*The entirety of this work is protected by copyright (see Copyright information section).
***UPDATE April 4, 2021: Please see the “Recent Developments” section (the entry for April 4, 2021) for an event of significance and the entry for October 16, 2020 for information in regard to a significant endorsement of this blog.
July 7, 2021
So many people of mixed-race ancestry have a difficult time documenting and/or tracing their family history due to records incorrectly classifying their families as different races at different periods of time. The subject of the July 1, 2021 entry below reminded me of book I read last year that I believe would be helpful to others in their search: “Africans and Native Americans: The Language of Race and the Evolution of Red-Black Peoples” by Jack D. Forbes. The book is available as an audio book and also in hard cover, paperback, and ebook formats.
About the late Dr. Forbes from Seven Stories Press https://www.sevenstories.com/authors/187-jack-forbes:
JACK D. FORBES (1934–2011) was Professor Emeritus and Chair of Native American Studies at the University of California at Davis. Of Powhatan-Renápe, Delaware-Lenápe, and non-Indian background, he founded the Native American Movement in 1961 and started Native American studies programs across the country. An acclaimed lecturer and activist, Forbes is the author of over a dozen books, including Apache Navajo and Spaniard, and Columbus and Other Cannibals: The Wetiko Disease of Exploitation, Imperialism, and Terrorism.
July 1, 2021
I had a conversation yesterday about an important topic and a book that I reference in the body of the main page of this blog…a “dirty-little secret.” I realize now that the public in general is unaware of this topic — before a few years ago, I had never heard or learned about it during my education, nor is it covered by the media — a topic that has been largely swept under the rug and ignored by the world: the abduction, captivity and slavery of Native Americans in the Americas and their export around the world by Europeans from the time of the very first “Contact” in 1492. In my opinion this award-winning book should be mandatory classroom reading: “The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America” by Andres Resendez. Dr.Resendez is a professor and historian at the University of California at Davis. The book is published in e-book, audiobook, paperback and hard-copy formats.
“Since the time of Columbus, Indian slavery was illegal in much of the American continent. Yet, as Andrés Reséndez illuminates in his myth-shattering The Other Slavery, it was practiced for centuries as an open secret. There was no abolitionist movement to protect the tens of thousands of Natives who were kidnapped and enslaved by the conquistadors. Reséndez builds the incisive case that it was mass slavery—more than epidemics—that decimated Indian populations across North America. Through riveting new evidence, including testimonies of courageous priests, rapacious merchants, and Indian captives, The Other Slavery reveals nothing less than a key missing piece of American history. For over two centuries we have fought over, abolished, and tried to come to grips with African American slavery. It is time for the West to confront an entirely separate, equally devastating enslavement we have long failed truly to see.”
“The Other Slavery is nothing short of an epic recalibration of American history, one that’s long overdue…In addition to his skills as a historian and an investigator, Résendez is a skilled storyteller with a truly remarkable subject. This is historical nonfiction at its most important and most necessary.”—Literary Hub, 20 Best Works of Nonfiction of the Decade
“Beautifully written . . . A tour de force.”—Chronicle of Higher Education
June 26, 2021
Cousin Carlyle Hinshaw and I had a wonderful phone conversation today. He always has something of great interest to share, including a discussion about the ancestors of Tecumseh. Carlyle is in the process of writing a book and the topic of one of his past articles “A Reunion with a Tomahawk” came up again and he has kindly granted me permission to share it with you all.
A REUNION with a TOMAHAWK
by Carlyle Hinshaw
Twin Bridges State Park — On July 1, 2001, the Shawnee Indian Blue Jacket family held its biennial reunion at this lovely place eight miles southeast of Miami, Oklahoma. The picnic was comprised of 60 relatives and other Shawnee friends and two fine Ottawa County Coon Hounds who know a Shawnee repast when they see, er, smell one! Blue Jackets from the Cherokee Nation (Cherokee Adopted Shawnee), Eastern Shawnee Tribe and Shawnee Tribe gathered to celebrate their long, illustrious history. Several excellent stories arose and are being told as time allows for the telling.
Robert Harry Withrow, Jr., of Kanab, Utah, brought a Pipe Tomahawk used by and handed down through, his family from Shawnee days in northeastern Kansas Territory during the middle 1800’s. Robert also brought along the story of the Pipe Tomahawk.
On November 30, 1831, a group of 334 Shawnees, including families of Chief John Perry, Henry and James (Jim) Blue Jacket, Peter Cornstalk and John Woolf arrived at the Shawnee Agency in Kansas after a three month “Trail of Tears” from Allen County, Ohio. Most of the adults rode horseback and the children in baggage wagons. These Wapaghkonetta and Hog Creek Shawnees had ceded (August 8, 1831) their homelands to the U. S. Government for 100,000 acres within or contiguous to, the existing Shawnee Reserve south of the Kansas (Kaw) River. The following year, 24 Shawnees of the River Huron in Michigan Territory made their trek to the new Shawnee country. In 1833, 14 more followed suit and in 1839, the total of River Huron Shawnees in the Shawnee Reserve was 38. (Louise Barry, THE BEGINNING OF THE WEST, p. 223-24, Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka, 1972).
