BIG LOVE * The Woman Who Saved Jones Academy

You may already have guessed her identity from her photograph. Jane Austin McCurtain is probably the most recognized woman from the old Choctaw Nation. Articles about her life have appeared many times – in my research I’ve counted four books, three issues of The Chronicles of Oklahoma, and at least two magazine/newspaper articles. Yes, she … Continue reading BIG LOVE * The Woman Who Saved Jones Academy

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Chief Pushmataha: Have Faith In Who You Are

~~A Timeless Lesson from Pushmataha~~ Chief Pushmataha gives us a timeless lesson to all of us in how to avoid the trap of letting others define who you are. You might think of the story as “the time when Pushmataha got the best of Andrew Jackson.” I’m inclined to think there might have been more … Continue reading Chief Pushmataha: Have Faith In Who You Are

THE * PITCHLYNN * SISTERS

We’re talking about the sisters of Choctaw Chief Peter Pitchlynn today. Did you know he had any? It’s mostly goes unnoticed - he had five younger sisters. Born in Lowndes County, MS, they all lived in the Indian Territory near Eagletown or Doaksville. They were Mary, Rhoda, Eliza, Elizabeth, and Kezia, born 1811, 1814, 1818, … Continue reading THE * PITCHLYNN * SISTERS

Against All Odds

We may not be able to change things on a national scale, but we can still extend a hand or even offer a smile to others. At this time of year most of us recall the age old story concerning the small towns of ancient Israel where, one after another, each refused shelter to Joseph … Continue reading Against All Odds

Weave For Us A Cloak of Light

It takes the innocence and open-heartedness of children to create joyful memories. Sadly most adults seem to lose that ability as life’s struggles grow to outweigh the delights we may experience. After the Choctaw removal, it was the children that gave their hearts to the new land. Imperceptibly, memories built around the sweetness of childhood … Continue reading Weave For Us A Cloak of Light

An Orphan In Search of Family

Joshua Bohanon was already 57 years old, with three marriages behind him, when one day at his trading post in old Eagletown, he met a young eighteen-year-old Arkansas girl named Serena Chastain. As a half-blood Choctaw born in the old Choctaw Country, Joshua spoke only a few words of English and Serena spoke not a … Continue reading An Orphan In Search of Family

Greatest Educator of the Indians: Miss M. Eleanor Allen

As much as the Indian tribes had resisted, in 1910 the U.S. government assumed full control of the tribal schools in the former Indian Territory. The schools still continued to be supported by tribal funds, but the funds were now to be disbursed directly to each school superintendent, who reported back to the Commissioner of … Continue reading Greatest Educator of the Indians: Miss M. Eleanor Allen

Gratitude for Courageous Young Women

 Feeling grateful this week for all the young women of long ago who were brave enough to give up comfort and security to come educate the Choctaws and care for the sick and orphaned. My great grandmother, orphaned in the 1840s may not have made it without the shelter and care from the Wheelock Academy. … Continue reading Gratitude for Courageous Young Women

Reverend John Page, Choctaw Delegate

In 1866, the Rev. John Page was selected as a member of the Choctaw Delegation to Washington to negotiate a critical treaty in hopes of restoring relations with the U.S. government. He served the Choctaw people well during his short life. He died at age 54 on April 10, 1876 and is buried at the family … Continue reading Reverend John Page, Choctaw Delegate

How Old a Word is OKLAHOMA?

Of course, if you break the state name Oklahoma into its two parts - Okla, meaning "People"; and Homma, meaning "Red" - then those two Choctaw words are centuries old, as old as the Choctaw race itself. But sometime in the 1800s, a new word OKLAHOMA was coined. Its invention is attributed to a Choctaw … Continue reading How Old a Word is OKLAHOMA?