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Molly Gunn. He wrote that “she talked all Chickasaw.” It reads as follows:

“The Chickasaws started east carrying with them a long pole, and at night the pole was stuck in the ground, erect. Next morning the pole would be found leaning towards the east, which they considered their guide, and would, from day to day, follow, or travel in the direction that the pole leant. Each morning this was continued until they reached the place that is known as the ‘Chickasaw Old Fields’; by some it was called ‘Old Town.’ When they reached that place, at night, as usual, the pole was stuck in the ground as erect as they could possibly put it. On the following morning the leader of the party rose early as usual (the Chickasaws were early risers in those days.) On examining the pole he found it standing in the exact position that it was left the night before. He proclaimed to the party that they had reached their future home, and the party settled down and made that place their home. After this, the Creek Indians occasionally made war against the Chickasaws, but were always repulsed and driven way. They were after this encroached upon by the French, * * * * and several battles were fought; but the Chickasaws had a very large war-dog that always gave them warning when the enemy was approaching, and, in the heat of battle kept ahead of the Chickasaws, making heavy attacks on the enemy. By this assistance, the French generally got the worst of the fight. Now, Sir, this is all that I ever heard my old grandmother, Molly Gunn, relate in regard to our ancestors. The Chickasaw Old Town, or ‘Old Fields,’ is somewhere not far from Ripley or Tupelo. The road leading from Pontotoc to Tuscumbia, Ala., formerly ran through those ‘Old Fields.’ ‘Old Town’ in Chickasaw is Oklah Sepokny. Tishomingo should be spelled Tjshu Minco, which means warrior chief."16

Rev. F. Patton who wrote some reminiscences of the saws and who acted as the amanuensis of Rev. T. C. Stewart, one of the early American teachers to the Chickasaws, relates the tradition somewhat differently. Tradition says that the Chickasaws and Choctaws were once one tribe and lived in the West, where they had poweful enemies who kept them in alarm. In a council they determined to seek a land of life, as they termed it. They divided into two parties, under the head of Chickasaw and Choctaw, two brothers. The brothers, after crossing the Mississippi river, separated, but settled in contiguous territory; the two parties (the Chickasaws and Choctaws) remained distinct, and in time became hostile to each other. Before they commenced their journey, they sought guidance of the Great Spirit. A pole was set up, and the war-dance danced till late at night. They then retired. Next morning they found that the pole bent eastwardly. They took this as a divine sign, and journeyed in the direction the pole leaned. As they marched on they observed a like ceremony every night, and, with the same result. As they

16 Cyrus Harris to author.

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