high plains, may 1868

High Plains, May 1868

Chisholm and Vicente had been hungry before. Many times. But not like this. Their bodies were eating themselves. Their stomachs were dull twisted knots. Nor did they have water. Their veins were collapsing from dehydration. The high plains spring had brought no rain fall for weeks. Creeks were dry. The animals were non-existent. Neither of them spoke aloud about their lack of options. At the end of the day they would have to shoot their mules. The tortured beasts were already stumbling and near death. They would have to drink their blood and eat parts of their hindquarters raw. That would give them two days of life at most. But then they would be on foot on the great prairie. A death sentence. A flock of buzzards circled them lazily in the still blue sky. A pack of emaciated coyotes followed them smiling at their misfortune.

Their mules plodded forward, the riders silent with regret. This was supposed to be a simple contract job, one of dozens of similar missions they had embarked on over the past thirty years. Two little girls had been taken captive from a far western Texas ranch. Their parents and brothers murdered, mutilated by the girl’s Comanche captors. The girl’s uncle had reached out to Jesse Chisholm. The man had gold, silver, horses, cattle, rifles galore – and he would trade mightily for the girls return. Chisholm was well known as a trader and emissary and man of plains. He wore a Comanche ‘Peace Medal’ around his neck the likes of which no one had ever seen. It gave Chisholm carte blanc among the Comanche clans to come and go freely. Chisholm had accepted the job and his partner Vicente had of course come along as well. Vicente had once been a Comanche captive himself, Chisholm had traded two blooded mares for him when he was but a child in 1844. But now those thoughts were forgotten. The silver conchos they carried in their saddlebags as trade stuffs were a useless mockery. It had been a very dry year. And they were dying.

There was no sound except that of equine hooves stamping heavily into earth. Then Vicente turned to the older Cherokee man, almost was he smiling. “Do you smell that Uncle?” He asked.

It took great energy for Chisholm to even speak, “What is it?”

Vicente grinned, “A huckleberry fire. And it is well-concealed.”

They both knew what that meant – Comanche. Chisholm took a deep breath. They might live after all. He scanned the horizon and saw nothing. “Where?” He asked, twitching his nose.

“It’s drifting Uncle. They will find us.”

They were Yampahreekuh clan Comanche who found them. Small boys on malnourished glassy-eyed ponies. Buffalo Hump’s people. They said the men were out hunting and had been gone for days. There were no animals to kill.
Chisholm and Vicente followed them slowly to their camp. There the women recognized them instantly at a distance and began wailing. These people were starving too. The men dismounted and the Comanche women crowded around them, their faces dirty their bodies covered in worn buckskin. The Thighs, Buffalo Hump’s eldest wife took Chisholm’s arm. “Why are you here Brother?” She asked, “We are starving and you will only die with us.”

Chisholm answered her in perfectly inflected Comanche, “We came to trade for two little girls your people took from the Tejanos. They were taken on the Salt Fork of the Red River.”

The Thighs nodded and Chisholm continued. “I talked to Buffalo Hump’s oldest nephew a full moon ago and he said they were with you. We cut your sign twelve days ago. But then we ran out of food. And water.”

The Thighs kept her face blank. “They were cotton-headed girls,” She said, “Very strong. They would have made good women. But when we ran out of food my husband threw them away on the prairie.” The Thighs shrugged and made a motion as if she were tossing a pinch of salt. Chisholm hung his head and felt bile rising in his throat. It was all for nothing. The girls were already coyote dung. They were going to die out here for no reason at all. He looked at Vicente and saw the light dim in his eyes. Wasted, he thought, after all these years we are wasted. “Come sit with us in the shade Brother,” The Thighs took his arm. “We have a few drinks of water and tobacco. That is all we can share with you.”

They sat in a nook of isolated hackleberry trees and smoked their pipes. Chisholm and Vicente each took a cup full of brackish water and held it in their mouths for long minutes before they swallowed. “I am glad my husband is not here to see you find us in this condition,” The Thighs confessed. “He would be very embarrassed. He is an old buck for sure but he can still lose his temper very quickly and dangerously”

“We all know the prairie very well. But it is a bad year to be moving. The worst I have ever seen.” Chisholm shook his head. “I would tell him this and he would know I spoke the truth. With one cup of water you have already helped us more today than we can help you.”

