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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 4

womanwriterblog

Continue – The Chickasaw

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’s grandparents died before reaching Arkansas …

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There were many fires at night when they were allowed to stop; all Nations were represented, the most were the Cherokee.  Ma was told that many young men spoke of escaping, Hawk agreed with them.  She remembered her father saying that he had rather be dead than living like animals herded into circles by the soldiers.  One of the Over-Town elders a Shaman, “married” them, giving them many spiritual blessings.  Hawk would not leave without Sipsee.  During the darkness of night, they slipped away; Hawk did not tell Sipsee, he knew that their parents would pay for their freedom with their own lives.

 

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.

 

 

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

Post Writer – Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree
Great granddaughter

 

 

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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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