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Indians In Crawford County, AR

The following articles were transcribed and donated by Fran Warren

Van Buren Argus
Crawford County, Arkansas
March 2, 1876
How Indians Cure Meat And Dress Skins
When her lord has killed a buffalo, the woman's work begins. She has to skin it, the meat to secure, and all to pack upon ponies or mules, and carry to camp, where the meat is cured. This is done by cutting it into thin sheets and hanging it over poles in the hot sunshine, where it is soon dried thoroughly; then it is packed fresh in packages of about one hundred pounds each, and enclosed in a nice folding sack of thick buffalo skin, prepared especially for the purpose. This is not dressed down thin after being fleshed, but well tanned, and of the full thickness of the skin; the hair side nicely ornamented with paint, for the outside of the sack. This is cut like a huge envelope, so that the ends and sides will fold over whatever is put in them, and secured by strong buckskin rings. By being thick it retains its form and is very useful for carrying other things beside meat and tallow. After the meat is taken care of the skin is looked after. Those taken at this season of the year are mostly dressed for lodges. They are first staked on a smooth spot on the ground, and water put on them, when they are ready for fleshing. This consists of removing the flesh with an instrument made of a straight bar of iron, about a foot in length, flattened at one end and filed to an edge. This being grasped in the hand, and a succession of quick blows given, the work slowly proceeds. The skin is then dried after which the hair is removed in a dry state, and the skin reduced to the proper thickness by dressing down the hair side. This is done with an instrument made by firmly tying a piece of steel, filed t a beveled edge at one end, and with the corners rounded, to a large prong of a deer's horn. This is to be trimmed, in connection with the body of the horn, as to form an elbow, and is used a little as a carpenter uses his adz. This work is usually done in the cool of the morning. The brains of the animal, having been properly taken care of for the purpose, are now soaked and squeezed by the hand until reduced to paste, and applied to both sides of the skin, which is afterward worked and rubbed until flexible. The preparation of robes is from winter skins, and differs from the foregoing only in being dressed down on the flesh side, so as to leave the wool and hair upon the robe and is more thoroughly worked and scoured by means of a sharp gritted stone.

Van Buren Press
Crawford County, Arkansas
January 14, 1879
From the following, which we find in the Cherokee Advocate, it will be seen that the property of the Little Rock and Fort Smith Railway, at Cherokee, is to be sold out at auction, it having been confiscated by the Nation:
Notice - Whereas, the Little Rock and Fort Smith Railroad Company, have been declared intruders in the Cherokee Nation, and whereas, the said Little Rock and Fort Smith Railroad Company, intruders in the Cherokee Nation, entered within the limits of the Cherokee Nation; One depot, one cotton platform and one stockyard, whereas said improvements are confiscated under provisions of Sec. 120, Article 25, Chapter 12 of New Code.
Therefore, I will offer at public outcry to the highest bidder for cash, National warrants or registered certificates, the above mentioned improvements.
The above improvements are situated opposite Fort Smith, Ark., on the improvements of old John L VANN claim, now in possession of Gibbon MORGAN and others. Sale to take place on the 22nd of January, 1879m at 12 o'clock.
John E. GUNTER, Sheriff, Sequoyah District, C. N.

Van Buren Press
Crawford County, Arkansas
January 21, 1879
For two years past our Cherokee neighbors have complained long and bitterly
that their rights and privileges were being ruthlessly assailed by the
presence of the depot and railway of the L. R. & F. S. Railway in their
territory. They had got so troublesome and persistent in their demands for
the company's removal of their property that arrangements had been made, and
the work nearly completed to go no further than Van Buren, and make the
crossing to Fort Smith here. Still not satisfied, the sheriff f the Nation
embraced in the District opposite Fort Smith, gave notice that he would on
the 22nd day of January, (tomorrow) sell the depot building and other
property of the company, as having been confiscated by the Cherokee Nation.
To avoid litigation or any trouble, on Sunday last, Supt. Hartman had a
large number of hands employed, and buildings of the company were taken down
and transferred across the river to Fort Smith, where they will be
re-erected for the accommodation of their business at that point. At this
hour, not a visage of the property of the company remains in the Nation, and
we imagine that when the Sheriff puts in an appearance in the morning to
"knock off" to the highest bidder, the confiscated railroad property, there
will be some tall swearing on the Cherokee line.
This move makes Van Buren the terminus of the L. R. & F. S. Railroad for two
weeks until the iron can be laid on the other side of the river and other
work completed.
Passengers and mails going East will be brought to Van Buren the night
before and take the train the next morning. And on the arrival of the train
at night a "buss" will take mails and passengers to Fort Smith.

June 7, 1879
Van Buren Press
Van Buren, Crawford County, Arkansas

A Kindly Act by Living Indians Toward Their Dead
While our own race were paying the tender tributes justly due to the memory
of our illustrious and gallant dead, the Indian delegation now in this city,
W P ADAIR, and D H ROSS, of the Cherokees; George W STIDHAM, of the Creeks,
and P P PITCHLYNN, of the Choctaws, visited the congressional burring
grounds and decorated the graves of some of their departed friends. There
are interred in those grounds, the remains of the following named
illustrious Indians, Push-ma-ta-ha, chief of the Choctaws; Capt. John
ROGERS; chief of the "Old Settler" Cherokees; John LOONEY, Cherokee chief
and delegate; Wm. S COODY, Buford WEST, Ezekiel STARR, Capt. Thomas PEGG,
Capt. James McDANIEL and Judge Richard FIELDS, Cherokee delegates, and
Daniel B. ASBERRY, Creek delegate.

