I cry too …

“Parallel Development” by Yajanua

“You people,” says Mariano Chumpi, a Shuar warrior and co-author of Spirit of the Shuar, ” believe that your civilization has developed for thousands of years, that you can look back to ancient cultures in Asia and the Middle East and trace this development through Europe and into the United States. You say you’ve made great progress and this is true in many ways. You also look at us, the Shuar and other indigenous people, and you say that we haven’t developed, that we’ve been static, that our lives are ‘primitive’. But it simply isn’t true. We’ve always developed. We’ve cultivated forest plants, learned new ways to fish and hunt; our shamans are constantly understanding new things about healing, journeying, and using herbal remedies. We’ve developed too — but the difference is in how it happened. Our way has always! taken into account all other live forms and the lives of our children’s children. For us the word ‘progress’ does not apply if it threatens other species or could possibly harm future generations. How could that be progress? So we’ve developed in parallel to you — only we’ve done it very, very differently.”(Spirit of the Shuar by John Perkins)

Minnie, Joe, Sallie, Molly Mary Bean

Photo is my copy; left to right – My gr grandmother Minnie Bean Bryson, Joe Bryson (my gr uncle) Sally Ann Bean (my gr aunt) Mary (Molly) Stokes Bean (my gr gr grandmother)

When two world’s collide…

The white and red, blend together but one had to remain silent, in order to fully survive as a free person. When Thomas Jefferson first wrote his philosophy, here are some of his views of that “blending”

The Jeffersonian Philosophy

President Jefferson did not subscribe to the popular view that Indians were inferior; Be believed that “in body and mind” they were “equal” to whites.

The essence of Jeffersonian Indian policy was coexistence and gradualism, that is, the steady if slow accommodation of Indians to Angle-American lifestyle through the transforming process of civilization, culminating in their actually intermarrying into the dominant Anglo-American society.

Jefferson believed that “civilization would bring peace” between Indians and settlers. Thus under his leadership the national government placed its “greatest hope in its policy of bringing civilization to the Indians.”

Jefferson constantly urged tribal leaders to change their life-style in order to require less land for their people.

He directed governors of the Northwest Territory, Michigan Territory, and Indiana Territory to “promote energetically” the national government’s plan for civilizing Indians, and he authorized the assignment of blacksmiths and other artisans to cooperative Indian tribes to maintain plows and other implements for Indian apprentices.

He encouraged missionaries to take part in the Indian civilization process.

In 1803 he directed the Cherokee agent to erect a schoolhouse for Gideon Blackburn, a Presbyterian missionary, to enable him to instruct Cherokee children.

The number of tribal schools increased until in 1824, twenty-one with nearly 1,000 Indian sudents, were functioning.

Jeffersonian Indian policy fitted well with the growing land needs of Anglo-American pioneers.

It accepted the inevitability of their advance across the frontier with the national government maintaining firm though regularly changing boundaries through an orderly, managed progression of settlements, made possible by periodic land openings.

New settlement zones would be created from new cessions by Native American proprietors.

Despite Jefferson’s strong commitment to Indian civilization, the program was never successful.

At no time was it ever sufficiently supported, fiscally or politically, by Congress and officials in the government.

Cynical politicians regarded the nation’s “Indian problem” as solvable through the steady advance of hardy American pioneers; in due time extermination rather than assimilation would rid the nation of this vexing complication to its expansion, growth, and development.


Where is Cynthia Davis Stokes?

My gr gr gr grandmother is not pictured in the above photo. The photo as noted; is one of her daughter Molly Stokes Bean and her three children. Molly Stokes Bean is far right, my gr grandmother is far left, her name was Minnie Bean Bryon. The man is my gr uncle Joe and the middle woman is my gr aunt Sally Ann.(guessing this photo was taken @ 1918-1920?)

This photo holds the members of my family who were born with the Red Man’s Blood running though them. Their mother, Cynthia Davis was either full or half blooded Native American. She was born in 1809, in Independence Co. Arkansas,  which at that date according to research, Independence Co had not been formed.

What happened?  The land which was occupied and possessed, land that today is recognized as Independence Co, AR, was then called Quapaw Territory. In 1803 the Louisiana Purchase made way for the sale of this land to the United States. Of course the true owners of this land were not aware their land was being sold out from under them. That minor detail would not come until later. The white man took it upon himself to assert imperialistic right and assume that all  would be rectified, either peacefully or by sheer force, and that would include murder.

That is what was happening in the corner of the Natural State of AR, when my grandmother was about to be born in 1809.

During the last few years, several of the descendants of Cynthia Davis have met, we have all found we have one thing in common. We know that we have Native American blood in our veins;  but none of Cynthia’s children would ever talk of this.

Now we all know that Cynthia Davis was part Indian, my guess is at least half, and possible full blood. But still there are indisputable facts: she did have parents, she was born (where is her birth certificate?), she was educated, and yet…until about 1830 when Cynthia Davis is married to Holloway Stokes and living in Jackson Co, Arkansas, there is nothing to be found regarding Cynthia.

From: Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Northeast Arkansas. Chicago: Goodspeed Publishers, 1889.

The settlement of the territory now composing Jackson County began some time prior to 1830, the date of its organization, but by whom or just when the first settlement was made can not be definitely stated. The following named persons who composed the first grand jury of the county were, as a matter of course, prominent pioneers here; Nicholas Copeland, Dudley Glass, Jesse Gray, Jacob Haggerton, Michael Haggerton, Silas T. Glass, Samuel Stokes, Joseph Haggerton, Elijah Bartley, Holloway Stokes, John Teague, John Flannery, Jacob Flannery, William Melton, John James, Martin Copeland, Martin Bridgeman and Redding Stokes, Some of these, perhaps, lived in that part of the county since cut off in the formation of Woodruff County. John Wideman, at whose house the first courts were held, the Copelands and Newton Arnold, were the first settlers in the neighborhood of what is now Irwin Station, on the Batesville & Brinkley Railroad. George Hatch and a Mr. Daugherty were the first to locate at Newport.

The Gray’s and Stokes were the first settlers in the Southern portions of Jackson Co.The first five counties est in Arkansas were- Arkansas, Lawrence, Pulaski, Clark, and Hempstead Jackson Co formed in 1829, just a short time before Cynthia and Holloway were shown on the census with a one year  old child. Cynth
ia was born in 1809, so in 1830, she was 21 years old. To add a little more intrigue, Cynthia’s younger sister Katherine married Holloway’s brother Irvin during that time also. It was one big happy family. Our family research easily takes us on further back to discover where my paternal Stokes came from. Kentucky was from whence they came. But the names of Cynthia and Katherine are dead ends.

I refuse to give up, I believe there must be some way to find out more about my maternal ancestors. So in order to find out more, first I have had to make a huge leap. I have had to assume that my Cynthia is from the Quapaw’s. She was certainly born in Quapaw Territory. Why did she say on the census that she was born in Independence Co in 1809? That must have been what it was then called in 1880, when the census taker ask her where she was from. But there was no Independence Co in 1809. Matter of fact, Arkansas was part of the Louisiana Territory and then it became part of the Missouri Territory and then in 1819 it became the Territory of Arkansas.

Independence County, Arkansas, was created by the Arkansas Territorial Legislature meeting at Arkansas Post, then the capitol of the Territory, October 20, 1820. The post office at Batesville was opened the following November 7. These two events, of course,
mean that there was some activity by white men on the scene before the creation of the county and Poke Creek post office and the history of the county should include some information of years before 1820.

Lots of things were going on in that part of the country during all of that time. First the French sold the US, the La Territory. That part of the state was predominately inhabited by Frenchmen who were traders, trappers, explorers, fugitives, and settlers. There had also been Spanish explorers, but the areas I have been most interested seem to have been inhabited by either the rightful owners of this land Quapaws or their sneaky backstabbers the Frenchmen.

As I sit here tonight writing this, I feel robbed in a way. For that woman who married the white man, and raised a family made a brave choice. She made a choice to silence her past, and live as a white woman. She was made to lie, or she knew she would be forced to live on lands that were not hers. If you were a Native American in Arkansas, and your people had owned land  for estimated 1000’s of years and suddenly white men came and took your land away, would you feel safe in trusting them again? Thank goodness she did not, she was brave and strong. I am proud of her; but she was robbed, and so were all of us that followed. For that heritage was a beautiful one, and I am proud of that blood, and my only regret is that I could not have learned how they had lived for all those years before the white man silenced her.

gr gr grandparent beans
Joseph N. and Molly (Stokes) Bean

(she was about 31 or 32) I will also venture to say it was there wedding day. Photos were of special occasions in those days. So that is most likely when this was taken, and that means it was approximately 1883, give or take a year.

