Indian Pioneer Papers - Index
Indian Pioneer History
Project for Oklahoma
Name: Mrs. Adeline "Kemp" Collins
Residence: Wynnewood, Oklahoma
Date of Birth:
Place of Birth: Old Doxtol, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory
Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Mrs. Adeline "Kemp" Collins,
negro, born at old Doxtol, Indian Territory, Chickasaw Nation.
My father and mother came to the Indian
Territory from Mississippi with a bunch of Choctaw Indians and Master Jackson
Kemp. Mr. Kemp was a white man and his wife was a Choctaw Indian. My father
and mother belonged to Master Kemp.
I don't know what year I was born, but I
was a big girl at the close of the Civil War. Before I was large enough to go
to the field and work, I had to help with the house work and pick geese and
keep the yard clean. My mother did the cooking at the big house of Master
I remember one evening seeing my father
whipped. Master Kemp had a big post out in front of the house. This was where
those who didn't mind were tied and whipped. There was a big negro man who did
the whipping. My father had done something wrong. This big negro tied my
father's hands around the post and tied his feet. They pulled his shirt off
before they tied him up. After he was tied to this post, the negro who did the
whipping had a long black snake whip, and he stood off about five feet from
the post, and when his whip would wrap around my father, the blood would run
down his back. The old master would have all the slaves sit down around this
whipping post and watch the whipping take place. The master's wife was a kind
hearted woman and she loved all of us children. She wouldn't let Master Kemp
whip us girls. She would say we belonged to her.
When the war was over, Master Kemp called
everyone to the big house. I remember it well. He called the women, children
and men to the front yard. After everyone had sat down he said, "The war
is over and you are free to go any place you want to, but if any of you want
to stay and work for me you can". Several of the men and their families
left, but my father stayed and made two crops, and Master Kemp gave him a yoke
of steers and an ox wagon. I remember we left there in the spring. I don't
know what year it was, but it was the second year after Master Kemp told us we
were free. There were my father, mother, sister, brother, and myself. We
settled on Blue Creek east of Tishomingo. My father went to work for a white
man who owned the cotton gin.
I remember a stage coach would come in
about a hundred yards of the log house we lived in. This stage forded Blue
Creek below our house. They would have four horses working to this stage. I
don't know where it went to, but I can remember seeing it pass about every
My sister was older than I and we would go
hunting. We would take the old muzzle loading rifle and start out. I have seen
her kill a deer on several of our hunts.
We lived on Blue Creek about two years
then we moved to Cherokee Town, on the Washita River. My father went to
farming for a Mr. Walner. His wife was an Indian woman and we all liked her.
My father would take corn to the mill at
Old Mill Creek. Governor Harris owned a grist mill there and I believe I heard
my father say that Mr. Harris was the Governor of the Chickasaw nation at that
time or had been at one time.
We kids didn't have shoes then to wear,
not even in the winter time. I was a grown girl by this time, and my brother
was the first one of us children to wear a pair of shoes. He helped a white
man make some lumber for about a week and this white man bought him a pair of
shoes. I was a grown girl before I got any shoes.
We always had plenty of meat to eat. My
brother would bring a turkey or a deer home nearly every time he went hunting.
I remember we had been living east of
Cherokee Town about a year or two when the first wagon train came through
there. I remember they passed about a quarter of a mile from our house. There
were two white men working four yoke of steers and they had two wagons. One
wagon was hooked on behind the other one and in a few weeks after this wagon
train went through a stage coach came through there. They were working four
horses and the driver sat on top of the coach.
When we came to Cherokee Town there were
lots of blanket Indians camped at Cherokee Town, and all up and down the banks
of the Washita River. A white man issued beef to them every day.
I now live with my son in Wynnewood,
Submitted by Brenda Choate.