Afro American and Indian relations

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Afro American and Indian relations - AFRO-AMERICANS AFRO-AMERICANS AFRO-AMERICANS...
AFRO-AMERICANS AFRO-AMERICANS AFRO-AMERICANS ABSORBING INDIANS. KegroliInK of IndlanTerrltory a Fact ' lllack Men Conspicuous la Indna-Irlti Indna-Irlti Indna-Irlti and I.lfe of Territory Red lira Returning: 1o tbe Blanket Great Demand (or Sqoawa aa Wives. Fort Smith, Ark., November 23. Ok lahoma City lies in the middle of a vast and windy prairie. Fifty or ty miles east and south one strikes into a rolling country, with low ranges of hills covered covered by timber and concealing beneath their broken and scraggy surfaces vast areas of coal. This is the Indian ter ritory, the last refuge of the tribes that once held all the country between the Appalachian and the Atlantic ocean in their possession. Booker T. Washington Washington and party left Oklahoma City' at . noon. At dusk we were crossing the narrow strip of country inhabited by the remnants of the Seminolcs. We looked out for something that would give us some idea of the civilization they had been able to reach out here in this fertile fertile country, under the fostering care of the Government Years ago Theodore Theodore Parker, who, as Thomas Nelson Page remarks, was a good friend to the Negro, said: .. "In respect to the power of civilization, 'the. African is at the bottom, the American Indian next." As this sentence expresses an opinion still pretty widespread, all members of the party were eager to see how the two races, the Indian and the Negro, who came out here together in 1838, living side by side in the same environment, environment, had prospered. Mr. Washington was particularly interested because at Hampton he had at one time had charge ' olall the Indian students at t'uat school, and had acquired a high opinion of them. " When you ask m the Indian territory in regard to the Indians, you almost invariably get an answer something like this: "Oh, the Indians. Well" with a vague wave of the hand in the direction direction of the horizon "they have gone ' back." If you press your inquiries still further and insist upon seeing an Indian, in nine cases out of 10, when you come to meet that' Indian you find out he is ah Irishman or a Negro or something else. I made the personal acquaintance of just two Indians during the time I was in the territory. One of these was an Irish policeman, who told me he was a Cherokee, and the other was a Negro lawyer, who said' he was a Creek. One of the wealthiest natives in the Creek nation is Aunt Patsy Mcintosh. I did not see her, but I was told she was a Negro. The whole situation out here is complicated and puzzling, and if one attempts to understand it he is very soon deep into the intricacies of a social and political history full of surprises that reminds him of Alice in Wonderland. Wonderland. . It should be remembered that when the five civilized nations the Seminoles, the Choctaws, the Creeks, the Chjcka-saws Chjcka-saws Chjcka-saws and the Cherokees were banished to the territory in 1838, they brought with them a considerable number of Negro slaves. At this time the Cherokees, Cherokees, through intermixture with British traders in the early days, had acquired a considerable infusion of white blood, and with this inheritance of blood they came into the possession of a legacy of Scotch-Irish Scotch-Irish Scotch-Irish names that are still preserved. preserved. One of the most noted and numerous numerous clans in the territory is that of the Mclntoshes. Though there has been considerable mixture of the different strains, the Indian, Negro and the white man, each of the different nations has maintained a different attitude in regard to the Negro, as far as concerns inter marriage and social equality. For in stance, the Negroes have been favored . . r i i 1 ' a. a 1 Dy me aeminoics ana greens against ine whites. On the other hand, I am in formed, the Cherokees. Chickasaws and Choctaws have favored the whites to the prejudice of the Negroes. Thus ethnic and' social considerations of the most complicated sort have entered into and modified the situation and made it unioue and interesting. A further circumstance that has tended tended particularly to render the relations of the races unstable is the fact that every "Indian" and that includes also the freedmen, those who were formerly slaves of the Indians and adopted citi zen is entitled, in the allotment of land now taking place, to from 160 to 360 acres of land. This holds good for every man, woman and child who is a citi zen, that is, a member of the nation, This fact has tended to break down the barrier of racial prejudice. Squaws have become so sought after as wives that in the Chickasaw nation, where every mem ber of the nation is expected to get 360 acres of land, the marriage license has been fixed at $1,000. "In view of this large demand for squaw wives," I said to one of the inhabitants, "how do the male Indians manage to get married?" "Well," he replied, "it's this way. A good many of the young men go away and obtain an education, and when they return they usually marry white wives. This evens things ttr." All these things tend to complicate the race problem, and make of this territory a sort of sociological sociological clinic for the students in that particular particular .field. Meanwhile the Indian has receded. He lias gone back. He avoids the town and the railways just as naturally as the white man and the Negro move toward hem. There are towns in the Indian territory built by the Negroes where an effort has been made to exclude the white man by law. . There are white towns in the Indian territory where they have attempted to exclude the Negro by lav In both cases the law has been declared declared invalid. But there are, so far as I could learn, no Indian towns, and there is no law that excludes them. There is no need for such a law. They "go back" of their own accord. When you see' occasional specimens in the town they appear like strangers, ill at ease strangers in their own land. We rode across the 20 miles of territory of the Seminole nation in the twilight. The land was bare and lonesome. We saw no cultivated fields. We did see, now and then, little house in the woods, a horse, perhans, and a few cattle. We saw no Indians, but at every station there were f crowds of cheering colored people, who wanted to see "dat Booker T. Washington." According to the census of 1000 there were in the Indian territory 52,510 Indians, Indians, 36.780 Negroes, and 302.680 whites. Though the Negroes were then and are perhaps still in a considerable minority in the territory, they were everywhere seen, working in the mines, laboring in the streets, engaged in traffic traffic in a small way. In South McAllis

Clipped from The New York Age14 Dec 1905, ThuPage 6

The New York Age (New York, New York)14 Dec 1905, ThuPage 6
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