Fields Family History
Nearly all of the historical information that I have accumulated is
about Richard Fields Jr(1780-1827) in the later years of his life. I have
tried not to glamorize his life, but to simply state the facts as I have
Again, this is information gathered from the internet, books, articles, and those kind strangers who again came through simply out of love of genealogy and the joy of helping someone else overcome that "brick wall" that all family researchers must come to at least once.
Richard Fields Jr. was called both a warrior and a diplomat. He was
also called friend by some, and enemy by others, and in the end was betrayed
by some of his own people when Chief Duwali ordered his execution in 1827.
At some point, during this time, Fields was elected to the position of War Chief for the tribe. All diplomatic functions were carried out by the "War Society", and the War Chief conducted all foreign relations.
In November 1822, the tribal council sent Richard Fields and twenty-two
other men to San Antonio to meet with Lieutenant Governor of the Provicne
of Tejas, Jose Felix Trespalacios, in order to obtain land from the Spanish
for his people.
On November 8, 1822 Trespalacios provided the Cherokees with an eight-part "Articles of Agreement" between the Cherokee and the Republic of Mexico. This agreement provided the Cherokee with land, in return for their help in stemming the evergrowing numbers of Anglos pouring into the Mexican frontiers. Trespalacios sent Fields and a delegation of eight others on to Mexico City to seek an audience with Emperor Iturbide, who was to make the final approval of the agreement.
While the delegation was in Mexico City the Mexican government of Iturbide was overthrown and Mexico obtained its freedom from Spanish rule. In June of 1823 the new government ordered the Cherokee delegation back to Texas with orders that no more Cherokee would be allowed into Mexico until government affairs were settled.
In order to appease the Cherokee, Chief Duwali was made a lieutenant colonel in the Mexican Army and was appointed as administrator for all of the American Indians of East Texas. It was also during this time that Peter Ellis Bean was appointed by the Mexican government as Indian Agent for all of East Texas.
On his return to Texas, Fields began forming alliances with the other Indian tribes of East Texas, and urged others in the United States to join them. News of this alliance reached the new Mexican Government and caused much interest. The government tried to counter the Cherokees influence with the other tribes, and brought pressure to Chief Duwali to disavow Fields.
At this time a white man named John Dunn Hunter entered the picture. Hunter had reputedly been raised by the Cherokee and had several children by a Cherokee woman. Because he was known by the Texas Cherokee, he was easily accepted into the tribe. Dunn Hunter allied himself to Richard Fields and together the two men made plans to form a new Indian power alliance in the weakened Mexico left over by the turmoil of revolution.
Peace Chief Gvdawali,"Hard Mush" ordered the two men to stop treating with the other U.S. tribes. But in 1826 Fields and Hunter made an alliance with a group of Anglo settlers. This alliance was the beginning of the Fredonian Rebellion.
The Rebellion was, however, doomed to failure. Fields and Hunter had gone against the approval of the tribal council.
Because of their breech of Tribal Law, and to prove to the Mexican Government that the Cherokee were loyal, and had not allied themselves to the two men and the anglos, the tribal council ordered the execution of the two men. Cherokee Tribal Law required death for any violation of law and the sentence of death was final.
Fields tried to escape to Louisiana to join his father and brother, but he was caught and killed on the Texas side of the Sabine river near Nacodoches. Being caught on the Texas side held no wieght on the execution of Fields, as the warriors would just as eillingly crossed over into the United States to carry out their orders.
Also from TEXAS CHEROKEE
Excerpt from letter written by Fields to theGovernor at San Antonio
March 6th, 1824
"It was my intention on my return from Mexico to present myself at San Antonio in order that the authorities there might examine the papers which I received from the Superion Government of the nation. But it was impossible to do this. because a party of Commanches had prepared an ambush on the road. However I had the good fortune to escape them. The Superior Government has granted me in this province a territory sufficient for me and that part of the tribe of Indians dependent on me to settle on, and also a commission to command all the Indian tribes and nations that are in the four eastern provinces.
I pray your honor to notify all the Indians within your territory, and particularly the Lipans, that on July 4 next, I shall, in compliance with the order of the Supreme Government, hold a general council of all the Indian tribes, at my house in the rancheria of the Cherokee, twelve miles west of the Sabine river. At this council I shall propose a treaty of peace to all Indians who are willing to subject themselves to the orders of the government. In case there should be any who may not wish to ratify what I propose, I shall use force of arms to subdue them.
