Saturday, May 8, 2010

Remembering Monday Durant - African Creek Leader


Several years ago while documenting Cane Creek Cemetery with a close research colleague, I was more than surprised to see the headstone of Monday Durant.  We went looking for the headstone of Cow Tom--which we did find.  But another surprise awaited me that day---there was another name I had often read about:  Monday Durant!  This was amazing to see, as his name was often found among tribal affairs for several decades in Creek Nation history.

Monday Durant was a prominent leader in the Creek Nation. He was born free, in the Creek Nation, around 1850 and he was the son of Adam Durant also free born, of Tuskeegee (Taskigi)Town and Hannah Ceasar. As a young adult in his twenties, by the mid 1870s's he quickly rose to become a leader in the Muskogee Community where he lived. Being fluent in both Muskogee and English, many in the tribe depended upon him for his language skills.  He also was known to travel on official delegations to Washington with tribal leaders.

 He served in the House of Kings and usually voted along the same lines as other African Creeks. He was part of a group of young African Creek leaders (Simon Brown, Sugar George, William McIntosh. Silas Jefferson and Monday Durant.) He did interact with older African Creek leaders as well, such as Harry Island, Ketch Barnett, William Nero and Cow Tom. By the late 1870s however, these older leaders had already died and men like Sugar George and Monday Durant emerged as the more dynamic men of their day.
Front of Dawes Enrollment Card for Monday Durant
(click on image for larger view)



Back side of Dawes Enrollment Card
(click on image for larger view)

Monday Durant was an associate of Silas Jefferson (Ho-tul-ko-micco) who was an advisor to Locha Hacho.
During one time of political upheaval in the tribe a movement began to remove Chief Lacho Hacho from office. Hacho had strong support of the African Creek leaders. When hearings were made for Hacho's removal, the African Creek leaders voted in a block to insist that Hacho remain in power.  However, Durant had traveled to Washington during that time and could not cast his votes with other African Creek leaders, although he strongly supported Hacho, as well.  Hacho was removed from office nevertheless in spite of the strong votes in his favor.

During these years, though, Monday Durant was very much involved in tribal affairs, and served in the House of Kings representing Canadian Colored Town.  The African Creek leaders were still involved in local tribal affairs and represented the African Creeks in both ruling houses--the House of Warriors and the House of Kings.

Durant received his land allotment and went through the Dawes process, like others in the Creek Nation.  He lived to see Oklahoma statehood, and saw the dissolution of the power among the African leaders, over the years.   He died in 1925 and is buried in Cane Creek Cemetery, in Okmulgee.

His story is place here, so that he will not be forgotten.

4 comments:

Mavis said...

Interesting. Thank you for always informing us about this part of history that most of us know nothing about.

harrisonlatour said...


DIGITAL LIBRARY ON AMERICAN SLAVERY
Monday slave black male

Petition 20183102 Details
Location: Mobile, Alabama
Salutation: To the Honorable Abner S. Lipscomb Chief Justice of the State of Alabama & Judge of the first Judicial Circuit Sitting in Chancery (LIPSCOMB, Abner S.)
Filing Court and Date: Circuit, 1831-March-17
Ending Court and Date: No Ending Court Specified

General Petition Information

Abstract: Latchlin Durant seeks to regain possession of slaves given by his grandfather McGilveray to his mother. Durant says that the slaves were "forcibly taken" and, in 1803, delivered to David Tait [Tate] of Baldwin County, who held them in trust for Alexander McGilveray, a minor who died in England without any issue. Durant states that all the named parties "were residing in the Indian Nation & under Indian Laws at the time of the transactions" and that "all the parties except McGilveray your Orator's grandfather were of Indian blood & descent by the father or mother or both." Durant declares that as the only surviving son of his mother and the oldest surviving male descendant of his grandfather, "by the laws of the Creek tribe of Indians ... he is the sole heir of said McGilveray." Now Tait has died, and Durant asks the court to order his heirs and executors to account for the slaves, which he estimates to be more than one hundred; to compensate him for their services; and to return them to his possession.

Result: No recorded result
# of Petition Pages: 10
Related Documents: Transcript of Case Proceedings, Durant v. Tate, 1831-1840
Pages of Related Documents: 2

People Associated with Petition 20183102
Slaves: 70
Free Persons of Color: 0
Defendants: 3
Petitioners: 1
Other People: 2

Citation Information
Repository: University of South Alabama Archives, Mobile, Alabama

Records of the Chancery Court
Document Number 395

************************************

List of Slaves in Petition 20183102

Name Role in Petition Enslavement Status Color Gender Age Birth Death Owned slaves? Occupation

Aaron slave black male
Abagail slave black female
Abram slave black male
Amelia slave black female
Anthony slave black male
Bella slave black female before 1831
Bella slave black female
Ben slave black male
Betsey slave black female
Bill slave black male
Bill slave black male
Billy ([Old Billy]) slave black male before 1831
Ceasar slave black male
Charlotte slave black female
Cloe slave black female
Cloe slave black female
Cumba slave black male
Damba slave black male
Daniel slave black male
Daphne slave black female
Deleny slave black female
Dick slave black male
Dilsey slave black female
Esther slave black female
Esther slave black female
Frank slave black male
George slave black male
Harry slave black male
Jack slave black male
Jack slave black male
Jenny slave black female
Jenny slave black female before 1831
Jim slave black male
Jim slave black male
Jimbo slave black male
Jo ([Old Jo]) slave black female
Job slave black male
Jonah slave black male
June slave black female
Junius slave black male
Liberty slave black female
London slave black male
Louisa slave black female
Lucy slave black female
Lucy slave black female
Lydia slave black female
Manuel slave black male before 1831
Maria slave black female before 1831
Maria slave black female
Mary slave black female
Milly slave black female before 1831
Milly ([Old Milly]) slave black female
Mitty slave black female
Molly slave black female
Monday slave black male
Paris slave black male
Pas slave black
Patience slave black female
Patty slave black female
Phillis slave black female
Phoebe slave black female
Rose slave black female
Sambo slave black male
Sharper slave black male
Stephen slave black male
Tenah slave black female
Thadeus slave black male
Toby slave black male before 1831
Tubby slave black male
Wallace slave black male

darlissha sadler said...

My Great Great Uncle and Great Geat Grandfather were the best..love hearing about my history

Tanisha Reed said...

I am so full of joy and excitement to discover my family's history!