“One of our grandsons killed a youthful black bear six days ago. It was quite a feat really. He killed it with two arrows. That is all we have had in a long time. Some of the bear’s fat remains. You could cut up pieces of soft leather and mix it with the bear fat and eat it. We have all done this. There is perhaps enough left for two men.”
Chisholm looked at Vicente and the men nodded at each other. “That would be appreciated,” Vicente said and The Thighs roughly ordered her youngest sister-wife to prepare them this indelicacy. Chisholm turned to Vicente and lowering his voice spoke in Spanish, “Vicente, you know this is my seventieth summer.”

“Yes Uncle.”

“I’m nearly at the end of my days anyway. Take all this bear fat for yourself. It may be too late for me.”

“No.” Vicente shook his head. “Never. We’ve been though too much for that. If we die, we die here together, with these indians.”

Chisholm looked at him for a long time and felt tears streaming down his cheeks. “Okay.” He said.

The woman brought them the bear fat and leather and they ate it in one fist-sized chunk. As soon as the fat hit their stomachs the revulsion rose and they both knew – the bear fat had soured. A Comanche could eat it and keep it down. But they never could – they stumbled out of the camp retching violently and sunk to their knees to vomit over and over. Vicente’s eyes lost their focus he collapsed like a dead-drunk as the women rushed to surround them.

Vicente opened his eyes and saw the endless blue sky obscured by hackleberry branches and leaves. They had dragged them into the shade to die. He heard squalls of delight and whoops of joy. Laughing and melodic Comanche language filled his head like a pipe dream. “The men are returning!” He heard, “They have meat and water!” He rolled over and leaned on one elbow and saw them. Ponies full of meat wrapped in pronghorn hide and bison bladders and gourds full of water on pack animals. “We are two days from fresh water!” He heard Buffalo Hump shouting, “We will make it!” He sat up and turned to where Chisholm lie beside him. He touched the man’s arm. “Wake up Uncle,” he said his mouth sandpaper rough and dry but Jesse did not move. Vicente saw that he was not breathing. He put his hand to his mouth. Chisholm was dead. He began to shudder and Buffalo Hump was rushing to the side of his old friend and trading partner. He dropped to his knees next to Chisholm’s corpse and screamed like a wild cat. He tore at his hair wildly and two dreadlocked clumps tore loose from his skull. The Thighs ran to his side and he pushed her away violently end over end she rolled. Whipping a knife into his hand Buffalo Hump slashed his forearm deeply over and over and then fell prostrate weeping.

The next morning stone-faced and wounded Buffalo Hump squatted next to Vicente and offered him his pipe. Vicente took it and puffed gently. “How would Chisholm want his body prepared?” Buffalo Hump asked. “In the white man’s way or in the indian way?” Still numb and barely cognizant Vicente could only shrug. “I don’t think he would care.” He said, “He was Cherokee. They are as much white as indian.”

Buffalo Hump nodded. “Okay. I will have the women do it our way. And we will make sure that you live to go to his people and tell them his fate

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

john brown at occupy and in walks ted nugent

John Brown At Occupy And In Walks Ted Nugent

What would happen if John Brown showed up at an Occupy meeting or leftist academic conference? I can imagine him giving his pitch as he did in Boston back in the days of yore. I do not believe he would be well received, “Authoritarian!” They would hiss at him, “Leninist! Adventurism!”

Clearly Brown lacked what is now called, “A commitment to nonviolent social activism.” His activities in Kansas resemble nothing so much as the early actions of Peru’s Shining Path guerrillas. He and his men dragged fathers and sons out of their houses and murdered them in their front yards This was pure terrorism. Murder to make a political point.

Why did Brown pursue this, “method of critique?” It had become clear that the abolitionist ‘Free State’ settlers were a liberal minority within Kansas. The proslavery southern settlers were a violent and intimidating majority. This was unlikely to change and the Free State folks had lost their stomach for conflict. Brown made no effort to educate or enlighten his political enemies. He expended no energy to, “Win them over.” He wasn’t interested in changing people’s minds. His only goal was to free as many black slaves as possible. Quite literally, by any means necessary.

Realizing the Free State contingent had lost the political struggle in Kansas Brown stepped completely outside the law. The series of murders he and his men committed were intended to so inflame the Proslavery forces that the Free Staters would have no choice – they would either stand up together and fight or they would be massacred piecemeal.

