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Julia Turner Dawes Commission Examination

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Meridian, Mississippi, April 23, 1901.

In the matter of the application of Julia Turner for identification as a Mississippi Choctaw.  Julia Turner being duly sworn testified as follows:

Examination by the Commission.

Q. What is you name?
A.  Julia Turner.

Q.  What is your age?

A.  39

Q.  What is your post-office address?

A.  Goodwater, Mississippi

Q.  What county?

A.  Clark County.

Q.  How long have you lived in Mississippi?

A.  All my life.

Q.  Is your father living?

A.  Yes sir.

Q.  What is his name?

A.  Washington Ferrell.

Q.  Is your mother living?

A.  Yes sir.

Q.  What is her name?

A.  Margaret Ferrell.

Q.  Through which one of your parents do you derive your Choctaw blood?

A.  Mother.

Q.  What proportion of Choctaw blood do you claim to have?

A.. quarter.

Q. Has your mother ever been recognized or enrolled by either the Choctaw tribal authorities or the authorities of the United States as a citizen of the Choctaw nation?

A.  No sir, not as I know of.

Q.  Are you married?

A.  Yes sir.

Q.  What is your husband’s name?

A.  Lou Turner.

Q.  Do you make any claim on behalf of your husband?

A.  No sir he ain’t no Choctaw.

Q.  Do you claim for him then?

A.  Yes sir.

Q.  You want to claim for him do you when he hasn’t a drop of Choctaw blood?

A.  No sir.

Q.  Have you any children?

A.  No sir.

Q.  This application then is solely in you own behalf is it?

A.  Yes sir.

Q.  Is your name on any of the Choctaw tribal rolls in the Indian Territory?

A.  Not as I know of.

Q.  Have you ever made application to the Choctaw tribal authorities in the Indian Territory to be enrolled as a member of that tribe?

A.  No sir.

Q.  Did you or did any one for you in the year 1896 make application to the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes for citizenship in the Choctaw Nation under the act of Congress of June 10th, 1896?

A.  No sir.

Q.  Have you ever been admitted to citizenship in the Choctaw Nation either by the Choctaw tribal authorities, the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes or by the United States Court in the Indian Territory?

A.  No sir.

Q.  Have you ever made application prior to this time to either the Choctaw tribal authorities or to the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes to be admitted or enrolled as a citizen of the Choctaw Nation?

A.  No sir.

Q.  This then is your first application of any description?

A.  Yes sir.

Q.  You desire to make application for identification as a Mississippi Choctaw?

A.  I didn’t understand you.

Q.  Do you now desire to make application for identification as a Mississippi Choctaw?

A.  Yes sir.

Q. Do you claim your right as a beneficiary under the provisions of the fourteenth article of the treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek?

A.  Yes sir.

Q.  Have you ever received any benefits as a Choctaw Indian?

A.  No sir.

Q.  Have any of your ancestors ever received any benefits as Choctaw Indians?

A.  Not that I know of.

Q.  Were any of your ancestors ever received any benefits as Choctaw Indians?

A.  Not that I know of.

Q.  Were any of your ancestors residents of the old Choctaw Nation in Mississippi and Alabama in the year 1830 when the treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek was entered into between the United States government and the Choctaw Indians?

A.  No sir.

Q.  Were any of them recognized members of the Choctaw Tribe at that time?

A.  Not as I know of.

Q.  Did any of your ancestors remove from the territory occupied by the Choctaw Nation in Mississippi and Alabama at the time the main body of the Choctaw tribe of Indians were removed to their new reservation west of the Mississippi River between the years 1833 and 1838?

A.  No sir, not as I know of.

Q.  Did any of your ancestors within six months after the ratification of the treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek signify to the United States Indian Agent of the Choctaws then located in Mississippi, their intention to remain in Mississippi and become citizens of the United States?

A.  No sir.

Q. Have any of your ancestors ever claimed or received any land beneficiaries under the provisions of the fourteenth article of the treaty of 1830? Between the United States and the Choctaw Indians?

A.  No sir.

Q.  Where does your mother live at this time?

A.  She lives down yonder in Mississippi.

Q.  How long has she lived in Mississippi?

A.  I don’t know, sir.

Q.  Where did she ever live besides in Mississippi?

A.  She lived up there at Enterprise.

Q.  Enterprise is in Mississippi isn’t it?

A.  Yes sir I reckon so.

Q.  Where did she ever live besides in the state of Mississippi?

A.  I don’t know, sir.

Q.  Are there any additional statements you desire to make in support of this case?

A.  No sir.

Q.  Have you any documentary evidence, affidavits, written testimony of any description, copies of records, deeds or patens or other proper papers showing that your ancestors were recognized members of the Choctaw Tribe of Indians in Mississippi in 1830 or that any of them ever complied or attempted to comply with the provisions of the fourteenth article of the treaty of 1830 or that they ever received any benefits under that article of that treaty.

Here attorneys D. W. Heidelberg and L. P. Hudson as leave to file written evidence in support of this claim within thirty days from this date.

Permission granted.

Examination by L.P. Hudson.

Q. Mrs. Turner did you ever know of your mother living any where except in Mississippi?

A.  No sir I don’t know nothing about where she lived at.

Q.  Did you ever hear her say where she was born or raised or where she lived all her life?

A.  No sir.

Q.  What was your mother’s father’s name?

A.  John.

Q. and other name?

A.  No sir I don’t know nothing only John.

Q.  Was he an Indian?

A.  Yes sir.

Q.  Did you ever see him?

A.  No sir.

Q.  What have you heard your mother or other people say about his being a full blood Indian, whether he was or not.

A.  They said he was full blood Indian.

Q. Do you know where he lived?

A. No sir.

Q. How long has he been dead?

A.  I don’t know sir.

Q.  You don’t know whether he was living her in Mississippi in 1830 or not?

A.  No sir I don’t know.

Q.  There are other relatives of yours appeared before the Commission before this time have they not?

A.  No sir not that I know of

Q.  You don’t know that they have not do you?

Q. No sir.

Examination by the Commission

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

A. No sir.

This applicant has the appearance of being a Negro although her hair, features and complexion indicate that she might be possessed of a small portion of Choctaw blood.  From her testimony it appears that none of her ancestors ever complied or attempted to comply with the provisions of the fourteenth article of the treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek or ever receive and benefits thereunder.

The decision of the Commission as to the application made by you for identification as a Mississippi Choctaw will be determined at the earliest possible date and report of the same made to the Secretary of the Interior in accordance with the provisions of the copy of the decision will be mailed to you at your post office address as given in your testimony.

Myra Young having been first duly sworn upon her oath states that as stenographer to the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes she reported in full all proceedings had in the above entitled cause on the 23rd day of April. 1901, and that the above and forgoing is a full, true and correct transcript of her stenographic notes of said proceedings on said date.

Myra Young

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

 


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