Fortunately for me, James Pool, the blacksmith, for the Seneca, Delaware, and Shawnee, left a paper trail a mile wide, and it keeps growing. It was through him that I was finally able to document any family connections for Azariah Holcomb - they were brother-in-laws. Knowing that Azariah Holcomb and Phoebe Pool were siblings, made it possible to link them both to their brother Enoch Holcomb.
James Pool was born in Virginia c. 1809 in Virginia. and died sometime after 1867, location unknown.
James Pool married Phebe Holcum on 8 Aug 1824 in St. Genevieve County, Missouri in the home of Benaja C. or Benajah Brown. Brown probably had some sort of family connection to Phebe since her brother was James Brown.
Phoebe Holcomb was the sister of Azariah Holcomb.
The known children of Phoebe (Holcomb) and James Pool:
1. George W. Pool
2. Andrew Jackson Pool
3. Esther Minerva Pool
4. Sarah A. Pool
James Pool lived in the Delaware village from about 1822 to 1830:
"Another Kaskaskian, James Pool, and his white wife, Phoebe, lived in the Delaware village from about 1822 to 1830. Pool, who was the Delaware blacksmith, was an employee of the government at the James Fork Trading Post."
[Source: White River Valley Historical Quarterly; vol. 6, no. 3, Spring 1977
The source above may be the cause for some to speculate that James Pool was a half-breed. Note that no primary sources to date reference him as being an Indian of any tribe. The Kaskaskia were an Illinois tribe, not a Virginia tribe. James Pool's birth in Virginia would seem to negate the possibility that he was a Kaskaskian Indian. Three primary documents generated during his lifetime state that he was born in Virginia.: the 1850 census and two treasury department registers, examined below. The reference that James Pool was a Kaskaskian is probably more accurately a reference to his possible residence on Kaskaskia Island near Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri. It would have a been a likely residence since he was well acquainted with its inhabitants; however, he is just as likely to have been a resident of Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri. The statement above, indicating that Phebe was "his white wife," probably stems from Joseph Philibert's deposition given in 1875 in the Missouri Supreme Court case against the William Gillis Estate:
"Int. 89 Were you acquainted with James Pool at James Fork trading post. If yea, state how long said Pool lived there, what was him employment and his wife s name if you recollect it.
Ans. I was acquainted with Pool before we came to this country. He was here when I came. He was the Delaware blacksmith - employed by the government at James Fork trading post. He lived there until 1820 [sic - should be 1830] when he moved to the Kaw river I was acquainted with with Mrs. Pool. I think her name was Phebe. Mrs. Pool left with Mr. Pool for Kaw River in the fall of 1830. She, Mrs. Pool, was a white woman."
[Source: Transcript of Joseph Philibert Deposition in Missouri Supreme Court Case Against the William Gillis Estate. Filed January 15, 1875. Contributed by Wilma Fields]
This deposition probably stresses that James Pool's wife was white because many of the fur trappers and government workers had taken Indian wives. The deposition seems to be a partial attempt to account for the women in the area. Without seeing the rest of Gillis's case file, it is impossible to speculate as to why this specific question was asked.
Iron objects and smelting wastes have been excavated by researchers from the Center for Archaelogical Research, Missouri State Universty, from the site where James Pool's blacksmith shop probably stood in DelawareTown on the James Fork of the White River. That site was catalogued as 23CN455 by researchers.
[Source: Delaware Town; Where the Wilson Meets the James]
The site of his smithy can been seen on a map contributed by Marcie Venner. See map labled as sites in James River Valley, including those with reported actual Delaware occupation.
[Source: The Delaware Along the James, uploaded by Marcie Venner]
Further research published in 2011 indicates that 23CN455 might have been a farmstead that site 23CN1B might actually be the blacksmith operation run by James Pool.
[Source: Archaeological Investigations of Delaware Occupation In the James River Valley of Southwest Missouri; Research Report No. 1452; Center for Archaeological Research; Missouri State University, 2011, by Marcie L. Venter et al]
In April of 1826, Pierre Menard wrote a letter from Kaskaskia to Indian Agent Richard Graham of the St. Louis Superintendency of Indian Affairs at St. Louis that James Pool reported "from the James Fork of the White River [Arkansas-Missouri] concerning the murder of several Delawares. Sixty or seventy Delawares were reported to be at either Anderson's or Nanundagum's Town and only three old men at Roastinger's Town about 300 yards from Marshall's on Finly...at a distance of about nine miles he can see the house of La-pa-ni-hile [eldest brother of Captain Ketchum] in flames.
[Source: Richard Graham papers, Clark Collection, vol. 10, Missouri Historical Society, CKH, p. 147]
On 10 June 1826, James Pool was one of the witnesses to a voucher for $5,300 from Richard Graham to the chiefs, councilmen, and captains of the Delaware.
[Source: The Delaware Indians: A History by C. A. Weslager]
On 24 September 1829, the government negotiated a new treaty with the Delawares that canceled their right to the lands on the James Fork in Missouri, where they were in residence and allotted land to them along the Kaw River [Kansas River] in present day Kansas. In the fall of 1830 many tribal members began the move under their own volition, arriving there in November of 1830.
[Source: The Delaware Indians: A History by C. A. Weslager]
On December 1831, Pierre Menard, paid James Pool $93 for transporting the Delaware from the White River to the Kansas River.
[Source: Kansas Historical Review, vol. 8, ed. Francis Asbury Sampson]
Leading members of the Church of Latter Day Saints arrived in Independence, Missouri in 1831 with the intent of converting the tribes to Mormonism. They crossed the Kaw [Kansas River] into the Delaware tribal lands. Parley P. Pratt wrote the following:
"There was an interpreter present and through him we commenced to make known our errand, and to tell him of the Book of Mormon. We asked him to call the council his nation together and give us a hearing in full. He promised to consider on it till next day, in the meantime recommending us to a certain Mr. Pool for entertainment; this was their blacksmith, employed by government...We again lodged at Mr. Pool's told him of the Book, had a very pleasant interview with him, and he became a believer and advocate for the Book, and served as interpreter."
[Source: Autobiography of Parley Parker Pratt, 1807 - 1857]
On 31 December 1833, Perre Menard, paid James Pool $93 for transporting the Delaware from White River to the Kansas River.
[Source: Congressional Serial Set, Government Printing Office, 1835]
8 June 1831, $8 paid to James Pool for two grindstones by R.W. Cummins found in Abstract Y: Abstract of Expenditures and Disbursements by William Clark, Superintendent to Indian Affairs at St. Louis, to carry into effect the supplementary article concluded at Council Camp on James Fork of White River, Missouri, the 24th Sepetember, 1829, to the Treaty with the Delawares of 3d October, 1818
[Source: Indian Removal Records - Senate Document #512, 23 Cong., 1 Sess. Vol. V]
In 1833 James Pool was hired as a carpenter for the Senecas of Sandusky at the Seneca Sub-Agency located in present day Delaware County, Oklahoma.
The following was written by Frank H. Harris:
"Acting on the recommendation of the Governor of Missouri, Commissioner Ellsworth on August 1, 1833 hired James Pool, from Independence, Missouri, to perform the duties of blacksmith for the Senecas of Sandusky. He also hired Azariah Holcomb, Mr. Pool's brother-in-law, as carpenter, to assist in the proposed erection of a grist mill for the Senecas. These two men did good service for the Senecas for several years. Cherokee West Agent, Vashon, complained in 1835, that Commissioner Ellsworth had no authority to hire the two men.
"Lieutenant Van Horne, while acting Seneca Sub-Agent in 1833, allowed Mr. Pool and his family to live at the Agnecy house. Van Horne state, 'As there seemed to me little probability that the Agency House would be required for the residence of a Sub-Agent: and as it was likely to go to ruin if not occupied: I have directed the blacksmith to occupy it at present.' Mr. Holcomb and his family were sick and were also allowed to live there, where they were cared for by the Pool family. Lieut. Van Horne, conscious of Mr. Holcoomb's illness, reported [on Dec. 31, 1833], 'I think it my duty to say that in my opinion, the man is unfit to be employed by the Department, either as a carpenter or miller.'
