Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

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Choctaw Nation CDIB Tribal Enrollment Policy ""Why No Choctaw Nation CDIB Application Wereas; An MCR is attached to a Roll Number?

Leo Pergson Leo Pergson

posted on February 22 and updated on February 23

Q. Why No’ Choctaw Nation CDIB Application With an MCR Attached
to a Roll Number" ? “FIX IT”

A. MCR-14th Article Claimants- INCLUDING THE 1,540 MCR-14th ARTICLE CLAIMANTS Special Rolls of the MCR-14th Article Claimants UNDER the Act APR 26, 1906 (34 Stat 137) Mississippi
Choctaws (Acts of June 28, 1898. 30 Stat., 495. and July 1, 1902, (32 Stat.. 641.) Choctaw Scrip (5 Stat 513) Maggie Nickey (now John). Billy Nickey, Sam Nickey, Bettie Russell Nickey, Mollie Mas Nickey
First Council Members of the Mississippi Band (1945) et.,al., Members of the Mississippi Choctaw.

The Firm of Choctaw Nation Attorneys Mansfield, McMurray, Cornish, hired to defeat the Claims on the 14th Article Claimaants- Still to-day without any MCR-14th Article Mississippi Choctaw Protest of "No Choctaw Nation CDIB Application with an MCR- Attached to a Roll Number.

Members of this firm of attorneys who came to Washington, and represented that *
the judgments in the United States courts were obtained by fraud, and there
was included a provision in the act of July 1, 1902 (sees. 31,32, and 33,32 Stat.,
646, 647, and 648), creating a legislative court to be known as the “Choctaw-
Chickasaw Citizenship Court,” to be composed of three members. The hearings
before the committee which inserted this provision were not recorded, and it
was neither the agreement as negotiated nor as it passed the House.

Under the provision of the June 28,1898 The Commission did not require an “Application” for Enrollment- Only the Identification For Enrollment Card by Blood- for Enrollment in the Choctaw Nation-

CHOCTAW AND CHICKASAW ROLLS
Committee on Indian Affairs House of Representatives HR- 19279 Hr- 19552 HR and HR 22830 Sixty Second Congress MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE Washington D.C. Printing Office 1910-
[H. R. 19279, Sixty-first Congress, second session.]

A BILL For the relief of Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians.

REVIEW OF ENROLLMENT WORK UNDER THE VARIOUS LAWS OF
CONGRESS.
The pertinent provisions of the act of June 10, 1896 (29 Stat., 339, 340), were:
That said commission is further authorized and directed to proceed at once to
hear and determine the application of all persons who may apply to them for
citizenship in any of said nations, and after such hearing they shall determine
the right of such applicant to be so admitted and enrolled: Provided, however,
That such application Shall be made to such commissioners within three months
after the passage of thia act. The said commisson shall decide all such applications
within ninety days after the same shall be made. That in determining all such
applications said commission shall respect all laws of the several nations or
tribes, not inconsistent with the laws of the United States, and all treaties with
either of said nations or tribes, and shall give due force and effect to the rolls,
usages, and customs of each of said nations or tribes: And provided further, That
the rolls of citizenship of the several tribes as now existing are hereby confirmed,
and any person who shall claim to be entitled to be added to said rolls as a citizen
of either of said tribes and whose right thereto haa either been denied or not acted
upon, or any citizen who may within three months from and after the passage of
this act desire such citizenship, may apply to the legally constituted court or
committee designated by the several tribes for such citizenship, and such court
or committee shall determine such application within thirty days from the date
hereof.
In the performance of such duties said commission shall have power and authority
to administer oaths, to issue process for and compel the attendance of witnesses,
and to send for persons and papers, and all depositions and affidavits and other
evidence in any form whatsoever heretofore taken where the witnesses giving said
testimony are dead or now residing beyond the limits of said Territory, and to use
even’ fair and reasonable means within their reach for the purpose of determining
the rights of persons claiming such citizenship, or to protect any of said nations
from fraud or wrong, and the rolls so prepared by them shall be hereafter held and
considered to be the true and correct rolls of persons entitled to the rights of
citizenship in said several tribes: Provided, That if the tribe, or any person, be
aggrieved with the decision of the tribal authorities or the commission provided
for in this act, it or he may appeal from such decision to the United States district
court: Provided, however, That the appeal shall be taken within sixty days, and
the judgment of the court shall be final.

That the said commission, after the expiration of six months, shall cause a complete
roll of citizenship of each of said nations to be made up from their records, and add
thereto the names of citizens whose right may be conferred under this act, and said
rolls shall be, and are hereby, made rolls of citizenship of said nations or tribes;
subject, however, to the determination of the United States courts, as provided
herein.

The commission is hereby required to file the lists of members as they finally
approve them with the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to remain there for use as
the final judgment of the duly constituted authorities. And said commission shall
also make a roll of freedmen entitled to citizenship in said tribes and shall include
their names in the lists of members to be filed with the Commissioner of Indian
Affairs. And said commission is further authorized and directed to make a full
report to Congress of leases, tribal and individual, with the area, amount, and
value of the property leased and the amount received therefor, and by whom and
from whom said property is leased, and is further directed to make a full and
detailed report as to the excessive holdings of members of said tribes and others.
It will be observed—
(a) That this was a general law relating to not only the Choctaws and Chickasaws,
but to the Cherokee, Creeks, and Seminoles, .each nation holding its land under
different treaties and by different tenure, and the object of the law was to divide
the property among the rightful beneficiaries under the several treaties with the
different tribes.
(b) That all applications for citizenship in the Five Civilized Tribes were to be
submitted to the commissioners within three months after the passage of the act,
and the commissioners were not authorized to receive applications after
September 10, 1896.

© That the commissioners were to decide all applications within ninety days
after their submission.

(d) That the tribal rolls were confirmed, and the commission was not authorized to
strike any name from any tribal roll.

■(e) That in the adjudication of the applications the commission had no authority ===
to deny citizenship to any applicant entitled thereto under the treaties with or
laws of the United States or under Indian laws, usages, or customs not inconsistent
with the treaties with or laws of the United States. The only power given the
commission was to admit persons to citizenship whose rights thereto were denied
or not recognized by the tribal authorities. (Mary Elizabeth Martin, applicant for
enrollment as a citizen of the Choctaw Nation, Laws Affecting the Five Civilized
Tribes, 1893-1906, p. 159.)

(f) That six months after the passage of the act the rolls were to be completed,
and after said date the commission had no authority to adjudicate any case
thereunder.

(g) That within sixty days after the rendition of the decision by the commission
either the tribe or the claimant could appeal to the United States district court
from the decision of the commission, and the judgment of said court was made
final.

About 187,000 applications were submitted to the commission by claimants to
citizenship in the Five Civilized Tribes under this act. Owing to the time limit in
which to adjudicate each claim after submission, it was impossible for the
commission to give proper consideration to the claims presented.
Appeals were taken from the decisions of the commission to the United States
district court by either the tribal authorities or the claimant in many cases
affecting the rights of claimants to citizenship in each of the Five Civilized
Tribes. The appeals taken in Choctaw and Chickasaw cases affected the rights
of approximately 7,000 persons. The Choctaw and Chickasaw nations were
represented by able counsel, and the cases were heard in open court. More
than 4,000 Choctaw or Chickasaw claimants received judgments from the
United States district court adjudging them to be citizens of said nations.
In many of these cases the judgments of the United States district court
affirmed the decision of the commission holding the claimants to be citizens
of the Choctaw or Chickasaw nations. These judgments, under the statute,
were final. The judgments thus obtained were certified to the Commission to
the Five Civilized Tribes and the claimants duly enrolled.

Notwithstanding the judgments obtained in the United States district court were
final under the law’, Congress, by the act of July 1, 1898 (30 Stat., 571, 591),
authorized appeals to the Supreme Court of the United States. Appeals were
taken from the judgments of the United States district court in cases affecting
Citizenship rights in each of the Five Tribes. These cases were consolidated
and heard and considered by the Supreme Court as one case
(Stephens v. Cherokee Nation, 174 U. S., 476), and the judgments of the
United States district court were affirmed, at the October term, 1898. The
claimants immediately went into possession of their allotments, and in many
instances made valuable and lasting improvements thereon.
On January 17, 1901, the Principal Chief of the Choctaw Nation and the
governor of the Chickasaw Nation, pursuant to authorization contained
in acts of the Choctaw and Chickasaw councils (S. Doc. No. 372, 60th
Cong., 1st sess., p. 2), entered into an inchoate contract with Mansfield,
McMurray & Cornish, attorneys-at-law, with offices at McAlester, Ind. T.,
the sixth paragraph of which (id., p. 4) provided:

■Sixth, (a) That the compensation of the said Mansfield, McMurray & Cornish,
parties of the second part, under this contract, shall be nine per centum of the
value of the shares of tribal property which such of said so-called "court
claimants,’’ as hereinafter defined, as may be refused allotment or distribution
of tribal property would have received in the event of allotment or distribution
thereof to them, whether from past or future services to this end; and that, for
the purposes of this contract, it is agreed that the share of tribal property a
“court claimant would receive, in the event of allotment and distribution thereof
to him, is of the value of four thousand eight hundred dollars, and is hereby so
fixed; and the term “court claimants,” as herein used, shall include all persons
whose names were embraced in what purported to be judgments of the United
States court in Indian Territory, admitting them to Choctaw or Chickasaw
citizenship under the said act of Congress approved June 10, 1896, and all
persons who have been born to, or become intermarried with, them and who
are claiming rights thereby.

(6) That such compensation shall be due and payable by the Treasurer of the
United States, at the Treasury, out of any funds of the Choctaws and Chickasaws
in the hands of the Government, in proportion of three-fourths out of Choctaw
and one-fourth out of Chickasaw funds, whenever the roll of those persons
entitled to allotment and distribution of tribal property shall become final.
Two years thereafter it was submitted to the Secretary for approval, as required
by section 2103 of the Revised Statutes of the United States (S. Doc. 387, 60th
Cong., 1st sess., p. 2), when the Secretary declined to approve it, but offered to
approve it in a modified form, which offer was declined by the attorneys, as will
more particularly appear from the Secretary’s report (id., p. 2).

■At the time this contract was entered into Mansfield, McMurray & Cornish were *
the paid attorneys of the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations, receiving an annual
salary of $10,000, and $5,000 per annum for expenses. As attorney’s for the
nations it was their duty to protect the rights of all citizens of the nations, and
the persons agamst whom this contract was leveled were citizens of the Choctaw
and Chickasaw nations, adjudged so by the United States district court in the
Indian Territory, and the judgments of that court affirmed by the Supreme Court
of the United States in Stephens v. The Cherokee Nation (174 U. S., 476). Thus
these attorneys occupied the dual position of representing all the citizens of the
Choctaw and Chickasaw nations, including the court-judgment citizens, under
their general contract for their annual employment, while under their special
contract they were employed to defeat the rights of a part of their own clients,
the court-judgment citizens.

Members of this firm of attorneys came to Washington, and represented that *
the judgments in the United States courts were obtained by fraud, and there
was included a provision in the act of Julv 1, 1902 (sees. 31,32, and 33,32 Stat.,
646, 647, and 648), creating a legislative court to be known as the “Choctaw-
Chickasaw citizenship court,” to be composed of three members. The hearings
before the committee which inserted this provision were not recorded, and it
was neither the agreement as negotiated nor as it passed the House.

By section 31 of this act the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations, acting jointly
or separately, were authorized to, within ninety days after the approval of the
act, file a bill in equity in said legislative court citing 10 representative persons,
admitted to citizenship by the United States district court, to appear and show
cause why the judgments of the United States district court , which had been
affirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States in Stephens v. Cherokee
Nation (174 U. S., 476), should not be annulled. Two questions were to be
presented in the test cases and were to be determined by the court, i. e.:

1. Did the United States courts in the Indian Territory, acting under the act
of Congress approved June 10, 1896, err in admitting persons to citizenship
or to enrollment as such citizens in the Choctaw or Chickasaw nations,
respectively, without notice of the proceedings in such courts being given
to each of said nations?

2. Did the United States district courts err in trying said cases, on appeal
from the Dawes Commission, de novo, or should said courts have been
confined to a review of the action of the commission upon the papers
and evidence submitted to said court by said commission?

