This mirror site first created 5 May, 1998. Minor reformatting for HTML access.
The information here was acquired from Jim Lockhart, who scanned it in from a photocopy of the pamphlet.
Since I have not yet documented the authorship of this pamphlet, and since I have not yet double checked its claims, I do not know how accurate it may be. I do know that reading it shows some inconsistancies and confusing points, and some places where it disagrees with other documents I have read.
Such is the nature of genealogy research.
Table of contents:
|1805||Born in East Tennessee|
|1815||Emigrated to Spadra River in Arkansas|
|1825||Moved to Fort Gibson|
|*||1829||Met Sam Houston at Fort Gibson|
|*||1830||Awarded contract for supplying corn|
|1832||Marked wagon trail with Robert Bean|
|1833||Moved to Edward's Store|
|Interpreter for U. S. Army|
|*||1834||Chisholm and Rogers at council in Fort Gibson|
|*||1834||Accompanied Dragoon Expedition to Wichita Mountains|
|1836||Guided party to Little Arkansas|
|Married Eliza Edwards|
|1837||William E. Chisholm born|
|1839||Bought negro boy in Texas|
|1841||Sold negro boy to Lucinda Edwards|
|1843||Treaty on Tehuacana Creek, Texas|
|1844||Visited Fannin County, Texas|
|Interpreter at Council Grove, Texas|
|1846||Eliza Edwards dies|
|Treaty of U. S. on Tehuacana Creek|
|1847||Marries Sahkahkee McQueen|
|1848||Traded on the Brazos River in Texas|
|Aunt Jennie born|
|1849||Ransomed a Mexican boy and girl|
|1850||Council on the Concho River, Texas|
|1858||Established trading post on Chouteau Creek, Cleveland County|
|Established trading post at Council Grove in Oklahoma County|
|1860||Wm. E. Chisholm marries Hester Butler|
|1861||Conducts Exodus to Arkansas River, Kansas|
|Accompanies Creek Refugee Exodus to LeRoy, Kansas|
Employed by Albert Pike, Confederate emissary among tribes on Washita
|*||1862-65||On Arkansas River, Kansas|
|*||1863||William E. Chisholm marries Julia Ann McLish|
|1865||Marks Chisholm Trail|
|Present as negotiator and interpreter at peace council on the Little Arkansas|
|1867||Salt Springs in Blaine County|
|Present as negotiator and interpreter, Medicine Lodge Peace Council Trading Camp, on N. Canadian, near site of Watonga|
|*||1868||Dies March 4th [of food poisoning] Jesse Chisholm|
IN 1914 WILLIAM GARNETT CHISOLM published a book of 95 pages on the "Chisolm Genealogy." After a long search the writer secured a copy of this book and examined it carefully. A hundred and fifty individuals are mentioned in the index under "Chisolm" and only twenty-four under "Chisholm." A careful examination fails to find any reference to John Chisholm, the Soldier of Fortune. However, the difference in spelling amounts to little due to vagaries of taste and the habit of changing historic names without reason. In the early record we find de Cheseolm, Chisholme, Chisolm, and Chisholm.
This is not a family history and no attempt will be made to consider the vagaries in spelling. It is significant that George Edings Chisolm of Morriston, New Jersey, contemplates resuming the original spelling of his name as it occurs in Scotland-that is "Chisholm." (See Chisolm Genealogy, page 50.)
There was published in Scotland a "History of Chisholm" by Alexander MacKenzie. However this book does not reach Knoxville, Tennessee, and is of little value for the purpose of this little brochure.
In my opinion the Chisholms and Chisolms are all one kin and trace their origin back through South Carolina and then to the Highlands of Scotland.
However, I shall start with justice of the Peace John Chisholm, who built the old CHISHOI,M TAVERN in Knoxville in 1792. For my purpose I shall number him number one (1) . The reason for this is twofold, first, I have failed to connect him on to the South Carolina Chisholms by authentic documents; and, second, he is the first of record west of the Smoky Mountains, that turbulent "territory south of the Ohio."
This is not the story of a cattle trail or a trading expedition, but a chase after the Chisholm family. The trek of the Chisholms travels a zigzag route. It started in Scotland, landed in South Carolina before the Revolutionary War, scattered over the old South Carolina and then joined the great trek to the west and northwest through the mountain passage into that maelstrom of pioneers, backwoodsmen, with Decherd rifles, Cherokees, Shawnees, patriots, pathfinders, heroic men, heroic women, Indian massacres, murders, intermarriages with the Cherokees, and statecraft that created the Commonwealth of Franklin and founded the State of Tennessee.
East Tennessee had a stormy history. It went through several forms of government -the Watauga Organization, later the State of Franklin, a Territory of the United States, and still later in 1796 the State of Tennessee.
Into this cauldron came John Chisholm from South Carolina about the time the national Declaration of Independence was written. On his arrival he found the whole territory of East Tennessee under the jurisdiction of North Carolina. The first historic reference to him is in the records of Washington County in 1778 on February 23. He was there enrolled as one of the justices of the county. Washington County at this time included the whole State of Tennessee; there was only one county and Jonesboro was the capital and county seat. The justices came from different parts of the county. Later John Chisholm became a justice in Knox County after it was created.
It is reasonable to conclude that his home was at or near the present town of Knoxville, which at this time, 1778, could not have consisted of more than a dozen houses. These justices met in an official capacity on February 23, 1778, as the first organized government in Tennessee, west of the Unaka Mountains. Settlers had been streaming in through the valleys and through the gaps in the mountains.
Eighteen years before in 1760, Daniel Boone passed within eight miles of Jonesboro and camped on what is now known as Boone Creek, a tributary of the Watauga. Here he killed a bear, and on the bark of a leaning beech tree he carved a record of this achievement. He camped here several days. This beech tree was northeast of Jonesboro on the road from Jonesboro to Blountville. History has preserved the words and spelling of this inscription on the tree to the effect that "D. Boone cilled a bar here in 1769." It might be remarked that while Boone was not an accurate speller, he was certainly an accurate shooter. This tree was known as the old Daniel Boone tree and was about eight miles northeast of Jonesboro and five miles northwest of Johnson City. It was blown down a few years ago, but a local organization has preserved some of the fragments.
One of the landmarks of Knoxville, and one of the landmarks of East Tennessee is the Chisholm Tavern that John Chisholm built in 1792 on the banks of the river in Knoxville. It is standing there today grim, solitary, and rapidly going into decay. It is a pity that some philanthropist of Knoxville or East Tennessee does not buy it and restore it to its pristine beauty and keep it as a monument to the pioneer men and women of East Tennessee.
In this tavern of a peculiar style of architecture there met Andrew Jackson, the District Attorney of East Tennessee, and Governor Blount. Many famous men have been guests in this tavern at different times. John Chisholm spent little time at home, but the tavern was conducted by his pioneer wife, "Patsy," who was at home in this new country. She could run the business of the hotel and did not need Captain John, her husband, to help her. She was always ready with good food and had a welcome for all guests, and tradition says the wayfarer was always eager to reach Knoxville to stop at the Chisholm Tavern and partake of the bountiful repast arranged by the efficient Patsy Chisholm.
When the state was organized as a Territory, Governor Blount appointed John Sevier as General of Military Forces. On June 13, 1793, General Sevier was in Jonesboro, and Captain Chisholm sent him a letter by special messenger calling his attention to an atrocious killing of some Indians by the whites. The following is the letter from Captain Chisholm to General Sevier:
"That on yesterday morning, Captain John Beard, with a party of forty men, attacked the Indians at the Hanging Maw's, and killed twelve or fifteen on the spot, among whom were a number of the principal chiefs, called there by the express order of the President. Major Robert King, Daniel Carmichael, Joseph Sevier, and James Ore, were acting for the United States. This will bring on inevitable war; the Indians are making vigorous preparation for an assault on us. The frontier is in a most lamentable situation. Pray, sir, let us have your immediate presence, for our all depends upon your exertion.
"The Hanging Maw is wounded, his wife is killed, also Scantee, a Chickasaw 'chief, that was at the Maw's, Kittigeskie's daughter and other principal Indians. Two hundred Indians were in arms in thirty minutes. Beard and his party have fled, leaving the frontier unprotected. My dear sir, much depends on you-for your presence itself will be a balm to the suffering frontier."
John Chisholm was a factor in the affairs of East Tennessee for over twenty years. He seemed to have been well liked by the Indians, and he was used by the party in power on all occasions and was sent out on peaceful expeditions for the purpose of placating or quieting the tribes. He seemed to have been ready at a moment's notice to saddle his horse, kiss his good wife, Patsy, goodbye and make a forced ride into the outlying territories.
In the campaign of August, 1793, Captain Chisholm went with John Sevier, the military commander, when he made his campaign into the Southeast, even into Rome, Georgia.
In 1795, when a delegation of Indians made a journey to Philadelphia to see the President, they were conducted by Captain John Chisholm. In November, 1795, Captain Chisholm went to the Chickasaws "to use his influence and address to restore peace between the Chickasaws and the Creeks." Chisholm seems to have taken to this peace mission like a duck to water; he could talk their language and was a diplomat of the first order. He knew the Indians liked show, presents, feathers, ornaments, jewelry, and gala affairs. On these peace missions he would invite the chiefs to come to Knoxville and visit the Great Father, which at this time was the only real ruler that the Indians knew.
As an illustration of Chisholm's skill, a convention was called by Governor Blount to meet The Glass. Among these warlike chieftains was one known as The Bloody Fellow. He took great delight in the name and reveled in it. John Chisholm constituted himself master of ceremonies, organized a great procession of approach to the Governor, and he himself walked side by side with The Bloody Fellow while salutes were fired; no doubt whispering in his ear that he was the greatest chief that ever lived. He could flatter the Indians in their own language and, as master of ceremonies, John Chisholm saw that everything ran like clockwork. Captain Chisholm declared he never saw people enjoy a parade so much.
The country west of the Unaka Mountains had no postal facilities, and the only methods of communication was by word of mouth or by courier. By this method Captain John Chisholm sent word to John Sevier. John Chisholm sensed the weakness of this situation and advertised his purpose of establishing a rural mail route from Knoxville to Jonesboro, and into Abingdon, Virginia, then known as Wolf's "Hill," and then back by an upper route, via Rogersville. About November 1, 1792, the Knoxville Gazette announced the establishment of this post office route. It was a subscription route and the mail was to be carried every twenty-one days. The Gazette took advantage of the establishment of this route and advertised for new subscribers. It is supposed that the east end of this mail route at Abingdon, Virginia, connected with mail routes already established in Virginia. When we used the words, "mail route," it must be understood that the mail left, not every day nor every week, but nearly once a month. We notice that John Chisholm left every twenty-one days; therefore, he made about seventeen trips a year. Evidently, it was by horseback and saddlebags, with a Decherd rifle across the rider's lap. The Knoxville Gazette was distributed along the route but the mail carrier at night was the best newspaper on the route. He told all about the news in Knoxville and Abingdon and along the route. He was expected to "retail" the news of the day for the advantage of "wallerin' a bed and moppin' a plate."
In the late 1790's, Senator Blount was tried before the U. S. Senate on various charges, but previous to the trial he had been expelled from the Senate and his attorneys made the point that he no longer was subject to impeachment, because he was a private citizen at that time. This point was sustained and Blount went free. In the investigation before the U. S. Senate, the name of John Chisholm and that of his son, Ignatius, appeared and an attempt was made to connect Blount and Chisholm with some form of conspiracy, somewhat akin to the charges against Aaron Burr. It is a significant fact that Blount and Burr were both exonerated and cleared, and to this day Tennessee honors Governor Blount and holds him in high esteem. John Chisholm, the Soldier of Fortune, sailed for England in May, 1797, and the writer has found no documentary trace of him since that date.
IT IS PROBABLE THAT THE CHISHOLMS AND Chisolms all came from Scotland, and that they first settled in South Carolina. The original spelling in Scotch was to have two h's in the word Chisholm. After reaching South Carolina, some dropped the second h-Chisolm. Thus arose the "one-h" Chisolms and the "two-h" Chisholms. But I have been unable to find any absolute documentary connecting link, and I shall start with John Chisholm who was one of the first justices that met in Washington County, Tennessee, at Jonesboro in February, 1778, for the transaction of public business. It will be recalled that Washington County was created by the State of North Carolina and it was as North Carolinians that these justices were meeting. It was the one and only county west of the mountains. This meeting was according to law of a sovereign state and it was a pioneer movement as sacred as the Texas Declaration of Independence and as fixed in history. It was the bench mark or baseline from which all historical measurements must be taken in Tennessee. It must be borne in mind that the word "Tennessee" was not coined at this time. The country was known as North Carolina and later as the "'Territory South of the Ohio," later as "Frankland," and still later as "Franklin," and later as the "Territory of Tennessee," and still later, in 1796, as the "State of Tennessee." The growth was rapid; people were coming from North Carolina and Virginia by droves. Immigrants were coming in driblets, but the topography lent itself to the coming of the Virginians and North Carolinians. The Virginians came down by Wolf Hill (later known as Abingdon) and those from North Carolina that did not want to climb the mountains could easily make a circuit up into southwest Virginia and go by the present town of Abingdon, via Bristol, and then into the valleys of the Watauga, the French Broad, the Nolichucky, etc.
Into this territory came Captain John Chisholm about the time Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, and settled at White's Station, later to become the present town of Knoxville. The exact time of his coming to East Tennessee cannot be fixed, but he was a justice in 1778 in Washington County, in the present State of Tennessee and he must have been in the country a few years prior to 1778. When he left for England in May, 1797, it was stated that he was between 55 and 60 years old. This would make his birth between 1737 and 1742. His daughter, Elizabeth, married Captain John Somerville on May 20, 1794. She must have been born about 1776 or before.
In the "life of William Blount" by Marcus J. Wright, page 66, is given a copy of the sworn testimony of the impeachment of William Blount before the U. S. Senate. We copy the following:
"This was to be sent to England to the British Ministry there and to whom from the Ministry, if it arrived at Philedelphia, was to be sent to Knoxville, to Captain Chisholm, or, if he was not there, to Ig. Chisholm, the Captain's son."
We quote further:
"Chisholm (the Captain) tried to get Brown, who is the brother of his Indian wife, to go with him to England."
This settles by sworn testimony at the time, two facts:
First: That Ig. (Ignatius) Chisholm was the son of Captain John Chisholm;
Second: That in 1797 Captain John Chisholm had an Indian wife whose father's name was Brown.
Ignatius Chisholm joined the trek of the Cherokees when they left East Tennessee. Many of the Cherokees settled in the present county of Johnson in northwestern Arkansas some fifty miles east of Fort Smith. Ig. Chisholm was born some time about the beginning of the Revolutionary War. We find him a grown man in 1797 when his father, Captain John Chisholm, sailed for England. Instructions had been left to deliver a certain important paper to John Chisholm, but in case of his absence the paper was to be delivered to "lg. Chisholm, the Captain's son."
The old Chisholm Tavern, now standing in Knoxville (1939), had been built four years before and it was a going concern in 1797 and it is probable that Ignatius Chisholm was operating or staying at the hotel. The hotel was generally managed by Captain John Chisholm's efficient and popular wife, Patsy. After Captain Chisholm arrived in England on May 1, 1797, there is no documentary evidence that he ever returned to Knoxville. Certainly he was no factor in the affairs of the State of Tennessee after 1800.
Ignatius Chisholm married Martha Rogers in the early years of the Jefferson administration. His son, Jesse, was born in 1805 or 1806. Sam Houston was living in Tennessee at the time and was a clerk in a store at Kingston, Roane County, when the Creek War broke out. Jesse Chisholm was a lad some ten years old at that time and he was well known to Sam Houston. In fact, Sam Houston knew the Rogers kin in East Tennessee and the meeting in 1829 at Fort Gibson was a meeting of old friends. Many of the Cherokees left their homes in Tennessee and went west long before the U. S. Government took charge of the exodus, or removal.
Charles Rogers was a leading man of the Cherokees and he came with his father, John Rogers, from East Tennessee to Arkansas in 1817. In Tennessee John Rogers had operated a very successful stillhouse where he had three stills and tubs. Charles had acquired the skill in whiskey making from his father and he selected a site on Spavinaw Creek providing water power to operate his grist mill and stillhouse but just as he had settled his business the great flood of 1833 occurred on the Arkansas River and adjacent streams and his business was considerably damaged. He must have made a good grade of whiskey because he sold it for $95.00 a barrel, or double that amount if retailed. His best market was at Fort Gibson where the whiskey was retailed to the soldiers after it was floated down the Neosho River to the market. It is interesting to note that at that early date, over one hundred years ago, water power was not overlooked. Charles Rogers had built a two-story grist mill, the lower floor being eighteen by twenty-one feet and thirteen feet high and of frame structure; the upper story, eighteen feet square, was constructed of hewed logs. The building was set in the bank and the power was generated by an overshot wheel sixteen feet in diameter; the mill-dam was of clay, one hundred and fifteen feet in length, thirteen feet high and twenty feet across the top. The millrace was one hundred and twenty-eight feet in length, five feet wide and three feet deep lined with oak planks. These data are given to show that water power was well understood at that time.
Martha Rogers was the daughter of Charles Rogers and the granddaughter of John Rogers, and each of these men was influential in the affairs of the Cherokee Nation. Martha married Ignatius Chisholm in East Tennessee some time during the Jefferson administration and their son, Jesse Chisholm, was born in East Tennessee in 1805 or 1806. Some years later we find them at Fort Gibson; what became of Ignatius Chisholm is unknown at this time, but Martha Rogers with her sister, Talahina, made their way to Fort Gibson. Jesse Chisholm was the head of the household at that time and was rapidly becoming a factor in the Indian Territory. It is probable that the responsibility was thrown on Jesse Chisholm's shoulders about 1819 when the first group of the Cherokees reached the Spadra River in Arkansas.
Talahina Rogers came with her sister, Mrs. Ignatius Chisholm, from East Tennessee to Fort Gibson and there we find them when Sam Houston arrived in April 1829. There were really three Rogers sisters, Martha, wife of Ignatius Chisholm, Talahina (Tiana) and Susanna. It seems they all attended Dwight School.
Sam Houston had been elected Governor of Tennessee in 1827, at the age of thirty-four. He was Governor in 1829, and made a brilliant marriage on January 22, 1829, to Eliza Allen, who belonged to one of the leading families of Tennessee. Something occurred that wrecked this marriage and on April 16, 1829, Sam Houston resigned the office of Governor of Tennessee and wended his way to the west to the Cherokees, landing at Fort Gibson. At Nashville he took a small steamboat, Red Rover, that followed down the Cumberland River into the Ohio, then the Mississippi, then on to the west. While in Indian Territory he went into business, became a trader and in a short time he met Talahina Rogers, a sister of Jesse Chisholm's mother. Sam Houston knew Talahina Rogers in East Tennessee when she was only ten years old. Her father was Charles Rogers, and her mother was Jennie Dew. Talahina's older sister married Ignatius Chisholm, as has already been mentioned, and they emigrated to the west and settled in Arkansas. Talahina was a modest, half-breed Indian of very high type of character. Sam Houston married her according to the Indian custom and took her to his home, "Wigwam Neosho," near Fort Gibson.
By marriage to Talahina Rogers, he became the uncle of Jesse Chisholm, and Jesse Chisholm had the right by law to call him "Uncle Sam." Sam Houston sought forgetfulness in the activities of the life of the west. When he reached the land of the Cherokees in the Indian Territory, he found the Rogers family and Jesse Chisholm near Cantonment Gibson. Jesse Chisholm, Talahina Rogers' nephew, who was half Scotch and half Cherokee, had settled near Fort Gibson, and here, in the summer of 1829, Jesse Chisholm and Sam Houston met after nearly twenty years of separation.
John D. Chisholm was one of the leading men of the Arkansas Cherokees and was sent on missions of peace as a delegate from them. These pilgrimages or missions carried him and his associates to Washington, D. C., and to St. Louis. Ig. Chisholm no longer appears in the records as one of the leading men of this Cherokee settlement but his son Jesse became a leader.
There were many hundreds of the Cherokees settled along the Spadra Creek or River, in the present county of Johnson, and along the Arkansas River. They had become a peaceful agricultural community with their own tribal laws. They worked their farms and orchards and developed their farms, homes and stock. A section of the country had been designated and set apart for the Cherokees and had not the white man tried to "civilize" them, everything would have prospered and they would have been happy had they been left to work out their own affairs. It is conceded by writers that the Cherokees were the most enlightened tribe of Indians in the south or southwest. Many had intermarried with white men and these Indians were advancing in every way. They were co-operating with the U. S. Government, and sold their lands in their old homes in Alabama, East Tennessee, or Georgia; had come west before being escorted by the U. S. agents. They would always respond when a conference was called, and when their delegates spoke, they always commanded the attention of the representatives of the other tribes.
Jesse Chisholm was born in East Tennessee about 1805 or 1806, his father was Ignatius Chisholm and his mother was Martha Rogers Chisholm. Jesse had the trading and pioneer instinct born into him. His grandfather (Captain John Chisholm) had his son, Ignatius (Ig.) , associated with him in business and left him in charge of his affairs when he sailed for England on a peculiar mission in May, 1797. Jesse Chisholm came west with the Cherokees and settled with them for a while in northwestern Arkansas. About 1825 he and his mother and his Aunt Talahina arrived at Fort Gibson and made a home there, and for over forty years he was a factor in the affairs in the southwest, not only in the old Indian Territory but also in Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, and Arkansas.
Jesse Chisholm became a trader with the Indians and was known as a square shooter, a square dealer and a man with a straight tongue. Sam Houston spent about three years in Oklahoma, then he left for Texas, arriving in Nacogdoches in April, 1832. He left all his property to his Indian wife Talahina (Tiana), who was a woman of high character. We shall follow Sam Houston no further. It is probable that Jesse Chisholm and Sam Houston never met again, although for nearly forty years each was an active factor in adjoining commonwealths. The Rogers' blood flowed in the veins of Oklahoma's most useful citizen, Jesse Chisholm.
Jesse Chisholm was known early as an honest trader, and by this honesty, became a peacemaker. He was not only interpreter for the U. S. Army officials but he had great influence among the red warriors. Everywhere he was a peacemaker and a pathfinder. At one time he was adopted into almost a dozen Indian tribes of Oklahoma. He was always a Good Samaritan. The wild Comanches knew they could capture white children in Texas and then sell them to Jesse Chisholm in Oklahoma. He had stores at different places; one two miles east of Asher, one at Council Grove, a few miles west of the present Oklahoma City; one near the mouth of the Little River, and another near the present town of Purcell. One of his greatest activities was his pack train, which was a traveling store on wheels. In reality it was a department store on mule-back. He early learned that the wild Indians did not like to come east into the timber section and hence he went to the wild Indians. He would equip his trains and go to the center of the Indian tribe. He packed his trains with things the Indians liked and admired, red calico, beads, paints, but he never took them whiskey. No written chronicle has been compiled on this great character from 1830, and his meager history is written in good deeds.
Eliza Edwards was the daughter of James Edwards who established a trading post on the south bank of the Little River, about five miles from the present town of Holdenville in Oklahoma. Edwards ran a large farm in the rich alluvial lands between two rivers and one of his main crops was corn. In addition to his farming he conducted a country store, the stock representing the demands and needs of the early settlers and the bands of Indians that came from as far west as the Texas Panhandle. There was a well-beaten trail to Edwards' Store from north Texas, crossing the Red River near the present town of Denison, Old Preston or Coffee's Store. The traders always took produce in carts or pack saddles. This produce generally consisted of skins, furs, robes, or anything that Edwards could sell to the eastern market. He established the store before the Battle of San Jacinto in Texas and for fifteen years he was the most westerly center of white civilization. In 1849 Marcy distinctly stated that even then Edwards was the most westerly of any of the white settlements.
James Edwards married a Creek Indian and had at least two daughters: Eliza, who married Jesse Chisholm, and Lucinda. Lucinda, born in 1823, developed quite a business instinct and was a trader to a certain degree; it seems that she bought a negro slave named Sambo from her brother-in-law at one time. Elizabeth Edwards and Jesse Chisholm were married about 1836 and lived with James Edwards for some time as Jesse was busy with his trading expeditions, peace journeys and a guide. As a peacemaker and pathfinder, he was an expert. Jesse Chisholm and his wife, Eliza Edwards Chisholm had two sons: one, Frank, familiarly known as jepee, who was on the Great Exodus and spent part of the time of the Civil War with his father at the Arkansas River on the Chisholm Creek, now in the town of Wichita. He returned to the Indian Country during the Civil War, drifted west, and has never been heard of since. He left no issue. The history of the other son, William E., is fully given in these pages.
Martha Chisholm was a sister of Jesse Chisholm and a daughter of Ignatius Chisholm and Martha Rogers. She was very much younger than Jesse and married Dave Biggs and moved first to Texas and then to California. They had the following issue: Clint, John, Dave, Bud, Jane, Narcissus, and Jacqueline Biggs. The youngest daughter, Jacqueline, married Sam Houston King on April 16, 1860, and their son, Frank M. King, is Associate Editor of the "Western Livestock journal" in Los Angeles at the time of this writing, 1939.
Eliza Edwards Chisholm, the wife of Jesse Chisholm, died in the year 1846, and in 1847, Jesse married Sahkahkee McQueen. They started housekeeping at the Chisholm Spring, east of the present town of Asher. Here it was that Aunt Jennie was born in the year 1848. During their twenty-one years of married life, Jesse Chisholm and his wife Sahkahkee had the following children:
Jennie Chisholm married, first, Buck Beaver, and by him had the four children mentioned elsewhere; second, she married Albert Harper, and by him had one son, Alfred E. Harper; third, she married Rev. Sam Davis, and there was no issue.
Lucinda Chisholm married White Turkey;
Frank Chisholm married Lucy Little Bear;
Mary Chisholm married George Cochran.
After the death of Jesse Chisholm in the spring of 1868, Sahkahkee McQueen Chisholm married Jackson Chisholm, an adopted son of Jesse Chisholm, of Mexican extraction. She had one daughter Sallie by Jackson Chisholm. Aunt Sallie is living today (1939), on her farm three miles from Paden in Okfuskee County, Oklahoma.
Thomas Chisholm is not in the direct line of the Jesse Chisholms, but he and Jesse trace their line back to Captain John Chisholm, the justice of Peace in Washington County, Tennessee, in 1778. He was the son of John D. Chisholm, who died in Hot Springs, Arkansas, in about 1831.
Thomas Chisholm and his people located on the Spadra River as early as 1819. Thomas Chisholm married Malinda Wharton, a daughter of William Wharton, about the year 1818, and settled some twenty miles east of Huntsville, Alabama. The young couple moved to the Spadra River in Arkansas, and lived there till the year 1828, when they located near Webber Falls, about twelve miles below the present town of Muskogee. Later they moved to Beaties Prairie. They witnessed the big flood of 1833 in the Arkansas that destroyed Webber Falls, and also the falling stars of the same year.
In November, 1834, Thomas Chisholm went to a council meeting at Tahlequah and there was stricken with typhoid fever and never recovered, although his wife brought him to his home. Thomas Chisholm left the following issue:
Martha, died young;
Thomas, died young;
Jane, married, first, J. B. Lynde, second, Caswell Bruton;
Alfred Finney Chisholm, died in 1862;
Narcissa Chisholm, married Robert Latham Owen, and is the mother of U. S. Senator, Robert L. Owen;
William Wharton Chisholm, married, and left two children.
William E. Chisholm, son of Jesse Chisholm and wife, Eliza Edwards Chisholm, was born at Edwards' Store, five miles south of Holdenville, September 15, 1837. In 1847 when William E. Chisholm was about ten years old, his father established headquarters at the Chisholm Spring, two miles east of Asher. Here he lived with his father and stepmother, Sahkahkee. About 1860 he contracted marriage according to the rites of the Cherokees with Hester Butler, whose home was just west of the present Shawnee Indian Agency on the North Canadian River. In 1861 Jesse Chisholm conducted the Shawnees and other Indians on that great exodus or migration to a place of safety on the Arkansas River at the present site of Wichita, Kansas. William E. Chisholm was on the trip and of Jesse Chisholm's immediate family there were certainly on the migration Jesse, Sahkahkee, William E., Aunt Jennie, Mary Cochran, and Hester Butler. According to the government investigation at Shawnee Indian Agency in 1928, Caroline Chisholm, daughter of William E. Chisholm and Hester Butler, was born in 1860. This would make her birth before the migration started. The records are not exactly clear as to whether or not she was born near Shawnee or Wichita, Kansas. But anyway, William E. Chisholm stayed in Kansas for a few months and then returned to Oklahoma, leaving his child-bride in Kansas in charge of her father-in-law, to take care of the immense property interests of his father and himself left in the country along the South Canadian. William E. Chisholm never returned to Kansas. When he saw his daughter after the Civil War on the return of the Indians, she was some five years old.
On January 1, 1863, he married Julia Ann McLish, a daughter of Fraser McLish. and his wife, Ginsey Colbert. After the marriage he erected, with the aid of his father, a log cabin home about three miles south of Asher. Here he lived with his wife as a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation. His home was located on the very northern border of the Chickasaw Nation about a mile south of the South Canadian. He died November 19, 1880, in one of the worst blizzards that ever hit Oklahoma. Two of the older daughters were off at school. Wagons and teams were sent after them; however, it was almost impossible to travel through the country. The roads in ordinary weather were poor, unimproved, and little more than trails. The children arrived on November 24, and William E. Chisholm was buried on November 25. There was no embalming process and the burial was crude contrasted with those of today. The present oldest living descendant, at that time nearly 13 years old, remembers to this day the burial ceremony.
It will be seen from the facts that William E. Chisholm had two wives from January 1, 1863, to the day of his death, November 19, 1880. This was legal, lawful, and somewhat common among the Indians before 1870. While William E. Chisholm maintained his headquarters in the Chickasaw country, he also maintained an establishment west of the Canadian near Shawnee for Hester Butler. Some years later the civilized tribes passed laws against polygamy, but didn't disturb the marriages already consummated.
The home of Hester Butler was near the present Indian Agency three miles south of Shawnee. She was born in the year 1848, and died on January 5, 1900, at the age of fifty-two, in the present Cherokee County, and was buried in Keener Cemetery. A handsome marble monument was erected over her grave by her second husband, William Cochran. The writer visited this grave in January, 1939, in company with her son, William Chisholm, and took pictures of the inscription. The cemetery is located about fifteen miles east of Wagoner, and about one mile north of Fourteenmile Creek. This is an old cemetery, and the author of this book was amazed to note that inscriptions on many of the tombstones were in the Cherokee language, invented by that pioneer, Sequoia, or George Guess. Thus Hester Butler Chisholm Cochran sleeps in the home of the Cherokees in east Oklahoma, surrounded by a language invented and perfected by one man who could not read any other language. It is recalled that books and newspapers have been published in this Cherokee language.
In her young girlhood, she attended the Indian School that occupied the site where the Indian T. B. Hospital is situated near Shawnee. It should be said that this hospital at the present time is a state institution for all Indians in Oklahoma.
In the days when Hester Butler attended the school, it was known as a mission school, and had both boarding and day pupils. This school at Shawnee was a very successful institution and performed a great service in bringing an organized grade school within the reach of many Indians that otherwise would have been deprived of an education. One of the best informed citizens of Oklahoma today is an ex-student of this Shawnee school. One of the former pupils stated to the writer that he attended the school in the early days, .and that it was originally started by the Quakers. The school buildings consisted of log cabins.
About 1887, seven years after William E. Chisholm, her first husband, died on November 19, 1880, Hester Butler Chisholm married William Cochran and moved to a point in the Cherokee Nation near Wagoner, about fifteen miles northeast of Muskogee. The present William, the son of Hester Butler Chisholm, attended the mission school in about 1886 while his mother was head cook at the institution.
Reports of neighbors that the writer has interviewed are to the effect that Hester Butler Chisholm spoke English brokenly, but was a very fine conversationalist in the Cherokee language. She was a frugal housewife, industrious, a neat housekeeper, always had a good garden, and was very popular with neighbors of all kinds. Aunt Jennie would often leave her home four miles south of Paden and make the trip by overland, the distance of eighty miles by airline, and nearer one hundred by the road, to the Cochran home. In the early years of the nineties, the Cochrans moved to the territory now known as Cherokee County, where Hester died in the year 1900, and was buried under the name of Hester Cochran in Keener Cemetery about fifteen miles east of Wagoner and about one and one half miles north of Fourteenmile Creek. Her headstone bears the legend:
HESTER Wife of
DIED Jan. 5, 1900.
Aged 52 yrs.
On January first, 1863, William Edwards Chisholm married Julia Ann McLish, a daughter of Fraser McLish and his first wife Ginsey Colbert. The McLish family belonged to the Chickasaw tribe of Indians which at this time was one of the five civilized tribes, and was well advanced in governmental affairs and had established schools. The Chickasaw nation occupied the territory between the South Canadian River and the Red River, and had its capital at Tishomingo. They had already established and adopted a code of laws, and had their courts and were well organized with peace officers. Their legislative body passed laws for the government of the Chickasaw Nation and in turn these laws were enforced by district or precinct officers. Although William E. Chisholm had Cherokee, Creek, and two strains of white blood in his veins, he became a Chickasaw by adoption when he married Julia McLish. In the later years of the Civil War, William E. Chisholm built his home about three miles south of the present town of Asher, well in the Chickasaw Nation, and there he and his father, Jesse, built the log cabin in which most of his children, were born. This cabin is still standing in the back yard of the large two-story frame house, built by his oldest living grandchild at this date (1939) , and the strange part of this little history is that Mrs. Mary V. Cooke, a few months ago returned to the home of her birth, and her seventy-second birthday was spent within a few feet of the log cabin "raised" by her father and grandfather in the sixties. A modern improved highway, passes within a stone's throw of the log cabin, and as you pass along this highway from Asher to Stratford, you can gaze on a log cabin that Jesse Chisholm helped build, and on locust trees that came from ancestral locusts at Edwards' trading post, thirty miles to the east on the banks of Little River. It might be added that the bodies of William E. Chisholm and that of his wife, Julia Ann, sleep within a few hundred feet of this home of Mary V. Cooke in the Cooke Cemetery.
This admirable lady was born in 1848 and died 1930 at the age of eighty-two years. She was married three times, first, Buck Beaver, by whom she had four children; second, Albert Harper, by whom she had one son; and third, Reverend Sam Davis. Her home was four miles south of Paden, and she had several striking characteristics, first, she was a good business woman throughout her life; second, she was an expert needle woman; and third, she was an expert on rare dishes; fourth, she had all the characteristics of her father, Jesse Chisholm, in regard to orphan children. The writer in the year 1938, visited her home south of Paden, stood near her grave, where eight years ago a vast concourse of people laid her body into her native Oklahoma sod within forty miles of her birthplace. Above her grave the very next day was erected a small lattice house with a comb roof running east and west. This was hurriedly erected to please some of the Indian traditions to the effect that if twenty-four hours should pass and a full day ensued without a shelter being placed over the grave, the soul of the departed was liable to wander throughout eternity as a lost soul with no place to rest.
Aunt Jennie in a small degree had all the business characteristics of Hetty Green, but she spent her income in doing good and she was a veritable haven of refuge for motherless and fatherless children who had no home. She was always the business member of the family with each of her husbands and her children. She was honest, frugal, and independent, and paid her debts with the regularity of clockwork. She admired elegant dishes and knew what she wanted. One day while visiting a sale of rare dishes, her attention was called to some dishes where the predominating color was green. She refused to bid; and when pressed, she remarked to her friend, "I can't use a dish with any green in it; it always makes me bilious." It was well known throughout the Paden territory that no orphan boy or girl was without a home as long as Aunt Jennie lived. She even went out of her way to find these children of poverty. She took them to her home, 'and when they grew up or found better homes, she was on the lookout for others. During the summer before she died, she went into a store in Paden, paid her account, and remarked as she was about to leave for home, "Mr. Storekeeper, when I need anything, I'll come in and trade with you some more," and then with a twinkle in her eyes she added, "on credit." That meant till she collected some of her income.
Aunt Jennie was a dominating character, intensely religious, and a person of inflexible integrity and veracity. She had a rather caustic tongue for the lazy and shiftless, and she abhorred a prevaricator.
Narcissa Chisholm was a daughter of Thomas Chisholm, a granddaughter of John D. Chisholm. Her father, Thomas Chisholm, had the melancholy duty of taking his father John D. Chisholm to Hot Springs, Arkansas, for his health. It was a rather sad mission for Thomas Chisholm, because his father did not recover his health, and the faithful son had to help bury his own father, in the year 1831, at a spot or site in Hot Springs, Arkansas, that has been lost to history.
Narcissa Chisholm, the gifted mother of U. S. Senator Robert L. Owen, was born in 1831, and in 1836, the year of the Battle of San Jacinto, she was placed in the Dwight School, which had been moved from its location in Arkansas to the eastern part of Oklahoma. On October 4, 1853, she married Robert Latham Owen, a civil engineer who ran the surveys from Virginia into Tennessee, and at one time was president of the Virginia and Tennessee Railway.
A rather romantic touch was given to this marriage, due to the fact that it was in the town of Jonesboro, where the ancestor of Narcissa Chisholm, Captain John Chisholm, acted as a member of the first legislative or judicial body that ever met in the State of Tennessee. Captain John Chisholm was a justice of the Peace, and there was only one county in the whole State, that of Washington. The wedding ceremony was performed by Reverend David Sullins, the famous Methodist orator of the Holston Conference. The writer heard Dr. Sullins preach twice, and the sinner that he could not make repent was harder than cement.
Mrs. Owen was the mother of U. S. Senator Robert L. Owen, and at the age of seventy-six wrote "Memoirs of Narcissa Owen, 1831-1907." It is a book of family history, customs, early schools, pioneer times, and now very scarce, and those who own a copy have a rare treasure.
This venerable mother in Israel of the Chisholm clan, celebrated her seventy-second birthday on January 1, 1939, and Texas friends sent her a birthday cake with the figures 71 traced in bold letters. On this spot she was born on January 1, 1868, a few months before Jesse Chisholm died; and here it was the famous trader, her grandfather, came to hold in his arms the third child of his son William E. Chisholm and his wife Julia Ann McLish Chisholm, and call her by the endearing baby name of "Little Papoosekins." She was born in the log cabin shown in these pages that was erected and built by the hands and muscles of her father, William, and her grandfather, Jesse. Very few women in this changing world of the west are privileged to return after three score and ten plus one years to the original trees and sit in the summertime under the shade of stately locusts that grew from sprouts brought from the banks of Little River at Edwards' old store.
She has raised a large family, and has been a mother to the neighborhood and the needy. An up-to-date schoolhouse is named for her, a small village bears the name of her father, although the authorities in Washington wrecked the original spelling, and here a cemetery bears her present name of Cooke.
If you wish to read more of this daughter in whose veins flows the mingled blood of the Chickasaw, the Cherokees, the Creeks, the Scots, and other white blood, journey to the village of Chism, four miles south of
[Picture of Mrs. Mary V. Cooke]
Asher, and talk to the old settlers. Her history is written in good deeds.
Estella Ward was born at the old Chisholm home, June 6, 1875, and is now 64 years old. She married William Thomas Ward and many years ago settled in Oklahoma City and there raised a family. Four of her eight children are still living, three of whom are married, and she has seen her children's children. She takes great interest in public affairs, and has been one of the advisers of the women's section of the Republican Party of Oklahoma.
When her mother died on August 30, 1883, she was eight years old, and was a double orphan. Her younger sister, Julia, was five years old. Around that grave there stood that day eight Chisholm children, fatherless, and now motherless. Little Julia was barely five, and William, three. To the rescue came the pioneer spirit of the west. Douglas H. Johnston, later to be Governor of the Chickasaw Nation, took the two younger girls to his home and raised them as his own. They soon came to regard him as their father, which he was, in effect. Young William was taken by another neighbor.
Julia Chisholm was born January 15, 1878, and was two and a half years old when her father died. In the arms of her mother she witnessed the burial of her father, William E. Chisholm, in the bitterest snow blizzard that ever hit the Chickasaw Nation. After the death of her mother on August 30, 1883, she was taken to the home of Douglas H. Johnston, who proved to be a second father to the orphan child. Governor Johnston kept them in school to their teens and these Chisholm children were later sent to Kidd-Key School in Sherman, Texas. Here the art instinct of the young Julia had free rein and scope and here she laid the foundation of that wonderful art career that is still a going concern. At the age of sixty she daily goes from her home, on Staten Island, to the Metropolitan Museum in New York City, to work for six hours a day with other art students in painting. She is the Dean of the art students and they have conferred on her by way of endearment the title of "Grandma."
She has a wonderful collection of her paintings, and is a rare specimen in, the world of art in that she will not sell a picture. She came from her home in New York to be present in May 1938 at the dedication of JESSE CHISHOLM HALL at Bandera, Texas, which is a part of that wonderful Museum of Frontier Times. Her collection of paintings will some day enrich the art collections of Oklahoma and Texas.
Alfred E. Harper, now 47 years old, is a blood grandson of Jesse Chisholm. In 1847 Jesse Chisholm married Sahkahkee McQueen, and settled at the old Chisholm Spring, two miles east of Asher. Here Aunt Jennie was born in 1848. Aunt Jennie married first Buck Beaver and had four children by him; she married second Albert Harper and had one child, Alfred E. Harper, the subject of this sketch. He has taken advantage of every opportunity of education and is well saturated with the lore of the Chisholm clan in all its ramifications.
