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African-Native American Genealogy Forum

Lineal Descent vs. Blood Quantum? Equity Case 7071

This is excerpted from an arugument given by the attorney for the Choctaw and Chickasaw "freedmen" who were "incorrectly" enrolled as freedmen.

We respectfully contend that these persons are Choctaw and Chickasaw citizens by blood; that they are lineal descendants by blood of the identical persons to whom the grant was originally made; that they acquired their citizenship in the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations by descent from recognized citizens by blood thereof, by birth in the nations, and by continuous and. uninterrupted residence therein and allegiance thereto. These are the essential elements of citizenship, for can it be denied that the child of a recognized citizen of a nation, born in the nation, and owing its allegiance to that nation and to no other is a stranger to its parents allegiance and parents citizenship?

This is the fundamental and universal law of all organized societies and States and essential to their continued existence as such. In no State and by no Government has it ever been held that the offspring of a citizen is a born stranger to the parentsí allegiance, outcast from the parentís civil state, and citizen of no other State?

These people are the lineal descendants of the very persons who ratified the treaty of 1830, under which the Choctaw Nation became seized and possessed of the lands now being allotted in severalty.
These people are the lineal descendants of the very persons who ratified the treaty of 1830, under which the Choctaw Nation became seized and possessed of the lands now being allotted in severalty.
Now, what was the precise holding of the Commission by which petitioners were held to be entitled only to enrollment as freedmen?

The fact that a child was born to a mother who was descended on either side from a person formerly held in slavery by the Choctaws or Chickasaws, although the mother was born free and was of seven-eighths Indian blood, was held by the Commission as sufficient to disqualify her and likewise her children by a full-blood Choctaw or Chickasaw Indian father to enrollment as citizens of either of said nations on the theory that the negro blood polluted and contaminated the Indian blood; the blood thus being contaminated, as held by the Commission, rendered them of servile descent, and as such, under the antebellum custom in the slave States, their children took only the status of the mother and were negroes, and negroes only, and took no property rights by reason of their fathersí status as an Indian. The Commissioner of Indian Affairs informs counsel that such holding by the Commissioner is in accord with the views and policy of his office at this time.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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