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#1 Jun-18-2010 04:34:pm

bls926
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Blood degrees were unknown concept to Cherokees

Blood degrees were unknown concept to Cherokees

BY WILL CHAVEZ
Senior Reporter
Wed,  Jun 16, 2010

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Until the 19th century, Cherokee people lived by a clan system and identified themselves with their mothers’ clans. They had no concept of a full blood or half blood and were Cherokee if they had a clan.

“If your mother died, then your aunt would take you in or your grandmother. You would not be abandoned,” said Gene Norris, senior genealogist for the Cherokee National Historical Society, in his presentation “The Dawes Final Roll and Public Misconceptions” during the ninth annual Cherokee Ancestry Conference held June 11-12 in Tahlequah.

In the 19th century, as the Cherokee Nation adopted written laws, its identity turned into a political one and the clan system began to be set aside. However, the CN did not issue blood degrees. Those were brought upon tribes by the federal government, Norris said.
“They did not know how much Cherokee they were because they had no concept of that.

They knew they were Cherokee, and that’s all they needed to know,” he said.

In the early 1900s, when the Dawes Commission interviewed CN citizens to determine blood degrees for land allotments, they met resistance and some Cherokees refused to be interviewed. Commission workers sometimes took the testimonies of people who barely knew the person refusing to be interviewed. In one instance, testimony for a Cherokee man named Jackson Christie was given by his half-sister’s daughter’s husband, Norris said.

“It would be like your neighbor, who has known you for 20 years, going to the government and answering personal questions about you, and the government buys it. That’s what happened with the Dawes Roll,” he said.

In Christie’s case, his distant relatives did not accurately know his age and told interviewers Christie was “about half” Cherokee, though records show he was likely a full blood, Norris said.

In other instances Cherokee siblings’ blood degrees were written down with different degrees. Though it could be proven the siblings were full brothers and sisters, one sibling may have been written down as 4/4 Cherokee or full blood, while another may have considered three-quarters.

With all its shortcomings, the Dawes Roll is considered “written in stone” and cannot be amended except by an act of Congress, Norris said.

Because of the confusion surrounding the Dawes Roll, Norris said he has heard various reasons as to why a family is not on the roll from people searching for Cherokee ancestry. One reason is that an ancestor gave away or sold the roll number after receiving it from the government. That could not happen because those numbers were assigned to specific person, he said.

Another common story is that an ancestor was ashamed of being Indian or was afraid of being discriminated against and would not enroll, but many historians don’t believe this reason either.

Since 1907, the Bureau of Indian Affairs has used the Dawes Roll to determine who receives a Certificate Degree of Indian Blood card. Also, since 1975, when the CN amended its constitution, CN citizenship is based on the Dawes Roll, with each citizen required to have a direct ancestor on the roll.

Sometimes, Norris said, a person may find their direct ancestor’s sister or brother but not their direct ancestor. A person cannot use an indirect ancestor to enroll with the tribe, he said.

People also ask Norris, if they submit a DNA test showing they have Native American ancestry, can they enroll with the tribe? Norris said that is not possible because the CN does not accept DNA results for enrollment, and it’s difficult to determine if someone is specifically Cherokee through DNA testing.

Regarding Native American blood and blood degrees, Norris said he has never found a master document showing how the federal government determined blood degrees. He said the CN does not require a certain blood degree to be a tribal citizen.

Today, he said the lowest CN blood degree he knows of is 1/4,096.

“You have to keep in mind that the Cherokee didn’t give themselves blood degrees, the federal government gave them blood degrees,” he said.

http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/25014/Article.aspx

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#2 Jul-04-2010 05:11:pm

TrueNorth
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Registered: Feb-27-2010
Posts: 39

Re: Blood degrees were unknown concept to Cherokees

As I mentioned before, prior to the Civil War, there were deep divisions in Indian Country. Within the Cherokees, there was a polarization between the slave-owning “Knights” and the anti-slavery “Pins” ( who wore crossed straight pins on their lapels as an identifying symbol). In Kansas Indian Territory, the anti-slavery Lenapes (Delawares) allowed John Brown and his guerrilla fighters to use their reserve as a base area. The Cherokee Strip (between the Cherokee and Lenape reserves) was an outlaw zone where the pro-slavery Missouri “Border Ruffians” operated.

