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Lizzie Henry, Choctaw
August 1899. Applied at Durant. Ind. T., before Commissioner McKennon, and there stated that she was one-half Choctaw, born in the nation, and had resided there all her life; that her father was Tom Holden, a full blood; that she knew nothing about getting enrolled; that her father died when she was 10 years old, and her mother when she was 12 years old. Above facts uncontradicted in record.
Commissioner McKennon stated:
This case of yours seems to be all right. You seem to be born a citizen, and by misfortune left off. The commission will call the special attention of the Secretary of the Interior to your case.
Under above application claimants entitled to enrollment under decision in Long case.
October 9, 1901. No decision having been rendered by commission on pending application, claimant applied for enrollment as fourteenth article, Mississippi Choctaw.
June 25, 1902, and June 28. 1902. Hearings had at which it was shown that father of principal applicant was a full-blood Choctaw, that he had a brother. Jack Holden, and that applicant’s grandparents lived in the Choctaw Nation. Mississippi.
October 15, 1902. Decision of commission denying applicants’ enrollment as Mississippi Choctaws, and further holding that they had not been enrolled or recognized by the tribal authorities, as required of all applicants applying after act of May 31, 1900.
October 31. 1902. Decision of commission denying claimants enrollment as Mississippi Choctaws, approved by department.
John Holden, brother of Lizzie Henry, was enrolled by the commission, and his name appears on the final Chickasaw blood roll opposite No. 3932, as a Chickasaw, 68 years of age.
No decision by commission or department on application of August 1899, nor any record of any report of said case to Secretary, as stated would be done by Commissioner McKennon at the examination of claimant, is of record. Claimants were clearly entitled to enrollment under act of June 28, 1898.
The following persons, for whose enrollment application was duly made, counsel for claimants submit are clearly entitled to enrollment: Lizzie Henry, Mary Henry (daughter of Lizzie Henry), Myrtle E. Epps (child of Mary Henry by first husband), Emma E. Epps (child of Mary Henry by first husband), and Tommey F. Henry (son of Mary Henry by present husband).
Additional testimony taken by Judge Pollock for the department December 6, 1910, copy of which is attached.
Ballinger & Lee, Attorneys for Claimants.
Department Of The Interior
Muskogee, Okla., December 6, 1910.
In the matter of the application for the enrollment of Lizzie Henry as a citizen by blood of the Choctaw Nation.
Proceedings had at Ardmore, Okla., November 12, 1910, before W. C. Pollock, assistant attorney, Interior Department.
Appearances: Albert J. Lee for Ballinger & Lee, attorneys for claimant; A. W. Clapp for Rodgers & Clapp, attorneys for the Chickasaw Nation.
Elizabeth Jane Henry, being duly sworn and examined as a witness, testified as follows:
By Mr. Lee:
Q. State your name.-
A. Elizabeth Jane Henry.
Q. How old are you?-
A. I am going on 51. I was 50 the 22d day of this gone October.
Q. Where do you live?-
A. Near Brock: little northwest of Brock.
Q. Oklahoma V-
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Were you ever before the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes or any of its officers?-
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Do you remember the first time you were before them?-
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Do you remember about what year that was?-
A. I don’t know, sir; I don’t believe I remember the year. I have been sick so much I can’t remember dates, and I have no education either.
Q. Do you remember where it was the first time you appeared before them7-
A. I believe it was here at Ardmore, in a park.
Q. Do you remember the name of the commissioner you appeared before?- A. I can think of his name sometimes and other times I can’t. My granddaughter there will tell you that.
Q. Do you know whether it was Commissioner Bixby or whether it was McKenuon or any of the other commissioners? Could you tell their names if I called it, which one it was?-
A. Let me see-I might if you would call it: I can’t place the names, it’s been so long ago.
Q. Can you remember anything about what was told you at the time by the commissioner?-
A. Yes, sir; I think I can.
Mr. Clapp. Doesn’t the records show this?
Mr. Lee. I just asked that as a means of Identification.
A. There was one told me that I was Indian all right, and that I ought to have been put on the roll long ago, and that he would refer my case to the Secretary or something similar to that.
Q. Have you any relatives that are now on the rolls?-
A. Yes, sir.
Q. State their names, please.-
A. James Underwood is one: he’s dead; and then
Q. What relation was he to you?-
A. My father’s nephew; he’s my cousin.
Q. And who else?-
A. His son, Wilson Underwood, and then Alemon Holden, another nephew. all blood Choctaws; and then there’s Arums Holden.
Q. What relation is he?-
Q. Is he a full-blood, too?-
A. All my folks full-blood, too. My father and mother died and I was just kicked about, and when first one and another talked to me they said get a lawyer, and I tried to get a lawyer, and one would do a while one way and some another, and I went to Atoka, and Muskogee twice, and here to the park; to Durant once, and just everywhere, and I can’t remember all they told me.
