28 June 2007

Gideon and the Indians II

Now if there could be born an honest, liberty-loving leader who would take things in hand, concentrate the Indian forces, capture all the praying white races and their allies, the mixed-blood cut throats, and chop off their damn heads, there would remain the most innocent, law-abiding people on earth -- the pure Indian. GID

From Georgia to Mississippi especially, Gideon Lincecum had intimate contact with Indians. He worked, played, and lived side-by-side with them. His first childhood friends were Muskogee. Gideon learned native knowledge of hunting and fishing from them and so became good with a bow and arrow and blow-gun. He wrote:

By the time I was five years of age, the use of these destructive implements had become a perfect passion with me. I vied with the best marksmen of my age among the Indian boys; could knock the picayune out of the split stick at ten paces distant as often as any of them...During my eleventh and twelfth year I had five nice, good-natured fellows...All strove manfully to excel; but superior skill or extraordinary success was never alluded to by the performer...These boys could, and so could I, imitate the call notes of all the birds...The most deadly and murderous deception practiced by us, and which was attended with the greatest success, was to take a blow-gun and plenty of arrows...A good blow gun and strong healthy lungs can propel one of these arrows seventy-five yards...it is certain and fatal as a rifle. I knew an Indian woman who killed her husband with a blowgun. Nobody blamed her, for he called her ugly. In Indian etiquette that is the most unpardonable offensive word that can be used...My father retired before the unholy, intrusive tramp of civilization, and my Indian companions were frequently changed; but the new ones I came in contact with on the borders always seemed proud of me on account of my being able to talk with them, and my sports would be continued in my new life.

Gideon later lived and traded with the Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Cherokee Indians along the Tombigbee River in Mississippi. When he first arrived in the area, Gideon found John Pitchlynn living in the Choctaw village. John was 2nd cousin to Sarah Hickman, Gideon's mother.

A Little Background on Gideon Lincecum

Gideon Lincecum was born 1793 in Georgia to Hezekiah Lincecum and Sally Hickman. He was the grandson of Gideon Lincecum and Miriam Bowie. Miriam was the aunt of Jim Bowie of knife and Alamo fame.

Gideon had at least 8 siblings: Garland, Grant, Rezin, Green, Thornton, Mary, Grabel, and Emily. I've heard tale of another sister, but I'm not sure. In fact, I have no information on Mary, either. All other siblings are accounted for.

Gideon married Sarah Bryan 1814 Putnam County, Georgia. They had 13 children: Lycurgus, Lysander M., Martha, Leonidas, Leander, Mary, Lachaon, Lucullus, Leonora, Cassandra, Sarah, Lysander Rezin, and Lucifer.

Gideon and his family were in Mississippi not long after 1814. He had one of the first settlements in Columbus. Along the Tombigbee River is where he spent much of his time with the Indians and conducted his "famous" interview with Pushmataha. By 1850, Gideon was in Texas. Before 1870, he went to Mexico. He returned to Texas and died in Longpoint in 1874. Gideon was originally buried near home, but his remains now rest in the Austin, Texas State Cemetery.

Gideon and the Indians

So much has been written about Gideon Lincecum and his relationship with Native Americans. Do a Google search and be amazed. He had much respect and admiration for the culture and people.

I posted a portion of the press release regarding the launching of the Native American census records at Ancestry. For whatever reason, this reminded me of Gideon and all he did to understand and learn from this country's native people. Gideon was a naturalist, so there might seem to be an obvious interest. However, I think it was more than that. I think Gideon was "before his time."

Anyway, I've already stated how much has been written about Gideon and the Indians. I don't know that I have anything else to add, but I want to do some posting on the subject. I want to do it in honor of my 1st cousin, 7 times removed (that's what my family tree program says is the relationship between me and Gideon), and I also want to do it because I too have a respect and admiration for the Native American culture and people. I'm glad to know that trait is in the family tree.

It might take me a bit to formulate my thoughts and get the posts going, so I want to initially share a couple of books about Gideon Lincecum I think are great.

Gideon Lincecum, 1793-1874 by Lois Burkhalter and
Adventures of a Frontier Naturalist: The Life and Times of Dr. Gideon Lincecum by Jerry Lincecum & Edward Phillips.

There are more books out there about Gideon Lincecum. These are two I keep at my fingertips. Both are available through Amazon and Abebooks.

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