When the five “Civilized Nations” joined the Confederacy, the anti-slavery factions made a “Long March” to the Lenape Reserve in Kansas. This included mostly full-bloods and those with Afrikan blood heritage (including runaway slaves). They did this in the dead of winter and were pursued by Confederate cavalry from Texas and pro-slavery “Knights.” Fighting nearly daily rear-guard actions, the fugitive anti-slavery Indians arrived in Kansas in sorry shape having dumped most of their possessions in flight. Many died as the U.S. government was slow to respond with necessary supplies and provisions.

Nonetheless, the men joined with the Lenape and other Kansas-based Indians in forming the Kansas Indian Brigades and the Black Brigade, which together with White state militia, invaded the Oklahoma Indian Territory and drove out the Confederate forces. As they advanced, their ranks swelled with freed slaves and Indians who switched sides or came out of hiding. They captured Chief John Ross of the Cherokees and sent him off to Washington as a POW. There he buddied up with Lincoln and Eli Parker of the Indian Bureau.

After the war was over, he was restored to power and the Lenapes were forced to give up their Kansas reserve and were incorporated under the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma. Those who had resisted the Confederacy were put under the same group of mostly White former slave owners whose descenders still dominate Cherokee politics. They still have domination over the Lenape (Delawares) and the dispossessed Freemen.

It is a racial issue, but it is also a class issue, and most fundamentally it is about money and power. There are few full-bloods today. Most look either “White” or “Black.” In the pre-WWI period, poor Black, Indian and White sharecroppers, workers and small farmers became very radicalized. In 1916, the Socialist Party carried three counties and Oklahoma had the largest per capita number of Socialist votes of any state. Thousands joined the multi-racial and socialist-orientated Working Class Union (WCU), the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), and Farmers and Laborers Protective Association (FLPA).

When the U.S. entered the war and instituted a draft, the WCU called for an armed uprising that was dubbed the “Green Corn Rebellion.” Thousands of armed sharecroppers gathered on Roasting Ears Hill outside Sasakwa, OK. They were joined by striking miners from Wilburton, OK. Their plan was to gather their forces and march across the South, (picking up like-minded share-croppers and workers as they went), and descend upon Washington to demand Pres. Wilson’s resignation.

Before they got moving, however, they were confronted by a large posse of right-wing, pro-government forces. They dispersed without a fight but the posse went on a witch-hunt, ransacking homes and whipping people with ropes. Some 450 were arrested and many were imprisoned. A statewide reign of terror ensued, and the Socialist Party packed up and left. Thousands fled to the hills or neighboring states.

White racism and reactionary politics is not confined to the “White Indians” of the Cherokee Nation but is deeply rooted in the culture and history of class oppression and class struggle of Oklahoma. It is as deeply rooted as in the “Deep South.” All progressive forces should unite to support the struggle of the “Black Indians” and see it is part of our common struggle for liberation.

—Tom Big Warrior
Historykeeper and Chief
Traditionalist United Eastern Lenape Nation

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#3 Jul-04-2010 10:05:pm

Chevy
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Registered: Aug-01-2007
Posts: 1577

Re: Blood degrees were unknown concept to Cherokees

After the war was over, he was restored to power and the Lenapes were forced to give up their Kansas reserve and were incorporated under the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma. Those who had resisted the Confederacy were put under the same group of mostly White former slave owners whose descenders still dominate Cherokee politics. They still have domination over the Lenape (Delawares) and the dispossessed Freemen.

It is a racial issue, but it is also a class issue, and most fundamentally it is about money and power. There are few full-bloods today. Most look either “White” or “Black.” In the pre-WWI period, poor Black, Indian and White sharecroppers, workers and small farmers became very radicalized. In 1916, the Socialist Party carried three counties and Oklahoma had the largest per capita number of Socialist votes of any state. Thousands joined the multi-racial and socialist-orientated Working Class Union (WCU), the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), and Farmers and Laborers Protective Association (FLPA).