I beg you to notify the commandant at San Antonio that he shall, for the satisfaction of his people, send some trusted person to aid in the treaty of peace and see how the affair is managed. Should it be convenient, have this letter translated, and have the authorities send it to Rio Grande and Monclova, in which two places I left copies of the documents from the superior government."
Quote from Richard Fields, taken from THE TEXAS CHEROKEE: A PEOPLE
BETWEEN TWO FIRES 1819-1840
By Dianna Everett
On December 21 1826, several Indian leaders went to Nacogdoches, met with leaders of the Fredonian Republic, as Benjamin Edwards had styled it, and signed a treaty of friendship and alliance. Fields speech during the assembly gave some ida of his peoples temperament during those times:
"In my old days I travelled 2000 miles to the city of Mexico to beg for some lands to settle a poor orphan tribe of Red People that looked up to me for protection. I was promised lands for them after staying one year in Mexico, and spending all that I had, I then came to my People and waited two years, and then sent Mr. Hunter, again after selling my stock to provide him money for his expenses. When he got there, he stated his mission to the government, they said that they knew nothing of this Richard Fields, and treated him with contempt.
.....I am a Red man and a man of honor and can't be imposed upon this way. We will lift up our tomahawks and fight for land with all those friendly tribes that wishes land, also if I am beaten, I then will resign to fate and if not beaten, I will hold lands by the force of my Red Warriors" Richard Fields December 1826
Taken from HISTORY OF THE CHEROKEE By Emmet Starr
letter excerpt from John Purnell written to Fields October 4th 1825:
"When I last saw you in my house at Monterey, I little thought in so short a time you would have commenced a war against our American brothers and the Mexican Nation; more particularly a man like yourself who is acquainted with the advantages of civilization.------If your claims for lands were not granted at a time when the government was not firmly established, that should not be a cause of war. Ask and it will be given to you; this nation has always felt friendly inclined toward yours, and I am sure if you cease hostilities they will enter into a treaty with you by which you will obtain more permanent advantages than you can by being at war-----"
Also from HISTORY OF THE CHEROKEE
from letter written on November 10th, 1825 by F. Durcy to Frances Grapp, a well known Indian trader at Nacodoches:
"Knowing the weight of your inflluence with all the savage nations and also the ascendancy that you have over the character of Mr. Fields, your son-in-law, I think that on one could stop, better than yourself, the great disturbance which is about to be raised by the indians, whom you understand better than I. I say that you can distingish yourself for the welfare of humanity in general, in making the savages understand the evils which await them in following the plans of Mr Fields and likewise causing Mr. Fields to be spoken to by his brother, who can prevail upon him to abandon a plan which will have no other end than that of destroying himself and all who shall have the misfortune to follow him"
Excerpts taken from an article on the internet entitled
HAYDEN EDWARDS AND THE FREDONIAN REBELLION 1826-1827
entries used in the article are from COMPREHENSIVE HISTORY OF TEXAS
and also HISTORY OF TEXAS AND TEXANS
I have included the letters as they were presented in their entirety
Letters to Cherokees from Ahumada, Saucedo and Austin
Commandante Ahumada and Jefe-Politico Saucedo to Fields. General Mateo
Ahumada, the military commandant, and the political chief, Saucedo, addressed
the following letters to Richard Fields, the Cherokee chief, for the purpose,
if possible, of disengaging him from alliance with the rebellious colonists,
if there should be any truth in Hunter's claim that Fields had in fact
joined the revolt.
Ahumada to Fields. SAN FELIPE DE AUSTIN, January 4, 1827. PRINCIPAL
DEPT. OF ARMS IN TEXAS.
