Sunday, April 28, 2024

Freedmen Schools in the Cherokee Nation 1869 - 1907


In 2008 I had the privelege of speaking with Dr. James McCullough a professor at the University of North Iowa. He had for several years  taken a strong interest in a topic that had caught his attention. That was the education of Freedmen in the Cheokee Nation. At that time, researcher Terry Ligon and I were publishing a small journal known as Voices of Indian Territory. 

Dr. McCullough reached out to me, as he became interested in sharing some of his own research about the Cherokee Colored High School, and offered to share with me, some of his work. I was delighted, and the result was that in the Spring/Summer issue of 2008, his work was published. The article was quite extensive, and in addition to his work on the Cherokee Colored High School were some additional pieces of information pertaining to education of Freedmen in the Cherokee Nation.

I shall be posting much of this information on the blog in future weeks sharing his work about Freedmen education in the Cherokee Nation. In thi issue, I shall share a list by District of the old Freedmen schools, now long forgotten. 

As an educator and as a Freedmen researcher, I have deep appreciation for Dr. James McCullough, and his  sharing this information with me.  It is time now to bring Dr. McCulloug's  work forward to a larger community of Cherokee researchers.

Cherokee Nation Freedmen Scochools by District 1860's - 1907
Compiled by Dr. James McCullough, North Iowa State University

Fourteen Mile Creek (Spring 1869) Tahlequah District
Tahlequah (Spring 1869 - Fall 1907) Tahliquah Distict
Fort Gibson (Spring 1869 - Fall 1907 Illinois District

Four Mile Branch (Fall 1874 - Fall 1907) Tahlequah District
Grant (Fall 1874 - Fall 18960 Talequah District
Vann's Valley (Fall 1874 - Spring 1885) Saline District
Four Mile Branch (Spring 1877 - Spring 18780 Illinois District
Lightening Creek (Spring 1877 - Spring 1907) Cooweescoowee District
Sand Town (Spring 1877 - Fall 1907) Illinois District
Greenleaf (Fall 1878 - Fall 1907) Illiois District
Island Ford (Spring  1878 - Fall 1907) Delaware District

Flat Rock (Fall 1880 - Spring 1892) Cooweescoowee District
Goose Neck(Fall 1880 - Fall - 1907) Cooweescoowee District
Timbuctoo (Fall 1882 - Fall 1887 (Sequoyah District)
Big Creek (Fall 1882 - Fall 1887) Cooweescoowee District
Lone Cedar (Fall 1882 - Fall 1885) Sequyah District
Moore (Fall 1883 - Fall 1907) Delaware District
Stooping Elm (Spring 1883 - Spring 1890) Canadian District
Green (Spring 1885 - Fall 1885) Illinois District
Lynnch's Prairie (Fall 1885 - Fall 1907) Saline District
Redland (Fall 1886 - Fall 1907) Sequoyah District
Hickory Creek (Fall 1888 - Fall 1907) Cooweescoowee District

Brushy Creek (Fall 1892 - Fall 1907) Cooweescoowee District
Vinita (Spring 1894 - Fall 1907) Delaware District
Flint Ridge (Fall 1896 - Fall 1907) Tahlequah District
Watie (Spring 1897 - Fall 1907) Illinois District

Pleasant Hill (Spring 1901 - Fall 1907) Tahlequah District
Sanders (Spring 1903 - Fall 1907) Cooweescoowee District
Elliot (Spring 1904 - Fall 1907) Cooweescoowee District
Upper Big Creek (Fall 1904 - Fall 1906) Cooweescoowee District
Vian (Fall 1904 - Fall 1907) Illinois District
St. Stehpan (Fall 1904 - Fall 1907) Sequoyah District
Lower Big Creek (Fall 1905 - Spring 1906) Cooweescoowee District
Melton (Fall 1905 - Fall 1907) Cooweescoowee District
Pine Mountain (Fall - Fall 1907) Sequoyah District
Panther Creek (Fall 1906 - Fall 1907) Cooweescoowee District
Big Creek Fall  (1907)  Cooweescoowee District
Booker (1907)  Cooweescoowee District
Daniels (1907)  Cooweescoowee District
Douglas (1907)  Sequoyah District
Flat Rock (1907)  Cooweescoowee District
Foreman (1907)  Cooweescoowee District
Hill (1907)  Cooweescoowee District
Mohawk (1907)  Cooweescoowee District

It is clear from Dr. McCullah's work that the Cherokee Freedmen Schools ended as Oklahoma statehood arrived, and after that time all education came under the jurisdiction of the new State of Oklahoma. Of course racial segregation would be strongly in place, and those schools once designated as tribal Freedmen schools were known from that time forward, simply as "Negro" schools and would remain so, until the 1960s, when the Civil Rights movement brought about a changein the educational system.

The identification of many of these Cherokee Freedmen schools identified by Dr. James McCullough are quite useful in the documentation of Cherokee Freedmen history as well as that of Oklahoma Freedmen as a whole. There is much more of McCullough's work to share that were published in Voices of Indian Territory, including detailed history of the Cherokee Colored High School as well. 

No comments: