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. (The numbers below are the numbers of their case files, and likely indicate the order in which they provided the testimony.) Previously I have transcribed the testimony given by
- MCR 1050 - Samuel T Hartley – Nov 21, 1900 (Brother of my great great grandmother, Sarah Hartley Denyer Foster)
- MCR 1051 - Robert Hartley - Nov 21, 1900 (Son of Samuel T Hartley)
- MCR 1053 - Sophronia Hartley Cagle - Nov 21, 1900 (Daughter of Samuel T Hartley)
- MCR 1054 - Melvin Elijah Van Every – Nov 21, 1900 (My great grandfather)
- MCR 1055 - Samuel W Denyer - Nov 21, 1900 (Brother of my great grandmother, Margaret Denyer Van Every)
- MCR 1069 - Eliza Caroline Foster Reeves – Nov 26, 1900 (Half-sister of my great grandmother)
- MCR 5842 - Georgia Hartley Phillips – June 17, 1902 (Daughter of Samuel T Hartley)
- MCR 5842 - Samuel T Hartley – June 17, 1902
Below is the testimony given by Virginia Shultz, a daughter of Samuel T Hartley, and a first cousin to my great grandmother, Margaret (Denyer) Van Every
Department of the Interior,
Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes,
Muskogee, I.T. Nov. 21, 1900.
In the matter of the application for identification as Mississippi Choctaws of Virginia Shultz and her four minor children. Virginia Shultz being duly sworn by Acting Chairman Bixby testified as follows.
Examination by the Commission.
Q What is your name? A Virginia Shultz.
Q What is your age? A 33.
Q What is your post-office address? A Midlothian, Texas.
Q Are you a resident of the state of Texas? A Yes sir.
Q How long have you resided there? A (No answer.)
Q Ever been any where besides Texas? A No sir, not been nowheres but Texas.
Q You were born there? A Yes sir.
Q Lived there all your life? A Yes sir.
Q Then you have lived there 33 years? A Yes sir I guess so.
Q Have never lived in the Indian Territory? A No sir.
Q Never lived in Mississippi? A No sir.
Q How much Choctaw blood do you claim? A One fourth I believe.
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 Margaret Hartley.
Q Is your mother living? A No sir.
Q Through which one of your parents do you claim your Choctaw blood? A Father.
Q Was your father’s name ever upon any of the tribal rolls of the Choctaw Nation? A No sir.
Q Was your father 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 No sir.
Tribal roll of citizens of the Choctaw Nation in the possession of the Commission, examined and the name of the applicant does not appear thereon.
Q. Have you ever made 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 by any official act of their National Council as a citizen?
A No sir.
Q Did you or did any one in your behalf in 1896 make application to the Commission for citizenship in the Choctaw Nation under the act of Congress of June 10th, 1896? A No sir.
Record of applications made to the Commission in 1896, for citizenship in the Choctaw Nation, examined and the name of the applicant does not appear thereon.
Q Have you been admitted to citizenship in the Choctaw Nation by judgment of the United States Courts for the Indian Territory on appeal from the decision of the Choctaw tribal authorities or the decision of this Commission? A No sir.
Record of parties admitted to citizenship in the Choctaw Nation by judgment of the United States Court, examined and the name of the applicant does not appear thereon.
Q Have you ever prior to this time made any application to either the tribal authorities of the Choctaw Nation or to the authorities of the United States for either citizenship or enrollment as a Choctaw? 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 you are entitled to be identified by this Commission as a Choctaw Indian entitled to rights in the Choctaw lands under the provisions of the fourteenth article of the treaty of 1830? A Father’s a half breed.
Q Are you making your claim under the provisions of 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 was the name of your ancestor who resided in Mississippi in 1830 at the time the treaty was entered into between the United States and the Choctaw Indians and who was at that time a recognized member of that tribe? A Father.
Q Your father’s name Samuel Hartley? A Yes sir.
Q Was Samuel Hartley a recognized member of the Choctaw tribe of Indians in Mississippi in 1830? A Yes sir.
Q Have you any evidence of that fact? A No sir.
Q Do you know when he left Mississippi? A No sir.
Q How long has he resided in Texas? A I can’t tell.
Q Do you know anything of his residence in Mississippi?
A No sir.
Q Do you know anything of his recognition by the Choctaw tribe of Indians in Mississippi? A No sir.
Q Did any of your ancestors through whom you might claim this right to identification ever receive or claim any land in Mississippi as beneficiaries under the provisions of the 14th article of the treaty of 1830? A No sir.
Q Do you claim under any other treaty stipulation between the United States and the Choctaw tribe of Indians? A No sir.
Q Are you married? A Yes sir.
Q What is your husband’s name? A Henry Shultz.
Q Are you making any claim for him? A No sir.
Q Is he a white man? A Yes sir.
Q Where did you marry him? A Texas.
Q Married to him in accordance with the laws of the state of Texas? A Yes sir.
Q Have you any children? A Yes sir.
Q What are their names and ages? A Birdie.
Q How old is Birdie? A Ten.
Q The next one? A. Callie.
Q How old is Callie? A She’s eight.
Q The next one? A Four.
Q What is the name? A Julia.
Q What is the next one? A Richard.
Q How old is Richard? A Fourteen months.
Q Is that all the children you have? A Yes sir.
Q Henry Shultz is the father of these children? A Yes sir.
Q You are the mother? A Yes sir.
Q You and your husband live together? A Yes sir.
Q Is there any additional statement you desire to make in support of this application? A No sir.
Q Any written evidence you desire to offer the Commission for consideration in support of this application?
Here attorney for applicant asks leave to file written evidence in support of this application within fifteen days from this date.
Permission is granted the attorney for applicant to file written evidence in support of this application provided the same is offered for filing within 15 days from the date hereof.
By L.P. Hudson, attorney for the applicant.
Q Mrs. Shultz, you said that you claim to be a quarter Choctaw? A Yes sir.
Q Isn’t that what your father claims, one quarter? A Yes sir.
Q Then you would only have half as much of that blood as he would, wouldn’t you? Your mother was a white woman? A Yes sir.
Q If your mother was a white woman and your father was one quarter that would only leave you an eighth, wouldn’t it? A Yes sir.
Q You say you reside in the state of Texas? A Yes sir.
Q Is it the intention of yourself and husband to remove to the Indian Territory? A yes sir.
Q To establish a home here in the near future? A Yes sir.
By the Commission: The decision of the Commission as to your application and the application you make on behalf of your four minor children for identification as Mississippi Choctaws will be mailed to you in writing in the near future to your present post-office address.
Myra Young, having been first duly sworn upon her oath states that as stenographer to the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes 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 full, true and correct transcript of her stenographic notes of said proceedings on said date.
Myra Young (signature)
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 23rd day of November 1900.
Guy L. V. Emerson (Signature)
1) I have now transcribed all the testimony given by my Hartley and Denyer kin on November 21, 1900. I have one more transcription from November 26,1900, and then I am finished with the testimony. There are a handful of other documents from the set I may transcribe.
2) It's clear from the other testimony that Virginia wasn't the only one who was confused about fractions.