To RICHARD FIELDS, Chief of the Cherokees:
I have received information from various sources that you have united with the
party of Americans who in Nacogdoches have declared themselves opposed to the supreme government of Mexico. Relying, however, on the prudence and probity which you have justly acquired, I have not given full faith to this news, and have, therefore, thought proper to say to you that if you feel any sentiments of displeasure against the superior authority, I can assure you it has not been the intention of the government to neglect you in the slightest degree, and that they will listen with paternal love to any solicitations you may think proper to make, and will grant such as are not in opposition to the law. I am informed that in Mexico you were told to visit the state of Coahuila and Texas and select the lands that pleased you for your settlement, and apply for them immediately. If you have not selected them, and not asked for them, it was not the fault of the government that you are not now in possession of them. Notwithstanding, you peaceably and tranquilly occupy lands of the nation. If you have since appointed other persons to represent your affairs in Mexico, and have not received the satisfaction you expected, it has no doubt arisen in consequence of your agent not carrying the necessary credentials, and consequently the supreme government doubted whether you really had sent them. Prudence and judgment, which adorn you, imperiously require that in a matter of so delicate a nature the utmost circumspection should be used. A precipitate commencement of hostilities will produce evils of the greatest magnitude. The arms of the republic of Mexico, which protect the department of Texas, and which I have the honor of commanding, must not be stained by the blood of my fellow-citizens, the Cherokees, nor with that of the other nations with whom they are united. Our common enemy is on the other side of the ocean. The party of Americans who in Nacogdoches have attacked the Mexican authorities will doubtless interest themselves to compromit you, for, having committed one error, they will follow it up by others still greater; but you are not in that situation, and I therefore desire that you come in person to the Trinity River, at the crossing of the main road near the Lomo de Toro, or to this town, where I am detained by bad weather, in order that we may have an interview and a discussion of this subject between the chief of the department of Texas, Jose Antonio Saucedo, Mr. Stephen F. Austin, yourself and myself, and come to such an understanding as the common interest may require, and I feel no hesitation in assuring you that the result will not be disagreeable to you. I therefore hope that you will inform me, in answer to this, your feelings on the subject, with the understanding that the republic of Mexico has no cause whatever to declare war against the Cherokees or other tribes with whom they are united. I have expressed myself to you with the frankness that characterizes me, and I expect the answer of a man of honor, and presenting you with my consideration and respect, I remain yours, etc. God and Liberty. MATEO AHUMADA. I certify the foregoing to be a true translation of the original which accompanies it. STEPHEN F. AUSTIN. SAMUEL M. WILLIAMS, Secretary. January 4,
1827 SAN FELIPE DE AUSTIN
Saucedo to Fields. January 4, 1827.
To CITIZEN RICHARD FIELDS, Chief of the Cherokee Nation : When you went to the City of Mexico to solicit land for colonization in this department, I have no doubt the government received your propositions liberally, leaving to your option the selection of the land which might appear best adapted for your new colony, which promise, I can assure you, will not be violated by the government unless there should be some violation on your part. This unequivocal proof of the paternal love of the Mexican government towards those who seek an asylum within its bosom is conclusive as to the friendship and esteem with which you were treated by the supreme authorities. The letters which you have thought proper to write to me, offering me your services in defence of the country and its inhabitants, gave me the greatest satisfaction, and as documents of importance I forwarded them to the supreme authorities to whom I am subject, without one moment's delay, and they viewed with the greatest pleasure the sentiments of love, fidelity, and patriotism expressed by their adopted children. Now that I have heard through various individuals that you have offered your support and protection to the perverse individuals who, in Nacogdoches, have attacked the sovereignty of the nation, depriving of their offices the legal authorities of that place arbitrarily, substituting others in their place, in violation of the laws which govern us, I am filled with astonishment and regret, and cannot but believe that you have some misconception on the subject, or have been deceived by individuals who, from interested motives, are endeavoring to compromit you in a matter of such delicacy and importance. I am firmly persuaded that if, with your accustomed prudence and reflection, you will take into consideration my observations, you will be satisfied that my government is just and incapable of violating its promises, unless the contracting parties, on their part, violate the contract made with them; and if the government of Mexico has not despatched your petition for colonization, it has been because your agent did not carry the necessary credentials, or that the multiplicity of the occupations which surround them, and of which we are ignorant, has delayed it. But it can all be regulated if we treat the matter with the prudence and moderation which the subject requires, and not with violence, as that produces nothing but the ruin of the federation of the states and of the towns of our brothers. In order, therefore, to stop at once the evils which on either side surround this delicate business, I will esteem the favor if you will agree to meet me either on the Trinity River, at the crossing of the main road near the Lomo de Toro, or at this place, where we can have an interview, you and myself, the commandant-of-arms and Citizen Stephen F. Austin, in order there to agree upon what is most likely to benefit our political and social interests, and bind ourselves in an inseparable manner to fight, not one against the other, but joined against the enemies of public tranquillity and repose, and of our liberty and independence. If these sincere expressions, springing from that paternal love which glows in my bosom, are considered by you as worthy of attention, I shall expect your answer with the utmost possible brevity, offering to you, in all times and places, the consideration and respect which, I think, you so justly merit. God and Liberty. JOSE ANTONIO SAUCEDO. I certify that the foregoing is a true translation of the original which accompanies it. STEPHEN F. AUSTIN. SAMUEL M. WILLIAMS,
Secretary. January 4, 1827
Austin Letters to Cherokee Leaders. Austin likewise wrote the following letters to the Indians and their representatives
Austin to Fields, Bowles and Big Mush.
