John Pickets, Choctaw

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John Pickets Et Al., Choctaws.
Commission, No. 579, United States court, No. 87

September 7, 1896. Original application was made to the commission for the enrollment of John Pickens, James Pickens, George Pickens, Andrew Pickens, John T. Pickens, Frank Pickens, Mary Short (nee Pickens), Georgia Pickens, his children, Lula Pickens, Walter Pickens, Annie Pickens, James Pickens, George L. Pickens, Mary M. Pickens, Jessie L. Pickens, Florence Pickens, Virgia Pickens, Fulton Pickens, Tolbert Pickens, Corrolton Pickens, Earnest Pickens, Maud Pickens, Ollie Pickens, Samuel E. Short, Thomas Z. Short, Meadham J. Short, Georgie P. Short, Henry W. Short.

The evidence offered in support of the application consisted of-

(a) Verified application of John Pickens acknowledged August 29, 1896, in, which he states that he is a son of James Pickens a Choctaw Indian who moved to the Choctaw Nation in 1845 or 1846. That the said James Pickens was the grandfather of the other applicants, who are the children of the principal applicant, John Pickens. Affidavits accompanying the petition are referred to in corroboration of the allegations of the petition.

(b) The affidavit of John T. Pickens, a resident of Wynnewood, Chickasaw Nation, Ind. T., dated August 15, 1896, in which he states that he is a grandson of James Pickens a Choctaw Indian, a son of John Pickens and Mary Pickens (nee Jones), both of whom were Choctaw Indians.

(c) The affidavit of James Pickens, a resident of Elmore, Chickasaw Nation, Ind. T., that he is a son of John and Mary Pickens (nee Jones), both Choctaw Indians by blood, and a grandson of James Pickens.

(d) Affidavits of James, Mary Short (nee Pickens), Frank, Andrew, and Georgia Pickens, stating they are all residents of the Choctaw or Chickasaw Nation (the post-office address being given in each case); that they are the children of John Pickens, son of James Pickens, both Choctaw Indians; that their father, John Pickens, married Mary Jones, a Choctaw woman, who was their mother. Their children are mentioned by name.

(e) The affidavit of Ed McGee, who states he was born in Mississippi and removed to the Choctaw-Chickasaw Nation among the first Choctaws that removed and has resided in the nation continuously; that he knew James Pickens, father of the claimant in Mississippi, and knew him to be a recognized Choctaw Indian by blood; that he knows that claimant John Pickens is a son of the said James Pickens; that John married Mary Jones, a Choctaw Indian by blood.

(f) The affidavits of two other witnesses, Joe Freeman and S. P. Perry, testifying to the same facts set out in the affidavit of Ed McGee, but as these last two witnesses appear in the record of other cases to have been “professional witnesses” their affidavits can be given but slight credit.

It is shown by the American State Papers, volume 7 and volume 1, Court of Claims Record, Choctaw Nation v. United States, pages 18, 168, 232, 287, 843, that the alleged James Pickens, grandfather and great grandfather of the claimants herein, was one of the captains of the Choctaw Nation east of the Mississippi, was a signer of the treaty of 1830, and a fourteenth-article claimant under said treaty. It appears from Ward’s register of those persons who were entered by the agent as desirous to become citizens of Mississippi under the fourteenth article of the treaty of 1830, that on May 17, 1831, Capt James Pickens, with four children under 10 years of age and two children over 10 years of age, and John Pickens, with one child under 10 years of age, were duly registered by the agent. (Vol. 1, C. Cls. Rec., Choctaw Nation v. United States.)

The evidence shows that all of claimants were residents of the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations for many years prior to 1896.

December 2, 1896. The commission rendered its decision in words and figures as follows, to wit: “Application denied.”

From the decision or the commission appeal was taken to the United States court, central district, Indian Territory, and on January 18. 1898, a judgment was entered mine pro tune as of August 30, 1897, admitting all of said applicants to citizenship in the Choctaw Nation.

Proceedings before the United States court as well as the judgment therein entered are not found in the files of the commission. The record in journal entitled “Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes, No. 2; Citizenship cases, p. 42, case No. 579, John Pickens v. Choctaw Nation,” after setting out the decision of the commission denying claimants, contains the following entry:

From this decision the plaintiffs herein did, on January 29, 1897, appeal this cause to the United States court, central district, Indian Territory, at South McAlester, which court did, on January 18, 1898, enter of record a judgment nunc pro tune as of August 30, 1897, admitting to citizenship all of the above applicants, thus reversing the decision of the commission.