The new Shawnee lands were however, smack dab in the middle of the great western migration. Starting with a fur party path in 1827 (Sublette’s Trace), several trails headed up in the Independence, Missouri – confluence of the Kaw and Missouri rivers area and the main trace of the Oregon California Road crossed Shawnee lands south of the Kaw. Westward Ho traffic steadily increased and reached a crescendo after the discovery of gold in California in 1849. Settlement along the various trails began and Indian lands became more and more desirable to emigrants wanting to establish roots.
Treaty of 1854
Successful in their continual efforts to displace Indians, the U. S. Government had Shawnee leaders travel to Washington DC and sign a treaty on May 10, 1854, ceding 1, 600,000 acres of their land for 200,000 within the same area. Now that was a hell of a deal for the governmental’s! Shawnee signers of the document included: Joseph Parks, Black Hoof (was he still around?), George McDougal, Silverheels, Paschal Fish, Long Tail, George Blue Jacket, Graham Rogers, Wa-wah-che-pa-e-kar (or, Black Bob), Tooly and Henry Blue Jacket. Witness’s to the signatures included Agent Benjamin F. Robinson and Interpreter Charles Blue Jacket. Each Shawnee was awarded, in severalty, 200 acres and that included Absentee Shawnees and Adopted Shawnees.
Hughmongous tracts of lands immediately became available for settlement and many new areas were incorporated, including Lawrence in 1854 and Eudora in 1857. German settlers purchased land for the latter town from Paschal Fish, who, along with John Blue Jacket, had been assistant gun and blacksmiths for the Leavenworth Agency in 1837. Quick to take advantage of this new situation, the Blue Jacket brothers, Henry, George and Charles, went into the hotel and ferry business. George and storekeeper William “Dutch Bill or Billy” Greiffenstein incorporated the town of Sebastian, six miles SE of Lawrence in the SE1/4 of the SW1/4 of Section 12 – Township 13 South – Range 20 East. The town did not survive and is not shown on modern maps. Henry died at Blue Jacket’s Crossing of the Wakarusa River on May 3, 1855, leaving his wife, Eliza, with six children and expecting a seventh. The latter was born in early 1856.
On the afternoon of May 19, 1855, the first steamboat to ply the Kansas River, the EMMA HARMON, left Kansas City en-route to Topeka and other way landings. Stopping to re-supply wood around noon the next day, they slipped into the stream again and almost immediately were hailed by an Indian wanting a tow up river for his flatboat. They stopped, made the small boat fast and proceeded west up river. The flatboat had just been made by Tooly, a Shawnee who had operated a ferry where the Delaware River, coming from the north, joined the Kaw between Lawrence and Topeka. Upon reaching the confluence of the Kaw and Wakarusa, they cast the Indian loose in his craft. Amidst cheering and waving from the passengers, the red man poled his way up the smaller stream. That Indian boat captain had to be one of two cousins, both strapping 21 year olds, Stephen S. Blue Jacket, eldest son of Henry, or William George Blue Jacket, eldest son of George! Thus began operations of Blue Jacket’s Ferry. (Kansas Historical Quarterly, V. 6, p. 17-19)
The Free State – Slave State concept became an overriding one at this time, as anti-slavery Kansas Jayhawkers actively worked with the underground railroad bringing freedom to many and pro-slavery Missouri Bushwhackers fought to bring the freedmen back into slavery. With Lawrence as the “free state” capitol, local traffic added to the depth of Oregon California Road ruts. Kansas in fact became a free State in 1861 as the Civil War broke out.
On the night of August 21, 1863, Confederate Captain William Clarke Quantrill led 400 raiders from successes at Independence, Missouri against Union troops, toward Lawrence to punish the anti-slavery zealots of many years standing. The inhabitants of Blue Jacket’s Crossing got wind of Quantrill’s sweep across northeastern Kansas and took precautions. Eliza Silverheels, wife of David Likens Blue Jacket, had a one year old boy at the time but took it upon herself to round up the children and some older protectors, loaded them with provisions and the very youngest and sent them into the hills south of the Wakarusa.
Defending Hearth and Home
Eliza was determined to guard her home, stayed there and lay in wait for the band of guerillas prancing toward Lawrence. This great-great grandmother of Robert Harry Withrow, Jr., was armed with a Pipe Tomahawk, most assuredly obtained from her father-in-law, the Rev. Charles Blue Jacket, by now an ordained Methodist Minister.
As the raiders crossed the Wakarusa at this Shawnee enclave, one, bent on looting Eliza’s home and perhaps intent on doing bodily harm to any inhabitants, tried to enter by a window. A young, enraged Shawnee Indian woman brandishing a wicked looking Tomahawk confronted him! With great effort, Eliza gave a mighty swing of her weapon, so mighty in fact, that when the axe met the raider, her arm broke. The haft of the Tomahawk broke at the same time. The Quantrillian was not so fortunate, as the blow to his head did him in for good!
