We start with the legacy left by John Turnbull via his son Daniel. Rosedown Plantation is
found in West Feliciana parish, community of St. Francisville, one of the most historical
corridors in South Louisiana.
Societies in and. around St. Francisville, at the time Rosedown Plantation was assembled
and constructed, were dominated by European, primarily British settlers who became
cotton planters on an enormous scale. Most of the nineteenth century cotton barons of all
nationalities had received their plantations through land grants from the Spanish
government, the titles to which remained valid after the establishment of the United States
The parents of Daniel, John Turnbull and his wife Catherine Rucker the original owners of
Rosedown, achieved high social status in West Feliciana through their immense cotton
operations, and Daniel Turnbull himself was known before the Civil War as one of the
richest men in the nation.
Between 1820 and 1840 Daniel in a group of seven purchases of land, had acquired a total
of 3,455 acres, the majority planted in cotton. In November 1828 Daniel married Martha
Hilliard Barrow, and while on their honeymoon they saw the play Rosedown. Thus the
plantation received its name.
Construction on the main house was begun in 1834 and completed the following year. The
builder was Wendell Wright. Most of the cypress used in the construction was harvested
and processed at the plantation sawmill. The fireplace marble and the mahogany for the
seventy foot main staircase, were shipped from the northern states or from overseas. After
completion, the home was furnished with the finest pieces available, most imported from
the North and from Europe, by famous cabinet and furniture makers. A surprising amount
of the furnishings purchased by the Turnbulls remained with the house during the years
after the Civil War and many original pieces are on display at Rosedown to this day.
The formal gardens at Rosedown were begun around the same time as the house. As early
as 1836, there are records showing the purchase of camellias, azaleas, and other plants from
William Prince & sons in New York.
The gardens were the province of Martha Turnbull throughout her life. The gardens grew
out from the house over the span of several years, to cover approximately 28 acres. In the
nineteenth century, Rosedown was one of the few privately maintained formal gardens in
the United States.
The Turnbulls lived there in prosperity through the 1850's, and Rosedown had become one
of the most extensive and prosperous plantations in the area. The contribution of slave
labor to the construction and upkeep of the plantation, as well as agricultural prosperity and
wealth accrued by Daniel Turnbull, was immense. During peak years of cotton production,
operation of Rose down utilized as many as 450 slaves.
After the death of Daniel Turnbull in 1861, the family saw a steady decline in a way of life
that could no longer be supported nor justified. Rosedown and two other Turnbull
plantations were severely affected during the war both by the invasion of Northern troops
and by the loss of the slave labor workforce. The Turnbull-Bowman family stayed at
Rosedown throughout the war, protecting and farming the property as best they could.
Troops stripped the home and owners of valuables, food and supplies while the area was
occupied by the Federals.
After the peace at Appomattox, the Turnbull-Bowman family leased the land they could no
longer farm, to share croppers, rented some of the land in exchange for labor, and remained
in relative poverty. Martha Turnbull died in 1896, leaving her daughter's family in sole
possession of Rosedown. The property suffered several blows of disastrous losses and fell
into decay and the gardens in overgrowth. In 1955 Rosedown was passed on to some nieces
and nephews who put it on the market for sale. It was purchased by Catherine Fondren
Underwood, who restored the historical house and gardens to their former splendor. In the
1990's the State of Louisiana, took over the property and made it a Historical Park and
maintain the beauty of the house and grounds as it was in the 1800's.
The genealogical growth of the family is like a huge spider web fanning out into many
states, and now has many names connected to it, Turnbull, Brashears, Bowman, Vaughn,
Monchief, Flinchum, Stirling, Bohanan, Semple, Jones, Kemp, Anders, Benton, Trahern,
Tigert, and oh so many more ... Several of our Turnbull Clan members are related this old
Turnbull family, Harley D. Anders Sr. who wrote the books on John Turnbull, Indian
Trader, Eugene Bowman whose family were connect to Rosedown, Stirling is the line for
In the middle of Louisiana, where the Mississippi River and the Red River use to come
together, there was a place that was called Turnbull Bend. Assumption; it was most likely
named after John Turnbull, or his son Daniel. In 1831 Captain Henry M. Shreve, founder of
Shreveport and a world renown river engineer, dug a canal through the neck of the
Turnbull's bend, thus shortening river travel. Over time, the north section of Tumbull's
Bend filled in with sediment, the lower half remained open and was known as Old River.
