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DAWES ROLLS

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DAWES ROLLS


CHOCTAW ROLLS
A FEW WORDS ABOUT THE FINAL ROLLS AND WHO IS ON THEM

Below is part of a letter written to Chief Roberts, printed in the BISHINIK, December, 1978 under VOICE OF THE CHOCTAW. It helps explain some of the resons why your Choctaw might not have enrolled or was enrolled with less Choctaw blood than they might have been.

WHO IS TO SAY WHOM IS MORE CHOCTAW THAN ANOTHER ?

"As most of us know, the Dawes Rolls are not always correct, even though they should be. I know this because many of my relatives and friends have tried to get information on their degree of Indian blood straightened out to no avail.
In my case, I am one-half Choctaw and Chickasaw. My mother is three-quarters Choctaw and Chickasaw and my father is one-quarter Chickasaw. My father and mother were not enrolled, nor was my grandmother.
However, my grandfather was enrolled but was listed as one-half Choctaw. Both of his parents are enrolled, with his mother being full blood Chickasaw and his father full blood Choctaw.
Yet, while he should have been listed as a full blood Choctaw-Chickasaw mix, my grandfather was listed only as one-half blood Choctaw.
When I asked about it, I was told my greatgrandmother had died before her husband was enrolled, and the roll said he was one-half blood. Therefore, all I can prove is that I am one-eighth Choctaw.
My Great grandfather's brother, my great-uncle, married a sister of my grandmother. Yet, on today's rolls the children of my great uncle and aunt are all enrolled as full bloods, while my great grandfather and grandmother's children are enrolled as half-bloods.
There are undoubtedly many full bloods, like myself, who are enrolled as figures ranging from three-sixteenths up or down. And, there are many more full-blood and half-blood Choctaws who were never enrolled and as a result they, their children and grandchildren are left out completely."

A very good book which explains alot about the DAWES COMMISSION is Angie Debo's
"AND STILL THE WATERS RUN"
The Betrayal Of The Five Civilized Tribes.

Rolls and Census were kept by the tribe, but carelessly done. The Dawes Commision attemped, to check these lists by personal identification of each citizen. They found the fullbloods extremely reluctant to enroll. At this time they were also besieged by white and Negro claimants for a share in the trible property. By the fall of 1899 most of the citizens on the tribal rolls had been identified. The quantum of blood on the rolls is sometimes misleading. The fullblood Indians of mixed tribal descent were classed as mixed blood. The final rolls for the Oklahoma Choctaws are as follows:

Fullbloods............ 7,087
Indians mixed......... 10,401
Total................. 17,488

Whites................ 1,651 (Whites who married Choctaws)
Freedmen.............. 6,029 (The Freedman Roll is the list of former Slaves of the Tribe)
Total................. 25,168

From the book "INDIAN RECORDS" Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory Final Rolls, Volume I,II,III (Choctaw by Blood) by Arlene LeMaster
Many times the quantum of Indian blood was higher than that shown in the rolls. The U.S. Government regulated the financial affairs of "Restricted Indians" If you had 50% or more Indian Blood your were a "Restricted Indian". To be free of Government control you might downgrade your percentage of Indian Blood.


REQUIREMENTS FOR ENROLLMENT


1. Applications had to be submitted during the enrollment period (1899 to 1906)
2. Membership by blood, intermarriage, or adoption into the Tribe
3. Actual residence within the area occupied by the Tribe
Persons born after March 4, 1906 were not eligible for enrollment
Congress closed the rolls as of March 4, 1907

In a lot of cases people of Indian blood were excluded from the rolls because they did not meet the residency requirements. Some chose not to be included because of the social stigma attached to being Indian at that time.

 

 

 

 

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