Flying with Broken Wings…#247

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=elizabeth+ann+johnson-

Flying with Broken Wings

Author Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree books at: Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com

Flying with Broken Wings is about the life of Charlotte Jean Murphree. Charlotte was not a famous person, in fact, not too many people knew her, but those that did knew there were many facets to her life. The book tells of fifty-two-years of daily testing of her will to carry on and the misfortune she faced. As a baby and young girl she was made fun of and bullied by schoolchildren, her progress was slow but she never gave up the fight to overcome her disabilities. As an adult, she fought physical disability of Cerebral Palsy, living with Bipolar, Depression and Schizophrenia disorders. She lived not only with these disabilities, she endured the “Voices” that lived within her for over thirty years. This book is about the beginning, the middle and the end of her life.

Books by Author at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com:

Fragments of Time

A Passage into Madness

Asterial Thoughts

A Sachet of Poetry

Rutted Roads

Rhythm Rhyme and Thoughts

Reflections of Poetry

Beyond the Voices

Honeysuckle Memories

Echoing Images from the Soul

A Journey into the Soul

©2020.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

A Right to have Rights…#241

Prejudices are alive and thriving within the borders of the United States of America. The blood of the first true American runs red upon the land that we hold scared, the American Indian.  I continue having a problem with the views of “immigration” in this country by the “descendants” of immigrates. These people are now citizens of this country by either birth or becoming a citizen after coming to the United States. The rhetoric has not changed throughout the years. It is like being ugly and poor, if you are not beautiful, rich and powerful your chances of getting into the “upper 1% club” is zero.

My father was born in 1903, he, his mother, grandmother  and their people the Southeastern Chickasaw’s were not recognized as American citizens until about 1940, by then he was married and had two children.  He was born in America, lived, worked and died in America, but he was almost 37 years-old.

In 1924, The Act governing Native Americans did not include those born before the effective date of the 1924 Act and it was not until the Nationality Act of 1940 that all born on U.S. soil were citizens; my father was thirty-seven years old before he was to be recognized as a “REAL AMERICAN CITIZEN”. Many Native Americans, who were granted citizenship rights under the 1924 Act, may not have had full citizenship and suffrage rights until 1948. My father’s right to be a citizen of the United States of American was granted to him by “Immigrates or the Descendants of immigrates”

I have to wonder what my father and those who came before him, those who were drove from their lands, walked the Trail of Tears, those who help build this country would have to say about how we look upon the way those in power, the people we voted into office are reacting to today’s immigration decisions, have they forgotten that we are all descendants of immigrates, your ancestors who came to this country and were welcomed with open arms.  They did not have to go over a wall or under one, their children were not taken away from them, some lost forever.

I believe we need to stop and think about how we look in the eyes of other countries, to people who may want to make America their home, are we moving forward or backward?  If Donald Trump is allow to sit upon his throne in the White House, how many more immigrates will fall to the wayside?  Immigrates built this country, Trump has twisted every law, the Constitution, to his favor and childlike behavior.  As Americans from all races, faiths and color, we need to take back our country, bring it back to the time when we stood at our borders with open arms for those in need, or those being persecuted by their own country.

This is only my opinion and mine alone, of one who watch their father being discriminated against when I was a child. A father who was not allowed, to walk down the same street next to a powerful white man. A father who worked hard to make a living with little education. A father who would take food off our table to give to someone passing through who was hungry and did not have a job. A father who would fight for all people, be understanding of differences, and fight against discrimination. My father, a True American!  Donald Trump is not, he is blight on this land!

Getting off my soap box…elizabethannjohnsonmuphree

Brianna’s Pond…#222

Image result for Ponds
Current working draft of a new book…scene set in the Deep South, love does not have any boundaries, race or age.   Brianna Youngblood is dying and Jesse her niece has come home to care for her.

Brianna’s Pond…

Jesse Brianna Youngblood walked into the lobby of the Ayers Hotel in Birmingham, Alabama; her body went ridged, childhood fears returned as she stopped in front of the elevator doors.   The doors opened, she shut her eyes tight and walked quickly through them, she did not need to look to know that the tarnished brass rail was next to her; feeling ashamed that after more than thirty years she still associated the old elevator with a tragic time in her life.

An elderly man walked in behind her, waited for a few moments then began clearing his Throat.

“Young lady are you going to just stand there with your eyes closed or do you intend to select a floor?”  The voice dripped of southern politeness laced with attitude.

“I’m sorry sir, the tenth floor please.”   Her voice apologetic Jesse could feel his irritability, but she kept her eyes closed.