He married Anna Benden, a Creek, and is now the father of eight strong healthy children, whom he is raising to be worthy citizens of the commonwealth for which Jesse Chisholm lived.
William Chisholm is another blood grandson of Jesse Chisholm. He is one of the seven living grandchildren, the oldest being Mrs. Mary V. Cooke of near Asher, 71 years old; and the youngest being Alfred E. Harper, 47.
William Chisholm (known among his friends and the family as "Willie") has fulfilled the Biblical injunction and is the father of seven children, all living. He was born on January 1, 1880, about nine months before his father, William E. Chisholm, died at his home on the South Canadian. The mother of William Chisholm was Hester Butler, whose history is given in Number 16. "Willie" married Eliza Tucker and their children are:
The death of William E. Chisholm on November 19, 1880, left Hester Butler Chisholm, his first wife, without resources, and she secured a position at the Mission School near Shawnee, and in 1885 William Chisholm, her son, started to school at the Mission School, and attended this school till 1891. In the fall of 1891 he started to the Training School at Chilocco, about six miles south of Arkansas, Kansas, and very near the northern boundary between Oklahoma and Kansas. Here William Chisholm became so expert in making shoes that he was offered a position with a large manufacturer of shoes. However, in 1894, at the age of 14, he joined his mother, Hester, and his stepfather, William Cochran, in the Cherokee Nation, at a point some seven miles northwest of Hulburt. He worked with his stepfather till 1896, and at the age of sixteen he reentered the Mission School near Shawnee, and attended his old school for one session. At the age of twenty-one he married Eliza Tucker, a Cherokee. By this date the marriage laws, had been so modified that he had to go to Muskogee and secure a written permission from a federal agent to marry his Cherokee sweetheart. Permission was secured and the marriage solemnized and William Chisholm has replenished the Chisholm line with four grown sons and three married daughters, in whose veins pulsate one eighth Jesse Chisholm blood. The mother of these Chisholm children whose maiden name was Eliza Tucker was a Cherokee, and one half of Jesse Chisholm's blood was Cherokee and half Scotch. Hence all these offspring of William Chisholm have the blood of the Scots and over fifty per cent Cherokee. The names of Chisholm are still borne by Chisholms of the Blood.
William E. Chisholm's Aunt Martha, a sister of Jesse Chisholm, married David Biggs and they moved to Texas and to California. After William Chisholm was born on January 1, 1880, his father, William E. Chisholm, wrote to his first cousin, Mrs. Sam Houston King, nee Jacqueline Biggs, announcing the birth of his son, William. William is now living in Okfuskee County, about seventeen miles north of Okemah, Oklahoma. Thus it will be seen that William E. Chisholm acknowledged the heirship of his son, William (Willie), who was 59 years old on January 1, 1939.
JESSE CHISHOLM WAS BORN IN TENNESSEE about 1805 or 1806, his father, Ignatius Chisholm, being a white man of Scotch descent, and his mother a Cherokee woman, whose sister, Talahina Rogers, married Gen. Sam Houston. Jesse Chisholm, it is said, could speak fourteen different Indian languages and was frequently called upon to act as interpreter between the army officers and the Indians of the wild tribes. He began the manufacture of salt within the present limits of Blaine County many years before the Civil War. He also established a ranch and trading post at Council Grove, on the North Canadian (i.e., about six miles west of the site upon which Oklahoma City was afterwards built), and obtained great influence among the tribes of the southwest, by whom he was recognized not merely as a friend, but also as a counselor, arbiter and brother as well. He was an adopted member of the Wichita-Caddo tribes. His death, which occurred in March, 1868, was felt to be a serious loss to these tribes. He was buried near the North Canadian River, in Blaine County. -from THOBURN & HOLCOMB: A History of Oklahoma, pp. 105-6.
In the spring of 1865 Jesse Chisholm laid out a trail from the present site of Wichita, Kansas, to the Wichita-Caddo Agency, where Anadarko is now located. This trail was 220 miles long. It soon became known as the Chisholm Trail and afforded a wagon route to southwestern Oklahoma. It was also used for a time by Texas cattle drivers. Over it passed the supplies .for the troops stationed at Forts Reno and Sill and for the U. S. Indian agencies at Darlington and Anadarko. It was used for that purpose for over twenty years. The principal camping points on the Chisholm Trail were Pond Creek (near the present town of Jefferson) , Skeleton Ranch (near Enid), Buffalo Springs (Bison), Kingfisher, mouth of Turkey Creek, Cheyenne Agency (Darlington), Canadian River and Wichita Agency (Anadarko).
In the early part of the year 1815 he and John D. Chisholm, a white member of the tribe, headed a delegation of chiefs who went to St. Louis to lay their grievances before Governor Clark. They complained that the government had not kept faith with them, that in compliance with the agreement with the President they had removed to the Arkansas five years before, but their country had been swallowed up by the Missouri legislature and some of their privileges had been taken from them. -from FOREMAN: Indians and Pioneers, p. 37.
The result was a so-called treaty, dated July 8, 1817, entered into at the Cherokee Agency, Calhoun, Tennessee, near where Dayton is now. It was signed by John D. Chisholm and James Rogers for the Arkansas Cherokee, and also by a few of the eastern Cherokee, notwithstanding the fact that a majority of their representatives present at the conference opposed it resolutely.
In April another delegation of Cherokee chiefs headed by John D. Chisholm went to St. Louis to protest to Governor Clark against the depredations of the Osage and to convey a letter from Major Lovely requesting that a military post be established on the Arkansas to maintain peace among the Indians.
-- from FOREMAN: Indians and Pioneers, p. 40.
Chisholm (John D.) was living with the Cherokee in Arkansas as early as 1816. In September of that year he wrote Colonel Meigs: "Mr. Rogers and his son James has just this moment arrived here they are well" (Chisholm to Meigs, September 23, 1816, OIA, RCF, "Cherokee (West) Dardanelle") . Unlike most of his associates Chisholm could read and write.
-- from FOREMAN: Indians and Pioneers, p. 43.
A treaty was concluded July 8, 1817, between the United States, represented by General Andrew Jackson and others, and the Cherokee Nation east of the Mississippi River and the Cherokee of Arkansas, represented by their deputies, John D. Chisholm and James Rogers.
-- from FOREMAN: Pioneer Days, p. 36.
There were present at the council, Colonel Dodge, Major Francis W. Armstrong, Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Western Territory; Civil John and To-tolis, chiefs of the Seneca; Moosh-o-la-tu-bee for the Choctaw; Chisholm (John D.) and Rogers for the Cherokee; McIntosh and Perryman for the Creeks; Clermont for the Osage; Titche-totche-cha of the Kiowa; We-ter-ra-shah-ro for the Pawnee Picts and We-ta-ra-yah for the Waco.
-- from FOREMAN: Pioneer Days, p. 153.
In 1830, when bids for supplying corn to the garrison were made, the low bidder was the Cherokee, Jesse Chisholm.
-- from FOREMAN: Advancing the Frontier, p. 38.
Runners were then sent to the chiefs of the Osage, Cherokee, Creeks, Choctaws, and others notifying them of a council to be held with the western Indians. The Indians met at noon, September 2, in the crudely constructed council house at Fort Gibson. Major F. W. Armstrong, who had been authorized to wind up the affairs of the late commissioners stationed at Fort Gibson, had just arrived from Washington in time to take part in the conference. Governor Stokes and S. C. Stambaugh, who were still at Fort Gibson, took an unofficial part in the council. There were present also, Colonel Dodge, "Civil John and Toto-lis, chiefs of the Seneca; Moosh-o-la-tubee for the Choctaw; Chisholm and Rogers for the Cherokee; McIntosh and Perryman for the Creeks; Clermont for the Osage; Titche-totche-cha for the Kiowa; We-terre-sharro of the Pawnee Picts and We-tara-yah for the Waycoah." Besides these, braves of all the other tribes represented brought the number of about one hundred and fifty.
-- from FOREMAN: Advancing the Frontier, p.131.
After a route had been surveyed (in 1832) by Robert Bean and Jesse Chisholm, the road measuring 147 miles to Horse Prairie (from Fort Smith) was constructed in three months by a force of men under Captain John Stuart. The work was menaced at times -by hostile prairie Indians, and it was necessary for the troops to carry their arms ready for use on a gun rack mounted on a sled that was kept at the front of their work. At one stage they met a party of Choctaw Indians traveling in great haste who said they had been run in by a band of Pawnee Indians who were in considerable force on the west side of Boggy River.
-- from FOREMAN: Indian Removal, p. 72.
In 1836 Jesse Chisholm guided a party of adventurers up the Arkansas trail to the mouth of the Little Arkansas, in search of legendary gold mine. These trails along the Kansas and Arkansas Rivers were probably the first used by civilized man across Kansas territory.
-- from Kansas Historical Collections, Vol. V, p. 90.
Then Jesse Chisholm assured the meeting that the Cherokee wished to be friends with the Kiowa and Tawehash and desired to know how the latter felt on the subject.
-- from FOREMAN: Advancing the Frontier, p. 133.
At Camp Holmes a firm of traders, known as Edwards and Shelton, was licensed to trade with the Indians, and, for years, the place was known as Edwards's Settlement. Edwards' daughter, Eliza, was married to Jesse Chisholm, a half-breed Cherokee and a famous guide and scout, who also lived there. A well-used trail to Camp Holmes stretched across Pontotoc, Murray, Carter, and Jefferson counties and crossed Red River at the mouth of Beaver Creek, where Ryan now is. This trail continued to the Colorado, in Texas, and along it came Comanche, Kickapoo, Shawnee, Delaware, and other Indians to trade at Edwards' Post. They trafficked not only in furs and peltry but found profit in the barter of human beings.
-- from Chronicles of Oklahoma, V. 3, p. 103.
The best-known cattle trail shown on the map is the great Abilene Trail coming from Henrietta, Texas, crossing Red River into what is now Jefferson County, then running north through the western edge of the Chickasaw Nation past Chickasha and through the eastern part of Canadian County; then northwest to where it crossed Cimarron River, north of Kingfisher, where it was joined by the Chisholm Trail coming in from the southeast. From here it ran slightly east of the north to the Kansas line. The Texas Cattle Trail crossed Red River at Preston and ran north through Stonewall in what is now Pontotoc County, crossed the Canadian at Edwards's Settlement and so on northeast. The Shawnee Cattle Trail ran past the vicinity of Pauls Valley, crossed the Canadian at where is now Shawnee and went northeast to the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad at Muskogee. The Osage Trail ran through the Osage Nation.
-- from Chronicles of Oklahoma, V. 3, p. 119.
The negro boys were taken by the Comanche in February, 1839, after a battle at the home of Dr. Joseph W. Robertson, who lived on the Colorado River. Their captors, traveling in a body of about six hundred, afterwards met James Vann, a mulatto, James Tiblow, mixed-blood Shawnee and Delaware Indian, and George Brinton, a Creek, who were hunting on Colorado River. These hunters bought Abraham, one of the boys, about fifteen years of age, for $150 and brought him to Edwards's trading post and sold him to Edwards for the purported consideration of $500 on March 10, 1840, though the bill of sale was made to Edwards's daughter Lucinda. The other boy, Sambo, about ten years old, had been purchased in 1839 from the Comanche by Jesse Chisholm when he encountered them on the prairies of Texas; Chisholm was obliged to borrow some guns from his companions with which he effected a trade with the Indians for the boy at a valuation of $150. The band from whom he purchased the boy was called the "Hoo-seesh tribe, or Comanches of the Woods," numbering about fifteen hundred men, women, and children. They had in their possession also several white children whom Chisholm endeavored to buy, but these Indians would not sell. He took the negro boy with him to Mexico, and afterwards brought him to Fort Holmes and sold him to Lucinda Edwards, his sister-in-law, January 24, 1841, for $400.
"This man Chisholm is very intelligent, and is, as I believe, a man of sterling integrity. At the time he visited the Comanches, when the boy was purchased, he was on his way to Mexico under a passport from General Arbuckle, dated at this Post 23 of September, 1839. He was accompanied by several individuals, all named in this passport, who will testify to the correctness of his statement. The people of Texas, it seems, have been in the habit of contracting with Indians belonging to the Delaware, Shawnee, Coctaw, and Chickasaw tribes to procure from the Comanches their friends and slaves and to pay ransom."
-- from FOREMAN: Advancing the Frontier, p. 218.
Fourteenth February, 1841, Mr. Edwards says that Jesse Chisholm, who trades among the Comanches and has great influence among them, can induce them to send a delegation to Washington if the government wishes; query-cannot this become a means of making peace between the Texans and Comanches?
-- from FOREMAN: Traveler in Indian Territory, p. 156.
Jesse Chisholm was a celebrated guide, scout, plainsman, hunter, and trader. He was married to Lucinda (This is an error. Jesse Chisholm married Eliza Edwards when Lucinda Edwards was only thirteen. Lucinda was born 1823. All this is as shown in the Chisholm family Bible in the possession of Mrs. Mary V. Cooke.), the half-breed Creek daughter of Edwards, the trader at the mouth of Little River near where he resided. Chisholm was often employed on government expeditions as guide and acted as interpreter in delicate negotiations with the wild Indians, many of whose tongues he spoke fluently. His name is often seen in old official letters and reports in connection with these Indians.
-- from FOREMAN: A Traveler in Indian Territory, p. 156.
March 12, 1843, Governor Butler with Captain Blake and an escort of fifteen men from Fort Washita arrived at the Caddo village, and proceeded to the council ground on Tawakoni Creek (Tehuacana Creek seven miles northeast of Waco, Texas. There the council was held beginning March 28, in which nine tribes participated. Texas was represented by G. W. Terrell and others; Jim Shaw, Jesse Chisholm, and other famous scouts and interpreters took part. The council lasted three days but accomplished nothing decisive.
-- from FOREMAN: Pioneer Days, p. 294.
Texas was unable to defend her vast and sparsely settled territory against her prairie Indians and solicited the assistance of the United States and the immigrant Indians in making peace with them. After many efforts a treaty council was arranged for March, 1843, on Tawakoni Creek. It was attended by Governor Pierce M. Butler, Cherokee agent at Fort Gibson, as the representative of the United States, who came with a military escort of fifteen men in command of Capt. G. A. H. Blake, of Fort Washita. The party arrived at the treaty ground on March 15 in company with G. W. Terrell, who met them at Warren's Trading House.
Representatives of Caddo, Delaware, Shawnee, "Ironeyes" (Hainai), Anadarko, Tawakoni (Tehuacana), Waco, Wichita, and Keitsahs (Kichai) tribes were present by the twenty-eighth when the council began. Jesse Chisholm, John Connor, Jim Secondeyan, Jim Shaw, Louis Sanchez and Red Horse were employed to bring in the delegations and to act as interpreters during the council.
-- from FOREMAN: Advancing the Frontier, p. 168.
The treaty council was held in the autumn of 1843 at Bird's Fort (now in city limits of Ft. Worth, Texas) on the Trinity River with the Tiwahconnes, Keachies, Waccoes, Caddoes, Anadahkoes, Ironies, Cherokees, Boluxies, Delawares, and Chickasaws. The Wichitas and Toweash were to have been in but were prevented by false representations of malicious and interested Creeks, who told them that they would be murdered, or if not, that goods would be sold them having the taint of some infectious disease. Of the tribes who have treated, the three first were essentially wild, and wore no clothing except the breech clout.
-- from FOREMAN: Advancing the Frontier, p. 169.
In 1844 whites murdered three Delaware Indians who were hunting on the south side of the Red River not far from the mouth of the Blue. Jesse Chisholm and two other men went to the scene of the killing and secured some of the horses and personal effects which they brought to the Chickasaw agent; on the way back they "met many of the friends and relations of the unfortunate Delawares that had been killed." They continued to the Canadian River where they "held a council with some Delaware, Shawnee, Kickapoo, and Creeks living there-then started west for the Kechies, Wacos and others," and at "Big Spring Camp near Towwoceaney" they made a written report of the affair to President Sam Houston.
(The three Delawares were killed in Texas just north of Honey Grove in Fannin County, Texas. T. U. Taylor)
-- from FOREMAN: Advancing the Frontier, pp. 171, 172.
In 1845, while the title to the negroes was still being agitated, Chisholm made an affidavit that it was while he was on his way from California in 1839 that he met the Comanche Indians on a "branch of the St. Salva" (San Saba), and bought Sambo. At Edwards's trading house witnesses to the bill of sale of the negro to Lucinda Edwards were Robert Buckhard, Peter May, Danny Richardson, Nicholas Miller, John Brown, and Elijah Davis.
-- from FOREMAN: Advancing the Frontier, pp. 218-219.
Bodies of Indians met the commissioners from time to time in informal conferences when the Cherokee delegates were put forward to make speeches and urge them to make peace with the white people. The interpreters at these councils were Jim Shaw and Jim Connor, Delaware Indians, and Jesse Chisholm, Cherokee, who translated the speeches from English to Comanche. Others interpreted for the Tonkawa, Caddo, Lipan, Wichita, and Waco; Coodey became ill and was obliged to return home. In the spring Chilly McIntosh and other Creeks joined the large number of visitors who attended this interesting gathering mainly for adventure and trade. In March and April Shawnee, Delaware, Kickapoo and Caddo hunters arrived at "The Peak" with quantities of deer skins for sale. After much patient labor and many conferences, on May 15, 1846, about 1,200 Indians at Council Springs, (on Tehuacana Creek seven miles northeast of Waco, Tex.) on the Brazos River, in Robinson County, now McLennan Co., Texas, were induced to enter into an important treaty designed to bring peace to a large extent of country. It was signed by mark by representatives of the "Comanches, Wacoes, Keeches, Tonkaways, Wichitas, and Towakarroes" who thereby acknowledged "themselves to be under the protection of the United States, and of no other power, state or sovereignty whatever," and agreed by the next November to deliver up all white and negro prisoners held by them.
-- from FOREMAN: Advancing the Frontier, p. 178.
In this troubled state of mind, in the winter of 1848-49 a band of Southern Comanche met their friend Jesse Chisholm, who was at the time engaged in trading with the Mexican, Mescaleros, and other Indians on the Red and Brazos Rivers, and they asked him to go as a guide and interpreter with them to the immigrant Indians, where they hoped to secure advice to aid them in determining on a course of action. In view of the great importance of the subject Chisholm abandoned his trading business and accompanied the Indians along the trail that ended at his home at Edwards's Settlement.
-- from FOREMAN: Advancing the Frontier, p. 244.
"I also two days since had the pleasure of seeing a party of Keechies. They came for the purpose of Trading principally, but as I had no interpreter (Jesse Chisholm having gone to Missouri) nothing of importance was said; and our interview put me in mind of some deliberative bodies I have seen in which 'making motions' was about all that was done and half of them not understood; it had however the rare virtue of being a 'short sitting.' "
-- from FOREMAN: Advancing the Frontier, p. 248.
In the winter of 1850-51, a council was held with the wild Indians on the Concho River, in Texas. There were present the Penateka Band of Comanches, the Wacoes, Towakonies, Caddocs, Lipans, Anadarkoes and a few Wichitas. The name of the Indian agent I do not remember. (It was probably Robert S. Neighbors.) John Connor, a Delaware, was guide and interpreter. Jesse Chisholm, known as "Prairie Jess," was also present, as was Capt. Black Beaver. These were the most notable guides and interpreters on the Plains. They were asked by the Indian agent to remain and assist Connor - he wanted no misunderstanding. The business of Black Beaver and Chisholm was to trade. They asked the agent if he had any objection and he replied that he had none whatever; that he wanted them to assist in civilizing these Indians, to visit them often and to associate with them at peace and help them to learn better ways than their own. The Comanche Band was headed by Ke-kem-sey-ker-a-way and Tosh-a-way, the present chief.
At this council these bands agreed to bury the tomahawk and scalping knife and try to become an agricultural people. (The Wichitas, Caddoes and several of the smaller tribes had been raising corn from time immemorial.) All the chiefs marched to a ravine near by, cast into it a tomahawk and a scalping knife and covered them with a rick and earth, up even with the surface, planting at the same time an ear of corn. This was in token of their sincerity in their promise to bury all weapons of death and barbarism forever and that they should henceforth try to live in peace and secure their subsistence by the cultivation of the soil.
-- from: A History of Oklahoma by Joseph B. Thoburn, Vol. 1, p. 249.
