Wednesday, November 14, 2007

# 64 -- PINHEADS?

By Gary J. Gabehart

Funny, there are some folks out there who have expounded on Redbones only living on Bearhead Creek, and have claimed that Bearhead Creek only contains Redbones, but probe further, and you find that's not exactly the way it happened!

These comments are a bad thing to run into by a new researcher intent on quickly discovering their family history only to be given directions down the wrong hallway or incorrect highway. Be aware and be on your guard for the nutty stuff.

The same bunch says that Redbones lived at Starks! When pushed, or when it has suited their purpose, they will tell you that Redbones lived at Pitkin, DeQuincy, Singer, Westlake, Oakdale and Sulphur -- and, maybe all of Calcasieu Parish, except Lake Charles. Except Lake Charles?

Now, Ray Bridges, the California absentee Redbone, says there was no such thing as a Redbone -- at least I think that is what he is saying. Kind of like saying there was no such thing as a possum. Really, makes about as much sense.

But wait, Redbones are referenced in all those place names, and it is in print that Ashworth ranchers were known in early Texas, prior to 1835, as Redbones. Redbones could be found at Orange Texas in fact, in the form of the Ashworth's, Droddy's, Hayes and others. Orange, Texas? Now, we are out of Louisiana to the West.

Now I know there are possums, I had one on my front porch last night, I saw it with my own eyes. When confronted, he/she curled up in a ball, grinned at me and died -- no possum. Then, when I turned my back, he/she rose from the dead and split. Some times, things are not exactly what they appear to be.

Since the Redbone Heritage Foundation began their research, the term Redbone is rising from the dead all over the country. Does it not make sense that if there were Redbones in the Carolina's, where all these Louisiana Redbone's originated, that the name originated in the Carolina's as well?

What about Black Lake and Black River Redbones in Mississippi and Louisiana? Oh, that's right, those folks are brushed off as "just being Indians." Now we're in Mississippi?

Then what about the Redbones at Jackson, Mississippi? The ones they also call the VanCleave Choctaw? Some of these folks were Bass' from the Carolina's.

Hmmm .... Redbones popping up everywhere and mostly on the migration trail from the Carolina's to Louisiana and beyond into Texas and Oklahoma. Plot it out, get off this clix exclaiming Redbones were swamp Indians who crawled out of the soft Louisiana soil around Bearhead Creek.

Now I'm not saying that Redbones were Choctaw alone or wholly mixed blood Indians. I think this was only part of their makeup. In the majority, there were other mixes in the pot; in addition, not all had the same mix. But, if you did not know what these people were, you likely threw up your hands and brushed them off as Indians, Redbones, Free People of Color, them or others.

Redbones were a lot like Indians in the pecking order, you knew what they were called, but you just ignored them. They both lived off in their own enclaves, so they really didn't count to many people living in or near 1800 society.

Those FPC folks started showing up in the 1810 Louisiana census' as FPC. But of course, besides Louisiana Census', some of them, my family, were showing up in other earlier records in Texas, Virginia, Carolina's and Mississippi.

Defies logic to try and state the radical version by excluding all these other place names where the word Redbones were used. What is the definition you say? I don't think there is one, at the moment that is. But I do suspect strongly that it had something to do with Indians. That still does not erase other ethnicity's as I also think there were many. Indians, as well as other ethnicity's, were not liked any better than African classes when it came to dominant White Society.

When I say African classes, it must be understood that there were Africans in Spain, and Portugal also had many colonies in Western Africa, so being a Spaniard or Portuguese gave you no pass from an African admixture. The closer you lived to the African Continent, the easier it was to have a recent admixture of African.

What did that possum have to do with anything? Nothing, Nada, unless you want to look for the hidden meaning. It may have been just an interesting story, like the snake last year that kept invading my four season room. Threw that mother out four times before he/she finally left.

Gary J. Gabehart, Mishiho (Mish-eh-ho)

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