Muskogee Area Office
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The Muskogee Area Office was established in 1948 to administer Bureau of Indian Affairs business concerning the Cherokee (including Delaware and Shawnee), Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole Indians of Oklahoma. Until 1874, there had been agencies for the individual tribes (the agencies for the Choctaws and Chickasaws, however, were consolidated). The Union Agency was established in 1874 for all five tribes. Until 1898, the tribes largely governed themselves. In 1893, the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes (Dawes Commission) was established. The Curtis Act of 1898 provided for the preparation of tribal rolls and the making of allotments by the commission. The act also created the positions of inspector for Indian Territory and superintendent of schools. In 1905, the commission was reduced to a single commissioner, and in 1907, the position of inspector was combined with that of commissioner. The Union Agency and the commission were combined in 1914 to form the Five Civilized Tribes Agency, which was absorbed by the Muskogee Area Office in 1948.
The records from 1835 to 1952 include letters sent by the Choctaw and Chickasaw Agency in 1867 and from 1870 to 1873; account books of the Union Agency, 1876 to 1878; Choctaw national treasurer, 1868 to 1877, and Creek Nation, 1905 to 1911; journals of the House of Kings, Creek Nation, 1895 to 1897 and 1899; general records of the Union Agency and Five Civilized Tribes Agency; records of the tribal enrollments; census rolls dating from 1852; and case files for individual Indians. Fiscal records include money files for individual Indians, current accounts and other accounts, applications for per-capita payments, and annuity and other payrolls.37
The Muskogee Area Office at Anadarko, Oklahoma, administers Bureau of Indian Affairs programs for the following agencies: Ardmore, Okmulgee, Osage, Miami, Tahlequah, Talihina, and Wewoka.38
Ardmore Agency Records
Census Reports on Living Enrollees, 1908–1945
A record prepared on printed forms of “Living Members of the Five Civilized Tribes Owning Restricted Indian Allotted Land, 30 June 1927.” The information contained on the form includes the individual’s name, Dawes enrollment number, tribe, degree of Indian blood, age, sex, ability to read and write English, schools attended, marital status, health, occupation, legal description of land owned, and an opinion as to the person’s competency. There are also some census reports compiled as of 30 June 1926 and in 1930 that provide similar information. The records include some correspondence between the agency and the field clerk pertaining to the completion of the forms and some photographs of Indians and their homes. The reports appear to include only Indians living in Carter, Garvin, Love, and Murray counties. Arranged alphabetically by first letter of the enrollee’s surname.
Records of the Office at Vinita
Census Reports on Living Enrollees, 1927–1930
A record prepared on printed forms of “Living Members of the Five Civilized Tribes Owning Restricted Indian Allotted Land, 30 June 1927.” The information contained on the form includes the individual’s name, Dawes enrollment number, tribe, degree of Indian blood, age, sex, ability to read and write English, schools attended, marital status, health, occupation, legal description of land owned, and an opinion as to the person’s competency. Arranged alphabetically by first letter of the enrollee’s surname.
Chickasaw Nation Records39
An agreement between the Chickasaws and Choctaws signed at Doaksville on 17 January 1837 (11 Stat., 573) permitted the Chickasaws to settle in the Choctaw Nation with all the rights of Choctaw citizens. A further provision created an area to be set aside as the Chickasaw District, the land to be held in common by the two tribes. Residents of the district were to have equal representation in the Choctaw General Council and were to be governed by the laws of the Choctaw Nation.
This arrangement proved to be unsatisfactory for the Chickasaws. In 1855, another treaty was signed (11 Stat., 611) giving the Chickasaws the unrestricted right of self-government and defining the boundaries of the Chickasaw Nation. In 1856 and 1857, constitutions were adopted, the government being organized into three departments. The executive authority was vested in the office of governor and the legislative power resided in a senate and house of representatives. A supreme court was established as well as district and county courts. This form of government was retained until the advent of statehood for Oklahoma.
The original counties of the Chickasaw District were Panola, Wichita, Caddo, and Perry. When the Chickasaw Nation proper was organized under the treaty of 1855, the country was again divided into four counties called Panola, Pickens, Tishomingo, and Pontotoc.
On 23 April 1897, the Chickasaws, under the Atoka Agreement, consented to the provisions of allotment of their lands in severalty.
Chickasaw Annuity Roll, 1878
List of Chickasaws registered in Panola, Pickens, Pontotoc, and Tishomingo counties in Chickasaw Nation and Masholatubby and Pushmatahal districts in Choctaw Nation for the annuity payment of 1878. Contains names of head of family, indication of wife, number of children, total number in family, and name of person receiving payment. Arranged by consecutive numbers.
Chickasaw Annuity Roll, 1878
List of persons registered in Masholatubby District for Chickasaw Annuity of 1878 resulting from the Leased District claim. Contains unidentified number, name, number of men, women, and children, and total number in family. Arranged alphabetically by county and then alphabetically by surname.
Chickasaw Census Roll, 1890
Census rolls of Pickens and Pontotoc counties in the Chickasaw Nation. Contains names of heads of families, indication of wives, post office addresses, ages of heads of families, the number of male and female children, an indication of whether the person is Chickasaw or Choctaw by blood or marriage, whether a U.S. citizen, state Negro, Indian Negro, or intruder, and total number in family. Arranged by county, then not arranged.
Chickasaw Payroll, 1893
Payroll of individuals in the Chickasaw Nation. Includes Maytubby’s roll of 1893 and Iishatubby’s roll of 1893. Includes family number, names, ages, number in family, and Checkmark for payment. Notations include Dawes card number, dead, full payment, and dates. One list is arranged consecutively by family groups. Another list is arranged alphabetically by surname.
Chickasaw Census, 1896
List of Chickasaws in the Chickasaw Nation, and those residing in the Choctaw Nation. Contains names of head of family (both parents) and children, ages, sex, whether Chickasaw by blood or intermarriage, date of intermarriage, and remarks. Remarks consist primarily of “married to . . .”
Chickasaw Census Index, 1897
Contains name and page number in census roll. Arranged alphabetically by individual’s surname, then by county.
Chickasaw Census, 1897
List of Chickasaws registered within Chickasaw and Choctaw nations. Separate lists for intermarried whites and doubtful citizens within each county. List of names from 1893 Chickasaw roll that were not on the 1896 Chickasaw roll. Contains name and census card number. Arranged alphabetically by county, and numerically by district in Choctaw Nation.
