All of which explains the theory
of the toddlers that "an Indian
is buried under there." For instance, Douglas Eugene Bratcher of
6114 Morrow road, who is about six years old, told us quite seriously
that the D.A.R. monument is a "tombstone" and that "some
old Indian is buried under it." He offered the information that
at one time he had considered digging the Indian up but had discarded
The Indian in question (though he definitely is not buried under
the D.A.R. marker) was a coppery-skinned aborigine named Piomingo
was a chieftain in the Chickasaw nation, the outfit that caused early
Nashvillians so much concern that they eventually put out peace feelers
toward old Piomingo's organization and succeeded, temporarily at least,
in arranging a pact.
James Robertson, the pioneer who is generally regarded as the true
founder of Nashville, was the fellow who arranged the peace pact,
with the Chickasaws
and the actual sign ing supposedly was done under the aforementioned
old oak tree on what is now Louisiana avenue. The tree itself is
fully half gone. Its greenery exists only on one side but there
enough of it to shade the youngsters who gather there to avoid family
to rest, or to play.
At present the City of Nashville is engaged in a reclamation project
that may lead in some future year, to the establishment of a really
nice park. The oak
tree is in the 6100 block on Louisiana and an area of approximately 50
yards in diameter around it is grassy and well kept. The rest
of the park consists
either of swampland, which is ankle deep and seems to have been there always,
or of rocks, which the city has dumped in an effort to begin the reclamation.
LITTLE Kenneth Barnes and his sister, Dorothy, of 6316 Louisiana,
who were of inestimable help during our excursion, were able
to provide much more
information on the city's plans than was provided by some of the Park
Board folks with
we talked later.
I think," Dorothy said, "that they're going to pile rocks in here and
then put dirt over them and do away with some of this wet ground."
About that time Eugene Bratcher, whom we mentioned before, came forth
with two interesting bits of information. One concerned the fact
(in his own
that an Indian was buried under the marker that we had been photographing.
The other, and later, fact was concerned with a small bullfrog that
had wandered from the swampy area of the park and had attracted the
The other youngsters, watching him as he sprang after the bouncing
little amphibian, urged him in all kindliness not to hurt the creature.
stalking the frog
for perhaps three minutes, Eugene's hands swooped into the greensward
and came up with it.
You see if you can find that Indian," he yelled back to us. "I'm going
to show this thing to Mama." He tore off toward 6114 Morrow road as if his
life and the frog's life depended upon speed.
That's silly," Dorothy Barnes sneered, as he departed. "There's no
Indian buried here." So far as the marker is concerned, there's not a lot
to say. Upon his re turn to Nashville, and after much trouble with the Indians,
Robertson ar ranged a meeting with the Chickasaw chiefs and a pact of peace was
signed under the old tree. That was in the 1780's and the tree was full grown
at that time. It's anybody's guess as to just how old the thing actually is.
It has been struck by lightning, hamstrung by wind, and carved
on by children, but a part of it still exists and this spring,
the living portion
of it bravely put out leaves and it probably will produce the
acorns that it has produced for well over 200 years. * * *
-Anyone know what became
Here's an online article about this from the Tennesseean