University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1904, Part II
([1904])

Report of the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes,   pp. 1-198 ff. PDF (110.1 MB)


Page 8

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR. 
men of these two tribes and for the identification of Mississippi 
Choctaws. 
While it has been necessary, in a number of cases, to secure addi- 
tional testimony in order to determine the rights of applicants, the 
main features of the work have been the preparation of decisions and 
the compilation of schedules, or partial rolls, containing the names 
of applicants entitled to enrollment. 
For a time the disposition of Choctaw and Chickasaw enrollment 
cases was suspended owing to protests filed with the Commission 
by the attorneys for the tribes. More or less delay has also been 
occasioned by awaiting the action of the Choctaw and Chickasaw 
citizenship court in cases analogous to those pending before the 
Commission. 
Before entering into- the details of the work performed, it is 
deemed proper to briefly review the main propositions which have 
been encountered. 
CHOCTAW AND CHICKASAW       CITIZENSHIP COURT. 
The agreement with the Choctaws and Chickasaws, approved by 
Congress July 1, 1902 (Appendix No. 1, p. 96), contains the follow- 
ing provisions: 
SEC. 31. It being claimed and insisted by the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations
that the United States courts in the Indian Territory, acting under the act
of 
Congress approved June tenth, eighteen hundred and ninety-six, have admitted
persons to citizenship or to enrollment as such citizens in the Choctaw and
Chickasaw nations, respectively, without notice of the proceedings in such
courts being given to each of said nations; and it being insisted by said
nations 
that, in such proceedings, notice to each of said nations was indispensable,
and 
it being claimed and insisted by said nations that the proceedings in the
United 
States courts in the Indian Territory, under the said act of June tenth,
eighteen 
hundred and ninety-six, should have been confined to a review of the action
of 
the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes, upon the papers and evidence
sub- 
mitted to such Commission, and should not have extended to a trial de novo
of 
the question of citizenship; and it being desirable to finally determine
these 
questions, the two nations, jointly, or either of said nations acting separately
and making the other a party defendant, may, within ninety days after this
agreement becomes effective, by a bill in equity filed in the Choctaw and
Chicka- 
saw citizenship court hereinafter named, seek the annulment and vacation
of 
all such decisions by said courts. Ten persons so admitted to citizenship
or 
enrollment by said courts, with notice to one but not to both of said nations,
shall be made defendants to said suit as representatives of the entire class
of 
persons similarly situated, the number of such persons being too numerous
to 
require all of them to be made individual parties to the suit; but any person
so 
situated may, upon his application, be made a party defendant to the suit.
Notice of the institution of said suit shall be personally served upon the
chief 
executive of the defendant nation, if either nation be made a party defendant
as aforesaid, and upon each of said ten representative defendants, and shall
also 
be published for a period of four w&eks in at least two weekly newspapers
having general circulation in the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations. Such notice
shall set forth the nature and prayer of the bill, with the time for answering
the same, which shall not be less than thirty days after the last publication.
Said suit shall be determined at the earliest practicable time, shall be
confined 
to a final determination of the questions of law here named, and shall be
with- 
out prejudice to the determination of any charge or claim that the admission
of 
such persons to citizenship or enrollment by said United States courts in
the 
Indian Territory was wrongfully obtained as provided in the next section.
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


Go up to Top of Page