The Red Man's Tribute

Decorating the Last Resting Places of Cherokee Chiefs

Yesterday Col. W.P. Adair, assistant principal chief; Col. John L. Adair, R.M. Wolf and R. Burch, Cherokee delegation; Gen. P. Porter and Col. D.M. Hodge, Creek delegation; Gov. P.P. Pitchlynn, Choctaw delegate, in company with Hon. John Q. Tufts, United States Indian agent for Union agency;Hon. T.M. Gunter, member of Congress from Arkansas; Dr. T.A. Bland of this city, and Hon. W.O. Tuggle, of Georgia, proceeded to the Congressional cemetery to decorate the graves of the following-named distinguished Indian chiefs who have died in this city while in the discharge of the public service of their respective nations: Gen. Push-ma-ta-hah, chief of the Choctaw nation; Capt. John Rogers, chief of Cherokees; Capt. John Looney, chief of Cherokees; Hon. W.S. Coody, Cherokee delegate; Hon. Bluford West, Cherokee delegate; Hon Ezekiel Starr, Cherokee delegate; Capt. Thomas Pegg, Cherokee delegate; Capt. James McDaniel, Cherokee delegate; Judge Richard Fields, Cherokee delegate; and Col. Daniel B. Asbury, chief of Creek nation.

Push-ma-ta-hah was a brigadier-general under Gen. Jackson during the Creek war, and was a great favorite and admirer of Jackson. When on his death-bed, in this city, he said to President Jackson, who frequently visited him: "My friend, you have been kind to me and to my people, for which my heart feels thankful. I am sorry to leave you, but the Great Spirit has called me to the spirit land to join my people, who have sought refuge in that last home of the red man, and I will soon bid you good-bye forever. The tidings of my death will strike my ill-fated people as the thunder of a great tree that has fallen in the stillness of the forest. I ask you to be a father to them, and when I am gone, let the big guns be fired over me."

According to his request, a salue was fired as a part of his funeral ceremonies, and upon his monument are inscrited the words: "When I am gone, let the big guns be fired over me."

Captains John Rogers and John Looney were educated half-breeds, and served also in the Creek war under Jackson, and were much esteemed by him, and were among the first pioneers of Indian civilization that went west of the Mississippi river. W.S. Coody was a finely educated half-breed, a thorough statesman, and ranked among the best orators of his day. He was a nephew of the celebrated Cherokee chief, John Ross, and a brother-in-law of Gen. Rucker. Bluford West and Ezekiel Starr were half breeds, with excellent educations, and discharged valuable service to their nation. Thomas Pegg and James McDaniel were intelligent full-bloods, and were captains in the Federal army during the War of the Rebellion, and served with distinction. Richard Fields was a half-breed of finished English attainments, and was the father-in-law of Gen. Sackett. Col. Daniel B. Asbury was a thoroughly educated half-breed, and served his nation faithfully in several offices, being as stated, one of the chiefs of his nation at the time of his death.

The Washington Post, May 30, 1880


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