Missouri/Arkansas Cherokee

Missouri/Arkansas Cherokee

Posted By Josiah Hair January 2nd, 2013 Last Updated on: January 21st, 2019

Perhaps one of the most common family stories I hear as I travel throughout Missouri and Arkansas goes something like this: My Great great great Grandmother was “part” Cherokee and escaped from the “Trail of Tears” or something along these lines: My great great great great grandmother hid out in the hills of Arkansas or Missouri or “escaped” from Indian territory.

Apparently, large groups of Cherokees were “escaping” for today we have seen an explosion of Heritage groups that have formed in the past 30 years. Many of these groups use stories like these to “explain” or as I like to say use these creation myths to legitimize claims of ancestry.

They rely on myths surrounding lack of documentation due to numerous “courthouse fires” and avoiding the numerous Rolls that were done of the Cherokees from the early 1800's to 1910. This is pure conjecture, In this article, I will present to the reader from numerous sources a more accurate picture of the History of Arkansas and Missouri regarding not just the Cherokee but other tribes that called this area there home from the dawn of time.

1) We begin with Indian Territory 1800-1830:



In 1808, a delegation of Cherokees from the upper and lower towns of the Cherokee Nation in the East went to Washington D.C. to inform the President of the United States that not all Cherokee people wanted to pursue what was deemed a “civilized life”. The delegation requested the President divide the upper towns, whose people wanted to establish a Regular government, from the lower towns who wanted to continue living traditionally.

On January 9, 1809, the President of the United States allowed the lower towns to send an exploring party to find suitable lands on the Arkansas and White Rivers. Seven of the most trusted men explored locations both in what is now Western Arkansas and also Northeastern Oklahoma. The people of the lower towns desired to remove across the Mississippi to this area, onto vacant lands within the United States so that they might continue the traditional Cherokee life.

In 1817, the United States ceded such lands to the Kituwah people (also known as Old Settlers, or Western Cherokee) in exchange for a portion of the Cherokee lands they had occupied and were entitled to in the East. As many as 4,000 Kituwah Old Settlers came.

The Treaty of 1817 with the United States exchanged lands back East for lands in Arkansas. So in the early 1800's we have documented proof of a rather large group of Cherokees some 4000 did indeed reside in the area that would later become the States of Arkansas, Northeastern Oklahoma, and Southern Missouri.



In this map from 1810 the territory in Red is lands in dispute between the US government, State governments and many different Indian tribes that held the territory by treaty.

Indian Territory – 1810

Treaty of 1828 with Western Cherokee 1:

WHEREAS, it being the anxious desire of the Government of the United States to secure to the Cherokee nation of Indians, as well those now living within the limits of the Territory of Arkansas, as those of their friends and brothers who reside in States East of the Mississippi, and who may wish to join their brothers of the West, a permanent home, and which shall, under the most solemn guarantee of the United States, be, and remain, theirs forever— a home that shall never, in all future time, be embarrassed by having extended around it the lines, or placed over it the jurisdiction of a Territory or State, nor be pressed upon by the extension, in any way, of any of the limits of any existing Territory or State; and, Whereas, the present location of the Cherokees in Arkansas being unfavorable to their present repose, and tending, as the past demonstrates, to their future degradation and misery; and the Cherokees being anxious to avoid such consequences, and yet not questioning their right to their lands in Arkansas, as secured to them by Treaty, and resting also upon the pledges given them by the President of the United States, and the Secretary of War, of March, 1818, and 8th October, 1821, in regard to the outlet to the West, and as may be seen on referring to the records of the War Department, still being anxious to secure a permanent home, and to free themselves, and their posterity, from an embarrassing connexion with the Territory of Arkansas, and guard themselves from such connexions in future; and, Whereas, it being important, not to the Cherokees only, but also to the Choctaws, and in regard also to the question which may be agitated in the future respecting the location of the latter, as well as the former, within the limits of the Territory or State of Arkansas, as the case may be, and their removal therefrom; and to avoid the cost which may attend negotiations to rid the Territory or State of Arkansas whenever it may become a State, of either, or both of those Tribes, the parties hereto do hereby conclude the following Articles, viz:

ARTICLE 1.

The Western boundary of Arkansas shall be, and the same is, hereby defined, viz: A line shall be run, commencing on Red River, at the point where the Eastern Choctaw line strikes said River, and run due North with said line to the River Arkansas, thence in a direct line to the South West corner of Missouri.

ARTICLE 2.