December 17, 1902. Judgment of the United States court in this cause vacated by decree of the citizenship court in “test case.” The case was never thereafter certified to the citizenship court for trial and the claimants herein were denied enrollment by operation of a decision in a case to which they were not parties.

September 15, 1898. Andrew Pickens, who had been enrolled by judgment of the United States court, applied to the commission at Pauls Valley for the enrollment of himself and children. The application is stamped “Enrolled.”

During the years 1898 and 1899 the other court judgment claimants appeared before the commission when in the field and made similar application to that made by Andrew Pickens for the enrollment of themselves and children. The applications were stamped “Enrolled.”

December 3, 1904. Decisions were rendered by the commission denying all the claimants because of the decree of the citizenship court in the “test case ” entered December 17, 1902, by the department, which was held to be final and unreviewable, as will appear from the copies of said decisions hereto attached.

It thus appears that these claimants were denied enrollment solely because of the decree of the citizenship court in the “test case,” to which proceedings they were not parties, and which vacated and set aside the judgment of the United States court admitting them as citizens of the Choctaw Nation by blood.

Applications were submitted to the commission between 1898 and 1905 for the enrollment of the following newborn children:

Minor children of John T. Pickens: James Pickens, John Pickens, jr., Mary Pickens.

Minor children of James Pickens: Andrew Pickens, jr., Ethel Pickens.

Minor children of Andrew Pickens: Bessie Pickens, Carl Edmond Gaines, grandson of Andrew and son of Florence.

Minor children of Frank Pickens: Zonie Pickens, Frankie Pickens, William Edcar Pickens, Mary E. Pickens, Choctaw card, No. 5010, Sherman Pickens, Choctaw.

Counsel for claimants respectfully submit that the following claimants are entitled to enrollment:

Admitted by judgment of the United States court: James Pickens, George Pickens, Andrew Pickens, John T. Pickens, Frank Pickens, Mary Short (nee Pickens), George Pickens, his children, Lula Pickens, Walter Pickens, Annie Pickens, James Pickens, George L. Pickens, Mary M. Pickens, Jessie L. Pickens, Florence Pickens, Virgie Pickens, Fulton Pickens, Tolbert Pickens, Corrolton Pickens, Earnest Pickens, Maud Pickens, Ollie Pickens, Samuel E. Short, Thomas Z. Short, Meadham J. Short, Georgie P. Pickens, Henry W. Pickens.

New borns for whose enrollment application were made to the commission within the time prescribed by law and therefore entitled to enrollment: Dora Pickens, James Pickens, John Pickens, jr., Mary Pickens, Andrew Pickens, jr. Ethel Pickens, Bessie Pickens, Zonie Pickens, Frankie Pickens, Wm. Edcar Pickens, Carl Edmond Gainer, Mary E. Pickens, Sherman Pickens, John Pickens. jr.

Note.-John Pickens, principal applicant in 1896, is now dead, and no claim is made for his enrollment.

Exhibits attached.
(37 in all.)

Respectfully submitted.
Ballinger & Lee


Department Of The Interior,
Commission To The Five Civilized Tribes.

In the matter of the application for the enrollment of Andrew Pickens and his six children, Florence Gaines (nee Pickens), Virgie Pickens, Fulton Pickens, Tolbert Pickens, Carlton Pickens and Bessie Pickens, and his grandchild, Carl Edmond Gaines, as citizens by blood of the Choctaw Nation.

It appears from the records of the commission that on September 7, 1896, In the case entitled ”John Pickens et al. v. Choctaw Nation” (1896 Choctaw citizenship docket, case No. 579) original application was made to the commission under the provisions of the act of Congress approved June 10, 1886 (29 Stilts. 321), for the admission to citizenship in the Choctaw Nation of the applicants, Andrew Pickens, Florence Gaines, Virgie Pickens, Fulton Pickens, Tolbert Pickens and Carlton Pickens, and on December 2, 1896, the said Andrew Pickens, Florence Gaines, Virgie Pickens, Fulton Pickens, Tolbert Pickens and Carlton Pickens were, by the commission, denied admission to citizenship in the Choctaw Nation. From this decision of the commission an appeal was taken to the United States court for the central district of Indian Territory, which court, in the case entitled “John Pickens et al. v. Choctaw Nation” (citizenship case No. 87), reversed the decision of the commission denying said Andrew Pickens, Florence Gaines, Virgie Pickens, Fulton Pickens, Tolbert Pickens, and Carlton Pickens admission to citizenship in the Choctaw Nation, and admitted said Andrew Pickens, Florence Gaines (as Florence Pickens), Virgie Pickens, Fulton Pickens, Tolbert Pickens, and Carlton Pickens (as Carrolton Pickens) as citizens by blood of said nation.

