We were captured, my brother
Wiley Littlehead and me,
by other tribal members
who took us to Mounds
and gave us to the custody of
deputy Faught of Sapulpa where
we waited for a hearing before
on the charge of murder
of Cany Squire.
The Checotah Enquirer printed
in detail: the revolting
the two full blood Euchee
Indians were together
with a number of others
of the tribe in joining
a drunken carouse,
when for no cause
as yet apparent, the boys
decided Cany Squire
should be killed.
The Littleheads immediately
started to execute the thought
and with clubs beat their victim
to death by inches.
After life was extinct
the two fiends, so they called us,
absolutely skinned him
as they would a deer
and hung Cany Squire on a wire fence.
2 months after incarceration
of TB one report said
of syphilis another said.
– Prisoner 3891
On a Tuesday morning I came up town
to Wilburton to tell
I believed my child was dead.
I admitted I whipped Bessie Williams,
what had been living with me, but
would not confess to mutilating the body
or inflicting the torture they say
Deputy Fortune lodged me and Joshua Harvey
––who’s been living with me for a length––
in the jail
charged with murder.
When seeing for himself the girl being
dead several hours,
the deputy vouched to what he called
a horrible crime perpetrated on 8 year old
Bessie, starting weeks ago when
the neighbors appealed to officers to stop
the unmerciful beating of the child.
Last night doctors held a post mortem
with Deputy Fortune present. A bruised place
on the head was thought sufficient
to cause death.
Stripes and gashes were all over the body.
The child was cut to pieces with switches.
But the demon did not stop here, Fortune said.
There was burned marks and holes on the flesh
where a hot iron had been applied
and found too some instrument was used to point
at criminal assault––
but medical skill was not baffled.
Joshua Harvey said he knows nothing of the crime.
A white woman residing nearby attested she saw
the negro man Harvey take bloody clothes from the house
and hide them. The clothes was found
where she said.
– Prisoner Dora Wright
Wanda Morrow Clevenger, author of This Same Small Town in Each of Us
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