Of course Brown fled the west with a price on his head but eventually his plan succeeded, Kansas became free soil. During the Civil War tens of thousands of free blacks, runaway slaves and unionist indians sought refuge in Kansas after fleeing Arkansas and Indian Territory.

It seems far-fetched that the american left could produce such a figure such as Brown nowadays. Infected with chronic liberalism american leftists can only repeat the mantras – “Educate! Organize!” And no doubt they will still be selling this pie in the sky when Mumbai-style slums surround Newark and Houston. “Analysis with paralysis,” as Lorenzo Komboa Ervin says.

But it seems highly likely that the american right could produce another Tim McVeigh. Or a thousand of them. All too soon perhaps the U.S. military will begin dumping tens of thousands of (former) soldiers and marines onto the streets of america. A handful of them will find gainful employment in police work or municipal street departments but most will be like McVeigh, cast adrift. Despite being an, “American hero,” the best young Tim could do was menial, low-wage employment. In a twist of fate that could perhaps only occur in the Oklahoma/Texas vortex McVeigh’s identification with the mostly black Branch-Davidian cultists lead him into membership in the Aryan Republican Army.

And that was back in the early 90s. After a quick, “victorious” war and at the height of the boom years. Today’s veterans of long lost and meaningless wars return to the poorest job market in seventy years.

Several weeks ago rocker Ted Nugent made headlines when he told assembled National Rifle Association that if Obama were re-elected he (the Nuge) would be, “Dead or in prison one year from now.” A few days later he would repeat this lunacy on a nationally syndicated radio show. Despite all the hype and hoopla about a “post-racial” United States that followed Obama’s 2008 victory it is impossible to overstate the shock and awe that a (nominal) black President of the United States has caused. Firearms sales have been trending steeply up since November 2008. On Black Friday 2011 the one-day sales record for firearms sold in the U.S. was set. That November 2011 set the monthly sales record. December of that year set another monthly record. Violent crime and hunting have been declining for decades now, why in a failing economy and amidst the highest gas prices in history, have people en mass been foregoing other bills and expenditures and buying handguns, rifles and shotguns? Is their subconscious full of thoughts such as Ted Nugent spoke openly?

White america is at a very dangerous point. They are watching their standards of living degrade month to month. The façade of upward mobility seems more and more unlikely. Almost entirely without class consciousness their majority political position is contra to their own economic interest. Their politics are oxymoronic and irrational – flights of fancy such as Obama’s forged birth certificate or “trickle-down” economics. Obama has done little to antagonize the right wing yet they foam at the mouth. Nugent is a multi-millionaire, what problem does he have? Why is entertaining thoughts of political crime in front of an audience of other millionaires? Because he is an irrationalist, he is “against” the reality – white america, soon to be a minority itself, in in unmanageable decline.

We must accept the possibility that (perhaps even unconsciously) the white volk are preparing for a civil war. Obama, his administration, the Democratic Party, professional liberals, the Occupy kids, etc. are making two fundamental errors – they vastly overestimate the stability of north america, and they vastly underestimate dangerousness of irrational white men with guns.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Against All Irony/Towards An Excess Of Reality

Against All Irony/Towards An Excess Of Reality

“It’s not funny anymore…” – Husker Du

I understand your dilemma. You wish to be an artist, a creative person, a “culture worker.” Perhaps you are a painter, a writer, a guitarist, a photographer. You wish for approval, ego-gratification, status. Yet you know nothing. Not only are you incapable of understanding the society you live in you are incapable of understanding yourself. That would take discipline, struggle, analysis, and it’s much easier and cheaper to practice avoidance. Regardless of medium art is communication and you have nothing to communicate. In lieu of core beliefs you have a consumption pattern.

A lack of knowledge and a lack of core beliefs is a sure sign you should be consuming art instead of attempting to make it. But simple art consumption doesn’t make you feel special, unique and wrapped in approval. And so you do “creative things,” trying to make something out of your nothing. And you fail every time.

You know so little you don’t even know you are failing. People tell you they like what you do and of course you believe them. Like yourself your fandom knows nothing and believes nothing. You embrace each other in a futile cuddle.

You are capable of working at one default mode only – and that mode is ironic.