She was not going to surrender her hold on the railing, he reached out selected his floor and pushed the button for the top floor as well.  The antiquated elevator cables creaked and groaned as Jesse counted each floor that passed, then it stopped on the ninth floor; the old man grumbled under his breath as he got off, she was going to see the old woman.   Then the intimidating climb continued but Jesse was excited to be back, it had been five years since her aunt made the decision to change the building from the old hotel to apartments; of course, her Aunt Biana still occupied the entire top floor or penthouse as some tenants refers to it.

Finally, the doors opened and so did her eyes, she stepped quickly into the entrance hall where nothing had changed.  Her aunt, owner of the hotel decided five years earlier to have it renovated into apartments; but the tenth floor was like stepping back into time.   Mirrors in gilded frames, drawings of known and unknown artists lined the walls; colossal vases filled with multicolored plumes stood tall like sentries at the entrance door.  Time had left its mark on everything, the building, maybe the life beyond the door.  Jesse did not know what she was going to find on the other side, but she was home.

©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Author’s books at Barnes & Nobel.com and  Amazon.com

Did Andrew Jackson own Slaves? #207

Image result for Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson

Author’s Note:  The postings of Presidents who owned slaves is not created to invoke comments of anger, it is done to make aware of those we may have honored, had their “DARK” side.  The post are intended to make  aware the wrongful act of slavery, and of those who talked for or against slavery, participated in slavery.  If I have offended anyone, or made them angry I apologize this was not my intent.  Awareness and logical words speak far louder than the violence and destruction of our current times in America.   EAJM

The Seventh  President of the United States of America

Series on Presidential Slavery

In all reality, slavery was the source of Andrew Jackson’s wealth.  The Hermitage was a 1,000 acre, self-sustaining plantation relying completely on the labor of slaves, African American men, women and children. They performed the hard labor that produced the cash crop, cotton. The more land Andrew Jackson accrued, the more slaves he procured to work it. Thus, the Jackson family’s survival was made possible by the profit garnered from the crops worked by the enslaved on a daily basis.

Jackson was born in the Carolina he became a frontier lawyer and served briefly in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate, representing Tennessee. After resigning, he served as a justice on the Tennessee Supreme Court from 1798 until 1804. Jackson purchased a property later known as The Hermitage, and became a wealthy, a slave owning planter. In 1801, he was appointed colonel of the Tennessee militia and was elected its commander the following year. He led troops during the Creek War of 1813–1814, winning the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. The subsequent Treaty of Fort Jackson required the Creek surrender of vast lands in present-day Alabama and Georgia.  Also, the Chickasaw’s in Alabama and they were my people, my great-great-grandparents were on the Trail of Tears.  

Jackson prospered as planter, slave owner, and merchant. He built a home and the first general store in Gallatin, Tennessee, in 1803. The next year, he acquired the Hermitage, a 640-acre plantation in Davidson County, near Nashville. He later added 360 acres to the plantation, which eventually totaled 1,050 acres. The primary crop was cotton, grown by slaves—Jackson began with nine, owned as many as 44 by 1820, and later up to 150, placing him among the planter elite. Jackson also co-owned with his son Andrew Jackson Jr. the Halcyon plantation in Coahoma County, Mississippi, which housed 51 slaves at the time of his death. Throughout his lifetime, Jackson may have owned as many as 300 slaves.

Image result for The Hermitage Andrew Jackson Home
The Hermitage

Men, women, and child slaves were owned by Jackson on three sections of the Hermitage plantation. Slaves lived in extended family units of between five and ten persons and were quartered in 400 square feet cabins made either of brick or logs. The size and quality of the Hermitage slave quarters exceeded the standards of his times. To help slaves acquire food, Jackson supplied them with guns, knives, and fishing equipment. At times he paid his slaves with monies and coins to trade in local markets. The Hermitage plantation was a profit-making enterprise. Jackson permitted slaves to be whipped to increase productivity or if he believed his slaves’ offenses were severe enough.  At various times he posted advertisements for fugitive slaves who had escaped from his plantation. In one advertisement placed in the Tennessee Gazette in October 1804, Jackson offered “ten dollars extra, for every hundred lashes any person will give him, to the amount of three hundred.”

Throughout his eight years in office, Jackson made about 70 treaties with Native American tribes both in the South and in the Northwest. Jackson’s presidency marked a new era in Indian-Anglo American relations initiating a policy of Indian removal. Jackson himself sometimes participated in the treaty negotiating process with various Indian tribes, though other times he left the negotiations to his subordinates. The southern tribes included the Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw, Seminole and the Cherokee. The northwest tribes include the Chippewa, Ottawa, and the Potawatomi.