Both of these questions had been determined by the United States Supreme
Court in the case of Stephens v. The Cherokee Nation. The act then
provided:

In the event said citizenship judgments or decisions are annulled or vacated
in the test suit hereinbefore authorized, because of either or both of the
irregularities claimed and insisted upon by said nations as aforesaid, then
the files, papers, and proceedings in any citizenship case in which the
judgment or decision is so annulled or vacated shall, upon written application
therefor made within ninety days thereafter by any party thereto who is thus
deprived of a favorable judgment upon his claimed citizenship, be transferred
and certified to said citizenship court by the court having custody and control
of such files, papers, and proceedings; aud upon the filing in such citizenship
court of the files, papers, and proceedings in any such citizenship case,
accompanied by due proof that notice in writing of the transfer and certification
thereof has been given to the chief executive officer of each of said nations,
said citizenship case shall be docketed in said citizenship court and such further
proceedings shall be had therein in that court as ought to have been had in the
court to which the same was taken on appeal from the Commission to the Five
Civilized Tribes and as if no judgment or decision had been rendered therein.
The test case, with the 10 representative defendants, was submitted and a
decision rendered vacating and annulling all the judgments secured in the
United States district court. The great majority of the cases in which the
judgments were thus annulled were brought into this legislative court for
decision. At the December term, 1904, the court rendered final decisions
adjudging 156 persons entitled to citizenship (S. Doc. 372, 60th
Cong., 1st sess., p. 63) and denying 3,678 (id., 64). An examination of
these judgments will disclose:

■First. That the judgments were padded, the names of many persons being =
duplicated in order to swell the grand total of rejected claimants. The fee
paid was to be on the basis of the number of claimants rejected.==
Second. That favorable judgments were rendered in 63 cases, and that
in 54 of the 63 cases the rights of only one claimant were involved.
The Secretary of the Interior having refused to approve the contract of =
Mansfield, McMurray & Cornish, a provision was inserted in the Indian =
appropriation bill approved March 3, 1903 (32 Stat., 995-996), authorizing
the citizenship court to award reasonable compensation to said firm of
attorneys, and for the payment of the award out of the trust funds of the
Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians. Pursuant to said authorization, the
citizenship court awarded said firm of attorneys a fee of $750,000, =
which was paid out of the trust funds of the Indians.

While the judgments obtained in the United States courts in Choctaw and
Chickasaw cases were thus reversed and annulled by the citizenship court,
the judgments rendered by the United States court in all Cherokee, Creek,
and Seminole cases remain intact, and the claimants are to-day in the
peaceable possession of their property under said judgments.
Among the claimants thus denied by the citizenship court were recognized
citizens by blood of the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes whose names
appeared on the various tribal rolls of said nations. Under the act of
June 10, 1896, neither the commission, the United States courts, nor the
citizenship court had any jurisdiction over such a case. The jurisdiction
of all these tribunals was confined to a determination of the rights of
claimants whose names were not on the tribal rolls. By that act the
tribal rolls were confirmed. Thus, of the cases affecting the rights of
more than 2,000 of the 3,678 persons denied by the citizenship court,
that court had no jurisdiction of their cases whatsoever. This is made
plain in the decision of the Assistant Attorney-General in the case of
Lou la West and others, applicants for enrollment as citizens of the
Choctaw Nation (Laws Affecting the Five Civilized Tribes, 1893-1906,
p. 155). In this case the names of the petitioners appeared on the tribal
rolls. The commission enrolled them and the finding of the commission
was affirmed by the United States district court. The citizenship court
set aside the judgments rendered in this case. Subsequently the
Attorney-General held that as the claimants’ names appeared on the
tribal rolls and those rolls were confirmed by the act of June 10, 1896,
neither the commission, the United States district court, nor the
citizenship court had any jurisdiction to deny them enrollment, that
her name was by operation of law placed on the rolls, and that no
tribunal under said act had any authority to strike it off.
The Attorney-General (id., 156) says:

I deem the matter too clear to admit of debate that if the commission
had no power to purge the rolls and Mrs. West was on a tribal roll,
all the power of the commission in 1856 was the ministerial duty to
inscribe her name on the roll to be prepared. Had the commission
denied her right, its action was a mere nullity. Any appeal taken from
their action was a mere nullity. Any judgment of the United States
court upon such appeal other than to dismiss it for want of jurisdiction
was a mere nullity. Any action of the citizenship court upon it was a
mere nullity. That court had no jurisdiction and should have dismissed
it upon her motion.

Thus it clearly appears that all those persons whose names appeared on *
the tribal roll and were denied by the citizenship court were unlawfully
denied. The great majority of the remaining cases were meritorious, and
the claimants ought not to have been denied.

Act of June 7, 1897 (30 Stat, 495).—As there had been various tribal
rolls prepared from year to year by different tribal officials, the question
arose as to what tribal rolls were confirmed by the act of June 10, 1896.
For the purpose of designating the confirmed tribal rolls this act provided:
That said commission shall continue to exercise all authority heretofore
conferred on it by law to negotiate with the Five Tribes, and any agreement
made by it with any one of said tribes, when ratified, shall operate to
suspend any provisions of this act if in conflict therewith as to said nation:
Provided, That the words “rolls of citizenship,” as used in the act of June
tenth, eighteen hundred and ninety-six, making appropriations for current
and contingent expenses of the Indian Department and fulfilling treaty
stipulations with various Indian tribes for the fiscal year ending June
thirtieth, eighteen hundred and ninety-seven, shall be construed to mean
the last authenticated rolls of each tribe which have been approved by
the council of the nation, and the descendants of those appearing on
such rolls, and such additional names and their descendants as have
been subsequently added, either by the council of such nation, the duly
authorized courts thereof, or the commission under the act of June tenth,
eighteen hundred and ninety-six. And all other names appearing
upon such rolls shall be open to investigation by such commission for a
period of six months after the passage of this act . And any name appearing
on such rolls and not confirmed by the act of June tenth, eighteen hundred
and ninety-six, as herein construed, may be stricken therefrom by such
commission where the party affected shall have ten days’ previous notice
that said commission will investigate and determine the right of such party
to remain upon such roll as a citizen of such nation: Provided, also, That
anyone whose name shall be stricken from the roll by such commission
shall have the right of appeal, as provided in the act of June tenth, eighteen
hundred and ninety-six.

By this act the commission was given limited authority to purge the rolls,
and the name of every descendant of any person whose name was rightfully
upon the tribal rolls was by operation of this law placed on the roll on
which the name of his ancestor appeared. In the case of Mary Elizabeth
Martin (Laws Affecting the Five Civilized Tribes, 1893-1906, p. 160), the
Assistant Attorney-General says:

By this act (June 7, 1897) descendants of persons on the roll were defined
and regarded as on the roll whereon their parents were found, whether
themselves actually on such rolls or not and though born after the roll
was made.

Act of June 28,1898, section 21 (30 Stat, 495, 502-504).—The Commission
to the Five Civilized Tribes and the Secretary having been unable to prepare
under the acts of June 10, 1896, and June 7, 1897, correct rolls of the Five
Civilized Tribes, the act of June 28, 1898, was passed. This was the most
comprehensive piece of legislation ever enacted relating to the preparation
of citizenship and freedmen rolls, and had it remained unchanged, and had
the commission and the Secretary properly administered this law, equal
justice would have been meted out to every claimant to citizenship in the
Choctaw and Chickasaw nations. Section 21, so far as it related to the
enrollment of Choctaw and Chickasaw citizens and freedmen, was as
follows:

Sec. 21. That in making rolls of citizenship of the several tribes, as required
by law, * * *

Said commission is authorized and directed to make correct rolls of the
citizens by blood of all the other tribes, eliminating from the tribal rolls
such names as may have been placed thereon by fraud or without authority
of law, enrolling such only as may have lawful right thereto, and their
descendants born since such rolls were made, with such intermarried
white persons as may be entitled to Choctaw and Chickasaw citizenship
under the treaties and the laws of said tribes.

