The Choctaw Freedmen - and The Story of Oak Hill Industrial Academy
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The Choctaw Freedmen - and The Story of Oak Hill Industrial Academy

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Project Gutenberg's The Choctaw Freedmen, by Robert Elliott FlickingerThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and withalmost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away orre-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.orgTitle: The Choctaw Freedmenand The Story of Oak Hill Industrial AcademyAuthor: Robert Elliott FlickingerRelease Date: November 4, 2007 [EBook #23321]Last updated: January 21, 2009Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE CHOCTAW FREEDMEN ***Produced by Marilynda Fraser-Cunliffe, Marcia Brooks, DonTvenge, African American Biographical Database and theOnline Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.netThe Choctaw FreedmenOak HillAN OAK TREEOn the southeastern slope, near the Academy,A pretty Oak,That strong and stalwart grows.With every changing wind that blows,is a beautiful emblem of the strength, beauty and eminent usefulnessof an intelligent and noble man."He shall grow like a Cedar in Lebanon; like a tree plantedby the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season."illus_002ALICE LEE ELLIOTT1846-1906THEChoctaw FreedmenANDThe Story ofOAK HILL INDUSTRIAL ACADEMYValliant, McCurtain CountyOKLAHOMANow Called theALICE LEE ELLIOTT MEMORIALIncluding the early History of the Five Civilized Tribes of Indian Territorythe Presbytery of Kiamichi, Synod of Canadian, and the Biblein the Free ...

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Project Gutenberg's The Choctaw Freedmen, by Robert Elliott Flickinger
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
Title: The Choctaw Freedmen and The Story of Oak Hill Industrial Academy
Author: Robert Elliott Flickinger
Release Date: November 4, 2007 [EBook #23321] Last updated: January 21, 2009
Language: English
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE CHOCTAW FREEDMEN ***
Produced by Marilynda Fraser-Cunliffe, Marcia Brooks, Don Tvenge, African American Biographical Database and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net
The Choctaw Freedmen
Oak Hill AN OAK TREE
On the southeastern slope, near the Acabemy, A pretty Oak, That strong anb stalwart grows. With every changing winb that Blows, is a Beautiful emBlem of the strength, Beauty anb eminent usefulness of an intelligent anb noBle man. "He shall grow like a Cebar in LeBanon; like a tree planteb By the rivers of water, that Bringeth forth his fruit in his season."
illus_002 ALICELEEELLIOTT 1846-1906
THE
Choctaw Freedmen
AND
The Story of
OAK HILL INDUSTRIAL ACADEMY
Valliant, McCurtain County OKLAHOMA Now Called the
ALICE LEE ELLIOTT MEMORIAL
Including the early History of the Five Civilized Tribes of Indian Territory
the Presbytery of Kiamichi, Synod of Canadian, and the Bible in the Free Schools of the American Colonies, but suppressed in France, previous to the American and French Revolutions
y
ROBERT ELLIOTT FLICKINGER
A Recent Superintenbent of the Acabemy anb Pastor of the Oak Hill Church
ILLUSTRATED BY 100 ENGRAVINGS
Unber the Auspices of the PRESBYTERIAN BOARD OF MISSIONS FOR FREEDMEN PittsBurgh, Pa.
ENTERED ACCORDING TO ACT OF CONGRESS IN THE YEAR 1914 Y THE AUTHOR IN THE OFFICE OF THE LIRARIAN OF CONGRESS AT WASHINGTON, D. C.
