Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Remarkable Freedwomen of Indian Territory

Left to Right:
Top Left-Sallie Walton, Top Center-Bettie Ligon, Right Center-Hagar Meyers
Bottom Left-Malinda Hall, Bottom Right-Lucinda Davis

Since March is Women's History Month, I thought that I would honor some often overlooked Freedwomen from Indian Territory. 

There are some women whose name should be said aloud. They are seldom mentioned in annals of Oklahoma history and even less so in the texts of tribal history. However, freedwomen from the Five former slaveholding tribe were not passive pawns in a system that worked against them. They lent their bodies and minds and spirit to cause to uplift those of their community. Some spoke up and showed courage during times of conflict. Others dared to resist and insist that they be acknowledged for who they were. Others simply told their story with all of the cultural nuances that they embraced. And others nurtured children who lived to tell their stories.

These were patient souls from whom we descend.  Some were well known, and others were simply quiet steadfast warrior women, worked tirelessly in their own domain. It is from such women who were the matriarchs of the families, and we must speak their names. These daughters of Oklahoma soil should no longer be bypassed in the annals of history. We honor them.

So weekly I shall profile at least one Freedwoman from Indian Territory, whose life was an inspiration and whose story deserves to be told.

To be honored this month: 

Sallie Walton, Choctaw Freedwoman, Matriarch of the Walton family of Skullyville
Bettie Ligon, Choctaw & Chickasaw Freedwoman - Head Litigant in Equity 7071
Hagar Meyers, Creek Freedwoman - Peacemaker woman of courage of the Green Peach War
Malinda Hall, Choctaw Freedwoman - Instructor and Educator of Choctaw Freedmen
Lucinda Davis - Creek Freedwoman - Survivor of Slavery, cultural storyteller of life in Creek culture

May they  never be forgotten.