SHOW NOTES: It’s Complicated! Zeke Proctor and the Goingsnake Affair

The courtroom battle that occurred 150 years ago and the drama that surrounds it has a large cast of colorful characters. Below are photos of a few of the prominent players and places in this story.

Zeke Proctor, noted cattleman and Senator for the Goingsnake District. It was his trial for the murder of Polly Hilderbrand Kesterson that created the legal tension between the Cherokee Nation and the Federal Court at Fort Smith.
Polly Beck Hilderbrand Kesterson. She was killed by Zeke Proctor as an argument between he and her husband erupted into gunfire. Her husband, Jim Kesterson, was only wounded. It was his complaint to the Federal Court, as a U.S. citizen that prompted the Marshalls to be at the Whitemire School on the day of the trial.
Surrey “White Sut” Beck. As the Marshalls were waiting for the verdict in the trial, as ordered, it was White Sut Beck that made his way into the courtroom, igniting the battle. White Sut Beck’s shotgun killed Johnson Proctor, the defendant’s brother, but only wounded Zeke.
The Beck Mill years after the tragic death of Aunt Polly Beck. The Mill stood for another 100 years following her death.
As seen from these two headlines from the time, fault for the battle was not agreed upon, even then. The tale of the Goingsnake Affair has been complicated from the start.