Ft. Coffee Cemetery - Choctaw Freedmen
Ft. Coffee, Oklahoma
Documented by Tonia Holleman, and Angela Y. Walton-Raji
Located in the eastern Oklahoma Community of Ft. Coffee, this cemetery is a primarily African American community, a majority of whom have ties to Choctaw Freedmen Ancestors and to Choctaw ancestors from the days of Indian Territory. Many of the oldest burials in this cemetery are of Freedmen with documented ties to Indian Territory and the Choctaw Indians. This burial site holds graves of leaders from the Freedmen community, their families and leaders who struggled from the days after freedom in 1866, till the days of Oklahoma statehood in 1907 when they finally gained American citizenship. Some of the elders buried in this burial ground arrived in the 1830s during the removal, and others were born on Choctaw Nation soil, toiled on Choctaw land without pay, till the treaty of 1866 gave them freedom and a sense of hope for their survival.
This is community like others in the Choctaw Nation, (Idabel, Brazil, Oak Lodge, Skullyville and others) where the slave rebellion of the 1860s, gave birth to the determined spirit of the Choctaw Freedman leaders, such as Squire Hall, Bynum Colbert, Watson Brown and so many more. The burials are listed here in the honor of the Choctaw Freedmen and this is an effort to begin to record their history.