The Confederates hit Lawrence at 5 AM, killing upwards of 200 men, looting, raping and setting fire to the entire town in an atrocity of the worst kind. Quantrill later was abandoned by most of his men and killed by Union troops in Kentucky. Lawrence began recovery immediately, regardless of the heartbreak foisted upon them by those monsters.
The successful defender passed the family Pipe Tomahawk on to daughter Cindarella Blue Jacket who passed it to her daughter Cindarella Florence (Mills) Brown. Mrs. Brown’s daughter, Betty June, married Robert Harry Withrow and they parented Robert, Jr., who is the current keeper of the family heirloom. The Withrow family and 90 year old grand mom, Cindarella Florence, all attended the picnic and all contributed to this story.
European and Americans developed pipe Tomahawks for the Indian trade. Made with a smoking handle and a tobacco bowl insert at the head, they served, among other things, as “badges of prestige” given to Indian leaders at treaty signings and other occasions. Giver and receiver ornately decorated most. Modern artisans reproduce them and can be acquired at less than $50.00 to $500.00. Documented historical antiquities sell for upwards of $35,000!
Robert Withrow’s Pipe Tomahawk does not have the original smoking haft, thanks to Eliza’s mighty blow, however, its origin is documented by makers marks.
The maker was a Vickers metal smith in London, England in 1833. The head was cast in the Naylor, Vickers and Company’s Sheffield foundry.
Both sides of the head have the “Bleeding Heart” symbol, which is a common decoration on the antique ones.
The Masonic emblem was probably etched by gun and black smithy, John Blue Jacket, brother of the Rev. Charles Blue Jacket, who, along with many other Shawnees, was active in that organization.
The other side is scribed with a man in the moon, which is a bit unusual. The French Moon or crescent moon was, however, a common inscription, sometimes included when the head was cast.
Robert Withrow, Jr. is a teacher of survival skills across the country, both to private and military groups. It is fitting that he continues to preserve Shawnee history and heritages.
Top L-R: Robert Withrow, Robert Withrow, Jr ., Robert John Brown Bottom, L-R: Betty Withrow, Cindarella Brown, Saundra Davis.
The elder Withrows live in Chetopa KS, Robert and Saundra in Centralia IL and Cindarella in Centralia.
Cindarella had the good fortune to remember her grandparents. She was born in 1911 and David Likens Blue Jacket passed away on April 4, 1919 and Eliza (Silverheels) Blue Jacket on June 12, 1929. Great historical events were told directly to their daughter Cindarella (Blue Jacket) Mills and to their grand daughter Cindarella Mills. Now, at 90 years of age, the latter is still able to give us insight to our Shawnee heritage. Thank you Cindarella Florence (Mills) Brown.
Gaylord Carlyle Hinshaw
June 21, 2021
One of the major points of my blog is that we all need to stay curious and that we need to keep open minds. DNA technology is still in its infancy. We DON’T have all the answers. Archaeologic excavations of remote and ancient locales are becoming more common and their associated burials are allowing us to learn more about very early human migration patterns –that they are so much more diverse than anyone could have predicted or imagined.
Another example of why we must keep open minds about the origins and the founding haplogroups of America:
Article: “Americas’ Natives Have European Roots: The Oldest Known Genome of a Modern Human Solves Long-Standing Puzzles About the New World’s Genetic Heritage”
While I was adding a few updates to the Resource section of this blog, I realized I had inadvertently filed away and had forgotten to write about an important article and the related research paper that I had read a few years back: “America’s Natives Have European Roots: The Oldest Known Genome of a Modern Human Solves Long-Standing Puzzles About the New World’s Genetic Heritage,” an article by Ed Yong, published 20 November, 2013 in the journal Nature and the research paper “Upper Palaeolithic Siberian Genome Reveals Dual Ancestry of Native Americans,” by Maanasa Raghavan, Pontus Skoglund, Eske Willerslev, et al., published 20 November, 2013 in the journal Nature.
Research Paper: “Upper Palaeolithic Siberian genome reveals dual ancestry of Native Americans”
An pertinent excerpt from the research paper: “On the basis of these features, some scientists have suggested that Native Americans descended from Europeans who sailed west across the Atlantic. However,” says Willerslev, “you don’t need a hypothesis that extreme. These features make sense when you consider that Native Americans have some western Eurasian roots.”
