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The Chickasaw – Part 8

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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…

Story Resources:

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

https://www.amazon.com/Honeysuckle-Memories-Ann-Johnson-murphree/dp/150029070X/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8/

https://www.amazon.com/Asterial-Thoughts-Journey-into-Thought/dp/1540862356/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

https://www.amazon.com/Rutted-Roads-Collections-Ann-Johnson-Murphree/dp/1532909365/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF81

https://www.amazon.com/Journey-into-Art-Ann-Johnson-Murphree/dp/1500502960/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

https://www.amazon.com/Sachet-Poetry-Adoration-Aspirations-Asylums/dp/1500483354/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Voices-Ann-Johnson-Murphree/dp/1500426709/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

https://www.amazon.com/Echoing-Images-Soul-Journey-into/dp/1500366811/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

https://www.amazon.com/Reflections-Poetry-Ann-Johnson-Murphree/dp/1500168645/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

 

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The Chickasaw – Part 7

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The Chickasaw – Part 7

Sipsee took hold of the horse carrying Hawk’s body and started the sorrowful procession deep into the forest.  The Indian families followed their song of death floated into the wind that was shaking the leaves and bending small branches.  They buried Hawk in the forest he loved.

Sipsee decided that she had to leave as quickly as possible, the logging cabin belonged to the Mill and they would want to hire another logger.  The Mill owner brought her a small wagon and she loaded it with the few belongings that they would need.  She gave horses to Hawks’ closest friends and hitched two of them up to the wagon.  Placing Jane on the seat, she pulled herself onto the wagon; Sipsee never looked back.  She took with her a letter of endorsement from the white woman that taught her English.  The letter was to be given to the woman’s sister farther down in Alabama Territory.  She promised Sipsee that she would find work there.

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Sipsee arrived in the late evening and was welcomed by all to Chadwick Manor; Beatrice Chadwick-Alboin was the owner with her husband Axial a chosen individual by her parents.  Sipsee was given a position serving the “Lady” of the house.  The “Master” kept commenting on Sipsee’ beauty; the Lady of the house chastised him and he walked away.  When she was given a tour of the house,  where she could or could not go, Sipsee thought the house would hold ten families.  Jane was also given a position; she would serve the only child they had, as would Sipsee in Jane’s absence.

After introductions to everyone in the house, Missus Chadwick called for the houseboy to show Sipsee where she and Jane would be living.  Both mother and daughter quickly discovered that they were to live in the Negro quarters.  Their lives and how they lived was not different than the slaves on Chadwick Manor other than they were free to come and go as they pleased.

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Sipsee thought often that this life was in many ways worse than the ones her family would be living on western lands; this life was witness to pain and sorrow.  Jane learned to live in a world free to practice the customs of her parents; she also learned the world of hate for both the Negro and the Indian people.

She would learn how to survive…

To be continued…

Authors Note:  I have tried to construct the stories about the Chickasaws’ told by Ma (my Great Grandmother), Aunt Vina and my daddy so that I may create a written legacy to share the lives of my ancestors with my readers and the general public.  Thank you for your support.  EAJM

Story Resources:

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

https://www.amazon.com/Honeysuckle-Memories-Ann-Johnson-murphree/dp/150029070X/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8/

https://www.amazon.com/Asterial-Thoughts-Journey-into-Thought/dp/1540862356/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

https://www.amazon.com/Rutted-Roads-Collections-Ann-Johnson-Murphree/dp/1532909365/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF81

https://www.amazon.com/Journey-into-Art-Ann-Johnson-Murphree/dp/1500502960/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

https://www.amazon.com/Sachet-Poetry-Adoration-Aspirations-Asylums/dp/1500483354/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Voices-Ann-Johnson-Murphree/dp/1500426709/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

https://www.amazon.com/Echoing-Images-Soul-Journey-into/dp/1500366811/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

https://www.amazon.com/Reflections-Poetry-Ann-Johnson-Murphree/dp/1500168645/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

The Chickasaw – Part 5

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The Chickasaw – Part 5

Hawk found a way to cross the Mississippi River into Northern Alabama.  They made their home on the Eastern side of Alabama.  They lived among a few Indians that were not forced to leave.  Hawk knew that if they did not live like the “white man” they would be forced to leave or killed.  Sipsee learned the language and would walk to the nearest settlement to work; they wanted to build a cabin.  Sipsee knew that they must change with the times, Hawk kept to himself and his own dreams.