The United States agree to possess the Cherokees, and to guarantee it to them forever, and that guarantee is hereby solemnly pledged, of seven millions of acres of land, to be bounded as follows, viz: Commencing at that point on Arkansas River where the Eastern Choctaw boundary line strikes said River, and running thence with the Western line of Arkansas, as defined in the foregoing article, to the South-West corner of Missouri, and thence with the Western boundary line of Missouri till it crosses the waters of Neasho, generally called Grand River, thence due West to a point from which a due South course will strike the present North West corner of Arkansas Territory, thence continuing due South, on and with the present Western boundary line of the Territory to the main branch of Arkansas River, thence down said River to its junction with the Canadian River, and thence up and between the said Rivers Arkansas and Canadian, to a point at which a line running North and South from River to River, will give the aforesaid seven millions of acres. In addition to the seven millions of acres thus provided for, and bounded, the United States further guarantee to the Cherokee Nation a perpetual outlet, West, and a free and unmolested use of all the Country lying West of the Western boundary of the above described limits, and as far West as the sovereignty of the United States, and their right of soil extend.



ARTICLE 3.

The United States agree to have the lines of the above cession run without delay, say not later than the first of October next, and to remove, immediately after the running of the Eastern line from the Arkansas River to the South-West corner of Missouri, all white persons from the West to the East of said line, and also all others, should there be any there, who may be unacceptable to the Cherokees, so that no obstacles arising out of the presence of a white population, or a population of any other sort, shall exist to annoy the Cherokees— and also to keep all such from the West of said line in future.

ARTICLE 4.

The United States moreover agree to appoint suitable persons whose duty it shall be, in conjunction with the Agent, to value all such improvements as the Cherokees may abandon in their removal from their present homes to the District of Country as ceded in the second Article of this agreement, and to pay for the same immediately after the assessment is made, and the amount ascertained. It is further agreed, that the property and improvements connected with the agency, shall be sold under the direction of the Agent, and the proceeds of the same applied to aid in the erection, in the country to which the Cherokees are going, of a Grist, and Saw Mill, for their use. The aforesaid property and improvements are thus defined: Commence at the Arkansas River opposite William Stinnetts, and run due North one mile, thence due East to a point from which a due South line to the Arkansas River would include the Chalybeate, or Mineral Spring, attached to or near the present residence of the Agent, and thence up said River (Arkansas) to the place of beginning.

ARTICLE 5.

It is further agreed, that the United States, in consideration of the inconvenience and trouble attending the removal, and on account of the reduced value of a great portion of the lands herein ceded to the Cherokees, as compared with that of those in Arkansas which were made theirs by the Treaty of 1817, and the Convention of 1819, will pay to the Cherokees, immediately after their removal which shall be within fourteen months of the date of this agreement, the sum of fifty thousand dollars; also an annuity, for three years, of two thousand dollars, towards defraying the cost and trouble which may attend upon going after and recovering their stock which may stray into the Territory in quest of the pastures from which they may he driven — also, eight thousand seven hundred and sixty dollars, for spoliations committed on them, (the Cherokees,) which sum will be in full of all demands of the kind up to this date, as well as those against the Osages, as those against citizens of the United States— this being the amount of the, claims for said spoliations, as rendered by the Cherokees, and which are believed to be correctly and fairly stated.—Also, one thousand two hundred dollars for the use of Thomas Graves, a Cherokee Chief, for losses sustained in his property, and for personal suffering endured by him when confined as a prisoner, on a criminal, but false accusation; also, five hundred dollars for the use of George Guess, another Cherokee, for the great benefits he has conferred upon the Cherokee people, in the beneficial results which they are now experiencing from the use of the Alphabet discovered by him, to whom also, in consideration of his relinquishing a valuable saline, the privilege is hereby given to locate and occupy another saline on Lee's Creek. It is further agreed by the United States, to pay two thousand dollars, annually, to the Cherokees, for ten years, to be expended under the direction of the President of the United States in the education of their children, in their own country, in letters and the mechanic arts; also, one thousand dollars towards the purchase of a Printing Press and Types to aid the Cherokees in the progress of education, and to benefit and enlighten them as a people, in their own, and our language. It is agreed further that the expense incurred other than that paid by the United States in the erection of the buildings and improvements, so far as that may have been paid by the benevolent society who have been, and yet are, engaged in instructing the Cherokee children, shall be paid to the society, it being the understanding that the amount shall be expended in the erection of other buildings and improvements, for like purposes, in the country herein ceded to the Cherokees. The United States relinquish their claim due by the Cherokees to the late United States Factory, provided the same does not exceed three thousand five hundred dollars.

ARTICLE 6.

It is moreover agreed, by the United States, whenever the Cherokees may desire it, to give them a set of plain laws, suited to their condition— also, when they may wish to lay off their lands, and own them individually, a surveyor shall be sent to make the surveys at the cost of the United States.

ARTICLE 7.

The Chiefs and Head Men of the Cherokee Nation, aforesaid, for and in consideration of the foregoing stipulations and provisions, do hereby agree, in the name and behalf of their Nation, to give up, and they do hereby surrender, to the United States, and agree to leave the same within fourteen months, as herein before stipulated, all the lands to which they are entitled in Arkansas, and which were secured to them by the Treaty of 8th January, 1817, and the Convention of the 27th February, 1819.

