Jesse's Top Matches
About Jesse Chisholm
esse Chisholm (1806 – March 4, 1868) was an Indian trader, guide, and interpreter, born in the Hiwassee region of Tennessee, probably in 1806. He is chiefly famous for being the namesake to the Chisholm Trail, which ranchers used to drive their cattle to eastern markets. Chisholm had built a number of trading posts in what is now western Oklahoma before the American Civil War. Ironically, he never drove cattle on the trail named for him.
His father, Ignatius Chisholm, was of Scottish ancestry and had worked as a merchant and slave trader in the Knoxville area in the 1790s. Around 1800 he married a Cherokee woman in the Hiwassee area, with whom he had three sons; Jesse was the eldest. Sometime thereafter Ignatius Chisholm separated from Jesse's mother and moved to Arkansas Territory. Jesse Chisholm was evidently taken to Arkansas by his mother with Tahlonteskee's group in 1810. During the late 1820s he moved to the Cherokee Nation and settled near Fort Gibson in what is now eastern Oklahoma. Chisholm became a trader and in 1836 married Eliza Edwards, daughter of James Edwards, who ran a trading post in what is now Hughes County, Oklahoma. Chisholm took trade goods west and south into Plains Indians country, was fluent in fourteen dialects, established small trading posts, and was soon in demand as a guide and interpreter. He was universally trusted for his fairness and neutrality, critical assets as diverse and often hostile cultures interacted for the first time. Eventually he interpreted at treaty councils in Texas, Indian Territory, and Kansas.