Irony is avoidance and irony is the oxygen the dominant culture breathes. Glib, clever, incongruous, undemanding – the dominant culture is an echo chamber of irony and you are like a sex criminal – both victim and perpetrator. You regurgitate what has been shoved down your throat and then like a dog you eat your own vomit. Apply irony to your personal life or your “community” writ large and where does it get you? Nowhere. Because you long ago accepted the dominant society and irony/avoidance is your mother’s milk. There’s no where to go from where you are. You are already at the place where irony delivers you. Your painting and your guitar solo tell me nothing about anything and how could they? You are lost in the funhouse of late capital. You should pay me five dollars at the door to hear you play and twelve-hundred dollars to take your painting home. You feel empty inside and with good reason – you are empty inside.

In the 1990s Baudrillard theorized it would take, “an excess of reality,” to shatter the simulation(s) of the western societies. September 2001 provided a test case for this theory and perhaps you remember the ‘Time’ magazine cover story or the NPR “discussions” on whether or not irony was dead. David Letterman wept during him monologue. Salutes and tearful homage’s were delivered without a single wink or nudge. But such a suspended moment of reality could not live long when such a master/slave of irony as George Bush was POTUS. In the first decade of the 21st century Jon Stewart’s program raised a lack of critical analysis to a new higher level. Here was an irony of pure simulation – almost thought provoking. A safety hatch to move liberals out of the high water of radicalism when the water began rising.

Unwanted and unseen reality approaches like a thief in the night. The Herculean efforts to forestall it’s appearance grind to nothing. Your ironic escapades evaporate into the nothingness from which they sprang. There is no shelter from this storm, it overturns. Your arsenal of avoidance is blunted. You cringe but it does not matter.

We are alike only inasmuch as we both stand on two feet. I am not ironic. I have knowledge. I have analysis. I am disciplined. I have belief. My consumption pattern would frighten you. I have nothing to offer you but blood toil tears and sweat. I have only one promise to make – given the opportunity, I will bury you.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

James Murray on Cherokee Nation (of Oklahoma) Election 2011

James Murray on Cherokee Nation (of Oklahoma) Election 2011 –

After months of politicking, hog fries, and high/low drama it all came down to 11 votes. Tahlequah furniture salesman and slum lord Bill John Baker defeated the ‘George Wallace of indian country‘, Chad “Corntassel” Smith. It was a relief to me really, I had considered Smith a personal and political enemy for years. It was Smith, among others in the artificial entity known as the Cherokee Nation (of Oklahoma) who had conspired openly and via shady legal machinations to deprive the black Freedmen of eastern Oklahoma of their rights and legal standing. Smith had also spent decades (both in service to Wilma Mankiller and as Chief) to persecute, hound, defame and destroy his apparent relatives in the only real tribe of Cherokees in Oklahoma, I am referring here to the United Keetowah Band (UKB).

Smith was well known in the Cherokee capital, Tahlequah as a pathological liar, racist and banana-republic style petty tyrant. His quest to win a 4th term was primarily based on the ‘5000 jobs,’ he had brought to the “Cherokee Nation.” These would be mostly of course casino jobs. 8 dollar an hour service shitwork for people often commuting 40 to 60 miles one way to work on the most dangerous roads in Oklahoma. There were other jobs created too of course, mostly bureaucratic slots filled by CDIB card holding (but only marginally indian) college/post grads. The CNO would hire these people, work them little and pay them rates unavailable in the private sector. These new-hires inevitably bought SUVs/Hummers, etc. and eastern OK variants of the McMansion. Then of course these folks were wholly bought and owned by the white-indian elite of the CNO. Any disruption of the CNO status quo operating procedure could be disastrous to these pampered lifestyles.

And what is the status quo operating procedure of the CNO? It has remained unchanged since the CNO invention circa late 60s/early 70s. – The Cherokee Nation (of Oklahoma) is a funnel – designed to transfer capital from the coffers of the federal government into the hands of white-indian elite. Weekly, if not daily I hear indian people say, “The CN is not helping the people. It’s not doing what it’s supposed to do…” No my friend, you are gravely mistaken – the CNO is doing exactly what it was designed and intended to do. How is this possible? Do you not believe the rich, white, republican men who “reformed” the CNO over a generation ago did so with a reason? And they set it up without a “blood quantum.” This too, they did with a reason. These reasons were not to help the Tsa-la-gi people…they were to benefit and enrich themselves. And this they have done.

