Samuel Benton Callahan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Samuel Callahan
Member of the C.S. House of Representatives
from the Creek and Seminole's At-large district
In office
February 18, 1864 – May 10, 1865
Preceded by Constituency established
Succeeded by Constituency abolished
Personal details
Born (1833-01-26)January 26, 1833
Mobile, Alabama, U.S.
Died February 17, 1911(1911-02-17) (aged 78)
Muskogee, Oklahoma, U.S.
Political party Democratic

Samuel Benton Callahan (January 26, 1833 – February 17, 1911) was an influential, mixed blood Creek politician, born in Mobile, Alabama, to a white father and a mixed-blood Creek woman. His father died while he was young; he and his mother were required to emigrate to Indian Territory in 1836. His mother married Dr. Owen Davis of Sulphur Springs, Texas, where they raised Samuel. He married the daughter of a Methodist minister in Sulphur Springs, then moved back to Indian Territory. During the American Civil War, he served in the First Creek Mounted Volunteers of the Confederate Army, In 1864, he resigned his command to serve in the Second Confederate Congress in Richmond, Virginia, where he would represent both the Creek and Seminole nations as a delegate.[1]

Callahan returned to his family in Sulphur Springs, then moved back to Indian Territory after the war. Settling near Muskogee, he resumed farming and ranching, but soon became a significant player in the politics of the Creek Nation. He served in the Creek National Council as clerk of the House of Kings (the Creek equivalent of the Senate) for four years, then as clerk to the Creek Supreme Court. He also acted as executive secretary for three notable principal chiefs.He worked for a time as editor of the Muskogee Indian Journal, starting in 1887. He was the superintendent of the Wealaka Boarding School. In 1901, he was appointed Justice of the Creek Supreme Court.

Samuel Callahan was born in Mobile, Alabama, as a member of the Creek tribe. He represented the Creek and Seminole nations in the Second Confederate Congress.Removed with his tribe to Indian Territory, he fled with his family to Sulphur Springs, Texas during the Civil War. His daughter Sophia Alice Callahan was born during their time in Texas, but at War's end, the family returned to Okmulgee.[2] He served as the editor of the Indian Journal in Muskogee and He was active in tribal affairs, serving as executive secretary to three principal chiefs of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and became a justice on the Muscogee Nation Supreme Court in 1901.[3]


Parental family and move to Indian Territory[edit]

Samuel was born to James Oliver Callahan and Amanda (Doyle) Callahan (1815 - 1902). Amanda Doyle was born in Georgia (part of the Old Creek Nation) to a white man, Nimrod Doyle and a Creek mother, Susannah Islands. Little is known of James, other than that he died in Alabama before the Creek Indians were forced to emigrate to Indian Territory. Amanda married James Callahan when she was 16 years old. The Callahans moved to Alabama, where they had two children, but one died in infancy. Amanda and Samuel, the surviving son, were forced to emigrate from Alabama to Indian Territory in 1836. Amanda married Dr. Owen Simpson Davis (1810 - 1885) of Sulphur Springs, Texas, which became Samuel's new home.[4] After her husband died, she moved to Muskogee, where she remained with her son for the rest of her life.[5]

Of course, Samuel went to live in Texas when his mother remarried. He attended public schools in Sulphur Springs, then went to McKenzie College in Clarksville, Texas. After graduation, he became editor of the Sulphur Springs Gazette. After two years at the newspaper, he returned to Indian Territory, where he settled in Okmulgee and began a cattle ranch.[6]

Marriage and family[edit]

In 1857, S. B. married Sarah Elizabeth Thornberg, daughter of Methodist minister, William Thornberg in Sulphur Springs. They had eight children:Josephine, James Owen, Jane Evylin, Samuel B., Jr., Sophia Alice, Emma Price, Dr. Walter McKenzie, and Edwin Thornberg.[6]

Service to the Confederate States of America[edit]

During the American Civil War, Callahan served in the First Creek Mounted Volunteers of the Confederate Army, He was popular among the men of his unit, who were mostly full-blood Creeks. and was commissioned as a first lieutenant. He was promoted to adjutant later that year. He assisted in reorganizing his unit in 1863, and emerged as Captain of Company K, First Creek Regiment. On May 18, 1864, he resigned from the Confederate Army to serve in the Second Confederate Congress in Richmond, Virginia, where he would represent both the Creek and Seminole nations as a delegate, beginning May 30, 1864.[6][7]

When the New York Times published a list of members of the Confederate Congress in 1864, S. B. Callahan was identified as representing both the Creek and Seminole Nations.[8]

Post Civil War[edit]

Callahan remained heavily involved in the governing of the Creek Nation after the Civil War. He was elected to the Creek House of Kings and served from 1868 to 1872. He also served as Private Secretaries for three Creek Principal Chiefs: Roley McIntosh, Samuel Checote and Isparhecher.[a] After his term ended in the House of Kings, he became clerk of the Creek Supreme Court. He worked for a time as editor of the Muskogee Indian Journal, starting in 1887. He was the superintendent of the Wealaka Boarding School.[6] In 1901, he was elected a justice of the Creek Supreme Court.[10]

Callahan died in Muskogee County, Oklahoma, where he was buried in Greenhill Cemetery.[11]

According to his obituary, Dr. Callahan was survived by the following children: Dr. J. O. Callan and Dr. K. W. Callahan of Muskogee; Bent Callahan of Morse, Oklahoma; Mrs. Adair of Little Rock; Mrs. Eva Shaw of Waggoner; and Mrs. H. B. Spaulding of Muskogee.[12]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The archives of Oklahoma University contain a document generated on the following occasion: On June 11,1883, Chief Samuel Checote, then Principal Chief of the Muscogee Nation, appointed S.B. Callahan as his Private Secretary.[9]


References[edit]

  1. ^ The Political Graveyard: Index to Politicians: Callahan at politicalgraveyard.com
  2. ^ Cox, Cox & Justice 2014, p. 642.
  3. ^ Lin, Liyun; Boru, Nesebu; Babulal, Ganesh (1999). "Sophia Alice Callahan". Voices from the Gaps. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy. Retrieved 23 September 2015. 
  4. ^ "Samuel Benton Callahan." Find A Grave. Posted May 18, 2003. Accessed November 4, 2016.
  5. ^ "Amanda Sybil Doyle Davis." Find A Grave. Posted May 25, 2009. Accessed November 21, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c d Foreman, Carolyn Thomas. "S. Alice Callahan: Author of Wynema Child of the Forest. Chronicles of Oklahoma. Accessed November 21, 2016.
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Index to Politicians: Callahan at politicalgraveyard.com
  8. ^ "The Rebel Congress." New York Times. November 11, 1864. Accessed November 4, 2016.
  9. ^ "Letter from Samuel Checote appointing S. B. Callahan as Private Secretary. June 11, 1883. Accessed November 5, 2016.
  10. ^ West, C. W. "Dub". Turning Back the Clock. 1985. Accessed November 5, 2016.
  11. ^ "Index to Politicians/Callahan." Political Graveyard.com. Accessed November 8, 2016.
  12. ^ "Capt. S. B. Callahan." Confederate Veteran Magazine. December 1911. Accessed November 4, 2016.

Sources[edit]

Confederate States House of Representatives
New constituency Delegate to the C.S. House of Representatives
from the Creek and Seminole's At-large congressional district

1864–1865
Constituency abolished