James A. Cummins, Choctaw
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Franks A. Cummins Et Al., Choctaws.
Dawes Commission. No. R-379.
The admitted facts as shown by the record in this case are:
Leading claimant. J. A. Cummins, is a son of Mary Cummins, nee Anderson, a half-blood Choctaw, who was a daughter of Jennie Anderson, a full-blood Choctaw. who, with her husband, Daniel Anderson, white man. removed with other Indians from Mississippi in 1832 to the Choctaw Nation, where they lived until their deaths.
The Commissioner of Indian Affairs, in a decision rendered February 12, 1907. on a petition to have this case reconsidered, says:
It is time, as alleged in the petition of the applicants, that Daniel Anderson, alleged to he their ancestor, was a recognized member of the Choctaw Nation east of the Mississippi River in 1830, and was transported west by the Government, together with his family, consisting of 14 persons, arriving In the Choctaw Nation west on February 11, 1832. (Certified copy hereto attached.)
The names of claimant’s mother’s brothers and sisters appear on the census roll of Jack Fork County for the year 1868 and on succeeding census rolls of the nation. Claimant’s mother and father were then dead, and claimant was living in Texas with white people. Claimant’s mother and father died in the Choctaw Nation about 1859, when claimant was less than 2 years of age. Claimant was taken by his grandmother, Mrs. Cummins, a white woman, across to Texas when about 3 years old and left with W. R. N. and his wife. A. R. Mitchell, a white family. Later he was taken by them to Arkansas and remained in that State with the Mitchells until 1883, when he returned to the Choctaw Nation and located in Tobucksey County, where he has since continuously resided. Claimant was born in the Choctaw Nation, and Mrs. Artilley R. Mitchell, who raised claimant, is still alive and resides in Washington County, Ark., her post office being Lincoln, Ark. She makes affidavit of the above facts.
The children of claimant’s mother’s brother, Daniel Anderson, together with their children, are regularly enrolled on the finally approved rolls of the Choctaw Nation; Andel Anderson, claimant’s first cousin and a child of Daniel Anderson, claimant’s mother’s brother, is enrolled on the final Choctaw roll, opposite No. 725; Andel Anderson’s brother. William Anderson, and his sister. Salina Moore, and their children, are enrolled upon the final rolls of the Choctaw Nation.
At a session of the commission held at McAlester, beginning September 4 and ending September 13, 1899, claimant appeared and applied for the enrollment of himself and children. The record of the examination is as follows:
Q. What is your name?
A. .Tames A. Cummins.
Q. How old are yon?
Q. Are you on the Choc-law rolls?
A. No, sir.
(). Have yon ever been?
A. No, sir.
Q. Are your father and mother on the rolls In the Choctaw Nation?
A. I am told that my mother is on the rolls.
Q. Who told yon that?
A. I had a lawyer to examine the rolls. My mother died In 1859 in Red River County, Choctaw Nation.
Commissioner McKennon. Enrollment is refused.
November 25, 1899. Petition filed with the department sets out all of the above facts that claimant is a son of Mary Anderson, a half- breed Choctaw woman; that he was born in the Choctaw Nation; that he had resided continuously therein for the past 16 years; had held land and issued permits the same as other Indian citizens; that he went before the commission in September, 1899, and applied for enrollment and was told that because his name did not appear upon the 1893 or 1896 tribal rolls he could not be enrolled; that he had never attempted to be registered on one of the tribal rolls because it was never considered necessary; and that many full-blood Indians had not applied for registration and were not registered, but had always been recognized as Choctaws. Supporting the petition are the affidavits of Sallie Moore, an enrolled Choctaw Indian: Andel Anderson, an enrolled Choctaw Indian; Lewis Jackson, an enrolled Choctaw Indian; William Anderson, an enrolled Choctaw Indian; as well as the affidavits of W. R.. N. Mitchell and A. R. Mitchell, his wife (the white family who raised claimant), testifying to the truth of the allegations set out in the petition.
May 9, 1902. The commission rendered a decision denying James A. Cummins. R. T. Ann Cummins, Bertie Emily Cummins. Oliver Cody Cummins, Edith Ellen Cummins, Stephen Alexander Cummins, Cicero Anderson Cummins, Grace Ona Cummins, Ella May Cummins, and Cynthia A. Cummins, because their names did not appear upon any tribal roll.
June 2, 1906. Petition was filed with the Secretary of the Interior praying for the enrollment of claimants. In said petition the Secretary was asked to enroll claimants under the decision in the Long case, holding birth in the nation and residence therein sufficient without tribal enrollment.
February 12,1907. The Secretary rendered a decision denying said petition.
