Vol. 12


Jewish American Princess

c. 1960; Hattiesburg, Mississippi, USA

Let’s imagine you find a piece of leather that has a deed on it. A deed indicates ownership of land. My cousin has found a deed like this, so let me tell you that story.

One wonderful day, one of my relatives was cleaning out his dusty attic and found a piece of folded-up leather with writing on it. He gave it to our cousin Bill Wicht, who took the piece of leather to a professor at the University of Southern Mississippi in the city of Hattiesburg. The professor proclaimed that the piece of leather was a deed. The deed was for a part of New Orleans. That part of New Orleans is called the French Quarter.1 The question was How had this deed come into my family?

Let’s go back to my seventh-great-grandfather in Mississippi. His name was Simon Favre. He was Catholic. One day he met a beautiful woman. The exotic young woman was from the Native American tribe called “Choctaw.” In fact, her father was the chief. His name was Chief Push Ma Ta Ha (Apushim Pushmataha). Eventually Simon married Pistikiokonay Pushmataha. The chief used the deed as a dowry, an extraordinary wedding gift.

We all know that no family owns the French Quarter of New Orleans. Upon making the amazing discovery of this deed, Bill filed a claim with the city of New Orleans to get our land back. The city of New Orleans didn’t give back our land, but they did pay all my living relatives up through my great-grandfather’s generation reparations for the land.

That is the story of how I have a princess in my family. The princess is related to me through my maternal grandfather’s family. Since I’m Jewish, that makes me a Jewish American princess!

Tzipporah Wodinsky; New York, USA


1. The French Quarter is the oldest section of New Orleans, Louisiana. It is known for its historic architecture, and for its restaurants, shops, and nightlife.



This copyrighted story may be copied and/or printed for limited classroom or personal use. To reprint this story in an article about The Grannie Annie, please contact The Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration for permission.


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