Title: Interview with Mary C. Lloyd (November 12, 1975)
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00007876/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Mary C. Lloyd (November 12, 1975)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: November 12, 1975
Subject: Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians
Mississippi Choctaw.
Funding: This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00007876
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location: This interview is part of the 'Mississippi Choctaw' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: MC 54

Table of Contents
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Full Text

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Subject: Mrs. Mary C. Lloyd MISS CHOC 54A
Interviewer: Eddie Isaac Johnsonville
Date: November 12, 1.975

I: Starting off, let's see. I would really like to know how long you have

been studying on these Choctaws and all that?

S: How long I have been interested? Well, since my childhood. My great grand-

mother, Duchan Lincecum Cole had played with the Choctaws and :eS lived near

them when she was a little girl and so I would enjoy hearing her talk. And ecne

some of the Choctaws would come to visit her, that she had known when she

was young. And they would come by where we lived out in the country from

Brooksville and Macon, the town of Macon, we/mnoved in there. And Choctaws

would come. And so naturally, I became interested that way. And then, when

I, there was one, when I went out to Texas to be a librarian at Mary Harden

Baylor College at -Dtae; Texas which is a Baptist college, for women. And

just in mentioning in talking to the Botany teacher, mama mentioned that she

had this Uncle Gideon Lincecum who had been a naturalist, collected Q0

in Mississippi. So Mrs. Capp, the teacher, was very much interested that

we were related to him because he was famous in Texas. We didn't know it

in Mississippi. We didn't know he was famous because he had moved/lthere in

1848 before my mother was even born. We knew we had some kin people out there

but we didn't know that he had gotten to be famous. But they, the Southern

Methodist University, a science teacher had written Lincecum up in The

Naturalists of the Frontier. And so we found out that he was well considered

in Texas and at the time of01936, when they were celebrating the Centennial,

"they moved his remains from central Texas where he had farmed and collected

specimens, they moved him to the official state cemetery in Austin and made

him markers on his grave about his great work. And he had lived with contem-

porary with Sjteak a (sp). So in his old age, he wrote this first biography

_ ______________________ __


of ia&aha,.- And when I was doing my thesis on Gideon Lincecum, at

Mississippi State University, I read about Bushnataha, that was one of

his writings that he did, beside nature writings, that he wrote about

Bushnataha. So I began to be interested. And then when we moved from

SNotchbicanta, Mississippi over to Demopolis, Alabama. When I was a

little girl, I played at a place called Gain'eswood, which is a beautiful

home in the Ra.i. .a oak which was out in the yard. And so we played

out there. We had tree surgeons come and doctor the tree so that it wouldn't

die, because I said that was the tree that Fswaana-signed a treaty

with the whites and they are trying to keep it alive. So that was of

special interest :;.L I grew up with. I was a little girl. I had my

grandmother. And then when I went to Texas, they had found that Lincecum

was famous. So when I decided that I wanted a masters in history, the

librarian over there at Mississippi State University said, I think we have

enough materials for you to write your thesis on Gideon Lincecum. And I

know that you are kin to him. And I said oh would that be interesting. So

I did it, wrote my thesis on it. And then all the time, I was finding out

more about :Basthta. because he was one of the chief writings. So people

in Starkville after I married Mr. Lloyd and settled down and graduated,
I was named Clay but I'm married to and settled there

and they heard that I knew alot about Bsh.atalia. So I was invited to speak

at the Daughters of the American Revolution. And so I'm speaking again.

They've got another generation now. Some of them have forgotten .-fatE= i r

mg. And I have learned alot more anyhow since that was 1953 that I

married)and so I am going to talk to them again in February. All the time,

when I see anything about him, well, I read it. Were you here when I told
about the icT they fod at the e ss? Te symphony has been
about the music?/IThat they found at the Ole Miss? The symphony has been


done on. So I made note of that and gave it to the library that it is up

there, the music, you know, if you want to borrow it and learn to do the

symphony. And then when I went out to Tulsa this summer to see the Cherokee

play, w ell I went Ji:m--e e andj.Peter Perkins picture in the Gilcrest

PMuseum which is one of the best museums tebe-had--fe the Indian arts, a

beautiful building, a rich man, an Indian out there, got oil on his land,

and gave the money to build the museum. And they have, I ran into Mr.