He fiercely disliked the abolitionists, whom he believed were, by instituting sectional jealousies, attempting to destroy the Union.  Jackson called on Congress to prohibit the circulation through the South of “incendiary publications intended to instigate the slaves to insurrection.”

In his retirement, Jackson remained active in Democratic Party politics, supporting the presidencies of Martin Van Buren and James K. Polk. Though fearful of its effects on the slavery debate, Jackson advocated the annexation of Texas, which was accomplished shortly before his death. Jackson has been widely revered in the United States as an advocate for democracy and the common man. But was he, he owned slaves, this should not be revered anywhere.

Many of his actions proved divisive, garnering both fervent support and strong opposition from many in the country. His reputation suffered, largely due to his role in Native American removal. However, slavery should be added to this list.

EAJM

Books by Author

Native American Ancestors – Battles and Beliefs…#180

1.Wandering-desert Women
Acrylics on Canvas – By Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree

 

Native American Ancestors – Battles and Beliefs

I had made the statement that “The Americans stole the land from the Native Americans, just as the Native Americans stole the land from those before them”. The current question is “Who did the Native Americans steal land from”? Only each other!

Native Americans were stealing land from one another, and killing one another long before others sailed to what is today known as America. Taking land by conquest was a part of Native American culture. Creek Indians conquered land from Choctaws and Chickasaws and other Creeks. Comanche’s came in and took the land from the Apaches by war, as so on.   The Cheyenne and Comanche took a lot of land away from other Indians when they got the horse. The Blackfeet, Nez Pierce, and Crow continually fought over the same land in Idaho and Wyoming. American Indians both stole, and had land stolen. The Apache stole every “thing” from everybody.

Columbus thought he was in India because of how similar the Natives appearance to the Persians, thus history tells us that Columbus discovered America. However, America is named after Amerigo Vespucci, the Italian explorer who set forth the then revolutionary concept that the lands that Christopher Columbus sailed to in 1492 were part of a separate continent. A map created in 1507  was the first to depict this new continent with the name “America,” a Latinized version of “Amerigo.”

My ancestors were Chickasaw in Southeast America, living between the Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico. In the area of the Mississippi River. They inherited the Mississippian culture period that lasted from AD 700- 1600. The natives of the regions spoke a number of different languages that included Choctaw, Chickasaw, Apalachee, Creek, Seminole, and Alabama.

The Natives of the Southeast both grew food and were hunter-gathers. The main items of their diets included cornbread, grits, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and corn. They were able to catch rabbits, hogs, turkey, raccoons and deer. The religious beliefs of the Native Americans of the Southeast were similar to the rest of the Native Americans. They believed in Animism, the belief that objects, places and creatures all possess a distinct spiritual essence. Potentially, animism perceives all things—animals, plants, rocks, rivers, weather systems, human handiwork and perhaps even words—as animated and alive.

We as humans would have done well to continue keeping Animism in all religions, with this belief, we would have respected everything and each other, creating a better America.

However, this is just my opinion!

 

EAJM

 

Authors Books at Amazon.com and Barns&Nobel.com

 

https://www.amazon.com/Flying-Broken-Wings-Charlotte-Murphree/dp/1547051329/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=elizabeth+ann+johnson-murphree&qid=1586107137&sr=8-1

 

https://www.amazon.com/Cherished-Memories-Life-Mason-Murphree/dp/1722763744/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=elizabeth+ann+johnson-murphree&qid=1586107373&sr=8-2

 

https://www.amazon.com/Passage-into-Madness-Frenzied-Activity/dp/1688948996/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=elizabeth+ann+johnson-murphree&qid=1586107529&s=books&sr=1-3

 

https://www.amazon.com/Fragments-Time-Bits-Pieces-lived/dp/1981472142/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=elizabeth+ann+johnson-murphree&qid=1586107558&s=books&sr=1-4

 

https://www.amazon.com/Rhythm-Rhyme-Thoughts-decade-poetry/dp/1723433055/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=elizabeth+ann+johnson-murphree&qid=1586107582&s=books&sr=1-5

 

https://www.amazon.com/Echoing-Images-Soul-Journey-into/dp/1500366811/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?dchild=1&keywords=elizabeth+ann+johnson-murphree&qid=1586107627&s=books&sr=1-1-fkmr0