The applicants, Bessie Pickens and Carl Edmond Gaines, were born subsequent to the date of the original application made herein to the commission in 1896. Said Bessie Pickens is identified as being a daughter of Andrew Pickens and Milloe Pickens, a noncitizen and said Carl Edmond Gaines as being a son of the applicant, Florence Gaines, and W. P. Gaines, a noncitizen.

It furthers appears from the records in the possession of the commission that on December 17, 1902, the Choctaw and Chickasaw citizenship court, created by the provisions of the act of Congress approved July 1, 1902 (33 Stats., 641), “sat aside, annulled, vacated, and held for naught” the aforesaid judgment of the United States court for central district of Indian Territory. Said cause has not been appealed or certified to the said Choctaw and Chickasaw citizenship court for a trial de novo, within the time prescribed by the provisions of said act of Congress approved July 1, 1902.

In accordance with the opinion of the Acting Attorney General, dated May 9, 1904 (I. T. D., 3824-1904), and the opinion of the Assistant Attorney General for the Department of the Interior, dated July 30, 1905 (I. T. D., 5246- 1904), the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes is without authority to take any action of any character, looking to the enrollment of Andrew Pickens, Florence Gaines, Virgie Pickens, Fulton Pickens, Tolbert Pickens, Carlton Pickens, Bessie Pickens, and Carl Edmond Gaines as citizens by blood of the Choctaw Nation, and it is therefore hereby ordered that the application for the enrollment of Andrew Pickens, Florence Gaines, Virgie Pickens, Fulton Pickens, Tolbert Pickens, Carlton Pickens, Bessie Pickens, and Carl Edmond Gaines as citizens by blood of the Choctaw Nation be dismissed.

Commission To The Five Civilized Tribes.
_______ _______, Chairman.
Muskogee, Ind. T., December 3, 1904


Department Of The Interior,
Commission Of The Five Civilized Tribes.

In the matter of the application for the enrollment of Frank Pickens and his children, Zonia Pickens, Frankie Pickens, and William Edcar Pickens, as citizens by blood of the Choctaw Nation.

It appears from the records of the commission that on September 7, 1896, in the case entitled “John Pickens et al. v. Choctaw Nation” (1896 Choctaw citizenship docket, case No. 579), original application was made to the commission under the provisions of the act of Congress approved June 10, 1896 (29 Stat, 321), for the admission to citizenship in the Choctaw Nation of the applicant, Frank Pickens, and on December 2, 1896, the said Frank Pickens was, by this commission, denied admission to citizenship in the Choctaw Nation. From this decision of the commission an appeal was taken to the United States court for the central district of Indian Territory, which court, in the case entitled “John T. Pickens, et al. v. Choctaw Nation” (citizenship case, No. 87) reversed the decision of the commission denying said Frank Pickens admission to citizenship in the Choctaw Nation and admitted said applicant as a citizen by blood of said nation.

The applicants, Zonia Pickens, Frankie Pickens, and William Edcar Pickens, are the children of the applicant, Frank Pickens, and Mary Pickens, a noncitizen, and were born subsequent to the date of the original application made herein to the commission in 1896.

It further appears from the records in the possession of the commission that on December 17, 1902, the Choctaw and Chickasaw citizenship court, created by the provisions of the act of Congress approved July 1, 1902 (32 Stat., 641), “set aside, annulled, vacated, and held for naught” the aforesaid Judgment of the United States court for the central district of Indian Territory. Said cause has not been appealed or certified for a trial de novo within the time prescribed by the provisions of said act of Congress approved July 1, 1902.

In accordance with the opinion of the Acting Attorney General, dated May 9, 1904 (I. T. D. 3824-1904), and the opinion of the Assistant Attorney General for the Department of the Interior, dated July 30, 1904 (I. T. D. 5246-1904), the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes is without authority to take any action of any character looking to the enrollment of Frank Pickens, Zonie Pickens, Frankie Pickens, and William Edcar Pickens as citizens by blood of the Choctaw Nation, and it is therefore hereby ordered that the application for the enrollment of Frank Pickens, Zonie Pickens, Frankie Pickens, and William Edcar Pickens as citizens by blood of the Choctaw Nation be dismissed.