Today there is a flood control structure and levees to control the massive water surges of
the mighty Mississippi River.
At Shreveport during the Civil War there was a Fort Turnbull, its location was strategic for
the defense of the newly formed and growing city. Shorthanded in the defense, they took
trunks of trees, burn them so they would look like cannons and place them strategically
along the fortifications. Fort Turnbull was later named Fort Humbug (which is another
story) and today the decayed ruins lay beneath the Veterans Administration complex in
Bossier City, Louisiana.
So, who was John Turnbull, Indian trader, where did he come from, what were his
intentions when he arrived in this foreign land and why did he go into the wilderness to
seek a living. With the help of Harley D. Anders book, input from Ann Weller, Eugene and
Jimmie Jean Bowman, and Frankie James, we will try to seek out the facts, fiction, legends
and suppositions of this man John Turnbull and his family. We will travel back in time to
the 1700's, look at the conditions of Scotland at the time when John and his family
supposedly make the decision to leave their home and travel to the New World. We will
follow John's career as an Indian trader, his personal life, and family. The monumental land
purchases, plantations, his enemies, his friends and look at his brother Walter, and his ties
to the Indian Nations, Chowtaw, Chickasaw, and Creeks.
In Scotland during 1700-1750, the country was going through some hard times. William III (William
of Orange) died in 1702 and the reign of George I began. In 1707 the unification of Scotland and
England became reality, and Mary Queen of Scots was executed in 1714. A cause was taken up in
1688 by the Jacobite, and in 1708 "The old Pretender" James Francis Edward Stuart, son of James Vll
& II, lead 3 unsuccessful Jacobite rebellions. These rebellions continued off and on until 1745-6, when
Bonnie Prince Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender" was defeated, he fled for France, and
what was left of the rag tag bands of Scots are butchered in the battlefields of Culloden by the British
In between these wars Commander-in -chief Wade goes to Scotland and major road construction was
started in the Highland, a sure sign to the Highland Scots that the British have no intentions of letting
them live their own way of life. 1727 King George I is dead, George II in on the throne. By 1739 the
Black Watch has been raised to keep the Scots in line. The first half of the century shows the Scots that
the way of life is changing and difficult time still lies ahead.( Little did they realize that the quietly
started Clearance in the Highlands would tear families apart and leave the Highlands barren of most
It is into this era that John Turnbull was born. Mr. Anders author of the books, believes that John was
born around 1736, his brother Walter around 1733, and possibly a brother William born in 1738-40.
The parents are unknown but thought to be Walter and Isobel Turnbull of Dumfries-shire.
In what time frame this family came to America is questionable. Mr. Anders believes it was around
1741, that the family went into the area of Georgia where James Oglethrope took his Scots. There is no
evidence to support this idea, but it is fact that several persons with whom John and Walter will do
business with over the years, were in the Georgia area during the 1740-1760 time period. If it is fact, it
would mean that the family was here for almost 20 years before the evidence shows John and Walter
as present in the area of Mobile, Alabama in 1761/3.
There are several factors that come into play here, as whether they are fact or fable. One legend has the
parents and a sister possibly Sarah as having died 1 year after reaching Alabama, from the fever. It is
true that the location of Mobile at that time, was swampy, and infested with mosquitoes. There is
evidence of a house in Mobile owned by John and or his family in the same time period, and also there
is a place called Nanna Hubba Bluff, where they are thought to have built a residence, which was
There is another legend associated with the mother of John still being alive in 1835 and remembered
by a child. Here the legend is most assuredly false as that would have made her well over 100 years of
Another legend is that John had a part Choctaw daughter named Winifred, (Wenefred) supposedly 11
years of age (born 1752). It is thought by several of the researchers that Winifred was not his daughter
but was indeed his Choctaw wife. She will have a daughter Susannah (we follow her later)
It was said that John bought a mule and packing gear and went off into the woods and the Indian
Nations to become a trader. This is very believable and having Indian wives also believable, as what
better way to make friends with the Indians but to marry into the (clan) tribe. It is also known fact that
many of the traders had a winter wife in one tribe and a summer wife in another tribe. Which brings us
to John’s wife in the Chickasaw nation who will give him at least 2 sons, George and William. John
claims these two sons in his will in 1799, along with a daughter Sylvia (Sylvestra) by one of his later
Chickasaw wives, Isabella Perry.
There is also a legend of a daughter Mary or Sophia, depending on who's history you read, that lived in
New Orleans, or Mobile Now John was supposed to have visited this girl and was injured in a carriage
accident, which will ultimately cause his death in 1799 As far as I can find, there was no child, but
there was his arch enemies sister Sophia McGillivary Durrant. She is in the business of slaves and
cattle at the time and her home is in Mobile, and John is definitely in the slave trading business. So this
legend can be explained.
The death of John is document by a letter in the Turnbull-Bowman collection: "John is gravely ill, of
the epidemic", it will be the ultimate cause of his death, not an accident.
The legend of a younger brother William, which says he was sent with a British Merchant, and the
largest part of the personal belonging, to British Virgin Islands in 1754 There is evidence that a
William lived in Tortola, married Anne and had 2 small children, and he died in 1766. There is no
proof that this William was any relation to John and Walter Turnbull, a point that is speculative to say
the least, but it does pretty much fit the time frame The Islands were used in slave trading, and William
could have been one of those slavers, but there is no known evidence.
Our last bit of legend deals with John's brother Walter. In the papers passed on to family members from
Marielle Engels and Emily Turnbull, there is an interesting pedigree, hand drawn, and it goes as follows.
"Walter and wife left London for Virginia in 1763. Walters wife and daughter died in route to Mobile he
is heartbroken." This can be assumed a good reason why Walter would not marry until he is living in the
Bahamas 1780-1795. Fact, who really knows, it does possibly change other of the legends, it is reasonable
to believe that if Walter did not come until 1763, then maybe they all came at this time frame. We do
know for sure, documented, that in 1763 John and Walter are in the Mobile area.
John has family; Wenefred, a full blooded Choctaw wife?, with whom he has daughter Susannah,
(c.1766), a Chickasaw wife with whom he will have George c.1763 and William c.1768, a later wife
Isabella Perry by whom he has daughter Sylvia c.I783, and finally a Catholic marriage (1784) in the white
man’s world, to Catherine Ruckers (age 16) of Virginia by whom he will have 9 children. With Catherine
his empire in Louisiana becomes reality and his social status and power are evident. Johns Last will and
testament is some 400 pages long and it took 4 years before it was settled ... Two of the biggest questions
in regards to the will; if Susannah was his daughter, why was she not mentioned in the will and Johns
ambiguous statement in regards to his children by Catherine. “I give and bequeath unto my lawful and
dearly beloved wife Catherine Rucker with whatever children may be at my decease, to be equally divided
among them, share and share alike".
Native American children and their children:
In his Will, John Turnbull names three part Native American children, George, William
and Sylvia (Silvestra), as heirs, and bequeathed a set amount of money. Mr. Anders states
in his books that Wenefred was a daughter, but many of the family researchers disagree,
and she is not mentioned in the Will, thought to be dead at that time. There also is no
mention of John's supposed daughter Susannah, that was born to mother Wenefred. John
also bequeaths to all of his white children born of Catherine Rucker; to share equally in his
estate. The Native American children will not fair nearly as well as John's white children,
where his wealth will abound, and all will be wealthy Plantation owners.