To give you some more  perspective:

NEVER let it be known you are Indian; you can pass for white, so BE white – forget everything you know about being Indian, forget all of itbecause if you do not, you’ll be treated worse than [blacks].”

That is what my ancestors were told, no question about it…..

That was reality during the period in history in which we wiped out a civilization, thus clearing the way so that European emigrants could prosper. That is why I don’t know who my grandparent are any further back than my gr gr gr grandmother Cynthia Davis.  I also don’t know anything about that beautiful culture. Am I whining?  No not really, because how can I miss what I never had? No I am just taking off the rose colored glasses.

In The Arkansas Gazette
for November 30,1824, is a stenogranhic
report of the speech of the Quapaw Chief signing this Treaty of 1824.
It graphically shows the reluctance of the Quapaws to give up their
ancestral lands to which they were attached with ties of sentiment
and religious belief in the sanctity of the graves of their ancestors.
touching speech is quoted as follows
My Father-I wish to answer the Speech you made your red children
yesterday. Your feet are on the white skin-the day is white-you
white! All emblematical of purity. And this day
I beg of yon mercy toward us. The whites have at all times exhibited pity for us-do not now withhold it. The land we now live on, belonged to our forefathers. If
we leave it, where shall we go to? All of my nation, friends and relatives,
are there buried. Myself am old, and in the same place I wish to deosit
my bones. Since you have expressed a desfre for us to remove, the tear8
have flowed copiously from my aged eyes. To leave my natal soil,
to go among red men who are aliens to
our race, is throwing ur like out-

fl&i&al (ineligible)

letter, Quapaw Indian Files, National
Washington DC

I cry too…..

Just think, Cynthia was living in that territory at that time, she was 13 years old. The Quapaws were being sent away; and yet I shudder to think what was happening in her family? Wondering?

Nancy Stokes Karr 001

Another one of Cynthia’s daughters, this is Nancy Stokes Karr.
and one of her sons.

(photo courtesy of one of my cousins Billye R Moore)


As I go out and look at what beauty surrounds us, I reflect back to a different time. A time when white men came to america in hope of building a better world.  Today standing upon this point looking down and seeing all of this beauty, the vastness is beyond my comprehension. There is so much right about this, how can we mess is up so bad. Why can’t we all just live together in peace? I cry….too…

I want to keep going, I want to continue my research, I am sure that I will make mistakes, I will make false assumption, but the more I read, the more curious I become. The fact remains, that within me a voice calls to look for the truth. I shall …..

By 1850, Holloway and Cynthia are living in Ouachita County, Arkansas.


It was used as early as 1800 and connected Pittman (Hix Ferry or Currents), Supply, Maynard, Attica, and Jackson.(http://www.randolphcomuseum.org/history.htm)

If you click on the link above, you will see the one of the first trails coming through Arkansas. This trial leads from Batesville (Jackson Co, AR) down toward where Ouchita Co, AR. This trail was earlier used by Native American’s and was known as the
Natchitoches Trail.

Someone had sent word to my grandparents that land was abundantly cheap in the southeastern part of the state, or maybe they were beginning to get grief from locals who were beginning to become savy to the prospect of white men living with Indian squaws? Times were changing, the white man was gaining a full stronghold on the area, and even established members of the earliest settlers would be looked down upon because of their marital status, and not only that, but they would be raising “half breeds”. The children would need to go to school and it may have been safer to school them where the families sketchy origin could be once again silenced.

This is just my own opinion, but considering the fate of so many Indians, who were hunted down, and forced to live on reservations, I doubt that my “opinion” is too far off.

Today is October 25th, 2008. Tomorrow I will be 58 years old.

Whew~ I remember thinking how far away that number was from me. I certainly saw it as a number that would represent some kind of entrance into a life that was at best deaths door. That is how I recall thinking of it in relation to me.

Yes, the colors before death…..that is what I like to say, when I view the beautiful leaves of fall.


The photo is anything but gloomy. I’d say it is refreshing.

Makes me wonder, does nature know something about dying that I am I missing?

So how does all of this talk about death, fall and birthday, fit into my writing on my Indian heritage?

Well, for one it ties in through a word called perspective. One that I have to remind myself of in many terms of life. “life on life terms”.

I recently gained the manuscript that was written by my gr gr grandfather Robert Herman “Captain Jack” Watlington (1841 -1921) the work was *penciled* in 1920, one year before his passing, and his ripe old age of 80. Nice to think of his diligence in the art of words, even then. I was certainly inspired, for his use of the English Language is coined in such a melodic way, that one is assured that he was truly a lover of words.

Robert H. Watlington restored
Photo provided by cousin Shirley Jo Hays and restored by cousin Lydia Carol Hays


I haven’t forgot, yes, perspective…..

Here is a except of his from the chapter entitled; XXVII Myrtle Spring

Time was, in the years that are gone, when its location was well known, as
all roads and by-paths led to Myrtle Springs.  But to the younger readers,
brief mention of its exact location will be proper.

Two and a half miles north from the little village of Hooks, and within a
stones throw of the splendid public highway leading from the latter place to
Red River, is this famous old spring, long celebrated and admired for its
picturesque and romantic situation and its wonderful flow of pure,
crystal-clear water shaded by dense foliage of overhanging myrtle and
century-old oaks, and as the long ago stamping ground of the Red man.

In the dark, dim past, according to tradition, and with reasonable certainty,
beneath the gloomy shade of the primeval forest surrounding this old spring
came the Indian with his dusky squaw and papoose, set up his wigwam, dressed
his pelts, “jerked” his venison and other wild meat, and fashioned his rude
but deadly implements of the hunt or war path, the bow and arrow, scalping
knife and tomahawk.  Here, too, were often built their council fires around
which were held their “powwows”, involving tribal or other questions, of as
deep and serious import to them, no doubt, as the League Of Nations, or other
mighty, world-wide problems engrossing the minds and thoughts of eminent
Statesmen today.

And here, too, in his hideous war paint and gaudy feathers, foregathered the
Red Warrior to revel in the ghastly, blood curdling orgies of the “war
dance”, which always preceded his wild and cruel forays of pillage and murder.

So much for tradition, and this only to convey some impression of the
antiquity of this old spring.  It is still as buoyant and ceaseless and
wonderful as in the centuries dead and gone, but the Indian has long since
passed away to his “happy hunting grounds”.  And with his exit, when,
“Westward the star of Empire took its course,” came the hardy, pale face
emigrants from the barren worn out lands of the old states, attracted by the
many inducements and opportunities here offered to those in search of new and
better homes, and in the course of human events, and when Texas as a State,
was just a young and modest little Miss, (a few of the more adventurous
spirits dating their advent back to earlier years when the Lone Star flag
waved in the breeze) There grew up around this old spring a small village or
“settlement”, comprised  for the greater part, of Virginians, North and South
Carolinians, and Georgians, — all typical southern gentlemen of the old
school with all the term implies, — the Peters, Lewises, Forts, Barkmans,
Mitchell’s, Hooks, Battles, and Rochelle’s, Knights, Smiths, Balls, and others

Okay, now here is where two worlds collide. I love to read my grandfathers remembrances of days long gone. I am deeply honored to read his scholarly and impressive “recollections”. But I beg to point out the obvious difference in his view of Indians [and mine today] and how he referred to them as;

Indian with his dusky squaw “

and then this
“in his hideous war paint

then this….

“gaudy feathers”

and the all time favorite?
“ghastly, blood curdling orgies of the “war
dance”, which always preceded his wild and cruel forays of pillage and murder.”

and after 1000’s of years of [the Redman] inhabiting this beautiful Myrtle
Spring, and wasn’t it when the white man arrived still pristine?

Somehow magically and as if by chance that the….
“Indian has long since
passed away to his “happy hunting grounds”

and the final blow…what is referred to as Manifest Destiny which from a “religious view” of some, the Manifest Destiny Doctrine was based on the idea that European immigrants, had a divine providence. Their future  was destined by God to expand its borders, with no limit to area or country. This so called “doctrine” was easily embraced by the white man as a way to take over the continent of our now known USofA. Which was once referred to as Turtle Island by the “Red man”. So anyway, here is his statement regarding this:

And with his exit [Red man], when,
“Westward the star of Empire took its course,” came the hardy, pale face
emigrants from the barren worn out lands of the old states, attracted by the
many inducements and opportunities here offered to those in search of new and
better homes

Okay grandpa, I would love to have been there with you, and talked to you about this view? (of course my opinion is hindsite and you know what hindsite allows you?) but still I believe that my grandfather would have been a lively debater, and he would have entered into a good discussion with me. He would have enjoyed my difference in opinion. (I hope)

