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origins of the holmes county Indians

Posted by Hodalee Scott Sewell on June 20, 2017 at 6:25 PM Comments comments (0)

origins of the holmes county Indians

 

 

 

 

HISTORY TIMELINE:

 

1677………Treaty of Middle Plantation negotiated between the Colony of Virginia and the Meherrin Tribe. Signed by Ununteguero, the “Chief man” and Harehannah, the “Head Chief man.” Resulted in the Meherrin abandoning their northernmost territories and confining themselves to the Virginia/North Carolina border.

 

1696…….The Meherrin have abandoned all of their previous territory in present-day Virginia. The main Meherrin village is located on the Meherrin River in the area of present-day Murfreesburough, Hertford County, North Carolina.

 

1705……..Virginia establishes first reservation for the Meherrin on the Meherrin River in present-day Hertford County, North Carolina.

 

 

1707……..The Meherrin reservation is attacked by a militia of 60 North Carolina men commanded by Thomas Pollack. 36 Meherrin men are captured and held prisoner by the militia. Virginia intervenes and negotiates release of the Meherrin men.

 

1711-15…Meherrin divide into two factions: the “hostile” Meherrin who join the Tuscarora in the Tuscarora Wars, and the “friendly” Meherrin who flee north into Virginia and settle alongside Chief Thomas Blount’s “friendly” band of Tuscarora.

 

1711 Map – Meherrin Indian Towns

 

1713…….Executive journals of Virginia mention “Mister Thomas, a Meherrin Indian.”

 

1714……..Virginia establishes Fort Christanna, an outpost, church and school for Virginia’s southernmost Indians, on the upper reaches of the Meherrin River. A one-mile square ‘reservation’ is established around the Fort; Siouan tribes settle on the southern portion of the ‘reservation’ while the Meherrin and Nottoway settle on the northern.

 

1716……..Two children of Meherrin principal chief Ununteguero taken hostage by the Virginia Colony at William and Mary in Williamsburg.

 

1727……..Meherrin are reported to be attacked by Saponi and Catawba Indians.

 

1728………Virginia and North Carolina negotiate a final border survey. The area of the former Meherrin reservation now falls within the borders of North Carolina.

 

1729………North Carolina General Assembly passes the “Act for the More Quiet Settling the Bounds of the Meherrin Indian Lands.” A new reservation is established at the confluence of the Chowan and Meherrin rivers.

 

 

1733 Map – Meherrin Indian Towns

1733……….Edward Moseley’s map of North Carolina marks the Meherrin Indian Towns on both sides of the Chowan River at the confluence of the Meherrin River.

1757……….Seven Meherrin, along with King Blount and 33 Tuscarora, 10 Saponi, and 13 Nottoway, enlist at Williamsburg with George Washington’s regiment in the French and Indian War.

1761………..Report of Arthur Dobbs: Northampton/Granville Counties – Meherrin – 20 fighting men.

1790………..Joseph Hall (the son of a white man and a half-breed Meherrin Indian woman) founds “Hall & Read,” a merchant trading company traveling between the Meherrin River and Norfolk, Virginia.

1792……….Joseph Hall Jr (1/4 Meherrin Indian) marries Elizabeth Bass (1/2 Nansemond Indian). [October 23, 1792 Norfolk County Bond]

 

1782 French Map – Meherrin Indian Towns

1795……….Meherrin Town marked just south of Potecasi Creek, in Hertford County, on map of Samuel Lewis.

1802……….A small band of Meherrin immigrate north to New York where they settle among a group of Tuscarora who had removed there prior.

1822………Remnant of Meherrin in Hertford County petition North Carolina complaining in regards to a new law that would allow slaves to testify against “free persons of color.” Signors of the petition include Whitmell Chavers, Allen Hall, Harvey W Hall, and Isaac Hall.

1830………White citizens of Norfolk, Virginia challenge the ability of “Hall & Read” to conduct business as they were “…free persons of color.” Norfolk County Court upholds their retail merchant licensure by decision of the Court on November 16, 1830.

1833………George Hall, who had been residing with his mother’s Nansemond Indian family in Norfolk, is issued a certificate by the Norfolk County Court stating “…on satisfactory evidence of white persons [George Hall] is not a free negro or mulatto but of Indian descent.”

1840………Tax list of Walton County, Florida [would later be divided to form Holmes County]:

Allen, Betsey…….2 male free persons of color….4 female free persons of color

Mayo, Alfred…….8 male free persons of color….4 female free persons of color

 

1843………Numerous Meherrin Indian descended families from Hertford County, North Carolina arrive in North Florida. Included in this migration are Joseph Blanchard, William Chavers, Israel Copeland, Wiley Hall, John ‘Jack’ Jones, Betsey Perkins Smallwood, William Stafford, and Benjamin Thomas.

