SARASEN, CHIEF - Jefferson County, Arkansas | CHIEF SARASEN - Arkansas Gravestone Photos

Chief SARASEN

Saint Josephs Cemetery
Jefferson County,
Arkansas

Sarasen
Chief of the Quapaws
Died 1832
Aged 97 Years
Friend of the Missionaries
Rescuer of Captive Children
C.S.D.I.W.

Saracen was a chief of the Quapaws during the tragic era when their numbers dwindled and they were moved out of Arkansas through treaties with the U.S. Government.
But prior to this, the Quapaws helped civilize a wild frontier, later to be known as the State of Arkansas, by keeping peace in Southeast Arkansas and befriending the early settlers. The most famous of the Quapaws in local lore is Saracen. He was born around 1735 of mixed parentage. His father is believed to be Cadet Francois Sarazin, and the two names are listed side by side on the 1744 Register of Arkansas Post. In the ascendancy of the American occupation of Arkansas, Saracen was listed as “an old man” when he talked to Father John Odin near Pine Bluff in 1824.
Sometime between 1744 and 1824 there occurred the incident that was the springboard for the legend of Saracen, rescuer of captured children. The popular version of the legend took place at Pine Bluff. A marauding band of Chickasaws stole two children from a young mother, who beseeched Saracen to return her children. He agreed to make the rescue attempt and followed the Chickasaws downriver, overtaking them late at night. The Quapaw warhoop erupted out of the dark woods, echoing repeatedly and drove off the Chickasaws. Saracen then returned the children to their mother.
This version of the legend was used by T.B. Morton in his novel, “Daniel Hovey,” published in 1901. In the novel, Daniel Hovey was one of the children rescued by Saracen, whose life was interwoven into the history of Pine Bluff and Arkansas.
In 1824, the Quapaws signed the treaty in which they abandoned all of their lands in Southeast Arkansas and moved to the Caddo country, near present day Texarkana. This exodus was led by Antoine Barraque and Saracen. But the location did not prove sucessful and most of the Quapaws quietly moved back to Jefferson County. Consequently a third and final treaty was signed by the Quapaws when, in 1833, they agreed to move to Oklahoma, just northwest of Fort Smith. But Saracen did not go to Oklahoma. He petitioned the Governor of Arkansas to be allowed to spend his remaining days on the river of his youth. This wish was granted and Saracen was given acreage on the river where the Port of Pine Bluff is presently located. When he died, he was buried in the old town cemetery, located behind the Methodist Church at Fourth and Main in Pine Bluff. In 1888, the town cemetery was moved to Bellwood, the grave of Saracen was pointed out to Father J.M.Lucy, pastor of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. After obtaining permission from the Bishop, Father Lucy had Saracen’s remains buried in the Catholic Cemetery where he lies in peace today.
Saracen was a chief of the Quapaws during the tragic era when their numbers dwindled and they were moved out of Arkansas through treaties with the U.S. Government. But prior to this, the Quapaws helped civilize a wild frontier, later to be known as the State of Arkansas, by keeping peace in Southeast Arkansas and befriending the early settlers. The most famous of the Quapaws in local lore is Saracen. He was born around 1735 of mixed parentage. His father is believed to be Cadet Francois Sarazin, and the two names are listed side by side on the 1744 Register of Arkansas Post. In the ascendancy of the American occupation of Arkansas, Saracen was listed as "an old man" when he talked to Father John Odin near Pine Bluff in 1824.
Sometime between 1744 and 1824 there occurred the incident that was the springboard for the legend of Saracen, rescuer of captured children. The popular version of the legend took place at Pine Bluff. A marauding band of Chickasaws stole two children from a young mother, who beseeched Saracen to return her children. He agreed to make the rescue attempt and followed the Chickasaws downriver, overtaking them late at night. The Quapaw warhoop erupted out of the dark woods, echoing repeatedly and drove off the Chickasaws. Saracen then returned the children to their mother. This version of the legend was used by T.B. Morton in his novel, "Daniel Hovey," published in 1901. In the novel, Daniel Hovey was one of the children rescued by Saracen, whose life was interwoven into the history of Pine Bluff and Arkansas. In 1824, the Quapaws signed the treaty in which they abandoned all of their lands in Southeast Arkansas and moved to the Caddo country, near present day Texarkana. This exodus was led by Antoine Barraque and Saracen. But the location did not prove sucessful and most of the Quapaws quietly moved back to Jefferson County. Consequently a third and final treaty was signed by the Quapaws when, in 1833, they agreed to move to Oklahoma, just northwest of Fort Smith. But Saracen did not go to Oklahoma. He petitioned the Governor of Arkansas to be allowed to spend his remaining days on the river of his youth. This wish was granted and Saracen was given acreage on the river where the Port of Pine Bluff is presently located. When he died, he was buried in the old town cemetery, located behind the Methodist Church at Fourth and Main in Pine Bluff. In 1888, the town cemetery was moved to Bellwood, the grave of Saracen was pointed out to Father J.M.Lucy, pastor of St. Joseph's Catholic Church. After obtaining permission from the Bishop, Father Lucy had Saracen's remains buried in the Catholic Cemetery where he lies in peace today.

Contributed on 3/1/11 by richard110
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Record #: 476121

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Submitted: 3/1/11 • Approved: 2/1/12 • Last Updated: 7/24/12 • R476121-G0-S3

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