Decision Rendered Frank London et al
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Office Of The Secretary
Washington, D. C., April 15, 1905
Commission To The Five Civilized Tribes
Muscogee, Ind. T.
GENTLEMEN: The Department is in receipt of your letter of January 31, 1905, reporting on the Creek enrollment case of Frank London et al.
On May 24, 1901, you decided that the applicants in said case were not entitled to enrollment. Your decision was approved by the Department on February 20, 1902. On May 25, 1904, the Department, having received a communication from Samuel Bonnell and Tobias McIntosh relative to said case, returned the record in the case, and you were requested to report whether the name of Henry London, father of some of the applicants and grandfather of others of the applicants, appears upon the rolls of the Creek Nation. You were also directed to allow the attorneys for the nation and the applicants time within which to file arguments in the matter, and to submit to the Department any arguments that might be filed, together with your recommendation as to whether the case should be reopened.
It appears that you so notified said attorneys and the applicants, and that no argument was filed in the case.
The applicants Frank, Mary, Bettie, and Emma London are children of Henry London. Joe Mosely is the child of Mary London. The ages of the applicants are not given, except that of Mary London, who was 20 years of age in 1900.
You state in your letter of January 31, 1905, that you do not concur in the opinion of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs expressed in his report of October 14, 1903, that:
If the father of these applicants was in fact a member of the Creek Nation and was so recognized by said nation, there seems to be no question but that these children, unless they have become otherwise disqualified, are entitled to enrollment as citizens therein.
You also state that the only act under which your Commission was authorized to hear and determine the rights of applicants for admission to citizenship in the Creek Nation was the act of June 10, 1800 (29 Stat, 321); that the Commission “can now determine only the fact of, and has nothing whatever to do with the right to, citizenship of the applicants.”
You also state that none of the applicants is identified on the Dunn roll; that they are not the descendants of a person whose name appears upon said roll; that the name of Henry, Frank, Mary, and Bettie London are found on the 1890 authenticated roll, and that their names were among the 619 which were stricken from the 1895 roll by the committee of eighteen; that the applicants Emma London and Joe Mosely were born subsequent to the year 1890; that subsequent to 1895 the applicants were not admitted by any authority to citizenship in the Creek Nation.
You also state that to admit the applicants because of the alleged citizenship of Henry London authority must be found for so doing in the provisions of the act of March 1, 1901 (31 Stat, 801), or June 30, 1902 (32 Stat, 500); that it is your opinion that the word “children” in both of these acts is used in contradistinction to the word “descendant;” that to hold otherwise doubtless would result in the enrollment of many persons who had never resided in the Indian Territory and who had never been recognized by any authority as citizens of the Creek Nation. You recommend that the application be not opened.
Reporting March 28, 1905, the Indian Office recommends the approval of your decision adverse to the applicants.
The laws of the Creek Nation, page 57, edition of 1880, provide that:
- SECTION 1. All persons having resided out of the limits of the Muskogee Nation, and whose rights as citizens of the same may seem to be questionable in consequence of intermarriage with noncitizens, shall be bona fide citizens of this nation, provided they can prove to the satisfaction of the proper authorities that they are of Muskogee descent, and not further removed than the fourth degree.
- SEC. 2. All persons who have been at any time adopted by the recognized authorities of the Muskogee Nation, and all persons of African descent who were made citizens by the treaty of June, 1866, between the Creek Nation and the United States, shall hereafter be recognized as citizens of the Muskogee Nation.
- SEC. 3. Any person claiming citizenship under these provisions shall, in order to establish his or her rights, prove the same by a responsible and disinterested native witness before the district court.
Apparently acting under the authority conferred on the district court by the above provisions of law, Alex McIntosh, judge of the Muscogee district, rendered the following decision:
LEE, Ind. T., Feby. 10th, 1894
To whom it may concern:
This is to certify that by authority vested in me, and according to instructions of L. C. Perryman, Prin. Ch’f. M. N., I have investigated the right of Henry London (Howard) and have found in evidence before me that he is a full citizen of the Muskogee Nation.
Therefore I pronounce him a full citizen of this nation, beyond a reasonable doubt. Whereunto I affix my name and the seal of court of Muskogee dis’t, M. N. this the 10th day of Feb., A. D. 1894.
Alex Macintosh Judge M. Dist. M. N.
If the applicants are otherwise entitled to be enrolled as citizens of the Creek Nation, the striking of their names from the 1895 roll by the committee of eighteen does not affect their rights. (See departmental decision of May 7, 1904, I. T. D., 142G-02, 2564-04, Creek enrollment case of Chaney Trent et al., which decision was apparently overlooked by you in the preparation of your report.) This being true, and the names of Frank, Mary, and Bettie London appearing upon the 1890 authenticated roll of the Creek Nation, and there being no evidence to show that their names were placed thereon by fraud or without authority of law, they are entitled to be enrolled in accordance with departmental decision of June 11, 1903, in the Cherokee enrollment case of James W. Shirley, also the Creek enrollment case of Chaney Trent, above referred to. Not only are the applicants entitled to enrollment by reason of their names being upon the authenticated roll of 1890, but being children of one whose name appears upon the authenticated roll of 1890 they are, together with Emma London and Joe Mosely, entitled to enrollment under section 8 of the Creek supplemental agreement approved June HO, 1902 (32 Stat, 500), which provides:
All children who have not heretofore been listed for enrollment living May 25, 1901, born to citizens whose names appear upon the authenticated rolls of 1800 or upon the authenticated rolls of 1895 and entitled to enrollment as provided by the act of Congress approved March 1, 1901 (31 Stat. L., 861), shall be placed on the rolls made by said Commission.
Your attention is invited to the opinion of the Assistant Attorney-General approved February 5, 1904, in the Creek enrollment case of Angeline King, which decision is directly upon this point.
It is therefore clear that all of the applicants are entitled to enrollment as citizens of the Creek Nation. The Department therefore rescinds its action of February 20, 1902, affirming your decision adverse to the applicants, and you are directed to enroll all of the applicants as citizens of the Creek Nation. A copy of Indian Office letter of March 28, 1905, is enclosed.
Thos. Ryan, Acting Secretary