 

1847………Tax list of Walton County, Florida [would later be divided to form Holmes County]:

Chavers, William…….taxed $3.00…..a free man of color

Hall, Wiley…………..taxed $6.00……a free man of color

[double taxed as his wife was also non-white.]

 

 

1855………Tax list of Walton County, Florida [would later be divided to form Holmes County]:

Benjamin Thomas…….taxed $3.30…..a free man of color

 

1850 census Walton County:

#109: Hall, Wiley……..age 45….farmer…born NC

Catherine…age 40……………born NC

Wesley……….8……………………GA

Mary…………6……………………FL

James………..4…………………….FL

Margaret…….2…………………….FL

 

1850 census, Homes County, Florida:

#109: George W. Mayo (son of Alfred Mayo), wife and 2 kids

#110: Jane Thomas (wife of Benjamin Thomas), 5 children

#111: Micajah Stephens (son of Henry Stephens), wife and 3 children

#112: Alfred Mayo, wife and 5 children

(NOTE: Alfred Mayo would lead a mixed-blood “wagon train” to Louisiana and settle among other mixed-bloods there to form what would later be called the “Red Bones.”)

1860 census, Dale County, Alabama:

#1431: [family of] Ward, Thomas J……35..Male.…”W”………………..…..b. ALA

Simmons, Henry….14…Male….”M”…laborer………….b. ALA

 

 

1870 census, Holmes County, Florida:

#320: Thomas, Berrian…………45..Male…”M”…………..b. GA

Mary L [Rally]…34……….”W”……………..ALA

Christian A……. 5 (female) “W”…………….FL

Hall, James M……………13………..”M”……….……FL

Benjamin F………….10………..”M”……………FL

Ruth J………………..8…………”M”…………...FL

#321: Hall, Ann Catherine…..62……..”W”………………b. GA

Elizabeth M…..…20…….”W”…………………ALA

Amelia A……..…18…….”W”…………………ALA

Willis F……….…16…….”W”…………………ALA

#322: Thomas, Mary [Hall]…..38…….”W”……………….b. GA

Mary J………..8……...”W”………………….FL

Sarah F…….…6……..”W”………………….FL

Franklin…….…1…….”W”………………….FL

#323: Bland, William……………...32…….”W”……………….b. FL

Martha [Thomas]……33……”M”………………….FL

Clara J…………….…13……”M”………………….FL

June E……………..….4…….”M”………………….FL

William B…………..…2……”M”………………….FL

 

1870 census, Washington County, Florida:

#7: Simmons, Henry…24..Male…”Indian”…………..b. ALA

 

1880 Holmes county census:

#142: Hall, Jeff………..”Indian”…34…………..b. FL

Catherine….”B”……….30……………FL

#208: Hall, James……..”W”……….23………….B. FL

Alice………”W”………23……………..FL

Mary………”W”……….1………………FL

#209: Thomas, Berry……..”Mu”………57…………..b. GA

Mary……....”W”………43……………..ALA

Christian….”Mu”……...16 (grand-daug) FL

Hall, Benjamin……...”W”……….21 (step-son)..…FL

#210: Forehand, Sarah (Thomas)…..”Mu”…….52……………b. GA

John……………….”Mu”…….19……………..FL

Horace…………….”Mu”…….15……………..FL

#211: Bland, William (Thomas)………..”W”……..34……………….b. FL

Martha…………………...”Mu”…….44…………………GA

Clara……………………..”Mu”…….21…………………FL

Ginnie……………………”Mu”…....15……………..…..FL

William…………………..”Mu”…....13………………….FL

Viola……..………………”Mu”…….9……………..…..FL

John………………………”Mu”……4…………………FL

Sarah……………………..”Mu”……1………………….FL

Hall, Sarah………………………..”Mu”…….15………………..FL…niece

Franklin (Nephew)………... “Mu”…….13………………FL…nephew

1885 Holmes County census:

#531…..Hall, James M………”W”…..25

Alice M……….”W”…..26

Mary J…………”W”…..6

Coburn…………”W”….4

Margaret……….”W”….2

Arquilla…………”W”….45…Aunt

#532……Thomas, Benjamin…….”Mu”…..60

Christian A…..”Mu”…..19…daughter

#533…….Bland, Martha (Thomas)…………”Mu”…..44

Clara J…………………….”Mu”….28

Jennie……………….……..”Mu”….18

William……………………”Mu”…16

Viola………………………”Mu”….14

John……………………….”Mu”…..9

Ailsy Ann………………….”Mu”….4

Forehand, Sarah (Thomas)….……”Mu”….55….sister [widow of Richard Forehand]

Harris……………….…”Mu”…19….nephew

Thomas, Sarah……………...…….”Mu”…18….niece

#534……Forehand, John………………………”Mu”….23

Pallis (Goddin)…………...”W”…..30

Mary………………………”Mu”….9

Lettice…………………….”Mu”….5

Harris, Jr…………………..”Mu”…11/12

#535…….Mayo, William…………….”Mu”…..35

Margaret……………”W”……30

Melvin, Catherine…………”W”…….4…..niece

 

World War One Civil Enlistment of Elijah Simmons (son of Henry Simmons & Mary Cooley).