Commission To The Five Civilized Tribes.

________ ________, Chairman.
Muskogee, Ind. T., December 3, 1904


Department Of The Interior,
Commission To The Five Civilized Tribes.

In the matter of the application for the enrollment of John T. Pickens and his five minor children, Earnest Pickens, Maud Pickens, James Pickens, John Pickens, jr., and Mary Pickens, as citizens by blood of the Choctaw Nation.

It appears from the records of the commission that on September 7, 1896, in the case entitled “John Pickens et al. v. Choctaw Nation” (1896 Choctaw citizenship docket, case No. 579), original application was made to the commission under the provisions of the act of Congress approved June 10, 1896 (29 Stat., 321), for the admission to citizenship in the Choctaw Nation as citizens by blood of the applicants, John T. Pickens, Earnest Pickens, and Maud Pickens, and on December 2, 1896, the said John T. Pickens, Earnest Pickens, and Maud Pickens, were, by this commission, denied admission as citizens by blood of the Choctaw Nation. From this decision of the commission an appeal was taken to the United States court for the central district of Indian Territory, which court in the case entitled “John T. Pickens et al. v. Choctaw Nation” (citizenship case. No. 87), reversed the decision of the commission denying said John T. Pickens, Earnest Pickens, and Maud Pickens admission to citizenship in the Choctaw Nation, and admitted said John T. Pickens, Earnest Pickens (as Earnest Pickens), and Maud Pickens, as citizens by blood of said nation.

The applicants, James Pickens, John Pickens, jr. and Mary Pickens, are the offspring of the principal applicant, John T. Pickens and Mary R. Pickens, noncitizen, and were born subsequent to the date of the original application herein made to the commission in 1896.

It further appears from the record in the possession of the commission that on December 17, 1902, the Choctaw and Chickasaw citizenship court, created by the provisions of the act of Congress approved July 1, 1902 (32 Stat., 641), “set aside, annulled, vacated, and held for naught” the aforesaid judgment of the United States court for the central district of Indian Territory. Said cause has not been appealed or certified to the said Choctaw and Chickasaw citizenship court for a trial de novo within the time prescribed by the provisions of said act of Congress approved July 1, 1902.

In accordance with the opinion of the Acting Attorney General, dated May 9. 1904 (I. T. D. 3824-1904), and the opinion of the Assistant Attorney General for the Department of the Interior, dated July 30, 1904 (I. T. D. 5246-1904), the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes is without authority to take any action of any character looking to the enrollment of John T. Pickens, Ernest Pickens, Maud Pickens, James Pickens, John Pickens, jr., and Mary Pickens, as citizens by blood of the Choctaw Nation, and it is, therefore, hereby ordered that the application for the enrollment of John T. Pickens, Ernest Pickens, Maud Pickens, James Pickens, John Pickens. jr. and Mary Pickens as citizens by blood of the Choctaw Nation be dismissed.

Commission To The Five Civilized Tribes.
______ _______, Chairman.
Muskogee, Ind. T., December 3, 1904.


Depositions Of Elsie Perkins, Henry M. Perkins, Levina Franklin, and
John M. Hodges.

Taken on the 9th and 10th days of July, 1897, between the hours of 8 o’clock a. m. and 6 o’clock p. m., at the office of Rails Bros., in Atoka, within the central judicial district of the Indian Territory, to be read as evidence in an action between John T. Pickens et al., plaintiffs, and Choctaw Nation, defendants, pending in the United States court for the central district of the Indian Territory, at South McAlester.

In the United States court for the central judicial district of the Indian Territory, April 1897, term, at South McAlester.

(87) John T Pickens et al., plaintiffs, v. Choctaw Nation, defendants. Notice to take depositions.

To the Choctaw Nation, the above-named defendant, and Stewart, Gordon A Hailey and William M. Cravens, attorneys of record for the said above named defendant:

You are hereby notified that the depositions of witnesses to be read in evidence in the above-entitled cause on the part of plaintiffs will be taken at the office of Rails Bros., in the town of Atoka, in the central judicial district of the Indian Territory, between the hours of 8 o’clock in the forenoon and 6 o’clock in the afternoon, on the 9th day of July, A. D. 1897, and that the taking of said depositions, If not completed on that day, will be continued from day to day at the same place and between the same hours until completed.

Ranton & McFerren,
Ralls Bros.,
Attorneys for the Plaintiffs.

South McAlester, Ind. T., July 6, 1897.

Service of the above notice is hereby waived.

Stuart, Gordon & Hailey,
Attorneys for the Defendant

(Indorsed on back:) 87. John T. Pickens et al. v. Choctaw Nation. Notice to take depositions. Atoka, 9th.


Deposition of Elsie Perkins, taken at the office of Rails Bros., in the town of Atoka, Ind. T., on the 9th day of July, 1897, between the hours of 8 o’clock in the forenoon and 6 o’clock in the afternoon, to be read as evidence in the cause of John Pickens v. Choctaw Nation.

My name is Elsie Perkins; I am 72 years old. I was born in the State of Mississippi and came to the Choctaw Nation with the second immigration of Choctaw Indians to the Indian Territory. I located in Eagle County, Choctaw Nation. I am a one-half blood Choctaw. I knew of Capt. James Pickens in the State of Mississippi while I lived there; he came to the Choctaw Nation and I met him near Doaksville shortly after I came to the Indian Territory. Capt. James Pickens was a Choctaw by blood; I should say about one-half breed like myself. I do not remember exactly how long it has been since I came to the Indian Territory, but my son Henry knows. Capt. James Pickens was a married man and had a family. I did not know his wife. He had the following named children that I remember: John Pickens, Campbell Pickens, and Ben Pickens. The children of Capt. James Pickens looked to be about three-fourths Indian. John Pickens showed the Indian blood, but he was the fairest of the children: he looked to be about one-fourth Indian. Ben Pickens held the office of sheriff of Blue County. My son Henry held the position of deputy sheriff under him. Capt. James Pickens and his children were recognized as members of the Choctaw Nation. John Pickens, the applicant, looks like John Pickens, the son of Capt. James Pickens. I do not know the applicant, nor do I know him to be the son of John Pickens, who is the son of Capt. James Pickens, but he resembles John Pickens, who is the son of Capt. James Pickens; from his resemblance to the Pickens family and his statements to me I believe him to be the son of John Pickens.

Witness-
Chas. W. Dunstan.
Elsie (her mark) Perkins.

The taking of depositions in the above-named cause is continued until 8 o’clock a. m., July 10, 1897.


Henry Perkins being introduced and sworn as a witness on the part of the plaintiff, testifies as follows:

My name is Henry M. Perkins. I live at Caney, Blue County. Choctaw Nation. I am going on 57 years old. I am the son of Mrs. E. Perkins. I have lived at Caney about 38 years. I was born in the Indian Territory, in Blue County, east of Atoka. My father was a half blood and my mother is a full blood; I am about three-fourths. Mother and I are recognized members by blood of the Choctaw Nation. My mother came from Yazoo River, Miss., in 1833. I have known John T. Pickens since last year, and am not related to him In any way that I know of. I knew Capt. James Pickens quite well. He came from Mississippi with the Choctaw Immigrants in 1845. He was captain of the Choctaw immigrants from Mississippi. Capt. James Pickens was one-half blood Choctaw Indian. He was recognized as a member by blood of the Choctaw Nation. I did not know his wife; I knew most all of his children. The oldest was John, the next Campbell, the next Litty, Rachel, Benjamin, and Joseph. Some of the children I have just named looked to be about three-fourths Choctaw Indians, and were recognized members of the Choctaw Nation. John was the whitest of all the children. Ben showed about one-half blood Choctaw and John did not look to be half. I do not know where any of the Pickens boys are at this time. Ben Pickens was sheriff of Blue County, Choctaw Nation, Ind. T., and I was deputy under him. I do not know the plaintiff, John T. Pickens, to be son of either of the above-named Pickenses, but he favors John Pickens, the son of Capt. James Pickens: his face and eyes and motion of his face look like said James Pickens. He favors Ben Pickens a little, not much. The applicant knows all the Pickens family above referred to, and his history of them agrees with my recollection of them.

Cross-examination by Mr. Gordon:

I first saw James Pickens in the Choctaw Nation in 1855. I can’t judge from his appearance how much blood he had. I never saw Capt. James Pickens’s father and mother. I never saw his wife; I did not know whether she was a white woman or an Indian. I do not remember when he died. He had about six children-John, Ben, Campbell, Litty, Rachel, and Joseph. Some time between 1850 and 1860 a report came that John Pickens was killed and that his parents could not find the corpse. John was a pretty rowdy fellow. I do not know that he was married. I never heard of John Pickens until the applicant. John T. Pickens, spoke to me about him last winter. My understanding ever since about 1857 has been that John Pickens was killed about that time. Ben Pickens died about six years, and he was living in the Choctaw Nation at that time. Campbell Pickens was killed about the year 1860 in Pickens County, Chickasaw Nation. About the time of the Civil War I heard that Joseph Pickens was killed, and I have never have heard of his being alive since. These Pickens boys were somewhere between 14 and 20 years old at the time Pickens came to this country. When I saw this applicant I recognized him as being a descendant of John Pickens aforesaid. I can’t tell which one of the boys he is a descendant of. I never heard of John Pickens having a son. Before I ever saw the applicant. John T. Pickens. John Hodges told me he was a nephew of Ben Pickens, John Pickens, the son of James, was a light-completed man, a tall, slim fellow, dark hair, very white. In the year 1861 trouble came up between the McLaughlin and the Pickens families, and after this trouble was over Ben Pickens and his family left, and. I understood, moved to the Choctaw Nation.

Redirect examination by Mr. Ralls:

I do not know that the men were killed. The report reached me. The Choc- taws and Chickasaws were out with the Pickenses and favored the McLaughlins. The applicant, John T. Pickens, looks more like John Pickens, the son of Capt. James Pickens, than he does either of the other brothers, and resembles Ben Pickens, but I can’t say as to which one of the Pickens boys he belongs, if either. If Joseph, Campbell, and John Pickens were not killed it would not have been safe for them to remain in the Choctaw Nation or the Chickasaw Nation. The Chickasaws would have killed them because they were Choctaws.


Levina Franklin, being introduced and sworn as a witness, testified as follows:

My mime is Levina Franklin; I am about 63 years old. I live about 5 miles on this side of Lehigh. I am a half-blood Choctaw Indian. I was raised at Antlers, in the Choctaw Nation. My parents came from Mississippi to the Choctaw Nation. I knew Capt. James Pickens just as well as I knew my grandfather when I was a girl. Said Capt. James Pickens was a half-blood Choctaw Indian and was recognized as a member of said nation. I knew him for about 25 years or 30 years. Capt. James Pickens came from Mississippi. I do not recollect the time, as I was very small at that time. He had three children. I know nothing about the smallest children he had. I moved out of the Choctaw Nation into the Chickasaw Nation. The names of the children that I knew were John, Campbell, and Ben. I knew the above-named children quite well: they were citizens of the Choctaw Nation. John was the fairest of the children that I knew. Campbell got killed on Washita, in Chickasaw Nation, and Ben died some 10 or 12 years ago; I do not recollect. It was reported that John got killed. He was not killed, and went hack to Mississippi and stayed until everything died out and then came back. I did not know anything about the trouble in the Chickasaw Nation only what I heard. I have not seen John Pickens since he returned from Mississippi, but I heard he was up in the Chickasaw Nation. I do not know the applicant, but he favors his father a great deal and resembles the family so much. About 15 or 20 years ago I heard that John Pickens went to Mississippi after his trouble in the nation, and I have not seen him since. Ben Pickens, who lived on Blue Creek, in the Choctaw Nation, told me that John was not killed, but went back to Mississippi. The Pickenses were pretty swift and the Choctaws and Chickasaws had it in for them. I am not related to the plaintiff and have no Interest in the result of this case.

Cross-examination by Mr. Gordon:

About 30 years ago Ben Pickens was a grown man, and I used to see him frequently; we used to go to meeting together in the Choctaw Nation. John never went over in the Chickasaw Nation. He lived until he came back from Mississippi. We heard at the time of this trouble that the people were all out hunting for him, and that they never did find him. I do not know that he ever went to Mississippi, except from what I heard. I never saw the applicant before today. He told me that he was the son of John Pickens. I had heard that John had a son, but I never knew him. James Pickens was a half-blood Choctaw Indian, because he had white and Indian blood, and white and Indian blood makes one-half Choctaw. When a full-blood Indian marries a white person, the children are called half-breeds. I did not know how much Indian blood Capt. James Pickens had except from what I have heard, and then I have seen him. He looked to be about half-blood Indian. If a woman who is a half- breed Choctaw marries a man who is a half-breed Choctaw, the children would be half-breeds.


John Hodges, being introduced and sworn as a witness on the part of the plaintiff, testifies as follows:

My name is John Hodges. My post office is Atoka, and I am 47 years old. I was chairman of the net-proceed commission. The book containing the names of all the citizens of the Choctaw Nation was placed in my hands by the Choctaw Nation. I have in my possession now a book supposed to contain the names of the citizens of the Choctaw Nation. I had a book which contained a roll of the members of the Choctaw tribe In Indians.

Q. Was the name of James Pickens on that roll?

Defendant objects to this Question, for the reason that the roll itself would be the best evidence.

A. I do not recollect whether the name of James Pickens was on that book or not.

The book I hold in my hand is a book published by the authority of the Choctaw Nation and the Indian agent.

This book that I hold in my hand contains names of all who are supposed to be citizens of the Choctaw Nation. The book was made up from files at Washington. Some of the names contained in this book are names of citizens of the Choctaw Nation and not entitled to draw money.

Q. I will ask you if the name of James Pickens appears on this book.

This question objected to by the defendant, for the reason that this book has not been offered in evidence, and if it were offered it would not be competent proof for the reason that the testimony of the witness shows some of the Indians thereon are names of persons not citizens of the Choctaw Nation, and further that said book does not contain a list of names, made up from any act of council of the Choctaw Nation.

A. The name of James Pickens appears on this book.

The book was published by order of the Indian agent. We had to have the book to pay off those who are entitled to money.

United States Of America,
Central District of the Indian Territory:

I, R. M. Moore, a duly appointed and qualified notary public within and for the central judicial district of the Indian Territory, do hereby certify that the foregoing depositions of Elsie Perkins. Henry M. Perkins, Levina Franklin, and John M. Hodges were taken before me in shorthand by Miss M. L. Humphry and reduced to typewriting by her and were read to and subscribed by them in my presence at the time and place and in the action mentioned in the caption, the said Elsie Perkins, Henry M. Perkins, John M. Hodges, and Levina Franklin having been first duly sworn by me that the evidence they should give in the action should be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and that their statements were reduced to writing by me in their presence. John T. Pickens, one of the plaintiffs, in person and by G. T. Rails, his attorney, and the defendant in person and by J. H. Gordon, attorney, being present at the examination. I further certify that J. H. Gordon was not present at the taking of the deposition of Elsie Perkins, but was at the taking of the depositions of the other witnesses, and that it was agreed between the attorneys for the plaintiffs and defendant that the testimony of the witnesses. Henry M. Perkins, Levina Franklin, and John M. Hodges be taken by Miss M. L. Humphry in shorthand and afterwards to be reduced to typewriting, and when so done be used without the signatures of said witnesses, all objections as to signatures and reducing to writing being waived. I further certify that the deposition of Elsie Perkins was taken on the 9th day of July and the taking of depositions was continued till the 10th day of July and the other depositions were on that day taken.

Given under my hand and seal at Atoka, within the central judicial district of the Indian Territory, this 23d day of July 1897.

[seal.] R. M. Moore,
Notary Public aforesaid.

Notary fee, three witnesses, $5. Paid by plaintiff.
R. M. Moore, Notary Public.

(Indorsed on back:) No. 87. John T. Pickens et al. v. Choctaw Nation. Depositions of Elsie Perkins, Henry M. Perkins, John M. Hodges, Levina Franklin. Filed at – o’clock m., Jul. 24, 1897.
E. J. Fannin, clerk,
by ______ ______, deputy.
Rails Bros. & McPherrin, Attys

State Of Oklahoma, Pittsburg County:

I, W. B. Riley. clerk of the district court in and for the above-named county and State, do hereby certify that the above and foregoing is a full, true, and correct copy of the notice to take depositions, depositions of Elsie Perkins, Henry M. Perkins, John M. Hodges, and Levina Franklin, and certificate of notary In the case of John T. Pickens v. Choctaw Nation, as the same appears of record and on file in my office.

Witness my hand and the seal of said court this, the 29th day of November 1910.

[seal.] W. B. Riley, District Clerk,

By L. Hefley, Deputy.



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. 28 July 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/john-pickets-choctaw.htm - Last updated on Oct 14th, 2012


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