When the U.S. entered the war and instituted a draft, the WCU called for an armed uprising that was dubbed the “Green Corn Rebellion.” Thousands of armed sharecroppers gathered on Roasting Ears Hill outside Sasakwa, OK. They were joined by striking miners from Wilburton, OK. Their plan was to gather their forces and march across the South, (picking up like-minded share-croppers and workers as they went), and descend upon Washington to demand Pres. Wilson’s resignation.

Before they got moving, however, they were confronted by a large posse of right-wing, pro-government forces. They dispersed without a fight but the posse went on a witch-hunt, ransacking homes and whipping people with ropes. Some 450 were arrested and many were imprisoned. A statewide reign of terror ensued, and the Socialist Party packed up and left. Thousands fled to the hills or neighboring states.

White racism and reactionary politics is not confined to the “White Indians” of the Cherokee Nation but is deeply rooted in the culture and history of class oppression and class struggle of Oklahoma. It is as deeply rooted as in the “Deep South.” All progressive forces should unite to support the struggle of the “Black Indians” and see it is part of our common struggle for liberation.

—Tom Big Warrior
Historykeeper and Chief
Traditionalist United Eastern Lenape Nation

This is really interesting. Who is Tom Big Warrior?

Can you give some books about all this?

Thanks, Martha.

"all this" being

In the pre-WWI period

etc.

Also, do you have any information about the assassination of Issac Journeycake, the murder of him by Charles Coker (Cherokee), and the murder of Charles Coker (Cherokee) by John Newcom, Delaware, and do you have any knowledge about what happened to John Newcom after he left the Cherokee Nation?

http://lenapedelawarehistory.net/mirror/bioh-l.htm


http://books.google.com/books?id=rNi7SQ … mp;f=false

Thanks again, Martha

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#4 Jul-04-2010 10:06:pm

tree hugger
Site Admin
Registered: May-12-2006
Posts: 11026

Re: Blood degrees were unknown concept to Cherokees

—Tom Big Warrior
Historykeeper and Chief
Traditionalist United Eastern Lenape Nation

neutral

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#5 Jul-04-2010 10:14:pm

Chevy
Member
Registered: Aug-01-2007
Posts: 1577

Re: Blood degrees were unknown concept to Cherokees

http://digital.library.okstate.edu/ency … CI011.html

He said they made a long march to the Delaware Indian Reserve in Kansas, but this says some Cherokee went to Ft. Scott.

Thereafter in the territory, partisan activity on both sides led to retaliatory raids and many cruelties. When either a Confederate or Union force left an area, the civilian population was open to invasion by opposing forces. Fear of retribution led to a massive refugee problem. Some two thousand displaced Cherokee suffered at Fort Scott, Kansas. When Union victory at Honey Springs led to permanent Federal occupation of Forts Gibson and Smith, those who were exiled in Kansas were ordered home. By 1863 perhaps as many as seven thousand refugees surrounded Fort Gibson. At the end of the war, in camps around Red River, Confederate civilians numbering nearly fifteen thousand gathered and suffered. It has been estimated that among the Cherokee by 1863 one-third of the married women had become widows, and one-fourth of the children were orphans.

The Delaware Kansas Reserve was at Ft. Leavenworth. I wish he (Tom Big Warrior) had given sources for his quotes, or points. I'd like to see somewhere it says that Cherokee went to the Delaware Reserve.

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#6 Jul-04-2010 10:18:pm

Chevy
Member
Registered: Aug-01-2007
Posts: 1577

Re: Blood degrees were unknown concept to Cherokees

Thanks for your posts TrueNorth, I enjoyed them.

Martha.

http://digital.library.okstate.edu/ency … CI013.html

CIVIL WAR REFUGEES

The impact of the Civil War on the civilian population of the Indian Territory was unparalleled in any other venue. Neither regular troops nor guerrilla bands on either side respected civilian property. Worse, bitter Removal-era hostilities within the Seminole, Cherokee, and Creek nations greatly escalated the level of violence aimed at perceived enemies, whether in uniform or not. To escape victimization, Indian Territory civilians on both sides fled their homes, creating a refugee problem not anticipated by Union or Confederate authorities.