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In 1848, Sipsee gave birth to a baby girl, the only child she and Hawk would ever have; she call her Jane and never gave her an Indian name.  It was Sipsee’s way of trying to go with the coming change in their lives.  This change did not mean that she would not teach her daughter to old customs just learn to survive.  Both Sipsee and Hawk learn to survive in their own ways.  He in the way of the land and playing the white man’s game to his advantage.

Once when Sipsee ventured into town and the general store’s proprietor ask her what was her name, she told him Sipsee.  He asks for her last name, she said “Over-Town”; they had tribe names, but no last name.  He misunderstood and called her Sipsee Overton.  Sipsee decided when dealing with the white man she would use the name Overton; it stayed that and continues in the descendants today.

 

To be continued…

Resource – 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.

Other Resources:

Granddaughter – Vina Evans-Quinn

Resource and Post Writer – Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree Great – granddaughter

BOOKS AT AMAZON.COM BY ELIZABETH ANN JOHNSON-MURPHREE

https://www.amazon.com/Honeysuckle-Memories-Ann-Johnson-murphree/dp/150029070X/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8/

https://www.amazon.com/Asterial-Thoughts-Journey-into-Thought/dp/1540862356/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

https://www.amazon.com/Rutted-Roads-Collections-Ann-Johnson-Murphree/dp/1532909365/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF81

https://www.amazon.com/Journey-into-Art-Ann-Johnson-Murphree/dp/1500502960/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

https://www.amazon.com/Sachet-Poetry-Adoration-Aspirations-Asylums/dp/1500483354/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Voices-Ann-Johnson-Murphree/dp/1500426709/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

https://www.amazon.com/Echoing-Images-Soul-Journey-into/dp/1500366811/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

https://www.amazon.com/Reflections-Poetry-Ann-Johnson-Murphree/dp/1500168645/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

 

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The Chickasaw – Part 3

womanwriterblog

I will continue the story of my great great- grand parents and of course…Ma.

“I am no longer Little Bird, my name is Hawk”.  This was to be the father of Jane Over-town “Ma”.

Hawk grew into a man that was respected by all, as his father one day he would hold a powerful place among his people.  He also was in love with a pleasing to the eye, Choctaw girl named Sipsee; she was named after the Cottonwood tree.  He knew that she loved him too.  They had known each other all their lives.  Hawk had watched her grown from a skinny weed into a beautiful exquisite flower.

All of their lives were changed with the removal of all Native Americans from their ancestral lands.  The grandparents were all gone, Hawk was glad that his grandfather did not live to see them removed from their home.  Hawk, his parents, Sipsee, and her parents packed what they could for survival and all herd together to a holding pen.  Hawk could see that all people of his ancestral blood as well as other tribes.

They all spoke softly among themselves about what was happening and of the strange land, they were taking them too.  What use to be a proud people, they were now faltering under degrading conditions. Many elders, young children and babies died as all were herded like cattle on a dusty path.   Many years later, this action by the white man against the Indians would be called “The Trail of Tears”.

Ma had not yet been born but her parents believed that what would have been her grandparents died before reaching the end of their journey…

 

Resource – 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

Post Writer – Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree
Great granddaughter

 

 

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The Chickasaw – Part 2

womanwriterblog

My last entry I wrote of a feeling of impatient irritation in reading “FAKE” or “REAL” news, that feeling continues however I have not had time to post; please excuse me; the mind or body did not cooperated these past few days .  My depression sometime has a life of its own that I cannot win.

I told you of my great-grandmother who was the “Keeper of the Memories” for the family.  Everyone called her “Ma”;   I spent many hours sitting next to her rocking chair just listening.  You read of her father Fosee, her grandfather and grandmother, all Native Americans living in Alabama Territory.

(Ma as the storyteller continues) However, Fosee like all of the boys in his vision could not wait to go on his Vision Quest.  Early one morning his father woke him it was time to find his own Totem.  At the edge of the forest (this would later be known as the Black Warrior Forest), he was shown a path that he must follow, yet, to find his own path in life.  Somewhere down that path, he would discover himself.

On that path he saw many signs of small animals, he found a bush with his favorite berries; quickly pushed his hunger out of his mind, he could not eat until he discovered his path in life.  Mid-day he came upon a clearing Fosee lay down in the tall yellow grass staring at the sky and watching the clouds drift by; he drifted off to sleep.  It was in that sleep he dreamed that his grandfather was with him; Fosee smiled when he looked at the leathery chiseled face with deep furrowed lines and the long white hair cascading around his strong shoulders.  Then he heard his grandfather calling his name, Fosee jumped from his warm bed of wild wheat and ran toward the river, he had much to do before dark.  Fosee carried rocks and cedar branches to the top of a large flat rock, the made a circle placing twigs in the circle, he used flints to light his fire and was soon fast asleep.

Fosee did not move from the flat rock where he drifted in and out of sleep both day and night, he was hungry; one day led to the next.  On the third day, he leaned over looking at the river below; then he thought that he heard his grandfather.  Then, he saw him, sitting across from him, the smoke stung his eyes and it was like a thick fog, but he could hear his grandfather talking to him, although his mouth never moved.  It was the spirit of his grandfather.

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On the fourth day came and this would be his last night on the rock, floating in and out of consciousness.   The eastern sky looked like the forest was on fire, the western sky a full moon seems to be dipping behind the cliffs that edged the river.  Suddenly, a Hawk with massive wings glided over the fire landing next to the circle of rocks.  The Hawk spread his wings pointing at one of the rocks saying, “This is where you life began”; then he spread his wing around the circle saying “This is where you life will end”.  There was one rock missing.  Fosee returned to the path, the Hawk followed him, and then swooped down landing on a fallen tree.  When he looked back to the path there stood his father and they returned without talking to meet his mother at the cooking fire.  He turned to the center yard saying, “I am no longer Little Bird, my name is Hawk”.

 

Resource – 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

Post Writer – Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree
Great granddaughter

 

 

 

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Looking at a blank page – Part 1

womanwriterblog

I am so drained by the actions of the President of the United States, all politicians, lobbyist, protesters, those who hate, destroy or wish to destroy history; the news media, you get the idea… I must return to my safe place within my mind to rest.  That place is the blank page before me where thoughts come alive and I remember the stories of my great-grandmother who was the “Keeper of the Memories” for the family.  Everyone called her “Ma”.

   She told me of Fosee, a descendant of many generations of warriors.  Born in a round birch bark dwelling in the circle of a Chickasaw Over Town Tribe in what would later become Eastern Mississippi. His father had given him the name Fosee; the meaning of that name was “Bird”.   The other boys teased him because of his tall skinny body; they would jeer at him and run away singing “Little Bird, Little Bird, fly away”.   So, he played alone, kicking around the Chukka Ball in the open yard in the middle of the town’s circle of dwellings; he hunted small animals.

   Fosse’s father held a place of importance in the tribe; he was a powerful warrior, a skilled hunter.  His mother was an exotic looking woman from a Choctaw Tribe in what would become Alabama Territory.  Her beauty and gentle nature were the reasons his father has chosen her to be his bride.  Fosee was their only child, living in the same dwelling with his parents and grandparents.

   He remembered all of his grandparents.  Yet. it was his Chickasaw grandfather that he loved most.  He remembered the elegant clothes and colorful beading sewn onto the soft deerskins by his grandmother.  His grandfather’s white hair flowed about his shoulders and when he would go to the river with him to bathe, Fosee could see the dark skin engraved with the scars of war. 

   Fosee would listen to the stories his grandfather told around the cooking fires, he would see his eyes soften and glisten when he talked of the loss of family and friends in battle.  Fosee was just a boy when all four of his grandparents died from a disease brought into many villages’ by the white man.

Fosee was my great-great-grandfather…   

Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree-Part 1- Fosee

Author’s Books:

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=ann+johnson-murphree&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Aann+johnson-murphree

 

 

 

 

 

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