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The Five Civilized Tribes in Oklahoma

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Há-tchoo-túc-knee, Snapping Turtle, a Half-breed, George Catlin, 1834
Há-tchoo-túc-knee, Snapping Turtle, a Half-breed, George Catlin, 1834
Like the Cherokee, Creek, Chickasaw, and Seminole, the Choctaw had interacted and intermarried with whites for centuries. These “Five Civilized Tribes” in Oklahoma were farmers, plantation owners, and educated professionals. Snapping Turtle, also known as Peter Pitchlynn, was a graduate of the University of Nashville and George Catlin’s source for “much curious and valuable information, of the history and traditions of his tribe.” Catlin painted his portrait at Fort Gibson, Arkansas Territory, in 1834. (Catlin, Letters and Notes, vol. 2, no. 49, 1841; reprint 1973)

[S. 7625, Sixty-second Congress, third session.] A BILL For the relief of certain members of the Five Civilized Tribes in Oklahoma.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in congress assembled. That the Secretary of the Interior be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to-

First. Add to the rolls of the Five Civilized Tribes the names of minors living March fourth, nineteen hundred and six (1906) either of whose parents is on said rolls or would have been entitled to have been enrolled, if living, at the date fixed for determining the right to enrollment, and also the names of Indians incarcerated, insane, or otherwise incompetent, Including those who would be in the restricted class if enrolled for whom no application was made or proper proof submitted within the time limit provided by law, but who were otherwise entitled to enrollment under the laws governing such matters.

Second. To consider and determine all claims for enrollment in any of said tribes which were favorably decided by the commissioner to the Five Civilized Tribes, but which did not reach the Secretary of the Interior in time for consideration and decision on or before March fourth, nineteen hundred and seven, (1907) adding to the rolls of said tribes the names of those he may find entitled to enrollment.

Third. To prepare n special roll which shall contain the names of all persons identified as Mississippi Choctaws prior to March fourth, nineteen hundred and seven, (1907) as well as those entitled to such identification but who did not remove to and make bona fide settlement In the Choctaw or Chickasaw Nation within the time prescribed by law.

Fourth. To review and determine, In conformity with the laws governing such matters at the time applications were made and upon the records as made up, all citizenship cases in said tribes decided by the Secretary of the Interior January first, nineteen hundred and seven, (1907) or subsequently thereto, adversely to the claimants and to add to the rolls of said tribe the name of any person he may find entitled to enrollment, excluding, however, those cases involving applications for transfer of names from the freedmen’s roll to the rolls of citizens by blood.

Fifth. To review and determine the right to enrollment upon the existing records and under the law under which application was made of any person found by the commission to the Five Civilized Tribes or the United States courts in Indian Territory to be entitled to enrollment, but who were prevented from being enrolled by any finding, judgment, or decree of the Choctaw-Chickasaw citizenship court, and to enroll such as-may be found to he so entitled upon the proper tribal roll.

Sixth. To determine the right to enrollment of persons whose applications were denied under the act of May thirty-first, nineteen hundred, (1900) because of lack of tribal enrollment who are shown by existing records to be otherwise prima facie entitled to enrollment because of Indian blood and residence, said determination to be irrespective of the act of May thirty-first, nineteen hundred (1900).

Five Civilized Tribes in Oklahoma

 


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