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Wed, 08.19.1835

Silas Jefferson, Black Creek Soldier born

Silas Jefferson

*The birth of Silas Jefferson in 1835 is celebrated on this date. He was an African, Native soldier and politician of the Creek Tribe in America.

Born at Taskigi Town (or Tuskegee) in the Old Creek Nation. His parents were Betsey and Jeffery Manac (McNac).  Also known as Ho-tul-ko-micco "Wind Clan chief", Jefferson migrated with his parents to the Creek lands in the Indian Territory in 1838. During the American Civil War he enlisted in the First Indian Home Guard Regiment (Co. I).

After the war he became involved in politics. He served several terms in the Creek House of Warriors representing Taskigi Town. He also served as one of Chief Locha Hacho's advisors, he was Creek chief in 1875 and impeached and removed from office in 1876 by the Creek Council.  In 1879 Jefferson ran as a candidate for 2nd Chief on the Loyal Party ticket.

From 1882-1883 during the Green Peach War Jefferson abandoned the Loyal Party after his followers took up arms against the Creek Constitutional government. After the outbreaks that summer, he worked to bring the warring factions together.  He remained involved in Creek politics until tribal dissolution in 1906.

He also served as one of the principal informants regarding Creek culture and religion for anthropologists John Swanton and Frank Speck when they were collecting information on Creek life for the Smithsonian Institute in the early twentieth century.  Silas Jefferson died in 1913 or 1914 near Beggs, Oklahoma.

Reference:
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There is music in me, the music of a peasant people. I wander through the levee, picking my banjo and singing my songs of the cabin and the field. At last... THE BANJO PLAYER by Fenton Johnson.
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