Clemon Clay and Mary Stinnett, Chickasaw

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Clemon Clay Stinnett Et Al.
Dawes Commission, No. 155. United States Court. No. 91. Ardmore Citizenship Court, No. 25. Tishomingo.

Mary Elizabeth Stinnett Et Al
Dawes Commission. No. 159. United States Court. No. 92, Ardmore. Choctaw-Chickasaw Citizenship Court, No. 34, Tishomingo.

Note.-Separate applications were made to the commission in 1896 for the enrollment of the claimants in the above two cases. As they all claimed through the same common ancestor, they will be treated here as one case.

September 7, 1896. Application was made to the commission for the enrollment of Mary Elizabeth Stinnett, intermarried, as the widow of Elbert Hartwell Stinnett, a Chickasaw Indian, and for the enrollment of their children, Thomas Ohoner Stinnett (now dead), John Clay Stinnett, Mary Eunice Abagail Stinnett, Early Mills Stinnett, Valley Pearl Stinnett, Inez Jerome Sykes, and Ruff Stinnett, as citizens by blood of the Chickasaw Nation.

September 7. 1896. Application was filed with the Chickasaw national committee and transferred to the Dawes Commission for the enrollment of Clemon Clay Stinnett, Lewis Clay Stinnett, William Forrest Stinnett, John Elbert Stinnett, James K. Polk Stinnett, and Claude Franklin Stinnett as citizens by blood of the Chickasaw Nation.

The application of Clemon Clay Stinnett et al., a Chickasaw Indian by blood, his wife, Mary Jane Stinnett, and his children alleges: That they are residents of Pickens County, Chickasaw Nation, Ind. T., that the principal applicant. Clemon Clay Stinnett, is a son of Clay and Mary Stinnett; that Clay Stinnett is a Chickasaw Indian by blood and the son of William Stinnett and Abagail Stinnett, a Chickasaw Indian woman that Abagail Stinnett, grandmother of principal applicant, Clemon Clay Stinnett, was Abagail Colbert, a full-blood Chickasaw Indian, and the daughter of Bill Colbert.

Accompanying the application are the affidavits of:

(a) Clay Stinnett. 80 years old: resident of Limestone County, Ala.; post office, Mount Roswell, where he has lived for 60 years: Is a son of William and Abagail Stinnett (nee Colbert): that Abagail Stinnett was a full-blood Chickasaw Indian; that Clemon Clay Stinnett, the principal applicant herein, left Alabama about 1878, moved to Mills and Burnett Counties, Tex., where they lived for a short while, and then moved to the Indian Territory, where they now reside.

(b) R. C. Stinnett. 78 years of age: resident of Limestone County, Ala.: that he is the uncle of the principal claimant, Clemon Clay Stinnett; that his mother was Abagail Stinnett (nee Colbert), a full-blood Chickasaw Indian: that he has known Clemon day Stinnett all his life and Tip to the time he left Alabama in 1878.

(c) Isaac Stinnett. 76 years of age, a former slave of Clay Stinnett, and stating the same facts set out in the above affidavit of R. C. Stinnett.

(d) David McGowan, 82 years old; resident of Limestone County, Ala.; certified to the good character and high standing of the Stinnett family in Alabama and stated the same facts as set out in the above affidavit of Clay and R. C. Stinnett.

(e) Eliza Stinnett, 72 years old: resident of Limestone County, Ala.; states the same facts set out in the above affidavit of Clay and R. C. Stinnett.

(f) The affidavit of Humady Williams, 92 years old: born in the Chickasaw Nation, Mississippi-Alabama; that he acted as interpreter for the whites and Indians on several occasions at Stonehill, where the Indians got provisions, beef, etc.; that he was well acquainted with the Colbert family: that Abagail Colbert was a full-blood Chickasaw and married William Stinnett.

(g) Isaac Williams, 98 years old; born in the Chickasaw Nation, Mississippi-Alabama: moved to Chickasaw Nation, Ind. T., in 1837: that he acted as interpreter for the Chickasaws and whites; that he was acquainted with the Colbert family: that Abagail Colbert was a full-blood Chickasaw; that Abagail married a man by the name of William Stinnett.

(h) Thomas Stinnett, 55 years old: resident of Elk, Pickens County, Chickasaw Nation, Ind. T.: that he lived in Pickens County, Ala., about 30 years, at Mount Roswell: that he was well acquainted with Clay Stinnett, principal applicant’s (Clemon Clay Stinnett) father, and that he was recognized by all who knew him to be n Chickasaw Indian by blood: that he has known Clemon Clay Stinnett from a small boy and knew him to be the son of Clay Stinnett.

(i) J. B. McCracken, 39 years old; resident of Alma, Ind. T.: that he was born and raised in Limestone County, Ala.; that he there knew Clay Stinnett, who liver near Mount Roswell: that Clay Stinnett, father of principal applicant. Clemon Clay Stinnett was always known as a Chickasaw Indian: that he has known demon Clay Stinnett all his life and knew him to be the son of Clay Stinnett.

(j) Malinda C. Lynn, 522 years old: resident of Limestone County, Ala.: lived near Mount Roswell; that she knew Clay Stinnett and his family: that they were always known as Chickasaw Indians: that about 10 years ago she moved to the Chickasaw Nation, Ind. T., where she now resides near Fox: that Clemon Clay Stinnett resides near her and that she knows him to be the son of Clay Stinnett of Limestone County, Ala.


Clemon Clay Stinnett 45 years old who states about the same facts stated in the above affidavits.

The application of Mary Elizabeth Stinnett et al. states that she is the widow of Elbert Hartwell Stinnett, who died on December 2, 1893, at his home near Fox, in Pickens County, Ind. T., that the other applicants are their children: that Elbert Hartwell Stinnett, her husband, was a son of Clay Stinnett, and grandson of William and Abagail Stinnett (nee Colbert): that Abagail Stinnett was a Chickasaw Indian by blood, was the daughter of Bill Colbert, a full-blood Chickasaw: that she (Mary Elizabeth Stinnett) is a widow woman: that she was lawfully married to Elbert Stinnett on the 27th day of November, 1870, and the above named persons were the issue of said marriage.

Accompanying the petition are the affidavits of Clay Stinnett, R. C. Stinnett, Isaac Stinnett, Humady Williams, Isaac Williams, J. B. McCracken, Malinda C. Lynn, Mary E. Stinnett, all certifying to the facts stated in the petition.

November 23, 1896. The commission rendered its decision in both cases in words and figures as follows, to wit: “Application denied.” Both cases were appealed to the United States court, southern district. Ind. T. The records in both cases before the Dawes Commission were certified to the court, the cases there consolidated and referred to a master.

The depositions of N. F. Law, minister of the Gospel, 54 years old: T. E. Roland: G. H. Godfrey, a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation and minister of the Gospel: J. F. McHughes, 42 years old; Patsy Hall, a Choctaw Indian: I. R. McCuein, 69 years old, and resident of Woodville, Chickasaw Nation, Ind. T.: G. W. Vault, 41 years old: resident of Fox, Chickasaw Nation, Ind. T.; Mary Elizabeth Stinnett, widow of Elbert Hartwell Stinnett: Clemon Clay Stinnett, one of the leading claimants, all testifying as to the descent of the claimants from Abagail Stinnett (nee Colbert), a full-blood Chickasaw Indian, or to the residence and relationship of the parties to each other taken before W. H. L. Campbell, the present clerk of the Supreme Court of Oklahoma, the master in chancery.


January 23, 1897. The master filed his report in both cases, of which the following is a literal copy of the report in the case of demon Clay Stinnett et al.:

The application alleges that C. C. Stinnett is a lineal descendant of Abigal Colbert, a full-blood Chickasaw Indian. The proof established the fact that Abigal Colbert was a Chickasaw Indian and resided with the Chickasaws in the State of Mississippi: that Abigal Colbert married William Stinnett, a white man, and that the applicant, Clement Clay Stinnett, is a grandson of Abigal Stinnett and one-fourth Chickasaw Indian. I wish to remark that the applicant shows Indian blood in his appearance. I therefore recommend that the applicants In this case be enrolled as Chickasaw Indians.

February 21, 1898.-Judgment was rendered in the case of Clemon Clay Stinnett et al. adjudging Clemon Clay Stinnett, Lewis Clay Stinnett, William Franklin Stinnett, John Clay Stinnett, James K. Polk Stinnett, Claude Franklin Stinnett citizens by blood of the Chickasaw Nation.

In the same judgment were included by mistake the names of M. A. Scharley (nee Stinnett) and Margaret Casey Starrs (nee Stinnett), which last three named were by judgment of the court entered on January 15, 1900, stricken from said original judgment. (Certified copies of the original and corrected judgment are herewith attached and marked “Exhibit A.”)

February 1, 1898. Judgment was entered in the case of Mary Elizabeth Stinnett et al. adjudging Mary Elizabeth Stinnett a member of the Chickasaw Nation by intermarriage, and her children- Inez Jerome Sykes, Thomas Ohoner Stinnett, John Clay Stinnett, Mary Eunice Abagail Stinnett, Ruff Stinnett, Early Mills Stinnett, Valley Pearl Stinnett-citizens by blood of the Chickasaw Nation. (Certified copy hereto attached and marked “Exhibit B.”)

Subsequently both cases were appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States, and the judgments of the United States court, southern district, were there affirmed, and on August 16, 1899, the mandates of the Supreme Court were forwarded to the lower court directing the enforcement of said decrees, as will appear from the decision in the case of Stevens v. Cherokee Nation (174 U. S.).


December 17, 1902. Judgment of the United States court vacated by decree of the Choctaw-Chickasaw citizenship court in “test case.”

Subsequently the case was certified to the citizenship court for trial de novo. The records in both cases before the commission and the United States court were certified to the citizenship court.

At the May term, 1904 the testimony of Clay Stinnett, I. R. Cume, Mary Elizabeth Stinnett, and Wiley B. Stinnett was taken, and the affidavits filed with the commission in 1896 and the evidence taken before the United States court in 1897 were offered in evidence in support of the testimony taken before the citizenship court. Objection was made to the introduction of the records before the commission and the court, and after the cases were submitted said objections were sustained.

The record shows that on June 14, 1904, the attorneys for the claimants not being present and no notice having been given said attorneys, Mr. Cornish, of the firm of Mannsfield, McMurry & Cornish, attorneys for the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations, offered in evidence before the court a paper that purported to be a certified copy of an application made by the claimants for citizenship in the Cherokee Nation. If such a paper was there offered it is not now of record, and careful examination of the records in the possession of the commission of applicants made to the Cherokee national authorities for the admission of claimants to citizenship does not disclose such an application ever having been made. All of the witnesses testified, when asked while on the stand during the taking of the testimony for the claimants if they had ever heard of an application having been made to the Cherokee National Council for their admission to the Cherokee Nation, that no such application had ever been made.


At the November term 1904, Judge Weaver rendered the opinion of the court, in which he says:

The plaintiffs all claim to be Chickasaw citizens by blood. There is grave doubt in my mind, from the evidence before us, that such is the case: but, be that as it may, the evidence discloses and conclusively shows that none of said applicants removed to the Indian Territory before 1887. That some of them, and others having the same ancestry, made application in 1887 to the “commission on citizenship of the Cherokee Notion” for enrollment as citizens of the Cherokee Nation. Before that time they had been residents of Alabama and of Texas, where the older ones among them had bought and sold land, paid taxes, and in other ways had exercised the right and performed the duties of citizens of those States.

This court has repeatedly held that the Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians who claimed the right to be enrolled as members of said nations and then be entitled to share in the tribal lands and property must have come here and lived upon the lands within at least a reasonable time after the same was ceded to them by the treaties made with the United States and the laws in pursuance thereof. As these plaintiffs did not do so, their application for citizenship and enrollment must be denied.

It is significant in this case this proceeding that the alleged certified copy of an alleged application made to the Cherokee national authorities was introduced in evidence at a session of the court which no notice had been given to the attorneys for the claimants and at which they were not present. It is further significant that the alleged certified paper is not a part of the record. This could have been the only evidence offered in the case upon which the court could have found that claimants applied to the Cherokee national authorities for admission as members of that tribe. The record discloses that the proceedings were at least prejudicial to the rights of the applicants and the fact that the alleged certified copy of the paper is not a part of the record casts a doubt as to whether such a paper was ever offered. If it was offered it must have subsequently been taken from the files of the case. The existence at any time of such an application is not shown by the Cherokee records.

The record in this case is clear that claimants are the descendants of Abagail Stinnett (nee Colbert), an Indian woman and a member of the old Chickasaw Nation in Mississippi-Alabama.


November 29, 1004. Decrees were entered denying all the petitions of claimants.