More to come…
May 25, 2021
SOMETHING TO PONDER
My family’s many indigenous population matches include Brazilian-Belem-Amazonians, Brazilain Amazon, Columbian–Andean-Amazonian-Orinoquian, New Zealand-West Polynesian, New Zealand-East Polynesian, Aboriginal-Northern Australia, Aboriginal-Western Australia, Aboriginal Northern Australia (in a separate study), Tonga and Samoa. It is impossible that these population matches were due to post-1492 contact. I was reading a fascinating paper this morning entitled “Identiﬁcation of Polynesian mtDNA Haplogroups in Remains of Botocudo Amerindians from Brazil,” by Vanessa Faria Gonçalves, Jesper Stenderup, Cláudia Rodrigues-Carvalho, Hilton P. Silva, Higgor Gonçalves-Dornelas, Andersen Líryo, Toomas Kivisild, Anna-Sapfo Malaspinas, Paula F. Campos, Morten Rasmussen, Eske Willerslev and Sergio Danilo J. Pena; published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on 1 April 2013. One of the passages that I found very intriguing and worth further contemplation and investigation:
“This study is unique in reporting the presence of mtDNA haplotypes considered to be typically Polynesian in the gene pool of an extinct Brazilian Amerindian group. These results have bonaﬁde scientiﬁc status as indicated by the fact that: (i) they were found in two different Botocudo skulls; (ii) the initial discovery made with the MN00015 skull was independently replicated in DNA from other teeth from the same cranium in two different laboratories; and (iii) these mtDNA sequences were retrieved from crania collected in the 19th century from an inland Native American population in Brazil.
“Our ﬁndings raise an important question: How did these Polynesian sequences show up in an Amerindian population living in a region in the interior of Brazil? We cannot claim to have an answer, but we would like to discuss possible scenarios, presented here in the chronological order of the possible contact.
“The ﬁrst scenario, prehistoric, is related to the possibility of genetic continuity between the Paleoamericans from Lagoa Santa and Botocudo Indians (26, 27, 37), which indeed originally had motivated this study. It is conceivable that the Lagoa Santa Paleoamericans carried ancient mtDNA sequences related to those of Modern Polynesians, possibly because of a contact with their ancestors, and passed them on to early Amerindians, along with genes associated with Paleoamerican skull morphology. Indeed, there have been several previous proposals that the survival of Paleoamerican morphologies in modern Amerindian groups might be related to gene flow between these groups.”
March 28, 2021
Something to ponder…
Proof that the Native American lines of my family had the opportunity to have had interacted/mated with whites prior to 1492 contact.
I have been holding this piece of information for quite some time. I discovered it while researching early Moravian records. I decided to post this today because I believe I have stumbled upon something important and potentially telling. Considering both pieces of information together, the entry in Schmick’s diary and the passage below written by General John Sevier following his interview of Cherokee chief Oconostota, may have just helped some of the pieces of my family puzzle fall into place…
This is Chief Cornstalk’s first meeting with Moravian Brother Schmick. Original by Johann Jakob Schmick, an entry from his “Diary of the Small Indian Community in Gnadenhuetten at the Muskingum from the Month of March till April 27, 1775.”
“3/7/1775: 2nd…noon after that we got to know from a messenger that the Shaw-chief from Meemkekak would be here soon. When he arrived with his people, he dismounted his horse in front of the choir (of the church) and walked at the head of the group with a small wooden stamp in his hand, together with one captain and 2 councelors [sic] and the other men and women and they all came together at Marcus’ house where they were welcomed by our people. They were all together, among them the daughter of old Paxnous. I welcomed the chief, too, and he and the others were friendly. They were soon lodged in 4 houses and got something to eat. Some of them attended the evening meeting (service), but on March 3rd, the chief with his wife and all his people attended the earliest service. After the service they looked at pictures, and a Mahican Indian, who was able to speak the Shawanoesh language, told them the story of the pictures. They listened attentively to it as well as to some tunes. Josua jun (Junior) played on the Spinett. In the afternoon, the chief and 10 of his men came to our house and said: ‘Brother, I have come to pay you a visit.” I was delighted about this, some of our brethren were present, too, and our living room was crowded. First of all I asked for his name, which was Semackqaan, a Welsh-kornstalk. For that reason he had the wooden stamp with him.” (Emphasis added.)
As mentioned, today I found a great piece of documentation contributed by Sondra Anice Barnes, a 5th great granddaughter of Gen. John Sevier, Tennessee’s first governor, in response to a request written to him in 1810 by a researcher into the history of Louisiana. Gen. Sevier wrote the following:
“Knoxville, 9 October, 1810
“Your letter of Aug.30 ult.,is before me. With respect to the information you have requested, I shall with pleasure give you so far as my own memory will now serve me; and also aided by a memorandum taken on the subject, of a nation of people called the Welsh Indians. In the year 1782 I was on a campaign against some part of the Cherokees; during the route I had discovered trace of very ancient tho’ regular fortifications.
“Some short time after the expedition I had an occasion to enter into a negotiation with the Cherokee Chiefs for the purpose of exchanging prisoners. After the exchange had been settled, I took an opportunity of inquiring of a venerable old chief called Oconostota, who then and had been for nearly sixty years the ruling chief of the Cherokee Nation, if he could inform me what people it had been which had left such signs of Fortifications in their Country and in PreColumbian Explorer Sites in the Southeast particular the one on the bank of Highwassee River. The old
chief immediately informed me: “It was handed down by the Forefathers that the works had been made by the white people who had formerly inhabited the Country, and at the same time the Cherokees resided low down in the country now called South Carolina; that a war had existed between the two nations for several years. At length it was discovered that the whites were making a number of large Boats which induced the Cherokees to suppose they were about to Descend the Tennessee River. They then assembled their whole band of warriors and took the shortest and
most convenient route to the Muscle Shoals in order to intercept them on their passage down the river. In a few days the Boats hove in sight. A warm combat ensued with various success for several days. At length the
whites proposed to the Indians that they would exchange prisoners andcease hostilities, they would leave the Country and never more return, which was acceded to; and after the exchange parted friendly. That the whites then Descended the Tennessee down to the Ohio, thence down to the big river (the Mississippi) then they ascended it up to the Muddy River (the Missouri) and thence up that river for a great distance. That they were then on some of its branches, but, says he, they are no more a white people; they are now all become Indians, and look like the other red
people of the Country.”