Said commission shall have authority to determine the identity of Choctaw
Indians claiming rights in the Choctaw lands under article fourteen of the
treaty between the United States and the Choctaw Nation concluded
September twenty-seventh, eighteen hundred and thirty, and to that end
they may administer oaths, examine witnesses, and perform all other acts
necessary thereto, and make report to the Secretary of the Interior.
The roll of Creek freedmen made by J. W. Dunn, under authority of the
United States, prior to March fourteenth, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven,
is hereby confirmed, and said commission is directed to enroll all persons
now living whose names are found on said rolls, and all descendants born
since the date of said roll to persons whose names are found thereon, with
such other persons of African descent as may have been rightfully admitted
by the lawful authorities of the Creek Nation.

It shall make a correct roll of all Choctaw freedmen entitled to citizenship
under the treaties and laws of the Choctaw Nation, and all their descendants
born to them eince the date of the treaty.

It shall make a correct roll of Chickasaw freedmen entitled to any rights or
benefits under the treaty made in eighteen hundred and sixty-six between
the United States and the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes and their
descendants born to them since the date of said treaty, and forty acres
of land, including their present residences and improvements, shall be
allotted to each, to be selected, held, and used by them until their rights
under said treaty shall be determined in such manner as shall be hereafter
provided by Congress.

The several tribes may, by agreement, determine the right of persons who
for any reason may claim citizenship in two or more tribes, and to allotment
of lands and distribution of moneys belonging to each tribe; but if no such
agreement be made, then such claimant shall be entitled to such rights in
one tribe only, and may elect in which tribe he will take such right; but if
he fail or refuse to make such selection in due time he shall be enrolled in
the tribe with whom he has resided, and there be given such allotment and
distributions, and not elsewhere.

No person shall be enrolled who has not heretofore removed to and in good
faith settled in the nation in which he claims citizenship: Provided, however,
That nothing contained in this act shall be so construed as to militate against
any rights or privileges which the Mississippi Choctaws may have under the
laws of or the treaties with the United States.

Said commission shall make such rolls descriptive of the persons thereon,
so that they may be thereby identified, and it is authorized to take a census
of each of said tribes, or to adopt any other means by them deemed necessary
to enable them to make such rolls. They shall have access to all rolls and
records of the several tribes, and the United States court in Indian Territory
shall have jurisdiction to compel the officers of the tribal governments and
custodians of such rolls and records to deliver same to said commission,
and on their refusal or failure to do so to punish them as for contempt;
as also to require all citizens of said tribes, and persons who should be so
enrolled, to appear before said commission for enrollment, at such times
and places as may be fixed by said commission, and to enforce obedience
of all others concerned, so far as the same may be necessary, to enable said
commission to make rolls as herein required, and to punish anyone who
may in any manner or by any means obstruct said work.

The rolls so made, when approved by the Secretory of the Interior, shall
be final, and the persons whose names are found thereon, with their
descendants thereafter born to them, with such persons as may intermarry
according to tribal laws, shall alone constitute the several tribes which
they represent.

■The members of said commission shall, in performing all duties required =
of them by law, have authority to administer oaths, examine witnesses,
and send for persons and papers; and any person who shall willfully and
knowingly make any false affidavit or oath to any material fact or matter
before any member of said commission, or before any other officer
authorized to administer oaths, to any affidavit or other paper to be
filed or oath taken before said commission, shall be deemed guilty of
perjury, and on conviction thereof shall be punished as for such offense.*
On March 17, 1899, the Secretary of the Interior approved an opinion
prepared by Willis J. Van Devanter, then Assistant AttorneyGeneral
(now member of the United States circuit court of appeals, eighth circuit),
for the guidance of the commission and the department in the preparation
of the tribal rolls under this act. He said (S. Rept. No. 5013, pt. 2, 59th
Cong.. 2d sess., p. 1554):

The act of 1897 did not provide for new applications for citizenship. * *
Neither did the act of 1898 make any provision for new applications for
citizenship. The commission was authorized and directed to enroll the
persons indicated, and to investigate the right of all other persons whose
names were found upon any tribal roll, and to omit all such as may have
been placed there by fraud or without authority of law. They.were not
authorized to add any name not found upon some roll of the tribe,
except those of descendants of persons rightfully upon some roll, and
persons intermarried with members of the tribes, and therefore lawfully
entitled to enrollment.

The commission secured from the Choctaw and Chickasaw Indian
authorities at various times from 1896 to 1907 the following rolls,
which were used exclusively by the commission and the department
as a basis for the preparation of the final rolls:

Choctaw 1885 census roll: 1893 leased district payment roll;
1896 census Roll. (S. Doc. 505, 60th Cong., 1st sess., p. 7.)
Chickasaw 1878 annuity Roll; 1893 leased district payment roll;
1896 census roll.

As will appear from Senate Document 505, Sixtieth Congress, first
session, pages 4, 5, and 6, these rolls were all made by the Indian
officials who were pecuniarily interested in the division of the
property; none of them were complete rolls of the tribes; all of
them omitted entire counties of the Choctaw and Chickasaw
nations. They are the same rolls to which the Commission to
the Five Civilized Tribes referred in its annual report, dated
November 18, 1895 (S. Doe. 12, 54th Cong., 1st sess., p. 16),
wherein it said:

A tribunal was established many years ago for determining the right
of admission to this roll, and was made up at that time by judicial
decision in each case. Since that time and since the administration
of public affairs has fallen into present hands, this roll has become
a political football; and names have been stricken from it and added
to it and restored to it, without notice or rehearing or power of review,
to answer political or personal ends and with entire disregard
of rights affected thereby. Many who have long enjoyed all the
acknowledged rights of citizenship have, without warning, found
themselves thus decitizenized and deprived of political and property
rights pertaining to such citizenship.
In a report to the Secretary under date of January 24, 1903

(S. Doc. 505, 60th Cong., 1st sess., pp. 7-11), the commission advises
the Secretary that none of the rolls of the Choctaws and Chickasaws
which it then had in its possession were complete and reliable rolls,
and the commission adds:

It is a matter of general information in said nations that the rolls made *
prior to 1896 were merely census rolls, made up separately according
to counties and districts by individual census takers in such counties
and districts, and which were never brought together and consolidated
so as to form a complete roll of tribal members. * * All of the rolls so
obtained by Commissioners Bixby and McKennon were procured from
individuals who had said rolls in their possession, and the information
which the commissioners obtained at that time led to the conclusion
that it had been the practice of tribal officials charged with any duty
in connection with tribal rolls to withdraw them from the executive
offices when necessary and to retain them among their personal effects.

