African-Native American Genealogy Forum
Articles about Cherokee Freedmen on GenealogyBank
I'm just ending a one-month trial subscription for $9.95 to GenealogyBank.com, which I found very helpful in finding articles about my Cherokee Freedmen ancestors and relatives. You can search Historical Newspapers by state. The Kansas newspaper collection is very good because it includes four or five black newspapers who had citizen correspondents in the northern part of the Cherokee Nation, eg, Vinita and Nowata. The black papers continued the practice after Oklahoma statehood and also ran dispatches from southeast Kansas towns like Coffeyville, Parsons and Oswego where some Cherokee Freedmen migrated. Particularly good are the Plaindealer of Topeka, Kan., the Parsons Weekly Blade and the Negro Star of Wichita, Kan.
The short items don't contain a lot of hard genealogical facts, eg, births, deaths and marriages, though I did find an item about the death of my g-g grandmother and the marriage of a socially prominent cousin. There is a lot about church affairs, social clubs, out-of-town visitors, out-of-town trips, and some items about black- and Freedmen-owned businesses.
The Oklahoma collection includes the Cherokee Advocate, which wrote about Freedmen collectively during the Dawes process and distribution of payments, more so than as individuals. I didn't find the Oklahoma newspapers all that helpful though I did find my g-g grandfather mentioned in sheriff's ads about stray farm animals. (His last name was badly mispelled in each case.)
I can't attest to the site's usefulness in researching Freedmen of the other four tribes because they weren't part of my research. I'd recommend doing some searches on the site, which provide "snippet" views for free and then deciding whether a subscription, trial or otherwise, is worth. To be clear, I don't have any financial interest in the site.
Good luck to those who give it a try.
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