William and George will remain in the Indian Nation, moving from the Chickasaw to
Choctaw Nation, where they both will marry Indian women. They will continue in the trade
business, that they had shared with their father John, for a while and will hold lands, most
will be forced to move to Oklahoma on the "Trail of Tears".
George, according to Mr. Anders books, married Sylvia Le fleur (LeFlores), here again the
other family researchers disagree, stating they found no name for the 1st wife. There are
five children born to this marriage, and son Turner Breshears (Brashears) Turnbull Sr. will
become a well-respected person of stature in the Nations. George's 2nd wife is also
unknown and they will have 1 son. George's daughters do well in their marriages and
names added to the list of family names are Bohanon, Jones and Perkins, and possibly
Battiest. The name of Brashears will appear many times over the years linked to the
Turnbull family, with the named linked as a middle name for Turner, makes one wonder if
the Mothers last name was not Brashears.
George will be a signer at the Treaty of Doak's Stand, on the Tombigbee River in 1820, he
is noted as "Knows his Indians well" and he is there to stand up for their rights. He was also
listed on the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit, which ultimately leads to the Nations being moved.
George made the forced removal and lived to be about 90 years of age and lived his entire
life among his beloved Native Americans. A very well respected member of the tribe
William will also marry an Indian wife, Judith Perry. (Judith Perry is of a Choctaw mother
and Isobella Perry is of a Chickasaw mother, they are half-sisters, there father is Hardey
(Perry). William and Judith will have 6 children, their son Anthony will be a Captain in the
Nations and among the first to explore the Oklahoma territory prior to the forced move of
the Indian Nations. I believe I read in the notes somewhere that William was also a signer
on the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit. William challenged a swollen creek on horseback and
was drowned in 1834 in Oklahoma territory, he had been a fanner. Family names added to
the growing list are Long, Trahern, and Foster.
Sylvia (Silvestra) is the daughter of John's union with Isabella (Belcy) Perry, she born in
1783 just prior to John's marriage to Catherine Rucker. John moved Isabella and Sylvia to
Mobile into the care of David White. David will be teacher and caretaker of Sylvia, and it
was supposed that David might have married Belcy, but by the time John died in 1799,
Isabella Perry is no longer seen in the data and assumed as having died. Sylvia still under
age, will for a while be in the care of step-mother Catherine Rucker. Sylvia's grandfather
Hardey Perry petitioned the court for custody of Sylvia, but she asked the courts to let her
stay with David White and with the support of her half-brothers George and William and
Susannah Vaughn (a possible half-sister), she won the action. Sylvia will marry David
Holsten in 1800 and they will have five children, she will inherit the estate of David White
after a court battle. Her husband David died in 1812, assumed to have been killed in the
War of 1812. In 1815 she will marry William Young and have a daughter by him. Sylvia is
assumed to have died in or about 1815-16. Nothing more is found in Mr. Anders books, on
her children or their step-father. There is a Mrs. Liddell who has done research on Sylvia
but she has been ill and not able to assist in further search.
Susannah, daughter of Wenefred (Winifred) and John. Mr. Anders would have us believe
that Wenefred born C. 1751 was John T.’s child. And that when she was about 12- 15 years
of age she bore her father’s child. Now any of those connected to John Turnbull's family
know he was most likely a womanizer. I think tho that if we go by what data has been
found, that all the other researchers will agree that John T. most likely did not arrive in
Alabama until early 1760-3. Most of the researchers seem to agree that Wenefred most
likely is John's unknown Choctaw wife. When Susannah is about 15, her mother Wenefred
married Thomas Vaughn, who it is said, adopted Susannah as his own. Susannah is not
mentioned in John's Will, but there appears to have been some sort of land settlement about
the time she marries Zadock Brashears. Zadock and John's William are known to each
other as early as 1776, "The records show that John's part Chickasaw son William and
Zadock Brashears were close associates for many years. Following the American
Revolution, Zadock Brashears and William Turnbull both signed oaths of allegiance to
Spain 1787, at which time they both were from the Mobile /Tensas area." 1784 when
Zadock and Susannah were married, he owned 400 acres West of the Tombigbee river, he
later sells this property and moves to Spanish territory to land assumed to belong to
relatives of Wenefred's Choctaw family. I won't continue on the lands that John T. most
likely turned over to Zadock as dowry for Susannah. Susannah and Zadock will have ten
children. During the year of 1804 Thomas Vaughn died, never having remarried. Most of
his minor children asked to live with Susannah and Zadock, and it was granted by the
court. Susannah died somewhere around 1824 and shortly thereafter Zadock married his
brother Samuels widow, Rachel Durant widowed X3. This marriage will bring into play
one of John's old enemies and the McGillivray family. Names associate with the marriages
of Susannah and Zadocks children are; Stewart, Juzan, De Castro, Moncrief, LeFlore,
Cravatt, Lyle, Barrum, Trahern, Buckholts and Minor.
