By Clara Sue Kidwell
The present-day Choctaw groups in valuable Mississippi are a tribute to the power of the Indian humans either to evolve to new occasions and to discover safe haven opposed to the surface international via their specialty. Clara Sue Kidwell, whose great-great-grandparents migrated from Mississippi to Indian Territory alongside the path of Tears in 1830, the following tells the tale of these Choctaws who selected to not circulate yet to stick in the back of in Mississippi.As Kidwell indicates, their tale is heavily interwoven with that of the missionaries who tested the 1st missions within the sector in 1818. whereas the U.S. govt sought to “civilize” Indians throughout the service provider of Christianity, many Choctaw tribal leaders in flip demanded schooling from Christian missionaries. The missionaries allied themselves with those leaders, usually mixed-bloods; in so doing, the alienated themselves from the full-blood components of the tribe and hence did not in achieving frequent Christian conversion and schooling. Their failure contributed to the starting to be arguments in Congress and by way of Mississippi electorate that the Choctaws will be flow to the West and their territory opened to white settlement.The missionaries did identify literacy one of the Choctaws, even if, with ironic effects. even if the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in 1830 pressured the Choctaws to maneuver west, its fourteenth article only if those that desired to stay in Mississippi may possibly declare land as participants and remain within the country as inner most voters. The claims have been mostly denied, and those that remained have been frequently pushed from their lands via white dealers, but the Choctaws maintained their groups by means of clustering round the few males who did get identify to lands, via holding conventional customs, and through carrying on with to talk the Choctaw language. Now Christian missionaries provided the Indian groups a motor vehicle for survival instead of assimilation.
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Additional info for Choctaws and Missionaries in Mississippi, 1818-1918
Schermerhorn and Samuel J. Mills (one of the founders of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions) visited those remote parts in 181314 and reported back to the society at its annual meeting on May 26, 1814. They had found the southeastern Indians spinning, weaving and knitting, and raising "great quantities of corn" and large numbers of "domestick animals'' (cattle, horses, pigs, and poultry). " They were leaving their villages and giving up the hunting life. The Choctaw agent Silas Dinsmore had assured Schermerhorn that the Indians were "panting for instruction" and had "earnestly requested" schools.
William Ketcham and Victor Locke 158 Maps 1. Choctaw Villages, Nineteenth Century 16 2. Choctaw District Divisions and Land Cessions, 1830 110 3. American Board of Missions and Schools, 18181830 125 4. Choctaw Lands, 1830 143 5. Contemporary Choctaw Reservation Communities 197 Page ix Preface In 1931, John Swanton declared: "The Aboriginal Choctaw seem to have enjoyed the enviable position of being 'just folks,' uncontaminated with the idea that they existed for the sake of a political, religious, or military organization....
For many, it meant a change of traditional roles. Men became herders (although the cattle generally ran semiwild in the woods), and women became spinners and weavers. Deer were increasingly scarce under the pressure of hunting for trade, and cloth replaced deerskins for clothing. The eastern areas of Choctaw territory were abandoned because of warfare with the Creeks and the decline of deer populations. The Scottish firm of Panton Leslie, influential among tribes throughout the Southeast, brought in new goods for the Indian trade, and Indians learned the meaning of debt.