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A Sketch of the Life of Okah Tubbee (eBook)

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  • 100 Pages

Okah Tubbee, originally known as Warner McCary, was born in Natchez, Mississippi, around 1810 to an enslaved African American woman. As a young man, he went by various names, including James Warner, William McCary, and simply Cary. In 1836, he left Natchez to work in New Orleans with intermittent stints as a musician and a cigar vendor along the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. He met and married Laah Ceil, the daughter of a Delaware Indian mother and a Mohawk (or Mahican) father. In 1843, aided by local whites who believed him to be a Native American, Tubbee received a permit to live in Mississippi as a free person of color. Over the next several years he traveled extensively performing as a musician and lecturer. By 1847, Tubbee was widely known as an Indian doctor and son of a Choctaw chief. Tubbee's legend grew along with his fame, and by 1849 he was reportedly able to speak fourteen languages and play over fifty musical instruments.

Laah Ceil recorded a narrative of her husband's life in 1848, and the Reverend Lewis Allen added an introductory essay. This 1852 edition includes a version of Allen's "Essay upon the Indian Character" and the so-called Indian Covenant "between the Six Nations and the Choctaws," signed by Pochongehala. It concludes with an original poem by Laah Ceil and a collection of letters, documents, and vouchers attesting to Okah Tubbee's identity and his medical skill.

Okah Tubbee, originally known as Warner McCary, was born in Natchez, Mississippi, around 1810 to an enslaved African American woman. As a young man, he went by various names, including James Warner, William McCary, and simply Cary. In 1836, he left Natchez to work in New Orleans with intermittent stints as a musician and a cigar vendor along the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. He met and married Laah Ceil, the daughter of a Delaware Indian mother and a Mohawk (or Mahican) father. In 1843, aided by local whites who believed him to be a Native American, Tubbee received a permit to live in Mississippi as a free person of color. Over the next several years he traveled extensively performing as a musician and lecturer. By 1847, Tubbee was widely known as an Indian doctor and son of a Choctaw chief. Tubbee's legend grew along with his fame, and by 1849 he was reportedly able to speak fourteen languages and play over fifty musical instruments.

Laah Ceil recorded a narrative of her husband's life in 1848, and the Reverend Lewis Allen added an introductory essay. This 1852 edition includes a version of Allen's "Essay upon the Indian Character" and the so-called Indian Covenant "between the Six Nations and the Choctaws," signed by Pochongehala. It concludes with an original poem by Laah Ceil and a collection of letters, documents, and vouchers attesting to Okah Tubbee's identity and his medical skill.



A Sketch of the Life of Okah Tubbee

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