The 2011 Cherokee Nation (of Oklahoma) election featured Baker, well known as a “liberal,” and supporter of the Democratic Party versus Chad Smith, who has been open about his Republican party affiliation. It was liberal wing of the white indian elite versus conservative wing of the white-indian elite. Early on in the campaign a Smith operative told me, “Baker wants to give hand-outs. Chief Smith is for hand-ups.” The implications of such jargon were very clear to me. The “hand-outs” would of course be money going to the backwoods “full-bloods.” (housing, septic tanks, transportation services.) Whilst the “hand up,” meant money going to white people with CDIB cards, (full college rides to suburban kids in Edmond, hiring preference for 1/64 recent Criminal Justice grads.)

Baker and his team ran a very polished professional political campaign. Apparently he spent upwards of 80K of his own money and he utilized a lot of good, smart volunteers. He out-hustled Smith there is no doubt. In the last weeks of the campaign there was hog fry after hog fry in Cherokee communities from corner to corner in the old Cherokee Nation. At perhaps at low ebb in this period one story circulated of Chief Smith being reduced to politicking in the waiting room of the “indian health clinic,” in Stillwell. Smith was too well known to win the local vote, in fact he had been losing it for years. His ace in the hole had always been the “out of jurisdiction” voters. Yes, of course, in the cause of white indian Cherokee Nation supremacy any Cherokee Nation “citizen,” can vote from any geographic position. The “California Cherokees” were vital in this regard – they came to visit the “homeland,” every other year but voted religiously. They had been electing Smith for years. But this time things were different….Baker had (wisely) spent months before the campaign with a voter registration drive. He was trying to turn out the local vote like never before to offset the “California Cherokees,” et al. And apparently his strategy worked. As I write this he has an 11 vote lead and is the presumed winner.

That Bill John Baker could win the office ‘Principal Chief’ of the Cherokee Nation should have been obvious. He is rich (by local standards) he is white (by any standard) and his brother is the Tahlequah District Attorney. 9 days before the election Baker was “outed” as being a seemingly remote “1/32 Certificate Degree of Indian Blood.’ But the decades of white indian mythological propaganda held sway and for once perhaps turned against Smith. The official white indian line is – all Cherokees are equally Cherokee regardless of “blood quantum.” All that matters of possession of a CDIB card. It takes a tremendous amount of class blindness and wishful thinking to believe that a 14-year old on Santa Monica soccer field with a CDIB listing 1/256 is as much Cherokee as a 14-year old “full-blood” living without running water in Kenwood, Oklahoma. But this is the official position. “We are just a family of families,” Smith once said, all for one and one for all. (This has always reminded of nothing so much as German National Socialism circa 1936 – it doesn’t matter if you are a custodian at the Krupp steel works or the CEO, we are all equally Aryan men – this is what they said…yeah right….The false (lack of) contradiction is obvious of course, this then/now is an attempt to manage class struggle towards the benefit of the ruling elite..)

But this ain’t the Cherokee Nation of yore. The numbers are constantly in flux but it’s likely at least a half of CNO “citizens,” have lower “blood quantum” than new Chief Baker. Outing him at 1/32 did the supposed ½ Smith no good. People want a Chief that reinforces their white indian identity and Baker could do that as well or better than Smith. “We all come from one fire,” Baker said as part of his standard stump speech. This is his version of the “Family of families,” yarn.

Will Baker be a better Chief than Smith. Probably. He has promised to cease fire on the UKB. And he has promised to accept the court’s decision on the Freedmen issue, (like what else can he do?) That he is more humane than Smith I have no doubt. But this says very little really.

On the CNO’s big election day a celebration was being thrown by the real Cherokee tribe in Oklahoma – the UKB. They were giving away t-shirts and buffalo meat to celebrate the recent BIA decision to allow them to place land in trust. The CNO had been fighting this Keetowah right for decades. There is nothing the CNO would rather do than cut a deal with the Keetowahs to have them join the CNO. Then they could funnel the real indians money into their white hands and place the “full-blood” element under white indian political dominion. There are near constant cries to “Unite,” by CNO members but no Keetowah ever speaks of it. It will never happen. The UKB will never unite with the CNO.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

notes toward a nihilist dictionary

Anarchyism – a social network for american white youth with liberal-leaning politics and mild forms of mental illness.