The Creeks met the prairie Indians in a number of important peace councils and they and the Seminole were frequently called on for advice by the Comanches. In the spring of 1853 the Comanche Indians with 200 lodges were encamped in the Wichita Mountains. They sent messengers to the Creeks soliciting them to join in a council. But the Creeks a day or two before had sent Jesse Chisholm to the Comanche camp to make an appointment for the Grand Council fifty-five days from that time to be held at the Salt Plains which was intended to be an extraordinary occasion. In June 1500 Creeks departed for the Salt Plains to attend this Grand Council where large numbers of Comanche and other prairie Indians assembled.
-- from FOREMAN: The Five Civilized Tribes, p. 203.
The party under Lieut. A. W. Whipple, surveying a route for a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean, reached Edwards's Settlement in 1853; here they purchased from Jesse Chisholm several head of beef cattle; Chisholm, "a man of considerable wealth and extensively engaged in trade," they reported, was the owner of seven Mexican captives purchased from their captors, the Comanche Indians. -from FOREMAN: Advancing the Frontier, p. 220.
In 1864 came Jesse Chisholm, a man in whose veins flowed the mingled blood of the Scotch Highlander and the Cherokee Indian, a man of great influence among the Indians of the plains and the territory. He loaded some teams with goods from the writer's (Hon. J. R. Mead, Wichita, Kansas) trading post at Towanda, crossed at the mouth of the Little Arkansas, and started south, selecting the most suitable route to his old trading post on the North Fork of the Canadian, known as Council Grove. Other traders followed his trail.
-- from: Kansas Historical Collections, Vol. V, p. 93.
Wichita was named for a band of Wichita Indians, who came with Jesse Chisholm in 1864, when he established a trading post.
-- from Kansas State Historical Collections, p. 486, Vol. VII.
With the Wichitas (in 1864) came Jesse Chisholm, an half-breed Cherokee, and an adopted member of the Wichitas. He built his house on the stream which derived its name from him, east of the city of Wichita, and moved into it with his family. He also established a ranch between the two rivers, three miles above their junction, near the present residence of J. C. Davis. In the spring of 1865, Mr. Chisholm located a trail from his ranch to the present site of the Wichita Agency, on the Wichita river, Indian Territory, distance 220 miles. This trail subsequently became, and is still known, as the Chisholm Trail. It was established for the purpose of enabling the traders in the Arkansas Valley to obtain wagon communication with the Indians in the Indian Territory, and the trail was used by these traders for years in the transportation of merchandise to tribes in the territory. Afterward the trail was used by Texas cattle drivers, and is now used by the government in the transportation of supplies to Fort Sill, forty miles south of the Wichita Agency. The principal points of this trail are Wichita, Clearwater, Caldwell, Pond Creek, Skeleton Ranch, Buffalo Springs, mouth of Turkey Creek, Cheyenne Agency, Wichita Agency, and Fort Sill. Chisholm died on the North Fork of the Canadian River, in the Indian Territory, March 4, 1868, of cholera morbus, caused by eating bear's grease that had been poisoned by being melted in a brass kettle.
-- from ANDREAS'S History of Kansas, p. 1385.
In the spring of 1865, Jesse Chisholm, the veteran Cherokee trader, set out from his temporary residence near the mouth of the Little Arkansas River (the site upon which the city of Wichita has since been built) , on a trading trip to the valleys of the Canadian and Washita Rivers, in the Indian Territory. Taking several wagons loaded with the usual trader's outfit, he followed the faint trace of the trail which had been left by the retreating column of Federal troops under the command of Colonel Emory, when, four years before, they had withdrawn from the posts in the Indian Territory and marched to Fort Leavenworth, with Captain Black Beaver, the Delaware leader, as their guide. Despite the fact that it was first marked by Colonel Emory's command at the outbreak of the Civil War, and that its practicability was due in great part to Captain Black Beaver, long a friend and comrade of Jesse Chisholm, this trail, used by so many other traders and travelers soon became known as the Chisholm Trail.
This information was secured by Joseph B. Thoburn from George Chisholm, who was associated with Jesse Chisholm throughout that period. George Chisholm, who died in 1918, was one of the Mexican captives whom Jesse Chisholm had ransomed and rescued from the Comanche Indians and then adopted and reared him as a son.
Later many of the Wichitas congregated up the North Fork of the Canadian where Jesse Chisholm had called in the Kiowas and Comanches, and here they remained until the 4th day of March, 1868, when he suddenly died [of food poisoning]. The Indians then suddenly scattered like a flock of quail. He was their friend, counselor, lawgiver, and father. Each band went its own way. In the spring, the Wichitas, what was left of them, finally assembled at their old homes on the Washita, where the government had sent Col. J. H. Leavenworth with some provisions for their needs, and there they have resided to the present time.
-- from: Kansas Historical Collections, Vol. 8, p. 177.
James R. Mead, of Wichita, before the Kansas State Historical Society, at its thirty second meeting, December 6, 1907, said:
The most influential man among these Indians was Jesse Chisholm, a Cherokee who was beloved of all the Indians. He, in his younger days, had bought captive Mexican children from the Comanches and raised them as members of his family. They were entirely devoted to him, became expert in all the lore of the plains, and were excellent guides and interpreters, as they could speak or understand all languages of the plains, including the sign language which was in universal use. Of these most faithful and devoted men, I remember the names of Jackson, Caboon and Yonitob. They were very handy to have along when we ran into a war party of Indians, strangers to us, as happened to the writer a number of times (James R. Mead). Chisholm laid out the trail bearing his name, from the Little Arkansas south to the North Fork of the Canadian, and the stream running through Wichita was named for him, as he was the first person to build a house on it.
-- from JAMES R. MEAD in Kansas Historical Collections, Vol. X, p. 11.
In March, 1874, we put in a cattle camp on the Chikaskia River, near its mouth, and not far from the place where the Nez Perces Agency was afterward established. There were five of us in the camp that spring. I was sixteen and one-half years old and the others were all grown men. We had a kind of "straw boss" who was known as Colonel O. P. Johnson. He claimed to have been at one time a renowned scout and Indian fighter and, to judge from the great stories he used to tell, one would be led to think that he had fought Indians all the way from the Pecos to the "shinneries," and then some. There was no other camp in that country between the Arkansas River and the old Sewell stockade, at the Pond Creek crossing on the Chisholm Trail.
-- from Chronicles of Oklahoma, Vol. 3, p. 259.
Charles A. Siringo, the noted cowboy detective writer, in his book The Texas Cowboy refers to the Chisholm Trail as follows:
I was then in the western edge of what is known as the Black-jack country, which extends east far beyond the Chisholm Trail. - p. 100
After crossing "Turkey Creek," I hadn't gone but a short distance when I came in sight of the Chisholm Trail. - p. 102
That morning I left the Chisholm Trail and struck down the Washita River, in search of a good, lively place where I might put in the balance of the winter. - p. 104
The following May I landed in Gainesville, Texas, right side up with care and from there went to Saint Joe on the Chisholm Trail, where I succeeded in getting a job with a passing herd belonging to Capt. Littlefield of Gonzales. - p. 105
"But the principal trail now (1874) traveled is more direct and is known as Chisholm Trail, so named from a semicivilized Indian who is said to have traveled it first. It is more direct, has more prairie, less timber, more small streams and less large ones, and altogether better grass and fewer flies-no civilized Indian tax or wild Indian disturbances-than any other route yet driven over, and is also much shorter in distance because direct from Red River to Kansas.
"Swimming herds of cattle across swollen rivers is not listed as one of the pleasurable events in the driver's trip to the northern market. It is the scarcity of large rivers that constitutes one of the most powerful arguments in the favor of the Chisholm Trail. Nevertheless it is not entirely free from this objection, especially during rainy seasons. When the herd is over the stream the next job is to get the camp wagon over. This is done by drawing it near the water's edge and, after detaching the oxen and swimming them over, a number of picket ropes are tied together, sufficient to reach across the river, and attached to the wagon which is then pushed into the river and drawn to the opposite shore, whereupon the team is attached and the wagon drawn on to solid ground."
"The Chisholm Trail.-In the spring of 1865, Jesse Chisholm laid out a trail from the present site of Wichita, Kansas, to the Wichita-Caddo Agency, where Anadarko is now located. This trail was 220 miles long. It soon became known as the Chisholm Trail and afforded a wagon route to Southwestern Oklahoma. It was also -used for a time by the Texas cattle drivers. Over it p ' assed the supplies for the troops stationed at Forts Reno and Sill and for the U. S. Indian Agencies at Darlington and Anadarko. It was used for that purpose for over twenty years. The principal camping points on the Chisholm Trail in .Oklahoma were Pond Creek (near the present town of Jefferson) , Skeleton Ranch (near Enid) , Buffalo Springs (Bison) , Kingfisher, mouth of Turkey Creek, Cheyenne Agency (Darlington) , Canadian River and Wichita Agency (Anadarko)."
"That much misapprehension has always existed as to the origin of the Chisholm Trail is a well known fact, a misconception that still holds and finds ready reception in many lands and occasional expression in magazine articles dealing with that subject-though nowhere with the degree of interest that once attached to itwhich in the days of the great trail herds, led to bitter discussion around many a camp fire, and at times to physical combat.
"Due to the confusion of names, John Chisum, big cattleman of the upper Pecos River, near Roswell, New Mexico, was generally credited by many with being the originator of that trail, which lay, as a matter of fact, nearly four hundred miles east of his ranch on the Pecos, a country through which John Chisum never drove cattle, and probably never saw.
"The origin of the Chisholm Trail, over which were driven the greatest herds of cattle known to history, and the first and most famous ever blazed in this or any other country, was always more or less a mystery and a source of much dispute among early cattlemen, until cleared up some years ago by the late Captain H. Spekes, of Bryan County, Oklahoma, then past eighty, who took the first herd of cattle ever driven over it, to Kansas City, in the spring of 1866.
"Jesse Chisholm, for whom the trail took its name, was an Indian trader and trapper, and had an extensive ranch and a trading post, at Canadian River, a few miles west of the site of Oklahoma City. The winter preceding the arrival of Captain Spekes at the North. Canadian had been an unusually profitable season for trapping and hunting, and, as a result, Chisholm had collected great piles of fur pelts, beaver and otter, deer, elk, wolf, and many buffalo hides, which he hauled to Kansas City the following spring.
"Arriving at the crossing of the North Canadian a few days after the Chisholm wagon train had departed from Council Grove, Captain Spekes, in view of the plain wagon trail that now lay ahead of him, cut deep into the soft prairie soil, followed it up to its junction with the Santa Fe Trail and thence over the latter to the Missouri River. It was thus that the historic Chisholm Trail came into existence.
"This pioneer herd was driven from Southern Oklahoma and led by two Indians, and beat out its own trail to the North Canadian. Other herds followed shortly in the wake of Captain Spekes, and soon, the Chisholm Trail for several years, became the one great highway and outlet from the Texas and Oklahoma ranges for practically all the cattle driven north to the railroad terminals then being established in Kansas, of which Abilene was the dominating center.
"So extensively was the Chisholm Trail used by Texas and Oklahoma stockmen, that the Santa Fe Railroad Company later paralleled it with steel rails from Wichita, Kansas, to Fort Worth, Texas, a distance of nearly four hundred miles.
"Jesse Chisholm was born in East Tennessee in 1806, his father being of Scotch parentage and his mother a Cherokee, whose sister, the beautiful Tiana Rogers, married General Sam Houston.
"Chisholm died in 1868, at Council Grove, which during the years he lived there, had become to him and his kin a sort of feudal domain from which they derived all that makes for the even ways of life." (Frontier Times, 4/4/29.)
"We crossed Red River north of Bowie, Texas, at the mouth of Salt Creek, going up Mud Creek in a northwestern direction into Indian Territory. Then we crossed Wild Horse Creek above Fort Arbuckle, crossing the Washita at old Cherokee Town and the South Canadian (then the North Canadian) at Chisholm's Trading Post, where we found the first evidence of any trail or road. From the trading post we followed his wagon tracks direct into the mouth of the Little Arkansas River, where Chisholm had another trading post, where Wichita, Kansas, now stands." (Frontier Times, 8/5/194.)
"Early in the spring of 1864, the Wichita Indians and the affiliating tribes, who had been driven from the Indian Territory in the winter of 1861-1862, and who had made temporary homes in Woodson County, Kansas, removed from there and established a camp at the mouth of the Little Arkansas. The name of their camp was Wichita, from which the present city of Wichita derived its name. These Indians engaged in peaceful vocations, cultivating and harvesting large fields of corn and vegetables. They remained until the fall of 1865, when they returned south. With the Wichitas came Jesse Chisholm, a halfbreed Cherokee, and an adopted member of the Wichitas. He built his house on the stream which derived its name from him, east of the present city of Wichita, and moved into it with his family. He also established a ranch between the two rivers, three miles above their junction. In the spring of 1865, Mr. Chisholm located a trail from his ranch to the present site of the Washita River, Indian Territory, a distance of 220 miles. This trail subsequently became and still is known as the Chisholm Trail. It was established for the purpose of enabling the traders in the Arkansas Valley to obtain wagon communication with the Indians in the Indian Territory. Afterward the trail was used by Texas cattle drivers, and is now used (1882) by the Government in the transportation of supplies to Fort Sill, forty miles south of Wichita Agency. The principal points on the trail are Wichita, Clearwater, Caldwell, Pond Creek, Skeleton Ranch, Buffalo Springs, mouth of Turkey Creek, Cheyenne Agency, Wichita Agency, and Fort Sill. Chisholm died in the Indian Territory, March 4, 1868, of cholera morbus, caused by eating bear's grease that had been poisoned by being melted in a brass kettle." (Frontier Times, 8/5/195.)
"In 1868, 1869, and 1870, lots of boys went to Abilene, Kansas, from Goliad, Bee, Live Oak, San Patricio, Refugio, Victoria, Gonzales, and Karnes Counties, Texas. On their return the boys all said they had struck the Chisholm Trail north of the Red River Station. This was a trail from Abilene, Kansas, to Red River Crossing, which Joe McCoy of Abilene had Jesse Chisholm blaze. Charles Goodnight always said the Chisholm Trail should have been called the Joe McCoy Trail and I think he was right. McCoy was a promoter who built the stockyards at Abilene, Kansas. He had the trail blazed by Chisholm in the spring of 1867 in time to catch the 1867 drive. Before that many herds crossed the Red River at Colbert's Ferry below Denison. The market at Abilene closed in 1873 and Doan's Crossing was first used in 1876.
"I went from Goliad to Abilene, Kansas, in 1871 with cattle and came back over the same trail with 100 cowboys, 200 saddle horses, and ten chuck wagons. There was no demand for horses in Kansas in 1871, but a good demand for them on the western ranges a few years later.
"Our boys and some of the boys who had been on the trail before said we would strike the Chisholm Trail when we crossed Red River at Red River Station. This was the general understanding until the last few years.
"Some are now claiming that all cattle trails were designated as the Chisholm Trail but cannot tell who designated them. I always heard all the Texas cattle trails called the Kansas Trail, the Northern Trails and the Texas Longhorn Trails.
"I assert that any cattle which crossed the Red River at Doan's Crossing never touched the Chisholm Trail, as Red River Station was over 100 miles east of Doan's Crossing and Abilene, Kansas, was over 100 miles east of Dodge City." (Frontier Times, 9/4/184.)
G. W. MILLS of Lockhart, Texas, relates:
"We left the Lockhart pasture about the first of April, took the Chisholm Trail and 'lit out.' When we arrived at old Red River Station, where the old Chisholm Trail crossed, we found the river up and several herds waiting to cross." Also, "We went up the old Chisholm Trail and crossed the river at Red River Station." (Trail Drivers, page 231.)
A. . EUSTACE of Prairie Lea, Texas, writes:
"From Hutto we continued our course to Belton and Fort Worth. At this time Fort Worth was the terminus of the Texas Sc Pacific Railroad. Crossing the Red River at Red River Station, we traveled the old Chisholm Trail until we crossed the Canadian River." (Trail Drivers, page 254.)
RICHARD WITHERS of Boyes, Montana, states:
"We crossed the Colorado River below Austin, went by Georgetown, Belton, and Waco, where we had to swim the Brazos, crossed Red River and struck the Chisholm Trail." (Trail Drivers, page 306.)
A.W. CAPT of San Antonio, Texas, relates:
"Beginning in the spring of 1870, large herds were being driven from Texas up the Chisholm Trail." (Trail Drivers, page 363.)
JOE CHAPMAN of Benton, Texas, tells:
"In 1874 1 made a trip up the old Chisholm Trail with 1,000 beeves which had been selected and put in the Shiner pasture below Pearsall. Some of our outfit returned by way of the old Coffeyville trail, as the Indians were on the Chisholm Trail because some buffalo hunters had killed some of their bucks and they wanted revenge." (Trail Drivers, pages 417, 419.)
GEORGE W. SAUNDERS of San Antonio, Texas, states:
"We went by Waco, Cleburne and Fort Worth. Between the last named places the country was somewhat level and untimbered, and was full of prairie chickens and deer. When we reached Fort Worth we crossed the Trinity River under the bluff, where the present street car line to the stockyards crosses the river. Fort Worth was then but a small place, consisting of only a few stores, and there was only one house in that part of town, where the stockyards are now located. We held our herd here two days, finally proceeding on our journey, and crossed the Red River at Red River Station and took the Chisholm Trail through the Indian Territory." (Trail Drivers, pages 431-432.)
PLEASANT B. BUTLER of Kenedy, Texas, tells:
"From Love's we traveled the Chisholm Trail, crossed the South Fork of the Arkansas, through the Osage country into Kansas." Also, "We crossed the river at Red River Station, seventy-five miles above Gainesville, where an Indian named Red Blanket waited to pilot us through the new country. The herd traveled ahead in a turn, a day at a time, the first herd breaking the trail for those following." (Trail Drivers, pages 482, 483.)
L. D. TAYLOR of San Antonio, Texas, relates:
"After a few days' travel we struck the Chisholm Trail, the only thoroughfare from Texas through the Indian Territory to Kansas, and about this time two other herds fell in with us, and, not knowing the country we were going through, the three outfits agreed to stick together, stay and die with each other if necessary. Ours was the third herds that had ever traveled that trail." (Trail Drivers, page 499.)
The following was published in a Houston paper at the time of the convention of the Old Time Trail Drivers in that city in 1916:
"Know what year the Chisholm Trail was blazed?"
"Must a been about in '68 or '69. I went up with a herd in '70 and the blazes were still bright on the trees then all through the Oklahoma timber country."
"Now this Chisholm Trail, where it started and where it ended and when it was blazed we're not plum sure of it and I'd like to find someone that is," said George W. Saunders, presiding. (Trail Drivers, page 553.)
W. M. SHANNON of Lytle, Texas, writes:
"My first trip up the trail was in 1878 with Bob Martin, from Refugio County, with 1,100 two-year olds and upwards. Our chuck wagon was drawn by two yoke of steers, and Adam Johnson, a negro, was our cook. We started our herd about the fifteenth of March, crossed the Colorado below Austin, went by Round Rock and Georgetown. On the North Gabriel we had a heavy rain and hail, and our cattle stampeded, drifted back and mixed up with one of the Kokernot herds. Next morning I was five miles from camp with a hundred steers. It took us two days to separate the cattle and get started on our way. We went by Waco, Cleburne, and Fort Worth and crossed the Trinity River. We crossed the Red River at Red River Station and took the Chisholm Trail through the Indian Territory. We got by the Indians without any trouble. At Pond Creek we saw our first buffalo, and it seemed as if the plains were literally covered with them." (Trail Drivers, pages 606-607.)
C. F. DOAN of Doan's store says:
"I am now 74 years old and looking back over my life I find the main part of it has been spent near the old Chisholm Trail, or on the Dodge City, Kansas, Trail. My first introduction to the old Chisholm Trail was in 1874 when in the company of Robert E. Doan, a cousin, and both of us from Wilmington, Ohio, we set out for Fort Sill, Indian Territory, from Wichita, Kansas. We made this little jaunt by stage coach of 250 miles over the famous trail in good time." (Trail Drivers, page 772.)
A. F. CARVAJAL of San Antonio, Texas, relates:
"From Fort Worth we drove to Montague, thence to Red River Station, where we crossed Red River and went due north about thirty miles east of Fort Sill. When we had crossed Red River all of us buckled on our six-shooters, for we expected to have to use them. We were on the Chisholm Trail in the Indian Nation." (Trail Drivers, page 840.)
MRS. MARY CRUZE of San Antonio, Texas, tells:
"Mr. Cruze also made two trips to Kansas over the Chisholm Trail." (Trail Drivers, page 880.)