Census and Citizenship Records
Documents concerning census, 1896; letters and documents concerning citizenship, 1861–1907; 1818 census; 1890 census of Pickens County and Tishomingo County; Choctaws in the Chickasaw Nation, 1896; journals of the Citizenship Committee and Court of Claims, 1889–95; proceedings of the Investigation Committee, 1893; records of the Chickasaw Commission, 1896; Dawes Commission citizenship cases, 1896–1904; incompetent record and list of original claimants, 1839–90; journal of the Commission on Incompetent Funds, 1889–90; incompetent fund records, 1889–1890; evidence book, 1889–90; competent and incompetent roll; Chickasaw per capita, 1889–90.
Records of the Executive Department, Senate and House of Representatives
Constitutions, acts, and laws, 1848–1901; senate journals, 1860–1902; house of representatives, 1866–94; journals of the house of representatives, 1894–1909; lists of national, district, and county officers, 1856–1905; official and unofficial papers of the Executive Department; Chickasaw tribal officers, Cyrus Harris and D.H. Johnston, 1856–1936.
Panola County, 1878–94; Pickens and Wichita counties, 1849–81; Pickins County, 1864–1906; Pontotoc County, 1884–1904; district court, unidentified county, 1891–92; Tishimingo County, 1866–1906; supreme court, district court, attorney generals’ reports and other records, 1856–1907.
Reports and minutes of the School Committee, 1872–1905; attendance and financial records, 1890–1902; letters and documents concerning academies, 1867–1928.
Permits to noncitizens, 1868–97; taxes, permits to noncitizens, 1874–1906; Chickasaw permits, 1878–1904; traders, 1889–1902; doctors, 1894–1902.
National treasurer and auditor, 1858–1902; financial records of the national treasurer and auditor, 1884–98.
Land Use and Revenue
Taxes, special national agent, land, agricultural leases, cattle, hay, timber, minerals, roads, railroads, ferries, telephones, and town sites, 1878–1909.
Letters Sent and Received and Other Documents, 1873–1919
The Creek Nation in Indian Territory was composed of the Upper and Lower Creek divisions, which were not fully united until 1867, when the Muskogee Nation was established with a written constitution and code of laws that remained in force until 1906. Under the constitution, a principal chief and a second chief were elected by popular vote every four years. The legislature, called the National Council, consisted of the House of Kings and the House of Warriors. These bodies met each year in regular session at the national capital. The judicial system included a supreme court and courts for each of the nation’s six districts. The districts were Coweta, Muskogee (originally called Arkansas District), Eufaula, Wewoka, Deep Fork, and Okmulgee.
There was considerable opposition to allotment in severalty among the Creeks, and an agreement concluded with the Dawes Commission on 27 September 1897 was opposed by the chief and rejected by the National Council. This agreement was amended and, in 1897, became Section 30 of the Curtis Act. A further agreement was reached providing for the allotment of 160 acres to every tribe member, including freedmen, and for the dissolution of the tribal government on or before 4 March 1906.40
Creek Nation Records41
Creek Old Settlers Roll, 1857
Contains the name of the head of each household and the names of the other members, the amount each received, the total amount paid to the family, and the payee’s mark. Arranged by town and then by family group.
Creek Payrolls, 1858–1859
Contains the name of the head of the family and the names of the other family members, the amount each received, and some remarks. Arranged by town and then by family.
Creek Payroll, 1867
Arranged by town and then by family group. Contains payee’s name, amount received, and mark.
Index to Creek Freedmen, 1869
The index provides a page reference to an unidentified volume. The page numbers do not match the copy of the Dunn Roll of 1869. Arranged alphabetically by surname.
Payroll of Creek Freedmen and Index (Dunn Roll), 1869
The payroll contains the payee’s name, amount received, and mark. The index contains the payee’s roll number. Arranged by district. Index is arranged alphabetically by given name.
Creek Census, 1890
Census rolls of the following towns compiled during 1890: Arbeka (Deep Fork), Arkansas (doubtful), Kialachee, Arbeka (doubtful), Northfork (colored), Tuckabache (partial); typed lists for Arbeka, Alabama, Cussetah, Coweta, North Fork (colored), Concharty, Hutcherchuppa, Tucabache, Cussetah, Thlopthlocco, Tuckabatchee, and Weogufke. The rolls contain only an individual’s name and, in a few cases, an amount of money received (presumably in 1891). Arranged by town and then by family group.
Annuity Roll, 1891
Receipt roll for a per-capita payment in 1891. Contains payee’s name, amount received, mark, signature of witnesses, and date of payment. The roll has been annotated with Dawes enrollment card numbers. Arranged alphabetically by town and then by family group.
Supplemental Annuity Roll
Contains payee’s name, amount received, mark, names of witnesses, and date of payment. The roll has been annotated with Dawes enrollment card numbers. Arranged alphabetically by town and then by family group.
Creek Census Roll (Omitted Roll), 1891
The roll contains an individual’s name, the roll number, and the notation “O” for omitted and “NB” for newborn. Arranged roughly alphabetically by town and then by family group.
Creek Census Roll, 1891
A manuscript list of “Citizens Not Enrolled and their Respective Towns” that was apparently prepared by the clerk of the Special Committee of the National Council, which was established to identify individuals who did not participate in the 1891 per-capita payment and children born after 3 April 1891. The roll contains an individual’s name, the notation “omitted” or “newborn,” and, occasionally, remarks concerning actions of the Special Committee. Arranged by town.
Creek Census, 1893
A manuscript of individuals who apparently were not citizens of the Creek Nation but were living in the nation. The list, which is on a printed form titled “Census of the Non-Citizens of the Muskogee Nation Under Act of Council, 6 Nov. 1893,” is incomplete. Arranged by family group.
Creek Census, 1895
Manuscript census rolls submitted by the Special Committee on Census Rolls to the National Council for approval between 31 May and 6 June 1895. There are rolls for the following towns: Alabama, Arbeka, Arbeka (Deep Fork), Arkansas (“colored”), Artussce, Big Spring, Canadian (“colored”), Coweta, Cussehta, Conchart, Euchee, Eufaula (Canadian), Eufaula (Deep Fork), Fish Pond, Greenleaf, Hickory Ground, Hillabee (Canadian), Hitchite, Hutchechuppa, Kechapataka, Kialigee, Little River Tulsa, Lochapoka, North Fork (“colored”), Okchiye, Okfuskee (Deep Fork), Okfusky (Canadian), Osoche, Pukken, Tallehassee, Quassarty no. 1 and no. 2, Thlewaithle, Thlopthlocco, Tokpofke, Tuckabatchee, Tullahassochee, Tulmochusee, Tulsa (Canadian), Tulwathlocco, Tuskegee, Weogufkee, Wewoka, Doubtful. Arranged by town.
