Facts and Events
Narcissa and Selena are in separate households in 1880.
The Rauhuff Connection: Sampson Rauhooft, possibly with kin Jacob Hooft, John Hooft (2), Joseph Hufft, Benjamin Hooft, and William Hooft (all probably misspelled by the 1830 census taker) moved into the Pigeon Forge community in Sevier County, Tennessee sometime after 1800. Later census takers would write Sampson's last name as "Rauhuff". Records from Montgomery County and Grayson County, Virginia, prove that Sampson's parents were Peter Rauhuff and Lovis Sage Rauhuff.
Sampson apparently married a native Indian woman (more on this below) and had at least six children: Samuel (b. 1825-1830), another son (b. 1830-1835), Sarah Narcissus (b. 1833), Selena M. (b. August 11, 1836), Caroline (b. 1830-1835), and Elizabeth (b. 1835-1840). The childrens' names did not appear in any census, but were inferred from events that are related below or were taken from the book "The Rauhuffs", by Bradford Roy Rauhuff, 1994. The family lived in Civil District 5, Sevier County (Pigeon Forge).
One of the girls may have been named Mary, because the Boyd's Creek Cemetery has a Mary Rowhoff, born March 8, 1828, died September 3, 1859. If so, she is named after her mother Polly, which name is a common nickname for "Mary". Although the dates don't quite match with the 1840 census, errors of this type were often made.
In 1832, Sampson Rowhough joined the Forks of the Little Pigeon Baptist Church in Sevierville, Tennessee, one of the old-line, principal churches of the area. In 1833, Polly Rowhough was also admitted to membership.
By 1836, Sampson has moved to Knox County, Tennessee, just to the west of Sevier County, with the family as described in the household. He must have bought land, because he appears on the Knox County tax list of 1836.
In 1840, Sampson appeared in the Knox County, Tennessee census as follows: Males 01101, Females 220001 [Key: 0-5, 5-10, 10-15, 15-20, 20-30, 30-40]
By 1850, Sampson does not appear in any Tennessee census. Bradford Rauhuff states that he moved to Missouri.
James Pinckney Rauhuff (b. March 1, 1862, d. February 7, 1947), a son of Selena M. Rauhuff, was kept the last two years of his life in the home of M. Ada Davenport Sharp and Paul Sharp. He was a great uncle once removed of Ada, and was affectionately referred to as "Uncle Pink". He probably talked about his family a great deal, but only the following bare facts could be recalled by Ada: Narcissus, Selena, and their older brother as teenagers (before 1851) came to Sevier County from Norman, Oklahoma, by themselves, in a wagon. [This is revealing, because the American Indians had been removed from East Tennesse to Oklahoma in 1838. Possibly, they had moved to Missouri with their father, visited their kin in Oklahoma, and returned to Sevier County. - Ed.] Back in Sevier County, looking for any place to stay, they settled for a time on the farm of William H. Cannon, who was old (about 80) at the time, in the Boyd's Creek community. William H. Rauhuff was the offspring of Narcissus and William H. Cannon. These statements were substantially corroborated by Mary Miranda Rauhuff Davenport, Ada's mother and a niece of Uncle Pink.
In 1850, William H. Cannon was keeping William H., Jr. and his wife Mary. No children were present. The census does not indicate Sampson Rauhuff's whereabouts, nor any of his children. If Sarah Narcissus and Selena were on William Cannon's farm, they simply were not counted. In 1860, William H. was keeping only William H., Jr., and James Wade, County Trustee, age 25. No women or children were indicated. Both of William H., Jr's wives were deceased. William, Jr. is listed as "merchant."
In 1851, Narcissa, "a woman of color", joined the Forks of The Little Pigeon Baptist Church (FLPBC) in Sevierville. (Recall that Sampson and Polly, Narcissus' probable parents, were members at FLPBC when Narcissus would have been a child). Selena M. is buried in the Shiloh Cemetery in Pigeon Forge, which was then associated with another of the principal churches in the area. Sarah Narcissus' burial place is not known, and is not listed in a comprehensive survey of Sevier County cemeteries.
After 1850, Selena and Narcissus moved to Civil District 5 (Pigeon Forge) of Sevier County into a household with just themselves and their children, where they appear in the 1860 and 1870 censuses. Their vocation in 1860 is listed as "hireland", which is to say "field hand". Narcissus had two children, and Selena had four. It appears that they named the boys after their consorts, who were themselves upright members of the community. For example, James Pinckney Rauhuff was named after James B. Seaton, the postmaster; William H. Rauhuff was named after William H. Cannon, a prominent farmer; and James Leon Rauhuff was named after James Leon Clabough, a store owner.
Selena's daughter Priscilla was listed as "attending school" in the 1870 census. This is significant because there were only a very few children in the entire county who were attending school at that time. The few schools were called "academies," and tuition had to be paid by the parents.
Among the mementos left to Ada Sharp by Uncle Pink was a pencil portrait of a teenage grandson and granddaughter of Selena Rauhuff. This was viewed by Clyde McCall Davenport sometime around 1979. The two subjects were the children of one of the two daughters of Selena; time has erased the recall of which it was, but it had to be Rebecca (Priscilla had no daughters). Either way, the portrait was very revealing, because it showed two strong, healthy, handsome, obviously Indian faces. They looked much like Japanese athletes! The artist captured a kind of a glint to their expressions, as if to say "Don't mess with me". Moreover, several old photos exist of Uncle Pink, and he had the jet black hair and high cheekbones of an American Indian.
After the death of Ada Sharp, Clyde McCall Davenport approached her husband, Paul Sharp, about making a copy or photo of the portrait. Unfortunately, he could not find it.
To review the facts, Sampson moved to Knox County by 1836. Sometime before 1856, two teenaged girls named Rauhuff, along with an older brother, came to Sevier County from Norman, Oklahoma, where the Indians had been taken. They are not taken in by any family in the community, but are apparently left to fend for themselves. Presumably, they must have been different in some way, as a person of Indian heritage would have been. Some of their children and their grandchildren exhibited strong Indian features. The Rauhuff women showed significant strength of character by being able to stay in the community and raise children under those circumstances.