Showing posts from 2011

Bettie's List ~ Julia Jackson

Bettie’s List ~ Julia JACKSON Choctaw Freedmen # 1213 Choctaw Chickasaw Citizenship Court # 66
Julia Jackson and her children were part of the complainants in Equity Case 7071. They sought to be transferred from the Dawes Choctaw Freedmen Roll to the Choctaw by blood roll; their actions left a record that becomes further evidence not everyone who possessed Choctaw blood got on the blood roll.
Like so many people classified as freedmen the record to establish their blood ties for citizenship are incomplete and require a great deal of deep research. The information contained in the Choctaw Chickasaw Citizenship Court records provided some insight into the paternity of the transfer cases.

This document summarizes the facts of the case for transfer from the freedmen roll to the by blood roll for Julia Jackson and her children.
It purports to give accurate information that reflects why she considers herself and her children as people who possess Choctaw blood and therefore entitled to be liste…

One Hundred Years Ago Today...

December 12, 1911What was once thought to be the “most important suit filed” in Indian Territory on April 13, 1907; became a memorandum: just a footnote in the records of the United States Supreme Court!
Bettie Ligon et al., v Douglas H. Johnston, Green McCurtain and James R. Garfield, Secretary of the Interior is commonly known as Equity Case 7071 and the ramifications of this case should have turned Indian Territory upside down.
What happened on this day at the United States Supreme Court defies logic and understanding. The lawsuit involved millions of dollars in land that could have potentially been in the tens or hundreds of millions based on the natural resources like oil, gas, coal and asphalt that was known to be in the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations following the Civil War.
The foundation of the claims of citizenship for fifteen hundred to two thousand individuals and their descendants in the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations was predicated on one simple truth; we are the product of o…

Death of Bettie Ligon ~ November 21, 1911

Bettie Ligon died today from lumbar pneumonia. Bettie Ligon was the lead litigant on Equity Case 7071 involving approximately 2,000 so called Chickasaw and Choctaw Freedmen who were seeking full “rights and privileges” as citizens in the respective nation of their and their parents birth. 
The litigants in this lawsuit were seeking recognition from the two nations and the United States government as citizens based on being progeny of a parent who was considered a Chickasaw and/or Choctaw “by blood” on the Dawes Rolls.
Bettie Ligon's  death comes almost a year after the decision by the United States Supreme Court of December 12, 1911. The decision by the court was rendered without any oral arguments on the merits of Equity Case 7071. 
 The defendants attorneys did not appear before the court and written briefs were not provided as stipulated, yet these 2,000 “Black Indians” and their descendants today are not considered Chickasaw nor Choctaw and are not citizens of their respective n…

Alice Lamey et al.

Alice Lamey was one of those brave women of Indian Territory who persisted in her claims of possessing Chickasaw blood and was determined to have the Dawes Commission and the Chickasaw Nation acknowledge her family as Chickasaw Indians by blood.

 It is unfortunate the decisions of the Dawes Commission and the so called customs of the Chickasaw Nation denied the ancestry of Simmion Lamey and his children. They were enrolled as Chickasaw Freedmen despite the insistence of Simmion’s father being a full blood Chickasaw.

The actions of the Dawes Commission with the approval of the tribes meant that thousands of people who actually possessed “Indian blood” were left off the citizenship rolls based on the antebellum custom of determining race by the “status” of their mother.

In other words if you mother was a slave your "blood" was contaminated and you were not considered to be an "Indian by blood." Only if you mother happened to be "Indian" or "…

A Time For Discoveries!

My research visit to Oklahoma in May of 1995 held many new fascinating discoveries and the first one was easily the best. Before I left home in northern California to meet up with my father in Los Angeles my wife became worried that she was having some health issues. Several days prior to my leaving she complained about soreness in her breast and because her mother died from complications of breast cancer she understandably was concerned.

However, I noted to her about a week earlier when she picked me up from the BART (public transportation for those of you who don’t live in the Bay Area) that I thought she had this glow about her. Her skin was soft and flawless. We didn’t think much about it and went on about our business. When she mentioned her breasts were sore and she was going to see a doctor while I was away on the trip to Oklahoma.

For some reason I asked to request the doctor run a pregnancy test on her while she was there. Trust me, I’m not a doctor and I don’t play one on T…

Word Up Wednesday, The Choctaw Freedmen AND Their Descendants ARE Citizens


1995 My First Genealogical Visit to Oklahoma

Chapter 3
Discovering the Dawes Commission RecordsThroughout 1994 my father and I spoke on a regular basis. I was still compiling and editing the family photo history and with each new discovery there were more questions. Also about this time I became familiar with an online community of researchers who were able to give me some general knowledge and guidance for my family research.
Of all the people I met online it was Angela Walton-Raji who seems to have any knowledge about the genealogy and history of people from “Oklahoma.” Angela encouraged me to read more and when I had the opportunity she urged me to visit Oklahoma Historical Society as well as the National Archives in Dallas­-Ft. Worth, TX.
I located copies of Angie Debo’s book “And Still the Waters Run” as well as Arrell Gibson’s book, “The Chickasaw’s” and began to discover there was a history of blacks being owned as slaves by Native Americans. This was a history I was never taught in school and apparently very little is sti…

Bettie’s List Chapter 2 Discovering Sallie Ligon?

When I first started working in the photo lab as a large reprint specialist, I initially signed on guaranteeing I would work for at least one year. It seems getting good people who had an eye for color correction was difficult and the owner’s wanted someone who would be around for at least a year. Committing to one year of work seemed okay for me and since it was paying me good money for part time work it seemed like a good deal.
During that year of work I made time to conduct some copy negative work so I could reprint the photos my father expected me to share with the rest of the family. Organizing all of the photos took time considering I was working full time and part time but I felt I would have plenty of time to finish the project. Needless to say that was an incorrect assumption on my part; things tend to have a rhythm of their own and this was no exception. However, when pushed for time I seem to work more efficiently.
When it was coming up on the anniversary of committing to a y…