Turner Brashears Turnbull Sr. (son of George) married Angelico "Jerico" Perkins, in 1840
in Blue County, Oklahoma. He was a farmer and she a homemaker. Turner is noted as
having cared for his aging father George, and is mentioned in George's Will. They had 11
children, several of the sons were well respected, but several were not, having turned
vigilante. Turner went to school and then into the law, he was elected supreme judge for his
district and served 2 years. He was also a law partner with his brother- in-law George
Perkins. Turners name will be carried on up to the generations, notably WWII hero Turner
III, which the movie Saving Private Ryan is fashioned after. Young Turners father Walter 1
was the last elected Chief of the Choctaw, an honor he received at the age of 28 years. He
like his father was an attorney.
Other Descendants and Brother Walter
On the muster rolls of 1832/3 in the Territories, there is an entry for George and his family,
which states there were 8 children. Three of whom there is no information, and it is
assumed they died young. Having done a little more LeFlores, Lefleur searching
concerning Sylvia LeFlores, supposed wife of George, there is no evidence in those files,
that she ever married George Turnbull. Sylvia died in 1855 and is listed as having been
married to Rubin Harris, who died about 1830-33, by whom she had 2 children (this is the
name she was using on the property next to George) and then she was married to George S.
Grant. Although George and Sylvia had property side by side, there is no evidence of a link
between them. There is a commonality of girls names, the only common link that is
available at present, is it that Sylvia's father had married the Cravat sisters, Rebecca and
Nancy. It could be that George and John Cravat were close friends, that being the name tie.
The Turnbull family on a whole seemed to have totally disregarded the old Scottish naming
practices, from the very beginning.
Turner Brashears Jr. married Adeline Dwight (a full blood Choctaw) in 1879 and had 6
children. They had many more children than this. Nine I think and only 6 survived. He also
had an early marriage to a lady name Satterfield and there was divorce. Turner was a Light
horsemen in the Choctaw police, in 1893 he was the Sheriff of Blue Co., a very highly
respected member of the Choctaw nation. He was also a member of the Choctaw legislature
and a special judge at times.
Walter J. (This is Turner Jr.'s son, Walter Jonathan) attended Washington and Lee
University law school in Virginia, passed the bar and began a practice in Oklahoma. He
married Lucille McCart (McCarty) in August of 1910. Walter was the last (popularly
elected) principle Chief of the Choctaw Nation, was elected and the youngest ever honored,
he was 28 years old at the time. He was not allowed to serve, because the age requirement
was 35. The case went to the U.S. Congress, who ruled against him. His son was the WW
II Hero Turner Brashears Turnbull III, whose machine gunner was the true story "Saving
Private Ryan" was Stephen Ambrose's model.
Turner's daughter Elizabeth, married John Boland, owner of agricultural land and he was
identified as a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association and practiced law in Bryan
George's son John P. was a Presbyterian and Baptist missionary and in 1875 served as
District Superior Judge for 2 terms, married twice, one of which was to his first (no, she
was the daughter of William Jr.) first cousin once removed cousin Judith.
