Emigration of some Catawba to Oklahoma (ancestry.com)Thread Information
vancehawkins1952 (View posts)
Posted: 23 Aug 2008 9:45AM
As many of yall know, I have long searched for records of an emigration of some Catawba to Oklahoma.
well the other day I was in hte Oklahoma Historical Society building next to the state Capital in Oklahoma City.
Also I have known from my study of Oklahoma History in school, that I reacll it saying that 69 tribes came to (or were indeginious to) Oklahoma. Since only 38 or 39 are federally recognized, I always wondered where the others went off to.
I was once contaced by a man who also said he'd heard some Catawba came here but all record of them was lost, and he wondered if I knew anythng about it. Well I have long searched and found nothing for years.
Anyhow, I found what I was looking for in the Oklahoma Historical Society.
Since the Melungeons are descended from relatives of the Catawba, I thought this would be an appropriate place to post this information.
The Catawba lost their lands about 1840 in South Carolina, having signed their lands away to the state of South Carolina in a treaty with that state. Samuel Scott, geandson of the famous Chief Haigler, signed away tribal lands expecting new land in North Carolina in exchange. In that treaty, they said that North Carolina would give them land to live on. Well, North Carolina refused. The people of both of the Carolinas cheated them, leaving the Catawba without a home. The North Carolina Cherokee agreed to take them in. Some of the Catawba went to Quallahtown, but didn't like living there and left, for all parts unknown. This is all backgroubnd to what I recently found. Remember the Cherokee "Trail of Tears" was in 1838 and 1839, so this was only months later.
Now the book I found was on the topic of the history behind all 69 of Oklahoma's tribes. There was a small section on the Catawba. The Catawba being only a minor tribe to arrive here, were alotted only a small portion of the book, unfortunately. Here is a direct quote from that book, published by University of Oklahoma Press, I believe the year it was published was 1951.
direct quote --
"The descendants of some of the Catawba who settled in the Choctaw Nation are now absorbed in Haskell and Leflore Counties. The descendants of some of those who settled in the Creek and Cherokee Nations have been reported living Southeast of Checotah in McIntosh County . . . They wre last enumeratred as a tribe in this area in 1896. Their total population in th Indian Territory being 132. The largest portion of these, 72, being in the Choctaw Nation, between the cities of Stigler and Spiro. . ."
end of direct quote --
it mentions 17 near Checotah in the Creek Nation, and 15 at Texanna in the Cherokee Nation. It also states 125 Catawba in 1896 were also recorded in Arkansas, principly in or near the towns of Greenwood and Barber. So in 1896 there were 257 KNOWN Catawba along the Oklahoma/Arkansas border. Mixed race people in Oklahoma and Arkansas often put down "White" as their race, so there were probably others.
It says in the 1820s the entire population of Catawba in South Carolina was 450, and by 1900 the entire populationin York County, South Carolina was just 100, so about the year 1896/1900 thre wre more recorded Catawba in Oklahoma and Arkansas than there were in South Carolina.
direct quote --
In October 1848, William Morrison, chief of a band of Catawba living at Quallahtown . . . addressed a letter to the Commsissioner of Indian affairs . . . asking to remove his people to Indian Territory . . . the peple expressed their prefrence for settlement among the Chickasaw, but the Chickasaw Nation took no action on the subject.
. . . In December of 1851, a party of Catawba reached Skullyville in the Choctaw Nation . . .
-- end of direct quote --
On november 9th, 1853 some were adopted into the Choctaw Nation, including the following surnames -- Morrison, Kleggo, Redhead, Heart, Ayers.
-- direct quote --
"the government never assigned the Catawba a definite location in Indian Territory".
-- end of direct quote. --
On the topic of the Catawba, the following was listed as suggested reading -- "The Catawba Indians of South Carolina [Bradford]; "54 Cong., 2 sess., Sen. Doc. No. 144"; "Last Trek of the Indians" [Grant Foreman]; Handbook of the Ameriacn Indians" [Hodge]; "Red Carolinians" [Milling]; Indians of the Southeastern U. S." [Swanton].
jeris20 (View posts)
Posted: 23 Jan 2009 7:54PM
The Western Catawba Indian Association petitioned the BIA in 1895 for some sort of financial recognition. They included a list of all 257 members. I have copies of this petition. There are differing views of this petition however, and none of the names on it seem to have much to do with the original Catawbas who went to Oklahoma. You can enter this name on google and find some online information from the Ft. Smith newspaper.
The original migration, and I have the list took place in the early 1850s and the Catawbas were officially adopted into the Choctaw tribe in 1853...They lived neared Scullyville, OK. I've always wanted to track this group down and see if they have any descendants.
If you do find any information. Please pass it on....I certainly don't know about the whole Melungeon thing...actually does anyone? but...I have tons of Catawba information. We've recently established a Native American Archive at our university, near the Catawba Reservation and I have an incredible amount of information on the Catawbas.
For further information ---
Re: Emigration of some Catawba to Oklahoma
vancehawkins1952 (View posts)
Posted: 24 Jan 2009 5:59AM
I'd love to see a record of that petition that you have! :)
I later went back to the Oklahoma Historic Society Building and was able to talk with one of their head historians about the book. She told me the author of the book was of Choctaw heritage, and that she was closely related to the person who came up with the name "Oklahoma" -- which is Choctaw for "People (Okla) Red (homa)". She would have known first hand of any Catawba who migrated into their lands. This is what I was told.
She (hte historian at the OHS) also said that "if this lady said it, it was true" and said if anyone would have known about what was going on in the Choctaw Nation in the later half of the 19th century she would have. Her book was a very detailed work, the only one of its kind, showing how all 69 tribes, both emigrant and indiginous -- we have here in Oklahoma, arrived here -- some names, locations, dates of their migrations, et cetera.
The head historian (or the one I talked with) said however, that the tribes were enumerated in 1896 and speculated that some of the Catawba were possibly mentioned in the triabl census of the Creek, Cherokee and Choctaw Nations. I then asked her about those mentioned in Arkansas approx half -- and she didn't know how they could have been enumerated, not living in one of the nations. They were in Checotah in the Creek Nation, Texanna in the Cherokee Nation (those 2 towns aren't 20 miles apart), to Stigler and Sporo in the Choctaw Nation (a little further east and just south of the Arkansas River where Checotah and Texanna are just to the North of the River), to Barber and Grenwood (just to the east of Spiro abdbarely in Arkansas at all, just south of Ft. Smith. SO they were clustered along the Arkansas River and on both sides of it.
I suspect the petition you mentioned was a main source that she used, as there are 257 names you say on the petition, and she said there were 257 Catawba in Oklahoma and Arkansas in 1896. She said she would contact me when she figured it out. I know she'd like to see that petition as well. She is an expert on the various Indian tribal rolls. Such a document NEEDS to be in our History Society records here! :)
I can forward you the two pages in her book where she mentions the Catawba migration to Oklahoma. A few sirnames were mentioned, chief amongst these Morrison, Kleggo, Redhead and others. These are the names of some adapted into the Choctaw Nation. One was mentioned as a prominent Creek.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
As for the Melungeons --
I think anyone who studies it for a year or 2 with an unbiassed mind will soon discover that they were NOT Cherokee (EVERY record where someone livng in the Melungeon regions who claimed Cherokee heritage on the Miller-Guion rolls was rejeced, and the reason for the rejection was obvious IF you read them), they were NOT Portuguese (there was NO recorded migration of Portuguese to Appalachia) or Turkish (ditto).
They were a tri-racially mixed group in SW Va and NE Tn -- my relative was the one who "probabaly" wrote the word "malungeon" as he was church clerk of the church where it was first used (Stoney Creek Primitive Baptist) and his father, Nevil Wayland Sr (1745-1806), emigrated from County Tipperary, Ireland where his father, Henry Wayland, was an official of the Church of Ireland -- protest branch of the Church of England in Ireland. The "De Wayland" surname first shows up in England after the Normans came in 1066. They would have been educated and would probably have known French and Latin. The word "malungeon" is 3rd person plural for "we mix" even in today's French language. He was saying " us mixed folks" when he used it! I suspect his mother was a melungeon Gibson, but can not prove it. I have taken an autosomal DNA test and it came back mostly Caucasian, but we also have American Indian and sub-Sahara African DNA. This we have proven. Also there were many Hugenuots (sp?) -- French Protestants -- in that region in early times as well.
One group of state recognized Piedmont Siouan (and perhaps more) used records of some folks in Ohio who were recorded as "Indian" on census records in Ohio -- to help their case for state recognition. Those Ohio "Indians" DID pass through and were recorded in the homelands of the Melungeons, living with in their communities in SW Va and NE Tn. There was a PhD paper written on this migration by a Dr. Carlson. His paper directly tied some known melungeon families Melungeons to the Piedmont Siouan tribes. So I think it is obvious that the Melungeons were a tri-racial isolate group, with Piedmont Siouan being the predominant Indian element, per the PhD thesis of Dr. Carlson. All other origins can be easily discredited.
Please email me, I'd like to know what you have about that Ft Smith Petition. The person who got me interested in researching the Catawba mentioned something about that petition, but I have never known where to get a copy of it, and I know after talking to them, that the people at the Oklahoma History Society on 23rd street (across the street from the state capital) are wondering about it as well. If they didn't come with the others after 1840 that is a mystery as well.
My ancestors livd in Leflore Co, Choctaw Nation as well, but in the 1870s. My g-g-grandparents David B Brown (1822-1865) and (Harriet Guess 1818-1886) married in 1841 near Memphis, but both re born further east not the Carolina's, altho David's mother was b. NC), and dissapear until about 1848 in Arkansas. By the time of the petition you mentioned they were living in the Chickasaw Nation. However according to the author, the Catawba asked to live in the Chickasaw Nation but they Chickasaw never acted on their request, so they went to the Choctaw Nation instead.
vancehawkins1952 (View posts)
Posted: 25 Jan 2009 1:01PM
I tried to attach the article I have to this post but couldn't do it. It mentions the names of William, Thomas, and Sarah Jane Morrison who were adopted into the Choctaw nation -- I also found "Sarah Jane Morrison" on a Choctaw roll somewhere. Perhaps it was the 1880 or 1896 census -- she was elderly so I am pretty sure it was the same person. It also says "living in the vicinity of Checotah in the 1880's was Judge LeBlanche, who married a Creek and was prominent in Creek tribal affairs. He was a prominent cattleman and became prominent in Creek tribal affairs." I am sorry, but these are the only names mentioned.
It also says "The descendants of some of the Catawba who settled in the Choctaw Nation are now absorbed into the Indian population of Haskill and Le Flore counties. The descendants of some of those who settled in th Creek and Cherokee Nations have been reported living southeast of Checotah in McIntosh County."