ARTICLE 8.

The Cherokee Nation, West of the Mississippi having, by this agreement, freed themselves from the harassing and ruinous effects consequent upon a location amidst a white population, and secured to themselves and their posterity, under the solemn sanction of the guarantee of the United States, as contained in this agreement, a large extent of unembarrassed country; and that their Brothers yet remaining in the States may be induced to join them and enjoy the repose and blessings of such a State in the future, it is further agreed, on the part of the United States, that to each Head of a Cherokee family now residing within the chartered limits of Georgia, or of either of the States, East of the Mississippi, who may desire to remove West, shall be given, on enrolling himself for emigration, a good Rifle, a Blanket, and Kettle, and five pounds of Tobacco: (and to each member of his family one Blanket,) also, a just compensation for the property he may abandon, to be assessed by persons to be appointed by the President of the United States. The cost of the emigration of all such shall also be borne by the United States, and good and suitable ways opened, and provisions procured for their comfort, accommodation, and support, by the way, and provisions for twelve months after their arrival at the Agency; and to each person, or head of a family, if he take along with him four persons, shall be paid immediately on his arriving at the Agency and reporting himself and his family or followers, as emigrants and permanent settlers, in addition to the above, provided he and they shall have emigrated from within the Chartered limits of the State of Georgia, the sum of fifty dollars and this sum in proportion to any greater or less number that may accompany him from within the aforesaid Chartered limits of the State of Georgia.

ARTICLE 9.

It is understood and agreed by the parties to this Convention, that a Tract of Land, two miles wide and six miles long, shall be, and the same is hereby, reserved for the use and benefit of the United States, for the accommodation of the military force which is now, or which may hereafter be, stationed at Fort Gibson, on the Neasho, or Grand River, to commence on said River half a mile below the aforesaid Fort, and to run thence due East two miles, thence Northwardly six miles, to a point which shall be two mile distant from the River aforesaid, thence due West to the said River, and down it to the place of beginning. And the Cherokees agree that the United States shall have and possess the right of establishing a road through their country for the purpose of having a free and unmolested way to and from said Fort.

ARTICLE 10.

It is agreed that Captain James Rogers, in consideration of his having lost a horse in the service of the United States, and for services rendered by him to the United States, shall be paid, in full for the above, and all other claims for losses and services, the sum of Five Hundred Dollars.

ARTICLE 11.

This Treaty to be binding on the contracting parties so soon as it is ratified by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

Done at the place, and on the day and year above written.

Indian Territory – 1830-1850

During the 1820s and 1830s dozens of northeastern, midwestern, and southeastern tribes were removed by treaty and under the 1830 Indian Removal Act, which authorized the president to force tribes to cede their lands east of the Mississippi. Those who did were to be placed west of the new white settlements, that is, west of the 95th Meridian. An 1834 Trade Act further defined “the Indian country” as all that part of the United States west of the Mississippi and not within the states of Missouri, Louisiana, or Arkansas Territory, or any other organized territory. Whites were carefully excluded from the region, for most purposes, and trade by them with Indians was regulated. For judicial purposes, the northern region (mostly present Kansas) was attached to Missouri and the southern part (mostly present Oklahoma) to Arkansas Territory (after 1836, Arkansas state). In 1835 Isaac McCoy apparently used the words “the Indian Territory” for the first time in print. 3

Treaty of 1832 with Western Cherokee: This Treaty was written to make small “changes” with the previous Treaty specifically Art. 6 regarding giving up lands in the future and own them individually ( Can you say Allotement Act 1880!!) By 1832 all Western Cherokees and other Indian Tribes such as the Osage and Quapaw Tribes had moved out of the Territories of Arkansas and Missouri by Treaty. The Western Cherokee lived in what is present day Northeastern Oklahoma along various rivers such as the Arkansas, Verdigree and many smaller creeks such as 14 mile creek in what is today Cherokee County. This was holding with Traditional values of being near water many of our cermonies and medicine involves “going to water”. This original group of Cherokees held land in common and worked the land in small farms and raised Hogs and some cattle. Many changes were to come in the next few years but from 1828 to 1838 it was a peaceful time for the Western Cherokee living in the reformed Indian Territory.