Counsel for claimants respectfully submit that such a decision of the citizenship court in this case ought not to bar these people from receiving their clear rights as members of the Chickasaw Nation. That they were residents of the Chickasaw Nation in good faith long before 1898 is not disputed anywhere in the record and that they are Chickasaws by blood is clear. Counsel for claimants therefore respectfully submit that the persons included in said judgments should be enrolled as members of the Chickasaw Nation. They are: Clemon Clay Stinnett, Lewis Clay Stinnett, William Forrest Stinnett, John Elbert Stinnett, James K. Polk Stinnett, Claude Franklin Stinnett, Mary Elizabeth Stinnett, Thomas Ohoner Stinnett, Mary Eunice Abagail Stinnett, Early Mills Stinnett, Valley Pearl Stinnett, Ruff Stinnett, Inez Jerome Sykes.

(Thirteen in all).

Also the following newborns are entitled to enrollment, application having been made to the Commission to Five Civilized Tribes for their enrollment within the time prescribed by law: George A. Stinnett (born February 1. 1902). Lydia Lee Stinnett (born February 1, 1902), Tony Bishop Stinnett (born March 4, 1904), children of John C. Stinnett: Henry Russell Thagard (born March 20, 1902) child of Marv Elizabeth Stinnett (now Thagard).

Respectfully submitted.
Ballinger & Lee

Transcript Of Proceedings

United States Court, Indian Territory, Southern District, ss:

At a stated term of the United Slates court in the Indian Territory, southern district, begun and had in the court rooms at Ardmore, in the Indian Territory, on the 4th day of December, in the year of our Lord 1899. Present. The Hon. Hosea Townsend, judge of said court. On the 15th day of January, 1900, being a regular day of said term of said court, among the proceedings had were the following, to wit:

Clemon C. Stinnett et al. v. Chickasaw Nation. 92.

Order Correcting Judgment

Now, on this day, this cause coming on to be heard on motion of the defendant, the Chickasaw Nation, to correct the judgment herein, and it appearing to the court that due notice of said motion has been given the plaintiffs herein, and the court being well and sufficiently advised in the premises, doth sustain said motion. It is therefore ordered, adjudged, and decreed that the judgment in said above-entitled cause as the same now appears of record be corrected so as to speak the truth by striking there from the names of Mary A. Scharley and Margaret C. Starks which was erroneously embraced in said judgment, and that said judgment be entered now for them. It is further ordered that the clerk of this court transmit a certified copy of this judgment to the Commission of the Five Civilized Tribes.

United States Court, Indian Territory, Southern District, ss:

I, C. M. Campbell, clerk of the United States court within and for the district and Territory aforesaid, do hereby certify that the foregoing orders are truly taken, and correctly copied from court journals of said court, as the same appears to me.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of said court at Ardmore, this 26th day of February A. D. 1900.

[seal.] C. M. Campbell, Clerk.

This is to certify that I am the officer having custody of the records pertaining to the enrollment of the members of the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek, and Seminole Tribes of Indians, and the disposition of the land of said tribes, and that the above and foregoing is a true and correct copy of a certified copy of an order correcting Judgment of court dated January 15, 1900, in the matter of the enrollment of Clemon C. Stinnett et al. as members of the Chickasaw Nation.

I further certify that the word “erroneously” is interlined in ink, between the words “was” and “embraced” in the twenty-first line of the order correcting judgment.

Transcript Of Proceedings

United States Court. Indian Territory, Southern District, ss:
At a stated term of the United States court in the Indian Territory, southern district, begun and had in the court rooms at Ardmore, in the Indian Territory, on the 15th day of November, in the year of our Lord 1897. Present. The Hon. Hosea Townsend, judge of said court. On the 1st day of February, 1898, being a regular day of said term of said court, among the proceedings had were the following, to wit:

Mary Elizabeth Stinnett v. Chiekasaw Nation. No. 91.
Judgment

On this the 1st day of February A. D. 1898, this cause came on to be heard on the master’s report and the exceptions thereto and the proof, and the court being fully advised in the premises, is of the opinion that said master’s report herein filed should be confirmed, and that the plaintiff, the applicant herein, are Chickasaw Indians. The applicant. Mary Elizabeth Stinnett, a Chickasaw Indian by intermarriage with E. H. Stinnett, now deceased, and the other applicants, her children, Chickasaw Indians by blood, and ought to be enrolled as members of the Chickasaw Tribe of Indians and citizens of said nation. It is therefore ordered, adjudged, and decreed by the court that Mrs. Elizabeth Stinnett and her children, to wit. Inez Jerome Sykes, Thomas O’Hener Stinnett, John Clay Stinnett, Mary Eunice Abegail Stinnett, Ruff Stinnett, Early Mills Stinnett, and Valley Pearl Stinnett, be placed upon the rolls as members of the tribe of Chickasaw Indians and citizens of the Chickasaw Nation, with all the rights and privileges thereto in anywise belonging.

And the clerk of this court is hereby ordered to certify a copy of this judgment to the Dawes Commission for its observance. To which the defendant excepts.

United States Court, Indian Territory, Southern District, ss:

I, C. M. Campbell, clerk of the United States court within and for the district and Territory, aforesaid, do hereby certify that the foregoing orders are truly taken and correctly copied from court journals of said court as the same appears to me.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of said court at Ardmore this 9th day of March A. D. 1903.

[seal.] C. M. Campbell, Clerk.
By N. H. McCoy, Deputy.

This is to certify that I am the officer having custody of the records pertaining to the enrollment of the members of the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek, and Seminole Tribes of Indians and the disposition of the land of said tribes, and that the above and foregoing is a true and correct copy of a certified copy of a Judgment of the court dated the 1st day of February 1898, in the matter of the enrollment of Mary Elizabeth Stinnett as a member of the Chickasaw Nation.

J. Geo. Wright.
Commissioner to the Fire Civilized Tribes.
By W. H. Angell, Clerk in Charge of Chickasaw Records.

Transcript Of Proceedings

United States Court, Indian Territory, Southern District, ss:

At a stated term of the United States court in the Indian Territory, southern district, begun and had in the court rooms at Ardmore, in the Indian Territory, on the 15th day of November, in the year of our Lord 1897- Present: The Hon. Hosea Townsend, judge of said court.

On the 1st day of February 1898, being a regular day of said term of said court, among the proceedings had were the following, to wit:

Judgment

Clemon Clay Stinnett v. Chickasaw Nation.

On this the 1st day of February A. D. 1898, this cause came on to be heard on the master’s report and the exceptions thereto and the proof; and the court being fully advised In the premises, is of the opinion that the master’s report, herein filed, should be confirmed, and that the plaintiffs herein are Chickasaw Indians by blood and ought to he enrolled as members of the Chiekasaw Tribe of Indians and citizens of said nation.

It is therefore ordered, adjudged, and decreed by the court that Clemon Clay Stinnett and his children, to wit, Lewis Clay Stinnett, William Forrest Stinnett, John Elbert Stinnett, James K. Polk Stinnett, Claud Franklin Stinnett, Mary Alabama Scharley (nee Stinnett), and Margaret Casey Starks (nee Stinnett), be placed upon the rolls as members of the tribe of Chickasaw Indians and citizens of the Chickasaw Nation, with all the rights and privileges thereto In anywise belonging.

And the clerk of this court is hereby ordered to certify a copy of this judgment to the Dawes Commission for its observance, to which the defendant excepts.

United States Court, Indian Territory, Southern District, ss:

I, C. M. Campbell, clerk of the United States court within and for the district and Territory aforesaid. Do hereby certify that the foregoing orders are truly taken and correctly copied from court journals of said court as the same appears to me.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of said court at Ardmore this 4th day of May. A. D. 1898.
[seal.] C. M. Campbell, Clerk.

This is to certify that I am the officer having custody of the records pertaining to the enrollment of the members of the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek, and Seminole Tribes of Indians and the disposition of the land of said tribes, and that the above and foregoing is a true and correct copy of a certified copy of a judgment of the court dated the 1st day of February 1889, in the matter of the enrollment of Clemon Clay Stinnett as a member of the Chickasaw Nation.

J. Geo. Wright,
Commissioner to the Five Civilized Tribes.

By W. H. Angell,
Clerk in Charge of Chickasaw Records



MLA Source Citation:

United States Congress. Five Civilized Tribes In Oklahoma, Reports of the Department of the Interior and Evidentiary Papers in support of S. 7625, a Bill for the Relief of Certain Members of the Five Civilized Tribes in Oklahoma, Sixty-second Congress, Third Session. Department of the Interior, United States. 1913. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 17 August 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/clemon-clay-and-mary-stinnett-chickasaw.htm - Last updated on Oct 14th, 2012


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