OFFICIAL ROLLS REJECTED.

Assistant Attorney-General Van Devanter (S. Rept. No. 5013, pt. 2, 59th
Cong., 2d sess., p. 1554) directed the commission to enroll any person
whose name rightfully appeared upon any tribal roll, and his or her
descendants. There were in the possession of the department more
than 100 rolls of the Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians prepared bv the
government officers and approved by the Indian officials, and which rolls
had been in the custody of the government officers since their preparation,
and which were reliable and accurate rolls, and upon which property,
both land and money, had been distributed among the Choctaws and
Chickasaws, a list of which appears in the Congressional Record,
volume 43, part 4, and Appendix, Sixtieth Congress, second session,
Appendix, page 79, but the government officers refused to consider
these rolls, and used exclusively the spurious and incomplete rolls
prepared by the Indians who were fecuniarily interested in the division
of the property, and which ndian rolls are hereinbefore set out. As a
result of this arbitrary act on the part of the administrative authorities
at least 6,000 claimants, all blood Indians, some of them full bloods,
and my clients were denied enrollment, and thus deprived of their
property rights.

This arbitrary action on the part of the administrative authorities, charged
by law with the protection of the rights of claimants, was inexcusable,
because the Court of Claims, in the case of the New York Indians v. The
United States (40 Ct. Cls.), had rendered an opinion in conformity with
a decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, in the same case,
setting aside the rolls of the New York Indians prepared by the Secretary
of the Interior because the Secretary had followed the rolls made by the
Indian officials. The court says:

To accept as final the determination of such communities or societies on *
the question of a legal right to participate in the funds would be an evasion
of judicial duty. It would be committing individual rights to the incompetent
hands of those who have a direct pecuniary interest in the decision. * * *
The court appreciates the work done by direction of the Secretary of the
Interior and regrets that there should be a difference of opinion as to the
distribution of the fund; but, for the reasons hereinbefore given, the court
can not regard this as simply a distribution of Indian property by Indian
methods according to Indian law and at the dictation of Indian communities.*

■CLAIMANTS NOT EXAMINED UNDER OATH AND THEIR EXAMINATION
REDUCED TO WRITING AS REQUIRED BY. THE STATUTE AND THE
INSTRUCTIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT.

On August 8, 1899, the Secretary approved instructions to the commission
(S. Rept. 5013, pt. 2, 59tn Cong., 2d sess., p. 1558) in part as follows:
The rolls as made up by your commission must, to become final, receive the
approval of the Secretary of the Interior. It will therefore be necessary for you
to make a record in all cases sufficient to enable this office and the department
to take intelligent action in the premises, and especially in those cases where
your decision either for or against the right of any person to have his name
appear upon the roll is complained of.

For the purpose of this record you will require each applicant for enrollment
to present himself in person before the commission at one of its appointments
within the tribe in which such applicant claims right to enrollment for examination
under oath, his statement to be taken down by the commission, upon which the
commission will determine his right to enrollment, and such record and action
of the commission will be preserved and transmitted with the rolls to
be considered by this office and the department when the rolls made by the
commission are submitted" for the approval of the Secretary of the Interior.
The commission on July 28, 1898, served notice on all Choctaw and Chickasaw
claimants to appear before it at certain places on certain days for examination,
no mention being made of the submission of an application. This census notice
appears in full in Senate Report 5013, part 1, Fifty-ninth Congress, second
session, page 476.

Chairman Bixby had personal supervision in 1898 of the examination of citizens
By blood. On November 16, 1906, he appeared before the select committee of the
Senate and under oath (S. Rept. 5013, pt. 1, 59th Cong., 2d sess., pp. 498-500)
testified as follows:

Question. Were you in the field when applicants were examined and identified
under the act of 1898?

Commissioner Bixby. I was in the Chickasaw Nation in the fall of 1898.

Question. Were you in charge of the examination and identification of either
the citizens by blood, freedmen, or intermarried?

■Commissioner Bixby. I presided in the tent at which the applicants who claimed
enrollment by reason of Chickasaw blood or Choctaw blood presented themselves.

Question. Was everything that was said by the applicant at the time he or she
appeared before you for enrollment entered upon the examination record, such
as that [exhibiting paper to the witness]?

Commissioner Bixby. No, sir; not at all.

Question. Such portions of their statement as you deemed proper to place upon it?
Commissioner Bixby. We did not take any testimony in our tent at all.

■The only record made by the commission of the examination of Indians by blood
consisted of notations on what was known as a field card.

On (id.) page 500 Commissioner Bixby said:

In the tent where I enrolled the Indians by blood, we simply made cards. We did
not take any testimony at all. That is the proceedings we followed all through the
(Creek) Chickasaw Nation.

On page 501 Commissioner Bixby testified:

■Question. In the adjudication of cases before your commission, do you consider
that card as a portion of the evidence? Commissioner Bixby. Yes, sir.

William O. Beall, an official of the commission and in charge of the Choctaw and
Chickasaw enrollment division at the time the final rolls were being prepared,
testified before W. D. Foulke, special inspector for the department, on
November 20, 1906, under oath (p. 95, S. Doc. No. 357, 59th Con. 2d sess.),
as follows:

Q. Since you considered it your duty to notify the department of every material
record in a case, will you explain why a notice of the contents of the field cards
or copies of the field cards were not sent up with the decision in cases?—

A. Do you want my opinion, or as a matter of fact?

Q. As a matter of fact.—A. As a matter of fact, it has never been the policy of
the office to do that.

Q. Of the commission generally, or the Choctaw or Chickasaw division?—

■A. Never to my personal knowledge since I have been employed here. I believe
that these proceedings have been the first that ever a card has been taken out of
the vaults to be made a part of the record in any proceedings. *

■Q. Is it the first time that a copy has been made of the contents of a card?—

■A. Since the approval of the act of April, 1906, authorizing copies of records
to be made, the commissioner has made such copies. 1 don’t believe, though,
that any such copy of any card in any of the divisions was ever attached to and
made a part of any enrollment record.

Thus from the sworn admissions of the government officers it appears:
First. That claimants were never properly examined as to their blood rights,
and no record was made of their testimony.

Second. That neither the basic examination record (the field card with the
notations placed thereon by the commission) nor a copy of it was ever
transmitted to the Secretary with the record in any case. The object of
this will be made clear when we later come to consider the relations of
William O. Beall to this case. I will also deal with the rights of persons of
mixed Indian and negro blood to enrollment as Indians under a separate
chapter.

Act of May 31, 1900 (31 Stat., 236-237).—While the examination of all
Choctaw and Chickasaw claimants was proceeding under the act of
June 28, 1898, what is known as the exclusion act of May 31, 1900, was
passed. It provided:

That said commission shall continue to exercise all authority heretofore
conferred on it by law. But it shall not receive, consider, or make any
record of any application of any person for enrollment as a member of
any tribe in Indian Territory who has not been a recognized member
thereof, and duly and lawfully enrolled or admitted as such, and its
refusal of such applications shall be final when approved by the
Secretary of the Interior: Provided, That any Mississippi Choctaw duly
identifed as such by the United States Commission to the Five Civilized
Tribes shall have the right, at any time prior to the approval of the final
rolls of the Choctaws and Chickasaws by the Secretary of the Interior,
to make settlement within the Choctaw-Chickasaw country-, and on
proof of the fact of bona fide settlement may be enrolled by the United
States commission and by the Secretary of the Interior as Choctaws
entitled to enrollment.

This act had the effect of bringing to an end the examination of claimants
under the act of June 28, 1898, for thereafter the commission could not
receive, consider, or make any record of the right of any person to
enrollment unless “he had been a recognized citizen of the tribes and
duly and lawfully enrolled or admitted as such.” The object of this act
is apparent on its face, for no person could be enrolled thereafter unless
he had been “duly and lawfully enrolled or admitted as such” by the half
breeds and whites who had for years been in control of the tribal affairs
and whose corrupt administration of the Indian governments was the direct
cause of the intervention by the United States. Several thousand applications
were submitted to the commission by blood Indians after this date, as will
appear from the Howell report, and they were rejected because the names
of the claimants did not appear on the half dozen rolls and parts of rolls
furnished the commission by the Indian authorities, notwithstanding many
of the names of the claimants and their ancestors appeared on tne official
rolls then in the custody of the departmental officers at Washington, but
which official rolls the departmental officers refused to consider.
Act of July 1, 1902 (22 Stat., 464).—The act of July 1, 1902, provided:

Sec. 27. The rolls of the Choctaw and Chickasaw citizens and Choctaw and
Chickasaw freedmen shall be made by the Commission to the Five Civilized
Tribes, in strict compliance with the act of Congress approved June twentyeighth,
eighteen hundred and ninety-eight (Thirtieth Statutes, tour hundred
and ninety-five), and the act of Congress approved May thirty-first, nineteen
hundred (Thirty-first Statutes, two hundred and twenty-one), except as herein
otherwise provided: Provided, That no Person claiming right to enrollment and
allotment and distribution of tribal property, by virtue of a judgment of the
United States court in the Indian Territory under the act of June tenth, eighteen
hundred and ninety-six (Twenty-ninth Statutes, three hundred and twenty-one),
and which right is contested by legal proceedings instituted under the provisions
of this agreement, shall be enrolled or receive allotment of lands or distribution
of tribal property until his right thereto has been finally determined.

Sec. 28. The names of all persons living on the date of the final ratification
of this agreement entitled to be enrolled as provided in section twenty-seven
hereof shall be placed upon the rolls made by said commission; and no child
born thereafter to a citizen or freedman, and no person intermarried thereafter
to a citizen shall be entitled to enrollment or to participate in the distribution
of the tribal property of the Choctaws and Chickasaws.

Sec. 34. During the ninety days first following the date of the final ratification
of this agreement, the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes may receive
applications for enrollment only of persons whose names are on the tribal
rolls, but who have not heretofore been enrolled by said commission,
commonly known as “delinquents,” and such intermarried white persons as
may have married recognized citizens of the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations
in accordance with the tribal laws, customs, and usages on or before the date
of the passage of this act by Congress, and such infant children as may have
been born to recognized and enrolled citizens on or before the date of the
final ratification of this agreement; but the application of no person whomsoever
for enrollment shall be received after the expiration of the said ninety days:
Provided, That nothing in this section shall apply to any person or persons
making application for enrollment as Mississippi Choctaws, for whom provision
has herein otherwise been made.

Sec 41. All persons duly identified by the Commission to the Five Civilized
Tribes under the provisions of section twenty-one of the act of Congress
approved June twenty-eighth, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight (Thirtieth
Statutes, four hundred and ninety-five), as Mississippi Choctaws entitled to
benefits under article fourteen of the treaty between the united States and
the Choctaw Nation concluded September twenty-seventh, eighteen
hundred and thirty, may, at any time within six months after the date of
their identification as Mississippi Choctaws by the said commission,
make bona fide settlement within the Choctaw-Chickasaw country, and
upon proof of such settlement to such commission within one year after
the date of their said identification as Mississippi Choctaws shall be
enrolled by such commission as Mississippi Choctaws entitled to allotment
as herein provided for citizens of the tribes, subject to the special provisions
herein provided as to Mississippi Choctaws, and said enrollment shall be
final when approved by the Secretary of the Interior. The application of
no person for identification as a Mississippi Choctaw shall be received by
said commission after six months subsequent to the date of the final
ratification of this agreement, and in the disposition of such applications
all full blood Mississippi Choctaw Indians and the descendants of any
Mississippi Choctaw Indians, whether of full or mixed blood, who received
a patent to land under the said fourteenth article of the said treaty of eighteen
hundred and thirty who had not moved to and made bona fide settlement in
the Choctaw-Chickasaw country prior to June twenty-eighth, eighteen
hundred and ninety-eight, shall be deemed to be Mississippi Choctaws,
entitled to benefits under article fourteen of the said treaty of September
twenty-seventh, eiphtesn hundred and thirty, and to identification as such
by said commission; but this direction or provision shall be deemed to be
only a rule of evidence, and shall not be invoked by or operate to the
advantage of any applicant who is not a Mississippi Choctaw of the full
blood, or who is not the descendant of a Mississippi Choctaw who
received a patent to land under said treaty, or who is otherwise barred
from the right of citizenship in the Choctaw Nation. All of said Mississippi
Choctaws so enrolled by said commission shall be upon a separate roll.
The commission held when it came to make up the final rolls: (a) That no
person except Mississippi Choctaws could be enrolled unless his or her
name appeared on some one of the incomplete half dozen rolls or parts
of rolls furnished the commission by the Indian authorities and set out in
Senate Document 505, Sixtieth Congress, first session, page 7, thus
excluding those blood Indians whose names appear on the official rolls
of the tribes then in the files of the department. This holding was in
violation of the express provisions of the act of June 28, 1898, as
construed by Assistant Attorney-General Van Devanter. (See Howell
report for cases.)

