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ANTONE

ANTONE (ca. 1780–ca. 1870). Antone, first chief of the Alabama Indians in Texas, was born near Lafourche, Louisiana, about 1780. He was elected chief about 1806. In September 1839 Gustav Dresel, the first German consul in Texas, visited Fenced-In Village and referred to Antone as absolute monarch of all the Alabamas. He wrote that Antone had two cabins-a regular log cabin and a summer house with cane walls to admit cooling breezes. From 1800 to 1855 the Alabama Indians moved from one village site to another, seeking permanent homes in western Tyler County and eastern Polk County. As principal chief, Antone directed tribal members in these movements.

The highlight of Antone's service as principal chief was his successful request for a grant of land from the state of Texas for a permanent reservation. While the Alabamas were living at Rock Village in eastern Polk County, a petition for land signed by Antone, the tribal subchiefs, and prominent citizens of Polk County was presented to the Texas legislature, on October 29, 1853. This petition was approved, and the state purchased 1,110.7 acres of land for the Alabama Indian reservation.

After the Alabamas moved onto their reservation, during the winter of 1854–55, they expressed the need for an agent or reservation administrator to assist in tribal business matters, in contacts with government officials, and in relations with their white neighbors. On November 24, 1855, Antone and the subchiefs of the tribe signed a request for an agent, addressed to the Texas Senate and House of Representatives. The state of Texas attempted to move the Polk County Indians to the Lower Brazos Reserve in 1858, and Indian agent James Barclay rode across Texas on horseback in October of that year with Antone and a delegation of other Alabamas and Coushattas to inspect the new reservation. From the Indians' viewpoint, the Lower Brazos Reserve was a barren, dreary land compared to the forested hills of their Polk County reservation. The Indian leaders told Barclay they did not want to move from East Texas.

In 1862 nineteen members of the Alabama and Coushatta Indians were recruited and sworn into service with Company G, Twenty-fourth Texas Cavalry Regiment (Second Lancers), C.S.A. Antone expressed a desire to enter service with this group, but there is no record that he was accepted. He died about 1870 and was buried in the Coushatta cemetery near the village of Coushatta chief Colita on the Logan League in San Jacinto County, Texas. See also ALABAMA-COUSHATTA INDIANS.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Anna K. Fain, The Story of Indian Village (Livingston, Texas, 1948). Vivian Fox, The Winding Trail: The Alabama-Coushatta Indians of Texas (Austin: Eakin Press, 1983). Aline T. Rothe, Kalita's People (Waco: Texian Press, 1963). Harriet Smither, "The Alabama Indians of Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 36 (October 1932). U.S. House of Representatives, Alabama Indians in Texas (document 1232, 61st Cong., 3d Sess., 1911). U.S. House of Representatives, Alabama Indians of Texas (document 866, 62d Cong., 2d Sess., 1912).

Howard N. Martin

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Howard N. Martin, "ANTONE," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fan48), accessed December 25, 2014. Uploaded on June 9, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.