“I then asked him if he had ever heard any of his ancestors saying what nation of people these whites belonged to. He answered: ‘He had heard his Grandfather and Father say they were a people called Welsh; that they had crossed the Great Water and landed first near the mouth of the Alabama River near Mobile and had been drove up to the heads of the waters until they had arrived at Highwassee River by the Mexican Indians who bad been drove out of their own Country by the Spaniards.’”
“Many years ago I happened in company with a French-man, who had lived with the Cherokees and said he had formerly been high up the Missouri. He informed me he had traded with the Welsh tribe; that they certainly spoke
much of the Welsh dialect, and tho’ their customs was savage and wild yet many of them, particularly the females, were very fair and white, and frequently told him that they had sprung from a white nation of people. He also stated that some small scraps of old books remained among them, but in such tattered and destructive order that nothing intelligent remained in the pieces or scraps left. He observed, their settlement was in an obscure quarter on a branch of the Missouri running through a bed of lofty mountains. His name has escaped my memory.
“The chief Oconostota informed me: “An old woman in his nation called Peg had some part of an old book given her by an Indian who had lived high up the Missouri, and thought it was one of the Welsh tribe.” Before I had an opportunity of seeing it, her house and all the contents burnt. I have seen persons who had seen parts of a very old and disfigured book with this old Indian woman, but neither of them could make any discovery of what language it was printed in (neither of them understood languages, but a small smattering of English)
“I have thus, Sir, communicated and detailed the particulars of your request, so far as I have any information on the subject, and wish it were more comprehensive than you will find it written.” (Emphasis added.)
March 27, 2021
Cousin Kenny Adkins shared this wonderful document with me today. Here’s what he says, “I shared this on the Adkins Family History. It appears to be a letter or note from Mary Adkins (daughter of William and Elizabeth Parker Atkinson) asking that they grant Littleberry Adkins a license to marry her daughter Nancy Adkins. It appears to be a signature, I’m assuming, Mary wrote the note.” (Littleberry was Nancy’s first cousin.) Another example that our Adkins family could read and write!
March 21, 2021
Clark Gray was kind enough to share a photo of one of the historic Adkins mills. Mills were in the Adkins blood from very earliest Colonial times and this is a great example of their being well built to stand the test of time.
“The Adkins/Hurt Mill which stood on the Little South Fork of the Cumberland River in Mt. Pisgah, Wayne County, KY. Built by Benjamin Adkins, son of Owen Adkins. These pictures were made by the late Doug Blevins. The black and white photo was made in the 1960s and the colored photo in 1978.” Clark Gray, March 21, 2021
March 10, 2021
Native Americans weren’t so divided as many might think. They did come together to meet common goals. From John P. Brown’s book “Old Frontiers: the Story of the Cherokee Indians from the Earliest Times to the State of Their Removal to the West, 1839…a record of, as the famous Civil War Historian Shelby Foote would call, stars in their courses; an historic meeting between three of my great grandfathers (Shawnee chief Cornstalk, Cherokee chiefs Attakullakulla and Oconostota) and one of my great grand uncles (Chief Dragging Canoe):
February 28, 2021
I found a great link to an actual microfilm of the National Archives’ Five Civilized Tribes, Cherokee Indians, Chickasaw Indians, Choctaw Indians, Creek Indians, Seminole Indians. This one microfilm alone is 2516 pages. It contains documents, letters and testimony of those who applied…so much more than some of the books out there. Incredibly interesting reading!
Here are a few more, “Record in the matter of the application for the enrollment as a citizen by intermarriage” of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole nations:
February 1, 2021
Newspaper article from The Lima News, Sunday, October 14, 1973. Article clipping courtesy of Jim Lee:
Newspaper article from The Lima News, Sunday, January 14, 1962. Article clipping courtesy of Jim Lee:
January 5, 2021
Two books which heavily document traders’ living with, marrying and working among the Shawnee and other Ohio Indians are “A Journal of Two Visits to Some Nations of Indians on the West Side of the River Ohio, in the Year 1772 and 1773” by the Reverend David Jones (published in 1774) and “A Man of Distinction Among Them: Alexander McKee and the Ohio Country Frontier 1754-1799,” by Larry L. Nelson (I highly recommend this book):
It was said by Nelson that the cultural mediators of that time were usually “European men who had married Indian women and who maintained either a permanent or semipermanent residence among the western tribes…” (Emphasis added.)