Creek Census, 1895
A manuscript census roll of Creek citizens. The roll contains an individual’s name and roll number. The roll has been annotated with card numbers of Dawes enrollment cards. Arranged by town.
Creek Census (Supplemental Roll), 1895
A list of persons who were omitted from the 1895 payroll and “newborns.” The list was apparently prepared by the Special Committee of the National Council. The roll contains an individual’s name, the name of the individual’s mother and her 1895 roll number, and the designation “New Born” or “Omitted.” Arranged by town.
Creek Census (Omitted Roll), 1895
List of individuals who were newborn or who may have been omitted from the 1895 payroll, which was submitted to the National Council by the Special Committee on Census Rolls on 4 December 1895. The roll contains an individual’s name, the name of the individual’s mother and father, 1895 census roll number, and the designation “New Born” or “Omitted.” The roll numbers in these rolls match the roll numbers in the supplemental roll. Arranged by town.
Creek Payrolls, 1895
Payrolls for a per-capita payment based on the 1895 census. There are payrolls for the following towns: Alabama, Arbeka, Arbeka (Deep Fork), Arbekoche, Arkansas, Artussee, Big Springs, Broken Arrow, Canadian (“colored”), Cheyaha, Coweta, Cussehta, Concharte, Euchee, Eufaula (Deep Fork), Hitchette, Hutchechuppa, Kechopatake, Kialigee, Lochapoka, North Fork (“colored”), Nutaka, Okchiye, Okfuske (Canadian), Okfuske (Deep Fork), Osoche, Pukon, Tulahassee, Quassarte no. 1 and no. 2, Thlewarthlee, Thlopthlocco, Tokpafka, Tuckabatchee, Tuladegee, Tulahassoche, Tulmochussee, Tulwathlocco, Tuskegee, Weogufkee, Wewoka. The roll contains each payee’s name, the amount received, the signature of the payee and the witnesses, and the date of payment. The roll has been annotated with field numbers of Dawes enrollment cards and card numbers of the old series of Dawes enrollment cards. Arranged by town.
Colbert Census Roll of Creek Nation, 1896
Census rolls submitted by the Special Committee on Census Rolls to the National Council. There are rolls for the following towns: Arbeka (North Fork), Arbekochee, Arkansas (“colored”), Artussee, Big Spring, Canadian (“colored”), Concharty, Cussehta, Euchee, Eufaula (Canadian), Eufaula (Deep Fork), Fish Pond, Greenleaf, Hickory Ground, Kialigee, Little River Tulsa, Nuyaka, Okchiye, Okfuskee (Deep Forks), Osoche, Pakkon Tallahasse, Quassarte no. 1 and no. 2, Tallahassoche, Thlewathle, Thlopthlocco, Tokpofka, Tuckabache, Tulladegee, Tuskegee, Weogufke, Wewoka. Arranged by town.
Loyal Creek Payment Roll, 1904
Citizenship Commission Docket Book, 1895
Arranged by case number; includes an alphabetical index.
List of Applicants for Creek Citizenship, 1895–1896 Census and Citizenship Records
Letters and documents concerning census, 1832–1900; Okmulgee District, enrollment of Shawnee Indians, undated; census of noncitizens, undated; creek reservations under the treaty of 24 March 1832, entries 1–2,000; pension list, Muskogee Nation, 1872–73; 1892 census roll, Arkansas District; census of the town of Wagoner, 1894; list of noncitizen cattlemen and roll of Shawnee Indians, Deep Fork District, 1897; letters and documents concerning citizenship, 1874–1910; permit lists and citizenship records, 1880–1906; permit lists; citizenship applications; Creek freedmen; Creek per-capita payments, 1869–1904; letters and documents pertaining to per-capita payments, 1870–88; list of Civil War officers and record of issues to indigent refugee Creeks in the Chickasaw Nation, 1862–65; annuity payroll of Creeks who were orphans in 1832 or their heirs, 1883–89.
Records of the Creek National Council, House of Kings and House of Warriors
Journal of the House of Warriors, 1868–1903; journal of the House of Kings, 1882–95; records of the General Council, Creek Agency, 1861–62; acts and resolutions of the National Council, 1873–92; appropriation acts of the National Council, 1895–99; constitution and laws; undated and Creek miscellaneous documents, 1883–1909.
Supreme Court Records, 1870–1897
Court record book, 1884–98; records and documents, 1868–99; United States courts, 1871–1909; North Fork, Deep Fork, and Arkansas district courts, 1874.
District Court Records
Arkansas District courts, 1870–95; Muskogee District courts, 1876–98; Coweta District courts, 1877–95; Deep Fork District courts, 1872–96; Eufaula District courts, 1882–98; North Fork District courts, 1868–73; Okmulgee District courts, 1884–98; Wewoka District courts, 1871–97.
The first historical notice of the Osages appears to have been by the French explorer Marquette, who located them on his map of 1673 on the Osage River. They were a warlike people, viewed with terror by the surrounding tribes, especially the Caddoans.
Under treaties of 1808, 1818, and 1825, the Osages ceded to the United States much of their land in Arkansas and all lands west of the Missouri River. Subsequent treaties further reduced their lands until their present reservation was established in the northeastern part of Oklahoma in 1870.42
Records of the Osage Indians
Osage Annuity Rolls, 1878–1909
Includes name of band, and the individual’s name, relationship, age, sex.
The Miami Agency, located at Miami, Oklahoma, has jurisdiction over the Shawnee, Miami, Seneca-Cayuga, Quapaw, and Ottawa tribes.33
The Shawnees were a leading tribe with settlements in South Carolina, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.
The Shawnees became known around 1670. At that time they lived in two main bodies at a considerable distance from each other—one in the Cumberland region of Tennessee and the other on the Savannah River in South Carolina. During the late-eighteenth century, the two main bodies united in Ohio. For about forty years, until the Treaty of Greenville in 1795, the Shawnees were almost constantly at war with the British and the Anglo Americans. After the death of Tecumseh, their most famous war chief, they lost their taste for war and began to move to their present locations. One group settled on a reservation in Kansas; another went to Texas to join a band of Cherokees. A third group settled on the Canadian River in Indian Territory, just south of the Quapaw Reserve, and are today known as the Absentee-Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma. Another band that settled in eastern Oklahoma is today known as the Eastern Shawnee Tribe.44
The earliest recorded notice of this tribe was in 1658 by Gabriel Druillette, who called them Oumanik. Then living around the mouth of Green Bay, Wisconsin, they withdrew into the Mississippi Valley and were established there from 1657 to 1676. The French came into contact with them in 1668. Around 1671, the Miamis formed new settlements at the south end of Lake Michigan, where missions were established late in the seventeenth century, and on the Kalamazoo River in Michigan. The extent of territory they occupied a few years later suggests that when the whites first heard of them, the Miami Indians in Wisconsin formed but a part of the tribe, with other bodies already established in northeast Illinois and Indiana. Encroachments by the Potawatomi, Kickapoo, and other northern tribes drove the Miami out to the east, and they formed settlements on the Miami River in Ohio. They held this country until the peace of 1763, when they retired to Indiana. They took part in all the Indian wars in the Ohio Valley until the close of the War of 1812. Soon after, they began to sell their lands. By 1827, they had disposed of most of their holdings in Indiana and had agreed to move to Kansas. They later moved to Indian Territory, where the remnant still resides.55
A large party of Ottawas was first met by Champlain in 1615 near the mouth of the French River, Georgian Bay Region, Canada, which seems to have been the original location of the tribe in the historic period. They were generally counted as allies of the Huron and the French during the French and Indian War. As a result of conflicts with the Iroquois in the seventeenth century, the Ottawas emigrated westward and southwest, their location being on Lake Huron between Detroit and Saginaw Bay from around 1700.
Between 1785 and 1862, the Ottawas signed twenty-three different treaties with the United States. In 1833, they ceded all their land on the west shore of Lake Michigan and accepted a reservation in northeastern Kansas. Several bands of the Ottawa Tribe living in Ohio had ceded their lands to the government and moved to the Kansas reservation in 1832. After the Quapaw Treaty of 1857, they moved to Indian Territory. The main portion of Ottawa remained in scattered settlements in southern Michigan, though another portion continued to live in Canada with the Chippewa. The noted chief Pontiac was an Ottawa, and one of the principal events in the tribe’s history was known as Pontiac’s War, waged near Detroit in 1763.46
The Quapaws are a southwestern tribe. By a treaty signed in St. Louis, Missouri, 24 August 1818, the Quapaws ceded their lands south of the Arkansas River, except for a small territory between Arkansas Post and Little Rock extending inland to the Saline River. In 1824, the Quapaws signed a treaty ceding the rest of their land to the United States, and the tribe agreed to move to the country of the Caddo, where they were assigned a tract on the south side of the Red River. The river frequently overflowed its banks, destroying Quapaw crops. Soon the tribe was drifting back to its old country, now settled by whites. Finally, a treaty signed 13 May 1833 conveyed to the Quapaws 150 sections of land in the extreme southeastern part of Kansas and the northeastern part of Indian Territory, to which they agreed to move. On 23 February 1867, they ceded their lands in Kansas and the northern part of their lands in Indian Territory to the United States. Under the Allotment Act of 1887, the Quapaws objected to federal plans to allot each tribe member only eighty acres. They established their own program and allotted two hundred acres to each of the 247 members. This action was ratified by Congress in 1895.47
In 1865, a special agent was stationed on the river in northeastern Oklahoma, then Indian Territory, to care for the affairs of the Indian tribes living on their reservations east of the Neosho River and north of the Cherokee Nation. Some tribes had been residents since 1832. The Neosho Agency was the main agency and was located in Montgomery County, Kansas. In 1871 the Neosho Agency and the sub-agency were separated jurisdictionally, the latter being named the Quapaw Agency.48
The Senecas of the Quapaw Agency were formerly called the Seneca of Sandusky. Under treaty provisions with the United States in 1817, the Seneca of Sandusky were granted 40,000 acres on the east side of the Sandusky River in Ohio. By 1830, they had improved farms and schools for their children and were generally well advanced. Following the policy of removing the eastern Indians to the West, the government induced the Senecas to sell their Ohio lands and accept a new reserve north of the Cherokee Nation.
A band of the Seneca of Sandusky joined the Shawnee of Ohio, who had settled near Louistown in the latter part of the eighteenth century. At that time they were known as the mixed band of Seneca and Shawnee. By a treaty of 1831, the government induced them to sell their Ohio lands and accept a new reserve adjoining the Seneca of Sandusky in Indian Territory. Both the Seneca of Sandusky and the mixed Senecas and Shawnees moved to their new country in 1832. Like the other eastern tribes, they suffered many hardships during their journey. Protesting that the lands first assigned them were unfit for cultivation, they entered into a new treaty a short time after their arrival at the Seneca Agency. By the terms of the treaty, they were assigned a permanent reservation, beginning at the northeast corner of the Cherokee cession of 1828 and situated between the Neosho River and the Missouri boundary south of the Quapaw country. In 1881, a band of more than one hundred Cayugas from Canada and New York came to join their kin in Oklahoma.
Records of the Shawnee Indians
Shawnee-Cherokee census, 1896–1904.
Records of the Miami Indians
Census of Miami Indians in Indiana and elsewhere, 1881.
Annuity payment roll of Miami Indians of Indiana, 1895.
Records of the Quapaw Agency50
Letters and documents, 1877–97; census and lists for the Cayuga, Miami, Modoc, New York, Nez Perce, Ottawa, Confederated Peoria, Potawatomi, Quapaw, Seneca, Eastern Shawnee, and Wyandot.
Vital Statistics and Related Material
Letters received and other documents, 1864–1901; allotments, births, citizenship, deaths, divorce, estates, guardianship, adoption of Indian children, indigent, insane, issues, marriages, pensions, per capita, police book, family relations, vital statistics, and Civil War.
- Letters received, 1880–98.
- Letterpress book, 1879–84.