CHARLES GOODNIGHT of Goodnight, Texas, writes:
"Now the facts are, John Chisum followed the Goodnight and Loving Trail up the Pecos in 1866, reaching Bosque Grande on the Pecos about December, wintering right below Bosque Grande, with 600 jingle Bob steers. We wintered about eight miles apart. In the spring of 1867 he disposed of those steers to government contractors, and returned to his Colorado and Concho ranch and began moving his cattle west. In 1867 I formed a partnership with him on the following basis: He was to deliver to me all cattle he could handle at Bosque Grande on the Pecos River, I allowing him one dollar per head profit over Texas prices for his risk. During this contract or agreement, he lost two herds by the Indians. I handled the rest of his drives from Bosque Grande west, disposing of them in Colorado and Wyoming. This continued for three years, and I divided profits equally with him. These profits enabled him to buy the 60,000 head he once held on the Pecos.
"Chisum never drove a herd north, and never claimed to have done so. He did drive two herds to Little Rock at the end of the Civil War, less than a thousand steers in all.
"Chisum moved the herds before spoken of en route to Little Rock by what was known as the Colbert Crossing, followed the old U. S. Road the entire distance. In conversation with me he said one Chisholm, in no way related to him, did pilot 600 steers from the Texas Frontier to old Fort Cobb, and he presumed that this was the origin of the name of the trail, although no trail was opened." (Trail Drivers, page 951.)
GEORGE W. SAUNDERS of San Antonio, Texas, states:
"Here is a correct log of the cattle trails from Texas to Kansas and the Northwestern States and territory beginning at the Rio Grande, in Cameron County, and giving the names of all the counties in Texas these trails passed through. Starting at the Rio Grande, the trail passed through Cameron, Willacy, Hidalgo, Brooks, Kenedy, Kleberg, Nueces, Jim Wells, San Patricio, Live Oak, Bee, Goliad, Karnes, Wilson, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, Williamson, Bell, Falls, Bosque, McLennan, Hill, Johnson, Tarrant, Denton, Wise, Cook, Montague, to Red River Station, or crossing where the Texas Trail intersected the Chisholm Trail. In the late 70's it became necessary to move the trail farther west, as the old trail was being taken up by farmers. The trail was changed to go through Wilson, Bexar, Kendall, Kerr, Kimble, Menard, Concho, McCulloch, Coleman, Callahan, Shackelford, Baylor, Throckmorton, and Wilbarger to Doan's Store or Crossing on Red River. Later on the Southern herds quit the old trail in San Patricio County and went through Live Oak, McMullen, La Salle, Dimmit, Zavala, Uvalde, Edwards, and intersecting the Western Trail in Kimble County, from where all followed the well defined and much traveled Western Trail to Doan's Crossing on Red River. As I remember the trail to Dodge City from Doan's Crossing it passed up North Fork River, Croton Creek, crossed North Fork Red River at Wichita Mountain, up North Fork to Indian Camp, Elm Creek, Cash Creek, Washita, Canadian, Sand Creek, Wolf Creek, Otter Creek, Beaver Creek, Wild Horse and Cimarron where Red Clark conducted a road house called "Long Horn Roundup," on up Bear Creek, Bluff Creek, at Meiley's road house, Mulberry Creek and Dodge City. Now, my gentle readers, you have the log of old Northern cattle trails, through Texas, and by looking at a map of Texas you can locate any part of the trail by the counties touched, but remember several of the Texas counties were not organized at that time and none in the Indian Territory. You will recall it has been fifty-five years since the trail started and twenty-four since it closed. I personally drove over all these trails described and there are hundreds of men yet living that will vouch for the correctness of this log.
"John Chisum, of Denton County, drove lots of cattle to the head of the Concho in the late sixties, and to the Pecos later. Oliver Loving, Charles Goodnight, John Gamel, and others drove some herds from the head of the Concho to Horsehead Crossing on the Pecos in the sixties, on up the Pecos to Fort Sumner and on to Pueblo, Colorado. There was a trail called the Goodnight Trail that went from the Pecos by way of Tascosa to Dodge City and other Kansas markets, but I have been unable to get a true log of that trail." (Trail Drivers, pages 963-964.)
C. H. RUST Of San Angelo, Texas, states:
"I note that I do not find in John Chisum's history where he ever drove a herd of cattle from Texas to Kansas, but he drove thousands of cattle into the Pecos Country and New Mexico, about 1864 and 1866." (Trail Drivers, page 39.)
JOHN S. KRITZER of Taylor, Texas, writes:
"I then drove to Dodge City, taking one herd of the old jingle Bob steers, which I had bought from Coggin Brothers and J. M. Dawson, from the Plains to Gainesville. These were the old John Chisum steers from Seven Rivers, near Roswell, New Mexico, and the most of them died with tick fever. Before I reached Chicago I lost $21,000 on them and was busted." (Trail Drivers, page 37 1.)
MARY TANKERSLEY LEWIS of San Angelo, Texas, relates:
"While living at the head of the Concho, my father gathered a herd of cattle with the intention of trailing them to New Mexico, but he sold them to John Chisum, and the Indians took them from him on the plains. In June, 1869, my father trailed a herd of twenty-five hundred cattle to Los Angeles, California, being on the trail about eight months. On the way home, two men who camped with him for the night cut open a saddle bag and stole five hundred dollars. In the pair of saddle bags there were twenty-five thousand dollars in gold, and why they did not take it all is a mystery. At that time and for many years afterward there were no banks in this part of the state, so all the money we had was buried under the house.' I (Trail Drivers, page 765.)
A. M. GILDEA of Deming, New Mexico, tells:
"When we arrived at South Spring, the headquarters ranch of John S. Chisum, we camped on the ground where the Slaughter outfit had camped a few days before and saw where a Texas cowboy had been shot from his horse by one of Slaughter's men as he rode into their camp, his congealed blood lying in a pool on the ground where he fell and died. His name was Barney Gallagher, and I knew him at Carrizo Springs in Dimmit County. He was generally known as Buckshot, a typical cowboy character of those frontier days." (Trail Drivers, pages 980-981.)
D. H. SNYDER of Georgetown, Texas, writes:
"We drove from the Llano, where we received our cattle, to the Kickapoo and Lipan Springs and on to head of Main Concho River. Here we laid up two days doing all of our cooking and parching coffee to do us for our trip across the plains, ninety miles to Horsehead Crossing on the Pecos River, without water. This drive we made, driving day and night, in seventy hours. John Chisum was the second to cross the plains on this route in 1868 (1866). His herd was all captured by the Indians except seventy head of cripples and tailings, up above where Roswell is now situated. Chisum, John Hitson of Palo Pinto County, Rube Gray and White, his brother-in-law from San Saba County, John and Tom Owens of Williamson County, Martin Cosner of Llano County, and our herd are the only herds I remember crossing that route in 1868, with no settlements of any kind on the route from head of Main Concho to Bosque Grande, the Apache Indian reservation this side of Las Vegas, New Mexico. These Indians were moved from the reservation here to Arizona in the spring of 1868."
The State of Oklahoma in 1931 passed the following law:
THE TWO CATTLE TRAILS
House Bill No. 149
AN ACT PROVIDING FOR LOCATING, TRACING, MAPPING AND FILING PLATES OF THE LINES OF THE OLD ESTABLISHED CATTLE TRAILS ACROSS THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA, AND PROVIDING FOR THE EXPENSES OF SUCH WORK, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Oklahoma:
SECTION 1. It shall be the duty of the State Highway Department of the State of Oklahoma, and the said department is required to immediately locate the correct line of the old established Chisholm Trail across the State of Oklahoma, showing as near as possible the exact location, that the same crossed each section of land in said state in its course from the point where said trail crossed the south line of said state in southern Jefferson -County, Oklahoma, to where it crossed the north line of said state in northern Grant County, Oklahoma, and said Highway Department shall also locate in the same manner the correct line of the old established Texas Cattle Trail crossing western Oklahoma from where it crossed the south line of the State of Oklahoma, crossing the Red River at what is known as Doan's Store or Doan's Crossing, and following the line of said trail north to where it crossed the north line of said State of Oklahoma south of Dodge City or Fort Dodge, Kansas. The said department shall cause maps to be made of the said locations so determined by them, which said maps shall show the location of the main line of the Rock Island Railway running across said state to Dallas, Texas, and shall show the location of the present Meridian Highway, being Government Highway No. 81, across said state, and the proximity of said highway to the said trail.
SECTION 2. At least one copy of the said maps above referred to shall be retained in the office of the State Highway Department, and one copy shall be furnished to the State Historical Society to be preserved in the office of said society, and that smaller copies of the same shall be prepared, either by drafts or by printing, and shall be by the said Highway Department and by the said State Historical Society furnished to all known map makers, who are making and placing upon the markets maps of the State of Oklahoma, so that the same may be copied and inserted on said maps.
SECTION 3. That all expenses connected with the carrying out of this provision shall be defrayed and paid by the State Highway Department out of any available funds in their hands, provided, that in no event shall the expenses exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00) out of the General Revenue Fund.
SECTION 4. It being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, by reason whereof this Act shall take effect and be in full force from and after its passage and approval.
PASSED BY the Senate this 26th day of March, 1931.
President of the Senate.
PASSED by the House of Representatives this 27th day of March, 1931.
Speaker of the House of
APPROVED by the Governor of the State of Oklahoma: On this 31 day of March, 1931.
WM. H. MURRAY
LUTHER E. GREEN
Vice Chairman, Committee on Enrolled and Engrossed Bills
STATE OF OKLAHOMA
STATE HIGHWAY COMMISSION
February 19, 1936
South of the Red River there were many cattle trails that spread out like a turkey track or fan leaf, that led to Red River Station, in the northern part of Montague County. Each and every one of these fanlike branches assumed the name of "Chisholm Trail" with the shadow of title that they all led into the original trail.
In fact some real drivers have boldly told the writer that they went up the old Chisholm Trail via Doan's to Dodge City. In reality, the State of Oklahoma has settled the matter correctly by law.
The cattle trail, known as the Chisholm Trail, was the greatest one of its kind in the history of the world. Its length varied according to the different periods of time during its existence. In its inception it extended and was traveled all the way from San Antonio, Texas, to Abilene, Kansas, a distance of approximately eight hundred miles. The early herds going north over this trail crossed the Red River at various points, but when well established it crossed that river, left the State of Texas north of the City of Ringgold, and entered the State of Oklahoma below the mouth of Cache Creek and south of the City of Waurika, near the line between the present Cotton and Jefferson Counties, Oklahoma. It then took its course north. In later years it straightened out, gradually working west, until it followed near the present line of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway, and the route of the Meridian Highway, known as Government Highway 81, and crossed the north line of the State of Oklahoma south of the City of Caldwell, Kansas, the exact location being about eighty rods east of the point where Highway 81 crosses the state line between Kansas and Oklahoma. The trail ran from this point north to Abilene, Kansas. From Caldwell to Abilene it varied but sixteen miles from a course due north, Abilene being sixteen miles farther east than Caldwell.
This cattle trail was named for Jesse Chisholm, and was so known throughout the entire West. The reason for this will hereafter appear. Two things are peculiar in this regard. One of them is that while Jesse Chisholm was one of the prominent and noted characters of the frontier and old West he was not a cowboy or cattleman. It has been truthfully said that the only cattle he ever drove were yoked to his wagons. The second is that he never traveled this trail except from the present City of Wichita, Kansas, to its crossing on the Cimarron River, where the present City of Dover, Oklahoma, now stands, a distance of less than one hundred and fifty miles.
Considering the times and surroundings in which he lived and died, Jesse Chisholm was truly a remarkable man. His life was spent without any idea, on his part, that he would ever be known as a historical character, and he died without considering that he was, or ever would be, known other than an ordinary trader. Much of the history of this remarkable man written records have preserved, proving his activities, worth, and standing. The following are some of the high points of his life. There are many others, but in this brief sketch they cannot all be included.-from The Chisholm Trail by SAM P. RIDINGS, pages 15-6.
On reaching the City of Austin, on the Colorado River, two hundred miles from its mouth, at the town of Matagordo, we struck the Chisholm Trail proper. From here north to the line of Kansas, a distance of about seven hundred miles, it was one continuous roadway, several hundred yards wide, tramped hard and solid by the millions of hoofs which had gone over it. It started in at a ford three miles below the City. All smaller trails from the different Gulf coast districts merged into this great and only Chisholm Trail.-from Reata and Spurs, CHARLES A. SIRINGO, page 26.
HUBERT E. COLLINS in his Warpath and Cattle Trails says:
"When the first cattle trailers came north, driving their cattle, they had taken advantage of the natural opening through the obstructing woods. Thus it was that the Chisholm Trail crossed the larger stream just east of Kingfisher Creek, and then led the cattlemen northwest for a mile before they could again go north." (p. 29)
He further stated that "nearly all of the cattle driven up the Chisholm Trail passed by or tarried at Red Fork Ranch." (p. 33)
"He then told me that Jesse Chisholm knew of the best route to be followed along which cattle could be driven from Texas to Abilene, Kansas, through the Indian country, in comparative safety. Largely under his direction, the first drive was made that marked the path." (p. 33)
BASING MY STATEMENTS ON DOCUMENTARY records and not on rumor, we can say with positive conviction that Jesse Chisholm made six distinct historical footprints on Texas soil. In order of chronology these are:
An investigation took place at Edwards's store in 1846, in regard to the ownership of one Sambo, a negro, who had been around the Edwards's store and farm for several years, when Jesse Chisholm testified that he bought the negro Sambo from the Comanches on the Texas Prairies in 1839.
On his trip to Texas, Jesse Chisholm in 1839 had two distinct routes that he could have traveled. A few years before his friend Sam Houston had gone due south from Fort Gibson to Nacogdoches. The route via old Fort Towson was well-known to Jesse Chisholm and from Nacogdoches to San Antonio there was the old road via Bastrop which was well marked and well traveled. From San Antonio the route was well known to Mexico.
A second route could have been from Fort Gibson to Edwards's store, then to Coffee's Trading Post on the Red, just east of Denison, and from there to Waco Village on the Brazos. He was on the borderland of the Comanches, by this route, but he had no fear of the Comanches because they were his friends. From Waco he could have come on by Austin and San Antonio. Either route was possible. He bought the negro boy, Sambo, from the Comanches on the St. Salva, which is evidently the San Saba.
His second trip into Texas was on a mission of mercy into'what is now known as Fannin County between Honeygrove and the Red River. Some friendly Delaware Indians had been killed on the Texas side and Jesse Chisholm went with some friendly Indians to ascertain the facts. They returned and reported. There is a very meager account of this in all histories. Evidently the killing had no aftermath so far as the accounts show.
The third time in Texas Jesse Chisholm was an interpreter at a great council of peace held on the Brazos River on the Tahwaccarro Creek. Jesse Chisholm at this time was living at Edwards's settlement on Little River in Indian Territory five miles from the present town of Holdenville. His route to the treaty ground was from Edwards's store to Coffee's Trading Post, then southwest to the headwaters of Denton Creek, crossing the Elm Fork of the Trinity west of Dallas, then down the plateau to the Waco Village at the present town of Waco. At this meeting met Comanches, Keechis, Wacos, Caddos, Anadahkahs, Sonies, Delawares, Shawnees, Cherokees, Lipans and Tahuakkaros, and the three commissioners, Thomas I. Smith, J. C. Neill, E. Morehouse and the representatives of the Indian tribes. Thirty-two Indians signed the treaty with his "mark." Twenty-seven of them represented the Indians and five were Indian interpreters, including Jesse Chisholm. This treaty was made on the part of the Republic of Texas and it is copied in full as follows.
A copy of the treaty of 1844 is given herewith in order to illustrate the clearness of the handwriting and the fine grade of ink used in that day.
Every word of this treaty was spoken and interpreted by Jesse Chisholm to the Comanches. He first heard it read in English and in turn translated it to the waiting Comanches. The reader must bear in mind that at this time Jesse Chisholm was 38 years old, and in a space of ten years' dealings had been so fair with all the Indians that the wild Comanches selected him as their reliable interpreter.
Made at Council Grove on Tahwaccaro
Creek in 1844 (7 Miles N. E. of Waco, Texas)
Of Peace, Friendship, and Commerce
Between the Republic of Texas and the
Comanche, Keechi, Waco, Caddo, Anadahkah, Sonie, Delaware, Shawnee,
Cherokee, Lipan and Tahuahkarro tribes of Indians,
concluded and signed at Tahwaccaro Creek, on the 9th day of October
in the year one thousand eight hundred and forty four.
Whereas, in time past hostilities have existed and wars been carried on between the white and red men of Texas, to the great injury of both; and whereas, a longer continuance of the same would lead to no beneficial result, but increase the evils which have so long unhappily rested upon the two races; and whereas, both parties are now willing to open the path of lasting peace, friendship and trade, and are desirous to establish certain solemn rules for the regulation of their mutual intercourse:
Therefore, the commissioners of the Republic of Texas, and the chiefs and head men of the before mentioned tribes of Indians, being met in council at Tahwaccaro Creek on the ninth day of October, in the year 1844, have concluded, accepted, agreed to and signed the following articles of treaty:
Article I. Both parties agree and declare, that they will forever live in peace, and always meet as friends and brothers. The tomahawk shall be buried, and no more blood appear in the way between them now made white. The Great Spirit will look with delight upon their friendship, and will frown in anger upon their enmity.
Article II. They further agree and declare, that the Government of Texas shall permit no bad men to cross the line into the hunting grounds of the Indians; and that if the Indians should find any such among them, they will bring him or them to some one of the agents, but not do any harm to his or their person or property.
Article III. They further agree and declare, that the Indians will make no treaty with any nation at war with the people of Texas; and, also, that they will bring in and give up to some one of the agents of the Government of Texas, any and all persons who may go among them for the purpose of making or talking of war.
Article IV. They further agree and declare, that if the Indians know of any tribe who may be going to make war upon the people of Texas, or steal their property, they will notify the whites of the fact through some one of the agents, and prevent such tribe or tribes from carrying out their intentions.
Article V. They further agree and declare, that the Indians shall no more steal horses or other property from the whites, and if any property should be stolen, or other mischief done by the bad men among any of the tribes, that they will punish those who do so and restore the property taken to some one of the agents.
Article VI. They further agree and declare, that the Indians will not trade with any other people than the people of Texas, so long as they can get such goods as they need at the trading houses.
Article VII. They further agree and declare, that the Government of Texas shall establish trading houses for the convenience and benefit of the Indians, and such articles shall be kept for the Indian trade as they may need for their support and comfort.
Article VIII. They further agree and declare, that when peace is fully established between the white and the red people, and no more war or trouble exists, the Indians shall be supplied with powder, lead, guns, spears, and other arms to enable them to kill game and live in plenty.
Article IX. They further agree and declare, that they will not permit traders to go among them unless they are sent by the Government of Texas, or its officers.
Article X. They further agree and declare, that the Indians will not sell any property to the whites, except such as are authorized to trade with them by the Government of Texas.
Article XI. They further agree and, declare, that the President shall appoint good men to trade with the Indians at the trading houses, so that they may not be cheated; and, also, that he shall appoint good men as agents who will speak truth to the Indians and bear their talks to him.
Article XII. They further agree and declare, that if the trading houses should be established below the line, to be run and marked, the Indians shall be permitted to cross the line for the purpose of coming to trade.
Article XIII. They further agree and declare, that no whiskey, or other intoxicating liquor, shall be sold to the Indians or furnished to them upon any pretext, either within their own limits or in any other places whatsoever.
Article XIV. They further agree and declare, that the Government of Texas shall make such presents to the Indians as the President from time to time shall deem proper.
Article XV. They further agree and declare, that the President may send among the Indians such blacksmiths and other mechanics, as he may think best, for their benefit: and also that he may send schoolmasters and families for the purpose of instructing them in a knowledge of the English language and Christian Religion, as well as other persons to teach them how to cultivate the soil and raise corn.
Article XVI. They further agree and declare, that if the President should at any time send men among them to work mines, or agents to travel with them over their hunting grounds, the Indians will treat them with friendship and aid them as brothers.
Article XVII. They further agree and declare, that hereafter, if the Indians go to war they will not kill women and children, or take them prisoner, or injure them in any way; and that they will only fight against warriors who have arms in their hands.
Article XVIII. They further agree and declare, that they never will, in peace or war, harm any man that carries a white flag; but receive him as a friend and let him return again to his people in peace.
Article XIX. They further agree and declare, that they will mutually surrender and deliver up all the prisoners which they have of the other party for their own prisoners; and that they will not be friendly with any people or nation, or enter into treaty with them, who will take prisoners from Texas, or do its citizens any injury.
Article XX. They further agree and declare, that if ever hereafter trouble should grow up between the whites and the Indians, they will immediately come with a white flag to some one of the agents and explain to him the facts; and he will send a messenger to the President, who will remove all trouble out of the path between the white and the red brothers.
Article XXI. They further agree and declare, that there shall be a general council held once a year, where chiefs from both the whites and the Indians shall attend. At the council presents will be made to the chiefs.
Article XXII. They further agree and declare, that the President may make such arrangements and regulations with the several tribes of Indians as he may think best for their peace and happiness.
The foregoing articles having been read, interpreted and fully understood by the parties, they agree to and confirm the same by sealing and signing their several names.
David G. Watson
L. H. Williams
Thos. I. Smith
J. C. Neill
Geo. W. Adams
R. H. Porter
Stephen T. Stater
John F. Torrey
J. E. Smith
Walter Winn, Secretary to Commissioners
Also representatives of the Caddos, Cherokees, Lipans, Comanches, Keechis, Wacos, Delawares, Tehuacans, Shawnees and others.
On the prairies of Texas Jesse Chisholm encountered some Comanches who had in their possession a negro boy named Sambo, who was about ten years old. Jesse Chisholm had several companions with him and in order to purchase the negro boy he borrowed several guns and succeeded finally in buying the boy and went on to Mexico, taking the negro boy with him. Sambo and another negro boy, Abraham, had been stolen from Dr. Joseph W. Robertson on the Colorado River in Texas but before meeting Jesse Chisholm the Comanches had sold Abraham to some hunters on the Colorado River. The Indians who had the negro boy were known as the "Comanches of the Woods," numbering about fifteen hundred men, women and children. Chisholm brought the negro boy with him to Edwards' store and sold him to his sister in-law, Lucinda Edwards, on January 24, 1841. There is nothing further mentioned in regard to the route Jesse Chisholm traveled.
WHEN WE SPEAK OF THE HOMES OF JESSE Chisholm, we must abandon the ordinary definition or idea of a home. For Jesse Chisholm it was not a place where he spent most of his time. He used his homes or ranches or stores as headquarters, or a depot or focus from which his trade expeditions radiated. As soon as he returned from one trading expedition he began preparations for another trip of some kind. These trips were often into untried and unknown territory. If it was to be a department store on mule back or by wagons or carts, he had to get his goods from Leavenworth or some other place, like Independence or Fort Smith; if it was a threatened raid by some tribe on the whites, Jesse Chisholm left on his best horse unarmed, and unaccompanied for the war dance; if it was to mark out a new trail for the U. S. Government, Jesse went with the caravan. So far as the record shows, Jesse Chisholm never carried a gun for defense, and was never wounded by a hostile arrow or bullet in his life of forty years among the Indians and desperate whites. And so far as the record shows, in his vast property holdings the most severe critic could not find a dirty dollar. When I refer to "HOMES" in the following pages, I really mean headquarters, or trading posts.
HOME ON THE SPADRA RIVER-SECOND Jesse Chisholm's people were persuaded by Sam Houston and others to go west willingly to the new land of the Indian territory and not to wait for forcible eviction by the U. S. soldiers. When Jesse Chisholm was about ten years, his branch of the Cherokees wended their way westward to the new land of promise. State lines were not well defined, and the Cherokees stopped first in the State of Arkansas on the north side of the Arkansas River, about sixty miles east of Van Buren, along the Spadra River. Here they built homes in the territory set apart by the Government for their people. Writers attribute to these Cherokees all the characteristics of a pioneer civilization of the best kind. They were thrifty, industrious, honest, frugal, and peace loving. Narcissa Owen in her beautiful little books of "Memoirs" described the life as related to her by her parents; and had these Cherokees been left to their frugal and happy homes along the Spadra, we could not find a civilization of a higher type. The Spadra home of Jesse Chisholm was that of a boy ten years old, and here he spent his teens in peace with his mother and his Aunt Talahina Rogers. It appears that the Cherokees spent from ten to fifteen years in the Spadra country, and then wended their way up the Old Arkansas River and settled in and around the mouth of the Neosho.
It is not quite certain when Jesse Chisholm and his people settled at or near Fort Gibson, but here Sam Houston found his old friend of Blount County, Tennessee, in April, 1829, after his stormy and unhappy experience in the State of Tennessee. Fort Gibson was for commercial purposes on three rivers. It was at the head of navigation for light crafts and much of the goods and merchandise came down the Ohio, into the Mississippi, and then up the Arkansas to the landing place at Fort Gibson. Here the U. S. Government had a fort ' and here came Washington Irving in the early thirties; and old Fort Gibson early became the western settlement of civilization and an outpost on the frontier. It was not only a center of business activity, but for a while a military center. Here the western tribes came with their furs, hides, pelts, and produce; and to the north the salt mines were furnishing an article of commerce that soon became a factor in the commercial life of the new territory. Here flocked pioneers seeking homes, gamblers, adventurers, speculators and government agents. For a time Fort Gibson became the place of reclaiming children captured in Texas by the Indians. It was learned that the western Indians would soon get in contact with someone at Fort Gibson, to open negotiations for reclaiming children captured in Texas. If this was a racket, it was only on the part of the Indians, as the white business men acted in a friendly capacity of exchange.
In the early thirties Jesse Chisholm arrived at Edwards' store, on the south bank of Little River about one mile above its mouth and some five miles from the present town of Holdenville. Jesse Chisholm soon was a partner of James Edwards, and in 1836 married Eliza Edwards, daughter of James Edwards. Here at Edwards' store, William Edwards Chisholm was born on Sept. 15, 1837. Edwards' store was the most westerly out-post of settlements of white people and it was the last place where supplies could be obtained by the caravans of emigrant or government expeditions that left Fort Smith and Van Buren, Arkansas for Santa Fe, New Mexico.
From Edwards' store Jesse Chisholm conducted his pack trains of merchandise to the western tribes of Indians. These goods he traded for furs, skins, blankets, etc., and on his return to headquarters these Indian goods were shipped to the eastern markets. There was little money in circulation, but it was barter and exchange.
The store house at Edwards was located in a very flat alluvial valley, some fifty yards from the high bank of the Little River. To the south this valley stretched for something less than half a mile, when the abrupt hills between the South Canadian and the Little River terminated the valley. This farm of several hundred acres was rich and productive and James Edwards always had an abundance of corn for caravans, traders, and travelers. It was the days of slavery and it is of record that the farm was worked in part by slaves. When trains left Van Buren or Fort Smith it was with the expectation of completing their supplies of food and feed at Edwards' store before heading for Santa Fe.
Here Jesse Chisholm kept his headquarters for several years. Here his wife Eliza Edwards Chisholm died in 1846. It should be said that James Edwards' wife was a full blood Creek which would make his daughter Eliza half white and half Creek. Jesse Chisholm was half Scotch and half Cherokee. Thus William Edwards Chisholm was one fourth Creek, one fourth Scotch, one fourth Cherokee, and one fourth white on the Edwards side.
Jesse Chisholm kept up his connections with Edwards' store until 1859 but he had branched out to the west and had other centers up the Canadian. There is in existence a note for four hundred dollars signed by Jesse Chisholm at Edwards' store dated in 1859.
Mrs. Eliza Chisholm died in 1846, and in 1847, Jesse Chisholm married Sahkahkee McQueen (written Soth Coxie by some). By 1848 he had established a small store at the now famous Chisholm Spring two miles east of Asher, Oklahoma, where his daughter, Jennie, was born in 1848. Incidentally Jennie lived till the fall of 1930 and died at the age of 82 years full of good deeds and acts of the Good Samaritan through a long and useful life.
Jesse Chisholm still kept his connection with Edwards' store thirty miles east. Here at the Chisholm Spring he made his main home with his wife Sahkahkee, and here young William Edwards Chisholm grew from the age of eleven to manhood and he stayed in this neighborhood till the end of his life in November 19, 1880. The road to the west, from Edwards' store up the north bank of the South Canadian, ran by the spring and it was a fine camping place where caravans or travelers could find good water and plenty of supplies.
The Chisholm Spring issues from the ledge of sandstone forty feet from the old rivulet. Over this spring, a grandchild of Jesse Chisholm informs me, Jesse Chisholm and his son, William Edwards (known in the neighborhood in those days as Billy) built a spring house covering the outlet of the spring. On the inside was built a deep trough some two feet wide and eight feet long and about a foot deep through which the whole current of the spring was directed. This open box or trough was filled always with the fresh spring water, and crocks of milk and butter were immersed to half their depth in this cool flowing water. This is the first attempt on record of a frontier refrigerator. It had its counterpart in many localities in the west and southwest, and in that old East Tennessee from which the Chisholms hailed.
This is about the last standing landmark house erected by the hand of Jesse Chisholm. The stones are well placed and the workmanship would be a credit to a modern mason. The stones were obtained near by and are all sandstone. It is amazing how they have held their shape for the last ninety years. On June 13, 1938, Dave Dillingham, the old freighter and pioneer banjo picker, would not pass up the opportunity of having a drink of water from this now famous spring. When offered a tin cup, he gave a sniff and got down on his knees and plunged his face right into the rippling water, and as he straightened up, he exclaimed: "Great Scott! That water is almost ice cold." The writer took a drink from the tin cup and can verify the opinion of Dave Dillingham who saw the spring for the first time in the year 1938, ninety years after Jesse Chisholm brought his Creek-Cherokee bride to his little log cabin.
A patriotic lady in Shawnee has had a marker erected two miles away iin near Asher on the east side of the road in honor of Jesse Chisholm and the famous spring. The marker has at the top an outline of a covered wagon of the old frontier type of movers.
Reader, do you realize that this old Chisholm Spring has been rippling and gurgling long before the Pilgrim fathers stood on the Plymouth Rock, even before Columbus discovered America?
At the beginning of the Civil War, the Confederates on the south side of the river became very active and they paid very little attention to state lines, and they did not hesitate to cross the Red River into the old Indian Territory to impress the Indians that the Confederacy was a going concern and that it was expected that the Indians would join the southern cause. Other pressure was brought to bear from northern sources, and the result was that the peaceful Indians did not want to take sides, did not want to be disturbed, and did not know what state rights meant. The only safe thing for them to do was to get out of the fighting zone. In 1861 two celebrated Indian guides were secured to pilot pilgrimages to the north. Captain Black Beaver, a Delaware, was employed to pilot the soldiers from the fort near Anadarko to the north and this he did, unconsciously marking what was to be known later as the CHISHOLM TRAIL. The wheels of the artillery carts cut deep ruts in the soil and these later proved to be guiding marks for Jesse Chisholm in 1865. At the same time a band of Indians employed that other famous Indian guide, Jesse Chisholm, to lead them out of the Indian Territory into a quieter spot. This duty was performed and Jesse Chisholm conducted them to a site on the Arkansas River where later the town of Wichita, Kansas, was and is now located. Here Jesse Chisholm spent the turbulent years of the Civil War in a dwelling house and establishing a small ranch.
Even a Civil War could not cure the trading instinct in him and he made frequent trips to the home of his son, William E. Chisholm, who it seems stayed in the Asher neighborhood. On January 1, 1863, William E. Chisholm married Julia Ann McLish, a Chickasaw, and the daughter of Fraser McLish by his first wife. Young William E. Chisholm, then 26 years old, settled something over a mile south and Jesse Chisholm would use this as a center or focus for his trading expeditions.
His home on the Arkansas River was regarded by him as a temporary home, and as soon as the war closed he was ready with his friend, Mead, to start on that famous trip or trek to the south and a little west that was to make history for himself, Oklahoma, and for millions of Texas cattle. From Wichita he followed the route Black Beaver had marked out in the reverse direction in 1861. To perpetuate his name here, a small creek in the city limits of Wichita is known to this day as Chisholm Creek.
As the modern tourist or traveler going south crosses the long bridge across the South Canadian something like a mile south of Asher, Oklahoma, he will come to the forks of a modern up-to-date highway of modern construction. If he takes the right-hand road, he will pass a large twostory house on the side of the road. Here William Chisholm brought his Chickasaw bride in January, 1863, and here Jesse Chisholm and his son, Bill, erected a small log house, chinked, and daubed it, and here the young couple made their home. Later this place was to be inherited by the oldest granddaughter of Jesse Chisholm, Mrs. Mary V. Cooke, who, on January 1, 1939, ate her birthday dinner on the very spot where she drew her first breath of life, 71 years ago.
It is not strictly proper to regard this as a home of Jesse Chisholm, but he visited his son, William, often, used this as a focal point, helped his son, Bill, erect the little log cabin. In fact the two "raised" this small house in the old log cabin vernacular of Tennessee. If the reader does not know what it is to "raise" a log house, let him consult some old timer.
To this spot Jesse Chisholm brought some young locust trees, and planted them south of the house, in a row running east and west. These locusts are now majestic and towering trees of lofty height, and can be seen for miles. As the writer gazed on these, in the month of June 1938, he felt like taking off his hat as a tribute when he realized that James Edwards had sat under the shade of the ancestral trees; and that Captain Marcy, in 1849, had stood in their shade and that Josiah Gregg had cooled his brow under their foliage.
It happened to the lot of two Texans in June, 1938, to make a trip of over five hundred miles, passing thousands of rocks, stumps, ruts, ditches, and other obstructions, and to have a Chisholm stump of one of the locust trees wreck their crank case and play havoc with the innards of the Dodge. The only consolation the pioneer Texan, the writer and Dave Dillingham, had was that it was a Chisholm locust stump.
Within a few feet of the towering locusts the bodies of William E. Chisholm and his wife, Julia Ann McLish Chisholm, sleep side by side in the CHISHOLM or COOKE Cemetery. Some sixty years ago a small cedar was planted when William E. Chisholm was buried, and now this cedar sprout has grown into a majestic and symmetrical tree that lends beauty and shade over the graves of the sleeping Chisholms.
By the close of the Civil War, Jesse Chisholm had located his ranch or home at the famous Council Grove, a few miles west of Oklahoma City and on the north side of the North Canadian River. The old Texas cattle trail crossed the river near Yukon and passed near Council Grove. Council Grove was a famous spot, a rallying point for Indian conventions and a gathering point well known to all tribes. In 1930 the writer with Joseph B. Thoburn visited this spot. We walked over the ground and sites of the old ranch and home, but civilization in the form of a plow had replaced the virgin earth with a corn crop. All we found were pieces of broken dishes and a few other small fragments that spoke of an age that had departed. No trace of any building could be found. Rank vegetation covered the old cattle trail on which millions of cattle hoofs had pressed.
In 1867, Jesse Chisholm established a store near Fort Arbuckle. This was farther advancement into the Indian Country. This store consisted of two log cabins with a hallway between. Not only was it a store of supplies, but he also stored hides and pelts and other products bought from the Indians. The store was conducted by P. A. Smith, one of Jesse Chisholm's right-hand men. Dick Cuttle was Jesse’s teamster. At this store, as at all others, Jesse had a retinue of helpers.
William E. Chisholm, the son of Jesse, was living at his home on the South Canadian, a few miles southwest of Asher. A great hunting trip was organized, and Montford T. Johnson, Sam Garven, and Bill Williams were on the hunting trip. They finally camped on Walnut Creek, some ten miles northwest of the present town of Purcell. A herd of buffalo was discovered on the next day, and the hunt was very successful. The hides, tongues and humps were the choice parts of the buffalo. The whole party turned into a skinning party to preserve the hides which had a commercial value. Parts of the meat were preserved by the "jerkin" process. Montford T. Johnson and Jesse Chisholm were struck with the wonderful possibilities of this country along Walnut Creek for cattle grazing purposes. It was almost in the center of McClain County, Oklahoma, some thirty miles south of the present Oklahoma City and ten miles south of the present State University. Jesse Chisholm agreed to intercede with the Indians and have them agree not to disturb Montford Johnson in his ranch proposition. In the spring of 1868, Mr. Johnson established his ranch on Walnut Creek with permission of Indian chiefs.
The Chief Left-Hand Spring some 50 miles from Oklahoma City, six miles north of Geary on the southern border of Blaine County, was a spring as famous as the Chisholm Spring, two miles east of Asher. It is difficult for people of 1939 in need of salt to appreciate the hardships of the pioneers for this common necessity. At old Fort Gibson Jesse Chisholm, in young manhood, had seen wagons of salt come in from the north. He had see the old saucerlike iron kettles in which brine was boiled and the water evaporated. As a boy, some seventy years ago, the writer made a journey to Jordan Saline for a load of salt. And the salt war of the El Paso country later showed the importance of this common necessity of modern civilization. Jesse Chisholm was always the trader, the merchant, and had he been born a hundred years later, would have been a multimillionaire. He had taken a caravan to the salt district of Blaine County and was on the return trip in the early months of 1868. It seems that quite a party had gathered at the spring-whether by accident, to camp, or to talk about the treaties with Indians is not known. A bear had been killed and the choice bits rendered into a stew by boiling in a brass kettle. The result was disastrous. During the night Jesse Chisholm was seized with a serious illness. Whether it was ptomaine poisoning or some other ailment is not known. There were no doctors within I 00 miles and he died in a few hours. It would have taken at least four days to transport his body to the residence of his son two miles south of Asher. They buried him near the spring in an old Indian burying ground. Here near the spring rests the bones of the Good Samaritan of Oklahoma. The grave was unmarked, as all Indian graves were. In 1930 Alvin Rucker, of Oklahoma city, Joseph B. Thoburn, and the writer, drank out of the famous old spring that had been flowing before Moses brought water from the rock in the wilderness, and inspected the Indian cemetery where Jesse Chisholm was buried.
This last home is not located on the terrain of Oklahoma. It is located in her ideals, in her civilization, and in her state pride. Jesse Chisholm bears a unique place in the civilization of the Southwest. He dreamed of a commonwealth where the red and white would rejoice in a brotherhood. And in 1939 when the writer meets leading men and women in whose blood flows both that of the white and the red, he thinks of this dream. In passing through the state capitol of Oklahoma, which was started many years after the death of Jesse Chisholm, the impression of a stranger would be to the effect that Jesse Chisholm's dream is no longer a dream.
There are standing today (Jan. 1, 1939) four houses that have sheltered the head of Jesse Chisholm; three of these he helped erect and the first was erected in 1792, the year before Sam Houston was born in Rockbridge County, Virginia. The houses are: first, the CHISHOLM TAVERN still standing on the banks of the Tennessee River in Knoxville, Tenn.; the log cabin at Chisholm Spring two miles east of Asher, Oklahoma; the CHISHOLM SPRING HOUSE, at same place; and the log cabin near the CHISHOLM Cemetery two miles south of Asher.
In 1792 Captain John Chisholm was at the height of his power and influence in East Tennessee, was the friend of Governor Blount, and a warm friend and counselor of practically all the Indian Chiefs in East Tenn. He was a man of affairs, a trusted friend of the leading men. At Knoxville in the year 1792 he built the CHISHOLM TAVERN on the bank of the river, and it soon proved to be the "amen corner" of politics and the meeting place of the moving spirits of the pioneers. On its register can be found the names of Jack Sevier, James Robertson, Andrew Jackson, and nearly all the leading men of the valleys of the French Broad, the Holston, and the Clinch. A full page illustration is here given of this famous tavern that for 147 years has defied the ravages of time and it stands today, neglected, decaying, a monument to days of the long ago, long before the Indians left that section for the land of the Oklahomas. Tales could be told and poems written about the glories of the pioneers. Captain John Chisholm disappeared from 'history about the year 1800, and his son, Ignatius, inherited his influence and part of his property. Ignatius in the early years of 1800 married Martha Rogers, and to them in 1805 or 1806 was born the subject of this volume, JESSE CHISHOLM. No record of the home of Jesse Chisholm's mother is extant today, but it is absolutely certain that he slept and ate in the old CHISHOLM TAVERN erected by his grandfather, Captain JOHN CHISHOLM.
Perhaps one of the most historical landmarks in Oklahoma today is the old Chisholm Spring two miles east of Asher, on the north of the highway, on the farm owned by HERSHEL MARSHALL. Before the Civil War JESSE CHISHOLM and his son WILLIAM E. CHISHOLM erected a spring house over this famous old spring, from which the Chickasaws, Creeks, Shawnees, Seminoles, Cherokees, and other tribes had slaked their thirst long before the coming of statehood to this goodly land. The house is described more fully in "SPRING HOME - THE FIFTH".
There stands today near the CHISHOLM SPRING a log cabin in which JESSE CHISHOLM and his second wife, SAHKAHKEE MCQUEEN CHISHOLM, lived and loved and where "AUNT JENNIE" was born in 1848. Jesse Chisholm still maintained his connection with EDWARDS' store, and this CHISHOLM SPRING was for awhile, at least, an outpost or branch of the Edwards' store thirty miles east. A photo of the old log cabin is shown here. It was one room with an attic where company could sleep and where many a wayfarer slept free of cost. It was part of the creed of Jesse Chisholm that no man ever came to his wigwam cold and went away unclad, and no man ever came hungry and went away unfed. Here young Bill or William Edwards Chisholm slept in his teens, and here he was schooled in the lore of the pioneers. This spring could be the basis of a poem like the "Old Oaken Bucket" or that of the "Creaking old mill, Maggie."