In January 1773, there were 20 white people living at Chillicothe.
Alexander McKee was the son Thomas McKee (a well-known trader from western Pennsylvania) and a Shawnee mother. Alexander married a Shawnee woman and the couple lived among the Shawnee bands living along the Scioto River. In 1771 Alexander was appointed to the position of Indian agent and he ran the Indian department commissary at Fort Pitt.
1773, John Irwine, Indian Trader, lived at BluekJacket’s Town. He had his main business at Chillicothe where he stored a considerable inventory of goods in a log building that he rented from an Indian who lived there. Irwine sold his goods to inhabitants and visiting travelers. Irwine was married to an Indian wife.
1773, Moses Henry, a native of Lancaster, a gunsmith and trader who pursued both professions at Chillicothe for several years. He served both European and Native clients. He was lawfully married to a white woman who had been a captive from a young age, “so young she speaks the language as well as any Indian.” She was a daughter of Major Collins (at that time her father then was living near the Little Kanawha, on the Ohio). Reverend Jones explained, “Mr. Henry lives in a comfortable manner, having plenty of good beef, pork, milk, etc. His generosity to me was singular, and equal to my highest wishes.”
1773, Connor’s Town, a town consisting mostly of Shawnee and Delaware. Reverend Jones commented that the log houses were “pretty good and well-shingled with nails.” Mr. Connor, the namesake of the town, lived and owned a tavern there. He was formerly a native of Maryland. He and the chief Indian of the town were lawfully married to two white sisters who had formerly been captives. Jones makes note that the women had probably been captured when they were very young because they spoke broken English and had “the very actions of the Indians.”
Abraham Kuhn, a Pennsylvania trader who married a Wayandot woman. According to Nelson, Kuhn was living near Lower Sandusky and he had become known as “Chief Coon,” “a respected tribal statesman and advisor during the late 1780s.”
January 3, 2021
Update January 3, 2020: More documentation regarding Native American marriage practices can be found in the book “A Man of Distinction Among Them, Alexander McKee and the Ohio Country Frontier, 1754-1799,” by Larry L. Nelson. Nelson writes that “Native marriages were less permanent, though no less solemn, than white unions. According to John Heckewelder, when Indians entered into marriage, it was understood by both partners that they would not live together any longer ‘than suits their pleasure or convenience.’ ‘The husband may put away his wife whenever he pleases,’ claimed the evangelist, ‘and the woman may in like manner abandon her husband.’ European men, particularly traders and merchants who resided in the Ohio Country, frequently adopted Indian mode of marriage and took Indian wives in the Indian fashion.”
In the book “A Journal of Two Visits made to the Nations of Indians on the West Side of the River Ohio, in the Years 1772 and 1773,” the author writes, “Poligamy [sic] is thought no crime — ‘Tis common to have several wives at the same time; nor dare one of them seem displeased lest she be dismissed. On the smallest offense they part.”
December 28, 2020
I have found two more instances of the stature and independence of Shawnee women the book entitled “A Journal of Two Visits Made to Some Nations of Indians on the West Side of the River Ohio in the Years 1772 and 1773,” by the Reverend David Jones, published in 1774:
On Wednesday, February 10, 1773, about a mile after crossing Salt Lick Creek, we find that Reverend Jones and his traveling companions arrived at a town named Dan Elleot’s Wife’s Town. It turns out that the chief of the town was a rich Shawnee woman. It was said she was Daniel Elleot’s “pretend wife.” (In further research I have found that Daniel Elliot (Elleot) was, in fact, a signatory to many treaties with the Shawnee.) In the town she took in travelers who wished to board with her. She kept a large stock of cattle. She supplied Reverend Jones and his companions with milk and sold them corn for their horses at a very exorbitant rate. She had several slaves who were captured from Virginia during the last war who she considered her property.
Very shortly after this, we find another instance of a Shawnee woman’s having her own town. On Friday, February 12, 1773, a few miles after departing Connor’s Town (a town of Shawnee and Delaware), Reverend Jones and company came to “The Little Shawnee Woman’s Town,” located “on the west side of the Muskingum,” which consisted of mostly Shawnee inhabitants.
November 5, 2020
Update 11/5/2020: More well-documented whites who lived among the Native Americans who married Native American wives, “The Indian World of George Washington,” by Colin G. Calloway:
Benjamin Hawkins, Superintendent of the Southern Indians, appointed by George Washington. Hawkins was adopted by the Creeks. He spoke Muskogee. He had seven children with his common-law wife who was believed to be a Creek woman by the name of Lavinia Downs.
Richard Butler who was appointed Superintendent of Indian Affairs after the American Revolution, traded with the Shawnees and had a Shawnee wife. In 1787 Butler “sent George Washington a vocabulary of Shawnee words compiled by himself and Delaware words by John Killbuck, ‘an Indian of that nation who has been Educated at Princetown College at the Expence of the U.S. & patronage of Congress.’ Along with the vocabulary, Butler sent Washington what little information he had been able to gather from ORAL TRADITION and their old men on the origins and history of the Shawnees.” (Emphasis added.)
