CHIEF JOHN BLOUNT
BLOUNT INDIANS GONE TO TEXAS
written by Chief Mary Sixwomen Blount
John Blount was the first of five Apalachicola Chiefs to gree to go west after the 1830 Indian Removal Act. At the urging of old friend Sam Houston, Chief Blount and Davy signed the Blount Band Treaty in the Territorial Governor’s home in Tallahassee, Florida. Houston was promising better times in Texas for the Florida Indians. But, his plan was to merge the Blount Indians with the Coushatta tribe that was under the leadership of Chief Red Shoes, Blount’s uncle. Houston’s goal was to increase protection for East Texas borders during the battle for Texas Independence.
By the early 1830s, Blunt and his followers determined that leaving Florida offered their only opportunity to live in peace. On October 11, 1832, continued tensions with whites encroaching on the Apalachicola reservation compelled Blunt to cede his land to the United States. The Apalachicola Indians agreed to emigrate west of the Mississippi River and hoped to eventually settle along the Trinity River in Texas. After several aborted attempts, Blunt and other principal leaders of the Apalachicola Indians left Florida in late 1833 and early 1834. The last Apalachicola Indians hung on until October 1838 before being removed to Indian Territory.
Chief Blount signed the Blount Band treaty of 1832 and agreed to take his 246 members to Texas, but did not leave Florida until March of 1834. Deaths, disease, and desertions reduced the Blount band to less than 200 before they finally departed from Port St. Joe for New Orleans.
No previous hardship was equal to that which awaited Blount’s Band in New Orleans. The ship’s captain unexpectedly unloaded the Indians on on off shore island on April 7, 1834. Chiefs Blount (Lafarthga) and Davy (AKA Osia Hajo) encamped the Band and made their way into the city to collect the remaining funds due from the sale of the Blountstown/Cochranetown reserves. After being paid in cash, both chiefs were arrested and jailed on false charges of absconding with stolen funds. To gain their release from the New Orleans jail, Blount had to pay a fine equal to all the money he had been paid for Florida tribal lands and two of his slaves (family members), Cujo and Bob. Upon returning to the encampment, Blount and Davy found less than 100 members still waiting. Many of these were sick and all were terribly frightened.
“Shown below is the document showing the arrest of Chief Blount and Chief Davy Elliott (aka) Osaih Hajo or Crazy Crow. These two chiefs were arrested on spurious charges of absconding with treaty funds belonging to Coe Hajo (Crazy Horse). They took all the treaty money they had plus two male Negro slaves to give these men a release. They have never recovered the loss to date.” Mary Sixwomen Blount
Blount himself was ill with signs of cholera contracted in prison as
he gathered the remainder of his band and set off on foot across the
Louisiana Plaquemines for Texas. Pushing hard, the emigrants crossed he Sabine River into in East Texas at the end of April 1834, and died shortly thereafter. Cholera was most likely the medical reason, but tribal oral history has retold the cause of death as a broken heart. Sam Houston’s plan had failed and the leaderless Blount Indians found themselves destitute and friendless in a foreign land. Chief Red Shoes had died some years before and the Coushatta Council by tribal law could not accept Blount’s mixed blood members into their tribe. The Blount Band Elder Council gathered and named Davy Elliott Principle Chief. Within a few weeks, stragglers under the leadership of John Yellow Hair made their way to the Blount Band camp. Yellow Hair convinced Davy to join him in going back to Florida to for help. Davy and Yellow Hair chose three other of the ablest warriors and set off on the return trip to Florida. Florida Territorial Papers record that the Indians arrived January 1835 seeking help. . The Florida Indian Agent ignored Chief Davy and appointed John Hair as Principle Chief of the Blount Indians of Texas. Although relief funds were granted, Davy and Yellow Hair were impressed into military service in the Second Seminole War before they could return to Texas. Davy Elliott and John Hair survived the Second Seminole War but were deported in 1839 to the Arkansas Indian Territory as Seminole Prisoners of War.
Blount’s four orphaned children were left behind with the remnant of Blount’s Band. Billy Blount/Blunt and his younger brother, Billy John (William John) belonged to Blount’s principle wife whose surname was ochrane. Blount’s children by second wife, Mêlée Liska Perryman, were oguse (Bear) and Mêlée Liska (Mary Elizabeth). The second wife, Liska was the half sister of Chief John Yellow Hair. A third wife, Nelly Factor, took her son in common with Blount (Allen Factor) to the Indian Territory. Nelly was included in the 1839 removal rolls as were Davy and Yellow Hair.
A muster roll of 32 Indians belonging to Blunt’s Tribe emigrating west of the Mississippi River under the direction of Daniel Boyd, October 20th 1838.
Territorial Papers of Florida
(regarding Chief Blount)
“The Seminole lake and Dam are like like the one in Libingston,
Texas. It sent Chief John Blount and all the old Indian graves down
the trinity and into the Gulf of Mexico.
It is also certain more than two Apalachicola Ancestral graves were
destroyed by the Seminole Dam that took Econchatte Micco’s Red Ground Town and parts of Ocheesee. and Neamathla’s Fowltown reserve. ” Mary Sixwomen Blount
====Other References to Chief John Blount==============
In Texas, the Elder Council named Billy and Billy John Blount to
co-lead the Blount Band of Texas Creeks. The boys were not yet 14
years old when they accepted the task. While the Second Seminole War aged in Florida, the Blount Indians in Texas clung to a thin thread of life; led by children and managed to survive. The only thing the boy chiefs ever asked from the State of Texas or the federal
government was for enough hoes so the people could plant and cultivate their family crops. Neither government ever came to the aid of the tribe nor did they keep their promise to establish a reservation they could call home. .
Other Links to Chief John Blount and his relatives: