All of the people of the five civilized tribes were planters. Their farming operations were not generally extensive, though some of the mixed blood people opened up large plantations and cultivated them, largely by the aid of slave labor.
The farm of the average Indian consisted of the small clearing in the forest. The trees were deadened by girdling and a rail fence was built around the tract. The farm buildings were neither numerous nor large. The family home was usually in a log cabin of one or two rooms. A few acres of corn were raised and this, with the more common garden vegetables, furnished a large part of teh food. The live stock was turned out upon the open the range to graze at will. The people were well supplied with horses, cattle and hogs. some of them kept sheep, principally in order to supply themselves with wool. Little or no grain was fed to livestock except such hogs as were penned in the fall to be fed and fattened for killing. Cotton was grown in a small way among all of the people of the five civilized tribes but was not grown on a commercial scale except in the valley of the Red River and in a few neighborhoods along the Arkansas River. Where it was grown in a small way, the seed was separated from the lint by hand and the staple thus secured was used in spinning and weaving the home made fabrics.
Ann Maloney, Bartlesville, OK.
Copyright © 1998 Ann Maloney all rights reserved.