Jesse Chisholm was born in 1805 or 1806 to a Scottish father and half Cherokee mother and quickly became a feature in the Cherokee lands in Tennessee. Chisholm’s family was among the first Cherokee families to move to the new Arkansas territory.
Chisholm lead the way for his grandfather’s portion of the Cherokee nation at the age of 13. They eventually settled in the Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) where he opened his own trading post. Chisholm learned quickly and was soon able to translate over 14 Indian dialects and languages. He became an accomplished trader who could routinely go into hostile Comanche and Kiowa country to trade goods for captives. Chisholm cared deeply for the children that he ransomed, at least nine of them were “taken in” by him as part of his family when their families refused to allow them to come home. He also cared for the four children from his two marriages. When Sam Houston lived with the Cherokee,
Chisholm became a close friend and looked up to Houston. They would remain lifelong friends. While Houston was president of Texas, Chisholm acted as his interpreter at most of the Indian Councils. During the Civil War, Chisholm moved his family to the Wichita village in Kansas but continued to trade with the Indians in Texas. His wagons cut ruts in the prairie from Texas to Kansas. This trail later became known as the CHISHOLM TRAIL and was used by the cowboys to drive the longhorn cattle to market. Chisholm died from food poisoning in 1867.
Mr. Bob Welch
brings this character back to life for present day Texans!