2) Eastern and Western Cherokees Reunited

1835 Treaty of New Echota 2:

WHEREAS the Cherokees are anxious to make some arrangements with the Government of the United States whereby the difficulties they have experienced by a residence within the settled parts of the United States under the jurisdiction and laws of the State Governments may be terminated and adjusted; and with a view to reuniting their people in one body and securing a permanent home for themselves and their posterity in the country selected by their forefathers without the territorial limits of the State sovereignties, and where they can establish and enjoy a government of their choice and perpetuate such a state of society as may be most consonant with their views, habits and condition; and as may tend to their individual comfort and their advancement in civilization. And whereas a delegation of the Cherokee nation composed of Messrs. John Ross Richard Taylor Danl. McCoy Samuel Gunter and William Rogers with full power and authority to conclude a treaty with the United States did on the 28th day of February 1835 stipulate and agree with the Government of the United States to submit to the Senate to fix the amount which should be allowed the Cherokees for their claims and for a cession of their lands east of the Mississippi river, and did agree to abide by the award of the Senate of the United States themselves and to recommend the same to their people for their final determination. And whereas on such submission the Senate advised “that a sum not exceeding five millions of dollars be paid to the Cherokee Indians for all their lands and possessions east of the Mississippi river.” And whereas this delegation after said award of the Senate had been made, were called upon to submit propositions as to its disposition to be arranged in a treaty which they refused to do, but insisted that the same “should be referred to their nation and there in general council to deliberate and determine on the subject in order to ensure harmony and good feeling among themselves.” And whereas a certain other delegation composed of John Ridge Elias Boudinot Archilla Smith S. W. Bell John West Wm. A. Davis and Ezekiel West, who represented that portion of the nation in favor of emigration to the Cherokee country west of the Mississippi entered into propositions for a treaty with John F. Schermerhorn commissioner on the part of the United States which were to be submitted to their nation for their final action and determination: And whereas the Cherokee people at their last October council at Red Clay, fully authorized and empowered a delegation or committee of twenty persons of their nation to enter into and conclude a treaty with the United States commissioner then present, at that place or elsewhere and as the people had good reason to believe that a treaty would then and there be made or at a subsequent council at New Echota which the commissioners it was well known and understood, were authorized and instructed to convene for said purpose; and since the said delegation have gone on to Washington city, with a view to close negotiations there, as stated by them notwithstanding they were officially informed by the United States commissioner that they would not be received by the President of the United States; and that the Government would transact no business of this nature with them, and that if a treaty was made it must be done here in the nation, where the delegation at Washington last winter urged that it should be done for the purpose of promoting peace and harmony among the people; and since these facts have also been corroborated to us by a communication recently received by the commissioner from the Government of the United States and read and explained to the people in open council and therefore believing said delegation can effect nothing and since our difficulties are daily increasing and our situation is rendered more and more precarious uncertain and insecure in consequence of the legislation of the States; and seeing no effectual way of relief, but in accepting the liberal overtures of the United States. And whereas Genl William Carroll and John F. Schermerhorn were appointed commissioners on the part of the United States, with full power and authority to conclude a treaty with the Cherokees east and were directed by the President to convene the people of the nation in general council at New Echota and to submit said propositions to them with power and authority to vary the same so as to meet the views of the Cherokees in reference to its details. And whereas the said commissioners did appoint and notify a general council of the nation to convene at New Echota on the 21st day of December 1835; and informed them that the commissioners would be prepared to make a treaty with the Cherokee people who should assemble there and those who did not come they should conclude gave their assent and sanction to whatever should be transacted at this council and the people having met in council according to said notice.Therefore the following articles of a treaty are agreed upon and concluded between William Carroll and John F. Schermerhorn commissioners on the part of the United States and the chiefs and head men and people of the Cherokee nation in general council assembled this 29th day of Decr 1835.

This was the treaty that terminated all rights  to lands to the East for Eastern Cherokees and moved them to lands to the West in Indian Territory, up until then the Cherokee Nation had been turned into 2 distinct tribes Western Cherokees aka Old Settlers and Eastern Cherokees. Signed in 1835 it took 4 years before all the provisions of the Treaty were finally carried out by force marching those that  refused to move some 16,000 Cherokees. As result of this treaty a roll was carried out to list the “emigrants” to comply with the provisions of this treaty. By treaty these people were not subject to the laws of the States and Territories of the United States but the Laws of the Cherokee Nation. Here is a Historical definition of Indian Territory at the time: In order to understand the full meaning of the term “the Indian Territory,” one must also understand the process by which a region became a territory. As established by United States law, beginning with the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, when a specifically defined part of the unorganized federal domain was sufficiently populated, its residents (United States citizens) could petition Congress for territorial status. Congress would subsequently pass an organic act, with a bill of rights for territory residents, and set up a three-part government, with appointed executive and judicial branches. Residents elected a legislative branch. The federal government had ultimate authority over territorial affairs, and an elected territorial representative was seated in Congress. Congress never passed an organic act for the Indian Territory, although a few measures were proposed, and one bill was written, for that purpose. The region never had a formal government, and it remained unorganized. Therefore, the geographical location commonly called “Indian Territory” was not a territory. 4   This fact becomes very important later in the 1880's but for this article we are using this information to provide an understanding of the laws and more importantly the Status of a Cherokee Indian in the 1840's and on.