I don’t know the intricacies of the human mind, and not much on philosophy, but when it comes to seeing the world from an fully empathic nature, which I posses;  then how we came to believe that we as white European emigrants saw ourselves as “God ordained” to wipe out an entire indigenous nation, is beyond my comprehension. Of course the correct answer is that it  was  necessary;  the white man had to make room for progress, and that land would not hold red and white cultures, one had to go. But  my mixed heritage, one being from the “Red man” and one being from my Euro blood lines, struggles for something other than the “correct answer”.  I came from both. How do I tidy this up, and make it right? Is that a question to even ask? Right or wrong? Are those fair questions today? I believe they are.

Now reading further in my Grandfather’s recollections, he tells of the vast changes of Myrle Springs:

“All is changed. The dense woodland once surrounding Myrtle Spri
ng has vanished, and in its place are fertile, well stocked farms, dotted by pretty modern dwellings, the homes of a prosperous, happy and contented people. Time and woodman’s ax have not even spared the old spring. Its old charm and beauty is gone, and amid the desolation it stands, seemingly sad and lonely, wrapped in the solitude of its own originality. But its ceaseless, ever flowing water is still as fresh and pure as when in ages ago it was sipped by the Red man, and like Tennyson’s river, it “flows on forever”.

It makes me sad to read his words, for to me he seemed to see the reality all too well. Maybe my Grandfather did see what was happening, but when you live under the rule of a government doctrine of Manifest Destiny which developed and flourished by the early pioneer spirit of settlement of this vast and wonderful land. I do not doubt that survival is the nature that was to be dominant. How could one be philosophically against taking over this land, where would one go? How would these earliest of pioneers live and “prosper”?  How to assimilate the two world of the red and white man.

As I stated earlier, Thomas Jefferson tried to come up with a proposal that would allow the red and white to co-exist.

We have inherited this conquest in the annuals of our blood. And no matter how one wants to rationalize/philosophize this, does thinking it right, make it so?

The year my Grandfather arrived in Bowie County was…..1866.

The first treaty of my ancestors from Arkansas was in 1818.

The first treaty of the Caddo (land he settled) was in 1835.

Neither of these treaty’s were anything less that  crowding the natives off their land, and making it ours. I shutter to write these words, for it is just as much my part in that, as I am against it. Speaking out of both sides of my mouth so to speak?


Oh and Perspective?

Sacred Medicine Water

A Caddo Legend

The favor of the Great Spirit rested on the abundant forest, flowers, songbirds, and small animals of these quiet hills. Then a fierce dragon devastated the land, bringing disease and hunger on the people.

The Indian Nations pleaded with the Great Spirit to subdue the dragon, and the might of all the heavenly forces contrived to bury it deep under the mountain, where it shakes the Earth even today.

Once the Great Spirit had reclaimed his beautiful resting spot, he caused pure water to gush from the Earth, and asked that is favorite place be held neutral ground, so all can share in the healing waters.

(My Gr Auntie who was part Quapaw Indian.)

Ethel  Karr Stokes 002

Ethel Karr Stokes (descendant of Cynthia and Holloway Stokes)

photo courtesy of my cousin Billy R. Moore and restored by Lydia Carol Hays

Living on the prairie during the early 1900’s was not an easy life. No, it was hard, life was precious, nature was ruler. Today we have tried to turn that around, our current technology is without argument the most impressive that mankind has ever created. That is the current dig. We live in so much safety and comfort, but with one eyebrow raised at all times. I actually yearn for a simpler, less comfortable day. One where we re-think our original deeds. Could the hardships of yesterday be our saving grace? No doubt there are those who would laugh at my musings. I say let them laugh. I will go on dreaming.

I cry too……

Oh yeah, the birthday…..

In memory of the old chap my Grandfather Watlington, I will travel tomorrow to the town where our roots were first planted on the soil of the continent once called Turtle Island.

I will go to Yorktown and see the sites:

George Read

Oct. 25, 1608 – 1671

Here lyeth intered Coll George Read Esqr who was born ye 25th day October in ye yeare of our Lord 1608 and deceased October 1674 he being in the 66th yr of his age.

(he was the first of our now Watlington/Hays clan)


One thought on “I cry too …

  1. Wow………I LOVE this cuz…….so glad that you’ve done this. We’ll keep our quest going and hopefully solve some of the mysteries of our Cynthia.

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