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R. M. Walker et al Vs The Cherokee Nation

IN THE UNITED STATES COURT IN THE INDIAN TERRITORY NORTHERN DISTRICT AT MUSCKOGEE.

R. M. WALKER ET AL )

NO. 59 VS : REPORT OF SPECIAL MASTER.

THE CHEROKEE NATION )

I, N. A. Gibson, Special Master, respectfully show to the Court that under the order of reference heretofore made, I have examined the proof and pleadings in this cause, which are herewith filed and made a part hereof, and that I find as follows:

I

That this cause was instituted on August 24, 1896, at which time application was made to the COMMISSION TO THE FIVE CIVILIZED TRIBES for admission to the Cherokee Nation of Indians as citizens by blood. That the cause was tried by said Commission on November 24, 1896, and the application denied, no reason being given for the decision, and that the claimants appealed therefrom to this Court on December 17, 1896.

II

That this application was made by Rebecca M. Walker and her children Mollie Johnson and William T. Walker, Robert F. Walker, Henry E. Walker, Sylvanus Walker, Myrtle Walker, Mardy P. Walker, Allen Walker and Jessie Walker, and her grand children Floyd Johnson, Charles Johnson, Rosa Johnson and Maggie Johnson, the children of her daughter Mollie Johnson, and Lawrence Walker, Thurman Walker and Roy Walker, the children of her son Henry E. Walker; by William Boyd and his children Laura Marshall, nee Boyd, Francis L. Boyd, Ross Boyd, Willie E. Boyd and Lear Boyd; by Francis M. Boyd and his children Edith Boyd and Leone Boyd; by Albert W. Boyd and his children Dora Greathouse, Bennett Boyd, Maud Boyd, Dada Boyd and Oma Boyd, and his grand children Herman Greathouse and Buel Greathouse, the children of Dora Greathouse; by Matilday J. Johnson and her children V. D. Johnson, James M. Johnson, Pearl Johnson, Thomas B. Johnson and Addie Johnson and her grand-children Eddie Johnson and Norah Johnson, the children of V. D. Johnson. That the said claimants base their contention of a right to be enrolled as citizens of the Cherokee Nation by blood upon the statement that the principal claimants herein are the children of William D. Boyd and Elizabeth Boyd, nee Oxford, who was the daughter of Abel Oxford and Edy Oxford, nee Rogers, who was the daughter of John Rogers, who lived in the state of Tennessee and who was a Cherokee Indian by blood, and whom they claim to have been enrolled upon the 1835 rolls of the Cherokee Nation.

-2-

III

That the claimants file in support of their application the affidavits of H. D. Oxford, Matilda J. Johnson, W. D. Boyd, Moses Button, Rebecca M. Walker, Willis D. Oxford, Mary Davis and Doug Webber, and the sworn petitions of the different heads of families, stating the names and ages of the different applicants and their children. That the proof shows that Henry E. Walker and his children live at Fayetteville, Ark. Mollie Johnson and her family W.T. Walker, Robert F. Walker, Dora Greathouse and Rebecca M. Walker and their children at Tahlequah, in the Cherokee Nation. Laura Marshall at Wagoner, I.T., William Boyd and his children at Ulm, in the Cherokee Nation, Francis M. Boyd and children at Wyman, Ark. Matilda J. Johnson, V. B. Johnson and their children at Springdale, Ark. That those in the Cherokee Nation have resided there over 6 years, having come from Arkansas. That the claimants also file in support of their application the testimony of Hon. Samuel H. Mayes, Chief of the Cherokee Nation, and Peter Passon, taken before me on August 6, 1897, at Tahlequah. That the testimony of Chief Mayes shows that there were two Cherokees by the name of John Rogers, whose names were enrolled upon the Cherokee roll of 1835, one of whom lived in Forsythe Co., Ga., on the Chatahoochee River, and the other of whom lived on the Coosawatie River in Georgia. That the latter of these men is the one from whom the claimants trace their Cherokee blood. That Peter Passon testifies that he knew John Rogers in the Cherokee Nation a number of years ago, and that he lived on Grand River near the mouth of Fourteen mile Creek, where he is buried, and that he was a half breed Cherokee Indian.

IV.

That the proof as given in the above named affidavits shows that the claimants herein are all lineal descendants of John Rogers, through his daughter Edy Oxford and her daughter Elizabeth Boyd, that John Rogers was a Cherokee Indian by blood and so recognized. That the father and mother of the principal claimants herein moved from McNairy County Tennessee, to Washington County, Ark., in 1829, that the claimant settled there and that the said father and mother of claimant were often visited by Cherokee Indians living in the present Cherokee Nation, who were relatives of theirs and who recognized them as Cherokee Indians, and tried to induce them to come to the present Cherokee Nation to establish their citizenship, which however, was not done by any of them until after the Civil War. That the claimants have been applying for citizenship in the Cherokee Nation for a number of years, but have never been admitted and there is no proof to show that there case has ever been passed upon finally by any authorized tribunal of the Cherokee Nation.

V.

The claimants contend that they having shown that they are the descendants of John Rogers, who was a Cherokee Indian by blood, and who lived among the Cherokee Indians in the state of Georgia, they are entitled to be enrolled as citizens of the Cherokee Nation by blood under the law applicable to his case. They also contending that the John Rogers from whom they are descended is the one whose name appears upon the 1835 roll of the Cherokee Nation, who resided on the Coosawatie River. While the Cherokee Nation contend that the claimants have failed to show that John Rogers, the ancestor through whom they claim, was enrolled upon any roll of the Cherokee Nation after the removal of that Nation west to the Indian Territory, and that, therefore, they are not entitled to admission to Cherokee Citizenship.

VI.

The premises considered, I find that the claimants are lineal descendants of John Rogers, through his daughter Edy Oxford, and her daughter Elizabeth Boyd, as shown in section (2) of this report, that they reside in the Cherokee Nation and in the state of Arkansas, as shown in section (3) of this report, That they are all Cherokee Indians by blood, and that John Rogers, their common ancestor, was a Cherokee Indian by blood, that the roll of 1835 of the Cherokee Nation contains the names of two Cherokees by the name of John Rogers, from the latter of whom, whose name appears on page 54 of said Roll, these applicants claim to be descended, but that the proof is not sufficient to connect the ancestor John Rogers, claimed by them, with this John Rogers whose name appears upon the roll. I respectfully ask that the Court will allow me a reasonable fee for my services as Special Master herein. Respectfully submitted this 9 day of Oct 1897.

[signed N. A. Gibson]

BY THE COURT

There were no exceptions filed for this report. From this report it appears that the claimants reside in the Cherokee Nation, and in the state of Arkansas. Those who reside in the Cherokee Nation came from the State of Arkansas over six years ago, the exact time not stated. They base there right to citizenship in the Cherokee Nation upon the fact that they are descendants of a Cherokee Indian who resided in the State of Tennessee, and who subsequently lived in the State of Arkansas. The report states that the claimants have been applying for citizenship in the Cherokee Nation for a number of years, but have not been admitted, and there is no proof to show that their case has never been passed upon finally by any authorized Tribunal of the Cherokee Nation. Having come here only six years ago they could only apply to the Cherokee Council. It does not appear that they have ever made application to the Council to be admitted as citizens of the Nation. In view of these facts and other facts stated in the report, the Court is of the opinion that the judgment of the United States Commission rejecting this case should be affirmed, and the application of the claimants to be enrolled as citizens of the Cherokee Nation is denied.