Sallie A. Vaughn and Cora M. Stotts, Mississippi Choctaw
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Sallie A. Vaughn Et Al., M. C. P. No. 396.
Cora M. Stotts Et Al., M. C. P. Xo. 393.
June 20, 1900. Application made to commission at Colbert, Ind. T., for the enrollment of Sallie A. Vaughn and her minor children, Martha T. Vaughn, William Wesley Vaughn, Oscar Roy Vaughn, James Bennett Vaughn and applicant’s two minor sisters, Carrie B. Oldham and Clemmie P. Oldham.
June 20, 1900. Application made to commission at Colbert. Ind. T., for the enrollment of Cora M. Stotts and her minor children, Ruthie Leet Stotts and Everett V. Stotts, as Mississippi Choctaw Indians, claiming under the fourteenth article of the treaty of 1830.
As the act of May 31, 1900, prohibited the commission from receiving, considering, or making any record of the application of any person (except fourteenth article, Mississippi Choctaws) who was not a recognized and enrolled citizen of the nations, application for the enrollment of claimants as Mississippi Choctaws was the only application claimants could submit that would enable them to make a record of their cases before the commission.
The evidence taken at the time the applications were submitted is clear upon the following points: Sallie A. Vaughn, 38 years old, daughter of Mary Oldham, one-half blood Choctaw, and granddaughter of Henry Latham, a full-blood Choctaw and member of the tribe in Mississippi in 1830. Claimant had resided in the nations 12 years continuously; held land and improved it the same as all enrolled Choctaws and had been recognized by the Choctaws and Chickasaws as entitled to full rights. When asked by the commission:
Q. Since you have not applied for enrollment, why have you made these improvements?-
A. Because I was a Choctaw and had a right here, and they advised me to hold my place (meaning the Choctaw Indians).
She further testified that she had two cousins, Walton and Jim Patterson, on the final rolls. An examination of the 1896 roll disclosed the name of Walton Patterson opposite No. 1034, page 156, and the name of Jim Patterson opposite No. 10250, page 260. She further testified that this was the first application she had ever made, because her father, who was a white man, had prevented her from going before the commission, who considered it to be a disgrace to be an Indian.
Cora M. Stotts, 23 years old, daughter of Mary Oldham, had lived in the nations 15 years and possessed identically the same qualifications as her sister, Sallie A. Vaughn.
July 25, 1902. The commission rendered its decision denying claimants enrollment, first, because their names did not appear on the 1800 roll, and, second, because they had not established that they or their ancestors had taken land under the fourteenth article of the treaty of 1830 and had notified the Indian agent and had same recorded.
August 25, 1902. The Secretary approved the decision of the commission.
Statement By Counsel
These claimants are Choctaw Indians. Their residence in the nations is longer than the average residence of those on the final rolls. Their relatives are on the final rolls. Had the “Curtis Act” been carried out they would undoubtedly have been enrolled, but a subsequent act, construed technically by the commission, has excluded them. They were prevented from being enrolled as Choctaw Indians by blood solely because their names did not appear on the 1896 tribal roll. Counsel respectfully submit that their enrollment on the 1896 roll of the Choctaw Indians by the Indian authorities could not add to their rights, for they were members of the tribes by blood and residence, as held by the Assistant Attorney General in the Long case, and reason and justice demands their enrollment.
Those thus entitled are: Sallie A. Vaughn, Martha T. Vaughn. William Wesley Vaughn, Oscar Roy Vaughn, James Bennett Vaughn, Carrie B. Oldham, Clemmie P. Oldham, Cora M. Stotts, Ruthie Lee Stotts, and Everett V. Stotts.
Walter S. Field.