Pitcher, he's a guard there, he had a tag on his chest, that he was walking

around, you know, keeping people from stealing the pictures or any of the

"things that are on display. Course most of the papers are back in vertical

files away from the public. But some things out there need watching. A oS

he's there and he, his people save their letters. And so the Pitchland

letters are there. I had a picture of him, did you see it over there on

the table? That was his ancestor, who lived over here in this area and was

a friend of BnuSinataha and Lincecum.

I: Would you tell us some things about Bushnataha's background, his childhood

days, when he became/jchiep

S: Well, they didn't know much because his parents were gone, you know. The

Governor Murray of Oklahoma was the Chickasaw descendant. And he had an

idea that he puts in hisAbook that -Ba4-mbs af* parents must have died in

a war and some Chickasaws took him over and reared him and that's the reason

that he didn't know about his family. Now that's just Murray's idea. Anyhow

he didn't know much and he would tell that story about springing from the

oak which would make a nice tradition but he didn't seem to know any details

about his earlier life that I have found record of.

I: What about as he grew up?

S: Well, he became famous as a fighter. And so he would go out, went to go out


to Oklahoma, it wasn't the state of Oklahoma then. It wasn't farmed. But

he liked to go out there to hunt. He went first to hunt and to take some

friends with him. And they would get in fights with the old sages and other

Indians out there. And usually they won but one time all his fellows, friends

got killed. And so that's when he went down to where the Spanish people

were and learned to speak Spanish well. He spoke Spanish and French and

had very fine Lincecum talk to him, you know. Said that he had one of the

finest minds that he had ever seen, and that he could analyze and make plans

you know, like for the treaty, and that he had good sense of humor, did you

read the little story I wrote there that he wanted to

touch them and see if they were angels, because he hadn't seen white skinned

girls and he had been going to the mission school and learning about angels

and all in the Christian school. He asked to touch them to-sake sure that

they weren't angels. Then-we had about the wives, anecdotes about that,

when he was drilling, before the war of 1812, he found out that-the'other

officers had their wives along with them. And so he sent for his wife.

They would parade up, the place they had, they liked to show off, parade

up and down and exercise and do different) officers of the American army

would show off their wives. And so he sent for his wife so he sent for

his wife so he could parade her around and show off too. Then, there at

the hospital, that's one of the famous stories that you tell. He had lost

his horse that he lived way down, he didn't live up in this part, he lived

down around Meridian. In that area, maybe on the Mississippi side,.

maybe on the Alabama side, at different times. So, he wanted to come up

here, around the ColuTbus area, something was going to be, some enter-

tainment was going to be. So he walked 80 miles. That was just a year

beforene died too. I think that walk helped to undermind him, a-slf long


walk like that, not riding at all. He walked 80 miles up there. And so

when some of the friends noticed that he was walking, he was going to walk

back, they said, well we'll let you have a horse if you promise not to sell

it and buy liquor with it. And he said I promise. So then the next time

"s sar him, he was walking again. Then they said well B you promised

"us that youn-.. notsell that horse to buy liquor witd. And he said, got

himself up real straight and he said, I kept my promise. I haven't bought

liquor with it. But you didn't say a thing about not betting it on a ball


I: Could you tell us some things that he did while he was chief during his

S___ that you may know? kvo o t.' ...
S: Well, he met, he met, he went on the boat / going from

New Orleans to Baltimore by boat, when Jefferson was president, they were

working on a Treaty. They sent them by boat that time. And he enjoyed that

trip and Jefferson interviewed him personally. President Jefferson'told

him that if he ever got in where he needed help, to remember that he was

his white father and to call on him.. And so when'he got back up there, this

last time when he was going to die, well, he tried to find the real president.