Race is listed as “Indian.”

 

FAMILY SKETCHES:

 

COOLEY

 

Allan Colley Sr (born circa 1810) ~m~ Rhojo (born circa 1810)

A white man an Indian woman

Children:

1. Gillis Cooley (born 1833) ~m~ Martha Fountain (born 1843)

 

 

Gillis Cooley (born 1833) ~m~ Martha Fountain (born 1843)

1/2 Indian a white woman

Children:

1. Mary Catherine Cooley (born 1863 Florida) ~m~ Henry Simmons (born 1844)

2. Daniel J Cooley (born 1866)

3. Martha J Cooley (born 1868) ~m~ Thomas Shavers

4. Emma Cooley (born 1875) ~m~ Vandy Yates

5. Margaret Cooley (born 1877) ~m~ Tilton Shavers

6. Missouri Cooley (born 1881) ~m~ Isaiah Locklear

7. Joel Cooley (born 1882) ~m~ Zadie Woodard

8. Stephen Cooley (born 1885) ~m~ Rhoda Goddin

 

 

FOREHAND

 

Richard Forehand (born 1852 FL) ~m~ Sarah Thomas (born 1826 Georgia)

Children:

1. John Forehand (born 1861) ~m~ Mary P Goodin (born 1852)

2. Daniel Horace Forehand (born 1865) ~m~ Epsey E Curry (born 1865)

3. Harris Forehand (born 1866 Florida)

 

John Forehand (born 1861) ~m~ Mary P Goodin (born 1852)

Children:

1. Lettice Forehand (born 1882) ~m~ Will Hall

2. Horace Forehand (born 1885) ~m~ Emma

3. Jim Forehand (born 1887) ~m~ Mary Addie Thomas

4. Billy Forehand (born 1892)

5. Johnny Forehand (born 1896) ~m~ Dora Morrison Bland

 

Daniel Horace Forehand (born 1865) ~m~ Epsey E Curry (born 1865)

Children:

1. Sarah Forehand (born 1886) ~m~ James Simmons (born 1888)

2. Allison Forehand (born 1891)

3. James Forehand (born 1892)

4. Daniel Forehand (born 1893)

5. Troy Forehand (born 1998)

6. Tempey Forehand (born 1900) ~m~ Bonnie Dell Brown

 

 

 

HALL

 

Joseph Hall (born 1710 Norfolk, Virginia) ~m~ Margaret (Peggy) (born circa 1750 Hertford Co, NC)

A mixed white/Powhattan Indian a Meherrin Indian woman.

Children:

1. Thomas Hall (born circa 1738) ~m~ Mary ___?___ (born circa 1740)

2. Ebenezer Hall (born circa 1740)

3. Stephen Hall (born 1746)

4. Absalom Hall (born 1747) ~m~ Rachel Nickens

5. Naomi Hall (born 1748) ~m~ William Bass (born 1725)

6. Jemima Hall (born 1750)

 

Thomas Hall (born 1738 Hertford Co, NC) ~m~ Mary (Polly) (born circa 1740 Hertford Co, NC)

½ Meherrin Indian/mixed Powhattan a half-blood Meherrin Indian woman.

Children:

1. Nathaniel Hall (born circa 1771)

2. Joseph Hall (born circa 1775) ~m~ Elizabeth Bass

3. Lemuel Hall (born

4. Margaret Hall (born

5. David Hall (born

6. Anthony Hall (born

 

 

1790 census of Hertford County, NC:

Hall, Mary……………………………6 Free Persons of Color

 

1800 census of Hertford County, NC:

Hall, Isaac……………………………5 Free Persons of Color

Hall, Joseph…………………………..1 Free Persons of Color

Hall, Thomas…………………………7 Free Persons of Color

 

1810 census of Hertford County, NC:

Hall, Mary…………………………12 Free Persons of Color

 

Joseph Hall (born circa 1775 Hertford Co, NC) ~m~ Elizabeth Bass (born circa 1775)

¼ Meherrin Indian ½ Nansemond Indian

Children:

1. George Hall (born 1796 Hertford Co, NC) ~m~ Rachel Pitts (a “free woman of colour”)

[George Hall issues a certificate of Indian descent in Norfolk, VA Oct 23, 1833]

2. Sally Hall (born 1799 Hertford Co, NC)

3. Mary Hall (born 1802 Hertford Co, NC)

4. William ‘Wiley’ Hall (born 1805 Hertford Co, NC)

5. Priscilla Hall (born 1806 Hertford Co, NC) ~m~ James Ash

 

William ‘Wiley’ Hall (born 1805 Hertford Co, NC) ~m~ Catherine ____ (born 1810 NC)

3/8 Indian

++++ Moved to Baker County, Georgia circa 1839 ++++

++++ Moved to Holmes County, Florida circa 1843 ++++

Children:

1. Wesley Hall (born 1842 Georgia)

2. Elizabeth Mary Hall (born 1844 Florida)

3. James Hall (born 1846 Florida)

4. Margaret Hall (born 1848 Florida)

5. Amelia A Hall (born 1852 Florida)

6. Willis F Hall (born 1854 Florida)

7. Benjamin F Hall (born 1860 Florida)

8. Ruth J Hall (born 1862 Florida)

 

SIMMONS

 

Henry Simmons (born 1844 Alabama) ~m~ Mary Catherine Cooley (born 1863 Florida)

Full-blooded Indian 1/4 Indian

Children:

1. Mary E Simmons (born 1885) ~m~ Mack Goddin

2. James Simmons (born 1888) ~m~ Sarah Forehand (born 1886)

3. Henry Wesley Simmons (born 1892) ~m~ Martha Bland (born 1897)

4. Martha Jane Simmons (born 1893) ~m~ Arthur Yates (born 1897)

5. Elijah Simmons (born 1895) ~m~ Rebecca J Wheeler (born 1898)

6. Thomas J Simmons (born 1899) ~m~ Lelia M Carnley

7. Eliza Simmons (born 1904) ~m~ Boney Thomas (born 1889)

8. Robert S Simmons (born 1907) ~m~ Lizzie Wheeler

 

 

THOMAS

 

William Benjamin Thomas (born circa 1800 Hertford County, NC) ~m~ Mary Jane “Polly” __ (b 1801 GA)

Full-blood Meherrin Indian (died before 1850, Holmes County, FL)

++++ Moved to Baker County, Georgia circa 1835 ++++

++++ Moved to Holmes County, Florida circa 1840 ++++

Children:

1. Sarah Thomas (born 1826 Georgia) ~m~ Richard Forehand (born 1852 FL)

2. Berrian Thomas (born 1828 Georgia) ~m~ Mary L Rally (born 1837 ALA)

[served in Confederate 4th Florida Infantry Company I]

3. Mary Thomas (born 1835 Georgia) – had numerous illegitimate children

4. Martha Thomas (born 1836 Georgia) ~m~ William H P Bland (born 1846)

5. John Thomas (born 1845 Florida)

6. William Thomas (born 1848 Florida)

7. James Thomas (born 1851 Florida)

 

Sarah Thomas (born 1826 Georgia) ~m~ Richard Forehand (born 1852 FL)

Children:

6. John Forehand (born 1861) ~m~ Mary P Goodin (born 1852)

7. Daniel H Forehand (born 1865) ~m~ Epsey E Curry (born 1865)

 

Berrian Thomas (born 1828 Georgia) ~m~ Mary L Rally (born 1837 ALA)

Children:

1. Christian Thomas (born 1864)

2. Boney Thomas (born 1889) ~m~ Eliza Simmons (born 1904)

3. Mary A Thomas (born 1892) ~m~ James Forehand (born 1892)

4. Asberyy Thomas (born 1894) ~m~ Willie G. Collinsworth (born 1887)

[shot twice and killed by his brother-in-law, Rufe Collinsworth in 1919]

 

Mary Thomas (born 1835 Georgia) – had numerous illegitimate children

Children:

1. Mary J Thomas (born 1862)

2. Sarah F Thomas (born 1865)

3. Franklin “Sank” Thomas (born 1868)

 

Martha Thomas (born 1836 Georgia) – had two illegitimate children then ~m~ William H P Bland (b 1846)

Children:

1. Clarkie J Bland (born 1858)

2. Jackson Thomas (born 1858)

----------------------------------------

3. Jennie Bland (born 1866) ~m~ William H Hall

4. William Benjamin Bland (born 1868) ~m~ Nancy C Goddin (born 1872)

5. Viola B Bland (born 1874) ~m~ William R Hollis (born 1864)

6. John B Bland (born 1875) ~m~ Martha M Curry

7. Sarah Bland (born 1878)

8. Vina Bland (born 1880) ~m~ Field C Curry (born 1877)

 

 

 

 

 

Students of Mount Zion Indian School, Holmes County, Florida

 

 

 

SECTION 36 - T4N R17W

W/NE 36 4N 17W HALL BENJAMIN F 12884 H 1897/04/27

E/SE 36 4N 17W HALL JOHN M 12338 H 1896/09/25

SW/SE 36 4N 17W GODDIN REDDIE 15030 H 1901/04/09

NW/SE 36 4N 17W HALL JOHN M 12338 H 1896/09/25

NE/SW 36 4N 17W HALL JOHN M 12338 H 1896/09/25

SE/SW 36 4N 17W GODDIN REDDIE 15030 H 1901/04/09

W/SW 36 4N 17W MAYO WILLIAM W 10842 H 1894/02/24

E/NW 36 4N 17W HALL BENJAMIN F 12884 H 1897/04/27

W/NW 36 4N 17W MAYO WILLIAM W 10842 H 1894/02/24

 

 

 

 

The primary families in the Dominicker community were Hall, Thomas, Bland (white man married a Thomas), Forehand (white man married a Thomas), and Simmons, as the documentation present shows. The family name of Simmons did not marry in until quite late (after 1880). Specifically after the Simmons man (censused as a “Mu” farm laborer in Dale Co, ALA then as “Indian” in Washington Co, FL) came in. This individuals Simmons family connects back to the Simmons’ of Sampson Co, NC.

 

One origin legend as recounted in the Florida volume of the Federal Writers Project in the late 1930’s, and I have in the second copy, in bold italics, responded to the story based on the documentary record:

“The beginning of the Dominicker Settlement was before the Civil War in 1855 by a black man named Joe Thomas. A slave raised a family of four children one boy and three girls, by a white woman named Polly Thomas. She owned the black man and after her husband was killed she took her slave for a husband and raised the four children. Their son Berrian Thomas married a white woman named Rally Hall. Their daughter named Martha Thomas married a white man named Bill Bland. The other girls raised a family of children without being married for different colored men.”

“The beginning of the Dominicker Settlement was before the Civil War in 1855 (Benjamin Thomas’ family was on the 1850 census, so had to have arrived prior to 1855) by a black man named Joe Thomas (the progenitor of these Thomas’ was named Benjamin). A slave (Benjamin Thomas was taxed as a “free man of color” so obviously wasn’t a slave) raised a family of four children one boy and three girls, by a white woman named Polly Thomas (Benjamin’s wife was named Jane). She owned the black man (once again, Benjamin was never a slave) and after her husband was killed she took her slave for a husband (illegal under Florida law…she, the slave, and the minister would have been whipped and the marriage annulled) and raised the four children. Their son Berrian Thomas married a white woman named Rally Hall (Berrian Thomas married Mary Hall). Their daughter named Martha Thomas married a white man named Bill Bland. The other girls raised a family of children without being married for different colored men.”

 

The narrative below is an article published in 1939 in the Florida volume of the Federal Writer's Project State Guide Series. This effort was a part of President Roosevelt's many Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects that were implemented to create employment for people during the Depression, and is credited with helping many troubled Americans.

“PONCE DE LEON, 45.2m (64 alt, 382 pop), is the site of Ponce De Leon Springs, one of the many fountains of youth named for the Spanish explorer. In adjacent back country live 'Dominickers,' part Negro and part white, whose history goes back to the early 1860s. [Origin story #1A—Thomas family] Just before the War Between the States, Thomas, a white, lived on a plantation here, with his wife, two children, and several Negro slaves. After his death his wife married one of the slaves, by whom she had five children. As slaves often took the name of their masters, her Negro husband was also known as Thomas. Of the five children, three married whites, two married Negroes. Today their numerous descendants live in the backwoods, for the most part in poverty. The men are of good physique, but the women are often thin and worn in early life. All have large families, and the fairest daughter may have a brother distinctly Negroid in appearance. The name originated, it is said, when a white in suing for a divorce described his wife as 'black and white, like an old Dominicker chicken.' Dominickers children are not permitted to attend white schools, nor do they associate with Negroes. About 20 children attend a one-room school. As no rural bus is provided, he pupils often walk several miles to attend classes. An old cemetery, containing a large number of Dominicker graves, adjoins the school. Numerous curves and steep hills make driving west of Ponce de Leon somewhat dangerous; care and caution are advised. “

Excerpted from the Federal Writers' Project (Fla.). Florida: A Guide to the Southernmost State. Sponsored by the State of Florida, Department of Public Instruction. New York: Oxford University Press, 1939.

1930 federal Writers Project

The following are transcripts of two unpublished, anonymous articles written for the Florida volume of the Federal Writers Project state guide series in the late 1930's; The original typescripts are in the library of the University of Florida at Gainesville, from which these transcriptions were taken.

“THE DOMINECKER SETTLEMENT

The Dominecker [sic] Settlement is located in Holmes County, about half way between Westville and Ponce de Leon, Florida. Westville prides itself on being the one that made bootleg liquor famous, and the Domineckers owned and operated the stills. Ponce de Leon is a small village -a trading post for farmers. During the time that lumber and turpentine were leading industries, the town thrived. Now, a small sawmill employs a few people and cull lumber is shipped to the paper mill at Panama City. People trade one product for another and there is very little money spent. The town derives its name from a small spring on the Pea River, called Ponce de Leon Springs. The spring claims to be the original “Fountain of Youth” discovered by Ponce de Leon. The Domineckers live in their little settlement and have few outside interests. The children are not allowed to attend the white schools. For a child from the settlement to attend school was unheard of until 10 years ago, their efforts to enter their children in school caused such an upheaval, the school board finally compromised by establishing a grammar school for them. A few exceptions have been made in Westville for high school students, but they are never allowed to actually graduate. Two families have moved to Shamrock, Florida to send the children to a white school.

The Domineckers attend the Mt. Zion Baptist Church. It is supposed to be a white church, they are allowed to go to any church to “preaching” but cannot take a part in church affairs. They seldom attend any services but their own -unless it is a holiness revival. These people are sensitive, treacherous and vindictive. They never start a disturbance but if any one bothers them – the whole family will do childish things to get revenge, to steal a hog or mutilate a crop is as good as a want. They are pathetically ignorant and en entire family will work hard for little compensation. The Domineckers come to town once a week for supplies. Their dilapidated wagons are drawn by anemic looking oxen. Each wagon is literally spilling over with children. Thay attend their business quickly and quietly and leave as unceremoniously as they came. They are treated witht the same courtesy that a Negro receives -never served at a public fountain nor introduced to a white person. It would be ridiculous to prefix “Mr.” or “Mrs.” to their names. The Domineckers differ in size but they are practically the same type. Their skin is dark, swarthy and thick looking; some have medium skin with big brown freckles, their eyes are brown and sharp, usually deep-set. They have beautiful white teeth and bright pink gums. Most of them have black straight hair, none of them have real kinky hair and one family has three children that are decided blonds – their skin looks sun-burned. They are a type of people that age quickly, probably from lack of care. The men are big and burly looking, noted for their strength and famous for “halter breaking” calves and horses. The women are low in stature, fat and shapeless, they wear loose-fitting clothes and no shoes. One woman 74 years of age has never owned a pair of shoes. When a person is the smaller type his is almost dwarf-like in size. There seems to be no in-between size. The people move from one hut to another, often living alone for awhile and then moving back into the family group. Men, women and children work in the fields. Some houses are scrupulously clean while others are filthy. They just live from day to day -certainly not an ambitious group. Each generation marries into the lower class of white people; their original group will soon be extinct.

Common law marriage is practiced, as a matter of fact -most of them “take-up” with each other. Local people claim that the Domineckers are 95% Negro. This statement is absurd. They are about three fourths white and one eighth Negro and one eighth Indian. “

The following unpublished article, from the informative archive on the rich past of the Florida panhandle, including the Dominicker Community is from Mr. Hood. A rich collection of information is maintained by Mr. Hood, and is reproduced here by kind permission of Mr. Beale, formerly employed by the U. S. Public Health Service and the U. S. Census Bureau. The report was written as part of his field notes during a research visit to Florida.

Beale’s Report from 1956

“A VISIT TO THE “DOMINICKER” MIXED-RACIAL GROUP IN HOLMES COUNTY, FLORIDA

November 28, 1956

By Calvin Beale

I first went to Bonifay, the county seat, and visited the county health nurses, Mrs. Lee and Mrs. Sims. They immediately mentioned he letter of inquiry from Dr. Witkop of Public Health Service and asked if I had any connection with it. I allowed as how I did. Both were glad to talk about the Dominicker group. Only one family is among their current patients. The patient is an elderly man, Jim Simmons, who has diabetes. The nurses, especially Mrs. Sims, a native of the county, knew other Dominickers. The term Dominicker is not acceptable to the group and is not used in their presence. They do not wish to be considered colored. One became very angry with Mrs. Lee when she, not knowing the family, listed a new-born child as Negro because of the somewhat Negroid appearance of the family. I believe she changed the record after the protest. The appearance of the group was said to be variable. Jim Simmons claims to be part Spanish and Indian. The nurses knew of the Forehand, Goddin (the present spelling), and Thomas families but had not been sure of the connection until I confirmed it. They also mentioned a Curry family. The names were all said to be held by white people too. The teeth of the Dominicker children were said to be better than the average for white children. There is no dentist in the county.

