Interview With Mr. Ned Thompson
Thompson, Ned, ---
Oklahoma (1 mile north, and 1 mile west of Rock Store)/ Date of
Birth, Before Civil War/On South Canadian River 14 miles west of Eufaula
Father Quash Gilbra, born
Alabama; came to Oklahoma in 1832
Mother Maggie Cow Tom, born
Grandfather [Cow Tom] was a Alabama slave. His master had a lot of boys who
were named Tom so as Grandfather took care of the cows all the time when
he was a boy they started to calling him "Cow Tom" when they
wanted him. Each boy called according to his work to keep them all from
answering. That name stayed with Grandfather all his life. When the
agreement was made to sell the land in Alabama for land here he was
forced to follow his master to see if the land was suitable to trade.
That trip was made two years prior to the immigration.
There were no towns but they crossed the Arkansas River Southwest of
Ft. Smith on horseback, then went southeast of Checotah, due northwest
to North Fork, and then on South.
As they were going northwest they passed a high hill and saw some
birds flying toward them. He thought there must be water up there and
the birds had been there to drink but others said it was too high a hill
to have water on top of it. They went to see and found a spring that had
been chopped out before 1832. It is thought that some Mexicans had
chopped out the spring as they came through going south as they explored
clear to Ft. Sill.
Grandfather then returned to Alabama and sent his wife and children
with the immigration but he stayed and fought in the Florida war. That
war was similar to the Green Peach War as it was just between Indians.
When the Indians emigrated they brought their
Negroes just as they
did their property or stock. They ate or were clothed just as the
Indians saw fit to furnish them. When Grandmother came her boat sunk and
only a few of her people lived.
Grandfather was an interpreter in 1832 and up to 1866.
The only Negroes who had to work hard were those who belonged to the
half-breeds. As the Indian didn't do work he didn't expect his slaves to
do much work. Two acres was a big farm and the Indians would have eight
to ten Negroes to attend it which was plentiful. The Negroes had little
log huts with dirt floors around their owner's house. Most of the
Indians wouldn't sell their Negroes so they had a great many as the
Negroes usually had big families. The men who owned slaves were: Dave
Barnett, Ben Marshall, Lee Hawkins, D.N. McIntosh, Watt Grayson, G.W.
Stidham, Sooka Colonel and Yargee.
Sell Negroes to buy supplies
Everybody got their goods by ox wagons from Ft. Smith. So when some
of these large slave owners were without money and needed supplies, two
or three of them would take a load of Negroes to Ft. Smith and sell them
to buy the supplies they needed. Some of the slave owners took the
Negroes to Paris, Texas to sell.
Indian Territory Battlefield
I was a child and can't remember all about it but we were going to
Ft. Gibson and the Civil War had just started. We went through a
battlefield where there were many dead persons. Some were white and some
were Indians. It was six or seven miles east of High Spring. There was a
house close and there were some who were living in the house but the
wounded were in there on beds. One of my sisters had bad dreams and
cried all night because of what she had seen. The dead were in the corn
Honey Springs Had No Honey In It
It was on that same trip that we
heard that we would pass Honey Springs. We children were anxious to come
to it for we loved honey. When we got there, there was only water in the
spring and we were disappointed.
Listing of Negroes After The Civil War
When the war came to a close the Commission met at Ft. Smith and the
Indians had to adopt the Negroes into the Creek Nation. The Indians
first said that since the Government had taken the Negroes away from the
Indians now the Government could take care of them but finally the
treaty of 1866 was signed.
Constitution and By-Laws of the Muskogee Nation
1890 and November 23,
Every member of the council was given these books; as I was a council
member I received mine and still have them. I wouldn't sell them unless
I received a good price for them. All the Treaties from 1832 on down are
in them. That includes a list of the Negroes adopted into the Creek
Nation. My father's name is among them.
Each white man had to take his own slaves and say, "This is my
slave" for no one else would know him. So as a rule the slave took
his master's name. One old Negro was owned by Grayson so they started to
write his name Grayson but he said that he didn't want his name put down
Grayson, that he wasn't an Indian and his daddy was a Negro. As he
didn't know his daddy's name he asked to be called "Old Suttin"
as that was the name he was used to being called.
Commission From Muskogee Nation
Commission of the Muskogee Nation, Okmulgee, May 1, 1883, October
Council, Ned Thompson, Stock Superintendent
B. E. Porter, Private
Samuel Checote was the chief. Isparhechar didn't like the
Isparhechar rebelled against the Indian Government and the Creek
tribe was divided. My people and I were on Checote's side. The people
who lived out here by the Rock Store were on Isparhechar's side.
One scrimmage took place on a flat rock west of Okemah where seven or
eight men were killed, who belonged to both sides. My cousin, Joe
Barnett, who was a Lighthorse Captain, and Sam Scott, an Indian, were
killed by Isparhechar's men.
I was shot in the shoulder on both sides of the neck. We were going
west and forty or fifty of them were going east. We didn't see each
other until we were real close. At ten o'clock in the morning
Isparhechar's people had passed the Sac and Fox line and the Indian
agent and the chief of the Sac and Fox stopped us. Then we came back and
the government sent soldiers, Colonel Bates and others, who captured the
Isparhechar men and took them to Ft. Gibson. After they had signed a
peace contract the soldiers escorted them back to their own homes. Sam
Checote didn't go out but gave orders trying to subdue them and make
them obey the Creek law. Pleasant Porter was the Manager at that time,
he was Chief after Statehood.
Canadian Town ------ North Fork Town --------- Arkansas Town
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Life on Mars
By Tracy K. Smith
Tracy K. Smith, author of Life on Mars has been selected as the winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. In its review of the book, Publishers Weekly noted the collection's "lyric brilliance" and "political impulses [that] never falter." A New York Times review stated, "Smith is quick to suggest that the important thing is not to discover whether or not we're alone in the universe; it's to accept—or at least endure—the universe's mystery. . . . Religion, science, art: we turn to them for answers, but the questions persist, especially in times of grief. Smith's pairing of the philosophically minded poems in the book’s first section with the long elegy for her father in the second is brilliant." Life on Mars follows Smith's 2007 collection, Duende, which won the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, the only award for poetry in the United States given to support a poet's second book, and the first Essence Literary Award for poetry, which recognizes the literary achievements of African Americans. The Body’s Question (2003) was her first published collection. Smith said Life on Mars, published by small Minnesota press Graywolf, was inspired in part by her father, who was an engineer on the Hubble space telescope and died in 2008.
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The Last Holiday: A Memoir
By Gil Scott Heron
Shortly after we republished The Vulture and The Nigger Factory, Gil started to tell me about The Last Holiday, an account he was writing of a multi-city tour that he ended up doing with Stevie Wonder in late 1980 and early 1981. Originally Bob Marley was meant to be playing the tour that Stevie Wonder had conceived as a way of trying to force legislation to make Martin Luther King's birthday a national holiday. At the time, Marley was dying of cancer, so Gil was asked to do the first six dates. He ended up doing all 41. And Dr King's birthday ended up becoming a national holiday ("The Last Holiday because America can't afford to have another national holiday"), but Gil always felt that Stevie never got the recognition he deserved and that his story needed to be told. The first chapters of this book were given to me in New York when Gil was living in the Chelsea Hotel. Among the pages was a chapter called Deadline that recounts the night they played Oakland, California, 8 December; it was also the night that John Lennon was murdered. Gil uses Lennon's violent end as a brilliant parallel to Dr King's assassination and as a biting commentary on the constraints that sometimes lead to newspapers getting things wrong. —Jamie Byng, Guardian / Gil_reads_"Deadline" (audio) / Gil Scott-Heron
& His Music Gil Scott
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Remember Gil Scott- Heron
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The White Masters of the
The World and Africa, 1965
By W. E. B. Du Bois
W. E. B. Du Bois’
Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization
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Ancient African Nations
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Negro Digest /
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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan
The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
Only a Pawn in Their Game
Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for
George Jackson /
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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg
Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804
January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of
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