|Posted by Hodalee Scott Sewell on August 4, 2017 at 1:15 PM||comments (1)|
OPIOID EPIDEMIC IN FLORIDA IS ROOTED IN LACK OF CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY
The governor of Florida officially declared last May the opioid epidemic to be a public health emergency, several years after it began to cut a deadly path through our state. Gov. Scott’s declaration allows Florida to access more than $54 million in U.S. Department of Health and Human Services grant money. These funds can be utilized to pay for prevention, treatment and recovery services, all sorely needed. This is a good start, a down payment on what a real response must be to make a difference. This epidemic is felt as much among our Apalachicola River Community of Indians as well, just as is it among our neighbors. Our area like so many throughout Florida being one where opioid-related overdoses have skyrocketed in recent years and countless more people in the area suffer from increasingly visible opioid addiction. This struggle against addiction has affected every part of our society: Its impacts are seen in the economy, hospitals, schools and our homes. We all have seen its victims in town, on the streets, and among our neighbors and family. The young people of our community are especially susceptible to the epidemic, putting the very future of the next generation at risk. What can be done?
When I became Vice Chief of the Apalachicola River Community of Indian Tribal Organization, I made a commitment to work to protect the health and welfare of our nearly 300 citizens, about half of whom live inside our historic tribal area boundaries in the Florida central panhandle. Funding can’t solve our problems, but it can help. Our Economic Development Committee like so many others is actively seeking venues and funding for initiatives addressing the problem among our scattered Indian families; we feel the impacts of the opioid epidemic every day, as we watch our friends and loved ones grapple with the consequences of addiction. Despite authorities’ best efforts, the crisis is still ravaging communities unabated. A week ago a young women just a few houses away was found dead. This is truly a matter of life and death, which is why we all must be doing everything in our power to prevent friends and families becoming entangled with prescription opioids.
Perspectives into the factors involved I have researched lately surrounding the epidemic seem to suggest that McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health, Inc., AmerisourceBergen, CVS Health, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. and even Walmart Stores, Inc., as well as other corporations have in part fueled this epidemic by saturating many communities with these highly addictive painkillers, ignoring warning signs that these drugs are not landing in the right hands. This epidemic has cost our community health services tens of millions of dollars, not to mention the thousands of lives lost and ruined. That’s lives we can’t get back, futures now cut short. That's dollars lost, that we could use for our schools, college scholarships, hospitals, roads or housing. We must not allow our fellow citizens to suffer while corporations make huge profits at everyone else’s expense. Our fellow Floridians must know they are not fighting addiction alone, and our actions as citizens, communities and governments will reveal our strength of intention.
No one has felt the impact of the opioid crisis more than our children. For children born into families struggling with opioid addiction, their lives are often a tragic cycle of abuse and neglect. A recent study found pregnant Native American women are up to 8.7 times more likely to be opioid dependent. This means more babies born with lifelong physical, mental and emotional deficiencies. Sadly, these infants are then often immediately placed into foster care. These families are torn apart before they ever have a chance to be whole, and our whole society suffers as a result. The drug distributors and retailers have avoided their duty as a “check” on the system by failing to monitor, report and prevent illegal opioid activity. We must show that enough is enough. This growing epidemic is ripping apart families, straining our community resources and wreaking havoc across the nation and we must act now. We must ensure distributors and corporate pharmacies are held accountable for their negligence and greed, so costly to everyday folks. Putting people before profits must be communicated to them.
H. Scott Sewell
Vice Chairman, Apalachicola River Community of Indians Tribal Organization
|Posted by Hodalee Scott Sewell on July 28, 2017 at 4:05 PM||comments (0)|
A Rocky Road Ahead for Indian Country by H. Scott Sewell
Ah, the good old days. When President Obama was in office, he and his staff many times met with native community members across the country seeking information and insights to set the direction of his administrations efforts. Once he visited young Indian people at the Standing Rock Sioux Nation in North Dakota and heard about their struggles there, and was so inspired by meeting them and what they shared that he came back to Washington, D.C., with clear instructions for his Cabinet to be doing everything it could to expand economic and educational opportunity for Indian youngsters. Few of the Indian reservations in the United States have functioning economies and more often have real economic problems. They lack in large part institutions in which residents can be employed, cash checks, and spend money within the community, and during the Obama administration the effort to make change happen was occurring even if not as fast as everyone had hoped. Indian youth especially find difficulty their lot on many reservations.
The Wind River Indian Reservation and its Wyoming Indian High School is one such community among many struggling for native youth’s future. As it does in so many tribal communities across Indian country, high unemployment persists in Wind River, the seventh largest Indian reservation in the country. Encompassing more than 2.2 million acres, the Wind River Indian Reservation is home to the Eastern Shoshone and the Northern Arapaho tribes. Despite this obstacle of few jobs available, hopes and dreams for their futures motivate many kids there. They all are aiming high and some want to become nurses, business owners and computer programmers, others desire to work in language preservation and cultural rejuvenation These Indians know how to fight and succeed at their goals as their basketball team has won 11 titles since the mid-1970s. During the previous administration the Department of Labor invested millions to expand job training and increase economic opportunity in Indian Country, places like Wind River.
A new state-of-the-art Wind River Job Corps Center will help student’s at Wind River to earn their high school diploma or GED, and provide them with the training and skills they need to pursue successful careers in fields like diesel mechanics, construction, and facilities maintenance, welding and accounting. The Wind River center also is the first and only in the country to offer training for aspiring petroleum technicians. Its petroleum technician training program was developed in partnership with employers Marathon Oil, Conoco Phillips, Devon Energy and Encana Corp. This is the type of investment that will provide native young people, including many reservation tribal youths, with the skills they need to compete and thrive in today's workforce, one that is increasingly technology reliant. The lack of economic development on reservations is a major factor in creating the extreme poverty, unemployment, and the accompanying social issues that Indian nations face. Tribal governments can help solve this problem by increasing the number of privately and tribally owned businesses on reservations.
The need to address ways to expand access to capital in rural communities, including an examination of the unique challenges facing Indian Country and reservations in increasing the flow of credit to Indian reservations, is ongoing under the new administration. Economic development and job creation in Indian Country is dependent in some measure on having access to capital. If business owners can easily borrow to finance business start-up and growth of existing ones, the economy thrives and grows. One thing heard often from tribal leaders, however, is that Indian Country is a difficult place to borrow money for. Reasons range from difficulties in using tribal lands as collateral, to the small number of lending institutions that serve Indian Country. As well the lenders’ perceptions that lending to tribal members or tribal governments is risky adds to the difficulty.
Since much of tribally-owned land is held in trust by the federal government, this means it cannot be sold outside the tribe to cover lender costs should a borrower default on a loan. Though the trust status of tribal land preserves a communal land base it also makes the processes for using land as collateral more challenging for doing business in Indian Country, more so than it is in neighboring non-Indian communities. There are few lending institutions serving tribal communities unsurprisingly, it is more difficult for these institutions and those native start up efforts in Indian Country seeking to borrow to gain experience with extending and gaining credit. Lenders are reticent to enter into financing with tribes and tribal corporations related to real and perceived concerns over the status of Indian tribes as governments, a challenge long facing tribes.
Tribal governments help when they provide the laws, regulations, and ethical court systems that will assist and protect incoming business and property rights; few will locate their business and risk their time and money on a reservation where the odds against being successful are high. Indian nations must make their reservations fair and reasonable locations for businesses to locate if they expect to attract investment and build economies, and truly find self-determination so long pursued.
Recently while speaking directly to Intergovernmental Affairs Officer Billy Kirkland, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said that Indian tribes need to own their lands to foster economic and infrastructure development, a view controversial in some corners. Tribes must take more initiative to be the driving force behind federal policies targeted toward new jobs and economic development in Indian Country. Having an attitude that is consistent with the policy of Indian self-determination can be crucial, but the trust status of lands lies at the foundation of Indian political identity. Any changes are often seen as threatening, with the status quo better than what is possible of too much change runs amok.
The transition in presidents has brought into stark relief the challenges that are still confronting Indian communities and the fragility of tribal sovereignty. The Trump administration thus far has few ideas beyond exploiting Indian Country it appears. Native American reservations cover just 2 percent of the United States, but they may contain about a fifth of the nation’s oil and gas, along with vast coal reserves. These resources have long been sought by many corporate interests across the years of changing federal policy. Trump’s aim of slashing regulation to boost energy production, could and most likely will deeply divide tribal leaders.
They unsurprisingly hold a range of opinions on the proper balance between development and conservation of tribal lands and resources. Trump’s main domestic policy goal is job creation, an endeavor which presents an opportunity for tribes seeking to exercise their oft professed goal of economic development. The Indian treaties negotiated in generations gone by are not a business plan, and change is needed on many reservations. The tribes need a new beginning, a new federal policy, but will Trump and his perspectives be the hoped for opportunity?
Despite success in the gaming arena, reflected by the news the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) released concerning the Fiscal Year 2016 Gross Gaming Revenue numbers totaling $31.2 billion, an overall increase of 4.4 percent, the next 4 years may be bleak. Most of the many social problems on Indian reservations can be traced directly to the staggering unemployment rates, and job creation beckons as a primary route for improvement of Indian lives. Recently Trump laid blame at the feet of the federal government for smothering prosperity in Indian Country in an official event with tribal leaders, and said tribes stand to gain financially by developing their natural resources and that he will make it "easier" for them to do just that, he promised. Trump is manifesting fears across Indian Country in his actions so far by seeking drastic cuts in education, health, housing and other key programs. Bureau of Indian Affairs, Indian Health Service and other agencies are among the many losers in Trump's fiscal year 2018 budget, which showed them often reduced to levels not seen in nearly a decade. Many postulated that Donald Trump’s policies would be threatening to tribal rights, tribal sovereignty, cultural identity, and too many of the established relationships between Indian Country and the other governments.
Many are asking if President Trump will attempt to eliminate the BIA. Recent comments by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke promised ‘bold’ Interior Department reorganization, but in the current environment of chaos and uncertainty, few have confidence on what that really means. Federal funding for Indian people has been perennially reduced for the BIA and other agencies for years, but the Trump White House continues the diminishing of the supply to Indian Country in its recent budget proposal. It appears with only $2.5 billion designated toward Indian affairs. This reduction of $370 million for the BIA and Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) alone is shocking to many tribal leaders. This is happening even as there are more federally recognized tribes, now enumerated at 567 groups with more needs than ever before. The slices of pie are getting thinner and thinner, the jostling for resources with sharper elbows. Indian Country should take a deep breath and brace for one of its most difficult chapters in generations and be prepared to pull together to weather the storm that’s brewing on the horizon.
|Posted by Hodalee Scott Sewell on July 14, 2017 at 12:35 AM||comments (0)|
The Apalachicola River Indian Community of Indians of Florida
The Apalachicola River Indian Community of Indians are the modern descendants of the Eastern Siouan Indian people (including Catawba, Cheraw, and Lumbee) who migrated from the Carolinas to Florida’s panhandle as early as the 1820’s. The ancestors of the tribe are identified as “Free People of Color” before the Civil War and as one of several “American isolate” unique racial groups afterwards. These are common surnames historically associated with the tribal community: Ammons Ayers Barnwell Bass Bennett Bird Blanchard Boggs Brown Bullard Bunch Bryant Brooks Chason Chavis Conyers Copeland Davis Doyle Goins Hall Harris Hicks Hill Holly Ireland Jacobs Johnson Jones Kever Long Lovett Mainer Martin Mayo Moses Oxendine Perkins Porter Potter Quinn Scott Simmons Smith Stafford Stephens Sweat Thomas Whitfield and Williams.
Historically, the Apalachicola River Indian Community of Indians lived predominately in several small settlements at Scott Town in Jackson County, Scotts Ferry in southern Calhoun County, and Woods across the Apalachicola River in Liberty County, and Mt Zion in Holmes County. These communities were similar to many of the Indian settlements in the Carolinas and most of the ancestors of the Indian people in the Florida settlements migrated to the panhandle originally came from Union and Sumter Counties in South Carolina and Robeson County in North Carolina, during in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
These settlements faced persecution under the racial miscegenation laws of the Jim Crow Era, a situation which would last until the desegregation of American society a century later. The people of these communities would constantly have to fight prejudiced local authorities and institutional racism to maintain their identities, as documented in the hundreds of archival records which identify these persons race as "Indian", via dozens of court cases and school board records, military enlistments, and tax records. Formally established in 2003 as a 501c3, the Apalachicola River Community of Indians Tribal Organization (ARCITO) was created to provide services for the Florida panhandle area Indian communities. ARCITO’s Annual Indian Community Conference (ARCITO-AICC), began in 1996, is a free open to the public event which focuses on gathering information on the needs of the Native American population as well as surrounding communities and devising, implementing, and executing responses to these.
ARCITO Tribal Chairman S. Pony Hill; [email protected] (850) 597-5034
ARCITO Vice Chairman H.C. Scott Sewell [email protected] (850) 254-5426
|Posted by Hodalee Scott Sewell on July 14, 2017 at 12:35 AM||comments (0)|
Local Native American Author to Visit Calhoun County Library August 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th 2017
H.C. Scott Sewell will be presenting on the legal and social history of the areas Native American communities and signing books he has authored, as well as assisting those seeking to document their Indian ancestry from the area, during the month of August on Monday nights from 530 to 730 pm central time at the Blountstown Library. He has written several books on subjects related to the areas rich Native American heritage and currently serves as the Vice-Chairman of the Apalachicola River Community of Indians Tribal Organization (ARCITO). His works are available on Amazon, and local libraries and historical societies and some will be available at the events.
The Indians of North Florida: From Carolina to Florida, the Story of the Survival of a Distinct American Indian Community (2011) in the early 1800s, dozens of Siouan-speaking Cheraw families, including Catawbas and Lumbee’s, fled war and oppression in the Carolinas and migrated to Florida, just as native Apalachicola Creeks were migrating away. Being neither Black nor White, the Cheraw descendants were persecuted by the harsh “racial” dichotomy of the Jim Crow era and almost forgot their proud heritage. Today they have rediscovered their past. This is their story.
Belles of the Creek Nation (2015) Belles of The Creek Nation is an innovative and modern perspective investigating the problematic linkages between preservation of cultural heritage, maintaining cultural diversity, defining and establishing cultural citizenship, and ancient tribal rite of passage. It follows the descendants of the Hill family in both Florida and Oklahoma.
The Cherokee Paradox: Unexpected Ancestry at the Crossroads of Identity and Genetics (2016) Genetics has brought to light in stunning detail the origins, continual migrations, and intermixture of humanity as how our ancestors spread across the planet. The complexity of this story has taken many by surprise.
Indians of Alabama: Guide to the Indian Tribes of the Yellowhammer State (2016) Unknown too many outside of their small communities, there are still many Alabamians who identify as Native Americans and their tribal communities are thriving.
We Will Always Be Here: Native Peoples on Living and Thriving in the South (Anthology, 2016) The history of Native Americans in the U.S. South is a turbulent one, rife with conflict and inequality. This anthology gives voice to their struggle and triumph.
Redbone Chronicles (Anthology, 2016) the history, genealogy and origins of the people known as Redbone, the Redbone Heritage Foundation began publishing a collection of conference presentations, articles and essays and genealogies in the Redbone Chronicles, edited by Don C. Marler and Gary "Mishiho" Gabehart We have combined those here and updated the January 2007 issues.
The author is a member of the Apalachicola River Community of Indians Tribal Organization (ARCITO), a local tribal organization that works for the political, social, and legal welfare of the Indian people across the panhandle, and is focused on documenting historic archival research into the tribe’s history, increasing economic development, fostering the communities unique cultural identity, and providing venues for communication, awareness, and growth of tribal members and the public alike. Historically, the Apalachicola River Community of Indians lived 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. Apalachicola River Community of Indians people were in the past sometimes known as “Dominickers”, and historically maintained a “third race” status during segregation between the 2 dominant races.
The Apalachicola River Community of Indians 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.
For more information on the author as well as the tribe’s Apalachicola River Community of Indians history co to dominickerindians.org, or contact H. C. Scott Sewell at (850) 254-5426 or at [email protected]
|Posted by Hodalee Scott Sewell on July 14, 2017 at 12:35 AM||comments (0)|
Baker Block Museum
Corner of Hwy 189 & State Rd. 4. Baker, FL. 32526
Annual Heritage Festival
|Posted by Hodalee Scott Sewell on June 20, 2017 at 6:25 PM||comments (0)|
origins of the holmes county Indians
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
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
#321: Hall, Ann Catherine…..62……..”W”………………b. GA
#322: Thomas, Mary [Hall]…..38…….”W”……………….b. GA
#323: Bland, William……………...32…….”W”……………….b. 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
#208: Hall, James……..”W”……….23………….B. FL
#209: Thomas, Berry……..”Mu”………57…………..b. GA
Christian….”Mu”……...16 (grand-daug) FL
Hall, Benjamin……...”W”……….21 (step-son)..…FL
#210: Forehand, Sarah (Thomas)…..”Mu”…….52……………b. GA
#211: Bland, William (Thomas)………..”W”……..34……………….b. FL
Franklin (Nephew)………... “Mu”…….13………………FL…nephew
1885 Holmes County census:
#531…..Hall, James M………”W”…..25
#533…….Bland, Martha (Thomas)…………”Mu”…..44
Forehand, Sarah (Thomas)….……”Mu”….55….sister [widow of Richard Forehand]
World War One Civil Enlistment of Elijah Simmons (son of Henry Simmons & Mary Cooley).
Race is listed as “Indian.”
Allan Colley Sr (born circa 1810) ~m~ Rhojo (born circa 1810)
A white man an Indian woman
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
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
Richard Forehand (born 1852 FL) ~m~ Sarah Thomas (born 1826 Georgia)
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)
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)
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
Joseph Hall (born 1710 Norfolk, Virginia) ~m~ Margaret (Peggy) (born circa 1750 Hertford Co, NC)
A mixed white/Powhattan Indian a Meherrin Indian woman.
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.
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
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)
++++ Moved to Baker County, Georgia circa 1839 ++++
++++ Moved to Holmes County, Florida circa 1843 ++++
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)
Henry Simmons (born 1844 Alabama) ~m~ Mary Catherine Cooley (born 1863 Florida)
Full-blooded Indian 1/4 Indian
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
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 ++++
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)
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)
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
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)
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)
|Posted by Hodalee Scott Sewell on June 20, 2017 at 6:20 PM||comments (0)|
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]
|Posted by Hodalee Scott Sewell on June 16, 2016 at 12:05 AM||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)
|Posted by Hodalee Scott Sewell on June 14, 2016 at 2:15 PM||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.
|Posted by Hodalee Scott Sewell on May 25, 2016 at 3:55 PM||comments (0)|
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?