He was educated at a neighborhood school until 1845 and finished at the Presbyterian and
Baptist missionary academies -Spencer and Armstrong" In 1877 he was ordained a minister
of the Presbyterian Church. This was taken from "Leading Men of the Indian Territory".
First about John P. Turnbull being a Presbyterian and Baptist missionary. That is the first I
have heard of that and I don't know where it came from. Baptist were not very active in
Indian Territory at this time Kingsbury was the principle Presbyterian missionary. I just
reread an article about John P. that was in the Bushinik Choctaw newspaper 1996. It was
submitted by a great-great granddaughter. I see now how the mistake was made in
someone's mind. The Tumbulls were all Presbyterians. John P.'s white wife Harriet Willard
was from a very prominent Methodist family. Her family name is known far and wide in
the state. The Methodists were the circuit riders. It is true the Baptists were in charge of the
Choctaw Academy in Kentucky, but John P. was educated in the local schools in Indian
Territory. The article says he was educated at local schools until 1845 and finished at the
Presbyterian and Baptist missionary academies, Spencer and Armstrong. Not that he was a
Baptist missionary. He was elected National Secretary for the Tribe for two terms
beginning in 1868. He was ordained a Presbyterian minister in 1877. He was head master
of Goodland Presbyterian Indian Boarding school and donated the great assembly bell that
is still there today. He was elected Supreme Court Judge of the Choctaws for 2 terms. He
was elected member of the Choctaw Legislature in 1883 and became superintendent of
Choctaw Education in 1884. There is also adequate evidence that John P. had a wife before
Judith Turnbull. Maybe a very brief marriage. He was accused of adultery and tried, but
most likely acquitted. He was also accused of fathering several slave children in the
Pioneer Papers. There is a deposition. That was common in the South. My family hates this
kind of stuff when I point it out. That was 30 years after the Civil War and the Choctaws
were trying to keep from assimilating their blacks into the tribe, which they did. It was
ruled the lineage belongs to the mother who in most cases was black.
He and Harriet are said to have raised ·19 orphan children, at least 3 or more of them being
grandchildren. After several of their children died, they adopted a full blood Choctaw
daughter Florence Belle. John P. died in 1894 and is buried in the Goodland cemetery. The
Bushinik article says he and Judith Turnbull had 5 children with 3 of them surviving to
adulthood, Minnie Judith, Eliza Ann and Minerva. He had married Judith in 1852. He
would have been 19. She died in 1868. I think it is stated he married Harriet in 1871.
Where the other wife comes in, I don't know, but I seem to remember she may have been a
Kemp perhaps Chickasaw and daughter of Jackson. That is a vague memory.
John's grandson Anthony Turnbull had a son Sam Long Turnbull who was killed in a freak
train accident. Sam was already an adult and went back home to escort his younger sister
Felicity to finishing school. I believe Anthony may have already been dead by this time. A
rail came loose on the railroad track and went through the car in which he was riding
killing him instantly. He left a widow and at least one child. There were then a succession
of Samuel Turnbulls.
Leroy Turnbull, was one of the many wild Turnbull's who died fairly young, but he was not
one of the known Turnbull vigilantes. I have no indication that Leroy was one of the wild
ones. His name is never mentioned as being one of them. He was a farmer and apparently
successful. He married twice, once to a Chickasaw Mary Jane who was the mother of
George Washington Turnbull. They divorced and he married Lydia Pickens. Her father was
a man of note in the Choctaws and she may have had children already. It is believed he was
another Turnbull son killed by his horse falling from under him. Two young Turnbull's
died from horse falls, one was shot by a jealous lover, this is not true. It could only be
Daniel and he was shot by an outlaw through the lungs (a fatal wound) according to John
Boland, the Turnbull boys were in hot pursuit they left him behind. When they came back
they found him dead with a bullet through his head that passed through both sides of his hat
band. According to one story he did it in their presence- the rationale being he was not
going to let a scoundrel have the honor of taking his life. He was only 27. He had two
children and a widow Becky. The story is true, but Zadock was a son of Susannah and
Zadoc Brashears Sr. young Zadock jr. was shot and killed at a horse race, George
Washington Turnbull murdered by the nephew of his young white wife's lover. Also true.
