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164 The Indian Advocate.
residing in southeastern Texas. The ruins of their houses, which were built chiefly of rock, may be seen at the present day on the borders of the creek which bears their name. Like other aboriginal races, the Choctaws believed in the Great Spirit before advent of the early missionaries. But in stead of obstinately setting their faces against the truth, as the majority of the tribes have done, these people, with characteristic eagerness for knowledge, flocked together to listen to the word of God from the lips of Kingsberry, Bying ton and other disseminators of Christian doctrine. While the Choctaws embraced Christianity with apparent readiness, yet they by no means considered themselves under obligation to forsake their ancient rites, customs and superstitions, and it was not until 1834 or thereabouts, when stringent laws were enacted, that they forsook the horrible practice of burn ing to death or otherwise torturing and killing persons ac cused of witchcraft. This custom, however, has been com pletely abandoned among the Choctaws for many years. The Chickasaws, however, resorted to it somewhat later, when several unfortunates underwent martyrdom. The medicine man, or conjuring doctor, has also become unpopular, through the enactment of a law passed in 1837, forbidding him to receive fees in the shape of horses, hogs, guns or cattle, should the patients die under his care. But should he succeed in raising the sick, he is entitled to any re muneration offered him. Education, and the presence of modern medical science, has ruined the demand for the con juring doctor, who is now almost a personage of the past. Soon after consenting to the allotment of their lands in Mississippi and the adoption of the United States laws, the Choctaw people became aware of their true position. A brief experience was sufficient to prove to them the impossi bility of becoming amenable to the situation. Thus it came about that they, with one voice, petitioned the United States to remove them to a new country and once more endow them