Trail of Tears Tribute for Arch Scraper
Descendants of Arch Scraper (1999) left-right: Joe Scraper Sr, Manford Scraper Jr, Leta Rector, Olivene Coker, Joe Scraper Jr, & Cliff Rector" Some of Scraper's descendants at the Memorial

On November 20th 1999, a Memorial Tribute was held to honor Captain Archibald Scraper for having survived ‘The Trail of Tears.’ He crossed the trail with his mother, Tiana (Smith) Scraper, his sister Sally, and his 3 brothers, George, Otter, and Charlie. They traveled from the Old Cherokee Nation to Indian Territory with the Richard Taylor detachment. Jess French began the Tribute by singing a Cherokee hymn, Jack Baker, National President of the Trail of Tears Association, followed with the opening remarks. The afternoon could not have been more perfect as calm winds and nearly seventy degree temperatures greeted approximately forty guests at the Scraper cemetery nestled within the beautiful, heavily wooded Cherokee Hills of Scraper Hollow, Oklahoma. A story passed down through the family tells us that after all three of his sons by his first marriage were tragically killed, Archibald married a young lady named Mary Ross Little so that he could continue his family line. Arch and Mary were the parents of two sons, Frank and Manford. Very few grandchildren of those who endured the forced removal are still living today, yet among those in attendance at this ceremony were two of Manford’s sons, Manford Jr. and Joseph. Also present were Tom and Olivene Coker who drove in from Tulsa so that they could witness the Memorial Service. Olivene is a great-granddaughter of Archibald Scraper and his first wife, Malinda McIntosh. Clifford Rector and his daughter Leta made the trip from Sapulpa to honor his great-great-grandfather with their presence. Some of the Rector’s still live in the Scraper Hollow area, including Clifford’s brother Donald. Lenora (Scraper) Hamilton, a great-granddaughter, lives in nearby Green Hollow.

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Many of Archibald’s descendants live in the northeast Oklahoma region. Besides the Scraper’s and the Rector’s, a few of their names are; Foreman, Walkingstick, England, Sanders, Wolfe, Coker, Whitmire, and Blackwood. It would be difficult to find a Cherokee surname that didn’t belong on a list of those connected by marriage to Archibald, his brothers, or his uncles. Captain Scraper was the thirty-third Trail of Tears survivor to be honored by having a plaque placed on his tombstone. He spent his life in service to his people. His many titles included School Board member, Delegate to Washington, and President of the Senate of the Cherokee Nation. During the Civil War, he and the thousand men under his command were assigned the task of defending the Goingsnake District from invaders. For about six weeks he was in charge of protecting Chief John Ross at Park Hill, along with the Cherokee Nation Treasury, and the official documents of the Cherokee Nation. During the ceremony family members shared stories of their ancestor, including one in which Archibald had been a scout on the Trail of Tears when he was about seventeen, and of how the Scraper settlement along Highway 10 was named in honor of Capt. Scraper. After a Dedication to Archibald, Jess French lead the gathering in singing Amazing Grace in Cherokee and concluded the event by saying a prayer.

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The National Trail of Tears Association was organized in 1996. Each chapter has been working on a project for their state in connection with the National Park Board. Most of the states are concentrating on identifying and marking the actual path of the different trails traveled as the Cherokees were forced to move from their homes in the East to Indian Territory. The Oklahoma Chapter chose as their project the locations of burial sites of “those who survived the forced removal of 1838-1839." The headstone of each individual identified would then be ceremonially marked with a bronze plaque. In this way we honor their memory and insure that their struggle will not be soon forgotten. We encourage members to assist in the research and appreciate their input. Family members are invited to take an active part in the ceremonies. Membership in the organization is $25.00 per year and you will periodically receive the TOTA Newsletter which will keep you informed as to the meeting times and places and the names of those who are to be so honored. The members of the committee for the Oklahoma Chapter Trail of Tears Association are Ed Henshaw (President), Marge Lowe (Vice-President), Wanda Morris Elliott (Secretary/Treasurer), Rose Guthrie, and Virginia Vann Perry. Mary Tidwell who was also present at the Tribute, is a board member of the National Trail of Tears Association. If you know where a person is buried who was one of those who endured the forced removal, and would like to request that a marker be placed on his or her tombstone, please contact The Trail of Tears Association, Oklahoma Chapter, P O Box 96, Park Hill, OK 74451. All donations are tax deductible.

Note: Contact information for the National Trail of Tears Association as of Jan 2007: 1100 N. University, Suite 143, Little Rock, AR 72207-6344 (501)666-9032 - FAX(501)666-5875 - 1-800-441-4513 website http://www.nationaltota.org/

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