Q. Have you any other relation on the rolls?-
A. Yes; he has two half brothers.
Q. What are their names?-
A. I disremember; I believe their names are Joe and Dave; but, anyhow it’s Flincher.
Q. Joe and Dave Flincher?-
A. Yes, sir; I think that’s their given names; It’s Flincher, anyhow.
Q. Are there any other relatives that you remember now that are on the roll?-
A. These are old ones I am giving; there’s lots of them, 25 or 40, from 20 years old down, that’s on.
Q. Do you remember your father and mother?-
A. Yes sir; I remember them.
Q. Where did your father live?-
A. Up on Blue, toward these mountains.
Q. Kiamichi Mountains?-
A. Yes sir; when I was about 4 years old, and then he moved down on the river somewhere not very far from where Cousin John and Jack Holden lived.
Q. Are they on the rolls?-
A. Yes, sir; John’s dead, but I think Jack is living; he’s up In the Choctaw Nation.
Q. They are cousins of yours?-
A. Yes, sir; father’s nephews.
Q. Any others that are on the rolls?-
A. Not of the old ones, but there is 40 younger heads.
By Mr. Clapp:
Q. Can you give us your father’s name?-
A. Thomas Holden, and his Indian name was Iyaketubby; the best I remember that’s what it is.
Q. Now, what was your mother’s name?-
A. Angeline Cornogg; she was a German woman. .
Q Did you know the name of your father’s father?-
A. No, sir; not for certain; I believe it was Jim; I wouldn’t be positive that Jim was his name, but I believe it was.
Q. Do you remember your grandfather?-
A. No, sir; I don’t remember my grandfather. I remember my grandmother-pappy’s mother-but I just remember as a dream. I could describe her. She was tolerably tall, with high cheek bones and long hair down her back, and looked like these Mississippi Choctaws.
Q. Do you remember what her name was?-
A. I believe it was Sallie; I might be mistaken; 1 wouldn’t be positive. I remember sitting on her lap and her combing my head.
Q. Were you born in Mississippi?-
A. I was born here.
Q. Did your grandfather and grandmother move out here?-
A. Yes, sir; when the Indians was drove out here.
Q. Your father was born here?-
A. I don’t know whether he was or not, but I know his folks came here when they was brought to this wild country there.
Q. You stated they were Choctaw and Chickasaw?-
A. Choctaw and Chickasaw both, but they claimed the Chickasaw side.
Q. How old were you when your father died?-
A. I was somewhere about 10 years old.
Q. And how old were you when your mother died?-
A. She died the 15th of March, and I would be 13 in the following October.
Q. That was about 38 years ago?-
A. I don’t know, sir.
Q. Who did you live with after they died?-
A. Jim Rutledge an old negro overseer, but I don’t know where he Is from Adam’s house cat; I guess he’s dead.
Q. Where did he live then?-
A. On the Red River below Lebanon, and I have been right around the Chickasaw part ever since.
Q. How long did you live with him?-
A. I guess I was about 17 when I married.
Q. Did you live with him until you were married?-
A. Yes, sir.
Q. What is your husband’s name?-
Q. Moore Henry?-
A. John Moore, my daughter’s father, and these are her children, but I have married again, you know, since that; my name is Henry now.
Q. Was Moore a white man?-
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And Henry Is a white man?-
A. Yes. sir.
Q. Now, can you remember the year In which you were first married?-
A. No, sir: I can’t.
Q. You think you were 17 years old?-
A. Yes, sir: about 17.
Q. So that your name-how long did Moore live?-
A. Six years.
Q. And you lived with him all that time?-
A. Yes sir.
Q. Do you remember a payment being made In 1878, about 32 years ago, to the Indians?-
A. Thirty-two years ago? Let me see. No; I don’t remember it.
Q. Did you ever draw any payment?-
A. No, sir: the first payment that ever I remember anything about it-that I got enlightened into anything of that kind-was the time they drew the $130 when the Dawes Commission went through Thackerville
Q. About 17 years ago?-
A. Yes. sir: I think so.
Q. Well, did you try to get a part of that payment?-
A. No. sir; I didn’t go and try to get part of the payment, but I met the Dawes Commission at Thackerville.
Q. Well, do you remember a payment made In 1893?-
A. I remember several payments that have been paid–
Q. Paid to the Indians?-
A. Through the Government?
Q. Yes: since that $130.-
A. I remember several being paid since, $40 to the head of late.
Q. Can you tell us where you have lived since you were first married and since you first left Jim Rutledge?-
A. Yes sir; I have been all over the Chickasaw part of the Territory and right smart time around Roff and when he died I was at Tyler, Tex.; my first man he went out there and got a job there and died there.
Q. How long did you live in Texas?-
A. Maybe about three or four months.
Q. Then you came back here?-
A. Yes sir; he got hurt: he went there to get a job, and he got hurt and died, and as soon as he was put away I came back.
Q. Is that the only time you have lived outside of the Chickasaw Nation?- A. Except going to Gainesville and back on trips.
Q. You never did live in Texas?-
A. No, sir; and it is all the State outside of the Territory I was ever in.
Q. You have lived around among the Chickasaw Indians, have you not?- A. Yes, sir; all the time in the Chickasaw part, except a year I lived close to Roff.
Q. Have you ever been well acquainted with any prominent men In the Chickasaw Nation?-
A. No, sir; only just meeting these people and going back home.
Q. Did you ever talk with any of the Indians around where you lived about your Indian blood?-
A. Yes, sir; I asked them about the Indian affairs what I would know to ask them, and then I would get a lawyer to see if he could do anything.
Q. Did you ever get a lawyer before you appeared before the Dawes Commission?-
A. No, sir.
Q. You never made any attempt to get before the Council of the Chickasaw Nation?-
A. I went before the commission.
Q. But you never went before the tribal authorities of the Chickasaw Nation?-
A. No, sir; I reckon not; I don’t know. I have met them around and around and had I don’t know how many lawyers. I had one at Muskogee and one at Atoka and two or three here and at Tishomingo.
Q. I am asking you about things before that.-
A. I tried them to get me a right, but I couldn’t do it.
Q. Now what relation was Jack Holden to your father?-
A. He was a brother; and John, Alemon, and Armus, these others, are all his nephews.
Q. Jack was a brother?-
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Was he a full brother or half brother?-
A. Full brother, and these other two they are half brothers-these Flinchers was half brothers.
Q. Jack Holden, your father’s brother, is he on the roll?-
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Is he living now?-
A. I don’t know: he moved away up in the Choctaw Nation, and I had his address to write and see if he was still living, but I lost it.
Q. Which roll is he on?-
A. Chickasaw, I think.
Q. You said that your parents or grandparents, your father or your grandparents, claimed to be either Choctaw or Chickasaw blood, that they had both blood?-
A. They have both blood; they claim the Chickasaw side. I know the majority part of them was filed at Tishomingo at the land office there.
Q. Can you remember your parents or grandparents drawing money?-
A. No, sir; I don’t recollect nothing about them drawing money.
Q. Did you ever see very much of these relatives of yours?-
A. Yes, sir; I go amongst them every once In a while.
Q. Say 20 years ago, did you use to see them?-
A. Yes. sir; I was with them about that time.
Q. Well, they were always recognized members?-
A. Yes, sir, always recognized.
Q. Why didn’t it occur to you to try to be recognized yourself?-
A. Well, I thought I was recognized the same as they was, Indian and full-bloods, and whenever they held offices and run around and get money and do this and that, and I didn’t have sense enough to get any.
Q. Did you talk to them about getting money?-
A. Well, they said you better get a lawyer and have him to see what’s the reason you can’t get this. I went and held one of pupa’s nieces’ baby on the steps of the building at Tishomingo while she went up and drawed her money.
Q. Within the last 50 years?-
A. Yes sir; about 10 years ago.
Q. That was townsite money?-
A. I don’t know; I didn’t get it; I have always been Indian.
Q. These relatives know about your parentage?-
A. Yes, sir. I got n letter here some time ago from an old gentleman-an Indian named Kemp; lives southeast of Tishomingo-telling me they wore working at Muskogee, and I had better go up there and see something about my affair, or the first thing I wouldn’t have anything: and I taken the letter and sent it to Mr. Lee.
Albert G. McMillan, being first duly sworn, states that he reported the proceedings had in the above-entitled cause, and that ‘the foregoing is a true and correct transcript of his stenographic notes.
Albert G. McMillan.
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 12th day of December 1910.
[seal.] Harry Montague.
Notes About the Book:
Source: 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, Published 1913, by the Department of the Interior, United States.
Online Publication: The manuscript was scanned and then ocr’d. Minimal editing has been done, and readers can and should expect some errors in the textual output. Several spellings have been used for the same tribe of Indians.
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