Both Pierre and Charles Juzan are also said to have extensive plantations, although this is less evident in the case of Pierre. Based on historical accounts, Pierre Juzan conducted farming operations on the Chunky and Tallasha Creeks. Although cotton was likely grown, Pierre’s favorite project was the planting of an apple orchard, the first of its kind in the Indian nation. His brother Charles Juzan (who maintained a slave population5) apparently conducted farming operations along Lost Horse Creek in Lauderdale County, Mississippi, and in the Tuscahoma settlement along the Tombigbee River in Alabama.
We have no images of the trading post; however, we know it to have been of stone and log construction and to have had, in addition to a market place, an area for dining and another area for overnight sleeping. In the days that followed the abandonment of the inn ca. 1840, the new settlers to the area took the stones and used them for foundation blocks in the building of houses or found other purposes for them to the extent that none remain on the original site of the inn.
Although the Choctaw population was slow to adopt the tenets of Christianity, both Pierre and Charles Juzan were supporters of the Catholic church and its efforts to establish mission schools throughout the region. The most successful in the region would become Tucker in Neshoba County and Conehatta in Newton County, but for a short period of time during the early 1800’s a mission school was held at Chunky Chitto, its enrollment given as 9 students one particular year and its teacher a Mr. Haddon.6
The official muster rolls of the War of 1812 indicate that Charles Juzan, Private, and Choctaw Indian, served under the command of Maj. Gen. Andrew Jackson for a period of sixteen days beginning on February 1 and ending on February 16, 1814, for which he was paid the amount of $4.17. The nature of this service is unknown. The record also shows that he was born in 1760, Mobile, Alabama, and died in Lauderdale County, Mississippi, in 1838.
The official muster rolls for the War of 1812 indicate that “Pierre (Peter) Gabriel Juzan”, Choctaw Indian, served as a Captain in the War of 1812 under Maj. Gen. Andrew Jackson, for the period beginning December 17, 1814 and ending March 10, 1915, for which he was paid one blanket and $131.70. The record also shows that Capt. Juzan was in charge of a company of 2008 Choctaws stationed at Chef Menteur, a location in St. Bernard Parish near Chalmette. The record shows that he was born in 1759, Mobile, Alabama. No death date is given in the record, but according to a different account, he died in 1840 on the Tombigbee River in Alabama.
There are various accounts of the ferocity, skill, and cleverness of the Choctaw Indians under the command of Capt. Pierre Juzan. The warriors were first used in the attack by Jackson’s forces on the British encampment at the Villere’ Plantation on December 23, 1814 and again at the battle of Chalmette Plantation of Jan 8, 1815. In both cases, they were asked to defend swampy area.
In the attack at Villere’ Plantation the Choctaws were asked to defend the left of Jackson’s line and were, according to an observer at the time, “way out in the swamp, basking on logs, like so many alligators”9. “More than half the British casualties are said to have been inflicted by the Choctaws, who came unexpectedly out of the swamp on their right rear and delivered a most destructive fire at short rifle-range without themselves breaking cover at all.”10
According to Jane Lucas de Grummond, Juzan and the Choctaws simply terrorized the British. One Indian of mixed blood, Poindexter, killed five British pickets over the space of three nights. “They patrolled the edge of the swamp, leaping unperceived from one log to another…and shot every redcoat who came within rifle range. Not less than fifty British soldiers were killed and many more severely wounded by this method of assassination.”11
Charles Juzan was married twice that records indicate. His first marriage was to Peggy who later married a Trahern. Charles and Peggy had the following children:
1. Mary Juzan – born ca. 1796—died September 29, 1868, Leake County, Mississippi; married Benjamin Leflore
2. Delilah Juzan – born ca. 1798—died 1859, Indian Territory; married (1) Jesse Brashears, Jr., and (2) David W. Wall
3. Rebecca Juzan – born ca. 1804—died 4 May 1854, Atoko County, Indian Territory;
4. Pierre Juzan – born ca. 1805—died August 1841; married, but name of wife unknown. Educated at Choctaw Academy and served as one term as Chief, Pushmataha District, Indian Territory.
5. William Juzan – born ca. 1805—died 1837
6. Jackson Juzan – born ca. 1808—died 1860, Atoka County, Indian Territory; married Mississippi Allen
7. Lucy Juzan – born ca. 1809—died after 1860; married (1) Wesley Brashears Trahern and (2) Amos W. Gary
8. Eliza Ann Juzan –born 1819—died July 25, 1890, Atoko County, Indian Territory; married Hugh C. Flack
The second wife of Charles Juzan was Phoebe, daughter of Chief Oklahoma and she was full Choctaw. They had three children:
9. Ramona Juzan, born ca. 1814—died ca. 1840-1855; married (1) Ransom McElroy and (2) David W. Wall
10. Narcissa Juzan, born ca. 1816—date of death unknown
11. Sybell Juzan, born ca. 1821—date of death unknown
No similar genealogy has been developed for the family of Pierre Juzan.
In 1830, the Choctaw Indian councils met with Indian commissioners representing the United States at a remote location in Noxubee County, Mississippi, along a stream which, translated from the Choctaw language, meant “dancing rabbit”. It would be the most traumatic occasion in all of Choctaw history, for as those in attendance would quickly learn, the Choctaws were being asked to give up all of their remaining tribal lands east of the Mississippi and given in-lieu land in what is now the state of Oklahoma. Most Indians opposed the proposed treaty and even an amendment to the treaty which allowed Indians to remain in Mississippi if they could prove their Indian heritage.
Pierre and Charles Juzan, along with most other tribal leaders, finally consented to approving the treaty, but only after they received specific grants of land for themselves12. Under article XIX of the treaty, Charles Juzan was given four sections of land. Pierre Juzan and William Juzan (son of Charles) were also given grants.
As a final attempt to hold onto the Chunky Chitto property, Charles Juzan in 1835 and 1836 made three separate patents (and his son Jackson Juzan two patents) in Sections 5, 7, & 8 of Township 6, Range 13 East in what would soon become Newton County. Their efforts were in vain, however. Charles Juzan would die within a matter of a few years, most of the Choctaws who had provided the bulk of the trade had moved west, and the new settlers moving into the area had little use for an Indian trading post.
Buell, Augustus C., History of Andrew Jackson: Pioneer, Patriot, Soldier, Politician, President, 2 vols. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1904)
Craft, Myrtis S., George Mason, and Melvin Tingle, Book of Original Entries of Newton County, Mississippi, Pioneer Publishing Company, Carrollton, Mississippi, 1998.
de Grummond, Jane Lucas, The Baratarians and the Battle of New Orleans (Baton Rouge, La.: Louisiana State Press, 1961
Gay, Ann, Tuscahoma or Red Warrior Bluff and Indian Lore, Choctaw County, Alabama
Goldman, Tom, Attorney at Law, Meridian, Mississippi, Juzan Family Research
Halbert, H. S., Letters.
Journal of the War of 1812, Vol. III, No. 1, Consortium Inc
Kidwell, Clara Sue, Choctaws and Missionaries in Mississippi, 1818-1918, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, Oklahoma, 1995, p. 65.
Mieirs, Jennifer, A Discussion of the Choctaw Juzan Family
Tingle, Melvin, Research notes
United States National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D. C, Official Muster Rolls, War of 1812, United States Department of Interior, Eastern Bureau of Land Management
7. Upon the second meeting between Andrew Jackson and Pierre Juzan, Jackson is said to have inquired as to Juzan’s well-being , whereupon Juzan responded, “Okaye”, meaning in Choctaw that “all is well”. According to the same account, Jackson was so attracted to the term that he and his men adopted the expression in their informal conversations and passed the word down to future generations as “OK”. OK?
12. Greenwood LeFlore, chief mingo in the Delta region of Mississippi was one of the greatest beneficieries, and his land holdings, in addition to his slave holdings, would make him the richest man in Mississippi for his items.