Richard Bark Foreman – My Cherokee Ancestor

To the Cherokee Committee under the Treaty of 1835

The undersigned is desirous of becoming a citizen of the United States, and respectfully solicits the Committee to grant him privileges of Citizenship.

Cherokee Agency East
February 26, 1838
Richard, or Bark Foreman (x mark)

Witnesses
J. E. Hetzel(?)

Bark Foreman has this day been recommended by the Committee as being fully competent to become a citizen of the U. States.  He having exemplified his unwillingness to go to the West.

Cherokee Agency
February 26, 1838

J. W. Bell
Precinct Pro Tem

National Archives
Copy E 222
Cherokee Removal Record
1820-54

_____________________________

My father never spoke of his Cherokee ancestry and if not for the fact that I discovered the stub of an allotment check from the Eastern Cherokee Nation in my mother’s effects, I would have never known.  My dad was not one to talk about himself; he was interested in others and was actually a very social fella.  He worked hard, he had a great sense of humor (albeit a little corny at times), loved his family, and was just My Dad.

Well, after I found the check stub, I began doing a little research about my father’s lineage.  One fascinating fact after another began emerging, not the least of which was the Cherokee ancestry.

Richard Bark Foreman [OO-YA-LU-GI] (The Cherokee Physician), was my father’s g-g-g-g grandfather, born about 1779.  His father, Scotsman John Anthony Foreman, was an Indian trader  (born probably in Scotland whose family settled in Pennsylvania).  His mother was a Cherokee of the Paint Clan:  Susie Gourd “Kah-tah-yah” /Gourd (Rattling-gourd).

My ancestor’s family traveled “The Trail of Tears” from Georgia to Oklahoma, about which much has been written.

An interesting fact (to me – regarding my maternal lineage) is that one of the attorneys representing the Cherokee nation in the Treaty of 1835 and a subsequent law suit against the State of Georgia, was William Young Hansell, who is in my Sammon family.  Thus, I see my mother and my father’s ‘link’ a hundred years before they met one another.

It was fate!

I corresponded with a Foreman researcher (distant cousin) who had a copy of Richard Bark Foreman’s book (written by James W. Mahoney as dictated/told by Richard Bark Foreman).

On the “photo blog” Life in Seguin and Other Aimless Musings is posted a copy of the frontispiece of the book.

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Who am I? I'm still discovering just who I am, I suppose. A. Powell Davis writes that "Life is just a chance to grow a soul."

Posted on June 1, 2009, in family, genealogy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Richard Bark Foreman was my GGG
    Grandfather (through my grandfather). His sister Catherine was my GGGG Grandmother (through my grandmother).Both of them are children of John Anthony Foreman and Susie Rattlinggourd, making me a double descendant. Somewhere along the lines we are cousins through Richard, aka Dr. Bark Foreman, aka The Cherokee Physician. His book is available as a reprint through the gift shop at Tahlequah in the CNW, and I have also seen it online. I personally sent a link to it to the Georgia archives. You need to buy yourself a copy while it is still available if it is not out of print again. I bought one for myself and each of my siblings several years ago. It is an amazing book. At one point in time I wrote to someone who was going to do some research on the formulas for part of her college dissertation, but she evidently was not interested in corresponding with relatives, as I never heard back. It would have been fun to know what might have turned up. The herbal remedies are not the only thing that is so interesting (don’t try most of them at home!). I love the philosophic chapters, and you would too. Let me know if you find it.

    • It has been some time since I’ve checked this blog – and apologize for just now (for heaven’s sake) really reading some of these comments. I did find a copy of the book online. Thank you for your comment and mention of the book.

  2. Joan Wakefield Lovelace

    My sister Wilma Wakefield Millsaps has traced our family back to Susie Bark. I am looking for more information on Susie and the Paint Clan and also whether whe was a Beloved Woman. Wilma has registered our family tree at the Graham County Courthouse in Robbinsville, NC. Finding out more about ancestors may help explain the connection I feel to the Cherokee people.

  3. Can anyone tell me how many copies of the “Cherokee Physician” 1846 first edition printed at the Gazette Office there were? I can only find information that it was the first book printed by the ‘Gazette”.

    I know there are 3 1846 copies known at known libraries…My family has owned an 1846 copy since 1955.
    Thank you for any response. Barbara Byron, CA

  4. Carolyn Ellertson

    I can’t tell if you are trying to establish a value, find more, or what with regard to the first editions, but there are many reprints out there with the same information. An original would be a special treasure, of course, but I was thrilled to have ANY kind of copy. Carolyn

  5. My Name is Rhonda Rader and I am a descendant of Polly Bigby and David Taylor and I am looking for more information and trying to find a way to reach Wilma Millsaps

    • Rhonda, I am always pleased to hear from another Foreman researcher. Unfortunately, I don’t have an address for Wilma Millsaps.

      It has been several years since I’ve done any ‘active’ research on this family. Will check to see if I have anything about Polly Bigby and David Taylor.

      Thank you for your comment.

  6. Carolyn Ellertson

    Rhonda: Wilma is somewhat reclusive, and guards her information fiercely, but there is little that is not available elsewhere these days (see above note from Joan Wakefield as well as other sources on the net, including my own.). What in particular are you looking for? Wilma’s photos of our family were posted on the internet as “My Cherokee Kin” several years back. It is a thrill to see photos of many of the family. They came from tin types passed down through the family, and she was kind enough to share them..Personally, I will never forget the first time I saw them! I, too, am a direct descendant of Mary Ann Bigby and David Taylor by two separate lines.Richard Bark Foreman on my grandfather’s side, and his sister Catherine Foreman on my grandmother’s side..they were distant cousins, and it was amazing to find they both went back to John Anthony Foreman and Susie Rattlinggourd..Good luck with your hunt..

  7. Lynne (McJunkin) McCown

    I don’t know if you are checking this bolg, it seems a long time since it was commented on. I recently found my relationship to Bark Foreman. Thadeus Turk McJunkin was the son of Elizabeth Foreman and Samual McJunkin. I would love to know more. I would love to be able to find some pictures. My Grandfather, Charles McJunkin was the son of Sherman who’s father was Thadeus.

  8. Janet Foreman-Green

    Hello, I too, am a descendant of Dr Richard “Bark” Foreman (and his wife, Rachel Seabolt). He is my GrGreat Grandfather. I’ve bought his book numerous times throughout the years as gifts for other family members! You can still get it at the Gift Shop in Talequah as well as EBay, Amazon and other places on line. And you can also download it online for FREE!

    Enjoying your blogs!
    Wado

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