Decision Rendered Rosella Lewis

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Native American Records

Office Of The Assistant Attorney-General
Washington, D. C., October 4, 1905

The Secretary Of The Interior

SIR: I received by letter of September 20, 1905, a copy of departmental order of June 13, 1904, fixing September 1, 1904, as the time for closing the rolls of the Muscogee or Creek Nation. My attention is directed to section 7 of the act of June 30, 1902 (32 Stat, 500-501), requiring the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes to enroll all children of parents entitled to enrollment in the Creek Nation born after July 1, 1900, to and including May 25, 1901, living at the latter date, and to the act of March 3, 1905 (33 Stat, 1048, 1071), which provides:

That the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes is authorized for sixty days after the date of the approval of this act to receive and consider applications for enrollments of children born subsequent to May twenty-five, nineteen hundred and one, and prior to March fourth, nineteen hundred and five, and living on said latter date, to citizens of the Creek tribe of Indians whose enrollment has been approved by the Secretary of the Interior prior to to such children.

The letter refers the record in case of Rosella Lewis. My opinion is requested:

whether the enactment of the later act of March 3, 1905, had the effect of reviving and extending the benefits of enrollment to children coming within the provisions of section 7 of the act of June 30, 1902; whether the said Rosella Lewis, in view of the foregoing order of the Secretary and acts of Congress referred to, is entitled to enrollment.

The record shows that Rosella Lewis was born March 8, 1901, to Royford Lewis and his wife, Ellen, whose names appear on partial rolls of Creek freedmen approved by the Secretary of the Interior respectively December 1, 1903, and March 28, 1902. Her mother s enrollment was, prior to June .30, 1902, approved, and her father was then, as the event showed, “entitled to enrollment” By virtue of such facts, in the right of either parent, she was within the benefit of the act of June 30, 1902, which provided that:

All children born to those citizens who are entitled to enrollment, as provided by the act of Congress approved March 1, 1901 (31 Stat., 861), subsequent to July 1, 1900, and up to and including May 25, 1901, and living upon the latter date, shall be placed on the rolls made by said Commission.

The act of 1905 is limited in application to children born subsequent to May 25, 1901, so that she is not within its benefit. While the act of June 30, 1902, was not expressly limited as to the time for application, it gave those within its benefits no right against the fixing of a reasonable date by the Secretary of the Interior for the closing of the roll. The date fixed was reasonable and gave ample time for presentation of her application, and was operative against her equally with other claimants to enrollment. I am of the opinion that the act of March 3, 1905, supra, is confined in its operation to those coming within its terms, and does not operate to extend the time fixed by the Secretary’s order of June 13, 1904, and that applicant is barred by failure to apply before the date fixed for closing the roll.

Very respectfully,
Frank L. Campbell, Assistant Attorney-General

Approved October 4, 1905

E. A. Hitchcock, Secretary



MLA Source Citation:

United States. Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes. Laws, Decisions and Regulations Affecting the work of the Commissioners to Five Civilized Tribes, 1893-1906. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1906. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 29 July 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/decision-rendered-rosella-lewis.htm - Last updated on Mar 28th, 2013


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