(6) No person could be enrolled on the citizenship rolls unless he or she
had made an application for such enrollment. Under this holding, unless
the commission had made a notation on the field card prepared under the
act of June 28, 1898, that the applicant had applied for enrollment on the
citizenship rolls, the claimant, although a blood Indian, was denied
enrollment, notwithstanding the act of June 28, 1898, did not provide for
the submission of any application whatsoever. Secretary Garfield, in a
communication to the Senate (S. Doc. No. 675, 60th Cong., 2d sess., p. 5),
admitted the accuracy of the above statement. He says:
Therefore it is practically true that applications were in all instances the
basis of action which led to enrollment.
On page 4 he says:

■The law, however, certainly did not require such an application. ****
By this unwarranted and unauthorized holding many “blood” Indians entitled
to enrollment as citizens by blood were either denied enrollment or enrolled
on the freedmen rolls.

For individual cases denied under this erroneous holding, see Howell report.
© That no person (except Mississippi Choctaws) could be enrolled.

The act of June 28, 1898, provided:

No person shall be enrolled who has not heretofore removed to and in good
faith settled in the nation in which he claims citizenship.

Under this holding Indian children in eastern schools were denied enrollment.
(See cases cited in Howell report.) Indians who were temporarily absent on
account of ill health or sickness in their family were denied as in the case of
Virginia Savage and her children, and whose enrollment is now being urged by
the principal chief of the Choctaw Nation, Green McCurtain, and the governor
of the Chickasaw unless he was actuallv residing: the nations on June 28, 1898.
Chickasaw Nation, Douglas H. Johnston, as will appear from the copy of the
petition sent to the Secretary of the Interior, and hereto attached and marked
’’Exhibit A." Many other Indians are in the same condition as Virginia Savage
and her children.

IMPROPER CONDUCT OF GOVERNMENT OFFICERS WHICH RESULTED
IN DENIAL OF CLAIMANTS.

■William O. Beall, chief clerk of the Choctaw and Chickasaw enrollment division*
of the commission, and who passed upon all Choctaw and Chickasaw enrollment
cases in the month of June, 1903, with the permission of the commission,
accepted employment by Mansfield, McMurray & Cornish, attorneys for the
nations, and employed on a contingent fee to defeat the rights of claimants not
recognized as members of the tribes by the then tribal officials. While in their
employ he prepared cases against applicants, and the following month returned
to the commission and subsequently considered and prepared decisions for the
signature of the commission, which were pro forma signed, in the identical cases
briefed by him against the applicants while in the employ of said
attorneys. (S. Doc. 357, 59th Cong., 2d sess., pp. 2, 3, 4, 5.)

■Applications for enrollment duly and properly made to the commission, and
under the rulings of the department absolutely necessary to secure the claimants’
enrollment, were suppressed by Beall and the department never notified of their
existence, thus resulting in the denial by the department of the rights of the
claimants. (S. Doc. 357, 59th Cong., 2d sess., pp. 5, 6, 7, 8.)

The tribal rolls used by the commission were never transmitted to the Secretary
with the case, but merely such notation of the contents of the roll were included
as Beall saw fit to transmit. At hearings before the commission he refused to
incorporate in the record to be sent to the Secretarv statements of what the
tribal rolls disclosed. (S. Doc. 357, 59th Cong.. 2d sess., pp. 11, 12.)
The record sent in each case to the Secretary for review was therefore a
skeleton, and in many instances a silent record. Could the decisions of the
Secretary, therefore, have been right and proper? By this method the
erroneous and fraudulent decisions prepared by Beall were unconsciously
approved by the Secretary, and my clients, blood Indians and wards of the
nation, are the innocent victims.

Act of April 26, 1906 (34 Stat, 137-138).— Then followed the act of
April 26, 1906, the pertinent provisions of which were:

Section 1. That after the approval of this act no person shall be enrolled as a
citizen or freedman of the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek, or Seminole
tribes of Indians in the Indian Territory, except as herein otherwise provided,
unless application for enrollment was made prior to December first, nineteen
hundred and five, and the records in charge of the Commissioner to the Five
Civilized Tribes shall be conclusive evidence as to the fact of such application;
and no motion to reopen or reconsider any citizenship case, in any of said
tribes, shall be entertained unless filed with the Commissioner to the Five
Civilized Tribes within sixty days after the date of the order or decision sought
to be reconsidered except as to decisions made prior to the passage of
this act, in which cases such motion shall be made within sixty days after the
passage of this act: Provided, That the Secretary of the Interior may enroll
persons whose names appear upon any of the tribal rolls and for whom the
records in charge of the Commissioner to the Five Civilized Tribes show
application was made prior to December first; nineteen hundred and five,
and which was not allowed solely because not made within the time
prescribed by law.

Sec. 2. That for ninety days after approval hereof applications shall be
received for enrollment of children who were minors living March fourth,
nineteen hundred and six, whose parents have been enrolled as members
of the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, or Creek tribes, or have applications
for enrollment pending at the approval hereof, and for the purpose of
enrollment under this section illegitimate children shall take the status of
the mother and allotments shall be made to children so enrolled. That the
rolls of the tribes affected by this act shall be fully completed on or before
the fourth day of March, nineteen hundred and seven, and the Secretary
of the Interior shall have no jurisdiction to approve the enrollment of any
person after said date: Provided, That nothing herein shall be construed so
as to hereafter permit any person to file an application for enrollment in
any tribe where the date for filing application has been fixed by agreement
between said tribe and the United States.

Sec. 4. That no name shall be transferred from the approved freedmen,
or any other approved rolls of the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek,
or Seminole tribes, respectively, to the roll of citizens by blood, unless the
records in charge of the Commissioner to the Five Civilized Tribes show
that application for enrollment as a citizen by blood was made within the
time prescribed by law by or for the party seeking the transfer, and said
records shall be conclusive evidence as to the fact of such application,
unless it be shown by documentary evidence that the Commission to the
Five Civilized Tribes actually received such application within the time
prescribed by law.

