Bill Worthen, Curator of Historic Arkansas Museum, found these ads in the New York Herald newspaper.
G&W were tenants of John Jacob Astor in the Astor House. Astor, the Fur Titan, provided A P Chouteau with Indian Trade Goods. Auguste Pierre Chouteau owned a Trading Post at the three Forks of the Arkansas River above Fort Gibson in Oklahoma. These goods were transported from St Louis via the Missouri and Osage Rivers and by pack trains and Wagons. Steamboats on the Arkansas River also delivered goods to the trading post located near present day Chouteau Oklahoma.
Tahchee left Ft Gibson in December 1836. He did not go through New York. The G&W Arkansas Knives and Indian Trade Knives were available in New York in July. Chouteau may have stocked a Sheffield made “Arkansas Tooth Pick” with his stock of butcher, cartouche, and scalping knives purchased from G&W. Tahchee could well afford the knife. Was there time for the knife to be transported from New York to the Three Forks of the Arkansas?
Early American Made Bowie Knives
An unmarked Bowie Knife thought to be made in Southwest Arkansas circa 1829-1837 is shown here and on page 142 of “The Antique Bowie Knife Book” by Adams, Voyles & Moss. The authors wrote, “In tracing of the ancestry of the Bowie knife, this one dates from the early beginning of the style. The deceiving appearance is that this knife fit’s the hand like few others, and feels right there-like a good Bowie is supposed to.” The Carrigan Bowie Knife and the Coffin Handle Bowie Knives owned by Bill Wright and Jack Royse have 6-inch blades and are made by the same hand with identical materials, style and skill of the larger knife.
Tahchee Moves to Texas, 1825-1831
Possible James Black and James Bowie Connections
In 1824 Cherokee Agent Edward DuVal prevailed on the Cherokees residing south of the Arkansas River to move north of the River onto Cherokee lands. According to Duval, “the Dutch and his party refused to go and he frequently, and publicly told me, in the most explicit manner, that they never again meant to join the main body of the Nation: that they intended to go in the other direction and settle somewhere, beyond the Red River, within the Spanish provinces. They remained at their village, about 20 miles South of the Arkansas, until late in the autumn of 1825”. Dutch’s village was located about three miles west of present day Danville, Arkansas on Dutch Creek. He hunted the Fource Valley and Dutch Creek Mountain that was named after him.
Dutch moved south of the Red River above the mouth of the Kiamichi River that is North of present day Paris Texas. On the evening of July 18, 1826 while leading a horse stealing raid, Dutch with reckless daring darted in among a number of Osage within a few feet of Colonel A P Chouteau’s trading post, killed and scalped an Osage man. He eluded pursuit and reached the Red River with horses and the scalp. Tahchee loved horses; he bred and trained them. The Osage plains horses were swifter, fleeter and superior to the woodland horses of the Cherokee.