"The first blacksmith shop for the Senecas was built on the grounds near the Agnecy House, by Mr. Pool and Mr. Holcomb. It was built, 'of hewn logs, a naile on roof and cost together with the coal-house, only $15.80."
James Pool remained as blacksmith for the Seneca until 1841. Azariah Holcomb left earlier.
[Source: Harris, Frank H. "Seneca Sub-Agency, 1832-1838." The Chronicles of Oklahoma. p. 75 - 95.]
By 1840, James Pool and family were in Newton County, Missouri.
1840 Elk River Twp, Newton County, MO, page 227:
James Pool 0111101-200001
James Pool's 1840 household consists of the following:
one male age 5 - 10 = Andrew J. Pool
one male age 10 - 15 = unidentified male
one male age 15 - 20 = George W. Pool
one male age 20 - 20 = unidentified male
one male age 40 - 50 = James Pool
two females under age 5 = Minerva E. and Sarah A. Pool
one female age 40 - 50 = Phebe (Holcomb) Pool
The unidentified males are either sons who died during the next decade or males employed by James Pool. This is the only census on which Phoebe appears since they were living on the James Fork of the White River in 1830.
On 25 June 1841 James Pool, a resident of Missouri shot William Shearer, a resident of Newton County, Missouri. The wound was serious, and it was believed that Shearer would die. The offense was committed within the Seneca Nation, so when James Pool was apprehended by Daniel M. Strickdon, a blacksmith employed by the government, he was turned over to John B. Luce, Neosho Sub Agent. Luce sent Pool to Fort Wayne, which was the nearest military post, with the request that he be turned over the Marshall of Arkansas. On July 8, 1841, J. P. Simonton, the authority at Fort Wayne reported that two individuals reported at Fort Wayne, stating that they had been responsible for delivering James Pool, but that he had escaped in route. They turned over Luce's letter. However, on July 5th, James Pool himself had turned up at Fort Wayne and surrendered himself. Simonton complained that he lacked instructions of any kind that would guide him in determining what to do with Pool. Evidently, James Pool was taken to Fort Smith. On July 13, 1841, S. G. Simmons of the Western Division at Fort Smith reported back to Capt. S. P. Simonton at Fort Wayne that James Pool had been set free since it "would be useless to send him before a magistrate without some of the witnesses in the case." He admonished Simonton that "hereafter whenever a prisoner is sent before a magistrate, that sufficient testimony also be sent to commit him, if guilty."
Shortly after this James Pool and family removed to Independence, Jackson County, Missouri where James Pool operated his own blacksmith shop and assembled wagons for the Santa Fe trade.
The children of Phoebe Holcomb are identified in a lawsuit brought by Samuel Woodson against James Pool et al and settled by the Missouri State Supreme Court in 1853. This suit centers on establishing a clear title for a piece of land that had been purchased from Hall and held in trust by James Brown for Phoebe Pool and her children. One deposition relates the information that Phoebe had instigated the purchase of a piece of land in Independence, Missouri on which she wished to build a small house for herself and her children. The question was whether James Pool had placed the land in trust for Phoebe as a means of evading his creditors. Eventually, the land had been sold because of James Pool's debts. Phoebe had died. A clear title was now in question. James Pool himself had left for Santa Fe before 1850, leaving only some of his children scattered in Missouri. The result is over a 100 pages of depostions that were collected by the Missouri State Supreme Court to settle the matter.
In 1848, James Pool purchased 63 acres of land from Lydia Partridge, widow of Edward Partridge, and which he later sold to John Maxwell. James Pool must have almost immediately sold the property to Maxwell, since Pool was in Santa Fe, New Mexico by 1850. This property became the controversial Temple Lot Case. The Mormons believed that this particular parcel was Zion.
