Born a Virginian in 1791, Jubal B. Hancock spent his early years in Tennessee.
He fought in the War of 1812, married a Choctaw woman and together they had three children: William M. Hancock, Mary M. Hancock and Caroline D. Hancock. When they relocated to Mississippi to live among his wife’s people, the Dancing Rabbit Treaty had already been signed and William and Mary were over ten years of age, Caroline, just under ten. Because Hancock was a white citizen of the United States and his wife was not head of the house, neither he nor his wife were entitled to receive any of the lands being made available to the Choctaws through the Article 14 of the Treaty, which read:
“Each Choctaw head of a family, being desirous to remain, and become a citizen of the States, shall be permitted to do so, by signifying his intention to the agent within six months from the ratification of this treaty, and he or she shall thereupon be entitled to a reservation of one section of six hundred and forty acres of land, to be bounded by sectional lines of survey; in like manner, shall be entitled to one half that quantity, for each unmarried child which is living with him, over ten years of age, and a quarter section to such child as may be under ten years of age to adjoin the location of the parent.”
According to Frank Durr, a former slave who wrote about Lauderdale County’s early history, Jubal Hancock submitted his claim for 640 acres of land on behalf of his wife, 320 acres each for William and Mary and 160 acres for Caroline. Thus began a 12-year-long legal battle
Though Jubal’s claim had been rejected by Indian Agent William Ward, on August 11, 1842 the United States Congress ratified and published the following resolution:
An Act for the Relief of Jubal B. Hancock:
“Be it enacted &c. [sic], That Jubal B. Hancock be, and he is hereby, authorized, on or before [1 January 1844], to enter at the proper land office, in legal sub-divisions, fourteen hundred and forty acres of any of the public lands of the United States, within the state of Mississippi, in lieu of a like quantity of land to which he and his three children… became entitled under the fourteenth article of the treaty of Dancing-rabbit creek…”
According to Lauderdale County historian, Fred W. Edmiston, Jubal Hancock, who in 1846 served as the Mayor and Town Marshall of Marion, owned a large vineyard from which he made large amounts of wine. Jubal’s neighbors were “delighted [that Hancock] allowed everyone to help himself [sic] free of charge.” wrote Frank Durr, a former slave.
Hancock would prove himself to be a man of many skills and gifts,
managing the Marion Drug Store in the 1850’s and serving as Marion’s postmaster from 1854 to 1860. He was elected as vice president of the Southern Democrats in Lauderdale county, was an attorney and probate judge for the county, and opened a law office in Marion in 1864 with Sylvanus Evans.