In Part 2 of the Article we will explore Indian Territory in the 1840's up to 1907.

 

 

References:

1) Treaty of 1828 http://digital.library.okstate.edu/kappler/vol2/treaties/che0288.htm

2) Treaty of 1835 http://digital.library.okstate.edu/kappler/vol2/treaties/che0439.htm

3) Indian Territory http://digital.library.okstate.edu/encyclopedia/entries/I/IN018.html

4) Epcert for Indian Territory http://digital.library.okstate.edu/encyclopedia/entries/I/IN018.html

 


Home » Native American Articles » Native American Genealogy » Missouri/Arkansas Cherokee


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Valerie

My first cousin, four times removed, was Silas Scruggs Stacy. He is mentioned in the book “Indians of the Ozark Plateau” as coming to Missouri on the Trail of Tears with his parents. My ggg grandparents, also Stacys, were with them. They lived in a cave in Ozark, Mo now known as the “Civil War Cave”. Silas later moved to Arkansas and laid out the town of Marble Falls (Dogpatch) where he practiced medicine and grew herbs for Cherokee health remedies. I cannot find any of my Stacy ancestors listed on the Indian rolls. I’d love to hear from anyone who may have knowledge of the Stacy’s and family.

Diana

There is no doubt that many of the Cherokee and Choctaw remained in the Missouri/Arkansas area. They did this for a number of reasons, one being that they did not want to give up what they had and start over. Another reason was that they never recognized the treaty that sent many of their brethren on the trail to Indian Territory, (partly in today’s Oklahoma) and they did not sign the rolls that were being taken as they did not trust those making them. Nor did they recognize the right of the government to do so. Consequently, their descendants will likely never be federally recognized.
This is not to say that they were never a recognized group, some of them were indeed recognized well into this century, as late as the sixties in one case, and they maintained their cultural identity despite the isolation and years fighting off the accusations and name calling.
As a general rule, these people listed themselves as white to avoid being forcibly moved, being victims of prejudice, or referred to on census records as colored or mulatto. However, most of them maintained their character and personal histories as members of the aforementioned tribes, and many had regular contact and associations with their cousins in the official “Indian Territory.”
It is insulting, and hurtful to assume that all the descendants of these people are “wannabe’s,” “fakes,” or otherwise mistaken because their ancestors did not put themselves on the official rolls taken by the government.
Obviously, I cannot speak for all people involved in this controversy, but most of them are not looking to “horn in” on the government benefits of being registered, but are anxious to associate with those they feel are their brethren and be recognized as belonging. Some form of recognition, even without federal benefits would go a long way to making peace, and diminishing the arguments and accusations that are currently flying.
The biggest problem for these people is of course that for so many years, they were private about their Native American status. I can remember my grandfather, who was born in 1882, and proudly Cherokee, telling us to be proud of our heritage, but, “never tell anyone you are Indian.” Never the less, it was all too often known anyway. My grandmother, whose mother was half Choctaw, had well meaning, if ignorant people, tell her that she needn’t be ashamed, that her grandfather was a gentleman and as good as any white man.” My father, who looked to be exactly what he was, never put it on the record when he joined the Navy in the early fifties, but his associates quickly figured it out, and he was teased quite a bit. They called him “chief,” and would greet him with, “how,” and when he became a radio man, they referred to his work as sending smoke signals. – Many aspects of their unique heritage were also passed on down the generations. My grandmother was a medicine woman, not in a spiritual sense, but as in being a healer. My aunt told me that some of her earliest memories were of going to sleep hearing her mother singing over her patients. She never took any money, but people would leave food, clothing, and other items on their back porch. Before she passed, she was pleased to be training a young woman in the traditional ways. Learning about the plants and methods of caring for the “sick of body and heart.”
To sum up, there are ancestral Native Americans, Cherokee, Choctaw and most likely others as well who have stayed In the Midwest without registering. Instead of towing the political line of saying that there is no way these people can be native because they can’t prove an ancestor on the roles, instead of accusing them of being wannabes or fakes, instead of using every opportunity to deny them, perhaps at least some recognition or willingness to open the doors of dialogue might be more productive, less divisive, and healthier for all involved.

Paul Vickers

I read your 2013 article concerning the Arkansas- Missouri Cherokee.I agree with half of it- Cherokees in any recognizable capacity never resided in Missouri.
I disagree with your Arkansas Cherokee assertions.In fact,your article has gross omissions in time and facts.
1. The U.S. Suggested that the Cherokee begin moving west as they had been migrating there in small parties for years.
Comment: The Cherokee settled on the White river first and later the Arkansas River.They didn’t settle in the the area that is now Oklahoma- that was by choice.
You gave much information,but didn’t include the signatory page that illustrates who comprised the Cherokee Nation leadership! In 1817 and prior.
If you did this you would not be able to advance your erroneous implications.
Fact of the matter is,the Cherokee National Councils were held at Willstown,in the lower towns.The principal Chief was Toochlar.He replaced Path killer in 1816. Thirdly.If you would have posted the treaties,you would have exposed the fact that Charles Hicks,Richard Taylor,John Ross,were not apart of the Cherokee National sovereign government- they were agency personnel in the capacity of interpreters and trade.

If you view the 1817 treaty close in art.3&5 it stipulates that all that migrate will remain a Cherokee citizen all that remain will be allowed a 640 acre and U.S.citizenship. This treaty also stipulated that a full census be taken to determine who was going to migrate,who already migrated and who was going to remain.
In 1819, following a mass migration including Toochlar,Glass#2 Dick Justice #3 Chillawagatee,and other proximate leaders,who joined ex.principal Chief,Black fox and other “real” Chiefs,Charles Hicks,John Ross and other helpers or liaisons,went with agent Meigs to Washington and entered into a totally unauthorized treaty,signing away 3 mil acres,surrounding the Cherokee Nation,took allotments for themselves with U.S.citizenship,and important ly,made sure to end migration and the all important census.
They then went back to the former C.N. crested New Town( New Echota) and began claiming that they were the leadership.
The 1828 treaty to exchange lands for OK.was a total fraud,created to destroy the Arkansas Cherokee.The only party that went into these junky lands were Christian converts John Jolly and his group.It is a matter of record that the Arkansas Cherokee never allowed the 1828 delegation to enter into a treaty and it was denounced to the U.S.
The UKB for the most part are disgruntled fullbloods who have been marginalized by the CNO and are seeking any avenue possible to create a history away from the Ross group.I met with Chief Henson,Chief Hair and E.Berry.I gave them permission to use my knowledge and book that details what happened- instead the UKB chooses to edit history for a better historical foundation.Problem for all Oklahoma Cherokees,this is a tall order as no legitimate government ever went into what is now Oklahoma.

Susan

Thank you Diana. You have put into words what I have in my heart, only to honor my great-great-great-grandmother who died bringing my great-great-grandmother grandmother into this world and made my life possible. Family verbal history identified this was the Cherokee line and I was always told we could never prove it. My ancestors hid under the white veil, so of course we don’t deserve any entitlement. Some of the teachings were passed down and I cherish them. Being labeled as a fake or wannabe is dishonoring my ancestor and that seems contradictory to Cherokee teachings. As a child I was always proud to say that I had Cherokee blood. Often I would get blank stares or comments suggesting “why would you admit that?” I know that experience is micro-minimal compared to the abuse and discrimination experienced by those on the rolls. I honor those who were on the rolls and suffered horribly and those who still persevere as recognized Cherokees.

Danny Smith

In response to your quote: “They rely on myths surrounding lack of documentation due to numerous “courthouse fires” and avoiding the numerous Rolls that were done of the Cherokees from the early 1800’s to 1910.”

North Carolina Courthouse Fire Records:

Alleghany County Courthouse – 1932 (fire, record loss)
Alexander County Courthouse – 1865 (civil war, record loss), 1967 (fire)
Craven County Courthouse – 1712 (records destroyed by Indians)
Anson County Courthouse – 1868 (fire)
Ashe County Courthouse – 1865 (fire, records fragmented)
Bladen County Courthouse – 1770 (fire), 1800 (fire), 1893 (fire)
Brunswick County Courthouse – 1865 (civil war, record loss), 1957 (clerk’s office fire)
Buncombe County Courthouse – 1830 (fire), 1865 (fire)
Burke County Courthouse – 1865 (civil war, record loss)
Cabarrus County Courthouse – 1876 (fire)
Cherokee County Courthouse – 1865 (fire), 1895 (fire), 1926 (fire)
Chowan County Courthouse – 1848 (records destroyed by acting clerk)
Clay County Courthouse – 1870 (fire, records destroyed)
Craven County Courthouse – 1712 (records destroyed by Indians)
Currituck County Courthouse – 1842 (fire)
Davidson County Courthouse – 1866 (fire)
Gaston County Courthouse – 1874 (fire)
Greene County Courthouse – 1876 (fire)
Guilford County Courthouse – 1781 (fire), 1872 (fire)
Harnett County Courthouse – 1892 (fire), 1894 (fire)
Haywood County Courthouse – 1932 (records destroyed in move to new courthouse)
Hertford County Courthouse – 1830 (fire), 1822 (fire)
Hyde County Courthouse – 1789 (fire), 1827 (fire)
Iredell County Courthouse – 1854 (fire)
Jackson County Courthouse – 1913 (records lost when county seat moved)
Jones County Courthouse – 1862 (fire) ‘Courthouse was burned during Civil War battle, many court records destroyed.
Lenoir County Courthouse – 1878 (fire), 1880 (fire) Most court records were destroyed
Lincoln County Courthouse – 1797 (records may have been destroyed by fire in private home)
Martin County Courthouse – 1862 (fire) ‘Courthouse fire destroyed many court records.
Mitchell County Courthouse – 1907 (some records destroyed in move to new courthouse)
Montgomery County Courthouse – 1835 (fire), 1840 (fire), 1886 (may have suffered record loss from courthouse fire.
The clerk said that he saved the records but that they were “in a state of great confusion.”)
Moore County Courthouse – 1889 (fire) Courthouse fire destroyed most of the land records and many court records
New Hanover County Courthouse – 1789, 1819 & 1840 (all 3 courthouse fires may have destroyed some records)
Onslow County Courthouse – 1752 & 1755 (records destroyed by storm)
Orange County Courthouse – 1781 (records destroyed when buried in woods to avoid capture or destruction by Cornwallis)
Pitt County Courthouse – 1857 (fire) Courthouse fire destroyed most of the court records.
Rowan County Courthouse – 1865 (civil war, record loss) records were destroyed by Federal troops
Rutherford County Courthouse – 1907 (fire)
Sampson County Courthouse – 1921 (clerk’s office fire) Some early court records are missing because of Federal sympathizers in 1865; Clerk’s office fire in 1921. Early deed books of Duplin County prior to 1784
Swain County Courthouse – 1879 Courthouse fire destroyed many records and on January 7, 1908 the Courthouse was burned by rioters. No records were saved
Wake County Courthouse – Several deed books were destroyed in register’s office fire in 1832.
Warren County Courthouse – 1935 (Some early County records may have been destroyed) County Court Records from abt 1814 -1823 are missing There is a loss of records for around the 1935 time period. Deed Books 15 and 16, 1799 1803, are missing from the court house and from the NC Archives.
Washington County Courthouse – County records destroyed by bombardment in Civil War in 1862. Fires have destroyed most of the court records and many of the land records in 1869 and 1881.
Watauga County Courthouse – Courthouse fire in 1873 destroyed all of the land records and most of the court records.
Wayne County Courthouse – 1781 (records may have been destroyed in courthouse fire)

These courthouse fires are not myths. And these courthouse fires were only in North Carolina.

Josiah

Yep, courthouse fires galore! So what exactly is your point? That there were courthouses fires? The myth is: the reason I don’t have a record of my ancestors is that courthouse fire burnt them up in Missouri or Arkansas! I think you have missed a very important point. A courthouse Does not keep Indian records those are kept in the National Archives. Cherokee Nation was a sovereign Nation prior to 1907 and there records were never kept in county courthouses! As a matter of fact birth records prior to 1907 in Oklahoma was kept with the Cherokee Nation so a courthouse burning in Missouri, Arkansas or even North Carolina would not have disturbed any record that would be used to Prove Ancestry for Tribal Enrollment and that is entirely the point of this article!

Alice Cole

Thank you for confirming this information Josiah. My family heritage has a strong history. My ancestors range from John Smith (the Immigrant , Founder and interpreter for the Jamestown colony). Also, Elias Cornelius Boudinot (Cherokee, Attorney, founder of Vinita, Oklahoma). I want to apologize sincerely from my heart, for all the wrong that has been done to many people of different races over history. Yours very truly, Alice Norris Cole

sabrina

I was told i am part of this trip on my dad side and his mother. millers in the Hartshorne, Oklahoma, I have marriage license, death certificates every thing i need but dont know how to go about finding out if this is all true.

Tessica

Trying to get a new card I’ve lost mine while moving. I will also need to change my info as well. Any info on how would be appreciated. Thank you

Linda Hall

I too, have indian ancenstory but it cannot be proven. My ggggrandmother was one of the children who survived the trail. She grew up in indian territory until she married a white soldier. Which apparently pissed off a few of her relatives. She left the territory, with her husband. She went back to the territory to have her daughter, but left after giving birth. This is all my great grandmother would say on the matter. My great grandmother was born in 1891 approx. in Arkansas and lived mainly around Paris, AR. She spoke cherokee but refused to teach her children the language. some relatives did hear her speak it, but she would not in puplic. She passed when I was in highschool at 109 approx. being mixed she was not recognized by either race. She, nor her mother, had birth certificates being of mixed blood. I do not know any of the names, she refused to say.

Anita

I am trying to find information about a relative that has passed for sometime now but she may have the info I need to register for my Indian rights, how can I find out about her. Any family members with knowledge about her have since passed themselves or in nursing homes.

Eugene Gerst Jr.

