Terry Thompson Stubblefield Et Al.
M. C. R. No. G258-M. C. K. 341.
July 1896. Application made to Dawes Commission.
August 1, 1896. Application made to the Choctaw council.
October 10, 1896. Admitted by the Choctaw council.
January 6, 1897. Enrolled by the revisory committee of the Choctaw council.
September 12, 1902. Hearing before the commission at Muskogee, Okla., for the enrollment of herself and children. Rejected.
Statement of Facts
The decision of the Secretary of the Interior, E. A. Hitchcock, dated March 30, 1905, sets out the following:
William C. Thompson, the grandfather of the principal applicant, died August 31, 1840. in the Choctaw Nation, a recognized citizen thereof. While Mrs. Stubblefield was born in Mississippi, she removed with her father, Arthur F. Thompson, son of the said William Thompson, to the Choctaw Nation. This removal occurred when she was a child and, as she states, when she was too young to remember. As she was born about the year 1861, the removal must have taken place in the early sixties. Her father, according to the uncontroverted testimony, resided in the Choctaw Nation until the time of his death, the principal applicant herself residing in said nation apparently until the time of her marriage to William Stubblefield. a white man. Soon thereafter, apparently as early as 1878. she removed to Texas, where she had resided continuously for more than 20 years, and was still residing al the time of the hearing, namely, September 12, 1902.
In an opinion rendered March 3, 1905, approved by the department the same day, the Assistant Attorney General held, relative to W. C. Thompson, that the recognition of him and all those included in his petition of August 1, 1896, by the Choctaw committee, was within the powers of that body.
This petition of W. C. Thompson and the enrollment under it by the Choctaw authorities included this applicant. William C. Thompson and all other persons in this family, excepting this applicant, have been finally enrolled and allotted in the Choctaw Nation. This applicant has been excluded solely upon the ground that she was a nonresident in 1902. The same opinion of the Secretary of the Interior quoted above also contains the following:
While it appears that Mrs. Stubblefield was recognized in the same manner as William C. Thompson and that he is the same descent, still, she was not a resident of the nation at the time of her hearing, September 12, 1902, nor had she been a resident thereof at any time during the last 20 years preceding that date. No testimony has been furnished showing that she retained property in the nation or that it was her intention to return to the Choctaw Nation and make it her home.
Subsequent to the date of this decision proof was filed with the department showing conclusively that Mrs. Stubblefield at the time of her marriage held valuable landed interests under the tribal laws of the Choctaw Nation and that at that time, with the idea of maintaining tribal relations to which she had been born, she and her husband retained the same, although they removed temporarily to the State of Texas. This proof further shows that she retained this and other property up until the time of allotment and that one of her children, a minor, resided in the nation a large part of the time and was finally enrolled with William C. Thompson, above named, who had charge of the property of this applicant.
Statement of Council
This applicant has been excluded upon a misconstruction of the law which provided that a Choctaw Indian, to be entitled to enrollment, should have, at some time prior to the passage of the act of 1898, “established a residence therein.” It is very evident that this woman not alone established a residence, but that she was born to the allegiance of the tribe and that she lived all of her younger days in the nation and that when she removed she removed temporarily, retaining property in the nation, to which she expected to return. She and her children, except Sarah T. Stubblefield, already enrolled and allotted, are plainly entitled.
Walter S. Field, Attorney for Claimants.
Cases of exceptional merit barred by reason of the provisions of the act of May 31, 1900. the names of the applicants not appearing on the tribal rolls.