TO MY FRIENDS AND BROTHERS, THE CHIEFS AND WARRIORS OF THE CHEROKEES, LIVING IN TEXAS
This will be delivered to you by two of your old friends and brothers, John Cummings and William Robbins; they will tell you the truth; listen to their counsel and follow it. My brothers, I fear you have been deceived by bad men who wish to make use of you to fight their battles; they will ruin you and your people if you follow their counsel. The governor wrote to you, and sent on judge Ellis, of Huntsville, Alabama, and Mr. James Cummins from the Colorado, and James Kerr from the Guadalupe, to see you at Nacogdoches and tell you the truth; but I fear John D. Hunter
has concealed the letters and the truth from you, for he and Edwards would not suffer those men to talk with the Indians. I therefore now send you copies of the same letters that were sent by the governor and delivered to Hunter, which he promised to send to you immediately. By these letters you will see the government have never had any intention to break the promises
made to you, and that they are ready to comply with them, provided you do your duty as good men. My brothers, why is it that you wish to fight your old friends and brothers the Americans? God forbid that we should ever shed each other's blood. No; let us always be friends and always live in peace and harmony. The Americans of this colony, the Guadalupe and Trinity, are all united to a man in favor of the Mexican government, and will fight to defend it. We will fight those foolish men who have raised the flag at Nacogdoches; we will fight any people on earth who are opposed to the Mexican government, and we are all united as one man. The bad men, who have been trying to mislead you, have told you that we would all join you. This is not true; not one of us will join them. Those bad men have told you that Americans would come on from the United States and join them. This is not true; a few runaways and vagabonds who cannot live in their own country may join them, but no others. The American government will not permit such a thing, and, if this government asks it, will send troops to aid us. Why do you wish to fight the Mexicans? They have done you no wrong; you have lived in peace and quietness in their territory, and the government have never refused to comply with their promises, provided you do your duty as good men. What, then, is it you ask for, or what do you expect to gain by war?
My brothers, reflect on your situation; you are on the brink of a dreadful precipice. The Cherokees are a civilized andhonorable people, and will you unite yourselves with wild savages to murder and, plunder helpless women and children? Will you unite yourselves with bad men of any nation to fight and plunder peaceable inhabitants? No, my friends, I know you will
not. Bad men have tried to make you believe that the Mexican government had neglected you, and you have for this reason complained; but, my friends, those bad men have deceived you. The government is new, and it requires much time and attention to regulate all its different branches, and this may have delayed your business, but it is no proof that it would never be done.
Open your eyes to your true interests, drive away those bad men who wish to lead you into ruin, and come with Cummings and Robbins and see the governor and your true friends, and all will be right. My brothers, Edwards is deceiving you; he once threatened to take your land from you, and would have done it if he could, but he had no right to interfere with you; the government gave him no right to disturb you, and he is the only man who has ever attempted to molest you, and now he
pretends to be your friend, and wants you to fight his battles and ruin yourselves.
Will you suffer such a man to deceive you? The government annulled his contract because he was trying to take away land from those who were settled before he went there. He tried to take away your lands, but the government stopped him, and defended and protected your rights as well as the rights of the whites; and will you fight for such a man and turn against the government who has protected you from his attempts to ruin you? No, my friends, you will not. You have been deceived by him; leave him and come and see the governor and hear the truth. STEPHEN F. AUSTIN. TO CAPTAINS FIELDS, BOWLES, AND BIG MUSH, and other Warriors of the Cherokee Nation living in Texas. SAN FELIPE DE AUSTIN, 24th January, 1827
Born in 1789 to Richard Fields Jr. and Jennie Buffington.
Married to Polly Ann Sexton, Ezekiel and family moved from Georgia before the forced government move. The family was allocated immigrant money to leave, but did not recieve the money until years after the move and the money amounted to very little.
Ezekiel settled on land in Indian Territory and made his home in the Dodge Community near what is now Grove Oklahoma. This land is now known as Cowskin Prairie.
Ezekiel had told his family that when he died he wanted to be buried on his own land, and was specific about the exact location where he was to be buried.
In 1870 while crossing his land on horseback, Ezekiel and a brother, along with his brothers son were caught in a prarie fire. Although they tried to outrun the fire they were caught and burned to death. All three are buried in the same grave at the location specified by Ezekiel. The land containing his burial place was set aside as a family burial place, and remained as such until April 26 1926, when it was set aside as a public cemetery. The cemetery was dedicated to Ezekiel's son Ezekiel Fields and his wife Margaret Weir, and is still known as the"Fields Cemetery" (HERITAGE OF THE HILLS published by the Deleware County Historical Society)
Of Ezekiel's five children, his sons Richard, Ezekiel, and George all
served under General Stand Watie and fought at the battle of Pea Ridge
during the Civil War. Other Fields men that served during that battle were,
Thomas, Henry, Moses, James, George Washington and Turtle Fields.
Ezekiel Bud Fields married Margaret Weir when she was 13 years old during the Civil war, and lived in a log house that his father had built across from the Bud Fields Spring.
(HERITAGE OF THE HILLS by the Delaware County Historical Society)
Ludovic Grant: b. 1698 Scotland, d. deported to South Carolina in 1716?
d. 1758 in Tellico Tennessee
Married Elizabeth Coody, "Euhgioote" full Cherokee b.1706, d.?, mother:Kahyun Techea, Father:"First to Kill" or Tecahyahteehee, Grandfather:"Corn Tassel" or Tecahneyeeskee
Daughter: Mary Grant b. 1727
Married William Emory
Daughter: Susannah Emory
Susannah Emory b. 1739
Married Richard Fields b. 1735
Children: *Richard Fields (chief)
Lucy Fields m. Danial Mccoy
m. James Harris
John Fields m. Elizabeth Wickett
Turtle Fields m. Ollie Timberlake
m. Sarah Timberlake
Thomas Fields m. Nannie Rogers
George Fields m. Sarah Coody
m. Nannie Brown
Susannah Fields m. George Brewer
m. Thomas Foreman
*Richard Fields Jr. (1780-1827)
Wife 1:Jennie Buffington
Children: George Fields 1765-1849 m. Sallie Daniel
Nancy Fields m. William Blythe
Elizabeth Fields m. William Thompson
m. John Blagg
John Fields 1775-? m. Elizabeth Wells
*Ezekiel Fields 1789-1870 m. Mary Annie Sexton
Wife 2:Elizabeth Hicks(1771-?)
Children: Moses Fields 1804-1855 m. Elizabeth Bigby
m. Mahala Taylor
Dempsy Fields 1806-? m. Julia Harris
Henry Fields 1808-? m. Hester Ross
Wife3: Nancy Brown aka Nannie Broom
Children: Lucy Fields m. George Hicks
James Fields m. Elizabeth Miller
Delila Fields m. James Foreman
Isabel Fields m. Dennis Wolf
Wife 4:Frances Grappe
Children: none known
*Ezekiel(1789-1870) m. Mary Sexton Fields
Children: Delila Fields m. John Scroggins
Jennie Fields m. Frank Padgett
Ruth Fields m. Isaac Schrimsher
Richard Fields m. Elizabeth Jane Blagg
Martha Fields m. Jacob Muskrat
George Washington Fields m. Mary Weir
m. Sarah McGhee
m. Elizabeth Silverman
*Ezekiel(Bud)Fields m. Margaret Weir
Mary Fields m. Ellis Dick
*Ezekiel(Bud)(1842-1926) and Margaret Weir(1851-?) Fields
Children: Wesley Fields m. Lena ???
Richard Fields m. Julia Richardson
Sherman (died in infancy)
Lou Fields m. Wick Frances
Ezekiel(Zeke) Fields m. Vernelia (Nellie) Blair
Ella Fields m. Albert Barnes
May Fields m. Henry Frances (brother to Wick)
Bertha (died in infancy)
Mae (died in infancy)
Joy (died in infancy)
Mary Fields m. ??? Wilson
Children: Bertha Lee
Cynthia Fields (died in infancy)
Jimmie Fields (died in infancy)
*Martha Jane Fields(1874-1957)m. Jess Payton
Children: Jennie Dale
*Frankie Mae (my grandmother)
**Lest we Fields descendents become too swelled with pride I offer this Quotation from an article entitled A CHEROKEE PIONEER by Carolyn Thomas Foreman
" The Fields family had the reputation of being the handsomest and laziest family in the Cherokee nation, the laziness being attributed to the fact that they were great book lovers and indulged this taste in preference to manual labor"