I continue my project to transcribe family letters, journals, newspaper articles, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some I never met - others I see a time in their life before I knew them.
I began this project back in February of 2009, and since then, many others have joined in on the meme. Why do we transcribe? I provide my three reasons in the linked post. You may find others. If you participate, feel free to leave a link to your post in the comments.
This week, I continue with the application my maternal grandmother's aunts, uncles, and cousins made in 1900 to the Dawes Commission to be accepted as Mississippi Choctaws. Previously I have transcribed the testimony given by
- Samuel T Hartley – Nov 21, 1900 (Brother of my great great grandmother, Sarah Hartley Denyer Foster)
- Melvin Elijah Van Every – Nov 21, 1900 (My great grandfather)
- Samuel W Denyer - Nov 21, 1900 (Brother of my great grandmother, Margaret Denyer Van Every)
- Eliza Caroline Foster Reeves – Nov 26, 1900 (Half-sister of my great grandmother)
- Georgia Hartley Phillips – June 17, 1902 (Daughter of Samuel T Hartley)
- Samuel T Hartley – June 17, 1902
Below is the testimony given by Sophronia Hartley Cagle, another daughter of Samuel T Hartley.
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR.
COMMISSION TO THE FIVE CIVILIZED TRIBES.
MUSKOGEE, NOVEMBER 21, 1900
In the matter of the application for identification of Sophronia C. Cagle as a Mississippi Choctaw, and for the identification of her two minor children as Mississippi Choctaws.
Sophronia C. Cagle, having been first duly sworn, testifies as follows:
Examination by the Commission.
Q What is your age? A Twenty five.
Q What is your post office address? A Midlothian.
Q Texas? A Yes sir.
Q Are you a resident of the state of Texas? A Yes sir.
Q How long have you resided in Texas? How long have you been in Texas?
A Been there twenty five years.
Q Been there all your life? A Yes sir.
Q Ever lived in the Indian Territory? A No sir.
Q Ever maintained a residence in the state of Mississippi? A No sir.
Q What is your father’s name? A Samuel Hartley.
Q Is your father living? A Yes sir.
Q What is your mother’s name? A Her name is Margaret.
Q Is your mother living? A No sir.
Q Through which one of your parents do your claim your Choctaw blood?
A My father.
Q How much Choctaw blood do you claim A One eighth.
Q Was your father’s name ever upon any of the tribal rolls of the Choctaw Nation? A No sir.
Q Was he ever recognized by the Choctaw tribal authorities as a citizen of the Choctaw Nation? A No sir.
Q Is your name on any of the tribal rolls of the Choctaw Nation?
A Yes sir, I reckon so.
Q On what roll? A I don’t know.
Q Why do you believe it is on any tribal roll? A My father is a Choctaw Indian.
Q We are not talking about your father. Why do you believe that your name is on any of the tribal rolls of the Choctaw Nation?
A I could not tell you.
Tribal rolls of the Choctaw Nation now in the possession of the Commission examined and the name of the applicant not found thereon.
Q Did you ever make application to the Choctaw tribal authorities for citizenship in the Choctaw Nation? A No sir.
Q Have you ever been recognized by the Choctaw tribal authorities as a citizen of the Choctaw Nation? A No sir.
Q Have you ever been enrolled by the Choctaw Nation? A No sir.
Q Did you or did anyone in your behalf in 1896 make application to this Commission for citizenship in the Choctaw Nation under the act of Congress approved June 10, 1896? A No sir
Record of applications for citizenship in the Choctaw Nation made to this Commission in 1896 examined, and the name of the applicant not found therein.
Q Have you ever been admitted to citizenship in the Choctaw Nation by judgment of the United States Court in Indian Territory on appeal from the decision of the tribal authorities of the Choctaw Nation or of this Commission? A No sir.
Record of persons admitted to citizenship in the Choctaw Nation by judgment of the United States Courts in Indian Territory examined, and the name of the applicant not found therein.
Q Have you ever prior to this time made any application to either the Choctaw tribal authorities or the authorities of the United States for either citizenship or enrollment in the Choctaw Nation?
A No sir.
Q This is your first application of any description? A Yes sir.
Q You are now making application for identification as a Mississippi Choctaw? A Yes sir.
Q Why do you believe that you are entitled to be identified by this Commission as a Choctaw Indian entitled to share in the lands of the Choctaw Nation under the provisions of the treaty of 1830?
A My father is a Choctaw is the reason; because my father is.
Q Is that the only reason why you believe that you are entitled to any rights? A I think I ought to have a claim.
Q Why do you think so? A I am one eighth.
Q Why do you think that gives you any rights in the Choctaw Nation?
A I think I ought to have a right.
Q Are you claiming under the provisions of the 14th article of the treaty of 1830? A What is my claim?
Q Yes. A Choctaw.
Q Do you claim under the 14th article of the treaty of 1830?
A Yes sir.
Q Did any of your ancestors ever comply with the provisions of that article of that treaty? A No sir.
Q What is the name of your ancestor or ancestors who remained in Mississippi after the treaty of 1830 and complied with the provisions of that article of that treaty? A I don’t know.
Q What is the name of your ancestor through whom you now claim this this right to identification? A I don’t know. I don’t understand you.
Q Who was your ancestor who resided in Mississippi in 1830 at the time this treaty was made and was a recognized member of the Choctaw tribe at that time? A My father I reckon.
Q Your father, Samuel Hartley? A Yes sir.
Q Did Samuel Hartley ever comply with the provisions of the 14th article of the treaty of 1830? A Yes sir.
Q When did he leave Mississippi? A I could not tell you.
Q Do you know anything about his Indian citizenship in Mississippi?
A No sir.
Q Are you making any claim under any other treaty stipulations between the United States and the Choctaw Indians? A No sir.
Q Are you married? A Yes sir.
Q What is you husband’s name? A James Cagle.
Q Is he a white man? A Yes sir.
Q Are you making any claim for him? A No sir.
Q Where did you marry him? A In Texas.
Q When? A In ’92.
Q Have you any children? A Yes sir.
Q How many? A Two.
Q What are their names and ages? A The eldest one is six.
Q What is the name? A Hazle.
Q Hazle is six; what is the next one? A Dessie.
Q How old is Dessie? A Two.
Q What is the next one? A That is all, just two.
Q You are the mother of these two children? A Yes sir.
Q James Cagle is the father? A Yes sir.
Q You and your husband are living together? A Yes sir.
Q These children live with you at your home? A Yes sir.
Q Their claim is the same as yours? A Yes sir.
Q Is there any additional statement you desire to make? A No sir.
Q Is there any written evidence that you desire to offer in support of your application?
Here attorney for applicant, L.P. Hudson, asks leave to file additional written testimony in support of this application within fifteen days.
Examination by Mr. Hudson.
Q Is it your intention and the intention of your husband to remove to the Indian Territory in the near future --- A Yes sir.
Q For the purpose of making a home and residence there? A Yes sir.
Permission is granted the attorney for the applicant to file additional testimony in support of this application provided the same are offered to the Commission for filing within fifteen days.
The Decision of the Commission in regard to your application for the identification of yourself and your minor children as Mississippi Choctaws will be mailed to you in writing in the near future at your present post office address.
Anna Bell, having been first duly sworn, upon her oath states that as stenographer to the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes that she reported in full all proceedings had in the above entitled cause on the 21st day of November, 1900, and that the above and foregoing is a true, full and correct transcript of her stenographic notes in said cause.
[Signature] Anna Bell
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 27 day of December, 1900.
1. This testimony, like the other documents in this set which I have transcribed, comes from the Dawes Packets at Footnote.
2. Other children of Sophronia and James Cagle ultimately included Edna, Flossie, Otis and Ruby.