John Gibson, a Pittsburgh trader married the sister of Mingo chief John Logan (Tachnechdorus). Gibson’s wife (the pregnant sister of Chief Logan) was brutally murdered by Daniel Greathouse and a group of thugs in the spring of 1774. These twisted individuals strung Koonay up by her wrists, sliced her open and impaled the unborn baby on a stake.
Captain Abraham Bosomworth of the Royal American Regiment who served as an agent to the Cherokees had a Native American wife.
Robert Grierson, a Scottish trader, had five children with his Creek wife. He owned a plantation, grew and manufactured cotton, owned 300 cattle, 30 horses.
November 3, 2020
Cousin Rick Lear was kind enough to share a wonderful map his neighbor Steve Barthelmas owns. Rick informed me the map is a copy that is located in the Pickaway County Historical & Geneaolgical Society.
October 10, 2020
I found a reply by Cousin Sarah Bird (Bea) from December, 2017 on Adkins Family History Group in response to a thread posted by the owner of the blog, where Cousin Sarah talks about the first-hand account in her family of her great aunt’s being taken into captivity by the Shawnee; in particular, that she was given over to the care Chief Cornstalk’s family and treated well:
Another account of being able to verify family oral tradition:
“History of the Graham Family,” Clayton, West Virginia, by David Graham, 1899. Excerpt from the archived website of the Library of Congress. I also own the book.
p. 97: “This account was given the writer substantially as stated by David W. Jarrett, who is a son of Elizabeth’s sister, Jane, and he says he has it from the lips of his mother.” (Emphasis added.)
p. 93: “After becoming thoroughly convinced that Elizabeth had been carried into captivity, the next task of Col. Graham was to locate her whereabouts and, if possible, secure her return. Months of anxious and unceasing search located her among the Shawnee tribes, whose wigwams were  situated at what is now Chillicothe, Ohio. She had been adopted by a squaw of one of the chiefs of the Cornstalk family of that tribe and, while it was doubtless a source of great jo’.y [sic] to those fond parents to find their long-lost child alive and well and well cared for, though in the home of a savage chief, yet a new anxiety awaited them, but little less terrible than that which they had already experienced, the work of rescuing and seeing her once more around the hearthstone of their own home. To this task Col. Graham directed his energies and several times visited the Shawnee towns and as often met with new obstacles and disappointments, none of which were probably more heart-rending to him than to know that his child had learned to love her savage home, and that in turn she was loved and doted on by her adopted mother. As the tender twig is easily bent and made to grow in new directions, so were the inclinations of this innocent child readily diverted from the scenes of the past and made to love the passing events which surrounded  her, and she being well cared for and never mistreated by the Indians, it was but natural that she loved them. It is also said that before her return a love more passionate than that for her adopted tribe or mother had seized her youthful breast and that a young warrior would soon have claimed her for his “white” squaw. As to the truth of the story, that she had an Indian lover, we do not vouch, but having learned it from her own descendants, we think it worthy of mention. After fruitless efforts and at least two contracts, which were violated and backed down from by the Indians, Col. Graham finally succeeded in 1785 in ransoming and bring his daughter back home, after an absence of about eight years. The price paid for her release was the release of an Indian prisoner whom the whites held, thirty saddles and a lot of beads and other trinkets, and, according to the summing up of the various traditions, about $300 in silver.” (Emphasis added.)
October 4, 2020
OUR FAMILY COULD WRITE! This disproves the speculation:
Adkins Family History Group, October 4, 2020:
Greg Napier: “Petition from Kanawha County, Virginia dated 6 Dec 1808. Highlighted are two of My Napier ancestors who left Montgomery County after March 1801 in 4th Great Grandfather Thomas Franklin Napier 1778-1860 and His father Edmund Napier 1753-1834 who lived in Lee County, Virginia… Also at top of page some Adkins men signed… William, Sherrod, Jacob , and Isaac , James and Hezekiah…Cabell County, Virginia was formed the following year in 1809…”
October 4, 2020
I found a very relevant 2001 post by Ronnie Adkins regarding DNA results that the owner of the blog re-posted in 2018:
Nine years later, we now have a more accurate and complete picture of our family’s DNA — which does contain Native American DNA…our family DOES have Indian blood and we are so very proud of it!
October 3, 2020
Patricia Breed Everett discovered another instance of a family’s intermarrying with the Cornstalk family!
From the “Chronicals of Border Warfare,” by Alexander S. Withers, from the date 1769: Colonel Ebenezer Zane, his brothers Silas and Jonathan, with some others visited the Ohio River “for the purpose of commencing improvements.” (The Zanes were with Penn in Pennsylvania. When he was nine, Isaac Zane had been taken captive by the Indians, taken to the Mad River in Ohio. Isaac married an Indian woman. He became a chief and lived out his life with the Indians. As of the publication of “Chronicles of Border Warfare, his descendants still reside in Ohio.
Isaac Zane’s captivity and marriage to Wyandot Chief Tarhe, The Crane’s, half French daughter Myerrah is also documented in the book “The Other Trail of Tears,” by Mary Stockwell.