 

https://www.amazon.com/Journey-into-Art-Johnson-Murphree-2014-07-28/dp/B019NRG4YG/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?dchild=1&keywords=elizabeth+ann+johnson-murphree&qid=1586107665&s=books&sr=1-2-fkmr0

 

https://www.amazon.com/Honeysuckle-Memories-Ann-Johnson-murphree-2014-07-02/dp/B019L4LL1W/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_1?dchild=1&keywords=elizabeth+ann+johnson-murphree&qid=1586107698&s=books&sr=1-1-fkmr1

 

https://www.amazon.com/Reflections-Poetry-Ann-Johnson-Murphree-2014-06-20/dp/B01A0CW1FO/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_2?dchild=1&keywords=elizabeth+ann+johnson-murphree&qid=1586107724&s=books&sr=1-2-fkmr1

 

 

 

Betraying Native Americans…#179

 

4.MAKA-Earth Family
Acrylic Artwork by Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree

 

It appears that the Trump administration has revoked a tribe’s reservation status, in a grab power for land. This news is not new, but worthy a post. The administration has used discretionary powers to attempt to take lands away from Native Americans. I believe the decision is cruel and unnecessary, and many tribes are dealing with the Virus within their sovereign lands.

One major thing that comes to mind is the one-billion-resort casino. I can very easily see our President attempting to buy it from the government. These people are being blindsided. The federal court decided to remove the special land designations bestowed in 2015 under President Barack Obama.

The very bad news is that Native Americans own no land. Reservations are Federal lands, and the Federal government legally owns the land. American Indians living on Indian reservations cannot take mortgages out on their homes, because banks know that American Indians don’t own the land; the Federal government does.

The American tribes lost their lands due to being out matched by better armed Europeans who had black powder guns and cannons, steel armor and swords, which made them very hard to take down with the weapons the natives were used for fighting. The Americans stole the land from the Native Americans, just as the Native Americans stole the land from those before them.

The decision is the latest concerning sign that the Trump administration is willing to use its discretionary powers to attempt to take lands away from tribes. Joe Biden has posted a protest about the move. All year these power grabs have been going on, from East to West coast.

A Judge has blocks Trump from giving Virus relief for Native American communities to corporations. The Trump plan “betrays” congressional intent and tribal nations.” They were eligible for $8 billion in funding allocated by Congress; the Tribes believe that there will be other attempts to direct these funds away.

Have we forgotten the Native Americans?

However, that is just my opinion!

 

EAJM

Author’s Books at Amazon.com

 

https://www.amazon.com/Flying-Broken-Wings-Charlotte-Murphree/dp/1547051329/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=elizabeth+ann+johnson-murphree&qid=1586107137&sr=8-1

 

https://www.amazon.com/Cherished-Memories-Life-Mason-Murphree/dp/1722763744/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=elizabeth+ann+johnson-murphree&qid=1586107373&sr=8-2

 

https://www.amazon.com/Passage-into-Madness-Frenzied-Activity/dp/1688948996/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=elizabeth+ann+johnson-murphree&qid=1586107529&s=books&sr=1-3

 

https://www.amazon.com/Fragments-Time-Bits-Pieces-lived/dp/1981472142/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=elizabeth+ann+johnson-murphree&qid=1586107558&s=books&sr=1-4

 

https://www.amazon.com/Rhythm-Rhyme-Thoughts-decade-poetry/dp/1723433055/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=elizabeth+ann+johnson-murphree&qid=1586107582&s=books&sr=1-5

 

https://www.amazon.com/Echoing-Images-Soul-Journey-into/dp/1500366811/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?dchild=1&keywords=elizabeth+ann+johnson-murphree&qid=1586107627&s=books&sr=1-1-fkmr0

 

https://www.amazon.com/Journey-into-Art-Johnson-Murphree-2014-07-28/dp/B019NRG4YG/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?dchild=1&keywords=elizabeth+ann+johnson-murphree&qid=1586107665&s=books&sr=1-2-fkmr0

 

https://www.amazon.com/Honeysuckle-Memories-Ann-Johnson-murphree-2014-07-02/dp/B019L4LL1W/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_1?dchild=1&keywords=elizabeth+ann+johnson-murphree&qid=1586107698&s=books&sr=1-1-fkmr1

 

https://www.amazon.com/Reflections-Poetry-Ann-Johnson-Murphree-2014-06-20/dp/B01A0CW1FO/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_2?dchild=1&keywords=elizabeth+ann+johnson-murphree&qid=1586107724&s=books&sr=1-2-fkmr1

