stonewall, Indian Territory was a town located in Pontotoc County near Ada. It had a history that began before the War of the Rebellion and established a post office circa 1874-75 that numerous freedmen families used as their place of residence on their Dawes Card.
Stonewall was home to the Chickasaw National Academy from 1856 up to 1880 (RHYNES)

The location and importance of this town to the Chickasaw Nation is not to be dismissed and therefore it is important to look at the people who populated Stonewall and the surrounding communities. It is not an accident that the freedmen established homes in this town and by doing so they clearly should be included as a part of the history and development of Stonewall, Indian Territory.
Map 1896 Stonewall, Indian Territory Chickasaw Nation

  1. GRAYSON, Serena CHIF#03
  2. NAIL, Joe CHIF#04 b.1828-d.5/1/1900-ATOT-enslaver COLBERT, Calvin
    1. Father-Peter
    2. Mother-NAIL, Harriet enslaver NAIL, Joel
  3. FRAZIER, Tony CHIF#05-EC-7071
  4. HARRIS, Mimy CHIF#08
  5. FRANKLIN, Wash CHIF#09
  6. VOLLEN, Mary CHIF#10-b.1833-ATOT-enslaver FRAZIER, Nancy
    1. Father-NELSON
    2. Mother-NELSON, Becky enslaver FRAZIER, Mollie
  7. BRUNER, Mary CHIF#11
  8. FOREMAN, Jeff CHIF#12
  9. CHARLES, Amos CHIF#14
  10. NOEL, Charley CHIF#15-EC-7071
  11. FRANKLIN, Jeff CHIF#16-See Petition to Transfer#1
  12. JOHNSON, Violet CHIF#17
  13. BROWN, Albert CHIF#19
  14. LEADER, Jane CHIF#21-b.1832-ATOT-enslaver FRAZIER, Nancy
    1. Father-COLBERT, Mike d. enslaver COLBERT, Alfred
    2. Mother-COLBERT, Minney d. FRANKLIN, Nancy
  15. BLUE, Sam CHIF#22
  16. ABRAM, George CHIF#23_b.1820-d.05/25/1900-ATOT-enslaver Ontiabby
    1. Father-ABRAM d
    2. Mother-ABRAM, Jennie d.
  17. ABRAM, Paralee CHIF#23-b.1833-ATOT-enslaver BROWN, Chomikee
    1. Father-PERRY, Homday-d enslaver PERRY, Jim
    2. Mother-PERRY, Mirna-d. enslaver McCLISH
  18. FRAZIER, Sookey CHIF#24-b. 1834-ATOT-enslaver WATERS, Katie_EC-7071
    1. Father-McGEE, Andy d. enslaver McGEE, Marcum
    2. Mother-McGEE, Flora d. enslaver WATERS, Katie

There is more to learn about the Chickasaw Freedmen population of Stonewall which requires researching other historical records that might provide stories that include the names listed here. We can use the census records of 1910-1940 to see how the families of freedmen began to enlarge through marriage and childbirth as well as those who died and left their mark on the community.

As you can see from some of my notations there are many who lived in Stonewall that came to Indian Territory as an enslaved individual during the removal (ATOT.) From that information we may see which Chickasaw Indian enslaved them. Additionally we may discover the name of that individual’s parents and who enslaved them? The question becomes did the parent and child come to the territory at the same time or were they separated and never saw one another again?

The other aspect of this type of community research allows the researcher to see who among the population sought to be recognized as a Chickasaw by blood (EC-7071.) Within this community there are several cards that imply someone on it has claimed to have a parent or ancestor that was a recognized citizen of the Chickasaw Nation. This demonstrates that within that community of freedmen that lived among the Chickasaws was an individual or family that may have had ties to a Chickasaw family in the area or certainly in the nation.

Sookey FRAZIER or someone in her family would seem to fill in all the boxes as a woman or child that came to Indian Territory during the removal and either had Chickasaw blood or a child of had a claim of Chickasaw Indian ancestry?

It is important as Chickasaw Freedmen researchers we begin to expand our thinking about our ancestors and reclaim all of their history. We need to discover the stories that include them in the history of the Chickasaw Nation, the history of Oklahoma and the history as African-Americans.

It is not easy but it is necessary! 

M-1186 Dawes Card#24 Front Sookey FRAZIER
  1. CLARK, Coleman CHIF#26-See Petition to Transfer#1
  2. PHILLIPS, Mary CHIF#27
  3. FRAZIER, Harriet CHIF#28
  4. TOWSER, Polly CHIF#30-b.1829-ATOT-enslaver LOVE, Overton
    1. Father-PERRY, Jack d. enslaver PERRY, John
    2. Mother-GUNN, Affie d. enslaver GUNN
  5. COBREY, George CHIF#47
  6. MIKE, Aleck CHIF#49-b.1843-ATOT-enslaver FRAZIER, Nancy
    1. Father-MIKE d. enslaver COLBERT, Alfred
    2. Mother-MIKE, Minney d. enslaver FRAZIER, Nancy
  7. BLUE, Billy CHIF#52
  8. FRANKLIN, Albert CHIF#55-EC-7071
  9. PERRY, Lila CHIF#60-b.1828-d.1901-ATOT-enslaver BROWN, Cassie
    1. Father-PERRY, Manuel d. enslaver HARROD, Hotiche
    2. Mother-PERRY, Dinah d. enslaver PERRY, Lizzie
1900 US Census Indian Territory Chickasaw Nation, Pontotoc County, Township 2 North, Range 7 East
  1. ABRAMS, Daniel CHIF#63
  2. COVAN, Charlotte CHIF#64
  3. BENNETT, Bud CHIF#66
  4. GRAYSON, Mary CHIF#67
  5. ALFRED, Henry CHIF#68
  6. BROWN, Lou CHIF#72-EC-7071
  7. JOHNSON, Levi CHIF#74
  8. COCHRAN, Agnes CHIF#76
  9. TOWNSEND, Fannie CHIF#77
  10. BLUE, Mary CHIF#78-b.1822-ATOT-enslaver COLBERT, Winchester-Wife King BLUE
    1. Father-CHISM, Joe d.Cherokee Indian
    2. Mother-CHISM, Sallie d.
  11. COLBERT, Agnes CHIF#79
  12. PATRICK, Bessie CHIF#80
  13. BLUE, Joe CHIF#85
  14. JOHNSON, Manuel CHIF#88
  15. BLUE, Peter CHIF#91-Son Old King BLUE_NB#435
  16. SMITH, Wesley CHIF#94-Parents alive-Card#?
  17. COCHRAN, Nathan CHOF#09-Deceased
  18. COCHRAN, Henry CHOF#10
  19. COCHRAN, Mary CHOF#12-EC-7071
  20. COHEE, Amanda CHOF#13
  21. COCHRAN, Nathan CHOF#15
  22. COCHRAN, Charley CHOF#16
  23. BLUE, Rachel CHOF#20
  24. HARRIS, Jim CHOF#22
  25. BROWN, Philip CHOF#24
  26. DUNFORD, Seeley CHOF#25
  27. BROWN, Mandy CHOF#26
  28. HARLAN, Aleck CHOF#27 P.O. Franks, I.T.
  29. BLUE, Hardy CHOF#28-P.O. Franks, I.T.
  30. WILLIAMS, Anderson CHIF#101 (D-10/18/1900)
  31. HARLAN, Elijah CHIF#106 (P.O. Franks, I.T.)
  32. PERRY, Jane CHIF#110
  33. SMITH, Maggie CHIF#115
  34. HARLAN, Joe CHIF#120
  35. HARLAN, Martha CHIF#122-P.O. Franks, I.T.
  36. BLUE, George CHIF#127-(D-04/19/1899)
  37. COLBERT, Silas CHIF#132
  38. BLUE, King CHIF#135

ATOT-African Trail of Tears
b.-BornCHIF-Chickasaw Freedmen
CHOF-Choctaw Freedmen
d.-DeceasedNB-New Born
EC-7071-Equity Case 7071

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