Ann Eliza Worchester Robertson
Ann Eliza Worchester Robertson was born in 1826 to a missionary family who worked with the Cherokee Indians. Her father, Samuel Worchester, spent time in prison because he refused to leave his post as Congregational minister to the Cherokees. When members of the tribe were forced to walk 800 miles on the Trail of Tears, the Worcesters traveled with them.
When Ann was seventeen years old, she was sent to school in Vermont. After graduation she returned to Oklahoma to join her parents’ missionary work. She married William Robertson, the principal of the Tullahassee Creek Indian Boarding School and had four children.
Ann taught in the Creek Nation School and worked with her husband to translate the Bible into Creek. Confederate treaties forced the Robertsons to leave Oklahoma temporarily, but they returned in 1866, reopened the school, continued their biblical translation, and produced a Creek hymnal, as well.
The school burned down in 1880. William died soon after, and Ann went to live with her daughter, Alice, who herself was notable for her work as an educator and Native American advocate. Ann completed the Creek New Testament in 1887, received an honorary doctorate for her work, and died November 19, 1905.