Excerpt from Senate document 420, 57th Congress, 1st Session. Full transcription here.|
At the beginning of the Civil War the Indians of the Indian Territory were divided in their sentiments of allegiance. A large majority favored the Confederacy. Those who stood by the Union lost much of their property, and many of them lost their lives by reason of their loyalty.
"...The Creeks were nearly divided in sentiment at the opening of the war, about 6,500 having gone with the rebellion, while the remainder, under the lead of the brave old chief Opothleyoholo, resisted all temptations of the rebel agents and of leading men, like John Ross, among the Indians, and fought their way out of the country northward, in the winter, tracked by their bloody feet upon the frozen ground. They lost everything - houses, homes, stock, everything that they possessed. Many joined the United States army...."
At the close of the war it was ascertained that of the loyal Choctaws and Chickasaws who thus lost property there were 212; of the loyal Seminoles there were 340; of the loyal Creeks 1,523.
Creek Treaty - Article IV provides how the losses of the loyal Creeks are to be ascertained,and reads as follows:
Article IV. Immediately after the ratification of this treaty the United States agrees to ascertain the amount due the respective soldiers who enlisted in the Federal army, loyal refugee Indians and freedmen, in proportion to their several losses, and to pay the amount awarded each, in the following manner, to wit: A census of the Creeks shall be taken by the agent of the United States for said nation, under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, and a roll of the names of all soldiers that enlisted in the Federal army, loyal refugee Indians and freedmen, be made by him....
... the commissioners to ascertain the losses of the loyal
Creeks were not appointed until July 21, 1869 and made no report until February
14, 1870. These commissioners were Brig. Gen. W. B. Hazen and Capt. F. A. Field,
both officers of the Regular army. The census disclosed that while more than
6,000 of the loyal Creeks followed brave old Opothleyoholo from their
reservation into Kansas, only 3,611 returned. An awful mortality! These filed
claims with the commissioners aggregating $5,090,808.50. The commissioners
allowed $1,836,830.41. A cut of about 62 per cent.
... Subsequently there was paid out to the claimants on these awards the sum of $100,000 from funds belonging to the Creek tribe. The Indians refused to accept any portion of this money until assured by the special agent, J. A. Williamson, that it was simply an advance payment and that the whole of the awards should be soon paid.....
Although similar claims by other tribes were paid fairly quickly by appropriation of Congress the Loyal Creek claims went unpaid by Congress for decades. Over the next 32 years after 1870 various bills were introduced into Congress to provide payment of the balance due the claimants. Finally, in 1903 Congress provided $600,000 which was accepted by the Creek National Council as payment in the meantime. At that time heirs of the original claimants filed heirship affidavits with the office of James McLaughlin, Indian Inspector. See National Archives microfilm A43, A44, and 7RA 34 (roll 1) for a 1903 payroll and 1904 payroll of payments made to claimants and their heirs. Much genealogical information and clues to relationships can be found on these rolls.
The original 1869 claims are on file at the National Archives, Washington, D.C. The claims usually consist of 3 pages containing a short statement of wartime circumstances, a summary of property lost, it's value, names of two witnesses, and a summary of awards. The claims are part of Record Group 75(BIA records), Records of the Civilization Division, Loyal Creek Claims. These records are arranged by claim number so the National Archives needs to have the claim number to make copies. Please see citing records in the National Archives. The original 1903-1904 heirship affidavits are also at the National Archives but are not organized and require a physical search. The National Archives does not have time or staff to search these so they have to be searched in person or by a hired researcher. These records are part of Record Group 75, "Special Series A".
Sample of Loyal Creek claim of Eliza Goodwin
What follows is a transcription of the abstract of Loyal Creek claims compiled by Hazen & Field in 1870 as printed in Senate Doc. 420 and also a newly compiled name index to the claimants. To make finding persons easier common Creek Indian name suffixes/titles such as emarthla, marthla, fixeco, haijo(harjo), micco, oholo, and yoholo have been seperated into "last name" and so can be found in the "last name" indexes. Many of these were later adopted as proper surnames by the time of the Dawes enrollment.
When a name is found in the index you need to go to that claim number in the abstract. In reproducing the abstract it was noticed that in many cases where "do" was used to indicate sex many persons were indicated as the wrong sex. It is assumed the mistakes occured when the abstract was printed in Senate Doc. 420. Because of these errors some Indian names that are not obviously male or female may be listed as the wrong sex. Also, because of these errors the name indexes do not include the sex.
Listed in the abstract are claim number, name, race, age, sex, the amount of the claims, the amount awarded, and a remark. Each page of this reproduced abstract has 90 persons listed and when printed should print across two pages. The original printed version lists about 80 persons per page.
|Page 1, claims 1-90
Page 2, claims 91-180
Page 3, claims 181-270
Page 4, claims 271-360
Page 5, claims 361-450
Page 6, claims 451-540
Page 7, claims 541-630
Page 8, claims 631-720
Page 9, claims 721-810
Page 10, claims 811-900
Page 11, claims 901-990
Page 12, claims 991-1080
Page 13, claims 1081-1170
Page 14, claims 1171-1260
Page 15, claims 1261-1350
Page 16, claims 1351-1440
Page 17, claims 1441-1523
Listing of Freedmen and "Free Colored" only. These names are also listed in the indexes above.
Listing of Half-breed persons only. These persons are of mixed-blood and could be a mix of Indian, White, and/or Black. These names are also listed in the indexes above.