Letters Sent and Received and Other Documents
Cayuga, 1871–98; Chippewa, Munsee, or Christian, 1872–1901; Citizen Potowatomi, 1863–89; Delaware, 1871–86; Kansas or Kaw, 1877–78; Miami, 1848–1908; New York Indians, 1874–88; Nez Perce, 1878–79; Oneida, 1876; Modoc Indians, 1873–86; Ottawa Indians, 1871–1901; Peoria and confederated tribes, 1854–1901; Ponca Indians, 1877–97; Seneca Indians, 1872–1901; Shawnee Indians, 1870–1901; Tonkawa Indians, 1883–84; and miscellaneous.
Schools and Churches
Miscellaneous schools, 1871–1908; churches, 1876–89.
In 1782, a group of Cherokees that had fought on the British side during the American Revolution petitioned the Spanish governor at New Orleans for permission to settle on the west side of the Mississippi within the Spanish territory. Permission was granted in 1794, and a group of Cherokees settled in the St. Francis River Valley in what is now southeastern Missouri. More Cherokees joined them over time.
During the winter of 1811 to 1812, the Cherokees moved en masse to the Arkansas region. Other Cherokees who decided to emigrate from the old nation periodically joined them in small groups.
With the treaty signed 8 July 1817 at Turkey Town, these emigrants received title to their lands. Under this treaty, the Cherokees ceded two large tracts of land and two smaller tracts of land east of the Mississippi River for an area of equal value in the West between the Arkansas and White rivers. As encouragement for others to remove, the treaty promised “to give all poor warriors who remove a rifle, ammunition, blanket, and brass kettle or beaver trap each, as full compensation for improvements left by them.” The treaty further promised to compensate them for improvements, provide transportation, and provide subsistence for those who would agree to remove. Consequently, more than 1,100 Cherokees emigrated from the east to the west during 1818 and 1819.
By a treaty signed 6 May 1828, the Cherokees ceded their lands in present Arkansas for land in the present state of Oklahoma. No record exists of the estimated two thousand Cherokees who emigrated before 1817, but the rolls for those who removed under the treaties of 1817 and 1828 are available. These records include a register of Cherokees who wished to remain in the East, 1817 to 1819 (two volumes); emigration registers of Indians who wished to migrate, 1817 to 1838 (eighteen volumes); and applications for reservations, 1819.
The Treaty of New Echota, 29 December 1835, represented the final cession of all Cherokee lands east of the Mississippi River and the beginning of the forced migration of those remaining tribal members west on the Trail of Tears. Cherokees who had emigrated prior to 1835 became known as the Old Settler Cherokees.
Rolls of Cherokees Residing West of the Mississippi in Indian Territory
The 1851 Old Settler Roll
The 1851 payroll lists Old Settlers (Cherokees who moved to Indian Territory prior to December 1835) entitled to participate in a per capita payment. There were 3,273 persons enumerated on this roll, which is arranged by Cherokee district and grouped by family. Some persons who did not reside in the Cherokee Nation are listed as “Non-residents.” 3,273 were enrolled and received $270.95. The “Old Settlers” filed a protest against the sum. The Supreme Court decided that the original “Old Settlers” or their heirs would receive an additional $159.10 per share in the 1896 “Old Settler” payment.
Drennen Roll, 1852
A receipt roll for a per-capita payment made to Cherokees living in the west who removed as a result of and after the Treaty of 1835. The roll was prepared by John Drennen and contains the payee’s name, the amount received by the head of each household, and the name of the witness. Arranged by Cherokee district and then by family group.
Drennen Roll Index, 1852
This index contains the individual’s surname, given name, and a page number reference to the receipt roll. Arranged alphabetically by first two letters of the name.
Complete List of Names of Emigrant Cherokees Who Drew Emigrant Money in 1852
Flint, Sequoyah, and Illinois districts.
Tompkins Roll of 1867
A census roll of Cherokees residing in the Cherokee Nation taken by H. Tompkins. The census roll provides the name, age, and sex of the individual. It also indicates if the individual is “White,” “Half-breed,” or “Colored.” Arranged by Cherokee district.
Tompkins Roll Freedmen Indices, 1897
Indexes of the freedmen listed by H. Tompkins in 1867. One index is alphabetical by surname, and the other is alphabetical by given name. The indexes provide the name, page number of the roll, and the district of residence. Arranged alphabetically by the first two letters of the name.
Receipt Roll for Per-Capita Payment, 1874
Lists head of household, family members, total in family, amount paid, to whom paid, and name of witness.
Lists of Delaware, Shawnee, and North Carolina Cherokees, 1867–1881
Lists of Rejected Claimants, 1878–1880
Arranged by type of decision and thereunder by case number. List of persons who appeared before the Cherokee Commission on Citizenship and whose claims were rejected. The list provides the name of the claimant and the decision rendered by the commission. The notation “Colored” exists in the margin preceding some of the names.
Wallace Roll of Cherokee Freedmen, Including Orphan Roll, 1880
Cherokee Census of 1880
On 3 December 1879, the Cherokee National Council authorized a census and a per-capita payment for purchase of “bread stuffs.” This census later became very important to the Dawes Commission in preparing the final rolls. Any Indian or intermarried white listed on this census was accepted without challenge by the Dawes Commission. A notation on the census cards prepared by the commission showed the individuals’ locations and the name by which each was enrolled on the 1880 census.
The census was arranged by district within the Cherokee Nation and then by six schedules: (1) Cherokee citizens, including native, adopted white, Shawnee, Delaware, and freedmen; (2) orphans under age sixteen; (3) those rejected; (4) those whose citizenship claims were pending; (5) intruders (unauthorized white squatters on Cherokee land); and (6) those living in the Cherokee Nation by permit granted by the Cherokee Council. Each schedule gives the individual’s name by family group, age, race, occupation, sex, and roll number.
Cherokee Census Index, 1880
A printed index to the 1880 Cherokee Census, which contains the name, roll number, nativity, age, and sex of each individual. The volume also includes lists of Shawnee and Delaware who were residing in the Cherokee Nation, North Carolina Cherokee who removed to the Cherokee Nation, and persons admitted or readmitted to citizenship by the Cherokee National Council. There is also an orphan roll, arranged by Cherokee district and thereunder roughly alphabetically. Lipe Receipt Roll, 1880
A per-capita receipt roll by D.W. Lipe. The roll provides the name of the payee, the number in the family, the total amount paid to the family, the name of the person receiving the payment, and the name of the witness. Arranged by Cherokee district and then by roll number.
