The Chickasaw – Part 8
Sipsee and Jane thought life at Chadwick Manor was worse than they could have imagined witnessing pain and sorrow. They also learned to live in a world where freedom was recognized only by the color of one’s skin; they learned that the world they lived in showed hatred for both the Negro and the Indian people. The Indians were mostly free in many of the states that withdrew from the Union.
They would learn how to survive…
Jane had wonderful memories of her mother and father; she also had nightmares of seeing her father killed and of the Master of Chadwick coming to their one room shanty during the night. The sadness of moving from the forest onto land where she was surrounded by cotton, and living with her mother’s sadness, Jane knew that both she and her mother would need to learn a new way to survive.
As a favor to Sipsee, Mistress Chadwick-Alboin and Master Alboin allowed Jane to be schooled along with their daughter; Jane learned reading and writing, elegant manners. Her mother told her that an education was the only way she would escape from being an Indian; Sipsee wanted her only child to do extremely well in this new land, to be accepted in any social setting. Jane did want to learn the white man ways; she would never forget that she was the daughter of Hawk Over-Town.
Their home may have been a one room shanty in slave quarters, but it was home; Jane was a tall gangly girl that did not have the beauty of her mother, instead she was to bare the hard sculpted features of her father. She felt safe when she and her mother were roaming the woods collecting herbs and plants for medicine. Sipsee would teach Jane the ways of their people, the custom, the culture, they would grow strong and some day be more than slaves to rich landowners. Sipsee wanted to see the day when she and her daughter did not have to address these people as Missus and Master.
Then War came to Chadwick Manor…
The State of Alabama declared that it had seceded from the United States of America on January 11, 1861. Jane was thirteen-years-old; she had learned many things like gracefulness and proper manners; Sipsee had succeeded in keeping her daughter from the Master, now she had to worry about the soldiers both Union and Southern, neither respected women. It was during the beginning of the war that Sipsee found out about other Chickasaw’s living in the area; the Mistress of Chadwick sent them there to be safe, neither side Union or Southern bothered the Indians. When they arrived everyone greeted them, they were shown kindness; it would be their home until the War Between the States was over.
Jane right up to the end of her life would not talk about the War. She and her mother were happy when it ended; Jane was seventeen-years-old. She would only say that the greed of the white man would be their downfall. Sipsee and Jane remain in the Chickasaw village when the War ended.
It was there that Jane met Pap. He was a scout for the South, and Jane just became a teenager and was smitten by him. Sipsee did not care for him as he was twenty years older than Jane was; Sipsee hoped that he would not come back; Jane felt a sadness she could not explain.
To be continued…
Storyteller – Jane Over-Town “Overton” 1848-1954 at the age of 106 her mind was Like a steel trap, she never forgot anything, It was her body that was ready for death; she lay down for an afternoon nap and woke only to say goodbye to the grandson she raised, my father.
Grandson – Roy C. Johnson
Granddaughter – Vina Evans-Quinn
Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree Great – Granddaughter
BOOKS AT AMAZON.COM BY ELIZABETH ANN JOHNSON-MURPHREE