Push-ma-ta-ha was a celebrated war chief of the Choctaws. He was also a
brigadier general of volunteers, under General JACKSON, in the Creek War,
and was a great favorite of JACKSON. On his death bed in this city, Jackson
visited him, and the old chief said: "My friend, we have been good friends.
You have been kind to my people; we must soon part; I am going home to my
fathers in the spirit land. My death will be heard by my people like the
fall of a great tree in the forest. When I am gone let the big guns be fired
over me." His wish was complied with, and in addition to the salute fired
over his grave, the tombstone was inscribed: "When I am gone let the big
guns be fired over me". Capt. John ROGERS was a chief of the "Old Settler",
a western Cherokee, and was one of the first Cherokees who removed west of
the Mississippi, and was a friend of President Jackson, and served under him
during the Creek War. He died in 1846, while the Cherokee treaty was
pending. John LOONEY, chief of the "Western Cherokees", was also one of the
first of the Cherokees that removed West, and was celebrated as a great
warrior, in protecting the Western border from the assaults of the wild
Indians of the plains and mountains. W S COODY, who died in 1848, was in
public life of the Cherokee, from his early growth. His father was a white
man, and his mother a sister of the celebrated Cherokee chief, John ROSS,
who died in 1856. He was also a brother in law to General D H RUCKER, who
married his sister in the Indian Country. He was one of the most eloquent
men of his day, and was gifted with rare conversation powers. He drafted the
Cherokee constitution, the acts of union of 1839, and most of the civil and
criminal code of the Nation in existence up to the time of his death.
Bluford WEST was a delegate of the "Old Settler" Cherokees, and Ezekiel
STARR, of the "Treaty Party" Cherokees. They were both intelligent
gentlemen, and their fathers were white men. Capts. Thomas PEGGS and James
M. DANIEL were full blooded Cherokees, and died in this city, the former in
1866, and the latter in the year following. Both were captains in the United
States army, during the late rebellion, and served with marked distinction.
Judge Richard FIELDS was a delegate, and died here in 1874. He served under
General JACKSON in the Creek War, and also rendered the United States
efficient service in the Seminole War. During the late war, he was in the
Confederate army. General LACKET, of the United States army, was his son in
law, having married his daughter Amanda in the Indian Country. Daniel B
ASBERRY was a Creek delegate and died in this city in 1855. He was a full
blooded Indian of excellent education and was a fine orator. He was educated
in Kentucky, and was second chief of the Creek Nation when he died.
[Washington Post].

Van Buren Press
Van Buren, Arkansas (Crawford County)
May 4, 1889
Notice is hereby given to all persons knowing themselves to have a just claim to citizenship in the Cherokee Nation are most respectfully requested
to meet the undersigned at Van Buren, Ark., on the 15th day of May, 1889, at 1 o'clock p.m., for the purpose of organizing a Citizenship Association, and to discuss the question of citizenship in the Cherokee Nation. W. J. WATTS.
Secretary of Citizenship Association. May 2, 1889, Muldrow, Indian Territory.

Van Buren Press
Van Buren, Arkansas Crawford County
July 20, 1889
Will VANN, the young Cherokee Indian, who escaped from the Arkansas Penitentiary on Wednesday of last week, was captured at his home Saturday morning by Deputy Jere BARLING. VANN had only been at home about two hours when the officer came on him. He was sent to the pen from Fort Smith about fourteen months ago for fifteen years. He is a notorious horse thief, and also an escaped convict from the Cherokee pen.

October 25, 1890
Muskogee, I. T. Oct. 19.-The recent death of old Tom STARR, at his home on
the Canadian River, calls to mind the remarkable life of one of the most
notorious outlaws the world has ever known. When the Cherokee Indians were
domiciled in the Nation there arose a bitter feud between what was known as
the Ridge and Ross Parties over the sale of land east of the Mississippi.
Old Tom's father joined the Ridges and was shot down with and son and
brother in his own door by members of the Ross faction. This was the time
from which dates the bloody career of old Tom. About 20 years since the
Cherokee Council entered into a compact with the outlaw, after his victims
reached the estimated number of seventy, by which he turned unmolested to
peaceful pursuits.
He furnished the brains which planned the robbery of old man GRAYSON of
$32,000, which was successfully executed with the aid of Belle REED's
cunning. The division of the spoils became a matter of contention after Jim
REED's tragic death in Texas, when Belle married Sam STARR, Tom's son. Three
years ago Sam and one WEST, cousins, killed each other in a duel over a
family feud, and a little later, Belle was assassinated, presumably by
friends of her husband. Old Tom would speak freely of the Ridge-Ross war,
but was mute on other crimes charged to him.

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