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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
_ ______________________ __
MISS CHOC 54A CTM Page 2
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
MISS CHOC 54A CTM Page 3
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
MISS CHOC 54A CTM Page 4
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
MISS CHOC 54A CTM Page 5
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?
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.
END OF TAPE