Signature of Wayandot Chief Tar-he the Crane on the second Treaty of Greenville signed on July 22, 1814 at Greenville, Ohio. Native American signatories were from the Wyandot, Delaware, Shawnee, Seneca and Miami tribes:
September 2, 2020
Sheila Jean Metcalf was kind enough to share information about a book containing information documenting more members of our Adkins family having lived among the Indians — in this instance for seven years!
“Early Morgan County,” by Arthur C. Johnson, published by the College of Agriculture and Home Economics, University of Kentucky and U.S. Department of Agriculture, published 1974
August 27, 2020
More documentation that families that who were intermarried with this Adkins family were in the area and interacting and living among Native Americans from the very earliest of times. (Permission to post granted to Dorene Soiret by Ralph Adkins.):
August 2, 2020
Bluesky oral tradition as conveyed by Nancy “Nannie” Adkins as conveyed to son Rick Lear, member of the Sons of the American Revolution. Permission for Dorene Soiret to post granted by her cousin Rick Lear:
“The Story of Littleberry and Charity Adkins, as related to my mother, as a small child. Nancy ‘Nannie’ Adkins was born August 30, 1845 in Wayne County, WV. The daughter of Owen Adkins and Nary Jane Damron of Wayne County, Virginia. She married Jesse Queen in Boyd County, Kentucky on April 20, 1862. Following Jesse’s death in 1926, we find her living in 1930 with her son, James A Queen [in the house of her son] and his new wife, Nancy Melissa Duty. They married on February 12, 1905. Nannie Adkins Queen died February 18, 1936 in Cabell County, West Virginia.
“Nannie was the mother of my Grandfather James A. Queen 1865-1951. Aunt Edith told me ‘Granny Nannie’ smoked a pipe and chewed tobacco. Aunt Edie’s job, as the youngest child, was to sweep the floors [dirt] and clean the fireplace hearth. Grannie Nan would spit ’baccer juice’ onto to the hearth. Aunt Edie said, “I’d get so mad,” but Mommy would say, “she’s old and we love her.”
“Nannie Adkins Queen, ‘Granny Nan’ was the provider of many stories about the Adkins’ family. She related to my Mother, Nila Mae Queen 1924-2015 and her sister, Nola Edith Queen 1928-2017, of how her mother would make the girls wear long-sleeved dresses and bonnets, because the sun would turn them dark. Of the Littleberry story, she told her grandchildren about how her Great-grandfather Littleberry and his sister Charity, came to be with the family.
“’One day, after a trip, Parker Adkins returned home and had two small children with him. Both had black hair and dark eyes and were very young. The story goes on that their mother had died and she was a Shawnee Princess by the name of Blue Sky. Blue Sky was the daughter of the Legendary Chief Cornstalk, that was the Indian leader at the Battle of Pt Pleasant. The white men killed him and his son at a Fort.’”
July 7, 2020
More documentation regarding Bluesky’s being the daughter of Chief Cornstalk, contained in the book “The Heritage of Cabell County, West Virginia,” Vol. I, compiled by the KYOWVA Genealogical Society, ordered by proclamation of the County Commission of Cabell County, first printing published in 1996.
Please see page 96, the genealogical profile of Mr. Garnett Adkins, submitted by Mitchell F. Adkins on p. 96. There you will find noted as his grandparents: Chief Cornstalk, Bluesky, Parker Adkins, Charity Adkins as well as others contained in that profile of Mr. Adkins’s family. Profile submitted by Mitchell F. Adkins.
To the right you will find the profile of John T. (Tradaughty) Adkins, a son of Charity Adkins and Randolph Adkins submitted by his 2nd great grandson Douglas Smith.
July 4, 2020
More documentation of heavy trade with the Native Americans and record of intermarriage with whites EXACTLY where our Adkins and related families lived in Beech Fork even as late and later than 1850.
June 17, 2020
Mr. Charles Stackpole, a Shawnee man whose family had been adopted into the Cherokee Tribe of Oklahoma after removal, direct descendant of Chief Cornstalk’s daughter Oceana, personally had contact, e-mail correspondence with and sent this document via U.S. Mail to Debbie Adkins Vance:
June 2, 2020
Cousin Robert Thompson, posted this newspaper clipping. Robert gave me permission to post here:
Ferguson and Adkins on Twelve Pole with an Indian Guide
“I found this article in the Huntington Advertiser of January 22, 1874. To my knowledge, this is the only reference I have seen about the members of the Ferguson family and Adkins family being guided by an Indian into the Twelve Pole Valley. First names are not included, but the Ferguson mentioned here is likely Samuel Ferguson who settled on Twelve Pole about 1802. The Adkins could be several. I think Littleberry is a likely candidate as he arrived in the region in the early 1800s. This story was written about seventy years after the Fergusons and Adkinses arrived in the Twelve Pole Valley and was within living memory of the events described. If the accounts are true, this helps provide credence to the theory that the Adkins family had close relations with the Indians.”