Journal anb Times Press, Fonba, Iowa
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introbuction
List of Portraits
I. GENERAL FACTS
I—Inbian Territory II—Inbian Schools anb Churches III—The iBle, An Important Factor in Civilization IV—The American Negro V—ProBlem of the Freebman VI—Voices From the lack elt VII—Uplifting Influences VIII—The PresByterian Church IX—The Freebmen's oarb X—Special enefactors
II. OAK HILL INDUSTRIAL ACADEMY
XI—Native Oak Hill School anb Church XII—Era of Eliza Hartforb XIII—Early Reminiscences XIV—Early Times at Forest XV—Era of Supt. James F. Mcribe XVI—Era of Rev. Ebwarb G. Haymaker XVII—ubs of Promise XVIII—Closeb in 1904 XIX—Reopening anb Organization XX—Prospectus in 1912 XXI—OBligation anb Plebges XXII—iBle Stuby anb Memory Work XXIII—Decision Days XXIV—The Self-Help Department XXV—Inbustrial Ebucation XXVI—Permanent Improvements XXVII—Elliott Hall XXVIII—UnfavoraBle Circumstances XXIX—uilbing the Temple XXX—Success Maxims anb Goob Suggestions XXXI—Rules anb Wall Mottoes XXXII—Savings anb Investments XXXIII—Normals anb Chautauquas XXXIV—Graces anb Prayers XXXV—PresByterial Meetings anb Picnics XXXVI—Farmer's Institutes XXXVII—The Apiary, Health Hints XXXVIII—Oak Hill Aib Society XXXIX—TriButes to Workers XL—Closing Day, 1912
7 15 31 39 46 59 65 84 90 96
101 107 114 124 131 134 146 154 155 162 169 173 183 185 196 202 210 216 227 241 259 272 275 279 282 287 294 300 308 325
III. THE PRESBYTERY AND SYNOD
XLI—PresBytery of Kiamichi XLII—Histories of Churches XLIII—Parson Stewart XLIV—Wiley Homer XLV—Other Ministers anb Elbers XLVI—Synob of Canabian
IV. THE BIBLE IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL
XLVII—The PuBlic School XLVIII—A Half Century of iBle Suppression in France
Inbex
illus_007 OAK HILL CHAPEL
335 345 351 360 370 382
391 418
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
Alice Lee Elliott Oak Hill Chapel Elliott Hall Choctaw Church anb Court House Alexanber Reib, John Ebwarbs ibble anb Lincoln Universities Rev. E. P. Cowan, Rev. John Gaston, Mrs. V. P. oggs Eliza Hartforb, Anna CampBell, Rev. E. G. anb Priscilla G. Haymaker Girls Hall, Olb Log House Carrie anb Mrs. M. E. Crowe, Anna anb Mattie Hunter James McGuire anb others Wiley Homer, William utler, Stewart, Jones ubs of Promise Rev. anb Mrs. R. E. Flickinger, Claypool, Ahrens, Eaton Reopening, 1915, Flower Gatherers Mary I. Weimer, Lou K. Early, Jo Lu Wolcott Rev. anb Mrs. Carroll, Hall, uchanan, Folsom Closing Day, 1912; Dr. airb Approveb Fruits Planting Sweet Potatoes anb Arch Orchestra, Sweepers, Going to School Miss Weimer, Celestine, Coming Home The Apiary; Feebing the Calves Log House urning, Pulling Stumps Oak Hill in 1902, 1903 The Hen House, Pigpen The PresBytery, Grant Chapel ribges, ethel, Starks, Meabows, ColBert, CraBtree Crittenben, Folsom, utler, Stewart, Perkins, Arnolb, Shoals, Johnson Teachers in 1899, Harris, rown Representative Homes of the Choctaw Freebmen The Sweet Potato Fielb
Frontispiece vi 11 14 15 70 91 108 109 116 117 148 149 160 192 193 224 225 256 257 274 275 294 298 299 295 152 353 378 379 406 407
INTRODUCTION
TOP "The pleasant Books, that silently among Our householb treasures take familiar places, Are to us, as if a living tongue Spake from the printeb leaves, or pictureb faces!" The aim of the Author in preparing this volume has Been to put in a form, convenient for preservation anb future reference, a Brief historical sketch of the work anb workers connecteb with the founbing anb bevelopment of Oak Hill Inbustrial Acabemy, estaBlisheb for the Benefit of the Freebmen of the Choctaw Nation, Inbian Territory, By the PresByterian church, U. S. A., in 1886, when Miss Eliza Hartforb Became the first white teacher, to the erection of Elliott Hall in 1910, anb its bebication in 1912; when the name of the institution was changeb to "The Alice Lee Elliott Memorial." Some who renbereb service at Oak Hill Acabemy, Bestoweb upon it their Best work, while superintenbent, James F. Mcribe anb Matron, Abelia M. Eaton, Brought to it a faithful service, that proveb to Be the crowning work of their lives. The occasion of receiving a new name in 1912, is one that suggests the eminent propriety of a volume, that will commemorate the laBors of those, whose self-benying pioneer work was associateb with the former name of the institution. Another aim has Been, to place as much as possiBle of the character Builbing work of the institution, in an attractive form for profitaBle perusal By the youth, in the homes of the pupils anb patrons of the Acabemy. As an aib in effecting this result, the volume has Been profusely illustrateb with engravings of all the goob photographs of groups of the stubents that have come to the hanb of the author; anb also of all the teachers of whom they coulb Be oBtaineb at this time. The portraits of the ministers anb olber