A STORY OF CHOCTAW CHIEFS
Written in April, 1934
By Peter James Hudson
L. to R. Choctaw Chief's Jefferson Gardner, Edmund McCurtain, Basil Leflore, Thomas McKinney
From time immemorial when the Choctaw people were living in Mississippi, they were divided into three divisions, not geographical divisions, but by clans, namely: The Western Division, called by the Choctaws, "Okla-Falaya," The Middle Divsion, called by the Choctaws, "Haiyip Atukla," and The Southwestern Division, called by the Choctaws, "Okla-hvnnali" or "Six-Towns."
Each of these divisions had a head chief and in governing they were independent of each other. They didn't have a national capital. The only occasions upon which they all met together were when they had dealings with the United States Government, when they designated a place convenient for all divisions to meet.
The Western Division's hereditary chief was *Apvckshvnvbbee who served from 1802 to 1824. He died on the way to Washington in November 1824, and was succeeded by Robert Cole.
*According to Mrs. Rella Looney, Archivist of the Oklahoma Historical Society, Peter James Hudson stated that the Choctaws used the letter "v" instead of "u," as in Apvckshvnvbbe. They also indicated a nasal sound by placing a straight line under a vowel as in Miko.
I have been told by a Mississippi Choctaw that the body of Apvckshvnvbbee was brought back to Mississippi and buried at his home place. Robert Cole's appointment as successor to Apvkshvnvbbee may be found in the Treaty of 1825, with a salary of $150.00 per year for a lifetime.
A new plan was adopted in 1826 and Greenwood Leflore succeeded Robert Cole when he had served only about a year and a half. It is said that Greenwood Leflore was a nephew of Robert Cole. Perhaps he was from the fact that Robert Cole made no objection to being succeeded by him.
The Middle The Middle Division's hereditary chief was Mosholetvbbi who served from 1809 to 1826. Miko Homastvbbi, the father of Mosholetvbbi, died in 1809, and was succeeded as hereditary chief by his son who served from 1809 to April, 1826.
Note: "My grandfather Albert Clifton King, the son of Floyd Herman King, the son of Hirum King, the son of Moshulatubbee passed away in New Smyrna Beach Florida. He built the Royal Palm Ice Company that iced the railroad cars before refrigeration. He was a great husband a great father and a deacon in the First Baptist church in New Smyrna Beach. His wife and two daughters are still living along with all of their children." - Lyn King Collina
He was forced to resign his office as District Chief and Colonel David Folsom succeeded him as chief by election.
Colonel David Folsom (Pictured above) was District Chief of the Middle or Mosholetvbbi from April, 1826, to March, 1830. He immigrated to Indian Territory and located at Doaksville, in what is now Choctaw County, Oklahoma, and died and was buried there. He was born on January 25, 1791, in Mississippi, and died on September 27, 1847. He was a son of Nathaniel Folsom, a white man.
Colonel David Folsom (Pictured above) was District Chief of the Middle or Mosholetvbbi from April, 1826, to March, 1830. He immigrated to Indian Territory and located at Doaksville, in what is now Choctaw County, Oklahoma, and died and was buried there. He was born on January 25, 1791, in Mississippi, and died on September 27, 1847.
He was a son of Nathaniel Folsom, a white man.
His mother was a niece of Miko Puscus, a full blood Choctaw, and a hereditary chief of some Choctaw clan. Possibly he was a brother of Miko Homastvbbi, father of Mosholetvbbi, and if that be true, then Mosholetvbbi was correct when he called Peter P. Pitchlynn his nephew, John Pitchlynn, father of Peter P. Pitchlynn having married Col. David Folsom's sister, Rhoda.
After the death of Col. David Folsom's mother, his father, Nathaniel Folsom, married her sister, and was the father of two large sets of children, twenty-four in all.
The southwestern division's hereditary chief was Pushmataha who served from 1803 to 1824, when he died in Washington, D. C. He was buried at Washington, D. C., with military honors.
He had been known as General Pushmataha. There is a nice monument in Congressional Cemetery, Washington, marking his grave, bearing the following inscriptions:
On the south side: "A Choctaw chief lies here. This monument to his memory—erected by his brother chiefs who were associated with him in a delegation from their Nation in the year 1824 to the Government of the United States."
On the North side: "He died in Washington on the 24th day of December, 1824, of the croup in the 60th year of his age. Among his last words were the following 'when I am gone, let the big guns be fired over me.' "
On the East side: "Pushmataha was a warrior of great distinction. He was wise in council, eloquent in an extraordinary degree, and on all occasions and under all circumstances, the white men's friend."
Pushmataha's nephew named Oklahoma succeeded him as hereditary chief but did not serve long because of his dissipation. This is the first time the name Oklahoma appears in history.
The United States government recognized General Humming Bird as his successor. He died on September 28, 1828, and is buried at Kusha Cemetery in Mississippi, where a sister of Pushmataha, Hotema, was buried. General Humming Bird with sixty Choctaw warriors joined General Anthony Wayne during the Indian War in Ohio.
According to Article XXI of the Treaty of 1830 there were at least twenty Choctaw warriors yet living who marched and fought with General Wayne, and it was provided that they should each receive $25. a year while they lived.
General Hummingbird was succeeded by Nitvkechi who was said to be a nephew of Pushmataha.
Chief Greenwood Leflore
The record is lacking but during the year 1826, the Western Division followed the policy of the Middle Division and elected Greenwood Leflore as their chief for four years to succeed Robert Cole.
The Southwest Division in 1826 selected Sam Garland as their chief for a term of four years. This marks the beginning of the Choctaw government. Both Nitvkechi and General Hummingbird, hereditary chiefs of the third or Southwest District, refused to recognize Sam Garland as chief.
In the spring of 1830 Greenwood Leflore called a Choctaw council to meet and proposed the Treaty of Removal. David Folsom and Sam Garland resigned their offices as District Chiefs on the ground that they were elected chiefs as against the Treaty of Removal.
Chief Greenwood Leflore became the only chief who prepared the Treaty of Removal. David Folsom and Sam Garland signed it as common warriors.
The United States refused to adopt said Treaty. I have not yet found the record of the election but the government recognized Greenwood Leflore, Mosholetvbbe and Nitvkechi in making the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in September 1830.
It is said that George W. Harkins was elected in 1830 as the successor of Greenwood Leflore while he was in Indian Territory inspecting the country before the removal. George W. Harkins was a nephew of Greenwood Leflore.
There is a letter dated November 1830, from John H. Eaton, Secretary of War, to the Choctaws, saying that he will not recognize Joel H. Nail as chief of the Middle District and as successor of Mosholetvbbi.
The Middle District met at Dancing Rabbit Creek on January 16, 1831, when Mosholetvbbi offered to resign in favor of Peter P. Pitchlynn, his nephew.
The United States government refused to recognize all this and in the meanwhile, the migration proceeded during the years 1831, 1832, and 1833.