Of course Jefferson was no longer the-sa president and it had changed

presidents. And Jackson hadn't gone in and Jackson went in the next year

in 1825 and-" at s+sted at Christmas in 1824 so he didn't know the resi-

dent personally like he had/the others and he got that treaty picked all right, \1
,Al. and then he had the Doaks Treaty. And Lincecum, my man that I wrote my

thesis on, he was there at that treaty. And he gave a report on it, the

conversation that took place there. That was when he taught Jackson about

getting the rivers wrong in the geography of what is now Oklahoma. Course

it wasn't Oklahoma then. But theywAtalking about it and he was trying to

MISS CHOC 54A CT4 Page 6

swap off some land, this good land in Mississippi for some shtBSh thought

wasn't as good in the Oklahoma area, that he was familiar with because he

went out there hunting and fighting and he knew the geography, enl though

he hadn't studied a .*;', y,-. text book 1Ae knew it from practical visits

to the country. So, he called Jackson's bluff right there and corrected him

and left him in the history books. He won victory there. And he won

victory. Then the Mississippi white people began to call out to get their,

get more land, you know, they didn't want two sets of governments. l now are

we going to get deeds to the land if the Indians had some of the land to

claim and the whites claim the same land. How are we going to know who
L 'ic n
the land belongs to. That made it confus-ig-for them. Of course, that

wasn't fair to the Indians. I'm not taking up for the whites doing it. But

that was one of the conflicts that was there,Anore and more white people

coming in and wanting to prove that they owned the land. I told you that .

he of my Lincecum ancestors that is in the court house records in Lans

county when those Lincecums went there and said that this land belongs to

this particular Indian and called him by name, Red Bird or some such name.

as that, for all these years and I know that it belongs to him.

But they'd come in...squatters they called them. They'd just come

in. They didn't own land. They hadn't bought it at all, but they'd

just squat on it, just take it, and try to take it. So that made

it bad for the...had two governments, see? Indian government and

then they had differences the way they did about the justice.

The Indians would go and, if somebody killed one of their family

or enemies, well, they would go and shoot somebody else in re-

taliation. And of course, the American justice system, they were

trying to get away from that shooting just in revenge, but to

MISS CHOC 54A P age 7

have a trial and I know, I was reading in some of these things just last

night about, that they knew that the man had killed the other one in self-

defense, and in American justice when they can prove that, they don't have

to die, if they knew it was self-defense. But this Indian said no, that's

the rule of my people, my tribe. If somebody's shot, then somebody's got

to be killed from the other side right away. And they held on to that,

that made it a conflict, you see, with two kinds of justice and two people

wanting to govern.

.I: Do you want to say anything? What was Jackson's general opinion

of .Etteas? Did he ever say anything about BoJswha.aa?

S: Bad 'Jackson?

I: Yeah.

S: Oh, he thought he was the greatest of all the Indians. He would praise

him. He was there in Washington and saw that they had the big funeral

because he was already elected president when BS'tKfabalhere, you know,

used to go in March the fourth.was the inaugural date, but he knew that

he was g6ing to be president and he went ahead and had ordered the big

funeral and came to seeAin person at the hotel where he was sick. Saw

that he had -nurse and he had a doctor's attention and all, but by that

time it was too late. ,

I: Can you quote Jackson on anything he ever said about -Bs rsa?

S: What's that now? i 5 '.

I: Can you quote Jackson on anything he ever said about uBasihtaaia? Can you...

is there a quote about anything? You know, did he ever say anything about

him- that was like "He's my friend,"?

I: I don't quite understand.

S: Well, did he ever say like "Bs'!faI-es is my best Indian friend" or some-

thing like this? Can you quote him on anything that he said?

MISS CHOC 54A Page 8

I: Well, I can get...find you over there in my books. I can't think off hand

of a quote but I can find you in the books some.


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