Saturday, September 21, 2013

Negro Convention in the Creek Nation

Partial Image of Leading article from Muskogee Cimeter
September 27, 1907  p. 1

In September of 1907 Black Men who were known in the Creek Nation as leaders convened in Muskogee for a major meeting. The gathering was reported in the press simply as "the Negro Convention". The September 27 issue of The Muskogee Cimeter a Black newspaper in Muskogee provided a good listing of who the representatives were from various communities in the Creek Nation. Since the article described the convention as the "Negro" Convention, the list of dignitaries in attendance, provides the reader a virtual who's who among African Creeks.

The group was a temporary one at the time of the meeting, but permanent committees were developed at that meeting. An impressive list of names of various persons in attendance and appointed to new rols appeared in the article. This list is significant, as it provides an interesting glimpse in to pre-Oklahoma statehood society and culture among the "estelusti" of the Muscogee Creeks.

In addition, very little can be found in many current texts about this Muskogee convention in 1907
Since legibility is not sharp from the article, the names are transcribed below. (Note that on the Finance committee, the communities where the various member lived was included.)

Committee on Resolutions:
 Capt. A.V. Jones
 George Robinson
 P.A. Lewis
 J.A. Roper

Committee on Delegates
E.D. Nickens
P.A. Lewis
Steve Grayson
P.B. Hudson
L.A. Bell

Committee Finance:
Jake Simmons, Haskell
H.D. Reed, Lee
William James, Chase
J.H. Stevens, Beggs
S. L. James, Sapulpa
L.E. Willis, Tullahassee
E. L. McShann, Tullahassee
George Wade, Wybark
Dr. Evans, Ft. Gibson
Dr. Smith, Clarksville
P.B. Hudson, Gatesville
Alex Perryman, Gatesville
J.H. Reeves, Rentie
J.E. Thompson, Clearview
Mose Grayson, Henryetta
Frank Haygood, Sharp
R.J. Chatman, Bald Hill
Rev. N. A. Robinson, Rentiesville
F. P Brinson, Rentiesville
J.H. Lewis, Porter
E. L. Barber, Red Bird
John Simmons, Coweta
L.A. House, Coweta
O.W. Gurley, Tulsa
W. Watson, Grayson
J. F. Davis, Rex
J. Fonville, Rex
O. W. Bradley, Boley
Henry Taylor, Boley
F.M. Haynes, Boley
M. C. Perry, Checotah
Lone Landrum, Checotah
J. N. Jackson, Eufaula
G. P. Phillips, Eufaula
Wm. Vann, Newby
Frank Knolls, Bristow
Noah Alberty, Lonetia or Wagoner
A.R. Penn, Loetia or Wagoner
J. A. Roper, Okmulgee
Steve Grayson, Okmulgee
Felix Driver, Taft
W. B. Riley, Taft
John D. Phelps, Wagoner
W.D. Huggins, Wagoner
P.A. Lewis, Inola
L.E. Nero, Broken Arrow
Morris J. Sango, Muskogee
J. H. Smith, Muskogee
J.T. Trimble, Muskogee
L. W. Sango, Muskogee
L.W. Fue, Muskogee

Additional committees were formed and a vast array of speeches were made. The convention was also well attended by a large number of other members of the Creek Nation

"The entire Creek Nation was represented, and visitors from other nations present."

Excerpt from article from Muskogee Cimeter
September 27, 1907  p. 1

Not much is known what kind of impact that this convention had, and it has most likely faded from the historic memory of many who now reside in Oklahoma, as well as of those who have this fascinating history and heritage. Descendants of the Creek Freedmen, may also want to take note and quite possibly many of their ancestors were among those persons present at the big Negro Convention-a gatehring of African Creeks.

It is clear that the activities of persons living in Muscogee Creek country were vast, and this article is being shared so that more of that history can be uncovered, studied and appreciated.

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