Dislocation due to the war began in the summer of 1861 when the Creek Nation signed a treaty allying itself with the Confederacy. Opothleyahola, long-time foe of the pro-Confederate leaders, led dissident Creeks, with their movable wealth, slaves, and livestock, away to the western frontier. His followers included opponents of the Creek pro-Confederate faction, neutral Indians hoping to avoid war, and runaway slaves. When the dissidents' number reached about seven thousand, pro-Confederate leaders in the Indian nations became alarmed, fearing the loss of more slaves and that Opothleyahola and his "Loyalists" would join forces with Unionist troops to invade the Indian Territory.

As Opothleyahola led his followers toward the safety of Unionist Kansas, Confederate Indian and Texas troops launched a preemptive strike in November and December 1861. Opothleyahola's followers who survived the running fight to Kansas, now minus their belongings, found no preparations for their arrival. After a bitter winter of exposure and starvation, the able men enlisted in regiments of the Indian Home Guard. Federal authorities planned to use them in a summer invasion of the Indian Territory that they anticipated would allow the refugees to return home and provide for themselves. But the 1862 Indian Expedition failed, and one year after the war began, the Union agent reported that 5,487 refugees were still encamped at LeRoy, Kansas.

Meanwhile, federal employees, non-Indian residents, and missionaries who no longer felt safe in the Indian nations were leaving the Indian Territory in a more orderly fashion. Wealthy pro-Confederate Indians began a more substantial mass migration, taking their families, livestock, and male slaves to the Red River Valley of northern Texas, where they put land into production. Some, such as Creek Principal Chief Motey Kennard and Creek Judge George W. Stidham, then returned home to await events. But others, including Sarah Watie, wife of Confederate Cherokee commander Stand Watie, stayed, farming to support their children and slaves. With Opothleyahola in Kansas, early 1862 was relatively quiet for the pro-Confederate Indians, although "bushwhacking," or sporadic partisan attacks, took lives on both sides. The real fighting was generally far away in Missouri and Arkansas.

The calm lasted until the summer of 1862, when the Indian Expedition moved south from Kansas into the Cherokee Nation and set off a flight of pro-Confederate Cherokees. Some crossed the Arkansas River to settle temporarily in the Creek Nation and escape continuing violence in their own country, even after the invaders withdrew to Kansas. But in April 1863 a stronger, more determined Union advance began with the recapture of Fort Gibson. This time the invasion force included former slaves and Union Indians in federal uniforms, which particularly frightened pro-Confederate Cherokees and Creeks. More pro-Confederate Cherokees fled to the Red River Valley as these Union troops burned homes and harassed civilians as far south as Webbers Falls.

The final large-scale movement of refugees occurred in the aftermath of the Battle of Honey Springs on July 18, 1863. Pro-Confederate Cherokee and Creek civilians understood that the Confederate defeat and subsequent withdrawal south to the Canadian River left them exposed and vulnerable. They scrambled out of the way of the Union advance in a flight they later wryly called "the Stampede," taking refuge in the Red River Valley camps in the southern Choctaw and Chickasaw nations. For the last two years of the war the Creek Nation was virtually deserted.

In the Red River Valley Confederate Brig. Gen. Samuel Bell Maxey, ex-officio Superintendent of Indian Affairs, knew that the Indian families, many now destitute, must be cared for to ensure that their men would fight on in the Confederate Second Indian Cavalry Brigade. That unit was helping defend the Texas border. At various times Maxey supplied flour, beef, and soap to 4,823 Creeks in the Washita River camps, 2,906 Cherokees at Tishomingo, 574 Seminoles near Fort Washita, 241 Osages near Fort Arbuckle, 4,480 Choctaws, and 785 Chickasaws. However, the refugees helped themselves by growing abundant corn and vegetables. In 1864 they raised fifteen hundred bales of cotton to trade for textiles. Indian women carded cotton, spun yarn, and wove their own fabric to provide clothing for themselves and their men. Even so, there were chronic shortages of clothing and shoes. The capture of the million-dollar wagon train at the Second Battle of Cabin Creek on September 18, 1864, boosted morale by bringing welcome supplies of calico, candles, flour, bacon, coffee, canned goods, and shoes to the refugee camps.

By comparison, the Union refugees fared much worse. Although federal forces held Fort Gibson from April 1863 through 1865, the Confederate First Indian Cavalry Brigade raided the vicinity at will. Union Indian refugees, brought back from Kansas, dared not leave miserable, crowded camps protected by the fort's cannon. Federal troops rounded up slaves in the aftermath of Honey Springs and delivered them to the fort, adding further to the refugee problem. Feeding refugees who could not raise their own food was not a federal priority. Malnutrition then afflicted refugee camps already ravaged by smallpox, dysentery, pneumonia, diarrhea, and gastric disorders.

Refugees who survived four years of displacement, disease, and deprivation trickled home gratefully in late 1865 and 1866, but their number was drastically reduced. The toll of the dead or missing ranged from one of nine Chickasaws to one of every four Creeks. Once home, they faced the daunting task of rebuilding homes, farms, and public buildings that had been stripped, if not destroyed, in their absence.

SEE ALSO: CIVIL WAR ERA, FREE COMPANIES, QUANTRILL'S RAIDERS.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Wiley Britton, The Civil War on the Border, 2 vols. (3rd ed., rev.: Ottowa: Kansas Heritage Press, 1994). Stephen Foreman Collection, Western History Collections, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma. Alice Robertson Collection, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Ella Coody Robinson interview, Indian-Pioneer History, Vol. 77, Western History Collections, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, microfiche. Mary Jane Warde, "'Now the Wolf Has Come': The Civilian Civil War in the Indian Territory," The Chronicles of Oklahoma 71 (Spring 1993).

Mary Jane Warde

© Oklahoma Historical Society

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#7 Jul-04-2010 11:01:pm

Chevy
Member
Registered: Aug-01-2007
Posts: 1577

Re: Blood degrees were unknown concept to Cherokees

tree hugger, does this Tom Big Warrior, just not know what he's talking about? Just asking. smile

http://artburton.com/articles/cherokee_ … police.htm

Also, on the subject of the Cokers, here Art T. Burton, who as far as I know is a great researcher, says it  was Calvin Coker who killed Charles Journeycake, but I don't think Charles Journeycake was killed by anyone. I thought he died a natural death,  otherwise maybe I've confused my self. neutralsadbig_smilehmm gah.

Charles Hicks, Sheriff, Cooweescoowee District, December 12, 1870. Hicks, was assassinated by John and Calvin Coker, father and son, when they invaded Hicks home and killed him with double-barrel shotguns after a personal feud. John Coker died several years later in Arkansas. Calvin returned, gave himself up to Cherokee authorities. He was tried and acquitted for the Hicks murder. Calvin later killed Cherokee Chief Charles Journeycake but was acquitted of that murder in the Cherokee courts. On September 4, 1876, Calvin Coker was shot and killed by an unknown assailant in a saloon in Coffeyville, Kansas



Q. In referring to those cases in which thc Delawares were interested, ifl understood yon, it was a case in which .voting Crocker was killed. He was killed by Charles Newcomb, a Delaware Indian f—A. Yes, sir.

Q. In the trial Newcomb was acquitted f—A. Yes, sir.

Q. That was before a Cherokee court, was it ?—A. Yes, sir.

<i- Afterwards the sheriff of the district was killed by some of the same party f—A. Yes, sir.

By Mr. William. P. Ross:

Q. By Cherokee Indians !—A. No, sir; by a Crocker. Q. Then afterwards Charles Journey-Cake was killed by a Crocker ?— A. Yes, sir.

By the Chairman :

Q. Was the sheriff'killed by Crocker?—A. Yes, sir.
By Mr. William P. Ross:


Q. After the lapse of some time, Crocker was tried and acquitted ?—A. Yes, sir; I believe so.

Q. Then after a year or two this difficulty to which yon referred at the church in the western part of the district, where one of the Delaware.* w;is carried away and killed by a party consistingof some mixed men— Cherokees and white men—and some of the Delawares on the ground immediately pursued those who committed the deed and killed some ot the parties engaged in it; that was the end of the difficulty, the parties were destroyed ?—A. Yes, sir.

http://books.google.com/books?...v=onep … mp;f=false

page 477


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