"Peggy" Dick descendant Robin Stand of Tahlequah read her
great-great grandmother's biography during an Oct. 15 ceremony
to honor Dick who survived the Trail of Tears as an infant.
The Oklahoma Trail of Tears Association placed a bronze plaque
on Dick's grave to signify she was a Trail of Tears survivor.
President of the association, Curtis Rohr, removed a cover
from the plaque while Stand read her grandmother's biography.
(photo by Will Chavez - Cherokee Phoenix)
TAHLEQUAH, OK After the Cherokee Adult Choir sang the
last notes of Amazing Grace, the descendants of Margaret "Peggy"
Dick, a Trail of Tears survivor, gathered around her grave for photos
and to say their goodbyes.
Her descendants gathered Oct. 15 at the Tahlequah City Cemetery
to honor their common ancestor who had traveled the Trail of Tears
as an infant with her parents Ti-kah-eh-ski, known in English as
Dick Easky, and her mother Patsy Tidwell. They had lived in the
old Cherokee Nation at Suwanee Old Town on the Chattahoochee River
in what is now Gwinnett County, Georgia. Peggy's older siblings
Nancy, Alsie, Susie, Pressha and Andrew also made the journey west
to Indian Territory with the Moses Daniel detachment.
David Stand of Tahlequah said he was happy to meet many new
relatives among the people who came to honor their common ancestor.
He added his "heart is heavy" for what his great-grandmother went
through to make it to Indian Territory.
Stand said he knew very little about his grandmother other than
what his dad and aunts shared with him as a young man. He said what
he now knows about his grandmother was learned recently through
his daughter Robin's research.
"It's honor and a blessing. I was humbled because I didn't know
I was going to meet all of these people who are family," Stand said.
"I feel a rebirth because I now know who my grandmother was and
what she endured on the Trail of Tears."
Director of the Trail of Tears Association Troy Poteete speaks
to descendants of Margaret "Peggy" Dick who survived the Trail
of Tears during an Oct. 15 ceremony to honor her at the Tahlequah
City Cemetery. The association placed a plaque on Dick's grave
to signify she survived the forced removal in the fall and
winter of 1838 and 1839. (photo by Will Chavez - Cherokee
Birth records from the old Cherokee Nation can be sparse or
non-existent, but it's believed Margaret "Peggy" Dick was born about
1838 at what is now Ball Ground, Georgia. The family had moved from
Suwanee Old Town to the Ball Ground area near the confluence of
the Etowah River and Long Swamp Creek because of problems with white
encroachment. Her Cherokee name was Wakee, but she was frequently
called "Peggy." In the spring of 1838, U. S. soldiers began rounding
up Cherokees to begin the forced removal west.
After a delay during the summer, the Easky family left with
the Daniel detachment on Sept. 30, 1838, from Bradley County near
present-day Cleveland, Tennessee. They arrived in Indian Territory
on March 2, 1839, and disbanded at Webber's Depot in what is now
Stilwell after traveling 164 days and suffering approximately 48
Robin Stand of Tahlequah is the great-great granddaughter of
Dick. She said about a year ago she began researching her ancestors
on Ancestry.com, so that she could have information to share with
her son and family members. Through her research she met relatives
Sue and Harry Hood and Kori Carriger, another great-granddaughter.
"We started digging and we started sharing back and forth. Sue
and Harry did the extra steps to talk to the Trail of Tears (Association)
to get the plaque put on her grave," she said. "It's humbling and
it's a honor, and I'm just glad I was able to participate and pull
this all together for my family on the Stand side."
Stand said at least six generations of Dick's family attended
the Oct. 15 marking ceremony. She added on the Stand side of the
family she was able to go back six generations and on the Dick side
she went back seven to eight generations.
"I'm pretty astonished by how much I've been able to find,"
In 1839, the Easkys settled in the Going Snake District of the
Cherokee Nation. Dick Easky died in 1840. About 1855, Peggy married
an Old Settler Cherokee, Alexander Campbell. They had one son, Alexander.
Peggy's husband died about 1857 and about 1859 she married Jack
Daugherty Stand. They had one son, Robin Bruce Stand. Jack died
early in the Civil War.
About 1863 Peggy married Charles Dick who was of Creek and Cherokee
descent. They had six children, Andrew Dick, John Henry Dick, Sarah
Dick, Taylor Dick, George Washington Dick and Charles A. Dick. The
Dick family farmed in what is now Adair County. Peggy Dick died
on December 7, 1887 in Tahlequah and Charles Dick died on July 27,
1888. They are both buried in the Tahlequah City Cemetery.
Sue Franklin Hood of Fort Worth, Texas, said her mother was
of the Dick family and was born in Checotah, Oklahoma. She married
her father who was in the Air Force and moved the family extensively,
so she did not grow up in Oklahoma and did not get to learn about
her Cherokee heritage. When she began researching her mother's family
she discovered Margaret Dick was her great-grandmother.
"It was a very inspiring learning situation, and it brought
me to these cousins I've never met before," she said. "It's such
an amazing feeling for everyone to come together and honor this
woman that went through so much."
She added she wanted the family attending the ceremony to understand
that the forced removal of her ancestors is not just confined to
history books, it happened to Cherokee families like theirs.
Oklahoma Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association President
was present at the Oct. 15 ceremony and unveiled a bronze plaque
that the association had attached to Dick's headstone. The plaque
reads: "In honor of one who endured the forced removal of the Cherokees
in 1838-39. The Trail of Tears Association Oklahoma Chapter." The
plaque also includes the TOTA and Cherokee Nation seals.
"It's a privilege for us as the Oklahoma Chapter of the Trail
of Tears Association to mark your ancestor's grave who came on the
Trail of Tears," Rohr told the family. "This is one of our main
projects in the Oklahoma chapter, so we are very privileged and
honored to be able to do this."