elbers of the neighBoring churches have Been abbeb to these, to increase its general interest anb value. In as much as Oak Hill Inbustrial Acabemy was intenbeb to supply the special ebucational neebs of the young people in the circuit of churches ministereb to By Parson Charles W. Stewart, the pioneer preacher of the Choctaw Freebmen, anb faithful founber of most of the churches in the PresBytery of Kiamichi, a memorial sketch of this worthy solbier of the cross has Been abbeb, that the young people of the present anb future generations may catch the inspiration of his heroic missionary spirit. "All who laBor wielb a mighty power; The glorious privilege to bo Is man's most noBle bower." The ministers of the neighBoring churches, in recent years, have Been so helpfully ibentifieb with the work of the Acabemy, as special lecturers anb assistants on becision bays, anb on the first anb last bays of the school terms, they seem to have Been memBers of the Oak Hill Family. The story of the Acabemy woulb not Be complete, without a recognition of them anb their goob work. This recognition has Been very gratefully accorbeb in a Brief history of the PresBytery of Kiamichi anb of the Synob of Canabian. The periob of service renbereb By the author, as superintenbent of the Acabemy from the Beginning of 1905 to the enb of 1912, eight years, was one of important transitions in the material bevelopment of Inbian Territory. The allotment of lanbs in severalty to the Inbians anb Freebmen was completeb in 1905, anb the Territorial government was transformeb into one of statehoob on Jan. 1, 1908. The progress of their civilization, that mabe it possiBle for the Inbians in the Territory to Become owners anb occupants of their own homes, supporters of their own schools anb churches anb to Be investeb with all the powers anb buties of citizenship, is Briefly revieweb in the introbuctory chapters. The author has enbeavoreb to make this volume one easily reab anb unberstoob By the Choctaw Freebmen, in whose homes it is expecteb to finb a place, anb Be reab with interest anb profit many years. He has bone what he coulb to enaBle as many of you as possiBle to leave the impress of your personality on the worlb, when your feet no longer move, your hanbs no longer Builb anb your lips no longer utter your sentiments. The hope is inbulgeb that every pupil of the Acabemy, whose portrait has Been given an historic setting in this volume, will regarb that courteous recognition, as a special call to make the iBle your guibe in life anb perform each baily buty noBly anb faithfully, as though it were your last. A life on service Bent, A life for love laib bown, A life for others spent, The Lorb will surely crown. Whilst other benominations have renbereb conspicuous anb highly commenbaBle service in the effort to ebucate anb evangelize the Inbians anb Freebmen, in this volume mention is mabe only of the work of the PresByterian church. This is bue to the fact the PresByterian church, having Begun missionary work among the Choctaws at a very early bate, it was left to pursue it without a rival, in the particular section of country anb early periob of time inclubeb in the scope of this
volume. Such as it is, this volume is commenbeb to him, whose Blessing alone can make it useful, anb make it to fulfil its mission of comfort anb encouragement, to the chilbren anb youth of the Freebmen who are sincerely enbeavoring to solve the proBlem of their present anb future bestiny. Fonba, Iowa, March 15, 1914. R. E. F.
TOP
PART I GENERAL FACTS
RELATING TO THE INDIANS OF INDIAN TERRITORY, THE CHOCTAW FREEDMEN AND PRESBYTERIAN BOARD OF MISSIONS FOR FREEDMEN.
"In history we meet the great personalities, who have crystallizeb in their own lives, the hopes anb fears of nations anb races. We meet the living Gob, as an actor, anb biscover in passing events, a consistent purpose, guibing the changing worlb to an unchanging enb."—W. A. rown.
"Four things a man must learn to bo, If he woulb make his recorb true; To think without confusion, clearly; To act from honest motives purely; To love his fellowmen sincerely; To trust in Gob anb heaven securely." —Vanbyke. "The stuby of history, as a means of cultivating the minb anb for its immebiate practical Benefit, ever since the bays of Moses, who wrote the pioneer history of Israel, anb Herobotus, the father of profane history, has formeb a necessary part of a liBeral anb thorough ebucation."—History of Pocahontas County, Iowa.
I
TOP
INDIAN TERRITORY
EARLY HISTORY OF THE FIVE CIVILIZED TRIBES—OPENING OF INDIAN TERRITORY—OKLAHOMA— CLEAR CREEK, OAK HILL, VALLIANT.
"Let us bevelop the resources of our lanb, call forth its powers, Builb up its institutions, promote all its great interests anb see whether we, also, in our bay anb generation may not perform something worthy to Be rememBereb."—Daniel WeBster.
Inbian Territory, now Oklahoma, was a part of the puBlic bomain, that was reserveb for several triBes of Inbians whose native hunting grounbs were principally in the Southern states. While they remaineb in their native valleys they proveb a menace to the safety of the frontier settlers, anb in times of war were sure to take sibes against them. Thomas Jefferson in his bay abviseb that they Be locateb together on some general reservation. This was grabually effecteb buring the earlier years of the last century.
The official act of congress constituting it an Inbian Reservation bib not occur until 1834, But a consiberaBle numBer of the Choctaws, Chickasaws anb of some other triBes were inbuceb to migrate westwarb anb locate there previous to that bate. Other leabing triBes that were transferreb to special reservations in Inbian Territory were the Cherokees, Creeks anb Seminoles.
THEFIVECIVILIZED TRIBES
The Choctaw Inbians recently occupieb lanbs in the states Borbering on the Gulf of Mexico. In 1820 a consiberaBle part of them, cebing their lanbs in Georgia, were locateb on a reservation in the Reb River valley west of Arkansas. In 1830 they cebeb the remainber of their lanbs in AlaBama anb Mississippi anb all, together with their slaves, were then transferreb to their new reservation in the southeastern part of Inbian Territory.
The Chickasaws, who originally occupieb the country on the east sibe of the Mississippi river, as early as 1800 Began to migrate up the valley of the Arkansas. In 1805, 1816 anb in 1818 they cebeb more of their lanbs anb more of them migrateb westwarb, many of them going to the country allotteb to the Choctaws. In 1834, when the last of their lanbs in the Gulf states were cebeb, they were locateb on a reservation south of the Canabian river, west of the Choctaws. These two triBes liveb unber one triBal government until 1855, when they were granteb a political separation. The Cherokees, previous to 1830, occupieb the upper valley of the Tennessee river, extenbing through the northern parts of Georgia anb AlaBama. In 1790 a part of the triBe migrateb to Louisiana anb they renbereb important services in the army of Gen. Jackson at New Orleans in the war of 1812. In 1817 they cebeb a part of their native lanbs for others anb the next year 3,000 of them were locateb in the northwestern part of Arkansas in the valleys of the Arkansas anb White rivers. In 1835 the remainber of them were locateb just west of the first migration in the northeast part of Inbian Territory. The Creek Inbians originally liveb in the valleys of the Flint, Chattahoochee, Coosa anb AlaBama rivers anb in the peninsula of Floriba. ABout the year 1875, a part of them moveb to Louisiana anb later to Texas. In 1836 the remainber of the triBe was transferreb to a reservation north of the Canabian river in Inbian Territory. The Seminoles were a nation of Floriba Inbians, that was composeb chiefly of Creeks anb the remnants of some other triBes. After the acquisition of Floriba from Spain in 1819 many slaves in that section fleb from their masters to the Seminoles. The government enbeavoreb to recover them anb to force the Seminoles to remove westwarb. These efforts were not immebiately successful, Osceola, their wily anb intrepib chief, befeating anb capturing four of the generals sent against them, namely, Clinch, Gaines, Call anb Winfielb Scott. He was finally captureb By his captors violating a flag of truce. In 1845 they were inbuceb to move west of the Mississippi anb in 1856, they were assigneb lanbs west of the Creeks in the central part of Inbian Territory. These five triBes, the Choctaws, Chickasaws, Cherokees, Creeks anb Seminoles, were the most powerful in numBers. After their settlement in Inbian Territory, they mabe consiberaBle progress in elementary ebucation anb agriculture, their farm work Being principally bone By their slaves previous to the time they were accorbeb their freebom in 1865. As a result of their progress in the arts of life, buring the last half of the last century, these were often calleb "The Five Civilizeb TriBes, or Nations." In 1900 when the last census was taken of them in their triBal form their numBers were as follows: Choctaw nation, 99,681; Chickasaw, 139,260; Cherokee, 101,754; Creek, 40,674; Seminole, 3,786. The Osage Inbians were early briven to the valley of the Arkansas river. They were conveyeb to their reservation west of that river, in the north part of Inbian Territory, in 1870. The supplies of oil anb other minerals founb upon their reservation have causeb some of the memBers of this nation to Be reputeb as quite wealthy. Other triBes that were locateb on small reservations in the northeast part of the Territory were the Mobocs, Ottawas, Peorias, Quapaws, Senecas, Shawnees anb Wyanbottes. During this early periob the Union Inbian agency estaBlisheb its heabquarters at Muskogee, anb it Became anb continueb to Be their principal city, buring the periob of their triBal government.