The Turnbull vigilantes were accused of the murder of some 15 black men after the Civil
War (there were known gangs of marauders). This part about the marauders is true. They
hung out in Texas across and hit the settlers in Indian Territory and ran back to Texas
where they were immune from the law. The rest is a possible fabrication of John Boland.
John Boland was born in 1884 in St. Louis, Missouri. The escapades of the Turnbull boys
were long before he came to Indian Territory and married Elizabeth. At best it was hearsay.
Turner Turnbull and Frank Long were arrested by a Federal Marshall's, and charged with
murder, but they escaped in shackles. I don't believe Turner was on the lam for 13 years.
His murder warrant reads 1876. I have a great deal of the warrants that I got from the
archives at FT. Worth. There is a monumental amount of paper. I paid a good price for
numerous copies: The Chief of the Choctaws Green McCurtain was the person who stood
surety for Turner Jr.'s bond. Judge Parker signed the warrants for the arrests, but the
president of the United States was the only one who could have pardoned these men.
Turner was the only one of the 5 charged still alive when it finally came to trial. They were
accused of killing one black man. The black man who was with the one on the prairie the
day the Turnbull boys accosted them was the only living witness and he didn't actually see
Turner kill the other black man. He ran like Hell, but heard the shots. Could have been the
Turnbull mob was also just a tad drunk. I believe the black man who testified was bought
off or made to realize he too was a dead man if he testified the wrong way.
Frank Long was later killed in a shootout with the Sheriff and Turner remained a fugitive
for 13 years. He finally gave himself up and was pardoned by "Hanging” Judge Parker,
after a bond of security by high placed friends was signed.
I have not found where Turner was acquitted, but I firmly believe the prosecution had no
case after the black man testified. Turner Jr. killed men for less, a saddle one time, and
would have probably personally killed John Boland if he had lived to know what John did
with his land. John Boland lived a long time. He died in 1969.
Frank Long was a character of questionable repute. He didn't die in a shootout with the
Bryan County Sheriff Tandy Folsom. Not long ago someone sent me an article about his
killing. As I said, he had a lot of enemies apparently. His body was found outside the
corner of a pasture fence and no one was ever accused or convicted of his murder.
Other Turnbull's (38) were never formerly punished for crimes or misdemeanors. Although
the penitentiary records show a few Turnbull's as prisoners, none so far are connected to
this Turnbull family.
The Dawes rolls, which were made in the 1890's, showed about 17 Turnbull's living in the
Chickasaw Nation, which have not been formerly identified, but possibly could have been
children and grandchildren of Simeon or John Turnbull, and 15 in the Choctaw Nation, all
of whom were identified. Some of those living in the Chickasaw Nation were William's
descendants. I believe where the descendants of Samuel Long Turnbull, son of Anthony.
And others of grandsons of William Turnbull brother to old George. Also George's
daughter Rebecca and Reuben Kemp settled in what became the Chickasaw nation. Very
much in the same area.
Simeon was a very prominent lawyer in Atoka in spite of his and Turner,jr.'s wild drinking
and hell raising. Simeon was married twice, Elizabeth and Susan Foreman, a Cherokee.
The Robert Turnbull you mentioned one time, that you found in the Cherokee records had
to be also the son of William. I think the Turnbull boys pretty much owned Blue County.
How else could the U. S. Marshals go out time and again to serve murder warrants on them
and come back empty handed? I think Simeon continued to practice law. He died in 1881.
Janet, you know as much as I do about this case except that William also never came to
Indian Territory because he was killed drowned while trying to swim his horse across a
swollen creek near Granada, Mississippi in about 1834. He was buried on his land there at
Grenada. He was survived several years by his Choctaw wife Judith Perry daughter of
Hardy Perry and Anolah. I think all of his children may have come to Indian Territory
except for Agnes.
There came to light just recently, court transcripts for one Agnes Octavia Foster (formerly
Saunders) Mallory, and her descendants. She was the daughter of Agnes O. Turnbull and
Samuel Foster. This Agnes Turnbull would have been the great grand daughter of John
Turnbull by William's daughter Agnes Octavia born 1805-d. 1859. In 1897 Agnes Octavia
Mallory filed an application for a hearing, to be enrolled as a member of the Choctaw tribe,
for permission to obtain what was felt as her rights to land in the Nations. After numerous
court sessions, denials, over approximately 6 years, the petition was firmly denied. Stating
that, "No, they neither immigrated to
the Choctaw Nation under the third article, nor remained behind under the fourteenth
article of the Treaty of 1830, and are not entitled to share in the lands acquired thereunder".
John Turnbull died in August 1799, the resolution of his will took over four years to be
resolve. The wealth was awesome and if compared to today's standards, he would have fit
into a bracket with Bill Gates and Donald Trump.
"I wish that all my just debts should be fully paid, satisfied after which I have and bequeath
unto GEORGE, WILLIAM, and SYLVIA, my three illegitimate children, three thousand
dollars each and the remainder or residue of all the property I possess, I give and bequeath
unto my lawful and dearly beloved wife CATHERINE RUCKER with whatever children
may be at my decease, to be equally divided among them, share and share alike."
All the researchers note the odd references in his will to the children of Catherine Rucker,
also to no mention of Winifred Vaughn, John's supposed other Indian daughter. Although
no death date has been found for Winifred, it is thought by most that she had died prior to
From John's arrival in the South about 1760, one thing is very evident. Land and the
acquisition of it was highly important, and at every chance he bartered by grant or purchase
to acquire thousands of acres, which eventually were in 3 of our known Southern states.
The Plantations in Louisiana were vast, worked by many slaves that had been brought into
the county on slave ships, from Jamaica and the West Indies, some owned by John Joyce
and John in their business venture. Some by ships owned by others that were connected
with Joyce & Turnbull Company. The slaves most likely went first to a place called the
Turnbull compound in what is now Monroe Co. Alabama, the small town of Turnbull with
34 residents still exists there, or they were delivered directly to the Plantations in
Louisiana, where John Joyce also held several large Plantations. There many were sold to
buyers from the surrounding areas, some as far East as Georgia. With this established,
John's wealth grew and so did the lands.
The partnership of Joyce & Turnbull was formed around 1770 and was still very active
when John Joyce died on May 9, 1798, after falling from the ship Mobilean near Mobile on
a return voyage from New Orleans. Some suspect that it was not an accidental drowning,
and one could speculate that John Turnbull also thought that way, as he wrote his last Will
and Testament exactly one month to the day after John Joyce's death. In November 1789 an
inventory of the properties and holdings of Joyce & Turnbull, was compiled which listed all
debts dues to the company, furs, slaves, stock goods, cotton and
other stored commodities, plus the lands they owned.
In 1799 John Turnbull was seriously ill with what was thought to be Yellow fever. On
August 10, 1799 tho gravely ill, but fully conscious, he broke the seal on his will, re-read it
in the presence of witness that he had summoned. Satisfied that it was the way he wanted it
it was again closed. On August 24th 1799 John Turnbull Indian Trader died, and was buried
in the Family cemetery at the Plantation in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The University of
Louisiana now covers that area.
John Turnbull's legacy of facts and fiction goes on today, with many descendants around
the United State. Some of his children lead a hard life and walked the Trail of Tears, others
lead easy wealthy lives, while others were caught in the Civil War and lost everything of
monetary worth. Through it all, no matter what transpired in those early years, his
descendants of today walk tall and proud of their heritage.
My THANKS to Harley Anders Sr., Frankie James, Eugene and Jimmie Jean Bowman and Ann Stirling
Weller for there assistance. Without their help this series of articles would never have been written, and
corrected in context.