¶The following is an updated version of the message originally left on 13 Sep 2010
¶Just as Patty Wilson, John Linder, and George Brown, I, too, am a direct descendant of James Monroe Arnold and his first wife, Telitha Frances "Tillie" Katz (Choctaw name: Owah). My great-grandfather, William Arnold, was the fourth child born to this union.
¶It has been broadly hinted that James Monroe Arnold's fifth child, James - often referred to as "James K." - might have been born to Lucinda "Phoebe" Cupit before Tillie died. Since James was 18 years younger than William, it certainly gives rise to speculation. However, if burying Tillie in hallowed ground meant so much to James that he would donate land for a burial ground, it seems out of character that he dishonor his marriage vows to his wife by dallying with Mrs. Cupit or any other woman.
¶More than likely, Tillie knew the widow Cupit as the Cupit farm was just two farms from the Arnold's (according to census records). Whether or not they were actually friends is irrelevant.
¶While a specific date for Tillie's death is unknown, more than likely, she died long before her widower married the widow Cupit in March 1867. James Monroe Arnold, himself, was dead by November 1870, so that marriage was short-lived. It is not unheard of for a woman to bear another child long after she thought she was past childbearing. Since there is absolutely no way to know for sure, it is reasonable to believe that James Arnold, born in 1863, was the son of Tillie. The child James was over age 4 when James Monroe Arnold married the widow Cupit. If Tillie died shortly after young James' birth in 1863, would James Monroe Arnold have waited four years to make an honest woman of Lucinda "Phoebe" Cupit?
¶As far as yet another son, Philip, is concerned, this is the first reference to him I have seen. Searching for official documents that support the existence of Philip Arnold born in the late 1860s in Franklin County, Mississippi, and, most specifically, in support of a son named Philip fathered by James Monroe Arnold, has been fruitless. There is not a single record that suggests this scenario. From where did his name come? Is it possible that George has confused some records?
¶The person often referred to as James K. Arnold (K. for Katz?) was not a son of James Monroe Arnold by either of his wives. James K. "Jim" Arnold was the seventh of 10 children born to James Monroe Arnold's youngest son James (middle name unknown) Arnold whose mother is in question in earlier paragraphs.
¶James (middle name unknown) Arnold, b. in 1863, married Isabelle A. Coleman. Their son, James K. "Jim" Arnold, was born 21 May 1890 and died 13 Feb 1960 in Louisiana. Would James (middle name unknown) Arnold name one of his children after Tillie if she were not his mother?
¶Although census records indicate that James Monroe Arnold's grandson James K. "Jim" Arnold could read and write, instead of signing his signature on his WWI Draft Registration Card, he made his mark (an X), which tells us he was illiterate. None of James Monroe Arnold's children appear to have been able to read and/or write, at least not until later in life, if at all. However, all of my great-grandfather William's children received enough education for them to learn to read and write.
¶Without knowing positively the identity of James Monroe Arnold's parents, especially the father, and the place where he was born, we will never be able to research any further back. There has been speculation about two different sets of parents for James Monroe Arnold but none have been proven satisfactorily because there are too many inconsistencies.
¶Originally, I believed that James Monroe Arnold arrived in Mississippi as a soldier during the War of 1812 and was sent to the vicinity of Amite County. That is probably where he met Tillie.
¶I have since re-thought James' original presence in southwest Mississippi, based upon researching the history of the state of Mississippi, itself. What I found is that, at the time of James Monroe Arnold's birth, c. 1788, boundaries of one of the original 13 states, Georgia, extended all the way to the eastern bank of the Mississippi River. This included what we know today as Mississippi. I believe that James Monroe Arnold was born, not within the state of Georgia as we know it today but in the part of the original boundary of Georgia thay included southwest Mississippi. At that time, it would, of course, have been part of Georgia and anyone born there would have been a native of Georgia. More than likely, James Monroe Arnold never set foot within the borders of what we know today as the state of Georgia.
¶I have completely disregarded those postings that suggest James Monroe Arnold was born in New England. To begin with, he never claimed to have been born anywhere except Georgia or North Carolina. The inconsistencies between the few known facts of his life and the information provided on those postings do not support his being born in New England.
¶What many people have either failed to notice or just disregarded because it didn't fit into the puzzle according to their findings is that none of the two or three sets of identified parents attributed to James Monroe Arnold are supported by any kind of documentation, either official documents or by family history found in the family Bible.
¶Although there seems to be cause for connecting James Monroe Arnold to at least one set of those parents, that connection, too, is unproven due to a lack of official documentation. Evidently, the connection is based upon a purported brother named Halsey or Alsey or some form of that old-fashioned name. James and Telitha Arnold named one of their oldest sons Alsey or some form of that name and that certainly tends to lend credibility to the suggestion. However, that is not enough to conclude James Monroe Arnold even knew that family. Arnold, even in the late 18th/early 19th century was not an uncommon surname and the given name Halsey and its various forms was very a popular given at that time in history.
Earliest records show that newly-weds James Monroe and Telitha Frances "Tillie" Arnold ived in Copiah County and that is where Lorenzo Dow, Alsey, Mary Jane, and William were born. They relocated to Franklin County around 1859.
Since the Choctaw nation evidently maintained no records or had no written history, Tillie's parents - Little Creek and Tishku (no surnames back then) - there is no way to learn more of them. I have found no references to sub-chief Little Creek in any of the references available on the Choctaw people.
There is no absolute no record to prove their marriage. More than likely James Monroe Arnold married Tillie in an Indian ceremony which would probably have gone unreported. This was not uncommon. The marriages attributed to him - one to someone named Winner and another to someone named Kitty T. T. Paul, were probably marriages of a different James Arnold. Diligent research has proven that there were several men named James Arnold in that area at that time.
¶I will be curious to know what others feel about my thoughts presented here.
¶Betty Arnold Henderson