The second lawsuit, Church of Christ v. Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints:
"The bill of complaint further averred that after the death of said Edward Partridge, to wit, on May 5, 1848, his widow, Lydia Partridge, and three of his children, conveyed the lots in controversy to James Pool, notwithstanding the face that they had no title thereto by reason of the previous conveyance of the same on March 28, 1839, to the minor children of Oliver Cowdery; that aid James Pool, shortly thereafter, conveyed said property to John Maxwell; and that, by virtue of several other purchases and mesne conveyances, the Pool title to the premises in controversy became vested in one Granville Hedrick in trust for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which said last-named church the bill averred to the same church under a different name, as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The bill furthered averred that Gravnille Hedrick subsequently died, and that in an ex parte proceeding begun in the circuit court of Jackson county, Mo., Richard Hill, one of the defendants, was appointed trustee to hold the property and execute such trusts as may have been reposed in Granville Hedrick...Besides denying some other material allegations of the bill, the defendants pleaded substantially the following facts: That James Pool purchased the property in controversy from Lydia Partridge, the widow of Edward Partridge, and from Eliza M. Partridge, Emily D. Partridge, and Caroline E. Partridge, the children of Edward Partridge, in the year 1848, paying therefor the sum of #$300; that, at the time of making said purchase, said Pool had no notice whatever that any other person or persons claimed to have any interest in the property, and that the deed conveying the same to said James Pool was duly recorded in the proper registry office of Jackson county, Mo., on June 16, 1848; that James Pool shortly afterwards sold and conveyed said property to John Maxwell, who was also an innocent purchaser of the same for value; and that by virtue of numerous other conveyances thereafter made, which were specifically described in the defendants' answer, the title to lots 16, 20, and 21, originally acquired by James Pool from the heirs of Edward Partridge, became vested in John H. Hedrick prior to November 8, 1869; and that the title of said James Pool to lots 15, 17, 18, 19, and 22 became vested in one William Eaton prior to November 5, 1877...The deed for the same property that was executed by the widow and children of Edward Partridge on May 5, 1848, was filed for record and was recorded in Jackson county, Mo., on June 16, 1848. It purported to convey to James Pool, for an expressed consideration of $300, a tract of land described by metes and bounds, containing 63.43 acres. This tract was subsequently subdivided into five additions to the city of Independence, Mo., by persons who claimed title to the same under the conveyance to James Pool of date May 5, 1848. The first of these additions which embraces the lots in controversy, was made by Woodson & Maxwell, by a plat duly filed and recorded as early as March 31, 1851. Two other additions were carved out of the tract, and plats thereof were filed in the years 1866 and 1868. The residue of the tract became additions to the city by plats which were approved by the city authorities and filed during the years 1886 and 1887, respectively. Since the tract was thus subdivided into additions, and attached to the city of Independence, hundreds of persons have bought lots therein in reliance on the Pool title. Streets and alleys have been opened through the tract, and many buildings and other improvements have been erected, at great expense to numerous occupants of the property. These improvements began, as it seems, long prior to the year 1870, and have continued without interruption to the present date. The record further shows that the lots in controversy became the subject-matter of a suit in partition between the heirs of John Maxwell, deceased and Samuel H. Woodson, in the year 1859; and that by virtue of the decree in that suit, said lots were subsequently exposed for sale, and some of them were actually sold and conveyed to the respective purchasers. It should be stated in this connection that John Maxwell purchased the Pool title to the 63 acre tract originally owned by Edward Partridge as early as August 3, 1848. He entered into a contract with Samuel H. Woodson in February, 1851, by virtue of which the latter acquired interest in the property; and after the death of Maxwell and after the laying out of Woodson & Maxwell's addition, Woodson bought the aforesaid suit in partition against the heirs of Maxwell, which resulted in the decree of partition last mentioned and in a judicial sale of the premises in controversy.
[Source: The Federal Reporter, vol. 70 Cases Argued and Determined In The Circuit Courts of Appeals and Circuit and District Courts of the United States; November, 1895 - January, 1896]
In 1850 James Pool was in Santa Fe, NM
Sante Fe., New Mexico Territory, p. 374:
James Pool 41, Blacksmith 40.000 or 10.000 born in VA
Jackson ---- 17 Blacksmith 4.000 born in MO
W? Henry Price 28 blacksmith 20 born in MD
James Pool's daughters, Minerva and Sarah Pool, were living in Missouri with his niece Hannah (Holcomb) Walker, daughter of Azariah Holcomb. No doubt all involved felt that the girls would be better off in Missouri than being exposed to the dangers of the Santa Fe trail.
1850 McDonald Co., MO p. 112:
John Walker 28 Farmer 500 b. TN
Hanah 26 b. MO
Louiz 6 b. MO
Azariah L. 4 b. MO
Julian 3 b. MO
Pleasant 8/12 b. MO
Minerva E. Pool 16 b. MO
Sarah A. Pool 14 b. MO
By June of 1851 James Pool had left Santa Fe, New Mexico. Presumably, his son Andrew Jackson Pool was with him. They probably were in route to Missouri. From there James Pool went to Washington, D.C. to press his claim for reimbursement for his services to the Seneca Indians back in the 1820s and 30s. More than likely he left Andrew J. Pool in Missouri. His daughters probably continued to live with relatives in Missouri.
By 1852 James Pool was in residence in or around the Washington, DC area and had taken a second wife: Eliza Jane Harding of Maryland. It seems reasonable that he may have sent for his daughter, Sarah, to join him and his new wife in Washington, DC. Since no marriage records have been discovered yet in Missouri for her, hopefully one will come to light in the DC area. Daughter Minerva married in Missouri.
In 1852/53 James Pool's brother-in-law Enoch Holcomb died. Enoch Holcomb's estate, case #03827B, was filed in St. Louis County, Missouri in 1852/3. His probate named his siblings: "Isaac Holcomb brother of decd who resides in St. Louis County and Nathaniel Holcomb brother of decd who resides in California and Azariah Holcomb and Hannah wife of James Scagg and the children of Esther Jameson who was a sister of decd who reside in the South western part of the state of Missouri and the children of Phoebe Pool whose residence is unknown to me."
James Pool's claims for his unpaid services for the Shawnee, Seneca, and Delaware tribes began appearing in the Washington, DC newspapers by 1852.
"Mr. Atchison, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, to whom was referred the petition on James Pool, praying compensation for his services as blacksmith and striker for the Shawnees and Delaware tribe of Indians, reported a joint resolution to authorize the settlement of the accounts of James Pool; which was read and passed to a second reading."
[Source: Daily Union; Washington, DC; Sunday 22 August 1852]
"Mr. Atchison. I wish to submit a motion to postpone the prior orders, and that the Senate proceed to the consideration of Senate joint resolution No. 57; and I make an appeal to the Senate to do this as a matter of charity. This joint resolution is for the settlement of the accounts of a poor blacksmith, who has been here during the last eight or nine months of the present session. He has a small claim against the government, and he is in great need of the money, and has made an appeal to me to have the matter ated upon. I hope this joint resolution will not be taken up.
The motion being agreed to, the joint resolution to authorize the settlement of the accounts of James Pool was read the second time, and considered as in committee of the whole. It provides that the proper accounting officers the treasury be directed to adjust and settle, upon principles of equity and justice, the claims of James Pool, arising out of the services of himself and striker in the blacksmith shops of the Delaware, Seneca and Shawnee tribes of Indians; and that the balance, if any, that may be found due, be paid to the said Pool, or his legal representatives, out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated; provided that the amount shall not exceed, $3,531.67.
No amendment being made, the joint resolution was reported to the Senate, and ordered to be engrossed for a third reading."
[Source: Daily Union; Washington, D C; Fri. 27 August 1852]
"Mr. D. [Dodge of Iowa] also presented a supplemental petition of James Pool, praying remuneration for services rendered, under contract, to the Seneca nation of Indians; which was referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs."
[Source: Daily Union; Washington, DC; Tues. 14 February 1854]
"Mr. Wade: I am directed by the Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the petition of James Pool, to submit a report, accompanied by a bill for his relief. I ask the Senate to consider the bill now. It is for the benefit of a poor man, who has been waiting here for a long time, and it is proper that it should be disposed of at once.
The bill was read a first time, and ordered to a second reading. It proposes to direct the proper accounting officer of the Treasury to pay to James Pool $2,262 for money advanced by him to purchase corn for the Seneca and Shawnee Indians in the spring of 1834, at the request of Governor Stokes, Indian agent, and interest thereon; and for interst on sundry sums advanced by him for the use of those Indians, between the years 1823 and 1838, which sums were not refunded until 1853, for want of appropriations for that purpose; and this amount is to be in full for all existing claims of Pool against the United States, growing outo f any transactions with those tribes.
The President: The Senator from Ohio asks for immediate consideration of the bill. It requires unanimous consent. Is there objection?
Mr. Stuart: I do not propose to object to the consideration of the bill; but inasmuch as the report is not printed, I should be glad if the Senator from Ohio would, state briefly what are the circumstances of the case.
There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the bill as in Committee of the Whole.
Mr. Wade: The bill received the unanimous sanction of the Committee on Claims. Contrary to our usual customs, we propose in this bill to allow interest on certain advances made by this individual while he was engaged as a blacksmith among the Indians. It comes within the rule which has been adopted by the committee, and , I believe, sanctioned by the Senate. The sums which he paid out have since been refunded by the Government; the inability of the Government to pay them has thereby been acknowledged. His account was presented many years ago, and payment was refused [barely?] because there was no appropriation to meet it. Under such circumstances, we have always allowed interest, I believe, and in no other case, so far as I know. In this case, coming within the rule, we propose to award interest from the time when the presentation of the claim was made and payment refused. That is the principle on which the bill is founded. The report is a long one, and sets forth all the facts.
The bill was reported to the Senate without amendment, ordered to be engrossed for a third reading, read a third time, and passed.
Mr. Wade: I now move that the report of the committee in this case be printed.
The motion was agreed to."
[Source: Daily Globe, Washington, DC; Thurs. 18 January 1855]
In 1855, James Pool took a part time job as a watchman for the Treasury Department in the District of Columbia:
The 1855 Register of Agents...In the Service of the United States supports the 1850's census report that James Pool was born in Virginia:
In 1856, James Pool appeared in the Congression Serial Set, vol. 851 as being on the payroll for his services as a watchman for the Treasury Department. The entry is titled "Statement showing the names of watchmen employed in the Treasury. The entry reads name - James Pool, time employed - from July 1 to December 31, 1855, annual salary - $600, amount paid - $300, residence - District of Columbia. The most note worthy clue here is that his residence was the District of Columbia.
[Source: Congressional Serial Set, vol. 851]
James Pool remained employed as a watchman at Treasury Department until the summer of 1861:
In 1862, James Pool was still a resident of Washington, DC and still pressing Congress for the funds they owned him. Now, however, they also owed him for his employment as a watchman for the Treasury Department, a job that he took to support himself and his family while living in Washington DC and waiting for Congress's decision in his original claim. Congress, however, was not disposed to act any faster than they had in the previous ten years! The full transcript of the 1862 congressional comments published in The Globe.
Finally, in 1867, Congress issued a proclamation for James Pool to be paid for his services to the tribes. He had been pressing Congress for fifteen years for money he had been owed since the 1830s. Note that this proclamation does not include the money owed him for being a watchman at the Treasurey Department!
"An Act for the relief of James Pool. January 22, 1867: Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Secretary of the Interior be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to pay to James Pool the sum of twelve hundred and eighty-seven dollars and ten cents, out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated: Provided, That four hundred and eighty-seven dollars and fifty cents of said amount shall be paid out of any annuities or moneys payable to the Senecas and Shawnee Indians, if there by any, and if none, then the whole sum to be paid out of the treasury of the United States."
[Source: United State Statues At Large: Treaties and Proclamations of the United States, vol 14, 1868]