Back to Another Time…#159

One of my first “remembrances’” at the age of four is sitting on top of an old yellow dog as he lay in our front yard on bare ground. I can close my eyes and smell the lilac bush at the end of our front porch, at night its fragrance would drift into the open windows. I would play in that red Alabama dirt all day long with a coffee can and a big wooden spoon. The house had two rooms and plank floors; the outside was nothing but plywood painted gray. The windows keep us cool in summer and newspaper glued to the walls kept it warm in winter. My sister and I shared one room with our great-grandmother “Ma”, the “front” room is where mother and daddy slept, it held the table and chairs and a wooden cook stove. A long handmade table was to prepare meals and wood crates nailed to the wall above the table held dishes of every variety; the cast iron skillets and pots sat on the back of the stove. Yes, we were country folk, sharecroppers!

Daddy would pick me up saying, “suppertime”. I love cornbread, Pinto beans and buttermilk to this very day. After supper he or my sister would wash me up and put me to bed, as farmers we went to bed when the night was hanging behind Burleson Mountain; a black curtain backdrop in eastern sky; they would get up before the blazing hot sun of summer rose in the morning, the Mountain kept the house cool until noon.

My mother worked in the Goodyear Mill at night before attending “beauty school” during the day, with no sleep; she wanted to be a beautician. She rode an old bicycle the five miles in the dark to where she would catch a bus to the Mill, she then walked to the Beauty School, took the bus home, it dropped her off after dark and she rode the bicycle five miles home. She slept a few hours then repeated the schedule. I rarely saw my mother, maybe on Sundays, but then she was busy getting ready for the week to come. My mother was an extraordinary individual, she hated being poor, but she loved the young Chickasaw sharecropper she was married too. When my sister got old enough to be, alone she set about planning her future.

 

 

©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree
Author’s books at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com

Generations of Secrets and Lies – Part 4 – #151

Generations of Secrets and Lies
by
Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree
Part 4
Story told by Great Grandmother-Mary Jane Overton – “Ma”

 
  “In 1850, my mother Sipsee gave birth to the only child she and Hawk would ever have, she names me Mary Jane. She never gave me an Indian name, or enroll me on the Chickasaw register. She might have been wrong in doing this; her thinking was that her daughter with a white name would have a chance to fit in a white world. This would cause a problem in the future, relatives tracing the heritage of our Native American ancestors would be impossible. The only proof that we existed would be the stories told to those who would listen. It was my mother’s way of trying to change in order to live in her new world. This change did not mean she had forgotten the old ways, she told me many stories of the simple life known by the tribe before the family was forced to go away. She gave me the knowledge of the Indian way and how to survive. She knew that Hawk my father would always possess the heart of a warrior and would never change”. Ma in telling the story remembered both of her parents; her eyes would glaze over with sadness when she talked about them.

 
Both Sipsee and Hawk were survivors in their own way. He in the ways of the land and playing the white man’s game to his own advantage. Yet, Sipsee knew survival meant to learn everything about the white people and their way of living. Sipsee wanted more for her daughter than always being afraid of separation from her family. Once when she ventured into town the general store proprietor asked her name, she told him Sipsee Over-Towne because they only had tribal names. He misunderstood and called it Overton. Sipsee decided when dealing with the white man she would use that name she would be Sipsee Overton. They were all Indian, dark skin, she tried to get Hawk to call himself a white man name, he would just walk away. Sipsee in time would know the word arrogant, in her own mind, this is what she thought of him and she would within time share these thoughts with Jane.

 
After a few years had passed, they had built a cabin, Sipsee worked for a farmwoman living on the edge of the forest. Jane would go with her every day, they would clean the house, cook and work outside when ask, for this she was paid only a few “cents” every day. She was a good woman and taught Sipsee to read and write, in turn she would teach Jane at night. Hawk began logging in the Black Warrior forest for a local lumber company. He worked for loggers that had their own team of horses.

 

OIPQJF8C52V
Soon after he got the new job, he told Sipsee that he was going on a hunting trip. He came home after two weeks; in his possession was a team of beautiful workhorses and he set in building himself a skid to haul logs. He told Sipsee he found them running wild and he had tamed them before coming back. Sipsee suspected some logger in the southern part of the state was missing his fine team of horses, she never question Hawk. She knew that it was wrong to steal, Hawk knew it was wrong to steal; but it would be wrong to go against Hawk.

