The Century Chest Collection

Document from Julius Folsom

(Transcribed from the original)

Written by Julius Folsom A descendant of the Choctaw Tribe

To bring this material to a strictly historical record will be an impossibility when dealing with a subject so diversified as that of the tribe of Indians of North America, but more or less than four hundred years past has been written concerning the wonderful people known as the Indian Tribes: what nation of people they descended? And by what [unintelligible] came they to North America? The door of history such has been the imaginary mind of the white people. I find in the scripture that the Lord spoke unto Moses in the Wilderness of Sinai take ye the number of every Tribe, after this [unintelligible] a part of the tribe of Dan was captured by Shalmaneser King of Syria and placed in our labor; said Tribe was master of ships, and they disappeared from the harbor. The ancient custom of aged Indians was to convey facts from father to son a tradition that their godfathers came from a country beyond the big water far to north west, crossing a large body of water in Canoes of a day's travel this is supposed to be [unintelligible] [unintelligible] from thence to Mexico, in their travel and camping, modern people [unintelligible] pictures rudely carved, and different kind of characters on rocks were used to convey information understood by the tribes wherever seen, there is much proof in favor of the belief that the Choctaw tribe of Indians were living in the southern part of this continent when Cortez overthrew the Aztec dynasty, but heavily has the hand of time pressed with its weight of years rested upon the descendents of the Choctaw Tribe of Indians over whom swayed the scepter of authority as Chiefs [unintelligible] and warriors in traditional migration from Mexico to the Mississippi River. In the year of 1818 eighteen hundred and eighteen was the first acquaintance with the Presbyterian missionaries who soon had the respect and confidence of the Choctaw tribe of Indians and many became enlightened civilized and educated.
In the year 1775 Nathaniel Folsom of Scotch descent approved amongst the Choctaw Tribe of Indians and married a Choctaw Indian woman by the name of I=ah=wu=che belonging to the royal family of chiefs known as hart=takze=holetaTh=we=che, or clan, the descendent of said Nathaniel Folsom and T=ah=se=che was those boys and three girls, the youngest child named Israel Folsom was my father.

In 1830 eighteen hundred and thirty a treaty was made between the United States and the Warriors of the Choctaw Tribe requiring us to emigrate and in 1831 eighteen hundred and thirty one, about 1000 Choctaw Indians died emigrate to the west of the Mississippi river. My father Israel Folsom said his family was included in the exodus: after traveling many hundred miles we crossed the western line of the state of Arkansas now known as Arkansas we camped in the wilderness on the bend of a river named Mountain Fork in the year 1833 eighteen hundred and thirty three. My father and a few warriors traveled together westward hunting large game, two miles from the town of Durant they saw many Buffalo and they killed one in traveling further west then came in contact with other wandering Indians and after using the pipe which indicates peace they were allowed to camp near, during the night guard was placed distant from the camp for the purpose of detecting the sound made by the many horses but they could detect the enemy advancing or [unintelligible] they used the surface of the ground by placing their ear close to the ground they could [unintelligible] hear the sound of horses feet striking the ground many miles distant this method of transmitting sound by the ground to the ear was used in time of war many years previous, this secret of warfare was revealed to one from father to son according to Indian custom in the year of 1834 my father accompanied the Chief and warriors to Tuskahoma in the year of 1834 for the purpose of draughting a Constitution for the Choctaw Nation; majority of the council members had not received any Knowledge of books, and the consigner was Israel Folsom my grandfather wrote the first constitution in the Choctaw language; in the same year of 1834 a general Council for leading Warriors [ unintelligible] is meet at an appointed day; bundles of smoke sticks was carried and delivered to each council member by an appointed warrior [unintelligible] [unintelligible] to assist them accurately in keeping the number of days intervene between the day appointed to meet. After the elapse of several years I was elected as recording secretary for the senate chamber and served in this capacity 8 eight years after this I was elected County Judge for the County of Atoka and served my full term, after this I served as Representative for Atoka County in the following year I was elected Senator, after entering the Senate I was elected president for the Senate during my [unintelligible] an act was approved for enumerating all Citizens preparatory for allotting of land. The Five Civilized tribes agreed to divide their land to each citizen that was eligible to a portion of land. I was appointed and commission by the Choctaw chief to assist the Choctaw Indian Tribe for their portion of land, and in the year of 1907 nineteen hundred and seven the Choctaw Tribe numbered 20409 the Chickasaw tribe numbered 5968 Cherokee tribe numbered 37905 Muskogee tribe numbered 11959 Seminole tribe numbered 2138. Many thousand of different tribes have[unintelligible]  [unintelligible] in different parts of north america and cannot be numbered at the date of 1913.

In a serious mode, during this thought to my memory rushes in [unintelligible] back to the time of our wild careers and custom when Indians prevailed. I by nature was wild wild as other Indians. According to custom holes were pierced in the lower part of my ears for inserting ornamental  dangling rings said pierced holes still exist but the ornaments remain in oblivion. But there are the 1000 souls once my comrades that accompanied me to this wild uninhabited country their allotted time here on earth has ended, and departed this life in eternity bereft at heart causes much emotion to the writer.

[unintelligible] knowing that I alone exist I make this very last statement

Written in the Town of Atoka Oklahoma in the year of our Lord April, 15. 1913
Julius C. Folsom
Julius Folsom was born Jan 17-1831
He was educated at Glassenberry Conn, near Hartford
At the time he is the oldest living Indian man known that came with his tribe (The Choctawa) from MISS when they emigrated to the old Indian Territory.
Mr. Folsom is the father of [unintelligible] Uncle of Mr. Michael Coulan

Now to keep the record straight as to my branch of the Folsom family I will add that my wife and I are the parents of 9 children 7 of whom are lovely girls and 2 manly young men, there names and ages follow; Daphne Folsom aged 25 Robinson Folsom, 24 Ethel Folsom, 23 Blanche Folsom, Smith, 22 Henry (Jack) Folsom, 20, Alice Folsom, 18 Ruth Folsom, 16 Adelaide (Lady Kate) Folsom, 14 Christine Folsom, 13 Yes, that count is correct, we always thought ther was room for one more and they have indeed been a pleasure to us. Inadvertently I left out our grand children. They are Francis Folsom Bell, aged 5. John Murphy Bell, aged 3 and Blanche Louise Smith, aged 3 and we think they are the top notch "kiddos"

Respectfully submitted for your entertainment by – Sincerely Yours Don J. Folsom

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