Nitvkechi, the chief of the Southwest Division, was the only chief recognized from 1830 to 1834.
Mosholetvbbi and Nitvkechi while they were still in Mississippi, before the removal, without consulting Greenwood Leflore who was a half-breed, agreed to designate or lay off the new Choctaw country West of the Mississippi River into three geographical divisions, namely Mosholetvbbi, First District, situated between the Arkansas and Canadian rivers on the north, by the Winding Stair Mountain on the south, and by the State of Arkansas on the east.
The Second District, first known as Red River District, then Okla-Falaya, and later Apuckshunvbbi District, situated east of Kiamichi River, south of Winding Stair Mountain, north of Red River and west of the state of Arkansas.
The Third District, known as Pushamtaha District, to be situated west of Kiamichi River, north of Red River, south of Canadian River, with no western limit. The purpose of this was to transfer their people from Mississippi into this country just as they were at home.
But on account of the method of removal the clans were all destroyed and the Choctaw people were all scattered. The leaders succeeded in reaching the districts to which they belonged but the Choctaws in general did not.
However, since the country had been divided into three districts, they proceeded with the three chiefs as heretofore, namely: Mosholetvbbi, Nitvkechi, and Thomas Leflore, who had succeeded Greenwood Leflore.
During the year 1834 the four years having expired, Mosholetvbbi, Thomas Leflore, and Nitvkechi were reelected as District Chiefs of their respective districts.
In October, 1834, the chiefs of the three districts with their friends and leading men met at a location selected by them as being centrally located in the new Choctaw Nation, which place was a mile and a half west of what is now Tuskahoma, Oklahoma, as the first capital of the Choctaw Nation, as one nation, and was called Nanih Waya.
This was done in accordance with Article XX, in the treaty of 1830, which provided for the erection of a council house for the nation at some convenient central point after their people shall be settled, and a house for each chief, also a church for each of the three districts, to be used also as schoolhouses until the nation may conclude to build others; for which purposes $10,000 was to be appropriated.
They named the place Nanih Waya in honor of the Mound which they had just left in Mississippi, and which they had held sacred from time immemorial.
On August 24, 1835, eight Indian tribes made a treaty of peace at Fort Holmes among themselves and Mosholetvbbi signed said treaty as the chief of Mosholetvbbi District, and Nitvkechi signed it as the chief of Pushmataha District. This treaty was concluded May 19, 1836.
That is the last record of Mosholetvbbi signing any paper as chief. It is said that he died in 1836. No one knows where he is buried.
Joseph Kincaid was selected to fill out the unexpired term of Mosholetvbbi. It is not known where Joseph Kincaid lived in Indian Territory after he migrated here, but he had a brother named Robert Kincaid who was a student at Choctaw Academy, Kentucky, who migrated to Indian Territory, and located about three miles west of what is now the town of Shady Point, Oklahoma.
Last February 1934, an old log house; said to have been built by Robert Kincaid, which had been occupied by his relatives; was burned down. I passed by where it had stood just after it had burned. I assume then that Joseph Kincaid probably lived in that vicinity.
Thomas Leflore, son of Michael and cousin of Greenwood Leflore, was elected chief of Apuckshunubbi District in 1834 for a term of four years. Capt. Thomas Leflore was the son of Michael Leflore, a Frenchman, the brother of Louis Leflore.
His father remained in Mississippi. He was first cousin of Greenwood Leflore and Brazil Leflore. Thomas Leflore lived near Wheelock, a short distance from what is now the town of Millerton. The house which the Government built under Treaty provision and which the chief occupied as long as he lived still stands.
Thomas Leflore died about 1850 and is buried about one-fourth mile from his house near Millerton. There is no mark to show which is his grave. No one cares for the old home place.
Nitvkechi was elected chief of the Third or Pushmataha District in 1834 for term of four years.
During the election in 1838, John McKinney was elected chief of Mosholatubbee or First District, for a term of four years. John McKinney was a lawyer and held many offices. He lived, died and is buried about one mile east of the town of Howe, Oklahoma, on the Ft. Smith-Ft. Towson Military Road.
James Fletcher was elected chief of the second district or Apuckshunubbee District in 1838 for a term of four years. He lived on Rock Creek, probably near Spencerville, Oklahoma. At one time he was not present and Capt. Okchiya acted for him as Chief. Capt. Okshiya had an English name, William Winans.
He was a Methodist preacher. He lived at a place known as Okchiya Station, six miles south of Standley, Okla., on the Military Road. On his return from attending a church meeting in Cherokee Nation he took sick and died in Fort Smith and was buried on the bank of the Arkansas River.
Pierre Juzan was elected chief of the Third or Pushmataha District in 1838 for a term of four years. He was a student of Choctaw Academy in Kentucky.
His father was a Frenchman named Pierre Juzan who married a niece of Pushmataha, and a sister of Oklahoma. Pierre Juzan, Jr., student of Choctaw Academy in Kentucky, removed to the Choctaw Nation and located somewhere near Hugo, Oklahoma. He was related to Chief Nitvkechi.
They lived on Red River, south of Bennington. He died in office and was buried in August 1841.
Isaac Folsom filled out the un-expired term of Pierre Juzan, Chief of Third District, from 1841 to 1842 and was reelected in 1842 for four years. He lived on the west side of the Kiamichi River.
In 1842, Nathaniel Folsom, Jr., son of Nathaniel Folsom, a white man, who married an Indian woman, was elected chief of the First of Mosholatubbe District, Thomas Leflore was elected in 1842 to succeed James Fletcher as chief of the second or Apuckshunubbee District.
Nitvkechi was elected chief of the third or Pushmataha District for four years, but he died in 1846 and was succeeded by Silas D. Fisher, who served the remainder of his term.
It is said that Oklahoma, brother of Nitvkechi died in Mississippi in 1846 and that Nitvkechi went there to attend the funeral and died while there. There is another story that Nitvkechi was shot while visiting in Texas.
In 1846, Peter Folsom was elected chief of Mosholatubbee District for four years. He was a student of Choctaw Academy in Kentucky, son of Col. David Folsom.
He was a member of Peter P. Pitchlynn's delegation appointed in 1853 to have a settlement with the United States government of what became known as the Net Proceeds claim.
I don't know where he lived, probably somewhere near Poteau. He was President of the Choctaw Senate in 1861, First District Trustee in 1863-4. He died in 1885. He was Council member in 1860.
Thomas Leflore succeeded himself as chief in 1846 to serve for four more years. Nitvkechi was elected chief of the Third or Pushmataha District in 1846 but died in 1846 and was succeeded by Silas D. Fisher.
Silas D. Fisher was the son of Joseph Fisher, a white man. Silas Fisher lived in Blue County, Choctaw Nation, now, Bryan County, Oklahoma. I do not know where he was buried or when he died.
In 1850 the Choctaw government was reorganized and in October 1850, the Choctaw capital was moved from Nanih Waya to Doaksville.
In 1850 Cornelius McCurtain was elected chief of the First or Mosholatvbbi District for term of four years. He was the father of Jackson, Edmond, and Green McCurtain, all of whom later served as Chief of the Choctaw Nation. Cornelius McCurtain was a member of the Council in 1844, 1846, and 1855, and a member of the School Board in 1849.
He was a brother of John, Luke, Daniel, Allen, William, Thomas, Dave, and Camper McCurtain, all of whom were prominent Choctaws.
Cornelius McCurtain's name, together with that of George W. Harkins and George Folsom, appears as having approved Act of November 6, 1852, which changed the Kusha Female Seminary into a high institution of learning under rules and regulations indicated therein.
In 1850 George W. Harkins was elected chief of the Second or Apuckshunubbee District for a term of four years. He was a nephew of Greenwood Leflore and in 1830 had been selected chief of Greenwood Leflore District in Mississippi but was not recognized. He was a student of Choctaw Academy in Kentucky.
In 1854 he was again elected chief of said district and served until January 1857, when the Skullyville Constitution was adopted. George W. Harkins was a member of the Council in 1846. He lived at Doaksville and I presume he died there.
In 1850 George Folsom was elected chief of Pushmataha District and served until 1854. He attended a school in Georgia. He was son of Col. David Folsom and was sent to Georgia to school at the nation's expense. He was a Cumberland Presbyterian preacher and was one of the nine members of the Board of Trustees in 1849 to look after organizing what were known as neighborhood schools. He was a member of the Council.
According to Article XV of the Treaty of 1830 the government agreed to pay the salary of all Choctaw chiefs for twenty years. In 1850 that twenty-year period had expired, then the Choctaw council deliberately took the capital from Nanih Waya to Doaksville where the majority of the people lived.
In other words the Choctaw government was reorganized in 1850 and changed the seat of government to Doaksville, which is in the south part of the Choctaw Nation.
On account of the change of the seat of government to Doaksville, the chief and members of the council of Mosholatvbbi District, refused to take part in the 1851 Council, making it impossible to hold the Council.
In 1851 the Council at Doaksville passed a law without changing the Constitution, and changed the seat of the capital to Nanih Waya for the Council to be held in 1852. It appears that no Council was held at either place. Laws and resolutions passed by the Council in 1852 and 1853 were pronounced illegal.
The Skullyville Constitution made Boggy Depot the capital of the Choctaw Nation.
In 1853 Commissioners were appointed for 1853 and 1854 in lieu of the Council meeting. However in 1854 in Council at Doaksville they repealed the law making Nanih Waya the capital in 1851 and made Fort Towson the Capital.
Then in 1855 and 1856 Council was held at Fort Towson. In 1854 David McCoy succeeded Cornelius McCurtain as chief of the first or Mosholatvbbi District and served until 1857.
At the same time Nicholas Cochnauer, son of David Cochnauer, succeeded George Folsom as chief of the Third or Pushmataha District and served until 1857.
In January 1857, what is known as the Skullyville Constitution was adopted, and provided for the abolition of district chiefs, created the office of Governor of the Choctaw Nation, and selected Boggy Depot as the capital of the nation.
1st Governor Alfred Wade
In October 1857, Alfred Wade, who had been elected Governor, was sworn in and George Harkins, David McCoy and Nicholas Cochnauer received their pay as District Chiefs up to that time.
About May 1857, the Choctaws who belonged to the Doaksville crowd, met in council at Doaksville. In other words a council was held by both factions in 1857 and the United States government sent a United States Agent to settle their differences.
Alfred Wade was elected and sworn in as the first Governor of the Choctaw Nation in October 1857, at Boggy Depot, for a term of two years. He was a student of Choctaw Academy. He was born in Mississippi and immigrated to this country, locating about six miles east of Talihina, Oklahoma, in what is now Leflore County.
He was a son of John Wade and his brothers were Henry, Alex, Jerry, Ellis Cunningham and Kennedy. Col. Ashley Burns, Supreme Judge of the First District, Choctaw Nation, swore Alfred Wade in as Governor.
In the Spring of 1858, Alfred Wade resigned as Governor in favor of Tandy Walker who was chairman of the Convention which prepared the Skullyville Constitution. The cause of his resignation was a serious situation among the Choctaw people, one of the reasons being the abolition of the offices of the three district chiefs and the creation of the office of Governor.
Alfred Wade was a member of the delegation, which made the Treaty of 1866 and was member of the Council. I can't recall the date of his death. He was buried at what is known now as Wade's Burying Ground in Leflore County, near his old home. He died about the year 1868.
2nd Governor Tandy Walker
I do not know much about Tandy Walker who succeeded Alfred Wade. He lived near Skullyville, now Spiro, Oklahoma. He was a member of Choctaw Council in 1855 at Fort Towson when he was President of the Senate in 1869, 1870, 1873-4.
He was in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. During his administration, by proclamation, he called on the Choctaw people to vote to hold another convention to change the Constitution, either to accept the Skullyville or the Doaksville Constitution, or to make a new one. A majority voted to hold a convention.
Walker then ordered the said convention to convene at Doaksville in January 1860. In the meantime, Walker's term expired as Governor, and at an election held in August 1859, Brazil Leflore was elected Governor and took office in October 1859.
3rd Governor Basil or Brazil Leflore
He served one year. He was son of Louis Leflore by his first wife, Nancy Cravatt. He had three brothers, Greenwood, William, Ben, father of Campbell Leflore of Oklahoma City, and five sisters, and two half-brothers, Forbis and Jackson Leflore, Brazil Leflore was a student of Choctaw Academy, immigrated to Indian Territory and located east of Fort Towson between Fort Towson and Clear Creek.
When Thomas Leflore, cousin of Brazil Leflore, was District Chief of the Second District from 1834 to 1838 and from 1842 to 1850, Brazil Leflore acted as his Private Secretary, Thomas Leflore being uneducated. Brazil Leflore acted as Secretary and Treasurer of Second District from 1834 to 1857.
When Alfred Wade became Governor he called for a report from the District Secretary and Treasurer of each district, and Brazil Leflore was the only one who submitted his report. This report may be found in the tribal records being calendared in the Indian Office at Muskogee for the Oklahoma Historical Society.
He was elected Treasurer of Choctaw Nation in 1866 and served for two years when he was reelected until in 1871. He was elected Auditor of Choctaw Nation in 1876 and served until 1885.
In the latter part of his life he moved from east of Fort Towson to old Goodland in what is now Choctaw County, where he died and is buried.
This is three or four miles southwest of Hugo, Oklahoma. Brazil Leflore was son of Louis Leflore, a Frenchman. Louis Leflore's brother, Michael, was father of Thomas Leflore, making the two men first cousins.
At the meeting of the Convention at Doaksville in January 1860, George Hudson was made Chairman of the Convention, at the conclusion of which the Doaksville Constitution was adopted, and the office of District Chief of each of the three districts reestablished, the fourth chief to be chief of the Choctaw Nation.
That was when the Choctaws began to use the word "Principal Chief."
Chief George Hudson
George Hudson was elected chief in 1860 and served until 1862 for a term of two years. He was born in Mississippi in 1808; was educated at Mayhew Missionary School in Mississippi; emigrated to this country and located on the west side of Mountain Fork River, in what is now McCurtain County, Oklahoma, where a mission school called Betha-bara, was located.
He was a Council Member in 1844, 1845, 1846, 1849, 1850, and 1855; Principal Chief 1860 to 1862; District Trustee in 1864.
He died in 1865 and is buried about a mile west of Mountain Fork on the right side of the highway as one approaches the Mountain Fork Bridge.
There is no sign to show where his grave is. His father was a white man but nothing is known of him. James Hudson, father of Peter J. Hudson, was a younger brother of George Hudson.
George Hudson has grandchildren near Smithville, named Hudson and Watson. He was a lawyer by profession. He was a tall man. He was quite an orator.
In 1859 Lewis Cass was elected District Chief of the First District, Choctaw Nation, or one of the three sub-chiefs. He was succeeded by Reuben Perry who served from 1860 to 1862.
In the same year Hot-abi was elected District Chief of the Second District. He was a noted full-blood, uneducated, for whom the Leased District was named. He was a brother of Mitanvbbi who was called Judge Mitanvbbi and sometimes Miko Mitanvbbi. Hot-abi lived, died and is buried somewhere near Pickens, Oklahoma, in now McCurtain County.
A Choctaw named Ahuklitvbbi, which means, "to catch him and kill him," was the successor of Hot-abi, which means, "to look for and kill," as District Chief, second district, from 1860 to 1862.
Ahulitvbbi, uneducated, lived somewhere near Wheelock in Towson County, Choctaw Nation, now McCurtain County. He was the father of Henry Clay who was a lawyer by profession and well educated. I do not know where he was educated, however.
Henry Clay was the father of Abner Clay who attended Roanoke College, Virginia. It was said that Abner was one of the brightest young men that went to Roanoke College. After his return from school he was elected to the office of Prosecuting Attorney for Second District but was killed by some one who was afraid of him.
Isaac Achukmvtvbbi was elected District Chief of the Third District in 1859. I know nothing about him. He was succeeded by William Lucas in 1860. William Lucas lived about one mile west of what is known as Armstrong Academy and died March 11, 1875. Isaac Folsom was District Chief of Third District in 1861.
At the time of the creation of the office of District Chief in 1860, men of prominence were elected to those offices and they had considerable authority, but as time went on their power dwindled away and the Principal Chief became more powerful.
I cannot give a complete list of the District Chiefs from 1862 until the abolition of the tribal government but will list what I have:
FIRST DISTRICT: Kennedy McCurtain in 1859, Olasichvbbi in 1877, William M. Anderson from 1888 to 1890, James Bond from 1891 to 1893, Jackson Kampelvbbi from 1893 to 1896, Sam Hicks 1896.
SECOND DISTRICT: Mitanvbbi, father of Thompson McKinney, Principal Chief, in 1886; Capt. Nanomvntvbbi, chief in 1874 to 1880, who lived, died and is buried four miles east of old Spencer Academy on the Choctaw Pushmataha County line. He was a good speaker. James Wright was District Chief in 1881; Gaines Anderson in 1877, and probably took Capt. Nanomvntvbbi's place in his absence; Thomas H. Byington, chief pro tem in 1881; Philip Noah from 1888 to 1890. He was one of the large Noah family living at Mt. Zion and died and is buried there.
Mt. Zion is in now McCurtain County, Oklahoma. Felekatvbbi was District Chief from 1886 to 1888. He lived, died and is buried at his home place at what is now known as Bethel, Oklahoma, in McCurtain County.
Alex H. Reid was chief from 1890 to 1894. He lived and died in Red River County, Choctaw Nation, now, McCurtain County. He was slender and tall and I knew him well but don't know anything I could say about him.
Stephen Ontahyvbbi was District Chief from 1895 to 1896. Gooding Nelson, Sam Taylor, Imayvbbi and Cosum Wade were all District Chiefs but I do not have the date.
I knew Sam Taylor, a Six Town Indian, who lived five miles north of Smithville and is buried there. I also knew Imayvbbi. He was a good speaker. He lived three miles north of Mt. Zion and is buried there.
THIRD DISTRICT: George Folsom was District Chief in 1860; Harris Franklin in 1880; Stephen Hobert in 1888 to 1890; Mack McGould from 1891 to 1894; Abel Foster in 1895; William E. Cobb (no date); Simon Logan and Moses Wade (no date).
Chief Samuel Garland
Sam Garland was elected Principal Chief of Choctaw Nation in 1862 and served until October 1864. He was born in Mississippi and immigrated to this country. He was a student of Choctaw Academy. It may be he is the same Sam Garland who was elected District Chief of Southwest Division in Mississippi but was not recognized as such.
He lived, died, and is buried at the town of Janis, Oklahoma, in McCurtain County, Oklahoma. There is a large monument over his grave. I have a picture of it. His brothers were John, Silas, and James and his sisters were Nancy and Lucy Garland.
Silas had several children, among them Israel Garland whose daughter married Mitchel Harrison and later married a man named Hall. They were parents of the late Chief William Harrison of Poteau. His mother died only recently. Sam Garland was a Council member at different times.
He married Mary Pitchlynn, sister of Peter P. Pitchlynn. They had one son, Crocket Garland. Louis Ledbetter of Wewoka, Oklahoma, married a daughter of Crocket Garland.
Sam Garland was a member of Peter P. Pitchlynn's delegation to Washington in 1853 in what became known as Net Proceeds Claim. He died in 1870 and was a Council member at the time of his death.
Chief Peter Perkins Pitchlynn
Peter P. Pitchlynn succeeded Sam Garland in 1864 and served until October, 1866. He was born in Mississippi in 1806, immigrating to this country at the time of removal and settling at Eagletown in Apuckshunvbbi District, instead of Mosholetvbbi District to which all the Pitchlynns, Hudsons and Folsoms and others belonged.
He owned a large farm on the east side of Mountain Fork River at Eagletown and had probably thirty slaves. He attended school at the University of Nashville, Tennessee.
He served as Superintendent of the Choctaw Academy at one time. He was a member of the Choctaw Council in 1849, 1850, and 1861. He headed the delegation known as Peter P. Pitchlynn delegation in 1853, which served at Washington.
He served as a Choctaw Delegate from 1853 all of the time until his death in 1881. He was a School Trustee from 1859 to 1862 and a member of the first Choctaw Board of Trustees in 1844.
One of the buildings of Spencer Academy was named for him. The other members of this Board were Robert M. Jones, Thompson McKinney and Agent Armstrong.
He served in this capacity until 1853 when he became delegate to Washington. He died on January 17, 1881 at Washington and is buried in Washington in the Congressional Cemetery and his monument bears the following inscriptions: On the west side: "Chief and delegate of the Choctaw Nation for whose advancement many years of his life were devoted —Choctaw Brave."
On the north side: "P. P. Pitchlynn died January 17, 1881, age 75 years."
Peter P. Pitchlynn was a son of John Pitchlynn, a white man, by his second wife, Rhoda Folsom, sister of Colonel David Folsom. Major John Pitchlynn was born near St. Johns Island off Puerto Rico, on board ship. His father Isaac Pitchlynn was an officer in the British Navy. He, Isaac, was sent out among the Choctaws to treat with them.
On this trip he took with him his young son John. Isaac Pitchlynn died in Mississippi and his son, John, was left among the Choctaws. Peter P. Pitchlynn married a daughter of Col. David Folsom named Rhoda. John Pitchlynn's first wife, Sophie Folsom, daughter of Ebenezer Folsom by his Choctaw wife, was mother of James, John Jr., and Kate Pitchlynn.
By his second wife, Rhoda, his children were Peter P., William B., Silas, Mary (Mrs. Sam Garland) and Eliza who married Alonzo Harris, and Elizabeth who married William H. Harris, brother of Alonzo. Peter P. Pitchlynn was active and capable and did much for the Choctaw people during his lifetime.
After the death of his first wife he married a white widow, Mrs. Caroline Lambert of Washington, D. C. At his death he left two children, Sophia and Lee Pitchlynn, now living in Washington. Peter P. Pitchlynn's children by his first wife were Lycurgus (Posh) Pitchlynn, Melvina, Loren, Peter Pitchlynn, Jr., and Rhoda Pitchlynn.
Peter P. Pitchlynn's sister, Rhoda, married a white man named Dr. Calvin Howell originally from New Orleans. Posh Pitchlynn was the grandfather of William F. Semple, an attorney, now of Tulsa, Okla. Dr. Thomas Howell of Davis, Oklahoma, is a nephew of Peter P. Pitchlynn.
According to the Journal of the House of Representatives of the Choctaw Nation, bound in book form, and in vault of the Superintendent of the Five Civilized Tribes at Muskogee, the following were candidates for Principal Chief of Choctaw Nation in 1864; with the number of votes each received opposite their respective names:
P. P. Pitchlynn
There was a full blood Choctaw named Chafvtaya which means "running and going," who assumed the name of John Pitchlynn, emigrated from Mississippi to Indian Territory, located near Lukfata for awhile and re-emigrated up to what was known as Wade Settlement at the source of Kiamichi River and lived near a church called Lennox where Simon Hobbs was a missionary.
He named his children Peter, Thomas, Davis and Alex Pitchlynn. They lived near Albion and Talihina. Sometimes people are confused about these families, but there is no relationship with Peter P. Pitchlynn, he being a half-breed and they being full bloods.
According to manuscript record No. 19435 in the tribal files now in the custody of the Oklahoma Historical Society, James Thompson, Chief Justice, and I. L. Garvin, Associate Justice, Choctaw Supreme Court, rendered an opinion dated October 1867 in case of John Wilkin v. Choctaw Nation, deciding that during P. P. Pitchlynn's absence from the Nation that John Wilkin, being President of the Senate, was fully authorized to act as Principal Chief of the Nation until P. P. Pitchlynn's return, and that inasmuch as John Wilkin did act as Principal Chief during his absence he was entitled to remuneration for services rendered.
Under date of November 7, 1884, a resolution was passed by the Choctaw Council and approved by Ed McCurtain, Principal Chief, that $1268.00, the amount of the account against the estate of the late Col. P. P. Pitchlynn, be allowed, requiring the Principal Chief to issue a certificate in favor of the late Col. Pitchlynn, and requiring National Auditor to issue his warrant on the National Treasurer for the same.
This was found in a bound Choctaw volume in vault of the Superintendent of the Five Civilized Tribes.
According to the Journal of the House of Representatives of Choctaw Nation in the vault of the Superintendent of the Five Civilized Tribes, the following parties were candidates for Principal Chief of Choctaw Nation in 1866; the votes each received being listed opposite their respective names
J. P. Folsom
Chief Allen Wright
Allen Wright was elected Principal Chief of Choctaw Nation in 1866 and served until October 1870. He was born in Mississippi son of Ishtimahelvbbi, and immigrated to Indian Territory at the time of the removal, stopping at Lukfatah for a while and then located west at Boggy Depot. Allen Wright was educated at Union College, Schenectedy, N. Y.
He was a Presbyterian Minister and translator. He was Treasurer of Choctaw Nation from 1860 to 1861, or one term. He headed the delegation, which made the Treaty of 1866 and was elected Principal Chief in 1866, serving until 1870. He also served as Superintendent of Public Schools of Choctaw Nation. He was a Council member.
He was active in public affairs and did much for the Choctaw people. He died and was buried at his home place at Boggy Depot, in now Atoka County, Oklahoma. He married a teacher from Ohio and their children were Dr. E. N., Frank, Mary, Annie, Clara, Kate, Allen, Jr., and James B. Wright.
According to the Journal of House of Representatives of Choctaw Nation in custody of Superintendent of Five Civilized Tribes, the following were candidates for Principal Chief in 1868, the votes each received being placed opposite their names,
Chief William J. Bryant
William J. Bryant was elected Principal Chief in 1870, serving until 1874, two terms. I believe his father was a white man. He was a student of Choctaw Academy. He immigrated to this country about 1840 after the general removal.
He was still in Mississippi in 1838. He first located in Red River County, Choctaw Nation, and from there went to Octavia and was elected chief while living at Octavia, in now *McCurtain County, Okla. Then he emigrated to about where Wilburton is now and was postmaster there, the post office being Pleasant, now discontinued. *Octavia is today in LeFlore County. The county line is about a mile to a mile and a half south of the turn off from Hwy 259 west. It may have been in McCurtain County when this article was written in 1934...we are looking into this.
Then he moved to Tushkahoma where he lived for several years. He died there and is buried about two miles east of Tushkahoma about 200 yards north of the Frisco Railroad and also the highway. His grave was covered with a marble slab with headstone bearing an inscription. It is all broken to pieces now.
I do not know the date of his death. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge. I do not know whom he married and nothing about his children. He was a member of Choctaw Council in 1844; Supreme Judge of Second District in 1865; delegate to Creek Convention (at North Fork Town I believe) in 1861.
In August 1872 William J. Bryant was opposed by Turner B. Turnbull, a student of Choctaw Academy, District Chief of Third District in 1863, Judge of Blue County in 1853. William J. Bryant won the race with a large majority.
Chief Coleman Cole
Coleman Cole was elected Principal Chief of Choctaw Nation in 1874. He served for two terms until October 1878. A copy of his last message to the Senate and House of Representatives in General Council assembled, October 1878 term, may be found in the manuscript tribal records now in the custody of the Oklahoma Historical Society, No. 19437.
He was educated at Elliot Mission School in Mississippi. He was son of Robert Cole, who was District Chief of Western Division, Mississippi, in 1825. Coleman Cole was still in Mississippi in 1838 so I think they emigrated about 1840. He was a member of Council in 1850, 1855, and 1871-1873.
If Robert Cole was correct in saying that Greenwood Leflore was his nephew then Coleman Cole's sister, name unknown, must have married a Frenchman named Louie Cravatt. Cravatt and his wife had two daughters, Nancy and Rebecca Cravatt. Louis Leflore, Frenchman, married Nancy Cravatt and they were parents of Greenwood Leflore and others. After Nancy's death he married Rebecca and they were the parents of Forbis Leflore and others.
Robert Cole was a half-breed. It is not known who his father was but he was a white man with an Indian wife of the Shvkchi Homa Tribe. In 1938 when testimony was being taken in some claim of the Choctaws against the United States, Coleman Cole testified that a massacre of the Shvkchi Homa Tribe of Choctaw Indians by Chickasaws assisted by Choctaws, just before the Revolutionary War, all of said Tribe were killed except about 200 women and children, among them being a woman with a white husband who ran away and left her with several children.
This woman was Coleman Cole's grandmother. Her name was Shumaka and she was still living in 1838, age 120, when this testimony was given. Coleman Cole is a descendant of the Shvkchi Homa Tribe and Choctaw Indians. He located in Cedar County, Choctaw Nation, east of Antlers, Okla., at the time of emigration.
He died and is buried about three miles south of a post office called Standley, in Pushmataha County, Okla. The man who owns the farms knows where the grave is and does not disturb it. It is in a field and has a pile of rocks over it. Coleman Cole had a son, Logan, whose children are all dead, but whose granddaughter lives at Wichita, Kansas.
Coleman Cole was a Choctaw Delegate to the Creek Convention at North Fork Town held on July 1, 1861, when a treaty was made with the Confederacy. Green McCurtain often said that he was related to Coleman Cole. Green McCurtain's uncle Daniel having married Robert Cole's sister. Garrett E. Nelson, white man, married another sister.
Green McCurtain said that when Coleman Cole got to be chief he built a two-story log house. At the August 2, 1876, election, William Bryant, Coleman Cole and Allen Wright were candidates, Coleman Cole being elected.
Chief Isaac Garvin
In 1878 Isaac Garvin was elected Principal Chief of Choctaw Nation but he died in February 1880. His father was Henry Garvin, white man. I do not know where Isaac Garvin was educated.
He was born in Mississippi and emigrated to Indian Territory, locating in Red River County, about a mile southwest of what is now the town of Garvin, Okla. The station, Garvin, was named for him. He was County Judge of Red River County for several years; Supreme Judge for several years.
He was buried at his home place and a monument is standing to mark his grave. I do not know who his first wife was but his second wife was Melvina, daughter of Capt. Miashambi, and sister of Peter J. Hudson's mother.
Peter J. Hudson tells about Isaac Garvin coming to his father's house when he was just a little child. The father and mother were both out when he arrived and as the children didn't know who he was and he looked so much like a white man, one of Mr. Hudson's sisters said in Choctaw "No count white man come to our country."
They felt very much ashamed when they found he was a Choctaw and knew what had been said. By his second wife, Isaac Garvin had one daughter, Francis, who married a man by name of Dr. Shi.
They immigrated to Chickasaw Nation with Isaac Garvin's widow and have all died out with exception of one son, Isaac Garvin Shi now living in Chickasaw Nation.
Chief Jackson F. McCurtain
Jack McCurtain, being President of the Senate at the time of Isaac Garvin's death, filled out his un-expired term, and was elected Principal Chief and sworn in on October 1880, serving for two terms, until October 1884.
A printed copy of his Message to the Senate and House of Representatives of Choctaw Nation, dated October 7, 1881, at Chahta Tamaha, may be found in the records of the Oklahoma Historical Society Archives, being No. 19438.
He was a son of Cornelius McCurtain, and brother of Green and Edmond McCurtain, both of whom later became Principal Chief of the Nation. He was born in the State of Mississippi March 4, 1830, moved with his parents to Indian Territory in 1833, attended school at Old Spencer Academy, 9 miles north of Doaksville when about fourteen years of age but remained there only about two years.
The other McCurtain boys attended Fort Coffee School so it may be that Jackson did also. He died on November 14, 1885, and is buried a half mile east of the Choctaw capitol near Tuskahoma, Okla. The following is inscribed upon his monument:
"In memory of Jackson F. McCurtain Ex. Gov. of the Choctaw Nation. Born in the State of Miss., March 4, 1830. Moved to Ind. Ty., Choctaw Nation 1833. Died Nov. 14, 1885. Age 55 years, 8 months and 10 days.
He was placed in the old Spencer Academy when about fourteen years of age but unfortunately remained in school only about a little more than 2 years. —In 1850 he was elected Representative to the Choctaw Council of the Choctaw Nation and continued member until July 1861 when he was elected Captain of the first Choctaw regiment under Commanding General D. H. Cooper—1862. —
He was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel of the Second Choctaw Battalion and was a faithful efficient officer knowing no fear in all his command. Was surrendered to the Federal authority in 1866.
He was elected Senator by a unanimous vote of the County and continued in that capacity until the death of Gov. I. L. Garvin in February 1880, when in consequence of his being President of the Senate he became Governor of the Choctaw Nation. He became his successor in Oct. 1880 having been elected by an overwhelming majority.
He became his own successor again in Oct. 1882. Consequently he served as Governor two full terms and a part of the term and what he did while exercising the duties of the Office of Governor will hold him in grateful remembrance by the Choctaw people who love their country. His heart always went out for orphans and such a man deserves well the approval of his fellow man and the smiles of Heaven."
"An honest man here lies at rest—As ere God with His image blest.
The friend of man, the friend of truth, the friend of age and a guide for youth. Few hearts like his with virtue warmed. Few hearts with knowledge so informed. If there is another world he lives in bliss. If there is none he made the best of this."
His first wife was Marie Riley, sister of Judge James Riley of First District. His home for many years was at Red Oak, in now Latimer County, Oklahoma, where he lived at the time he was made Principal Chief.
While still serving as Chief he moved north of Hugo about ten miles and south of Antlers, where he lived for about two years, moving later to Tuskahoma about 1883.
It was during Jackson McCurtain's administration that the Council House was built at Tuskahoma, council having been held at Chahta Tamaha or Armstrong Academy from 1863 to 1884.
While he was living at Red Oak, many intruders had gone into the Choctaw Nation from Arkansas, and when he became Chief he asked the United States for troops to assist the Choctaw militia to remove the intruders from the northeastern part of Choctaw Nation.
They did furnish troops and the intruders were removed but it was not long until they returned and it is said that they threatened Jackson McCurtain's life and that is when he moved to Hugo.
His first wife died leaving two daughters, one of whom died young, and the other, Sophie, married Lewis Garvin. She died, leaving one son, Simpson Garvin, now living at Talihina.
His second wife was Jane Austin. Their children, numbering about ten, have all died with the exception of Lizzie, now Mrs. Aikman. One of their daughters married Lyman Moore of Spiro. She died leaving a daughter and son.
Jane Austin McCurtain was said to have been Jackson McCurtain's private secretary and adviser during his administration. She died in August 1924 at the age of 82 years.
Chief Edmond McCurtain
Edmond McCurtain, brother of Jackson, succeeded him as Chief, taking office in October 1884 and serving until October 1886. His opponent was J. P. Folsom. He was a son of Cornelius McCurtain. He lived at Sans Bois, Choctaw Nation, died at Skullyville and is buried there.
The following is inscribed upon his monument:
"In memory of Edmond McCurtain, born March 4, 1842, died Nov. 11, 1890, at Skullyville. He filled every office of honor or trust in the gift of the people, from representative to Principal Chief. He was also a delegate to Washington for four years. One half of his life was spent in the service of his country and during all this time his actions were governed by pure patriotism, as the Choctaws will ever know. While Superintendent of schools he sowed the seeds of education among his people that will blossom and bear fruit as long as this nation stands. He deserves above all others to be called the friend of his people. He was kind and generous as the brave only be. When the years have come and gone and the Choctaws be few, this stone shall mark the place of one purest, bravest and most patriotic sons of that nation. If there be a place where the kind, the noble and the honest can rest, when life is ended, he will enjoy its happiness because he made so many happy on this earth."
Tandy Walker was also buried in this grave yard; also Edmond McCurtain's brothers, David and Robert.
Henderson Walker, brother of Tandy Walker, murdered Robert McCurtain, after which the other McCurtain brothers went to Henderson's house and killed him. This almost started a feud between the Walkers and McCurtains but somehow it was patched up.
David McCurtain was killed by a negro who was later killed by Green McCurtain, David's brother.
Edmond McCurtain was married three times. He was Superintendent of Public Schools of Choctaw Nation. In 1879 he took Peter J. Hudson to Springfield, Mo., when he entered Drury College.
Chief Thompson McKinney
Thompson McKinney succeeded Edmond McCurtain, taking office in October 1886 and serving until October 1888. He was a full blood Choctaw. I do not know where he received his education.
The name Thompson McKinney of Smithville, Okla., may have been acquired from Thompson McKinney of Skullyville.
He was a son of Judge Mitanvbbi which means "to kill while he is coming." Mitanvbbi lived on Eagle Fork about three miles west of the town of Smithville, Okla., where he died.
Thompson McKinney was his oldest child and William McKinney who died just recently his youngest son. Thompson McKinney was a member of Council in 1877; National Secretary for several years, and chief from 1886 to 1888.
He died in 1889 and is buried two or three miles west of Wilburton, Okla.
Thompson McKinney's grave is located on the tract of land near Wilburton, which is still tribal property, on which houses are being built, it being intended to colonize the Choctaws there in case it is necessary.
I have heard that they are trying to fix up Thompson McKinney's grave. At one time his grave was pointed out to me and it is covered with logs.
At the time of his death he left two children. Jackson James was appointed guardian for these children and placed them in the Murrow Orphan Home at Atoka, Okla.
Many people confuse Thompson McKinney, Principal Chief with a Thompson McKinney of Skullyville. Thompson McKinney of Skullyville died in 1859 and is buried at Skullyville Burying Ground, while the Thompson McKinney who was Principal Chief lived, died and is buried near Wilburton. Thompson McKinney of Skullyville was the grandfather of Major Victor M. Locke.
He was a student at Choctaw Academy, a lawyer by profession and did as much as any one toward building up the Choctaw schools but never was Chief. At one time, however, he opposed Alfred Wade for the office of Governor of Choctaw Nation, but was defeated.
Chief Benjamin Smallwood
Ben Smallwood succeeded Thompson McKinney, taking the oath of office in October 1888 and serving until 1890.
His opponent was Wilson N. Jones. It is not known what school he attended. He was a son of William Smallwood. His grandfather was Elijah Smallwood, a white man, from South Carolina, who went to Mississippi and married Mary Leflore, sister of Thomas Leflore.
Ben Smallwood's father, William Smallwood, was a student at Choctaw Academy. He was a member of Council in 1863. He married Annie Burney, a Chickasaw woman. He lived and died Dec. 15, 1891 at Lehigh and is buried there. Mrs. Lizzie Nash of Antlers is a descendent of Ben Smallwood.
Chief Wilson Nathaniel Jones
Wilson N. Jones succeeded Ben Smallwood as Principal Chief. He was sworn in in October 1890 and served until October 1894, two terms. He was uneducated but was a good businessman.
He got rich in spite of the fact that he could hardly write his name. He talked broken English. He was Treasurer, District Trustee and finally Principal Chief.
During his administration two boarding schools were added to the four boarding schools already in existence. One of these schools was for boys and was called Jones Academy in honor of Governor Jones, while the other, for girls, was called Tuskahoma Female Institute. P. J. Hudson was the first Superintendent of Tuskahoma Female Institute.
During the election of 1892 in the race between Wilson N. Jones and Jacob Jackson for Principal Chief, a great deal of confusion was created. It was at this time that trouble started at McAlester, which terminated at Antlers and became known as the Antlers or Locke War.
A man by name of Joe Haklotvbbi was killed at Hartshorne by political enemies and it was this killing which started this trouble, leaders of both factions gathering at McAlester immediately after the killing to fight it out, but a fight was averted by the appearance of a man on a white horse, waving a United States flag.
He called for a parley and notified the heads of each party not to fire a shot for if they did he had authority from the United States Government to abolish the tribal governments. That man was Leo Bennett, U. S. Indian Agent. The trouble later sprung up at Antlers, however. This trouble was caused by the election campaign of Wilson N. Jones and Jacob Jackson for Principal Chief.
Wilson N. Jones was a son of Nathaniel Jones of Mississippi. His mother's name is unknown but she was from the Battiest family which makes him of French descent. His first wife was Luisa Leflore and they were parents of Annie Bell and Willie Jones. Willie Jones was killed leaving one son, Nat Jones, who committed suicide at Oklahoma City by jumping from the top of a ten story building.
Wilson N. Jones had a sister named Lizzie who married a white man named Thomas Griggs. They were parents of Thomas Griggs, Jr., who was father of Mrs. Lizzie Nash of Antlers, Okla., making Wilson N. Jones, Mrs. Nash's great uncle. Wilson N. Jones' second wife was a white woman but I know nothing about her. They had no children.