Some in the group suffer from TB. The group extends over into Walton County, where a couple of children in one family have a congenital malformation. (There is a Negro family in Holmes family [sic] with three albino children. I did not get the spelling of the name, which sounded like Hodah or Hoodah.) The nurses knew nothing of the origin of the Dominickers. They said Jim Simmons was approachable and probably would be glad to talk. All in the group were said to be poor. A separate elementary school is still maintained for the group, called the Mt. Zion School. Current enrollment is 12, said once to have been about 25. The nurses estimated the population of the group at 40. I next visited the Soil Conservationist, who knew of the group, but, not being a county native, took me to the man in charge of the Selective Service office. The S.S. man went over some of the same ground covered by the nurses. He said the Dominickers were sensitive on the race question and might not get information unless the questioner were referred in by someone accepted by the group.

It was his opinion that the children attending Mt. Zion school were essentially the darker ones and that some of those who looked white were in surrounding white schools. The teacher of the separate school is a white woman, Miss (?) Dupree, who lives in Westville. The present building was erected after World War II at a cost of $8,000. The S.S. man did not know how the Dominickers were drafted racially during World War II. Some farm, others work in forest industries. He said they were low in culture”

The Mount Zion Community School, known locally as the “Dominicker” School (photo courtesy of Mr. Hood, a scholar and archivist of northern Florida’s history)

 

 

ARCITO RECIEVES GRANT FROM ST JOE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

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PRESS RELEASE: June 19th 2017

LOCAL TRIBE RECIEVES GRANT FROM ST JOE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

The Apalachicola River Community of Indians Tribal Organization (ARCITO) has recently received a $1,700.00 grant from the St Joe Community Foundation to create an exhibit highlighting the history, identity, and culture of the area’s Florida Cheraw Indian people. The St Joe Community Foundation funds grants for such diverse areas as education, healthcare, the environment, and cultural arts. These are the areas of funding provide the greatest long-term returns for those that live, work and play in the communities of the panhandle. It has pledged and funded over $18 Million in grants to area nonprofits that care about Northwest Florida an believe that over time, such grants will continue to impact the quality of life in Northwest Florida for generations to come.

The Apalachicola River Community of Indians Tribal Organization (ARCITO) is a local tribal organization that works for the political, social, and legal welfare of the (Eastern Siouan) Cheraw Indian people across the panhandle, and is focused on documenting historic archival research into the tribe’s history, fostering the communities unique cultural identity, and providing venues for communication, awareness, and growth of tribal members and the public alike. Today’s tribal members are descendants of the Indian people who lived in several Indian settlements from the 1830’s to the 1960’s whose history is documented in the 2010 book “The Indians of North Florida” by S. Pony Hill and C.S. Sewell, available on Amazon and at local libraries. Some surnames in the community Ayers, Barnwell, Bass, Blanchard, Brown, Bullard, Bunch, Brooks, Chason, Chavis, Conyers, Copeland, Davis, Goins, Hall, Harris, Hicks, Hill, Holly, Ireland, Jacobs, Johnson, Jones, Long, Lovett, Mainer, Martin, Mayo, Moses, Oxendine, Perkins, Porter, Potter, Quinn, Scott, Simmons, Smith, Stafford, Stephens, Sweat, Thomas, Whitfield, and Williams among others.

Historically, the Florida Cheraw people lived predominately in several small settlements; Scott Town in Jackson County, Scotts Ferry in southern Calhoun County, Woods (across the Apalachicola River in Liberty County), and Mt Zion/Simmonsville in Holmes County. Florida Cheraw were in the past sometimes known as “Dominickers”, and historically maintained a “third race” status during segregation between the 2 dominant races. The Florida tribal communities are culturally and genealogically connected to many of the Indian settlements in the Carolinas, as most of the ancestors of the Florida settlements migrated to the panhandle originally from the Catawba Indian reservation at Rock Hill, from the nearby Sumter Band of Cheraw in South Carolina as well as from communities of the Lumbee Tribe of Cheraw Indians in Robeson County North Carolina, during in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The Apalachicola River Community of Indians began its annual Indian Community Conference in 1996 and it continues to provide a forum for addressing issues of concern to the panhandle Indian people. It is held at the WT Neal Civic Center in Blountstown Florida each spring and is open to the public. More information on the tribe’s history is found at dominickerindians.org, or contact ARCITO Vice Chairman H. Scott Sewell at (850) 254-5426 or at [email protected]

 

Media Officer Introduction

Posted by Hodalee Scott Sewell on June 16, 2016 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Henci everyone. My Name is Niki Moon and I have recently been elected your new Media Officer which means, I will be serving as admin for this website as well as the Facebook page. I would just like to take a minute and thank you for this opportunity to serve all of you, and thank everyone who came to the Geneology Conference on June 11th. We had so much fun getting to meat everyone and put together a fabulous team to serve our awesome community. It is my fervent ambition to utilize this site and turn it into a very user friendly hub where everyone in our community can exchange information archives photographs, and contacts. Again I Thank you for this opportunity and I look forward to seeing everyone at our next event. Take Care and God Bless Cehecares (See You Later)

Niki Moon

2016 Genealogy Conference a Success

Posted by Hodalee Scott Sewell on June 14, 2016 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (2)

We had about 25 people come out for genealogy work. we also seated 4 new council persons, Teresa and Niki Moon, heather fair, and Tammy Johnson, sworn in by Chairman Pony Hill.


Horizon - Broken Sky; released May 1, 2015 by S. Pony Hill (Author)

Posted by Hodalee Scott Sewell on May 25, 2016 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (0)

http://www.amazon.com/Horizon-Broken-S-Pony-Hill/dp/1312258985

this is a fiction work by tribal chairman pony hill, its a great read and i encourage you guys to chec k it out...

Strange things were happening at Sequoyah High and Benjamin Braveboy was certain it all centered on this odd new student. Quiet, unassuming, she was easy for anyone to ignore. To him it was obvious camouflage, a way to be there but not be there, hiding in plain sight. Benjamin was suspicious that there was more to this girl than met the eye. How could he have known she guarded a secret that would reveal an ancient struggle to save an entire world, a timeless battle of light versus darkness, and that their love would lead to the death of one and the unearthly changing of the other?


We Will Always Be Here: Native Peoples on Living and Thriving in the South (Other Southerners) Hardcover ??? May 17, 2016 by Denise E. Bates (Editor)

Posted by Hodalee Scott Sewell on May 3, 2016 at 7:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Just received a copy of the just released "We Will Always Be Here: Native People's On Living And Thriving In The South, and want to thank Denise Bates and the University Press of Florida for including me and allowing for the participation in such a distinguished work, to be able to talk about our life as a tribe in Florida and to share the heritage of our Cheraw and Creek people is an honor. The Apalachicola River Community of Indians is thankful for the help of so many such fine institutions that support us in preserving our history and heritage. Please get a copy of the just released work on Amazon. com if you can to support those people and fine institutions that support us in important work for the future generations!

http://www.amazon.com/We-Will-Always-Here-Southerners/dp/0813062632

the Apalachicola River Community of Indians has been in the process of reorganization

Posted by Hodalee Scott Sewell on April 27, 2016 at 4:45 PM Comments comments (0)

As some may know from the announcements at the 20th Annual Apalachicola River Indian Community Conference, the Apalachicola River Community of Indians has been in the process of reorganization of late; ARCI leadership from several communities have been working to recalibrate the tribal government (the Apalachicola River Community Indian Tribal Organization aka ARCITO), an effort which includes several major points:

-Update and continue work on our petition for federal recognition submitted to BIA in 2004

-Update our ARCI tribal roll, by-laws, and constitution

-Secure a land base and permanent council quarters by 2020

-Continue the cooperation with our related tribe, the Sumter Band of Cheraw Indians in Sumter, SC

Generally speaking requirements for enrollment are documented descent from the Indian people of Scott Town Community in Jackson County; Scotts Ferry (including Marysville and Cherokee settlements) in Calhoun County; Woods (primarily the Hill, Jacobs, and Oxendine families enclave) in Liberty County; and Mount Zion Community of Holmes County (in a corner of the southern part of the county west of the Choctawhatchee River, near the town of Ponce de Leon). The 1920 census is the principle document used for ancestral community definition, though others are considered. More info on the tribal history is in “The Indians of North Florida”, available on Amazon.com or from ARCITO free to tribal members.

The upcoming year will be one of hard work and intense cooperation together as the “housecleaning” and getting the council back in order continues. ARCITO will be holding its next quarterly general council meeting on June 11th at 2 pm at the WT Neal Civic Center in Blountstown which will be followed by a Genealogy Conference that afternoon. Please bring your documents, family photos, historic information, and questions to share. Our website Dominickerindians.org will be up dated frequently with information on current ARCITO council meetings, ARCI tribal events, and (Kunfuskee Tallassee) ceremonial grounds activities, as well as our Facebook Page at and Apalachicola River Community of Indians tribal blog on WordPress at https://apalachicolarivercommunityofindians.wordpress.com/.

 

 

 

ARCITO TRIBAL REORGANIZATIONAL MEETING! May 14th 6 pm

Posted by Hodalee Scott Sewell on April 15, 2016 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (0)

ARCITO TRIBAL REORGANIZATIONAL MEETING! May 14th 6 pm at Tribal Chairman Pony Hill house 267 Nelle St Apt A, Callaway...ill post a week or so before the itenarary. ...we will be catching up on where we are, please call me with any questions!


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