Receipt Roll of Per-Capita Payment, 1881
Lists head of household and family members, nationality, and remarks.
Lists of North Carolina Cherokees Who Removed to the Cherokee Nation West, 1881
Lists roll number, family number, English name, Cherokee name (in Cherokee), age, sex, nationality, residence (in Cherokee), and remarks.
Roll of North Carolina Immigrants Allowed Per-Capita Payment, 1881
Lists name of head of household and family members.
Payroll by Right of Cherokee Blood, 1883
Lists roll number, name of head of household and family members, age, and remarks.
Lists of North Carolina Cherokees, 1882–1883
Lists name of head of household, family members, nationality, and age.
The Cherokee Census of 1883 and 1886
On 19 May 1883, the Cherokee National Council authorized another census upon which to base a per-capita payment of monies received from leased land. Like the 1880 census, this census is arranged by districts and includes an orphan’s roll, those in nation prisons, and a supplemental roll that shows the name and age of each individual.
A receipt roll shows the individual’s name and roll number, the total number in the household, the total amount paid each household, the name of the person receiving the payment, and the name of a witness to the payment.
More money was made available from the same source in 1886 and was distributed after another census. In addition to the information given in the 1883 payment roll, the 1886 roll identifies individuals by their relationship to the head of household.
Supplemental Roll of Those Left Off the Rolls of 1880 Per-Capita Payment, 1884
Lists heads of household, family members, and remarks.
Citizenship Commission Docket Book, 1880–1884
Docket of the Citizenship Commission of the Cherokee Nation, which contains the names of claimants, nature of the claim, and the decision of the commission.
The 1890 Cherokee Census
This census contains the most complete information of any census for the Cherokee Nation. It is arranged by district and includes six schedules: (1) native Cherokees and adopted whites, Shawnees, and Delawares; (2) orphans under age sixteen; (3) those denied citizenship by the Cherokee authorities; (4) those whose claims to citizenship were pending; (5) intruders; and (6) whites living in the Cherokee Nation by permit. The 1890 census’s 105 columns include such detailed information as farm improvements, products, livestock, etc.
The 1893 Cherokee Census
This census distinguishes Cherokee citizens by blood, adopted whites, freedmen, Shawnees, Delawares, intermarried persons, and Creeks. Arranged by district, this census provides the individual’s name, age, sex, admission reference, name of guardian, place of residence, and name of person providing identification.
The Wallace Roll of Cherokee Freedmen, 1890–1893
A copy of a Cherokee freedmen census made in 1890 of those eligible to receive a per-capita payment. The roll was prepared by Special Agent John Wallace and was based on an 1883 census of Cherokee freedmen. The roll includes lists of authenticated freedmen who appear on the 1883 roll, individuals who died between 1883 and 1890, individuals admitted by Wallace, and “Free Negroes.” The volume also contains a list of individuals whose rights were questioned by the commissioner of Indian affairs and supplemental lists of individuals who were admitted by the secretary of the interior. The roll contains the individual’s name, age, sex, and residence. The entries have been annotated with the enrollment numbers from the Clifton roll of Cherokee freedmen made in 1896 and, in some cases, with the enrollment numbers from the Dawes roll of 1907. The Wallace roll was set aside as fraudulent by a decree of 8 May 1895 of the United States Court of Claims and was never recognized by the Cherokee Nation. Arranged by enrollment number.
Cherokee Freedmen Roll Index, 1893
The index lists the individual’s surname, given name, and district of residence. It also contains page number references to an 1893 roll. Arranged alphabetically by the first two letters of the surname.
Cherokee Freedmen Roll Index, 1890–1893
An index to the Wallace roll of Cherokee freedmen. The index lists the individual’s roll number, district of residence, and a page number reference to the 1890 roll. Arranged alphabetically by last name.
The Starr Roll (1894)
On 3 March 1893, Congress passed an act that resulted in the sale of the Cherokee Outlet (land to the west of Cherokee Nation to which the Cherokees had claim before the organization of Oklahoma Territory) to the United States. A per-capita payment of $365.70 was made. E.E. Starr, treasurer of the Cherokee Nation, prepared the receipt roll, arranged by district and then by enrollment number. It contains the name of the head of household, the name of the person receiving payment, and the name of a witness to the transaction. An orphans roll is also included.
Cherokee Payroll Index, 1894 (Authenticated Roll of 1894)
This index lists the individual’s name, roll number, and district of residence. It also contains page number references to the 1894 receipt roll (Starr roll). The roll number and names correspond with the names and roll numbers on the 1894 Cherokee census roll. Arranged alphabetically by surname.
Cherokee Census Roll, 1894
A census of the Cherokee Nation made in 1897. The roll is based on the 1894 payroll. The roll contains the individual’s enrollment number, name, age, and sex. Under “remarks,” the names of deceased parents and other names used on previous enrollments are listed. Arranged by Cherokee District and then by enrollment number.
Lists of Cherokee Children, 1895–1897
These lists contain the names of children born between 1895 and 1897, their dates of birth, and parents’ names. Arranged by Cherokee district.
Old Settlers Roll, 1896
A receipt roll for a per-capita payment based on the 1851 Old Settlers Roll of the Western Cherokee (those removing prior to the Treaty of New Echota). The names of persons who were still living at the time of the payment are listed first, followed by the names of those who were deceased and the names of their heirs who were paid. This payment resulted from a decision of the U.S. Court of Claims made on 6 June 1893. The roll contains each payee’s name, 1851 roll number, agency pay number, age, sex, amount received, post office address, signature, date of payment, and names of witnesses. The relations of heirs to the original payee is given. Information regarding guardianship, related correspondence files, and correction of names is provided under “remarks.” There are also three versions of a supplemental list of original enrollees from the 1851 roll whose shares were not claimed. One version lists only the names of the heirs of the enrollees; the second version lists the names of the heirs of the individuals and the amount of payment they received; and the third version is a working copy. Arranged numerically by agency pay number.
Cherokee Census Roll, 1896
This census roll of citizens of the Cherokee Nation contains the individual’s name, roll number, age, sex, precinct, proportion of blood or nativity, and place of birth. Arranged by Cherokee district and then by roll number.
The 1896 Payment Roll (Lipe Roll)
This payroll is based on the 1851 old settlers roll and is of major genealogical importance. The names of those still living in 1896 are listed first, followed by those who had died and their heirs and each heir’s relationship. The payroll lists each payee’s 1851 roll number, name, agency pay number, age, sex, amount received, and post office address.
Shawnee-Cherokee Census, 1896
This roll contains the names of Cherokee Shawnee who were entitled to participate in the distribution of funds to equalize a per-capita payment. The roll contains the individual’s name, roll number, Cherokee number, age, sex, address, and names used on previous rolls. A notation was made after the names of individuals who were deceased. The roll includes two supplemental lists of Cherokee Shawnee entitled to funds and a list of persons “Omitted from Government Pay Rolls of the Cherokee Shawnee Tribe of Indians.” Arranged roughly alphabetically by name.
Cherokee Freedmen Roll (Clifton Roll), 1896
List of Cherokee freedmen and their descendants prepared by a commission appointed by the secretary of the interior. The roll was based on testimony taken by the commission in the Cherokee Nation between 4 May and 10 August 1897. The list contains the individual’s name, relationship to the head of the household, sex, age, and district of residence. There is a supplemental list of individuals whose claims to citizenship were rejected by the Cherokee Nation but approved by the commission. Arranged numerically by roll number.
Delaware Payroll, 1896
A list of persons entitled to funds to equalize a per-capita payment. The information given for each person includes name, census number, payroll number, age, amounts received in payments made in 1896, 1890, and 1894, name of person receiving payment, and names of witnesses. There are some remarks about deaths and relations to others on the list, and some names have been annotated with Dawes Commission enrollment numbers. Arranged alphabetically by first letter of surname.
Payment to Destitute Cherokees, 1902
Payment to Intermarried Whites, Cherokee Nation, 1909–1910
Cherokee Equalization Payment Rolls, 1910–1915
Cherokee Per Capita Payroll, 1912
Lists of Rejected Claimants, 1878–1880
List of persons who appeared before the Cherokee Commission on Citizenship and whose claims were rejected. The list provides the name of the claimant and the decision rendered by the commission. The notation “Colored” exists in the margin preceding some of the names. Arranged by type of decision and then by case number.
Cherokee Citizenship Commission Docket Book, 1880–1884 and 1887–1889
List of Applicants Admitted to Citizenship, 1896
List of names of applicants admitted to citizenship in the Cherokee Nation by the Dawes Commission. The list contains the applicant’s name, references to case numbers from the United States Court in Indian Territory, Dawes Commission file and card numbers, other names used by the applicant, and notations concerning applicants living outside Indian Territory. Arranged alphabetically by name.
Lists of Applicants for Cherokee Citizenship, 1896
This volume contains a list of names of applicants for citizenship in the Cherokee Nation under an act of congress of 10 June 1896. There are lists of applicants admitted to citizenship by the Dawes Commission, applicants rejected by the Dawes Commission but admitted by the U.S. courts in Indian Territory, and applicants admitted by the Dawes Commission but rejected by the U.S. courts. The information given in each list varies but generally includes the applicant’s name, a reference to a Dawes case number, and a court case number. Arranged alphabetically by name.
Court records, 1867–98.
Marriages, permits, wills and estates, 1858–98; Cherokee marriages, 1868–97; district estate records, 1875–97; permits to noncitizens, 1893–99; land records and estray property records, 1875–1914; Cherokee town sites, 1876–98; district circuit and supreme court records, 1868–95; Cherokee courts, 1857–98; divorce, 1890.
Marriages, 1867–96; Delaware district permits, 1868–95; Cherokee permits, 1886; district estates, 1867–98; district, circuit, and supreme court records, 1868–95; divorce, 1902; improvements, 1859–98; marks and brands, 1876–98; estray property, 1875–95.
Estates, 1876–93; estray property, 1876–98; marks and brands, 1876–97; improvements, 1881–92; district supreme, circuit, and district court records, 1877–97; marriages, 1893.
Going Snake District
Marriages, 1880–98; estates, 1868–1904; improvements and estray property, 1880–98; district supreme, circuit, and district court records, 1876–98.
Marriages, estates, and permits, 1859–97; estates, 1876–98; permits, 1895–96; improvements, marks and brands, estray property, and district supreme, circuit, and district court records, 1865–98.
Marriages, estates, permits, property improvements, estray property, and marks and brands, 1866–98; permits, 1876–97; district supreme, circuit, and district court records, 1872–98.
Marriages, estates, estray property, and property improvements, 1874–98; district supreme, circuit and district court records, 1876–98.
Marriages, estates, and permits, 1856–98; property improvements, estray property, and marks and brands, 1872–98; district supreme, circuit, and district court records, 1865–1904.
Documents Pertaining to Determination of Tribal Membership, 1870–1909
Cherokee Citizenship, 1841–1911
Letters Sent and Letters Received and Other Documents, 1829–1914
Unique Records Relating to the Cherokee Indians
Records Relating the Enrollment of Eastern Cherokees
These records deserve special attention. They are often referred to as the Guion Miller rolls. Guion Miller was appointed by the United States Court of Claims to determine who was eligible to participate in a fund awarded to persons who were Eastern Cherokees at the time of the treaties of 1835–36 and 1845 or their descendants. While the majority of this group was residing in Indian Territory at the time of Miller’s commission, many were also residing in North Carolina. The title of this record group is misleading in that the researcher is led to believe that the records pertain only to the Eastern Cherokee Tribe of North Carolina. Miller submitted his report and roll on 28 May 1909 and a supplementary report in 1910.
The “Guion Miller Report and Exhibits, 1908–1910,” in twenty-nine volumes, consists of ten volumes of transcripts of testimony, arranged chronologically; a report dated 5 January 1910 concerning exceptions to findings; a printed copy of the completed roll with two 1910 supplements; and copies of the Drennen, Chapman, and old settlers rolls of 1851–52, with a consolidated index for the Chapman and Drennen rolls and a separate index for the old settlers roll. The volumes are arranged numerically as parts of classified file “33931-11-053 Cherokee Nation,” which also contains other pertinent records.
Between 1906 and 1909, more than 45,000 claimants submitted applications providing detailed information of their families. A typical application includes the applicant’s English name, Indian name (if any), residence, date and place of birth, marriage status, name of husband or wife, parents’ names, their places of birth and residence in 1851, and dates of death, names and dates of birth and death of brothers and sisters, names of paternal and maternal grandparents and their children, their places of birth and residence in 1851, and the name of the ancestor from whom they claimed to have descended.
The Choctaw Nation in Indian Territory maintained its own constitutional government and records for many years in the nineteenth century and in limited form after 1906 and Oklahoma statehood. The Choctaw National Constitution was adopted on 3 June 1834. The government consisted of a principal chief, a general council composed of a senate and house of representatives, and a court system consisting of a supreme court and district courts. The nation was divided into three geographical and political districts. District One, Masholatubbe, consisted of Tobucksy, Gaines, Sans Bois, Skullyville, and Sugar Loaf counties. District Two, Apuckshunnubbee, consisted of Cedar, Nashoba, Towson, Boktuklo, Eagle, Wade, and Red River counties. District Three, Pushmataha, consisted of Atoka, Jacks Fork, Blue, Jackson, and Kiamichi counties. The district capitals were at Gaines, Alichi, and Mayhew. The national capital was at Tushkahomma for most of the years of the nation’s existence.
Records of the Choctaw Indians52
Choctaws Paid by Chickasaws, Treaty of 22 June 1855
Contains names of individuals, their marks, identification of the individual as man, woman, or child, total number in the family, the amount of the individual share, and the total dollar amount per family. There are tallies in the middle and the bottom of each page and at the end of the county list and district list. The orphans list contains the names of individuals, names of the representatives for orphans, marks, the amount received per representative, the total amount received per orphan, and remarks. Remarks are primarily confined to “death after 4th installment.” There are tallies on each page and at the end of the list.
Index to 1885 Choctaw Census
Contains individual’s name, county of residence, age, and number in the census book for the county.
Choctaw Census, 1885
A census of Choctaw citizens living in Atoka, Blue, Boktoklo, Cedar, Eagle, Gains, Jacks Fork, Kiomitia, Nashoba, Red River, San Bios, Sckullyville, Sugar Loaf, Towson, Tobuksko, and Wade counties of the Choctaw Nation. The information given for each person includes name, age, sex, race (White, Indian, or Colored), occupation, and agricultural schedule. Arranged by county.
Choctaw-Chickasaw Freedmen Rolls, 1885
Contains names of persons admitted to citizenship, heads of families and children, sex and age group, nationality of parents, whether a previous owner of freed slaves, number of livestock, and acres of land in cultivation. Arranged by first, second, and third Choctaw districts and then consecutively by family group.
Choctaw Pay Roll, 1893
Manuscript list of individuals (Choctaw by blood) receiving annuity payments. Contains names of citizens by blood, name and sex of children, individual receiving payment, amount of payment, and remarks. Remarks are primarily confined to identification of orphans. Arranged alphabetically by county, then alphabetically by individual’s name.
Census of Choctaw Nation, 1896
Contains names of adults, names and sex of children, age, relationship, and remarks. Remarks include whether the wife of an intermarried citizen, orphan, widow, stricken from roll, child of a Choctaw, deceased, or transferred to other rolls. Arranged numerically by district, then alphabetically by the last names of individuals living within a particular county or Chickasaw district.
Census Roll of Freedmen, 1896
Contains consecutive numbers, notation if Chickasaw, name, age, county of residence, and other notations. Other notations consist primarily of dead, parents’ names, and Dawes numbers. Arranged alphabetically.
Unpaid Choctaw Townsite Payment, 1904
Choctaw-Chickasaw Townsite Fund Pay Roll, 1906
Choctaw $20 Payment Roll, 1908
Choctaw $50 Payment Roll, 1911
Choctaw $300 Payment Roll, 1916
Choctaw $100 Payment Roll, 1917
Census and Citizenship Records
Mississippi Choctaw census and citizenship, 1830–99; census records and lists, 1830–96; census of Choctaws by blood and intermarried citizens, 1868–96; residents of the Chickasaw Nation, 1896; restricted Choctaws, 1929; Choctaw citizenship, 1897–1930; Choctaw citizenship, 1897–1930; undated, 1884–1904; Choctaw citizenship cases, 1896–1904; rejected cases, First District, 1896–97; census and citizenship, Choctaw freedmen, 1885–97.
Records of the General Council, Senate, and House of Representatives
General Council and House of Representatives, 1855, 1867, and 1899; Laws of the Choctaw Nation, 1886–1906
Permit Records, 1898–1906
County Court Records
Atoka County courts, 1886–1906; Blue County courts, 1868–1906; Boktuklo County courts, 1858–1905; Cedar County courts, 1875–1905; Eagle County courts, 1889–1906; Gaines County courts, 1859–1906; Jacks County courts, 1860–1906; Jackson County courts, 1887–1906; Kiamichi County courts, 1888–1905; Nashoba County courts, 1856–1905; Red River County courts, 1866–1905; Sans Bois County courts, 1888–1906; Skullyville County courts, 1868–1906; Sugar Loaf County courts, 1874–1906; Tobucksy County courts, 1867–1906; Towson County courts, 1881–1906; Wade County courts, 1858–1906.
District, Circuit, and Chancery Records
First District (Masholatubbe), 1848–1905; Second District (Apuckshunnabbee), 1871–1905; Third District (Pushmataha), 1859–1906.
Records of the Supreme Court and Tribal Officers, 1857–1906
Letters Sent and Received and Other Documents, 1859–1907
Seminole Payment and Census Rolls, 1868, 1895–1897
Includes payee’s name; annotated with Dawes enrollment card number. Arranged by band and then by family.
Seminole Payment Rolls, 1895–1896
The roll contains each payee’s name and amounts of money listed under columns labeled Wewoka, Sasakwa, and Balance. Wewoka was the capital of the Seminole Nation, and Sasakwa was the place of business of the principal chief. Arranged by band and then by family group.
Seminole Payment Rolls, 1895–1897
Copies of an 1895 and 1897 “Head Right” payment roll. The 1895 payment roll is not an exact copy but contains most of the same names and amounts. Arranged by band and then by family group.
Allotment Schedules for 1901 and 1902
National Council, federal relations, and per-capita laws and acts of National Council, 1886–1905; federal relations, 1900; per-capita payments, 1898–1907; Seminole miscellaneous papers.
Financial and School Records
Financial records, 1893–1907; miscellaneous documents, 1866–1923; school financial records, 1906.
Mekusukey Academy, 1910–1929
Student applications, rosters, progress cards, letters sent and received by the superintendent, and medical and other records.