During the latter part of his life he lived at Sherman, Texas. He died about 1900 but I do not know where, or where he was buried.
His home in Choctaw Nation was north of Bokchita, in now Bryan County, Oklahoma.
Chief Jefferson Gardner
Jefferson Gardner succeeded Wilson N. Jones as Principal Chief, taking office in October 1894 and serving until October 1896.
His opponent was J. B. Jackson. He was born near Wheelock, Choctaw Nation, son of Noel Gardner who was a student of Choctaw Academy. His brothers were James and Jerry. Jerry was father of Edmond Gardner of Valliant, who is quite a historian.
Jefferson Gardner was Treasurer of Choctaw Nation, acted as Circuit Judge of Second Judicial District, and finally elected Principal Chief of Choctaw Nation. He was postmaster of Eagletown from about 1874 for many years.
He ran a general store at Eagletown, another at Sulphur Springs or Alikchi, Choctaw Nation and another at Bon-ton, Choctaw Nation, on Red River. When he was postmaster Mr. Peter J. Hudson acted as his clerk at Eagletown and knew him very well.
He was a man about 5' 6", bald headed, half-breed, a man of few words but very kind. His first wife died at Wheelock. I don't know who she was. She left one daughter named Alzira, now Mrs. Lambert. I do not know where she lives. When Jefferson Gardner moved to Eagletown he had no family, his daughter attended school at New Hope Seminary.
While at Eagletown he married Lucy Christy, daughter of Joe Christy. At the death of Lucy he married her sister, Judy. He had quite a family by these wives but they are all dead with exception of Emma, now Mrs. Mills, living at Valliant, and Alzira, now Mrs. Lambert. He died about 1905 and is buried at the Joe Christy Burying Ground three miles southeast of Eagletown.
Chief Green McCurtain
Green McCurtain succeeded Jefferson Gardner as Principal Chief, taking office in October 1896 and serving until October 1900, two terms. His opponents were Jefferson Gardner, J. B. Jackson and G. W. Dukes. He was a son of Cornelius McCurtain and brother of Edmond and Jackson McCurtain, both former chiefs of the Choctaw Nation.
He was born at Skullyville and died December 28, 1910, at his home at Kinta, Oklahoma, and was buried at his old home at Sans Bois, Oklahoma, Haskell County, about 5 miles east of Kinta. He married for his first wife a white woman, mother of D. C. McCurtain, living at Poteau. She later married Tom. Ainsworth.
Green McCurtain married as his second wife, Kate Spring, daughter of John Spring of now Tuskahoma, Oklahoma. Their children were Alice who married George Scott now living at Stigler and former Treasurer of Choctaw Nation, Lena who married Herbert Moore now of Muskogee, Bertha and Cora who married brothers, the Pebworth boys. Cora is now dead but Bertha is living.
Mrs. Green McCurtain is still living at Stigler with her daughter, Mrs. George Scott. He was elected Principal Chief on the program of the Tuskahoma Party of which he was the head and which advocated negotiation with the Dawes Commission for the settlement of Choctaw Affairs.
Chief Gilbert Wesley Dukes
Gilbert W. Dukes succeeded Green McCurtain and took office in October 1900 serving until October 1902. He was born around Wheelock. He was a son of Joseph Dukes who was interpreter and translator for early missionaries. He was with Cyrus Byington at Mayhew Mission School in Mississippi for a long time and then immigrated to Indian Territory and stayed with Alfred Wright at Wheelock Seminary for many years as translator of the New Testament.
Gilbert W. Dukes' mother was Nancy Collins. When but a young man Gilbert W. Dukes moved from Wheelock to what is known as Wade Settlement about 6 miles east of Talihina, Oklahoma. He was a student of old Spencer Academy. He married Angeline Wade, daughter of Governor Alfred Wade.
They had two children, Henry, now of Bokhoma, McCurtain County, Oklahoma, and the other, Joseph Dukes, Assistant Field Clerk at Talihina, Oklahoma. After the death of his first wife he married Isabel, daughter of Horace Woods, white man, father of a large family.
At their death they left, Edwin, D. Hopaiishvbbi, Josephine, Minerva and Leatta Dukes, all of whom are living around Talihina. The first office ever held by Gilbert W. Dukes was as Sheriff of Wade County, Choctaw Nation. He joined the Confederate Army when very young.
He was Supreme Judge for four years, Circuit Judge for seven years, Auditor of Choctaw Nation, and Chief from 1900 to 1902. He was a delegate to Washington in 1911.
He died about 1915 or 1916 and was buried at Post Oak Presbyterian Church on the south side of Kiamichi River about twelve miles southeast of Talihina, just barely inside of Pushmataha County.
He was a very large man, about six feet tall and very liberal. He always had many people at his house. He was a great friend of D. Thomas, a merchant at Talihina. He was a Republican.
In October 1902 Green McCurtain again took office as Principal Chief, serving until his death December 28, 1910.
In the election of 1902, Tom Hunter of Hugo, Oklahoma, was Green McCurtain's opponent. In October 1902 before the votes were canvassed the United States Government had to send soldiers to Tuskahoma to keep peace.
Gilbert W. Dukes was a friend of Tom Hunter and the morning on which the votes were to be canvassed he walked into the capitol with Tom Hunter and turned everything over to him as his successor. Major Hackett, U. S. Marshal, who was a friend of Gilbert W. Dukes and Tom Hunter, took possession of the capitol and grounds, with Tom Hunter as chief, and proceeded to organize a council, the followers of McCurtain being barred from the building.
Indian Agent Shoenfelt was on the ground and attempted to settle the difficulty but it was impossible because the U. S. Marshal representing the Judicial Department was in charge. Therefore, Agent Shoenfelt sent a message to the War Department at Washington for troops.
The order went to Fort Sill for soldiers to go to Tuskahoma. Saturday about noon which was the last day provided by Constitution to canvass the votes the U. S. soldiers composed of 200 Negroes with white officers, came in, marched to the capitol, and after the commander consulted for one hour with U. S. Marshal and U. S. Agent, he took charge of the building, disarming all occupants of the building and instructing them to tend to any business necessary.
The members of the two factions then entered into fistfights in which the command took no side, while the votes were being canvassed. It was dark when the canvassing was completed and Green McCurtain was declared elected Principal Chief of Choctaw Nation. Peter J. Hudson was an interpreter for Green McCurtain's faction and witnessed and took part in the trouble.
In 1904 another election was held with Green McCurtain and Thomas Hunter as candidates and Green McCurtain was re-elected. He served until October 1906.
In August 1906 Wesley Anderson of Tuskahoma was elected Principal Chief but was not confirmed from the fact that the tribal government was supposed to have expired March 4, 1906.
He had no opponent.
So Green McCurtain was the last elected chief and continued to serve until his death on December 28, 1910.