Atavism – the psychological or moral “reversion” to the psychological or moral status of one’s distant ancestry.

Capital – the accumulation(s) of labor exploitation

Christian Church – public space where anti-nature is taught to the hysterical masses.

Civilization – the systematic alienation of humans from the self,  others and the natural world.

Denial – the liberal utopia.

Economism – a pseudo-science in which practitioners can explain the unknown to the uncaring towards the benefit of the ruling class.

Fundamentalism – overcompensation occurring in individuals who no longer believe their own dogma.

Green Lifestylism – product supplying the white middle class with emotional stimulation and psychological benefits.

Justice – a progressivist fantasy without any basis in the history of civilization.

Late Capitalism – the historical era beginning in September, 2001, marked by the apogee of consumer culture and it’s crisis and decline.

Libertarianism – the white man’s ‘Ghost Dance.’

National Public Radio (NPR) – the ‘Pravda’ of american liberalism.

Native(indigenous) Sovereignty – the assimilated elite’s right to rule.

Negativity – liberal code-word for realism.

Orgasm – the physical sensation which accompanies the loss of desire.

Patriarchy – the social order which resulted from the world-historic defeat and overthrow of the (pre)historic women in council.

Peace – the liquidation of the opposition.

Personal Identity (lack thereof) – the condition in which the western masses exist, rootless and without myth, community or kinship bands (ie- a “society” of such non-identities is no longer a society in the traditional sense of the word.)

Pornography – the logical marriage of alienation and eros.

Post-Modern – the historical era which existed from 1945 to 2001.

Romantic Love – a psychological projection designed to invest the monotheistic “virtue” of monogamy with “higher value.”

Savagism – a lack of alienation towards self, others and the natural world.

(social)Capital – the accumulation(s) of privilege.

Technology – tools which require a specialization of labor to produce.

Whiteness – a social construct of privilege and power invented in the american state of “Virginia” in the 17th century.

Zionism – the Jewish variant of national socialism.

Zizek, Slavoj – a vessel bearing good news.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Do you want to know why I hate white people? And why my attitude is so bad?

Because I most def do, and a CDIB card listing a “blood quantum,” of less than 1/4 doesn’t even remotely mean shit to me. I’m one of (perhaps) a few thousand people in north america who know what “whiteness,” is – a system of social priviledge. Not a “race,” or even an ethnicity, whiteness is ruination. It is the source, the groundspring of most of the trouble have experienced/are experiencing/will experience. Whiteness is not necessarily hereditary, but nearly always this is the case. It can be revoked, or discarded, but only at tremendous personal cost….

This afternoon is a good example. I am in a good mood, driving into Quah south on SH82. About four miles out of town I see someone has strung up a dead red wolf on thier fence. The red wolf is a rare species, offically extinct in Oklahoma but there are quite a few around. I see packs several times a year. Anyway I believe this homeowner shot this wolf. (They are too smart to be hit by cars, I have never seen a dead one on the road.) Well how would you feel if you saw one of your cousins strung up dead on the side of the road? Would you feel sick inside? Like taking revenge? Would it have a negative effect on your attitude? Would you learn to internalize your anger over time? Would you learn disassociation techniques?

If you want to call me a “green fascist,” or whatever that’s fine with me. I realize you probably have only limited tools of political and social analysis….but I’m telling you completely honestly – I care more about the wolves of eastern Oklahoma than I do about 99.9 of the white people living in this state of denial

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Jefferson Meets The Cherokees 1808

(Unfinished historical fiction about the beginnings of a patriarchy – )

The Cherokees found it odd that the white men had settled their Great Town in such a dismal swamp. The flying bugs would make it’s habitation unnatural. A splotchy-faced army major served as their guide as they wandered about Washington City for hours before the Great White Chief could see them. He showed them how the town’s streets were laid out along the lines of a geometric design. The indians murmured to themselves about this and noted the sun’s position in it’s arc.     The Executive Mansion sat already sagging and hastily repaired. Languid negroes tended ox-carts of firewood and herds of sheep ambled in the winter’s wet chill. The Cherokees realized it was not an armed camp like the white settlements on the frontier. These white people seemed unconcerned and apparently did little. Here, amidst what they called “Virginia,” the farms were large and the negro slaves numerous. Stone buildings were being erected around the Executive Mansion. With great misery and sweat and lash great square stones were being dragged and hauled into position.
Jefferson rose gracefully as the indians entered his office. Eight or ten of them gathered in a half-circle before his desk and the Secretary of War read their names aloud from a sheet of parchment, “Black Fox, McIntosh, Lowery, Sour Mush…” Jefferson observed the indians closely as their names were spoken. Several of the Cherokees appeared to Jefferson to be a splendid new American hybrid – a perfect one-half English (or perhaps elevated Ulster-Scot) and a one-half American forest aboriginal.        The Cherokees, Jefferson noted, had finer manners and movement than many of the ruder sort of white frontiersmen. They always have, he thought, and remembered back to his boyhood. The Chief Outacity had often visited his father on his journeys to and from Williamsburg. Jefferson remembered his magnificent oratory the evening before the chief went to England. The moon was in full splendor, and to her he seemed to address himself. That solemn voice, distinct articulation and graceful gestures had moved his boyish imagination deeply. Jefferson had not understood a word that Outacity had said but it had not mattered. That the Chief had spoken truth and wisdom he entertained no doubt. Outacity had later turned his back on civilization and participated in massacres in southern carolina. This tragedy had haunted Jefferson for many years.

Several of the Cherokees in Jefferson’s office were very good English speakers, they stood at ease as did Jefferson and War Secretary. The President mingled among the chiefs and shook their hands warmly. They were all at least his height and several stood inches above him. Jefferson wondered if by some hidden twist of fate he shared some of the ancient mystical blood that coursed through their veins. The stallion can never trust the mare, he pondered silently, it was quite the possibility.     One of the fine hybrid chiefs stepped forward with a piece of paper in his hand. He bowed to the President and Secretary of War. – “White father, my name is George Lowery. We are here today as Tsa-la-Gi chiefs in amicable disagreement over the future and present of our people. Those of us, I am one, from the Lower Towns sincerely wish further advancement in civilization and agriculture. We realize the day of the hunt and the old ways are gone. We wish to live like white men. To have laws, written on paper, to protect our property and interests.     “Our brothers among the upper towns do not wish these things. They desire to follow the buffalo and bear west of the Mississippi river. They do not wish to herd cattle and plow fields. They still honor the deer and wish his presence. But the great herds of game have been decimated in our country. The rivers no longer run with fish as they did when we were children…”      Jefferson considered such handsome men must have beautiful women as counterparts in the wigwams and cabins of the southern lands. Some of the men were wearing fine cobbled boots and jackets of exquisite cut and color. Others wore buckskin trousers and richly beaded moccasins. Lowery continued speaking, “We need our White Father to help us determine our future course of action. We have agreed to a boundary fixation amongst our people. We have become like two tribes…” Jefferson sat down at his desk and pondered what Lowery had spoken. He had read their letters and responded in his own hand. He knew of what the Cherokee was speaking and he knew of his answer.     With hands folded Jefferson spoke, “I admire your people and progress toward civilization you are making. I praise the spirit of cooperation that brought you here to work out your differences peacefully.” As he spoke Lowery translated for those in the room who did not speak English. “I must give one answer to you all equally. Because you are all free men and must determine your own destiny. It is not right that one man makes laws for another. You can not force your will on your brothers. Would it not be better for those who wish a Constitution and Republic to establish one? And those of you who wish to migrate west to do so? The fine lands in the southern country could be traded for similar lands west of the Mississippi…”

When Jefferson finished speaking he stood and shook each man’s hand in turn. The chiefs made ready to leave and Jefferson admonished them, “Keep yourselves apart from the wild indians. Be a good example to them, but don’t allow yourselves to be corrupted by savagery.” The chiefs nodded and spoke affirmations and Jefferson continued, “…and the africans, no good can come from consorting with them.”     The chiefs left the Executive Mansion and mounted their horses. The winter sun was low on the horizon with red light streaming through the town. Smoke was rising from a hundred chimneys and the sound of mattox splitting wood cut through the air.
As the Cherokee men returned to their southern homelands they began speaking amongst themselves. The men from the lower towns saw no reason to stall. Holding council with the White Father had encouraged them. We can make ourselves a government like the white men have, they told themselves, there is no need to wait any longer. The youngest of the lower town men was named the the Ridge. Many times over he had had proven his ‘man killer’ status to his elders…..

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments