Emma Hayes Dawes Commission Examination

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Meridian, Mississippi, April 12, 1901

In the matter of the application of Emma Hayes for the identification of herself and six minor children as Mississippi Choctaws.

Emma Hayes, being first duly sworn, upon her oath states as follows:

Examination by the Commission

Q. What is your name?

A. Emma Hayes.

Q. What is your age?

A, Thirty- four.

Q. What is your post office address?

A. De Soto, Clark County, Mississippi

Q. How long have you lived in Mississippi?

A. I have been here all my life.

Q. Never lived anywhere else?

A. Yes sir; I lived two years at another place.

Q. Where?

A. Scott County.

Q. You claim to have Choctaw blood?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What proportion?

A. My grand-father was an Indian man.

Q. What proportion would that make you?

A. A quarter.

Q. Is you father living?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What is his name?

A. Washington Ferrill.

Q. Is your mother living?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What is her name?

A. Margaret Ferrill.

Q. Does your father claim any Choctaw blood?

A. No sir.

Q. What is he?

A. Negro.

Q. Your mother claims Choctaw blood?

A. Yes sir.

Q. How much?

A. Half.

Q. The balance Negro?

A. No sir; he was Indian.

Q. I mean you mother is half Choctaw and half Negro?

A. Yes sir.

Q. You get your Choctaw blood through you mother?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Your father and mother were slaves?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Were you a slave?

A. No sir.

Q. Not old enough to be?

A. No sir.

Q. Does you mother live in Mississippi?

A. Yes sir.

Q. How long in Mississippi?

A. All her life.

Q. Are you married?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What is your husband?s name?

A. Cornelius Hayes.

Q. He is a Negro?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Makes no claim to Choctaw blood?

A. No sir.

Q. You make no claim for him?

A. No sir.

Q. Have you any children?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What are their names and ages?

A. Minnie.

Q. Old?

A. Fifteen years.

Q. The next one?

A. Bamar.

Q. How old?

A. Twelve years old.

Q. The next one?

A. Ollie.

Q. How old?

A. Eight years old.

Q. The next one?

A. Maggie.

Q. How old?

A. Six years old.

Q. The next one?

A. Lucy.

Q. How old?

A. Three years old.

Q. The next one?

A. Cicero.

Q. How old is Cicero?

A. One year.

Q. Are these children all living?

A. Yes sir.

Q. All live with you?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Always lived with you?

A. Yes sir.

Q. And they get their Choctaw blood through you?

A. Yes Sir.

Q. Are they all the children of yourself and Cornelius Hayes?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Have either you or any of these minor children ever been recognized as citizens of the Choctaw Nation?

A. No sir, we have been among the Choctaws.

Q. Never been recognized as citizens of the Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory?

A. No sir.

Q. Never received any benefits whatever as Choctaws?

Q. No sir.

Q. Never received any land or money?

A. No sir.

Q. Did any of your Choctaw ancestors ever receive any land or money?

A. No sir.

Q. Never got any money from the Choctaw tribal Government in the Indian Territory?

A. No sir.

Q. Are your names on the Choctaw tribal rolls in the Indian Territory?

A. I don?t know sir.

G. You never made any effort to have them put there?

A. No sir.

Q. Did you ever make application, either in your own behalf, or in behalf of these six minor children for citizenship in the Choctaw Nation to the Choctaw authorities?

A. No sir.

Q. Did you make application to this Commission in the year 1896, for citizenship in the Choctaw Nation?

A. No sir.

Q. Have you ever appeared before this Commission prior to this time?

A. No sir.

Q. No one ever appeared in your behalf?

A. I don?t know sir.

Q. Not with your authority?

A. No sir.

Q. You nor your minor children have been admitted to citizenship in the Choctaw Nation by the Choctaw tribal authorities, by this Commission in the year 1896, or by the United States Court for the Indian Territory?

A. No sir.

Q. Never have been recognized in any manner as citizens of the Choctaw Nation?

A. No sir.

Q. You appear here now for the purpose of making application for the identification of yourself and minor children as Mississippi Choctaws?

A. Yes sir.

G. Do you understand what that means?

A. No sir, I don?t know.

Q. Do you know what you would get in case you were identified?

A. No sir.

G. What are you here for today?

A. Just come up here ? I don?t know sir.

G. You don?t know what you are here for?

A. No sir.

G. The Commission is here for the purpose of hearing applicants for identification as Mississippi Choctaws, claiming rights in the Choctaws lands in the Indian Territory under the provisions of the fourteenth article of the treaty of 1830 between the United States and the Choctaw Indians; do you want to apply under the 14th article?

