Benjamin F. Davis – Dawes Application
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Department of the Interior
Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes
Atoka, I. T. June 12, 1901
In the matter of the application of Benjamin F. Davis for the identification of himself and his minor Children as Mississippi Choctaw.
Benjamin F. Davis having been first duly sworn testified as follows:
Examination by the Commission:
Q. What is your name?
A. Benjamin F. Davis
Q. What is your age?
Q. What is your post-office address?
A. Eustace, Texas
Q. How long have you lived there?
A. About twenty years in the County in Texas
Q. Where did you live before?
A. I was born and raised in Mississippi
Q. You were born in Mississippi and lived there until you moved to Texas?
Q. What is your father’s name?
A. Paul Davis
Q. Is he living?
Q. What is your mother’s name?
A. Eunice Davis
Q. Is she living?
Q. Through which one of your parents do you derive your Choctaw blood?
A. My father
Q. How much Choctaw blood do you claim?
A. He was ¼
Q. How much do you claim?
A. One sixteenth, I believe-no, one eighth.
Q. Has your father through whom you claim your right to identification as a Mississippi Choctaw ever been recognized in any manner or enrolled as a member of the Choctaw tribe of Indians by either the Choctaw tribal authorities or the authorities of the United States?
A. Not that I know of
Q. Are you married?
Q. What is your wife’s name?
A. My wife is dead; her name was Mary A. Davis
Q. Have you any children in your family under twenty-one years of age and unmarried fro whom you wish to make application at this time?
Q. Give their names and ages?
A. Michael J. Davis-eighteen; Luther Davis-fourteen; Georgia Davis-(girl), eleven; that’s all.
Q. What is the name of their mother?
A. Mary Ann Davis
Q. When were you married to her?
A. In ’69 in Mississippi
Q. Did you obtain a license to marry?
Q. Were you married by an ordained minister or by an official authorized to perform the marriage ceremony?
A. Ordained minister
Q. Have you your marriage license and certificate and do you desire to offer same in evidence?
A. Yes, I haven’t them with me
It will be necessary for the Commission to be supplied with evidence of your marriage to your wife in support of the application for your minor children.
A. I can get them if the Courthouse aint burned
Q. Is yur name or the names of any of your children on any of the tribal rolls of the Choctaw Nation in Indian Territory?
Q. Have you ever made application to the Choctaw tribal authorities in Indian Territory for yourself or you children to be enrolled as members of that tribe?
Q. Did you or any one for you or your children, in 1896, make application to the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes for citizenship in the Choctaw Nation under the Act of Congress June 10, 1896?
Q. Have your or your children ever been admitted to citizenship in the Choctaw Nation by either the Choctaw tribal authorities, the Commission tot he Five Civilized Tribes, or by judgment of the United States Court in Indian Territory>
Q. Have you ever made application prior to this time for yourself or your children to either the Choctaw tribal authorities, or the authorities of the United States to be admitted or enrolled as citisens of the Choctaw Nation>
Q. Is this the first application for identification as a Mississippi Choctaw?
Q. Is is now your purpose to make application for identification as a Mississippi Choctaw?
Q. Do you claim your rights as a beneficiary under the provisions of the fourteenth article of the treaty of 1830?
Q. Have you ever received any benefits as a Choctaw Indian?
Q. Have any of your ancestors ever received any benefits as Choctaw Indians?
A. No, not that ever I know of.
Q. What was the name of your ancestor or ancestors who were residents in the old Choctaw nation in Mississippi and Alabama and acknowledged members of the Choctaw nation in 1830 when the treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek was entered in to between the United States and the Choctaw tribe of Indians?
A. Daniel Davis, grandfather; Paul Davis was his fathers name.
Q. Have you any evidence showing that such ancestors were recognized members of the Choctaw tribe at that time
Q. Did these ancestors if Choctaw Indians remove from the territory occupied by the Old Choctaw Nation in Mississippi and Alabama to the present Choctaw Nation in Indian Territory at the time of the removal of the other members of the Choctaw tribe from 1833 to 1838
Q. If they did not remove with the other members of the tribe, did one or either of them, within six months after the ratification of the treaty of 1830, signify to the united States Indian Agent to the Choctaw Indians in Mississippi their intention to remain in Mississippi and become citizens of the United States?
A. Yes, I guess so
Q. Do you know that he did?
A. Yes, I know he did
Q. How do you know that he did?
A. Well, they stayed there
Q. Did he go up to the Indian agent within six months after the ratification of the treaty and tell him that he wanted to stay there and become a citizen of the United States?
A. Not that I know of
Q. Have any of your ancestors ever claimed or received any land in Mississippi as beneficiaries under the provisions of the four-tenth article of the treaty of 1930?
Q. Have you any documentary evidence; affidavits, written evidence of any description, copies of records, deeds or patents, or any proper papers showing that your ancestors were ever recognized members of the Choctaw tribe of Indians in Mississippi in 1830, or that they eve complied or attempted to comply with the previsions of the fourteenth article of the treaty of 1830, or that they ever received any benefits under that article of the treaty?
Affidavit of Susie Lord offered in evidence by applicant marked Exhibit “A”, filed and made a part of the record in this case; affidavit of T. M. Parkman offered in evidence by applicant marked Exhibit “B” and made a part of the record in this case.
Q. Do you want time in which to offer any further evidence in support of this claim?
A. Well, no-not that I know of; well, yes I do.
Thirty days time is allowed applicant in which to file additional evidence in support of this claim.
The decision of this Commission as to your application for identification as a Mississippi Choctaw will be determined at the earliest possible date and report of same will be made to the secretary of the Interior, conformable to the provisions of the 21st. Section of the Act of Congress of June 28, 1898, and a copy of the same will be mailed to you at your post-office address as given in your testimony.
Applicant apparently a white man.
Henry G. Hains being duly sworn on his oath states that as stenographer to the Commission to the Five Civilised Tribes, he reported in full all proceedings had in the above entitled cause on June 18, 1901, print of his stenograph notes in said cause on said date.
Henry G. Hains
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 15th day of July 1901
D. W. Liecerbaugh