This act was drafted by the Commissioner to the Five Civilized Tribes by
direction of the Secretary. (S. Rept. 5013, 59th Cong., 2d sess., p. 505.)
The first section provides that no person could be enrolled unless “application
for enrollment was made prior to December 1, 1905, and the records in charge
of the commission shall be conclusive evidence as to the fact of such application.”
The great majority of Choctaws and Chickasaw claimants appeared before
the commission under the act of June 28, 1898, which did not require the
submission of any application. So that under this law unless the commission,
when the claimant appeared before it under the act of June 28, 1898,
noted on the field card that the applicant had applied for enrollment either
as a citizen or freedman, the applicant could not be now enrolled, although
he had a clear right to enrollment under the act of June 28, 1898, and under
which he was before the commission for examination. This provision did
validate the theretofore unlawful holding of the commission and department
that no person could be enrolled unless application had been by him made for
the particular enrollment to which he was entitled.

The second section provided: First, for the enrollment of minor children, born
prior to March 4, 1906, whose parents had been enrolled by the Secretary,
and second, for the completion and closing of the rolls on March 4, 1907.
The fourth section prevented the transfer of any “blood Indian” who had
theretofore been erroneously enrolled as a “freedman” to the blood roll,
“unless the records in charge of the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes
show that application for enrollment as a citizen by blood was made within
the time proscribed by law by or for the party seeking the transfer, and such
records shall be conclusive evidence as to the fact of such application, unless
it be shown by documentary evidence that the Commission to the Five
Civilized Tribes actually received such application within the time prescribed
by law.” The object and effect of this provision was to prevent the transfer
of many practically full-blood Indians having a strain of negro blood from
the “freedmen” roll to the "blood ’ roll, where they properly belonged. These
people had appeared before the commission under the act of June 28, 1898,
which did not require an application, and had been erroneously listed by the
commission on the field cards for enrollment as “freedmen.” Their names
appear on the tribal rolls prepared by the Indian officials, as in the case of the
children of Boss McCoy (S. Rept. 5013, pt. 1, 59th Cong., 2d sess.,
pp. 485-488.)

After the passage of this law citizenship matters became chaotic. The
commission passed upon many thousand cases and withheld them until the
months of November, December, January, and February, before transmission
to the department. It was at this stage of the proceedings that William O. Beall
was enabled to render efficient services to Mansfield, McMurray & Cornish in
defeating the rights of Choctaw and Chickasaw claimants. The decisions,
prepared under his direction, and pro forma approved by the commissioner,
denied claimants enrollment as citizens and the cases were not sent to
Washington until just before the closing of the roll, too late for the Secretary’s
office to consider them. The confusion in the department, immediately before
the closing of the rolls on March 4, 1907, was intensified by conflicting
decisions in these cases rendered by the Attorney-General on February 19, 1907,
or less than two weeks before the rolls were closed. The decisions of the
Attorney-General were based upon incomplete records and without knowledge
of the facts. (See Asst. Atty. Gen. Hair’s testimony before S. Com., Apr. 10, 1908,
pp. 44 to 48.) The Secretary, in his report to the Senate Indian Committee on the
bill under consideration, copy of which was sent to the chairman of the House
Indian Committee in February, 1910 (p. 3), says:

Complaints had been made of various rulings of this department in enrollment
cases, and May 29, 1906, after the enactment of the provision closing the rolls
March 4, 1907, this department submitted to the Attorney-General of the United
States two causes in volume disputed questions of law arising in connection with
many applications for enrollment, requesting his opinion thereon. Naturally,
cases coming up for consideration and involving these same questions were laid
aside to await the opinion of the Attorney-General. No opinion having been
received, the department, January 19, 1907, by direction of the President,
transmitted other cases to the Attorriev-Gcncral for his opinion. His opinion,
covering all the cases thus submitted, was rendered February 19, 1907
(26 Ops., 127).

The Attorney-General had different views on some of these questions from
those entertained by this department, and upon which decisions had been
rendered in many cases. In the two weeks remaining for completing the rolls
of citizenship an effort was made to apply the ruling of the Attorney-General
to cases then pending in the department, arm to cases which had been
theretofore decided contrary to those rulings. The large number of cases thus
affected, in connection with the very great number which were received from
the field by the department, constituted such a great amount of work as rendered
it impossible to give to each separate case that consideration which it ought to
have had and would have had in the ordinary course of procedure. All cases
then pending were, however, acted upon. It happened that a number of cases
which had been acted upon by the Commissioner to the Five Civilized
Tribes, the successor to the commission, were forwarded to the department
prior to March 4, 1907, but did not reach Washington until March 6, or later.
These cases, of course, received no consideration by the Secretary of the Interior,
and the applicants interested therein have not had a final adjudication of their
claims.

The Secretary (S. Doc. 390, 59th Cong., 2d sess.), on March 4, 1907, advised
the Senate that during the week preceding the closing of the rolls on
March 4, 1907, his office passed upon 2,023 enrollment cases. These cases
involved the rights of over 12,000 claimants, who never had their cases properly
considered by the Secretary’s office, and the great majority of whom were denied
enrollment without a hearing.

RIGHTS OF PERSONS OF MIXED INDIAN AND NEGRO BLOOD TO
ENROLLMENT AS INDIANS BY BLOOD UNDER THE TREATIES AND
LAWS.

By the act of June 10, 1896, the commission was directed in adjudicating
applications for citizenship in the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations to—respect
all laws of the several nations or tribes, not inconsistent with the laws of the
United States, and all treaties with either of said nations or tribes, and shall
give due force and effect to the rolls, usages, and customs of said nations or
tribes.

The Choctaw Nation obtained title to the property in controversy by
article 2 of the treaty of 1830 (7 Stat., 333), the conveyance being made to
the Choctaw Nation “in fee simple to them and their descendants, to inure to
them while thev shall exist as a nation and live on it.”

By article 1 of the treaty of 1837 (11 Stat., 573) the Chickasaws acquired an
equal individual interest in the property of the Choctaws "on the same terms
that the Choctaws hold it.’

At the time these treaties were entered into the Choctaws and Chickasaws
held slaves. But there were many full-blood negroes who were recognized
members of the tribes, as will appear from an examination of volume 7,
American State Papers (Public Lands). That volume contains a list of those
members of the Choctaw tribe who selected reserves of land in Mississippi
under the treaty of 1830, and was compiled in September, 1831. On page 77
appear the names of persons of mixed Indian and negro blood under the
heading, "Names of Indians owning farms.’’ In this list are the names of Sally
Tom, with the notation “a free woman;” William Lightfoot, “a mulatto, half
Indian and half negro;” Jim Tom, " half-breed negro, has an Indian wife;"
James Blue, “a negro man, had an Indian wife, lives below the factory.”
Many other references are made therein to persons of mixed Indian and
negro blood. In 1831, when this list was compiled by the Indian chiefs and
approved by government officers, a large percentage of the persons
comprising the Choctaw community of Indians were either mixed Indian and
white or Indian and negro blood (Sic)1954 Joe Chitto