A. Yes sir.

G. Do you know what it is?

A. No sir, I don?t know.

G. You never read it?

A. No sir.

G. Do you know a single thing it contains?

A. No sir.

G. What makes you think you are entitled to rights under it then?

A. Well, I think I am entitled to right; I am of the Choctaw blood.

G. My reason of you being possessed of Choctaw Indian Blood?

A. Yes sir.

G. This treaty of 1830 was made by the Government of the United States with the Choctaw Indians, who then lived in Mississippi for the purpose of securing their removal to the new country west of the Mississippi River.  At that time some of the Choctaw were unwilling to move out to this new country, and insisted that provision be made in this treaty by which they might remain here in Mississippi.  This fourteenth article was then inserted in the treaty.  It provided that any Choctaw, recognized member of the tribe, who desired to remain here, might do so under certain conditions, and receive land here in the State of Mississippi for himself and his minor children living at the time of the treaty.  By the terms of that article he was to appear before the Indian Agent for the Choctaws, then located in Mississippi, within six months from the time this treaty was ratified, and signify his intention to remain here in Mississippi and become a citizen of the states; he was then to be given a reservation of land for himself and for each one of his minor children, varying in amount according to the age of the children; he was required to live on that land for a period of five years, at the end of which time a patent would issue for the land.  That 14th article also provided that persons taking advantage of it and remaining here in Mississippi should not lose the privilege of a Choctaw citizen if they ever removed to the new Choctaw Nation in the Indian Territory, except that they forfeited their rights in the Choctaw annuities.  Now, ancestors did not go west with the Choctaws when they moved there about seventy years ago, but remained here in Mississippi , and took advantage of the provisions of the fourteenth article of the treaty of 1830.  Do you want to claim under that fourteenth article now?

A. I don’t know sir, what it means.  Yes sir.

Q. You claim that your people didn’t go out west with the Choctaws, but remained here in Mississippi and took advantage of the provisions of that treaty?

A. Yes sir, they all stayed here.

Q. What one of your Choctaw ancestors were living here in the year 1830?

A. I don’t know sir.

Q. Do you know how long ago that was?

A. No sir.

Q. Do you think it was before you was born or afterwards?

A. Before, I reckon.

Q. How many years ago was 1830?

A. I don?t know sir.

Q. Do you know whether any of your Choctaw ancestors was living here in 1830

A. I don’t know sir.

Q. Your mother wasn’t living here was she?

A. Yes sir.

Q. She isn’t but fifty-five years old; she couldn’t have been living here seventy years ago?

A. No sir.

Q. Who did she get her Indian blood through?

A. Her father.

Q. What was his name?

A. John.

Q. Any other name?

A. Not as I knows.

Q. Any Choctaw name?

A. No sir.

Q. When did he die?

A. I don?t know.

Q. How old would he be if he was living today?

A. I couldn’t tell about that.

Q. Do you know whether he was living here in 1830, or not?

A. I don?t know.

G. Do you know whether he ever claimed or received any land from the United States under the provisions of this 14th article of the treaty of 1830?

A. I don?t know anything about that.

Q. Do you know whether he ever got any money from the Government?

A. I don?t know.

G. Did you, or did any of your ancestors, ever get any money from the Choctaw tribal Government out in the Indian Territory?

A. I didn’t.

Q. You don?t know whether your people did or not?

A. No sir.

Q. Do you know whether your grand-father, John, was recognized by the Choctaw tribal officers or by the Government of the United States in 1830, as a member of that tribe?

A. No sir, I don?t know.

Q. Did he ever own any land in Mississippi?

A. Not as I knows of.

Q. Did he ever get any land anywhere from the Government of the United States?

A. Not as I knows of.

Q. Did your mother ever get any?

A. Not as I knows of

Q. Did you know John’s father and mother?

A. No sir.

Q. You don’t know whether they got any money from the Government?

A. No sir.

Q. In case the Commission should be able to identify you and your minor children as Mississippi Choctaws, entitled to rights in the Choctaw lands in the Indian Territory, under the provisions of the 14th article of the treaty of 1830, between the United States and the Choctaws, is it your intention to remove to the Indian Territory and make your permanent home?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Is there any additional statement in regard to your case you want to make at this time?

A. Well, I don?t know sir.

Q. Have you any affidavits, statements or other proper papers that you desire to offer in evidence in support of your application.

L. P. Hudson, attorney for the applicant asks leave to file written evidence in support of this claim within thirty days from this date.

Permission is granted to the attorney for the applicant to file proper documentary evidence in support of this application within a period of thirty days from this date

Q. You don’t speak the Choctaw language, do you?

A. No sir.

You will be furnished at a later date with a copy of the decision of the Commission with reference to the application made by you at this time for the identification of yourself and six minor children as Mississippi Choctaws, mailed to you at your present post office address.

(This applicant has every appearance of being a Negro, and show no indication whatever of being possessed of Choctaw Indian blood.)

R. S. Streit, being first duly sworn, upon his oath states that as stenographer to the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes, he reported the proceedings in the above entitled cause on the 12th day of April. 1901, and that the above and foregoing is a full, true and correct translation of his stenographic notes of said proceedings on said date.

R S Streit

Subscribed and sworn to before me at Meridian, Mississippi, this 23rd day of April, 1901.

 



MLA Source Citation:

AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 1 August 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/emma-hayes-dawes-commission-examination.htm - Last updated on Mar 22nd, 2013


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