Monday, December 31, 2012

Watch Night - Sallie Ann Walton

Sallie Walton
When I discovered my gr. grandmother in an Oklahoma based document in 1991, I was more than surprised to learn that she had been born a slave.You see, I knew Sallie---she was Nana to me, and she was my heart!  She lived until 1961, and to this day, I still think of her, love her and miss her!

Sallie was born in the middle of the Civil War, in 1863, in Indian Territory, in the northern part of the Choctaw Nation. I knew Sallie--she was my dear beloved gr. grandmother. I knew she was born in Choctaw country, and was part Choctaw, but what a surprise to learn when I found her name on a Dawes Card,  that she was born enslaved. But there it was, clear as day---her name, and an item nearby indicating that she was born the "slave of" Emeline Perry.

Portions of Dawes Enrollment Card,Choctaw Freedman Card 777

Thankfully, Sallie was a small child, when slavery ended so memories of being enslaved were not a part of her life. However, she was also not affected by the Emancipation Proclamation either. 

She lived in Indian Territory, and Proclamation was essentially ignored in Indian Territory, and the slave holding tribes simply said it did not pertain to them as they  had not seceded. They had of course formed an alliance with the Confederate states, and fought for the South in the Civil War. It would later take a treaty written in 1866 to abolish slavery in the five slave-holding tribes. However, the talk of freedom ran throughout the Territory, and it was well known that Freedom was near!  Sallie was too young to hear it, but her mother Amanda would have heard it, felt it and truly lived to see it!

Because I knew this beautiful woman who was my gr. grandmother, I honor her, for she too, lived in the time of enslavement, and formed a rich life on the western frontier, and she like so many others, chose to survive!

On this watch night, I honor Sallie Walton, in commemoration of the Emancipation Proclamation, and ultimate Freedom that followed!