Jesse Chisholm died at Left-Hand Spring, five miles east of Greenfield, on March 4, 1868. With him was his friend, James R. Mead, P. A. Smith, one of the foremen of Jesse Chisholm, and a negro boy, Joe Van. He was buried on a knoll on the north bank of the North Canadian, and the grave spot remained unnoticed for over sixty years till the memoirs of James R. Mead were studied; and in 1930 a party, Joseph B. Thoburn, the late Alvin Rucker, and the writer visited the Left-Hand Spring and from Mead's description located the site of the last home of this remarkable man. In December, 1930, the students of the Greenfield High School erected a wooden cross near Left-Hand Spring in his memory. By 1939 the wooden tribute had fallen down and was rescued from the grass. On April 29, 1939, some pioneer friends of the Southwest erected a granite marker at this site, and a full-page illustration of the marker is shown on these pages. The marker rests in a monolithic concrete with an aggregate of gravel, flint, sand, and cement, and united by water carried from the Left-Hand Spring by a pioneer of the Southwest.
For forty years Jesse Chisholm was active in the affairs of the frontier of the Indian Territory, and during these years he had no less than seven distinct headquarters, ranches, or homes or stores. He was an outdoor man and seldom did he abide long at his homes. He was on the march, or trading trip, and was equipped with the trader's necessaries. He died suddenly on the southern border of Blaine County in 1868, leaving his second wife Sahkahkee McQueen Chisholm. In a year or so she married Jackson Chisholm, an adopted son of Jesse. William E. Chisholm, five years before, had settled on the south side of the South Canadian and, at the death of Jesse Chisholm, had three daughters -within four miles of the famous Chisholm Spring, and one daughter, Caroline, near Shawnee. Jesse left few heirlooms or tools. There still remains or has been collected a few of the tools of trade that Jesse used in his lifetime. Among these are a log chain, a crowbar, one rasp, one branding iron, one colter, some salt tubs, etc.
When P. A. Smith and Joe Van drove up to the residence of William E. Chisholm in the spring of 1868, bringing the sad news that Jesse Chisholm was dead and buried, they brought with them a few relics of this remarkable trader. The log chain and crowbar came into the possession of William E. Chisholm, and they remained for nearly sixty years, in the possession of Jesse Chisholm's oldest granddaughter. In the summer of 1930 Joseph B. Thoburn and the writer, with Alvin Rucker, made a visit to the home of Mrs. Mary V. Cooke, at the village of Chism on the eastern edge of McClain County, and during our visit she presented the log chain to us with the understanding that the pieces were to be placed in the State archives of Oklahoma and of Texas. This old log chain was not one of the heaviest, but it terminated in a hook, and this was always ready for use in case of a steep hill or bog hole.
This old crowbar was a relic of ages and a civilization that have gone, but it helped lay the foundation of the Commonwealth of Oklahoma. This old crowbar is 52 inches long, an inch in diameter at the small end and one and a quarter inches at the large end that terminates in a spread edge for cutting. This crowbar was recently donated by Mrs. Mary V. Cooke to a museum dedicated to the memory of Jesse Chisholm. It was used when the famous Chisholm Trail was first traveled from the Arkansas River at Wichita, Kansas, to the mountains near the present town of Anadarko, a distance of two hundred twenty miles. So far as known, this crowbar and the old log chain are the only relics of that historic trip that within two years was marked by the hoofbeats of millions of Texas cattle. The old crowbar has stood the wear and use of nearly one hundred years of service in the Southwest. It is now engraved with the following title:
CROWBAR USED BY JESSE CHISHOLM.
DONATED BY HIS GRANDDAUGHTER,
MRS. MARY V. COOKE.
The branding iron of Jesse Chisholm was the letter "E" adopted from the family name of his first wife, Edwards. It was kept for many years till the death of Jesse Chisholm. After his death his son William E. Chisholm adopted the same brand and kept the old brand going. The branding iron used by William E. Chisholm, the letter "E," is now in Jesse Chisholm Hall of Frontier Times at Bandera, Texas.
In 1930 the writer, in walking over the site of the former Jesse Chisholm store at the spring east of Asher, happened to see the end of a small sprig of iron sticking out about one-fourth of an inch from the crumbling sand and gravel and dirt. It proved to be the small end of a large rasp which was finally rescued from the bed where it had remained for some sixty years. It was in a good state of preservation. Later it was retempered, made tough, and was converted into a replica of the old Bowie Knife and as such is now in the State Library at Austin, Texas.
At Edwards' old store site, at the Chisholm store site east of Asher, at Council Grove, there can be found today many pieces of broken wares that are relics and mementos of an age and a civilization of early times. We have collected a piece of an old colter cutter, an old spade, a piece of a boiler, a small head of a hammer, some old cut nails, pieces of house logs that Jesse Chisholm helped his son "raise" into a small house that at one time was the most westerly point of civilization in Oklahoma.
Up to a few years ago there was an old salt boiler that Jesse Chisholm had used in his manufacture of salt from the thick brine of the salt springs, but the writer was unable to find any recent trace of it. It perhaps now has been remelted and converted into some modern fabrication that is totally ignorant of its history.
On several occasions Jesse Chisholm acted as interpreter for the Comanches in making treaties. In 1844 he represented the Comanches at Council Grove, on Tehuacana Creek, 7 miles east of Waco; and in 1846 he again acted as interpreter in a formal treaty on the same spot as in 1844. On many ocassions he acted as friend to the Comanches; and on one occasion they left the treaty council with their friend, Jesse Chisholm, on account of the fact that the treaty makers would not agree to the terms of the Comanches. During his life and Sahkahkee's, his wife, the Comanches' chief presented him with a bracelet. He gave this to his daughter, Jennie Davis, who preserved it to her death. Aunt Jennie during her life presented it to her son, Alfred E. Harper, now living near Wewoka. The writer obtained it from Alfred E. Harper; and it will be placed in some museum, marked with the history that has been traced.
FOR SEVERAL YEARS I SWALLOWED, WITHOUT investigation, the statement that the name of the family before 1815 was "Chisholm"; but in the last few years I began to trace it back by deeds, wills and actual signatures and I have found no documentary evidence that justifies the statement and I can state here that it is my opinion, since the United States Declaration of Independence, the correct family name has been "Chisum."
It is commonly accepted that John Chisum of Amelia County, Virginia, who married Ellender Gillington, was the ancestor of John Simpson Chisum and I shall number John Chisum of Amelia County, Virginia, as Number One.
of Amelia County, Virginia, and issue: Elijah Chisum, see 2.
Elijah Chisum was probably born in Virginia but we find him in Tennessee in 1790, northwest of Knoxville, and there are many references to him in the early records of Tennessee. He married Lucy ... and in the latter part of his life he settled in White County, Tennessee, and his long will covers several pages in the White County records. He was an old man when he died and there is abundant evidence that during his last years he lived with his son, James, in Hardeman County, Tennessee, twelve miles north of Bolivar.
In 1799 Elijah Chisum was a member of the Third General Assembly (Legislature) from Grainger County that met in Knoxville, the capital at that time, on September 16, 1799.
Grainger County, Tennessee, was established by the first Legislature on April 22, 1796. In the very valuable pamphlet, "Counties of Tennessee," by Austin P. Foster, we quote:
The county seat was not located until 1801 when the courthouse was erected. But the county court was organized on June 13, 1796 (less than two months after the county was created) at the house of Benjamin McCarty, with the following named magistrates appointed by Governor Sevier: Thomas Henderson, Elijah Chisum, James Blair, John Estes, Phelps Read, Benjamin McCarty, James Moore, John Bowen, John Kidwell, John Sims, William Thompson, and Major Lea.
We must recall that the counties of Tennessee before 1800 were few and very large. Washington County was created in November, 1777, by North Carolina and included all the present state of Tennessee. The following other counties created by North Carolina were: Sullivan, 1779; Davidson, 1783; Greene, 1783; Hawkins, 1786; and Sumner, 1786. The next county created was Jefferson County in 1792. Elijah Chisum of the Chisum family and John Chisholm of the Chisholm family were active factors in one of these counties of Tennessee.
Elijah Chisum had issue:
was born November 26, 1774, just prior to the Revolutionary War. On January 26, 1794, when he was not quite twenty years old, he married Elizabeth Gibbons. Elizabeth Gibbons was born November 12, 1774, just fourteen days before the birth of James Chisum, and was the daughter of Thomas Gibbons who had immigrated to Hawkins County in 1809.
We find that in 1801, the year Claiborne County was created-, James Chisum, then twenty-seven years old, was among the justices of the peace appointed by Governor Roane who assembled at the house of John Ownes. I have heard it stated that James Chisum entered the War of 1812 as a "Chisholm" and that his name was misspelled by an army officer and changed into "Chisum." There is no foundation for this statement; his father was known as "Chisum" and his grandfather was known as "Chisum." James Chisum enlisted in the War of 1812 in Tennessee on October 4, 1813 under Colonel McCrory and Captain Willis. Thirteen days later he was transferred to Captain Russell's spies in the military infantry and, so far, I have found no other reference to him.
James Chisum was a citizen of Hardeman County in the early twenties and at his farm twelve miles north of Bolivar he reared his family and was visited by the venerable Elijah Chisum.
James Chisum had the following children:
was born March 26, 1795, and married John Johnson in Tennessee. Mary had the distinction of fulfilling Genesis 1:28. The records show that she was the mother of fourteen children; eleven girls and three boys, and her husband often remarked in a facetious way that most of his boys were girls.
Mary had the following children:
was born June 22, 1797 and died October 21, 1857, in Lamar County, Texas. Married first, Lucinda Armstrong in Hardeman County, Tennessee about 1820; Lucinda Armstrong was born October 2, 1801 and died October 31, 1847 in Paris, Texas. Claiborne Chisum married second, Mrs. Cynthia Latimer in Lamar County.
By his first marriage he had the following children:
By his second marriage to Mrs. Cynthia Latimer, he had two sons:
Claiborne Chisum came to the present Lamar County in Texas in the latter part of 1836. The Battle of San Jacinto had been fought and it is well known that Texas had become, or soon would become, a Republic. He located in Red River County which then included Lamar and patented a tract of land on the border of the present city limits of Paris. His son, John Simpson, was twelve years old when he entered Texas. Claiborne Chisum soon became a factor in the affairs of Red River and Lamar Counties.
In the spring of 1841, Claiborne Chisum, having been in Texas about four years, joined that expedition organized in Bowie, Red River and other counties to the west, to punish the Indians for their many depredations. There were some seventy in the organization and they followed the Indian Trail to within some ten miles of the present site of Fort Worth and there it disappeared, for the Indians had scattered to disguise their trail. The expedition was led by General Tarrant and John B. Denton was captain of one of the companies. On May 22, 1841, Captain Denton and some of the company were ambushed by Indians and Denton was killed. This fight occurred near the mouth of Village Creek near what is now known as the town of Arlington.
Claiborne Chisum was in that melancholy funeral procession that took the body of John Denton on May 23, 1841; and started back home. They placed it across a gentle horse, the party breaking camp near midnight, and traveled a somewhat northeasterly course. They had no preservatives and no method of embalming the body and they decided to bury it on the banks of a small stream which is now in the present county of Denton. The distance the funeral procession had traveled was something like forty-five miles across country on horseback.
Claiborne Chisum and the expedition returned to Red River County and he became active in the affairs of the new county of Lamar. He took the contract for the erection of the first courthouse on the public square in Paris and was assisted by his brother-in-law, Epps Gibbons. This courthouse was of brick structure, some fifty feet square, with a peaked roof coming to a point in the center. So far I have been unable to find a picture of the courthouse, but many old timers remember it. At first the stairs went up on the inside, but later were moved to the west outside and access to the second floor was had by these stairs. The county offices occupied the lower story and court was held in the upper story.
was born December 14, 1818, and married Lavinia Pirtle and had the following children:
was born October 12, 1813. Married first, October 24, 183 1, to Ben Turner who died September 6, 1836 in Hardeman County, Tennessee.
When Claiborne Chisum got ready to migrate to Texas in 1836, his niece, Sarah, determined to come along. They settled in Lamar County and later she married Dr. Henry Graham McDonald in Paris, Texas, see 8. By him she had three children:
was born in 1806 and died in Lamar County in 1861. He is buried in the family graveyard of the ancestral home about nine miles south of Paris, Texas.
Dr. McDonald was of Scotch descent and early came to the West as a government physician to the Choctaw Indians when they removed from the Mississippi to the Indian Territory in 1831. He came to Lamar County and settled near Howland in 1837, nearly a year after Claiborne Chisum came to Texas. On February 8, 1844, he married the widow, Mrs. Sarah Johnson Turner and had three boys by her.
Sarah Johnson Turner McDonald died in 1852 and Dr. Henry McDonald employed a Miss Isabella Roberts as his housekeeper and after a short while he married her and gave to the three manly boys, a stepmother. The boys and their stepmother did not get along so well together and the three boys, William, Henry and James, about 1854 went to live with their mother's favorite sister, their Aunt Nancy who married Alex Wright. Alex Wright took a great interest in the McDonald boys and was proud of them. In 1861 Dr. Henry Graham McDonald died and Uncle Alex took full charge of the boys.
Alex Wright sent the three brothers to McKenzie College four miles west of Clarksville, Texas, which was presided over by that pioneer teacher, Dr. John Witherspoon Pettigrew McKenzie. Here the boys came under the influence of that matchless teacher "Old Moster."
Punishment at old McKenzie College was swift and sure. In 1872 the writer went to Fannin County and ran into many of the ex-students of this college and each and every one had some unique experience to tell and each one was proud of the fact that he had been paddled by "Old Moster" and it gave him superb satisfaction to tell his children and his grandchildren that he had "rode Old Soany."
William Johnson McDonald never married. He became one of the best business men in North Texas, and at his death bequeathed his estate to found the University of Texas Astronomical Observatory which is now located on Mount Locke near Ft. Davis. Observers gazing through that magnificent telescope should recall that the blood of the man who gave the Observatory was one-fourth Chisum blood and that John Chisum, the great cattleman, and William McDonald, the banker-astronomer, were second cousins. Henry Dearborn McDonald was state senator during the Hogg administration in 1892 and the debates of Senator McDonald and Senator Garwood were classics, not only in legal lore but also in 'chaste English and many old timers remember them to this day.
married Mitchell McCuiston, who was a tax assessor and executor of the estate of Dr. Henry G. McDonald. He resigned both of these and entered the Confederate Army. While he was in the army in the service of his country his wife mounted a horse one morning to go to a neighbor's home and on her way she was attacked by a negro slave and killed. The negro was captured and tried by the neighbors at the scene of the crime some ten miles southeast of Paris, Texas and death by burning was voted. This was in April, 1863.
John Simpson Chisum was born August 16, 1824, in Hardeman County, Tennessee, some twelve miles north of Bolivar. He died in December 22, 1884 with a chronic malignant disease of the throat and is buried in Paris, Texas, beside his father. He was an Odd Fellow and was buried according to their rituals and a monument was erected, but unfortunately he was buried on the land of his father, Claiborne Chisum, and modern civilization has so developed that a railroad track runs near on each side of the hillock on which John Chisum, his father and his mother, Lucinda, sleep.
Paris has one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the State of Texas, known as the Evergreen Cemetery. It is beautifully kept and beautifully situated while the man who built the first courthouse in Paris, Claiborne Chisum, and his son, John S. Chisum, who became a great cattle king of the Southwest, now sleep among brambles and briers and between railroad tracks where trains go flashing by day and night. It is a pity that some patriotic citizen of Paris does not move these bodies to the Evergreen Cemetery.
The life of John Simpson Chisum is a romantic one and only a short sketch can be given here. In 1854 he located a ranch three miles northwest of Bolivar in Denton County. Here he was in the cattle business for ten years and in 1864 he moved his ranch to the present Concho County, on the Concho River, two miles from the mouth. In December, 1866, he took his first herd of cattle across the Pecos at Horsehead Crossing and wintered within six miles of Charles Goodnight during the winters of 1866 and 1867 and he and Goodnight had a co-operative arrangement for six years.
At the Bolivar ranch John Chisum had unique methods of handling cattle. During the Civil War he had an arrangement with the Confederate Government to deliver cattle to Shreveport and other places where they might need them. He himself was a homeguard and his cowboys ranged from Fort Worth to the Red River; they were always well armed and helped to protect the white settlers from the Indians.
In 1841 John B. Denton had been buried in a blanket in a coffinless grave in the southwest part of the present county of Denton. His grave was nearly forgotten, but in 1860 John Chisum's cowboys, while patrolling the frontier and his ranch, found a grave and reported the same to John Chisum whose ranch house was some thirty miles away. John immediately recalled the statement of his father when he, John Chisum, was only nineteen years old of the burial of John B. Denton. He sent for his uncle, Ben Bourland, who was in business on the Red River and who was present when John B. Denton was buried. With about a dozen people they excavated the grave and identified it by the blanket and some trinkets as that of John B. Denton. John Chisum had the bones carefully placed in a sperm candle box and conveyed them to his ranch three miles northwest of Bolivar, and there the bones of John B. Denton laid and rested on the Chisum ranch until 1901 when some patriotic pioneer of Denton County conveyed them with reverent and loving hands to the public square in the present town of Denton.
John Chisum drove herds to Shreveport and Little Rock. In going to Little Rock he crossed the Red River northwest of Sherman into the Indian Territory and traveled parallel to the Red River until he reached Arkansas. When he moved his ranch in 1864 to.the Concho River he left some cattle at his Bolivar ranch and in 1866 he drove a herd into the Indian Territory. One of his cowboys told the writer of these lines that he crossed at the mouth of Fish Creek northwest of Gainesville, some thirty-five miles down the river from Red River Station and over seventy miles by the river. From here he took a general northeasterly course through the Indian Territory and sold his herd out on the Smoky River. He crossed some sixty or seventy miles below the crossing of the old Chisholm Trail. He never laid claim to the proprietorship of this trail and distinctly told Charles Goodnight that the trail was not named for him.
In 1873 he moved his ranch and located at South Springs, five miles southeasterly from the present town of Roswell and it was here that he became the Cattle King of the Southwest with a territory that reached from the Texas line to the mountains of Old Lincoln. Here he reigned as a feudal lord. He was forced, for protection, to employ many fighting men and in the year 1878 was dragged into the Lincoln County War.
He never married; he never owned a foot of land at Bolivar for grazing, but his cattle range extended over parts of four counties. On the Concho the cattle had a small state over which to range and in New Mexico he had a territory of over one hundred miles square and it was a truthful saying that his cattle grazed on a thousand hills. In the West he was known as "Honest John Chisum," but the plow and the railroad and the on-coming small ranchers all forced the grazing territory into private ownerships.
John Chisum took his brothers, Pitser, James, and Jefferson into New Mexico with him. Sally, the daughter of James, made the trip in the early seventies via San Angelo, Horsehead Crossing, and up the Pecos River to keep house for Uncle John.
Sam P. Ridings in his book, The Chisholm Trail, says,
"John Chisum could not have traveled over this trail in 1867, for the reason that he was on his way to New Mexico with a large herd of cattle at that time. On this trip he traveled across the desert to the Horsehead Crossing on the Pecos. In 1866 he was preparing and arranging to make this drive in 1867, and was gathering a large bunch of cattle with full intentions of changing his residence from Concho County, Texas, to New Mexico.
"A very important consideration, in determining the establishment and the naming of the Chisholm Trail, is that the trail has always been known and designated as 'The Chisholm Trail,' while John Chisum did not spell his name 'Chisholm,' but spelled it 'Chisum'; thus the spelling of the name itself would determine who was intended.
"The most convincing fact that has been presented, and one which would determine the matter, if there was no other, is as follows: In 1866 Charles Goodnight, who was operating a ranch in Palo Pinto County, Texas, drove a herd of cattle southwest from his ranch to Concho County, then west across the desert to the Horsehead Crossing on the Pecos River, and up that river to New Mexico. John Chisum was preparing, in 1866, to do this same thing. In 1867 Goodnight and Chisum joined their herds and drove over this route to New Mexico. These two great western characters were together for years, and knew each other better than most brothers. In 1927 Hubert Collins, who was a very good friend of the writer, was preparing his book entitled 'Warpath and Cattle Trails,' and wrote to Goodnight making inquiry as to John Chisum's connection with the Chisholm Trail. Collins received a reply from Goodnight, and sent a copy to the writer. Hubert Collins is now deceased, Charles Goodnight is also dead, but the original of this letter is still in possession of the persons having the papers of Hubert Collins, and the writer still has the copy. This letter to Collins refers to a number of other things, but so far as it pertains to the matter referred to, reads:
"Chisum never crossed Red River with a cow in his life and told me so but he did follow the Goodnight trail to Bosque Grande on the Pecos River below old Fort Sumner in 1867 and continued driving over that trail for several years. I handled all of his drives for three years and know what I am talking about."
