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Willoughby Thompson Dawes Commission Examination

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Meridian, Mississippi, April 18, 1901.

In the matter of the application of Willoughby Thompson for identification as a Mississippi Choctaw.

Willoughby Thompson, being first duly sworn by Acting Chairman, Iams Bixby, testified as follows:

Examination by the Commission.

Q. What is your name?

A. Willoughby Thompson.

Q. What is your age?

A. I was born in 1863, thirty seven years old.

Q. What is your post office address?

A. Hale, Mississippi.

Q. What county is Hale in?

A. Clark.

Q. How long have you lived in Mississippi?

A. All my life.

Q. Never lived out of the State?

A. No sir.

Q. What is you mother?s name?

A. Julia Thompson.

Q. Is she living?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Where does she live?

A. She lives at the same place, right by me in Clark County.  Both of our post offices are the same.

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

A. My mother.

Q. What proportion of Choctaw blood do you claim?

A. 1/8, I suppose: my mother was one quarter, my grand father was one half.

Q. Has your mother ever been recognized in any manner as a member of the Choctaw tribe of Indians by the Choctaw tribal authorities or by the authorities of the United States?

Q. No sir.

Q. Are you married?

A. Yes sir.

Q. What is your wife?s name?

A.  Maggie Thompson.

Q.  Do you make application on behalf of you wife?

A.  No sir

Q.  Have you any children?

A.  No sir.

Q.  Then, this application is solely on you own behalf?

A.  Yes sir.

Q.  Is you name on any of the tribal rolls of the Choctaw Nation, in Indian Territory?

A.  No sir.

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

A. No sir.

Q.  Did you, or anyone 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 approved June 10, 1896?

A.  No Sir.

Q.  Have you ever been admitted to citizenship in the Choctaw Nation by either , the Choctaw tribal authorities, the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes, or by the United States Court for 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 authorities of the United States to be admitted or enrolled as a citizen of the Choctaw Nation?

A.  No sir.

Q.  Is this the first application you have made of any description?

A.  Yes sir.

Q.  Is it your purpose to make application for identification as a Mississippi Choctaw?

A.  Yes sir

Q.  Do you claim your rights as a beneficiary under the provisions of the Fourteenth article of the Treaty of 1830?

A.  Yes sir

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

A. No sir.

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

A.  No Sir, not as I knows of.

Q.  Who among your ancestors, were residents of the old Choctaw Nation in Mississippi and Alabama, and acknowledged members of the Choctaw tribe of Indians in 180, when the treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek was entered into between the United States and the Choctaw tribe of Indians?

A.  I couldn’’t answer that;  I don’t understand you. My grandpa was named Willoughby Trotter.

Q.  Have you any evidence showing that Willoughby Trotter was a recognized member of the Choctaw tribe of Indians at that time?

A.  Yes sir.  All I know anything about, I just knew he was kin to the Indian.

Q.  Do you know what kind of an Indian he was?

A.  Choctaw.

Q.  Did Willoughby Trotter remove from the Territory occupied by the Indians in Mississippi and Alabama to the present Choctaw Nation, Indian territory, at the time of the removal of the other members of the Choctaw tribe of Indians from 1833 to 1838?

A.  Did he?  No sir

Q.  Did he within six months after the ratification of the treaty of 1830, signify to  the United States Indian Agent of the Choctaw Indians here in Mississippi his intention to remain in Mississippi and become a citizen of the United States?

A.  No sir, I don’t know anything about that.

Q.  Have any of your ancestors ever claimed or received any land in Mississippi as beneficiaries under the provisions of the 14th article of the treaty of 1830?

A.  No sir, not that I knows of.

Q.  Is there any additional statement that you desire to make in support of your application?

A.  No sir, nothing as I knows of.  If I understand you —no sir.

Q.  Have you any documentary evidence, affidavits, written testimony of any description, deeds or patents, or any proper papers showing that your ancestors were ever recognized as members of the Choctaw tribe of Indians in Mississippi in 1830, or that they ever complied, or attempted to comply, with the provisions of the 14th article of the treaty of 1830, or that they have ever received any benefits under that article of said treaty?

A.  I want to submit some proof at a later date.

Permission is granted to the applicant to file proper documentary evidence in support of the application within a period of thirty days from this date.

The decision of the Commission as to your application for identification as a Mississippi Choctaw, will be determined at the earliest possible date, and a report of the same made to the Secretary of the Interior conformable to the 21st section of the Act of Congress of June 28, 1898, and a copy of the same will be mailed to you at you post office address as given in your testimony.

(This applicant has no appearance of being possessed of Indian blood and does not speak the Choctaw language.)

R.S. Streit, being first duly sworn, upon his oath states that as stenographer to the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes, he reported the proceedings in the above entitled cause, in full, and that the above and foregoing is a full, true and correct translation of his stenographic notes of said proceedings on said date.

R.S.Streit

Subscribed and sworn to before me at Meridian, Mississippi, this 27th day of April, A.D. 1901.                                                            ______________________ Notary Public.

 


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