"Alexander Family History"
me welcome you to my Alexander Family web site. My name is Judy Thomas McAnuff.
As many Americans I come from a very racially diverse background: A part
of the American melting pot within my own family. This is the story of just
one branch of my family tree, the Alexander Family branch. The Alexander
family has grown to be one of the larger Chickasaw Indian families within
the Chickasaw Nation. I am proud to be a part of this tenacious family and
the rich culture of the Chickasaws. Relax and set back and go with me back
in time to a piece of the past, to the Alexander family beginning.
the 1830s the United States Government began to round up the Indians
of Tennessee, Mississippi,Georgia, Alabama, and Florida to move them to a
new land set aside for them just west of the Mississippi river. This land
they called the Indian Territory and which later became Oklahoma. Some of
the Tennessee Indians along with their Negro slaves came thru the State of
Arkansas on their way to the Territory. As they reached Pope Co. Ark. The
river was up and being unable to cross they camped while waiting for the
army to hire railroad cars to transport the Indians. At this time about 311
Indians escaped and hid out and did not make the journey into the new Indian
Territory.(This is taken from the detailed accounts of the Trail of Tears
on June 9 1838 group led by Lieutenant Deas)) Many settled in Pope Co. and
this is where Mary and her son John Alexander where living at the time of
their emancipation. They were living in a community by the name of Double
Springs and belonged to a woman by the name of Betsy. Sometime
after being given their freedom they came to the Indian Territory and settled
in the Chickasaw Nation.
JOHN "OLD JONAH" ALEXANDER
the family have told of Jonah being a Medicine Man and this is confirmed
by people in the Allen community who once knew him and has seen him heal
the sick. There is a short reference to his healing abilities in the history
book of Allen. The book is titled Beginning at Cold Springs: the History
of Allen. The Author Hope Patterson McInroy states, After the
dancing sometimes the Medicine Man Old Jonah healed the sick.
Hope remembers their passing one sick Indian over the fire, while the Medicine
Man chanted; so close was the flame she was sure he would be burned alive,
but he wasnt.
also reference to Jonah in The Chronicles Of Oklahoma, Buffalo Valley: An
Osage Hunting Ground, by Judge Orel Busby (page 26). Among the old
time Indian Medicine Men was a well known character around Allen in the writers
boyhood days called Old Jonah Alexander. He claimed to be one
hundred years of age just before his death and he still had all of his mental
facilities. He loved to talk about the folk lore and traditions of the old
days. All his life Old Jonah lived near the spot of the
present Osage Village marker. He said the valley just to the south of the
marker was called Buffalo Valley by all the old time Indians. By old
time he meant Choctaws and Chickasaws as well as the Osages who were known
as the wild Indians. Jonah explained that the valley was a great
place to hunt because it had plenty of buffalo grass in the tight flatlands
near the streams and the remainder of the area had a good growth of blue
stem and Indian switch grass.
| Click on the feather to view
the sketches by George Catlin
and the Osage Historical Marker
members have told of the familiar red jacket he always wore and the felt
hat with the feathers coming out of it. Many have also mentioned his sense
of humor. Apparently he liked to pull jokes and tricks on people and then
have a big laugh. He passed his knowledge of medicine on down to his oldest
daughter Tennessee who was to become a medicine woman. Jonah was a man who
apparently felt you are never to young to learn, because as a grown man he
had a woman teach him to speak English. This is the teacher who is pictured
with him in the drawing.
Jonah and the teacher
"Alexander Family History Continued"
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