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"Indian-Pioneer History Collection," (Re: Ridge family; William Childers)
Posted by: Cathy Porter-Maynard (ID *****9734) Date: September 01, 2005 at 10:55:07
  of 801

Re: WILLIAM CHILDERS, briefly referenced in OLD TIMERS, "Family Stories from the
Trail of Tears," (from the Indian-Pioneer History Collection, Grant Foreman, editor)


American Native Press Archives (ANPA) and Sequoyah Research Center


Lewis, S. R.
Chauncey O. Moore, Supervisor

Indian-Pioneer History S-14

Lawrence D. Hibbs

Field Worker

Interview: S. R. Lewis



...."Major Ridge, a full blood Cherokee Indian, who married a white woman and his son, John Ridge, who also married a white woman, came to what is now Delaware County, Indian Territory, from Georgia in the year of *1835. *[CORRECTION: 1837].
John Ridge, the son, had a college education and both men were considered rich men.

They opened a trading post near the Arkansas State line. (This store may have been called Ridge's Store.) They employed one, WILLIAM CHILDERS, as a clerk in this trading post. Later they gave WILLIAM CHILDERS $8,000.00 to go to New Orleans to buy supplies for this store. He made the trip by way of the Arkansas and Mississippi Rivers, buying the supplies and returning to the trading post.

The Ridges, father and son, were signers of the Treaty of 1835, and which, later, was the cause of their deaths.

After the general removal of the Cherokees to Indian Territory in 1838, the two Ridges (Major and John) were assassinated by their own tribe, the reason being that because these two men signed the treaty disposing of the Cherokee country east of the Mississippi River for land in Indian Territory, the tribe thought they had been betrayed and sold out by their supposed friends. They were killed in different sections, but on the same day. Major Ridge was killed somewhere near the Arkansas State line, on the same day a relative of theirs was killed near Parkhill, which is about six miles south of Tahlequah.

The wives of the two Ridges, being white women, feared for their lives after the death of their husbands and they moved to Arkansas, remaining there until their deaths.

John Ridge had a son, John Rollins Ridge, who later came back to that country to see after his father's and grandfather's land and business. On reaching their old homes, he found that there was a black stallion missing and he started out in search of this horse. After some time of searching he rode into the farm yard of a man by the name of Kell. He asked him if he had seen a black stallion and Kell told him he had and pointed to where the horse was standing. They had some words about the horse and the outcome was that Ridge killed Kell, after which he escaped into Missouri and later joined a party of Indians that was migrating to California. He later made a trip or two back to this country and to Washington D. C. but ended his days in California. While in California, he became a newspaper man and a writer, later being known as the "Poet of the Sierras of California".



SOURCE: "Family Stories from the Trail of Tears," (taken from the 'Indian-Pioneer History Collection,' Grant Foreman, editor)

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