Hattie Jane's Story, as told to her great grandson, Dr James Phillipsdiscovertheword.com
Hattie Jane Paul Corley
(This is the earliest picture we have of Grams. It was taken about the time of her first marriage to Harry Stewart. She was 16. The picture is distorted but you can tell that she was a very pretty girl.)
Part of an of interview in a Chickasaw hearing concerning Sarah Jane Lambert Paul.
Question. Mrs. Paul , state how your husband, Sam Paul, during the time you lived with him , was he good to you or not?
Answer, He was not.
Question. In what respect was he not good?
Answer. Every way that was barbarous.
Question. What do you know of his relations with other women during that time?
Answer. He was with them all the time -- he kept them all the time.
Question. Well state how he kept them and where?
Answer. He kept them in my house.
Same hearing, but we jump down through many questions and answers after Sarah names illegitimate children that were born to Sam Paul and the different women whom she names, to this point where Sarah is further questioned about Jim Ross and her relationship with him and how Sam Paul treated her.
Mattie Paul Ebisch Willie Paul
Pictures of three of Sam Paul's illegitimate children
Answer. Yes he tried to shoot me lots of times.
Question. Describe one instance of what he did and said to you ?
Answer. He came home – he was just like a stranger—came in that time asked if I heard about some men getting killed and I said I did and he just run a pistol up my head and said he would show me how they were killed, and tried to kill me but I broke away.
A few questions later she is again asked about testimony Hugh A. Campbell has given on October 24, 1902. Sarah is asked if she knows that Hugh Campbell was present in the Cherokee nation near where she was living with Jim Ross. She says no.
Question He mentions a man by the name of Jim Ross. Were you ever married to Jim Ross?
Answer. No Sir.
Question. There is a note in the record that you married Jim Ross and had a child by him; Did you?
Answer. No sir I never had a child by any one but Sam Paul.
Question. Why Mrs. Paul was it that you continued to remain as the wife of Sam Paul after he treated you so badly and brought this lewd woman to his house?
Answer. Simply because I had to. He tried to run me off and I returned to my father and asked him to take us. He told me it was better for one to be killed than the whole family.
Question. Was your father afraid of Sam Paul?
Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. What was the disposition of Sam Paul? How many men had he killed in his life?
Answer. I suppose fifteen or sixteen.
Jim and His Daughter Dakotah in Indian Dress
My Name is Jim Phillips. I am the great great grandson of Samuel Ikard Paul and Sarah Jane Lambert Paul. I will tell this story through the eyes and words of my great grandmother Hattie Jane Paul AKA Hattie Corley.
My father Sam Paul was a very powerful and feared man in Indian Territory and what became Oklahoma. He was a lawman and a Senator among the Chickasaw people. He killed a lot of outlaws in early Indian Territory. My mother was Sarah Jane Lambert Paul. My mother and father fought a lot over everything. Many times according to my mother Sam would come in drunk and threaten to shoot or kill her and she would take off to the hills to hide herself and my brothers till Sam sobered up. She said that he would bring his girlfriends, prostitutes, and lovers home and kick her out of the bedroom and make her sleep in the kitchen on a pallet on the floor or a cot in the corner of the room. Mother said at times she would get so mad at him that she would insult him. Sarah said she just couldn’t keep her mouth shut and would say some stupid thing and he would threaten to kill or shoot her again. One time Sam came home and asked my mother if she had heard about the men he killed and she said, "Yes, did you shoot them in the back?" She said he rolled his big pistol up to her head and asked if she wanted him to show her how he killed them.
This all sets the background for my birth. I have two brothers Willie and Buck Paul. My mother and father fought a lot but they had four children. I was the last child born to Sarah and Sam Paul.
My father had been arrested for killing two outlaws and both of them were white men. Judge Parker hated my father and thought that he killed too many outlaws instead of bringing them to court, especially white outlaws. My father Sam Paul had been arrested just after my mother got pregnant with me. She felt that this time Parker would hang my father and she would be free of him at last. One time while Sam was on a rampage Mother went back home to her father and mother Hiram and Emily Lambert and begged them to take her in. But Grandpa Hiram bolted the door and told Sarah that she had made her decisions and that it would be better that only one would be killed rather than the whole family killed..
My father Sam Paul was arrested in July 1882 and he was taken to Fort Smith Arkansas before Judge Parker. He was in jail there with Jim Ross. When Jim Ross got out on bail my mother Sarah looked Jim Ross up and made a deal with him to testify against Sam in court to say he shot down that white boy in cold blooded murder. Mother had promised to pay Jim Ross a lot of money to hide her in the Cherokee nation while she had her baby so that no would know about she had Sam’s last child and no one would take me from her. She also had him promise to take Buck and Willie and hide them too. Mother knew that if Sam died or was hung that it was possible for his family to take his children from her because they were powerful politicians among the Chickasaws. My mother was not romantically interested in Jim Ross at all but he was her road out of a very bad situation.
After I was born my mother gave me to her sister Juliana Lambert Corley to hide and to raise as her child.. I would get to be with my mother and aunt all the time, no matter what happened to Buck and Willie my brothers.
My father Sam Paul did get out of prison by a presidential pardon. My mother moved in with her family and Sam divorced her and got custody of my two brothers Buck and Willie Paul.
Over the years I got to be around my father a lot but I don’t think he ever knew who I really was. I always knew that he was my father as long as I can remember. He thought I was his niece and not his daughter. He treated me real good and I wasn’t afraid of him as my mother was. I went to the Paul mansion many times and my father and grandpa Smith Paul would give me a gold or silver coin out of this great big strongbox full of a lot of gold and silver coins.
I watched my father give speeches many times and people would shoot at him and he would keep on speaking just like it didn’t happen. He was a very handsome man with steel gray eyes just like mine.
I saw him in a carnival on the forth of July gathering and he used to stand like a statue real still. He did not blink an eye and you couldn’t even see him breath. He was so handsome standing there dressed in his nice suits. The girls would come by and look at him real close to see if he was real or a statue. He would just stand there, as I watched him from a distance. One girl and her boyfriend came by several times and she looked at him real close. She finally reached out and touched him and he said "Boo!" She screamed real load and fainted and fell on the ground. Everybody laughed and they had to revive her. That was my father.
Sam Paul, about 1890
To be continued