Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Leflore Family of Mississippi, Part 4

As the great Chief of the Choctaws, Greenwood Leflore was not only the youngest leader in the history of the tribe, but he was the first of the Choctaw Nation's leaders to receive a formal education. And education for members of the nation was one of the reforms that Leflore attempted to institute. Another reform advocated by Leflore, was the abolishment of the tribal practice of flattening the heads of male Choctaw infants. As Chief, Leflore traveled to Washington to meet with President Andrew Jackson in an attempt to intervene on behalf of the people of the Choctaw Nation. Apparently, a successful working relationship developed between Jackson and Leflore, as evidenced by Leflore's commission by Jackson as a Colonel in the U. S. Army. It has been said by some that Leflore continued to fly the U. S. flag from the top of his home in Carroll County, Mississippi, throughout the Civil War.

Although Leflore had always supported removal, after the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek was signed in 1830, he remained in Mississippi on land that he owned. By the mid 1800's, according to some accounts, Leflore owned over 10,000 acres of plantation and timber lands. He referred to his holdings, which included the land, a sawmill, brickyard, and several hundred slaves, as "Teoc Plantation." This area is still known today as "Teoc."

About 1854, Leflore hired an architect named James C. Harris, of Georgia, to design and build his new home, a mansion of Greek revival and Italianate design. Leflore named his family's new home "Malmaison," French for "House of Sorrow," allegedly for the palace in Paris where Josephine lived in exile after having been divorced by Napoleon. Ironically, James Harris would later become Leflore's son-in-law.

According to Patricia Wellborn-Gunter, a Leflore researcher, Greenwood Leflore and his wife, Priscilla Donley, had three children: John Donley Leflore, Jane, and Rebecca. Named for her paternal grandmother, Rebecca Cravat, daughter of Chief Pushmataha, Rebecca Leflore married James C. Harris, the architect and builder of Malmaison. Rebecca and James Harris would later have at least two children. Their daughter, Jane, married John B. Halsey, and one of their sons, Greenwood L. Halsey, was named for his maternal grandfather.

Although some of some of Leflore's descendants undoubtedly are scattered throughout the United States, many of them continue to live in Mississippi.

Next: Leflore Family Members According to Census Records in MS

No comments:

Post a Comment