From An 1822 South Carolina Indian Baby to Van Buren County

Submitted by Beverly Berrry

Notes: Letter is refering to Sarah Tullis, wife of John Tullis. Sarah and John are the parent's of Elizabeth Tullis. Elizabeth Tullis married Prettyman Berry and resided in Hog Mountain, Georgia. Coleson may not be spelled right.

The baby mentioned in the letter will grow up to be Elizabeth Tullis Berry, the mother of Mary Ann Berry of Van Buren County. Sarah Tullis is Prettyman Berry's mother in law. Prettyman Berry is buried in Low Gap Cemetery in Van Buren, Arkansas.

Dr. James Coleson
South Carolina
12th, March, 1822

This very day of 12th, March, Sarah Tillis, Indian wife of John Tillis, was gathering in the foothills when she wrapped her infante childe in it's blanket and laid the childe down to sleep. Mrs. Tillis continued to gather in her basket when she heard her infant cry out. When Mrs. Tillis turned, a large catamount had stolen her infant childe in it's blanket and tooken the childe at a run into a shallow cave. Though naturally reserved and silent, Mrs. Tillis chased the catamount down and fought the beaste with a limb from a tree for the return of her childe. I examined the childe today and the wounds of the childe are simple and not likely to cause illness, although Mrs. Tillis insists on doctoring the wounds herself with Indian remedies. I see no harm in this action. I will check on the infant childe tomorrow noon.