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African-Native American Genealogy Forum

Freedmen Roll DOES indicate "Indian blood"

Greetings Marilyn,

I like the fact that you are demonstrating the inherent flaws of the Dawes Commission records. It is quite interesting the spokespersons for the tribes are attempting to show that because an individual is a “descendant” from someone on the Freedmen Roll that that is conclusive evidence there is “no Indian blood.”

As you are pointing out, there are individuals who have established their ancestry on the blood rolls by “blood quantum” and yet have no "Indian blood," there are those on the Freedmen Rolls with the ability to demonstrate they indeed have "Indian blood!"

The commissioners of the Dawes Commission and especially the staff were questioned by Congress on their operating procedures when Freedmen attempted to establish their “Indian blood.” The clerks (Choctaw-Chickasaw Division) were supposed to send ALL documented evidence of the applicant to Washington for the Secretary of the Interior to give final approval on the applicant.

What the commission did was send in many cases a summary of the “Oral Interview M1301” but more importantly was what the commission DID NOT SEND!!! If one would take the time to look, on the rear of the Freedmen card as we all know is the name of the parents of the individual seeking enrollment either as Freedmen or “Citizen by blood.”

Those Freedmen (note ALL FREEDMEN DID NOT CLAIM INDIAN BLOOD) who had a parent who was “Indian” would list that individual on the rear and it would be noted whether they were Non-Citizen, Enslaved OR a Citizen!

The Dawes Commission and its staff deliberately did not send ALL of the material on the individual to the Secretary of the Interior because to do so would open up the question on why the individual demonstrated their ancestor/parent was a citizen and therefore entitled them to full citizenship and establish the fact that they did have INDIAN BLOOD.

So as you go about demonstrating the non-Indians on the rolls as “Indian by blood” you may want to take a little time and demonstrate those Freedmen who did have “Indian blood” despite the infamous “blood quantum” category of the by blood cards.

This example alone would make their argument for not including Freedmen because they "don't have Indian blood." However I would hope that you not lose sight of the fact that this is only one aspect to the citizenship issue. If it is just about blood, then an injustice will continue for those who have rights as "Freedmen" without the "wonderful, superior, and racially pure Indian blood."

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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