Counsel for claimants respectfully submit that as the Indian blood and tribal recognition of claimant’s grandparents and parents is conceded, as claimant was born in the Choctaw Nation, that he is in fact a born citizen of the nation, and that enrollment on one of the tribal rolls was never necessary to establish his citizenship; that the fact that he was left an orphan when less than 2 years of age and was raised by white people entitled claimant to the most favorable consideration; and the further fact that upon his return to the Choctaw Nation in 1883 he was permitted to hold land the same as all native registered Choctaws, issued permits to white people, he being subject to the process of the courts, his children educated in the Choctaw schools at the expense of the Choctaw Nation, that he and his children are entitled to enrollment. Those thus entitled, as shown by the records, are: James A. Cummins, Stephen Alexander Cummins, Cicero Anderson Cummins, Grace Ona Cummins, Ella May Cummins, Edith Ellen Cummins. R. T. Ann Thomas (nee Cummins), and Birdie E. Long (nee Cummins).
(Eight in all.)
Ballinger & Lee
Affidavit of Witness
Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory.
Before me the undersigned, a notary public or clerk of the court, in and for the county and State aforesaid, personally appeared Andel Anderson, who, after being by me duly sworn, states that he is 56 years of age, a full-blood Choctaw Indian, and a citizen of Tobucksey County. Ind. T., and that he is personally acquainted with James A. Cummins, of Choctaw Nation, Ind. T.. who is an applicant for citizenship in the Choctaw Nation, Ind. T.: and affiant further states that the said James A. Cummins is the Identical person he represents himself to be in his application for said citizenship in said nation, and that the said James A. Cummins is a Choctaw Indian by blood as follows: Daniel Anderson Soul married Jennie, a full-blood Mississippi Choctaw Indian, in the Mississippi Choctaw Nation: they had several children, one named James Cummins, and they are the parents of James A. Cummins, this applicant for citizenship in the Choctaw Nation. Ind. T. He lives In the Territory.
Affiant further states that he has known the said James A. Cummins for the past several years, and knows that he is and has been recognized and treated by his neighbors, acquaintance, and public generally as a person having Indian blood: and the complexion, physical appearance, language, and manners of the said James A. Cummins indicated that the said James E. Cummins is of Indian blood; that from the above facts and circumstances and from statements made to me by the said James A. Cummins affiant states that he has every reason to believe, and does believe and knows, that the said James A. Cummins is of quarter or more Indian blood.
Affiant further states that he has no Interest whatever in the prosecution of the claim of the said James A. Cummins to citizenship in the Choctaw Nation. Ind. T.
Ander (his x mark) Anderson
J. B. Gresham.
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 4th day of September. A. D. 1899. and I further certify that I am well acquainted with the said Andel Anderson.
[seal.] James K. Gresham. Notary Public
My commission expires on the 26th day of November, 1900.
Department Of The Interior.
Office Of Indian Affairs.
Washington. March 8, 1908
I. C. F. Larrabee. Acting Commissioner of Indian Affairs, do hereby certify that the paper hereto attached is a true copy of the original as the same appears of record in this office.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto subscribed my mime and caused the seal of this office to be affixed on the day and year first above written.
[SEAL] C. F. LARRABEE,
Department Of The Interior
Office Of Indian Affairs,
Washington, February 12, 1907
The honorable the Secretary Of The Interior.
Sir: .1 have the honor to invite your attention to the enclosed letter of June 25 1906, from Tarns Bixby, Commissioner to the Five Civilized Tribes, who says that on May 9, 1902, the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes rendered its decision refusing the application of J. A. Cummins et al. for enrollment as citizens of the Choctaw Nation, and on June 12, 1903, this action was approved by the department: that on November 16, 1905, the Commissioner to the Five Civilized Tribes rendered a decision declining to receive the application of Sarah Elms and her children for enrollment as citizens by blood of the Choctaw Nation and refusing to Identify them as Mississippi Choctaws, which notion was approved by the department on January 18, 1906.
Commissioner Bixby now transmits n petition of J. O. Pool, an attorney at law. for the reopening of the consolidated cases of James A. Cummins et al. and Sarah Ann Elms et al. for the consideration of the department.
It is true, as alleged in the petition of the applicants, that Daniel Anderson, alleged to be their ancestor, was a recognized member of the Choctaw Nation east of the Mississippi River in 1830, and was transported west by the Government. together with his family, consisting of 14 persons, arriving in the Choctaw Nation west on February 11, 1832. It Is shown by the records submitted by the applicants and admitted in their argument that neither they nor their parents were ever enrolled as citizens of the Choctaw Nation, their entire contention being based on the enrollment and recognition of the grandparents of the principal applicants and the great-grandparents of their children.
In the judgment of the office a failure of recognition of any of the members of the family during a period of 50 years and the absence of their names from the tribal rolls must be conceded to be evidence of failure of recognition, and the department would not be justified in holding at the present time that these persons are entitled to enrollment.
For this reason I recommend that the petition for rehearing be denied, and inclose the original records in the cases.
Very respectfully, C. F. Larrabee,