 
Hawk became one of the best loggers in North Alabama. Another logger waged a bet with Hawk that his team could pull more weight with the loser forfeiting his skids and team to the winner. Hawk told Sipsee that he would soon be the owner of two teams and have someone working with him hauling logs, Sipsee again thought of him being arrogant. She silently did not approve of him taking a chance on losing their only means of making a living.

 
The day of the race many people gathered to see who would win. The skids were loaded the day before the race with an estimated equal amount of weight. Unknown to Hawk the middle of his skid had been added iron bars. Hawk, Sipsee and their young daughter Jane walked into the logging camp and Hawk began to hitch his team to the skid. He stood proudly behind his tame waiting for the shot he knew would soon ring out starting the race. Suddenly he was distracted with a familiar sound above him.

 
It was a large hawk circling above him, spreading his massive wings, his calls seems to be one of frantic warning. Hawk turned and looked at Sipsee; their eyes met and locked in some unknown fear. The shot from the pistol rang through the air, starting the race. Hawk’s command to his team sounded no less than one that would send men into battle. Hawk knew when his team lurched forward that he carried a larger amount of weight than had been agreed. This was no difficulty for Hawks team, within seconds they were side-by-side with the other team. Hawk pulled ahead he could see the bloody cuts on the backs of the other team left by the brutal lashing of a whip. He knew this torture must stop, he urged his team forward crossing the finish line.

 
     “The Injun won.” The first words heard from the crowd.

 

 

Hawk leapt from his skid and jumped onto the other skid throwing the man with the whip to the ground. He jerked the whip from him, beating him until he bore gashes like those on the horses. Hawk did not think of the danger and him doing such a thing, his thoughts were with the horses. Hawk then went to the horse’s one-b-one, speaking to them softly then walked back to his own team. Gasp from spectators feel the air when a pistol was drawn from the man on the ground bloodied by his own whip. Sipsee saw the anger on the man’s face, she focused on Hawk. Getting up from the ground where Hawk had left him the man pulled his pistol out firing it at Hawk until the chamber was empty. With his back covered with blood, Hawk continued to walk towards his team, he spoke gently in his own language to them then fell to the ground. Sipsee ran with Jane by her side, Hawk’s spirit was gone from him, his life had ended. The logger Wes McCartee had shot Hawk in the back.

 
     “Nobody will do anything to me; he is just another dead Injun.” Wes McCartee with a snarling smirk on his face yelled to the crowd.

 
Several of Hawks friends, Indian loggers, unhitched his team and placed his body on one of the horses on another Sipsee put her daughter Jane. Hawks friends held to his other horses, in no way was the white man going to get them. Sipsee could hear the people as she walked from the camp.

 
     “The dirty Injun’s should know better try to beat a white man”. Sipsee turned looking into the eyes of Hawks killer, she then turned to face the crowd saying; “You have not killed just another Indian or just another man. You have witnessed the murder of a proud Chickasaw warrior”.

 
Taking hold of the horse caring Hawks body Sipsee began walking the rutted road back into the forest where they lived. Several Indian families followed singing a song for the dead; it floated on the wind through the deep woods. Sipsee saw the hawk that soared above the team; she now believed it to be a sign. Hawk would be buried with his ancestral ceremony.

 
Sipsee decided to leave the forest. With the help of friends, she loaded the few possessions they had in an old two-wheel cart, hitched with two of Hawks horses. The would leave the world of heartache behind, they would have to live with their lives filled with secrets and lies.

 
She gave the remaining horses to Hawk’s closest friends, placing Jane up on the seat of the cart she pulled away never looking back. She took with her from the white woman who taught her English a letter of endorsement. She had told Sipsee both her and Jane would be allowed to work on the plantation of her sister. With her child the letter and all the courage she had, Sipsee moved further into central Alabama.

 
Author’s Note:
This facts of this story has two aspects, one is the presumed facts written from the annals of history; and second by the verbal history confident from the memory of Mary Jane Overton, proud Chickasaw.

Books by author at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com…

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=elizabeth+ann+johnson-murphree&i=stripbooks&crid=2BGV3NKK8VSOQ&sprefix=elizabeht+ann+johnson%2Caps%2C213&ref=nb_sb_ss_sc_1_18

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/elizabeth%20ann%20johnson%20murphree

41+X2DEZIpL._AC_US218_

Generations of Secrets and Lies – Part 3 – #151

Generations of Secrets and Lies
by
Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree
Part 3
Story told by Great Grandmother-Mary Jane Overton – “Ma”
    “My grandparents and those of my mother had been friends since their childhood years; they shared the same nightly fire on the trail that seems to have no end. They spoke often among themselves about what was happening in the strange land they were being taken too”. Ma swore many times that she would never be the captive of any white man.
Around many fires were Indian tribes from all of the Five Civilized Tribes, the greatest numbers being the Cherokee. Proud spirits of once great tribes were now faltering under degrading conditions. Soon, they had arrived in Arkansas; Sipsee would hear her mother speak about what was going to happen to them. Many people were contracting diseases that had no cure and the weather was becoming frigid, clothing worn was inadequate for the time of year and many elders’, young children and babies had already died.
The younger men talked of escaping. It was Hawk’s decision to be among those who would attempt return to their homeland in Alabama. The warriors, the men, their wives and children would escape. Hawk set with his family and the family of Sipsee around the fire on what would be their last night. He revealed to his family that he would leave after everyone had bedded down for the night, his mother feared for his life, yet his father understood of what his young son had to do.
“Being dead had to be better than living like animals herded into circles with soldiers guarding them”. Hawk said leaning close toward the families.

 

Image result for trail of tears images

 

In secret, he had sought out Sipsee and questioned her about her feelings for him. It was too late for courting rituals, or for Sipsee to be prepared by her mother to become a part of Hawks soul. The giving of gifts and of the special blessings of the elders would not take place.
Earlier when Fosee found Sipsee her thoughts was the same as his; he spoke to Sipsee’s father immediately. He wanted Sipsee to return to the homelands with him; both families agreed they should be together. Without ceremony, Sipsee and Hawk’s father blessed the merging of hearts. During the night when the fires were low, when the soldier were sleeping except for a few guards, a small band of men, women and children in the darkness of a moonless sky slipped away. They would never know if their families had paid for their freedom with their own lives.
A few families stayed together, many others ventured off to find their own place, maybe a new land. Hawk and Sipsee were among those going into Alabama. They hid among the tall bushes they passed along their way through the woods, always staying away from the open fields if possible. Finally, they made their home deep within the forest on the eastern edge of Alabama; living among a few Indians who was not forced to leave because of their decisions to live white gave them privilege to stay. Hawk and other warriors decided they must conform to some ways to remain free but in their hearts, the hate for the white people grew stronger.

OIP78V2848O
They built log cabins and were soon moving freely among the white settlers without consequence. Sipsee learn the English language from a nearby settler who hired her to clean and wash their clothes. Hawk learn the language from Sipsee but refused to speak it unless necessary to talk to a white person. Sipsee knew that times were changing and had the foresight to know it would become a white man’s world. Hawk did not approve of many things she would say, he would only look at her and try to keep his own dreams of the future alive within his spirit.

 

 

Author’s Note:
This facts of this story has two aspects, one is the presumed facts written from the annals of history; and second by the verbal history confident from the memory of Mary Jane Overton, proud Chickasaw.

Author’s Note: To be continued in Generations of Secrets and Lies – Part 4

©2020.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

Books by author at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com…

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=elizabeth+ann+johnson-murphree&i=stripbooks&crid=2BGV3NKK8VSOQ&sprefix=elizabeht+ann+johnson%2Caps%2C213&ref=nb_sb_ss_sc_1_18

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/elizabeth%20ann%20johnson%20murphree

Generations of Secrets and Lies – Part 2 …#150

Generations of Secrets and Lies
By
Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree
Part 2
Story told by Great Grandmother-Mary Jane Overton – “Ma”

 

“My father would tell me of his childhood and becoming a man in the Tribe. He went    on a vision quest as most Indian boys did as a part of their passage from boy to manhood. Early one morning his father took him to the edge of the forest to a familiar path they often walked. The path led toward what was known as the Mississippi River, and it was at the river’s edge he would stay without water or food for several days. A rule of the ritual. On the trail, he would see many signs of small animals; he walked by bushes where his favorite berries hung in abundance. Yet, he pushed his hunger out of his mind quickly moving down the well-worn path toward the river. When the path ended, he walked through the woods west”. Ma as she remembered.

OIPAK8L8WO8
Mississippi River

It was the middle of the day when he came into a clearing filled with tall golden grass. Laying down to rest a few minutes, he stared at the sky and the clouds. He picked out a cloud that the thought looked like his beloved grandfather; he studied it closely absorbed in its shape. The chiseled face with deep furrowed lines and long white hair cascading around strong shoulders, he drifted off to sleep when the sun became warm and welcoming. Waking to what he thought was the sound of his grandfather calling his name he realized that he had fallen asleep. The sun had moved into the western sky, he had to hurry. He walked, and then ran, pacing himself so he would be at the river before dark.

It was time for the sun to set when he stood before the bank of the river, he looked up and down the river, and the massive cliffs embraced the wide river on both sides. He then made several trips climbing to the flat surface of a big rock carrying wood and cedar branches gathered for his stay on the rock. He placed the rocks in a circle for his fire. When the fire was blazing and he had, many cedar branches to lie upon he sat looking into the fire watching the sparks float over the edge of the flat rock down the cliff into the river. He lean over as they drifted to the water then became lost in the darkness. When he was cold and tired, he moved closer to the fire listening to the familiar calls of the night until he fell asleep.

     “ My father loved nature, every morning he would meditate as the sun warmed his face and body; even as an adult continued this ritual letting his mind meld with his Soul’ continued”. Ma continued to gather her thoughts.

One day crept slowly into the next, on the third night the spirit of his grandfather came to him. His thoughts returned to the clouds that looked like the grandfather they now sat across from him. His grandfather silently stared into his eyes, penetrating his mind.

When the fourth day arrived, it would be his last night. He could no longer sleep, he lay on his bed of cedar watching visions float in front of him. Before dawn a magnificent hawk appeared. The hawk took his massive wing gliding it over the fire circle, when Fosee looked at the circle he found a rock missing. Pointing to what appeared to be the first rock of the circle the hawks; mind as one with Fosee’. As the hawk pointed he said, “This was the beginning of your life, you entered the world in peace”, then the hawk pointed to the last rock, “This is the end of your life’s circle, beware of the man who lives among the trees”. Fosee stared at the circle when he looked up the hawk was gone, as was his grandfather. He understood the message his grandfather and the hawk had given him; then he fell back asleep.

Black and White Hawk Drawings

     “My father would tell the story of his quest many times in his life”. Ma would say gently.

Fosee heard the screeching of a hawk then saw it fly directly in front of him as he walked down the path toward home. When he looked, there at the paths edge was his father. He stopped; staring in disbelief as the hawk came to rest on a piece of colored cloth wrapped around his father’s hand, and then flew away. He walked beside his father into the open Chukka yard knowing that his father was proud of him. His mother came out of their roundhouse saying his name softly, he was home, and he was safe. It was then that he told those gathering around him that from that day forward he would be known as Hawk. His father put his arm on his shoulder saying, “So you are no longer a Little Bird”.

His great tracking and hunting skills made even the eldest of the Tribe respected him. He went on Mock raids with his father, not to harm but to put fear into the white man. A source of humor to them, later the Warriors would mimic the terrifying looks of the faces of the white people as they sat around the fires at night reliving the raids.

“He would never change! My grandmother worked the gardens and gathered medicine herbs and roots with the other women; they too would discuss the white people. They were afraid that someday their men or sons would be caught and punished for their amusing antics. The white people coming into the lands were greater in numbers, Hawks mother worried for him and of how the change she knew was coming would affect him”. Ma wished she had known her grandmother, her father talked of her.

Sipsee was the young girl that would someday become Fosee’ wife she was named after the Cotton Wood Tree. No doubt, the beautiful white fine cotton like blooms of this tree that rained like snow inspired Sipsee mother or father in choosing her name. Sipsee had known Hawk since they were children playing in the Chukka yard. Her memories of Hawk went back many years; he would run up and down kicking up the dust playing on his imaginary horse. His long black hair flying in the wind, she remembers when he brought home his first deer and how proud he was of himself when he presented it to his mother. Sipsee would never forget the first time their eyes met across the glowing flames of the gathering fire in the Chukka yard and the lowering of hers in respect of his warrior status.

Sipsee with her dark amber skin, wide doe eyes and long silky black hair had been a source of interest to Fosee for many years. Before his eyes, he said that she had grown from a skinny weed into exquisite flower. She and her family were from a Cherokee Tribe. She in turn could only dream that someday the tall noble warrior would want her to walk with him through life.

“Then came the spring of 1838 and under the brutal forced march perpetrated by the United States government they were removing Hawk, Sipsee and their families from their ancestral lands . Many sold the land they lived on to the white man; others were forced off their land. My mother, father and their parents were among those forced from their land on the western edge of north Alabama”. Ma sat not showing any emotions, but her eyes burned with hate.

 

 

Author’s Note:
This facts of this story has two aspects, one is the presumed facts written from the annals of history; and second by the verbal history confident from the memory of Mary Jane Overton, proud Chickasaw.

 

 

Author’s Note: To be continued in Generations of Secrets and Lies – Part 3
©2020.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree