By Ralph B. Cushman
Biography: Jesse Chisholm
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Additional info for Jesse Chisholm: Trail Blazer, Sam Houston's Trouble-Shooter Friend, Kin to the Cherokee
And sold into slavery as an indentured servant. 3 He had bought his freedom in six years in time to fight for his adopted country against the British in 1776. Jesse listened and questioned the old warrior. Lyon delved into Chisholm's lore about the wilderness and its inhabitants. Each was rewarded for time they spent together, while Lyon was being introduced to his charges, the Cherokees. Chisholm became so enraptured as he listened to Lyon's story he could think of little else. 4 When Congress passed President John Adams' "Alien and Sedition Law," Lyon virtually stood alone in opposition.
He studied the movement and behavior of animals, birds, and even insects to find signs of water. He noted that horses, cattle, and deer moved in a line toward water but meandered and grazed after drinking their fill. Some birds such as sparrows and wrens held their beaks open en route to water, but they carried something in their mouths flying back to their nests. 22 In this most primitive area, young Jesse developed and honed his great "homing instinct" his God-given talent for knowing where he was heading at all times and under all conditions.
The only other options for the young in Indian society were illness, crippling injury, or premature death. He played the Indian games deemed necessary to develop a young man's mind and body: stick ball, hoop and pole games, and the green corn dance. 20 Chisholm excelled in every undertaking. His early exposure to the forces of the elements and Page 14 other ordeals made him mentally alert and as physically tough as the rawhide that covered his powerful body. Although his exterior was tough, his nature was sensitive and he had a feeling of compassion for all mankind.