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W. P. A. History of Pontotoc County, Mississippi

Chapter V:   Indians

 A Legend Of Pontotoc

by Mrs. Julia Anderson

In the land of Miche Sepa

Land of fertile hills and valleys

On the ridge of Punctacontuc

Near the vale of Puncahala-

"Hanging Grapes' the pale face called it-

Lived a happy tribe of Chicsas

Hunting, fishing, carefree ever.

Where the Ittawambamingo

Led his people as their chieftain,

Later known as Levi Colbert.

Then a white man on adventure

Came among them; an explorer

Seeking homes for his own people,

Saw the fertile hills and valleys-

Saw the Ridge of Punctacontuc,

And the vale of Puncahala;

And he said, "Here have I found the

Garden spot of God's creation!

And the white man must possess it,

We must own these vine-clad ridges,

They will bring us untold riches

When we rid them of these red men

And their huts of cane and willow.

For a string of beads we'll buy it

And the government will aid us.

We will send the Indian westward-

Give him land beyond the river,

And he'll never know the difference."

Little knew he how they loved the

Tangled wood of Punctacontuc;

How their hearts were wrung with anguish

When land offices were builded

And they heard the heartless edict,

"Sell your lands and move you westward!"

Then old Ittawambamingo

Sat within his hut and sorrowed,

Bent his head upon his bosom-

Dared not look upon his people

When he knew he could not aid them.

Softly then into his cabin

Ghostly shadows took their places,

On his brow their clammy fingers

Wrote the words of Desolation

that had come upon his people.

Then the white men came in numbers

From the Eastern states to settle

On the beauteous Punctacontuc

Bought for naught from Chicsa Indians,

Whom they sent across the River.

Not an Indian man was granted

Leave to live on there among them.

Nor an Indian Squaw of Maiden,

Save she chanced to catch the fancy

Of some white man who desired her

To become his wife in marriage.

At the doorway of her cabin

Sat the lovely Vici Colbert,

Princess of her tribe of people.

By her side were grapes in garlands

And her lap was filled with chestnuts,

For the frost of Autumn threatened

And the air was crisp and buoyant.

But the pretty Indian princess

Was unconscious of the present.

She was thinking of that morning

When she gathered grapes and chestnuts

Down the vale of Puncahala,

When the young man from Virginia

Came upon her in the grape-vine.

He had gently smiled upon her-

Asked her name and lingered near her-

Told her softly of her beauty.

And the lovely Indian Princess

Who had spurned the oft repeated

Tales of love from brave Topulka

Knew her heart would beat forever

For the youth from Old Virginia,

To the Princess came her Portion

Of the Colbert lands so fertile

Which was worth an unknown fortune.

And the happy Indian princess

Conscious of her striking beauty

And her wealth of untold riches

Hoped to wed the gay Virginian.

She could give him wealth unbounded

And her heart of love unending,

For his name- the law's condition

That she live at Punctacontuc.

But in vain the maiden waited

For her faithless pale face lover.

All her lands were sold for silver,

And she left her haunts primeval

For a home in strange location.

And her heart she left, unwanted,

In the care of the Virginian.

In a home of Wealth and Culture

In the State of Old Virginia,

Wedding guests were hushed- expectant-

Down the stairs the bride was coming,

All her maidens standing near her.

At the foot the bridegroom waited,

And the solemn vows were taken.

Away they sped to Miche Sepa,

To the ridge of Punctacontuc.

Eagerly the young Virginian

Brought his bride to Punctacontuc-

Pontotoc, they learned to call it.

And they made their home upon the

Land he'd  bought from Levi Colbert.

Now and then he lightly pondered

On the beauty of the Princess,

And he wondered where she's wandered,

Little dreaming that her heart was

Left with him at Punctacontuc

To remain with him forever.

Every year the breath of Autumn

Strikes the leaves at Punctacontuc

Turning them gold and crimson

A memorial to the princess

Whose young life was crowned with sorrow.

They had been her favorite colors,

Bright and Beautiful she called them.

And in memory of their princess

All the woods at Punctacontuc

Wear her colors in the Autumn.

Lovely hills of Punctacontuc,

Pontotoc, they've learned to call it.  (1)

(1) Mrs. Dabney Anderson, Pontotoc Progress, Pontotoc, Miss.

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