CUSTOMS, ETC. (cont.)
II. MIGRATION LEGENDS.
Chickasaw tradition asserted that they
came from the west, and that when they came thence they had ten thousand
men able to go to war. According to Adair, the Chickasaws, Choctaws, and
Chokchumas came, as one family, from the west. In time the Chokchumas,
on account of war, were compelled to establish themselves between the Chickasaws
Molly Gunn, a Chickasaw woman, grandmother
of Cyrus Harris,15 who became Governor of the
Chickasaws in the Indian Territory, related to him the Chickasaw tradition
of that tribe’s journeying to Mississippi. Mr. Harris gave the author a
manuscript copy of this tradition, translated from the language of
Adair's History of the North American Indians.
In a letter to the writer, written from Mill Creek, C. N., Aug. 10, 1881
Cyrus Harris writes as follows:
“Molly Gunn, my grandmother,
was the wife of old man James Gunn, who died rich, leaving one child, Rhoda.
She died two years ago on Red river at her half-sister’s, who is my own
aunt, a full sister to my mother and half sister to my Aunt Rhoda. My grandmother’s
first husband, my mother’s father, was a Cherokee, named Oxberry.
After his death she married old man James C. Gunn. Rhoda married
Samuel Colbert, a nice man, but they separated and she married Joseph Potts,
a white man. He died during the war [Civil War] by taking strychnine
by mistake. He died here in my house. Aunt Rhoda has two sons living,
Taylor and Joseph Potts. Her first child by Sam Colbert was a girl
named Susan. She married and went off, and never has been heard of since.
“Malcolm McGee was my step-father.
He had one daughter by my mother, and named her Jane. lVJy sister Jane
married Robt. Aldridge, a white man who lived near Tuscumbia, but after
they came to this country [Indian Territory] he got so trifling she drove
him off. He then went to Texas and died. They had one daughter, who is
yet living. Jane afterwards married a nice gentleman by the name of William
R. Guy, and soon after she and Mr. Guy were married they sent after sister
Jane’s father, old man McGee, and had him with them at Boggy Depot, Choctaw
Nation [Indian Territory], but he, being very old, liyed but a few months
after getting there. I saw the old man die and was at his funeral. Old
man McGee was a little over one hundred years old when he died. He was
for a long time United States internreter for the Chickasaws, and, it was
said he could beat the Chickasaws talking their own tongue.
“Mr. and Mrs. Guy had nine
children when Mrs. Guy died at Boggy Depot. About one year from her demise,
Mr. Guy died at Paris, Texas, being there on a visit. Their children are
nearly all of them living in a quarter mile of my house.”
Mr. Harris stated to the
author in writing that he was born “3 miles south of Pontotoc,” on Aug.
22, 1817; that Rev. T. C. Stuart was his first teacher; that he attended
school in Giles county, Tenn., in 1830, came home in 1831; was elected
Governor of the Chickasaws in 1856, and served them four terms of two years
each. Let the judicious reader note the error in Mrs. Deupre’s article
in Pub. Miss. Hist. Soc. as to the relationship of Cyrus Harris
to Molly Gunn.
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