"This letter, signed by Charles Goodnight, is dated at Clarendon, Texas, July 23, 1927.
"Further, it will be borne in mind, that in 1866 John Chisum was not located in Northern Texas. In 1863 he moved from Paris, Texas, and in 1866 and 1867 was located in Concho County, Texas. This point was about as far from the Chisholm Trail as he could get and still remain in Texas. He would, at this time, have had as little interest in opening this trail as any cattleman in Texas."
DURING THE LATTER PART OF 1860 AND THE early part of 1861, the war news was spread throughout the Indian Territory, and the Indians became alarmed for their own safety. The federal fort near Anadarko was evacuated in 1861 when Black Beaver piloted the federal garrison with all its arms through the Indian Territory into the state of Kansas. Overtures were made to the Indians by both sides in the Civil War conflict to participate actively in the war, but the influence of Jesse Chisholm prevailed in central Oklahoma and many of the Indians remained neutral.
In 1861 he conducted a large group of Indians from- the territory between the present towns of Asher and Shawnee to a haven of safety on the Arkansas River. Jesse Chisholm was a man of wealth, a trader of upright character, and when the war broke out, he realized that his business was gone. The white man was at war and the red man was fleeing to a place of safety. On the one hand they were afraid the Confederates would swarm across the Red River and as one old Indian said: "We were told we'd all be massacred." Jesse Chisholm sent word throughout the central territory between the two Canadians on each side of the ninety-seventh meridian, covering parts of the present counties of Pottawatomie, Seminole, Lincoln, and adjoining counties. The name of Jesse Chisholm by this time stood as a friend of red men and hundreds of Indians flocked to the meeting place and the long trek began. It was a motley crowd made up of various tribes, Shawnees, Cherokees, Creeks, and others, but one and all had implicit trust in the truthful, honest and wise Jesse Chisholm. By an airline the trip from Asher to Wichita was something over 200 miles, but there were no roads and few bridle paths, and all Jesse Chisholm had to guide him were the stars and his general knowledge of the country.
He packed his goods at the store at the old Chisholm Spring, two miles east of Asher, on carts, wagons, pack mules, and the Indians followed. There was no military organization, but each and all recognized Jesse Chisholm as their leader, guide, and mentor. Many Indians had ponies. Much of the goods was on pack horses, and other goods were carried on sleds which consisted of two poles tied on either side of the ponies and stretching out behind. Crosspieces formed a platform or wagon body on which the goods were strapped. There are hardly a half-dozen of those who made the trip now living, in the year 1939. Jesse Chisholm took his wife Sahkahkee (South Coxie), his daughter, Jennie, and other children. Jennie lived to relate the trials and tribulations of the trip to relatives and friends. William E. Chisholm and his child bride, Hester Butler, and his baby daughter, Caroline, were also among the travelers, making at least seven of the Chisholm family that made the trip.
They stopped in the friendly state of Kansas on the Arkansas River and here in 1861 Jesse Chisholm laid out an Indian town. The creek to this day is known as Chisholm Creek. This creek was from twelve to fourteen miles in length and at one time went through the city of Wichita. Recently for sanitary reasons part of the creek was straightened, and this part is known as the Wichita Drainage Canal. This makes three natural water sources that bear the name of this remarkable Indian. They are (1) Chisholm Spring, two miles east of Asher, (2) Chisholm Creek, that drains parts of Logan and Oklahoma Counties, and (3) the creek in the city limits of Wichita, Kansas.
At their temporary home on the Arkansas River, the Indians settled down to a peaceful but rather nervous life. Jesse Chisholm not only set up a store in the new Indian town, but also established a ranch and from all reports, he was the mayor, city council, Alcalde, general chief, and Good Samaritan.
Jesse Chisholm had many business connections in the Indian Territory, and after William E. Chisholm (son of Jesse) spent a few months in the new town, he returned, at the age of twenty-four, to the Indian Territory leaving his child bride and baby daughter in the care of Jesse Chisholm. He had to stay in the Asher territory to take care of the many affairs of his father and his own.
On January 1, 1863, William E. Chisholm married Julia Ann McLish, a daughter of Fraser McLish, while his child bride, Hester, was still in the Indian town on the Arkansas River, the ancestor of the present town of Wichita, Kansas. Jesse Chisholm made several trips back to the Asher territory and helped his son erect a log cabin (still standing in the yard of the Cooke home, two miles south of Asher on the west side of the present highway).
Here William E. Chisholm lived in the building raised by his father, Jesse, and himself. Several children were born here to William E. and his wife Julia Ann.
A word might be said here by way of parenthesis in regard to Indian marriages. It was a perfectly legitimate, lawful, and entirely proper thing before 1870 for an Indian to have more than one wife. Later the five civilized Indian tribes passed laws against plural marriages, but up until the passage of this law, it was allowable to have more than one wife. When the laws passed, they were not retroactive, but allowed a man to keep those wives he already had.
The first wife was the boss of the domestic household. Often it was by common consent, and the first wife agreed to the new affiliation, but she still was retained as the chairman of the household, and her word directed and controlled domestic matters. The second wife was subservient to the first wife and if commanded, had to wash the dishes and do all the work of the co-operative household. In some cases the first wife objected to the second wife, but she had no veto power. In some tribes she had the right to call in all her female relatives to welcome the new bride with an old-fashioned whipping with switches.
In one case the first wife seriously objected, but her lord and master married the second wife in spite of the objections and took the second wife on a short honeymoon. When he returned and brought his bride to her new home, his first wife and relatives were ready. On some pretense the first wife sent her lord and master on some mission, and while he was gone, she with the help of her relatives initiated the new wife into the household sorority. They had already prepared the switches. The first wife addressed the second as follows: "You've just been on your honeymoon, but before we get through with you, you'll think it's a vinegarmoon." With that each and every one gave the new bride an old fashioned switching.
Customs varied and sometimes the second wife lived in the same household and sometimes in a different wigwam and in other cases on a different farm or ranch. In the case of William E. Chisholm the two wives lived for seventeen years some thirty miles apart, one in the Chickasaw Nation on the South Canadian and the other on the North Canadian among the Cherokees.
After the Indians returned to the Indian Territory in 1865, William E. Chisholm provided a new home near Shawnee for his child bride, still in her teens, and her baby girl, Caroline, about five years old. Here he maintained the establishment until his death. In the testimony of the Shawnee Claims held at the Shawnee Agency in 1928 it developed that he maintained a household for his first wife, Hester Butler. And that on January 1, 1880, his son, William Chisholm was born to Hester Butler. Caroline was born in 1860, and son William was born in 1880, making a difference of some twenty years in their ages.
William E. Chisholm died November 19, 1880, ten months and nineteen days after son, William, was born to Hester. In 1928 when the government officials considered the Shawnee Claims at the Indian Agency in Shawnee, heirs of William E. Chisholm claimed damages to his property during the Civil War and there were also claims filed by heirs of Jesse for similar damages. After hearing the evidence, the government acknowledged the heirship of William and Caroline (children of Hester) and made proper financial settlements. There were three witnesses headed by Aunt Jennie Davis. All were on the trek or exodus or in the great migration to Arkansas River in the fall of 1861.
To consider the question in the status of the family we must place ourselves back in the time of the Civil War when plural marriages were perfectly respectable and we must remember it was done among the Mormons in Utah at a still later date. Later still, Quanah Parker bragged of his wives.
When the Indians left the central part of Oklahoma, in the territory around and north of the Chisholm Spring two miles east of Asher, they took their worldly goods with them and their household wares. When they arrived at Arkansas River, at the present site of Wichita, Kansas, no crops had been raised and no food for the following winter and very scant provisions were made for the cold of winter. With the immediate facilities, Jesse Chisholm told the Indians to erect shelter the best they could against the cold. In spite of all his efforts, much suffering ensued during the winter of '61 and '62. Many of the Indians were thinly clad and went barefoot; but Jesse Chisholm was active in providing food and clothes. This echo of the exodus was unavoidable considering the hasty retreat from their old hunting grounds.
The second echo was delayed for nearly sixty years. While Jesse Chisholm was protecting the unfortunate Indians in Kansas, his affairs along the two Canadians were almost paralyzed. He had been sleeping in his grave for sixty years before efforts were made to repay him and Wm. E. Chisholm, his son, for property lost on account of the Civil War. For safety it is best to appeal to the official record on file in the Department of the Interior, Office of Indian Affairs. We quote from Document 60776-1928 under Approval of Heirship, Shawnee Agency, Oklahoma.
"It appears from the evidence adduced at the hearing that William E. Chisholm died intestate November 19, 1880, age unknown, a resident of the Indian Territory, survived by his wife, Julia Chisholm, eight children by her, Eliza Chisholm, Angeline Lee, Mary Cook, Alice Asbury, Cora McKeel, Stella Ward, Julia Davenport and William E. Chisholm, Jr.; also two other children, William Chisholm, and Caroline Hill, whose mother was Hester Chisholm or Hester Cochran. The wife would be entitled to 1/2, and each of the children to 1/20 of the estate in accordance with the laws of succession of Kansas in effect at the time William E. Chisholm died.
"Caroline Hill, daughter of Hester Butler and William E. Chisholm, died intestate in 1888, at the age of 28 years, survived by her husband, Frank Hill, and a daughter by him, Hester Hill, each entitled to 1/2 of her share in the estate.
"Frank Hill, husband of Caroline Hill, died intestate May 12, 1894, unmarried at the time of his death, survived by three children, Hester Hill, the one mentioned above, Sallie Panther and 0-tha-ka-se, each entitled to 1/3 of his share in the estate.
"O-tha-ka-se, daughter of Frank Hill by first wife, died intestate in 1901, at the age of 15 years, unmarried and without issue. Her share in the estate would be divided equally between the other children of her father, Hester Hill and Sallie Panther.
"Hester Hill, daughter of Caroline Hill and Frank Hill, died intestate October 20, 1902, at the age of 15 years, unmarried and without issue, father or mother or brother or sister, of the full blood. She left surviving a half sister by her father, Sallie Panther who would inherit her share which she received from her father and from her prior deceased half sister, 0-tha-ka-se. The 1/36 share which Hester Hill received directly from her mother, Caroline Hill, would go to Nancy Pecan, the paternal grandmother of Hester Hill. This share would not go to Sallie Panther as she is of the halfblood and is not of the blood of the ancestor from whom the estate came."
From the Jesse Chisholm case 44640-2 we quote:
"It appears from the evidence adduced at the hearing that Jesse Chisholm died intestate in March, 1868, a resident of the Indian Territory, survived by his wife, Sah-kah-kee or South Coxie; four children by her, Jennie Davis, daughter; Cinda Chisholm, daughter; Frank B. Chisholm, son; and Mary Chisholm, daughter; also William E. Chisholm, son by a former marriage. The wife would be entitled to 1/2, and each of the children to 1/10 of the estate, in accordance with the laws of succession of Kansas in effect at the time he died.
"Sah-kah-kee or South Coxie died intestate August 16, 1879, at the age of 55 years, a resident of the Indian Territory, survived by her husband, Jackson Chisholm; two children by him, Sallie Tyner and William Chisholm (Creek 5352); also four children by Jesse Chisholm, Jennie Davis, Cinda Chisholm, and Mary Chisholm, daughters, and Frank B. Chisholm, son. The husband would be entitled to 1/2 of her share, or 1/4 of the entire estate, and each of the children to 1/12 of her share, or 1/24 of the entire estate, in accordance with the laws of succession of Kansas in effect at the time she died. This would increase the shares of Jennie Davis, Cinda Chisholm, Mary Chisholm, and Frank B. Chisholm each to 17/120 of the entire estate.
"William E. Chisholm died intestate November 19, 1880, a resident of the Indian Territory, survived by his wife, Julia Chisholm, eight children by her, Eliza Chisholm, Angeline Lee, Mary Cook, Alice Asbury, Cora McKeel, Stella Ward, Julia Davenport, and William E. Chisholm, Jr.; also two other children, William Chisholm (Allottee No. 40) and Caroline Hill, whose mother was Hester Chisholm or Hester Cochran. The wife would be entitled to 1/2 of his share, or 1/20 of the entire estate, and each of the children to 1/20 of his share, or 1/200 of the entire estate, in accordance with the laws of succession of Kansas in effect at the time he died.
"Caroline Hill died intestate in 1888, at the age of 28 years, survived by her husband, Frank Hill, and a daughter by him, Hester Hill, each entitled to 1/2 of her share in the estate, in accordance with the laws of succession of Kansas in effect at the time she died.
"Frank Hill died intestate May 12, 1894, unmarried at the time of his death, survived by three children, Hester Hill, the one mentioned above, Sallie Panther and 0-tha-ka-se, each entitled to 1/3 of his share in the estate, in accordance with the laws of succession of Oklahoma Territory in effect at the time he died.
"O-tha-ka-se died intestate in 1901, at the age of 15 years, unmarried and without issue. Her share in the estate would be divided equally among the other children of her father, Hester Hill and Sallie Panther, in accordance with the laws of succession of Oklahoma Territory in effect at the time she died.
"Hester Hill died intestate October 20, 1902, at the age of 15 years, unmarried and without issue, father or mother or brother or sister of the full blood. She left surviving a half-sister by her father, Sallie Panther, who would inherit her share which she received from her father and from her prior deceased half-sister, 0-tha-ka-se. The 1/360 share which Hester Hill received directly from her mother, Caroline Hill, would go to Nancy Pecan, the paternal grandmother of Hester Hill. This share would not go to Sallie Panther as she is of the halfblood and is not of the blood of the ancestor from whom the estate came."
[The decision of the government officials was to the effect that William E. Chisholm died November 19, 1880, survived by his wives and nine children, among them being William E. Chisholm, Jr. As a matter of fact, William E. Chisholm, Jr., was a posthumous child. He was born February 7, 1881, eighty days after his father died.]
James R. Mead, a life-long friend of Jesse Chisholm, who accompanied Jesse Chisholm when he marked out the long Chisholm Trail from Wichita to the Wichita River, and who was present at LeftHand Spring on the southern border of Blaine County on March 4, 1868, when Jesse Chisholm died, in the latter years of his life wrote out a statement concerning his association with Jesse Chisholm; part of that statement is as follows:
"The historic timbered stream, now changed into a canal which for so long has pursued its sinuous course through the eastern part of the city of Wichita, Kan., has been known as Chisholm Creek since 1864. Prior to 1864 it was not honored with a name, being out of line with any traveled trail. The great hunting trail of the Osage Indians from their village at the junction of Fall River and the Verdigris River, in eastern Kansas, to their hunting grounds and camps on the Little Arkansas River, crossed the head branches of Chisholm Creek and reached the Little Arkansas River at an excellent ford.
"Hunters and traders, and there was no one else at the time to come that way, reached the river at the same point, and on looking south from the highlands and bordering valley, could see the timbered creek running south to the Little Arkansas River. A little way from the timber was a grove of stately trees, principally hackberries, a very conspicuous landmark. Below the grove this line of timber was principally elm, old trees spreading down. Toward the river were clumps of cottonwood. There was a large Indian camp near the mouth of the creek. Above that point, however, the Indians never stopped, for the stream was miry, difficult to cross and subject to sudden overflows, sometimes a torrent a mile wide.
"In the fall of 1861, the Wichitas and affiliated bands came there and established their camp in the sheltered timber of the Little Arkansas River, the place now being spanned by an iron bridge. The Wichitas and other Indians from the west had much to trade in the way of meat, skins and furs, as the Civil War had left them at liberty to hunt. War conditions had destroyed the trading business which had been conducted by whites. In the fall of 1861 Jesse Chisholm brought his family to the Wichita village, and built comfortable cabins and corrals in the south end of the grove, near a spring, and the creek finally became known as Chisholm's Creek. He and his family were the first persons to have an actual residence on the stream.
"Camped about Chisholm were innumerable Indian families and dependents who were always inseparable parts of his establishment, faithful henchmen ready to do his bidding. Chisholm also built some cabins and big corrals, and established a trading station on the west side of the Little Arkansas River. At that time the country was an uninhabited wilderness, except for Indians and buffalo, and the latter were so numerous that I killed 300 of them during three weeks' hunt within a mile of the present city of Wichita.
"At that time no Texas cattle had been driven to Wichita, except the Wichita Indian village. No Texas cattleman by the name of Chisholm or Chisum had ever been to the junction of the two rivers. There was no road or trail whatever across the plains south and there was no trail north from Texas in this direction. The country south, to the white man at least, was an unknown wilderness. Early in the spring of 1865 Chisholm loaded some wagons with the usual hunter and trade outfit-coffee, tobacco, sugar, blankets, etc., and with his usual retinue of followers and employees started south to his old trading post at Council Grove on the north bank of the North Canadian River, about six miles west of what is now Oklahoma City.
"I accompanied him on that trip with some of my own teams. Chisholm and the Indians knew the country well, were experienced plainsmen and they selected the best route possible. This was proved by the fact that the Chicago Rock Island & Pacific Railroad was later built south for 150 miles along the Chisholm Trail. As we progressed we soon mapped out a plain road and named the streams from some incident that would happen in the locality. A few years later when the Texas cattlemen were looking for a trail, seeking a north outlet, they came onto the old Chisholm Trail and made it a great highway to Wichita as well as to J. C. McCoy's market at Abilene, Kansas.
"Jesse Chisholm died March 4, 1868, on the north bank of the North Canathan River, about 30 miles northwest of the present site of El Reno, where he had collected the Comanches, Kiowas, Wichitas, and other Indians and was supplying them with goods. He was buried down the river from a spring on the north bank of the stream where a high point comes close to the river, known to the Indians as Little Mound. I know, for I was there.
"When General Sheridan later visited Fort Reno, he marched his troops along the Chisholm Trail, and for many years it was used by the United States Army as a government trail, as well as by the cowmen who moved immense herds northward over it from Texas, across the Red River and the Washita River, and farther north across the Canadians, the Cimarron and the Arkansas. It was on the old Chisholm Trail that Pat Hennessey and his wagon train, hauling supplies to Fort Reno, was attacked and massacred by a war band of Cheyenne Indians, one of the most notable Indian fights that ever occurred on Oklahoma soil. The white men were not massacred until the last shell had been fired, and no more ammunition whatever was left with which longer to withstand the advance of the Indians.
"Fort Arbuckle had been established in 1851, Fort Cobb in 1859. So far as is known the only white persons who had traversed all or part of the area through which Jesse Chisholm later laid out the Chisfiolm Trail, were the union soldiers who evacuated Forts Washita, Arbuckle and Cobb during the Civil War and retreated north to Kansas. Fort Reno was not established until 1874. Patrick Hennessey was killed July 3, 1874, while hauling supplies to the Darlington Indian Agency and the newly created Fort Reno. His grave is at the edge of the townsite of Hennessey, Kingfisher County, where his body was found on the old Chisholm Trail.
"In 1865, Jesse Chisholm assembled the plains Indians at Council Grove, six miles west of what is now Oklahoma City, for the purpose of inducing them to go to the mouth of the Little Arkansas River, near what is now Wichita, Kan., and enter into peace treaties with the government, and the project having failed, Chisholm and Black Beaver, a Delaware Indian who had piloted the union troops north when they evacuated Forts Arbuckle and Cobb, induced the plains Indians to assemble at Medicine Lodge, Kan., in October, 1867."
In deference to those to whom genealogy is paramount to the history of public affairs, this brief summary of those persons in whose veins flows the direct blood of that remarkable man, Jesse Chisholm, is added. At the present writing (June, 1939) there are living eight persons who are grandchildren of Jesse Chisholm, one fourth of whose blood comes from him in direct line. Jesse Chisholm had nineteen grandchildren, the first being born in 1860, and the last in 1892. The following are living at the present date:
Grandchildren in order of birth, are:
Among the great grandchildren, we have:
Children of Mary V. Cooke and William V. Cooke:
Children of Alice Chisholm and A. S. Asbury:
Cora Ann Chisholm, born September 23, 1872, and died in 1926, married J. F. McKeel, and had the following issue:
Stella Chisholm, born June 6, 1875, married W. T. Ward and has had eight children, four of whom are living:
Willie Chisholm married Eliza Tucker and has seven living children as mentioned on page 49.
Alfred E. Harper and Anna Benden have the following children, all living:
Lucy Beaver married Amos Ellis.
Jesse Chisholm II, son of Frank B. Chisholm and Lucy Little Bear, lives near Tulsa, Oklahoma. Issue: seven children, great grandchildren of Jesse Chisholm, elder.
In and around the old Chisholm Spring near Asher, Oklahoma, the reader can find some great-great grandchildren of Jesse Chisholm, and in four individuals some great-great-great grandchildren.
Among the double great, or the great great grandchildren, we find:
Diving deeper into the sea of Chisholm lore, we find youngsters in the class of the great-great-great grandchildren of Jesse Chisholm. They are: