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Campbell’s Abstract of Creek Indian Census Cards
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The publication of the Tribal Rolls, in 1907, gave the roll number, name of the allottee, age, sex and blood, and operated to a large extent to inform the public, but this information was not sufficient, in fact, it aided only those who, by reason of their familiarity with the workings and records of the Indian Offices, knew how to secure additional information. I emphasize the words “those who knew how” for this reason: only those who had a working familiarity with the procedure and the records of the Dawes Commission, later the office of the Commissioner to the Five Civilized Tribes, and now the office of the Superintendent of the Five Civilized Tribes, knew what to ask for to advise themselves. An investor from Iowa, Illinois or New York knows nothing of these records. He is shown the roll book, published by the Interior Department, and he takes the information there given as a verity. It did not occur to him to make further investigation, in the office of the Commissioner to the Five Civilized Tribes. If he did think of making further investigation he was given a copy of the census card of the particular allottee in which he was interested. He was told that this was the family card, he was not told that a member of that same family might be found on 1, 2, 5, 10 or 15 other cards, as the case might be. In fact, no one knew of this in each particular instance. Those familiar with the records knew that members of the same family might appear on different cards, but what cards no one knew.
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