I am interested in learning if there is any validity to the story of my supposed mixed blood Cherokee ancestor. My great great great grandfather was William Willis. He was born about 1840 in Conway County, Arkansas near Lewisburg (present day Morrilton). My great grandmother (who was born in 1903 and married to his grandson) told me (along with every genealogist in our very large and well documented family) that he was 3/4 Cherokee. I am a skeptic by nature. In the only photograph I have ever seen of him, he was very old. A couple of things stood out though. He definitely had very native looking bone structure and facial features. He was very dark skinned as well. But he had a heavy beard. So if he was part Cherokee or some other tribe, it’s doubtful he was 3/4. I have read that the early western Cherokee had a village on the Arkansas River very near Lewisburg. What year did the last of the western Cherokee move to the Nation? I am not claiming to be part of a lost clan or anything. Just want to know the truth. Recently I joined the Sons of Confederate Veterans based on his service record with the 21st Arkansas Infantry. But in my research, his family was the only one that I couldn’t trace past him. My three other Confederate grandfathers (that served in Arkansas units) were born in Tennessee and North Carolina before their parents brought them to Arkansas. It’s uncommon to find a service record for an Arkansas soldier born that early and actually be born IN Arkansas. I can’t seem to prove or disprove one way or the other. But according to oral histories, he claimed that he was part Cherokee with nothing to gain or lose by saying it. He never did seek land or money for it and he never tried to get money from the government for it. Just a veterans pension from the state of Arkansas. Is it possible that his father was an early territorial settler who moved there before the Cherokee left the area and took a Cherokee wife from the village that had been located there?

paul

I read your 2013 article concerning the Arkansas- Missouri Cherokee.I agree with half of it- Cherokees in any recognizable capacity never resided in Missouri.
I disagree with your Arkansas Cherokee assertions.In fact,your article has gross omissions in time and facts.
1. The U.S. Suggested that the Cherokee begin moving west as they had been migrating there in small parties for years.
Comment: The Cherokee settled on the White river first and later the Arkansas River.They didn’t settle in the the area that is now Oklahoma- that was by choice.
You gave much information,but didn’t include the signatory page that illustrates who comprised the Cherokee Nation leadership! In 1817 and prior.
If you did this you would not be able to advance your erroneous implications.
Fact of the matter is,the Cherokee National Councils were held at Willstown,in the lower towns.The principal Chief was Toochlar.He replaced Path killer in 1816. Thirdly.If you would have posted the treaties,you would have exposed the fact that Charles Hicks,Richard Taylor,John Ross,were not apart of the Cherokee National sovereign government- they were agency personnel in the capacity of interpreters and trade.

If you view the 1817 treaty close in art.3&5 it stipulates that all that migrate will remain a Cherokee citizen all that remain will be allowed a 640 acre and U.S.citizenship. This treaty also stipulated that a full census be taken to determine who was going to migrate,who already migrated and who was going to remain.
In 1819, following a mass migration including Toochlar,Glass#2 Dick Justice #3 Chillawagatee,and other proximate leaders,who joined ex.principal Chief,Black fox and other “real” Chiefs,Charles Hicks,John Ross and other helpers or liaisons,went with agent Meigs to Washington and entered into a totally unauthorized treaty,signing away 3 mil acres,surrounding the Cherokee Nation,took allotments for themselves with U.S.citizenship,and important ly,made sure to end migration and the all important census.
They then went back to the former C.N. crested New Town( New Echota) and began claiming that they were the leadership.
The 1828 treaty to exchange lands for OK.was a total fraud,created to destroy the Arkansas Cherokee.The only party that went into these junky lands were Christian converts John Jolly and his group.It is a matter of record that the Arkansas Cherokee never allowed the 1828 delegation to enter into a treaty and it was denounced to the U.S.
The UKB for the most part are disgruntled fullbloods who have been marginalized by the CNO and are seeking any avenue possible to create a history away from the Ross group.I met with Chief Henson,Chief Hair and E.Berry.I gave them permission to use my knowledge and book that details what happened- instead the UKB chooses to edit history for a better historical foundation.Problem for all Oklahoma Cherokees,this is a tall order as no legitimate government ever went into what is now Oklahoma.

Elane McLainTolbert

I have been researching family over 30 years. On my mothers side Sevier /Eudaily / Campbell/Welch, I find a William Eudaily Randolph Co. AR. I have been lead to believe this is “BOWL”. He married Matilda Slayton,a child was born,Mary. Matilda Married Samuel Hufstedler after the death of Eudaily. He raised Mary after the early death of her mother. Mary married Thomas Leander Campbell, and thus my grandmother Martha Jane Campbell Welch. I need more info on Eudaily. any help.

Tessica

I’m trying to get a new card I lost mine while moving any way how would be appreciated. Please email me .

Anita

In researching my ancestors, I was told by a resident of Missouri “That Native American’s could not own property/land until 19….something. So, most of the people hid their native blood.” Can you elaborate? Thank you.

Promise Skaggs

I want to find information on my gpa that escaped the trail of tears and built himself a homestead in birdtown . i was told my hole life that he had 7 white wives.

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