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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1903, Part II
([1903])

Report of the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes,   pp. 1-190 ff. PDF (101.5 MB)


Page 17

COMMISSION TO THE FIVE CIVILIZED TRIBES.             17 
3. Persons of Shawnee blood who acquired rights under the provisions of an
agreement between the Cherokee Nation and the Shawnee tribe of Indians, con-
cluded June 7, 1869, and approved by the President of the United States June
9, 
1869, and their descendants. This class embraces a few persons not Shawnees
by 
blood, but who removed to the Cherokee Nation with the Shawnees and whose
names appear as adopted members of the tribe on the register made in pursuance
of 
the terms of the agreement. 
4. Delawares by blood, who acquired rights under the provisions of an agreement
entered into between the Cherokee Nation and the Delaware tribe of Indians
April 
8, 1867. 
5. Persons deriving their rights from intermarriage with recognized citizens
of the 
Cherokee Nation, of either Cherokee, Delaware, or Shawnee blood. 
6. Cherokee freedmen, who acquired rights under the provisions of the treaty
between the United States and the Cherokee Nation concluded July 19, 1866.
In the enrollment of applicants of the first, third, and fourth classes 
little difficulty was experienced beyond simply the labor of taking so 
large a number of personal applications and recording the proceed- 
ings, residence within the nation and tribal enrollment being the 
vital prerequisites. 
The force and validity of acts of the Cherokee national council, the 
authority and regularity of the proceedings of various commissions 
charged with passing upon the rights of claimants to Cherokee citi- 
zenship, the compliance or noncompliance of such claimants with the 
terms upon which their admission was conditioned or with the laws of 
the Cherokee Nation regulating citizenship, and, not infrequently, the 
identity of the applicants as persons previously admitted to citizen- 
ship, are considerations which enter largely into the determination of 
the rights of applicants of the second class.           N 
It was in applications of the fifth and sixth classes, however, that 
the most serious difficulties arose. In the enrollment of Cherokee 
freedmen, other than those identified upon the authenticated roll of 
1880, every inch of ground was contested, and a mass of evidence, 
much of it irrelevant and immaterial, was introduced by both sides. 
The real issues were often so obscured as to require much patience 
and diligence in sifting the evidence for the facts and arriving at a 
proper determination of the rights of the applicants. 
The questions to be considered in determining applications of the 
fifth class are mainly legal ones, which may more properly be dealt 
with under the head of "Decisions." 
To the above six classes there might also be added a seventh. 
The Secretary of the Interior, exercising the authority vested in him 
by the act of Congress approved March 3, 1901 (Appendix No. 1, 
p. 79), had, prior to the consummation of the agreement now in force 
with the Cherokees, fixed a date for closing the citizenship rolls of 
the Cherokee Nation, viz, July 1, 1902. It became apparent that 
there would at that time remain upon the 1880 authenticated roll and 
the 1896 census roll of Cherokee citizens many names concerning 
which the Commission had been unable to secure information of a 
definite character. Four special enrolling parties during the spring 
and summer of 1902 spent several months in the field, and a strenuous 
effort was made to list for enrollment every citizen of the Cherokee 
Nation then living. Lest injustice be done, however, it was deemed - 
advisable to permit application to be made prior to the closing of the 
rolls for all delinquents on the rolls mentioned, those on the roll of 
1880, because the same is an authenticated roll of citizens of the Cher-
okee Nation, and those on the 1896 census roll, because that is virtually
IND 1903, i-T 2  2 


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