Indian Pioneer Papers - Index
History Project for Oklahoma
Date: June 24, 1937
Lemuel Jackson (A Freedman)
Post Office: General
Delivery, Okmulgee, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: December
Place of Birth: Down
on the Texas Line
Father: Ned JACKSON
Place of Birth: unknown
Information on father:
Mother: Hager LEWIS
Place of birth: unknown
Information on mother:
Field Worker: Jerome
Lemuel JACKSON, a freeman
and allotee, lives one mile north, one-fourth west of Morris on highway
I had lived in the Territory
before moving to Clearview, twenty-five miles west of Okmulgee with my
parents when I was about ten years of age. There was no particular reason
for their moving here--just got tired of the last place like people will.
Our first home near here
was made of split logs without nails. Clapboards were put on with wedges
and wooden hooks. It had split-log floors, except the kitchen which was
The furniture was crude
benches and tables which were home-made.
Wood was the only fuel,
and springs and the creek supplied water.
My first employment was
some farming and the raising of livestock. Ten acres in crops was considered
a good farm then. Of course, we didn't have to feed the stock, except occasionally,
and corn would last from season to season.
Later, I carried the mail
on horseback to the Shawnee line. I was employed thus for a year.
I learned blacksmithing
under SMITH in Okmulgee. My apprenticeship lasted for eight months, then
I got half of what I made. I worked at this for a while with SMITH and
then started in business for myself with a partner. I worked at this trade
for fifteen years.
When the Frisco was building
through here, our shop shod practically all the horses used between here
When I was a boy, we
had practically the same food as the Indians. Beef, pork, squirrels, deer,
turkey, fish and the foods made from corn, were the main items in our diet.
When we got flour, biscuits were made only on Sunday mornings and special
Sebron MILLER, Sam HAYNES,
Samuel CHECOTE, John FREEMAN and his son of the same name were a
few of my friends.
Before the Civil War,
my parents told me sometimes when a master died his personal slave was
killed and buried with him and his favorite horse killed and the saddle
buried with his body. My father said the Creeks used to stand a corpse
up when it got stiff and build a fence around it. Children were buried
in a hollow log and in hollow trees. I have seen trees boarded up, when
I was small, but never knew the reason for this.
My parents were buried
four miles northwest of Weleetka.
There is a burial ground
east of Schulter, which is very old.
I was in the Lighthorse
for a year, but didn't like it much. When a man had to help arrest his
friends, etc., he seemed to lose face with them. While a Lighthorseman,
I used to attend the Creek Council Meetings, but can't tell anything of
The Creeks and Freedman
used to weave their own cloth for clothing. I used to knit my own socks,
gloves and pulse warmers (Wristlets). My grandmother taught me how to knit.
The old Indians never
wore a cap or hat. They generally wore their hair short in front and long
in the back. Some would wear two long plats. They would wrap up in a blanket
in the winter.
Most of the clothing was
wool, as we didn't know that cotton was for clothing. I wore home-made
clothing until I was fourteen or fifteen years old.
I did quite a bit of hunting
with dogs. One year I sold enough fur to buy a suit for $8.00 and some
red-top boots for about the same amount. With these I thought I was really
dressed up. I wouldn't wear them around home, but would save them for visits
or trips to town.
Fort Smith, Arkansas,
and Coffeyville, Kansas, I guess were the closest towns with saloons, until
old Oklahoma was opened in 1889.
The colored towns in
the Creek Nation were called Arkansas, Canadian and North Fork. They were
northwest of Muskogee.
People traded at Muskogee,
Fort Gibson, Eufaula, Fort Smith, as well as Okmulgee. They made the trips
to these towns, sometimes with oxen hitched to a wagon. They didn't use
horses as much as they did sometime later.
I have a bow and some
arrows which I have had for thirty-five years. I used to kill squirrels
and fish with them.
I have attended a few
camp meetings and ball games with the Creeks. I have seen eyes put
out with the ball sticks. The last game I saw was played at Okemah, it
was a rough game.
I don't know much about
the cattle trails, but I remember crossing the Chisholm Trail one time
GREEN PEACH WAR
I was just a boy when
this war was going on. I was riding around unarmed. Sometimes, I would
go with ESPARHECHER's men on my pony. I hoped to get some guns if
they had a battle with Chief CHECOTE's men, as I figured there would be
some left around when and if they fought.
Some of the Sac-Fox,
Comanches, Araphoes, and Cheyennes would come to Fort Gibson for
supplies. There was a commissary there for a while. The Cheyennes would
ride in on pintos. These tribes were friendly with the Creeks. However,
they usually staryed on their own lands.
There were lots of ponies
in the Creek Nation. My dad owned about twenty-five head. They hardly
knew what corn tasted like. They just ran loose on the range. There were
horses sometimes three or four years old that had never had a rope on them.
We just never needed them. $20.00 then would buy the best of horses. I
sold a pony one time when a boy, receiving $2.00 which was a good price.
I also sold yearlings and steers for $9.00, which was top price at that
I don't have any relics
now. I used to own a muzzle loader, which was borrowed and never returned.
James TURNER, SANGER
& SANGER & SEVERS had stores here. Dave BRODY was working
in SANGER & SANGERS. I think he later had a store of his own.
Major CRAMER clerked for James TURNER and was postmaster when I carried
mail on horseback.
Jim PARKINSON and Tom
WALLACE ran the first lumber yard in Okmulgee. CRAMER later ran a
store for J.R. DAVIS, who married ?n's sister, at Arbeka.
I received every money
payment the Creeks received. I received the usual allotment of land, which
was located south of Okmulgee.
I know a family names
ASHLEY who bought their adoption into the Creek tribe. The man's wife and
daughters got allotments, but he didn't. Lot of other colored people did
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