About Us - Muscogee Creek Indian Freedmen Band History
MUSKOGEE CREEK INDIAN FREEDMEN BAND
To Preserve and Protect the unique history, heritage and genealogy of the Muscogee Creek Indian Freedmen who were removed to Indian Territory (Oklahoma) on the Trail of Tears.
To Promote interest and participation by sharing genealogical information with members, researchers, and the general public.
To Provide help as an educational resource to researchers through lectures, workshops, conferences, and museum exhibits.
To educate the public regarding the African Creeks’ political rights as citizens of the Creek Nation, as defined by the Creek Treaty of 1866(Article 2).
Who are the Freedmen or African Creeks?
Learn a brief history of the Creek Freedmen as we feel it is essential to understand our history and the role that our ancestors indeed played in the Muscogee Creek Nation. We are not folks trying to receive a handout; our people were citizens and served the Creek Nation in high roles in the Creek government and served the Nation faithfully.
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Learn about the Myths and Misconceptions of the Muscogee Creek Indian Freedmen Band.
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The Muscogee Creek Freedmen were citizens of the Muscogee Creek Nation placed on the Creek Freedmen Roll. This classification included people of African descent who were:
1. Enslaved or owned by citizens of the MCN
2. Free Blacks living as citizens of the Creek Nation.
3. Interracial Creeks of African descent listed as Creek Freedmen on the Dawes Rolls.
Regardless of their “blood” status or roll placement, the Freedmen and their Descendants “shall have and enjoy all the rights of native citizens” Pursuant to Article 2 of the Creek Treaty of 1866 between the United States and the MCN. (Note: Between 1867 and 1895, the MCN created numerous rolls of its citizens. These rolls did not list a blood quantum or single out the Creeks of African descent, free blacks, or the former enslaved African Creeks emancipated by the Creek Treaty of 1866.)
The Force Removal
In the 1830s, the United States removed the Creek Indian people, including their enslaved African Creeks, from their traditional homelands in Alabama and Georgia to Indian Territory, now known as Oklahoma. This removal is known as the Trail of Tears. We stress this often-omitted piece of history. The “Freedmen suffered the same loss” when traveling from their Southeastern homelands to Indian Territory on the journey to the new land; our people died suffered from pneumonia, diseases, and exposure. They were afflicted with the same atrocities as the so-called full-blood Indians.
The African tears left on the trail must be acknowledged when discussing the removal odyssey of the five slaveholding tribes. The people of African descent were a part of the trail of tears forced removal odyssey. (See the 1832 Pre-removal Roll-Parsons and Abbott).
The Muscogee Creek Nation citizens fought on both the Union and Confederate. Some enslaved African Creek Freedmen and African Creeks joined the Union Army, later known as Loyal Creeks.
At the end of the Civil War, the United States and Muscogee Creek Nation signed the peace Treaty of 1866, which required the cession of 3.2 million acres of land and granted full citizenship to Freedmen.
From Property to People
In 1866 the people known as Freedmen went from property to People. Of course, they were always people, but in the eyes of many, they were indeed property.
1866 Creek Treaty-Article 2.
The Creeks hereby covenant and agree that henceforth neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes, whereof the parties shall have been duly convicted in accordance with laws applicable to all members of said tribe, shall ever exist in said Nation; and inasmuch as there are among the Creeks many persons of African descent, who have no interest in the soil, it is stipulated that hereafter these persons lawfully residing in said Creek country under their laws and usages, or who have been thus residing in said country, and may return within one year from the ratification of this Treaty, and their descendants and such others of the same race as may be permitted by the laws of the said Nation to settle within the limits of the jurisdiction of the Creek Nation as citizens [thereof,] shall have and enjoy all the rights and privileges of native citizens, including an equal interest in the soil and national funds, and the laws of the said Nation shall be equally binding upon and give equal protection to all such persons, and all others, of whatsoever race or color, who may be adopted as citizens or members of said tribe.
In 1867, the Muscogee Creek Nation (MCN) citizens adopted a written constitution that followed Article 2 of the 1866 Treaty, which called for a Principal Chief, Second Chief, the judicial branch. The bicameral legislative system comprised a House of Kings and a House of Warriors, this including the Freedmen (what we know today as our U.S. Legislative system, the Senate, and House Representative).
The Term Freedmen
Black/African Creeks or Freedmen (The term Freedmen was not used until the late 1890s and was given by the government). It is worth noting that there were free men and women of color living in the Creek Nation and were a part of the Nation before the American Revolution war. Most people of African descent self-identified as “Creeks” or Black Creeks or, as our ancestors would say, “Native Negro’s or State Negro’s. They identified differently culturally from the people known as “State Negros.”)
The House of Kings and the House of Warriors
Black Creeks or Freedmen served in the House of Kings and the House of Warriors. They served as Senators, Judges, lawyers, Lighthorse police, and the principal chief of Creek Nation, etc. One such example is Chief Perryman. As described in the Extra Census Bulletin, “The principal chief, virtually a Negro, comes of a famous family in creek annals his name is Leguest Choteau Perryman. “The negroes are among the earnest workers in the Five Tribes. The Creek Nation affords the best example of negro progress. “The principal chief, virtually a negro, comes from a famous family in Creek annals. His name is Leguest Choteau Perryman”. Department of the Interior Census Office, Washington D.C., United States Printing Office, 1894.” We can cite many stories of the Creeks Freedmen serving the Creek Nation in essential government and community roles. For example, Mikko Cow Tom Treaty signer, and Interpreter, Sugar George prosecuting attorney, Judge Henry Reed, Harry Island served as an Interpreter, and Jesse Franklin served as supreme Court judge, to name a few.
We would argue that the Creek Nation literally would not be what it is today without the bloodshed and tears of the Creek Freedmen who served their Nation faithfully only to be disenfranchise years later.
Dunn Roll was to identify citizens entitled to payment. All citizens, Native Creeks, and Freedmen were listed on the Dunn roll. Three Freedmen districts or towns were established for political and economic purposes: North Fork, Canadian, and Arkansas.
The Colbert Commission was established to authorize, summons witnesses, take testimony, and decide and approve citizenship cases (abolished in 1898).
1898 the Curtis Act allowed the government to terminate the MCN tribal government by taking away ownership of the land held in common and replacing it with individual ownership of 160 acres of land per citizen.
The establishment of the Dawes Commission by congress was to identify and enroll citizens eligible for allotment. All creek Freedmen received the same amount of land as citizens considered to be full-blood Indians. They all received 160 acres of land as full citizens of the Creek Nation. All were on equal footing.
The Curtis Act directed the Dawes Commission to divide the MCN by creating two separate rolls: 1) the “Creek Nation Creek Roll or Creek Nation Indian Roll.” The express purpose of the use of Blood quantum was intended to be used for land allotment purposes only. For example, “In cases of mixed Freedmen and Indian parents, which was common among the Creeks…the applicant that was enrolled as a Freedmen was not given credit for having any Indian blood. See the works of Kent Carter, “Dawes Commission.” Blood quantum was never intended to be used by tribes decades later to determine membership of the various tribes. It was for land allotment purposes only! “Period.”
Department of Interior
In 1938, a memorandum was sent to the Solicitor, the Department of Interior, Nathan Margold, by John Collier, Commissioner, on behalf of the Five Tribes, “Question: They wanted to find some way to eliminate the Freedmen.” And “The status of these Freedmen, would the Freedmen be entitled to vote on the adoption of a constitution.” In 1941, Nathan Margold answered and stated that “Creek Freedmen were adopted as full members pursuant to the Treaty of June 14, 1866 (14 Stat. 785). “
1979 Constitution & Disenrollment of the Freedmen
In 1979, the Muscogee Creek Nation decided to divest themselves of the Freedmen by adopting a new Constitution. As per the Treaty of 1866 article 2, Freedmen are citizens by Treaty and have a constitutional right to vote in all constitutional elections. By in large, the problem is that the Freedmen were not permitted to vote on the proposed constitution of 1979; the Treaty of 1866 is the supreme law of the land and has not abrogated, thus the Creek Nation is in violation of their own laws. As a result, the Freedmen descendants have lost their citizenship, identity, right to run for political office, voting rights, Indian housing grants, educational grants, COVID stimulus relief funds, and other federally funded programs. What would it look like if the U.S. decided to remove citizenship from the enrolled citizens of the five slaveholding tribes? No more dual citizenship. Would members of the tribes be outraged?
The Creek Treaty of 1866, Article 2, has not been abrogated or amended, and the new Constitution of 1979 violates the Treaty, which is the supreme law of the land. Members of the MCIFB are in ACTIVE litigation pursuing citizenship within the Muscogee Creek Nation.
Born in 1868, near Muskogee. He received 160 acre Creek land allotment, part of it within present day Muskogee. He served as superintendent of the Tullahassee Manual Labor School and later became one of its trustees. In 1895 he was hired as an attorney for Creek Nation. In 1899, he was elected to the House of Warriors. Prior to statehood he served as president of the Muskogee Republican Club and was Superintendent of the Colored Orphans School.
In 1899, Muskogee was in its second year of offering public education. But many churches in the community also sponsored schools. That year, the African American Baptist congregations began a new school called Sango Baptist College. It was named for Creek Freedmen A.G.W. Sango, a lawyer and educator. The school was located at Fifth and Howard streets.
Sango had begun his work as an educator at the Tullahassee Mission School. Originally a school for Creek children, it was converted to a school for Creek Freedmen after the Civil War.
Sango held a position of prominence in Muskogee’s black community at the turn of the last century. Besides directing the Baptist school, he had also served as editor of the Morning Sun, an African American newspaper.
The Sun was the second black newspaper to operate in Muskogee and was part of a rise in such publications around the country at that time. It was only printed for about two years, but other newspapers for the African American community continued for a number of years. Included in that number was the Muskogee Cimiter, which was published by Sango’s friend and fellow attorney, William H. Twine.
Sango was well-known as an eloquent orator. He served as a delegate to a statehood convention held in Muskogee in 1901. The convention was basically a series of debates about whether Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory should combine to form one state or should seek separate statehood. Sango argued for single statehood.
Source: OKC Black text book and Jonita Mullins
The MCIFB’s Story Teller, Jennifer Bradley will guide event participants on a journey back in time to the days of Indian Territory, a pivotal time in history before the creation of the State of Oklahoma. A time when people of African descent were known as Natives, Black Indians, or African Creeks in Indian Territory.
In the Story Tellers’ portrayal of Creek Freedman Lucinda Davis, she gives a riveting performance of this little-known history as recorded by the writer’s project (WPA) in the 1937 interview. Ms. Davis was an eyewitness to the historic Battle of Honey Spring that occurred near her home in the summer of 1864.
This interview is historically important because it provides a first hand account of the life and culture of the Creek Freedmen. For example, Ms. Davis describes her life experience of being born and enslaved in the Creek Nation, funeral and burial traditions, traditional foods and more. Ms. Davis also spoke the Muscogee Creek language fluently as reflected in the interview.
Reverend Charles H. Davis
Lansing State Journal- Lansing Michigan April 22, 1975
Pockets of Black Indian scattered across the nation
Interview with Rev. Davis of Haskell Oklahoma!
This article is an excellent example of Black Indian identity, culture, and language. Thank you, our friend, Angela Walton-Raji, for sharing!
Did you know: Famed Jazz musician Washington Rucker is a descendant of Black Creek Freedmen Ketch Barnett? Barnett was a Creek Nation Interpreter and Baptist minister & Pastor of the Old Fountain Church. Ketch Barnett, along with Cow Tom, & Harry Island traveled by wagon from IT (Okla) to Lawrence, KS, where they boarded a train in 1868 to Washington DC, to ensure that the Creek Freedmen were treated fairly and included in benefits extended to the citizens of the Nation.
A census had already been taken in the Nation that excluded the Freedmen, so the three acted quickly and wisely and made their appeal in Washington to ensure the Freedmen were included in the benefits.
Washington Rucker is an award-winning jazz musician who was inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame in 1998.
Rucker was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on March 5th, 1937, he was born in Greenwood, and attended Booker T Washington High, developing a talent for the drums along the way. By his teens, Washington was working with bluesman Jimmy “Cry Cry” Hawkins and was soon off to UCLA to study to get into the Los Angeles music scene. A man of many talents, Washington got a degree in history and side careers in acting and cosmetology while playing drums with bands in a variety of genres. Rucker has worked with artists as diverse as Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Gospel artists Rev. James Cleveland and Shirley Caesar, Jazz greats like Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Stitt, Hampton Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Stitt, Hamptones, and Freddie Hubbard and singers Nancy Wilson and Linda Hopkins. He also fronts his own group, The Jazz Collection, which he tours and records with.
He has an active career as an educator, teaching a master class at USC on the “Art of the Brushes” in drumming and a well regarded program on Jazz History for young students called Jazz for Wee People. He has also appeared regularly in film and television as a character actor, most notably in Martin Scorsese’s “New York, New York” and Clint.
Did you know: The Creek Nation practiced chattel slavery until 1866? There were always Freed men and women of color who were vital members of the Creek Nation, but most were enslaved people. Black Creeks, known as Creek Freedmen, were freed pursuant the Treaty of 1866.
You may ask, why are Black Creeks no longer citizens of the Creek Nation? The Creek Nation decided to divest themselves of the Creek Freedmen by pushing through a new constitution in 1979, not allowing the Black Creeks an opportunity to exercise their constitutional right to vote.
Black Creeks deserve Justice. Will you join the movement and help us fight the good fight?
TREATY OF 1866 ARTICLE 2.
The Creeks hereby covenant and agree that henceforth neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes, whereof the parties shall have been duly convicted in accordance with laws applicable to all members of said tribe, shall ever exist in said nation; and inasmuch as there are among the Creeks many persons of African descent, who have no interest in the soil, it is stipulated that hereafter these persons lawfully residing in said Creek country under their laws and usages, or who have been thus residing in said country, and may return within one year from the ratification of this treaty, and their descendants and such others of the same race as may be permitted by the laws of the said nation to settle within the limits of the jurisdiction of the Creek Nation as citizens [thereof,] shall have and enjoy all the rights and privileges of native citizens, including an equal interest in the soil and national funds, and the laws of the said nation shall be equally binding upon and give equal protection to all such persons, and all others, of whatsoever race or color, who may be adopted as citizens or members of said tribe.
Island Smith was a celebrated African Creek native healer (or root doctor) who practiced his art in the hinterlands southwest of Okmulgee in the years after Oklahoma statehood. Smith was born outside of Taft, Oklahoma in 1877 to Hannah (later Robinson) and Isaac Smith. His father died when Smith was a small boy and his mother remarried and the family moved to the area southwest of Okmulgee where they operated a small subsistence ranch/farm in the years before allotment. Smith recalled that the family cultivated about an acre of corn for home use and raised cattle, hogs, and horses. They also gathered wild foods and hunted deer, rabbit, squirrel, possum, and raccoon. With this lifestyle, Smith recalled that they “seldom had use for money in the early days [the 1880s and 1890s] and spent it as soon as we got it.” When the family needed flour, coffee, sugar, or other household items, they simply rounded up some hogs and sold them in Okmulgee.
Smith learned to identify and prepare roots and herbs and to administer them as medicines in the traditional Creek way, and after he was older he became known for his abilities as a native healer. Smith attributed his abilities to his mixed African-Indian heritage saying: “Cross blood means extra knowledge. I can take my cane (a hollow reed that channels a native healer’s energy and is used to administer herbal medicines) and blow it twice and do the same as a full-blood Creek doctor does in four times. Two bloods means two talents. Two bloods has more swifter solid good sense and I is one of them.” Gary Zellar
Source for above narrative:
Gary Zellar, African Creeks: Estelvste and the Creek Nation (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2007); Sigmund Sameth, “Creek Negroes: A Study in Race Relations,” Master’s Thesis, University of Oklahoma, 1941.
Creek Freedmen census card (Attached)
Island Smith, roll# 4706
Rachel Smith, roll# 4707 (wife)
Cora Smith, roll# 4708 (daughter)
I was thrilled to find Dr. Island Smith listed on the 1930 census.
1930 Fifteenth Census of the United States (Attached)
Marital status: Windowed
Occupation: Medical Doctor
Tullahassee Manual Labor School
One of the best known schools for the Freedmen was at Tullahassee. It had been built originally for the Creeks. As time went on there were more Freedmen in the area and attending the school. In 1870 one of the main building burned, and some of the students were transferred to another school. Eventually there were only Freedmen attending the school. The Creek Council voted on April 15, 1881 to turn the school over to the freedmen. Creek Chief Samuel checote wrote the Freedmen, asking if they would accept it. Monday Durant replied on behalf of the Freedmen In a letter dated December 27, 1881, he said; “I was told by Hon. Simon Brown that you informed him that if the people decided not to take the old remains of the mission; that we could go ahead and affect an exchange with the United States, for the Government Buildings at Union Agency, as has heretofore been talked of, and to which the Department has consented. That we desire to do, on account of its healthful and convenient location, and because by making the exchange with the United states we obtain good substantial buildings, together with a farm, all worth about $10,000.00 for a little over $3000.00; and we can have the building ready to begin the school in the spring” Tullahassee reopened in 1883 as Tullahassee Manual Labor School, and Creek freedmen Indians ran it with the help from the American Baptist Home Mission Society. Sugar T. George was superintendent of this school for some time. In 1883 these two groups established a second school, known as Evangel School, on the old Union Agency grounds in Muskogee. Source Oklahoma Black History text book
Silas Jefferson, also known as Ho-tul-ko-micco –“Wind Clan chief” — was born in 1835 at Taskigi Town (or Tuskegee) in the Old Creek Nation. His parents were Betsey and Jeffery Manac (McNac). Jefferson emigrated with his parents to the Creek lands in the Indian Territory in 1838. He enlisted in the First Indian Home Guard Regiment (Co. I) during the Civil War and after the war became very involved in politics. He served several terms in the Creek House of Warriors representing Taskigi Town. He also served as one of Chief Locha Hacho’s advisors (Creek chief 1875-1876, impeached and removed from office in 1876 by the Creek Council) and was also close to Chief Isparhecher (Creek Chief, 1895-1899).
He was a leading figure in the African Creek community. He was the only African Creek elected to represent a traditional Indian town and was eventually enrolled by the Dawes Commission on the by-blood roll rather than the freedmen roll(ca.1877). Smithsonian Institution, National Anthropological Archives, negative no 1117. Note of interest many of his siblings were enrolled as Creek Freedmen while other were enrolled on the by blood rolls.
In 1879 Jefferson ran as a candidate for 2nd Chief on the Loyal Party ticket with Isparhecher, but the two candidates dropped out of the race after the Loyal Party withdrew from electoral politics and set up their own government at Nuyuka Town west of Okmulgee.
During the Green Peach War (1882-1883), Silas Jefferson abandoned the Loyal Party after Isparhecher advised his followers to take up arms against the Creek Constitutional government. After the outbreaks that summer, he worked diligently to bring the warring factions together. He remained involved in Creek politics until tribal dissolution in 1906. He also served as one of the principal informants regarding Creek culture and religion for anthropologists John Swanton and Frank Speck when they were collecting information on Creek life for the Smithsonian Institute in the early twentieth century. Silas Jefferson died in 1913 or 1914 near Beggs, Oklahoma.
Courtesy of Gary Zellar
“Yamasee Indians were Negroes, what were known afterwards as the fiercest of the Indians tribes of the South- the well known Yamasee Indians were Africans”
Quote cited from the Congressional serial set United States Government Printing Office 57th Congress 1st Session. House of Representatives Document 179 Report of the Industrial Commission on Agriculture and Agricultural labor Washington Government printing Office Year 1901, page 824.
Scott W. McIntosh
Creek Freedmen Indians of the State of Oklahoma was the name of the Freedmen Band in the 90’s. The Band was under the leadership of Scott W McIntosh. Mr. McIntosh fought for many years to restore the rights of African Creek Indian Freedmen. Records show the Band met in Boynton, OK, and the Tulsa, Ok.
Long time African Creek leader and Canadian Colored Town chief. Bruner founded the settlement of Prairie’s Edge on the southwestern edge of present-day Holdenville. Although he aided the Dawes commission in getting African Creeks properly enrolled for allotment, he had warned the assembled Creeks at Okmulgee in 1894, when the Dawes commissioners first arrived in the Creek country, that “nothing good could come of allotment,” and he predicted that the Creeks would be robbed of their homes and driven from their land. OHS, Aylesworth Collection, 1922-41.
Cow Tom (The Oklahoma Cowkeeper)
After the Civil war, when the Creek Nation had not yet surrendered and was in chaos, a former slave (of Yamasee descent) by the name of Cow Tom emerged on the scene by establishing order in the camps at Fort Gibson. He was an Interpreter for Creek leader, Yargee.
James Coody Johnson
Johnson was the official interpreter for the Seminole Nation as well as an advisor to Chief Halputta Micco at the time. He was also active in the Creek National Council. As Creek Pleasant Porter said at the time, “he carries the responsibilities of two nations on his shoulders.” OHS, James Coody Johnson collection.
James Coody Johnson (1864 – February 1927)
James Coody Johnson was an African Creek lawyer, politician and entrepreneur, and a leading voice for inclusion of African Americans both before and after Oklahoma statehood. Johnson was the son of Robert Johnson, the African Creek interpreter for the Seminole nation and Elizabeth Davis (Johnson), daughter of Sarah Davis. He was born in 1864 at Ft. Gibson, where his mother had gone for protection as a refugee during the Civil War. He received his early education at the Presbyterian Mission north of Wewoka. Later, the Seminole nation sponsored his education at Lincoln University in Chester, Pennsylvania. Johnson returned to the Indian Territory in 1884 after his graduation and hired on as a cowboy with a cattle company, and for the next year and a half he rode the range in New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas as one of the many black cowboys in the West. After the death of his father in 1886 James Coody returned to the Creek country. He used his bi-lingual abilities and education to secure a job as interpreter for Judge Isaac Parker, who presided over the Federal District Court for Western Arkansas, which at the time had jurisdiction over the Indian Territory. After studying law under Judge Parker and being admitted to practice in the federal courts, Johnson was one of the few freedmen accorded dual citizenship in both the Creek and Seminole nations and acted as the official interpreter for the Seminole nation, as well as an advisor to Seminole Chief Halputta Micco. He also became a leading figure in Creek politics, serving in the House of Warriors for several terms and serving on many official delegations to Washington during the allotment period. Johnson was also a tireless advocate of full citizenship rights for African Americans after Oklahoma entered the Union as a “Jim Crow” state in 1907. James Coody Johnson died at his home in Wewoka, Oklahoma in February 1927.
Sources:Gary Zellar, African Creeks:
Estelvste and the Creek Nation (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2007)
In or about 1977, Napoleon Davis, a Creek Indian Freedmen descendant sought to guard the history and culture of Creek Indian Freedmen by first housing the history in a museum built on his family’s original Creek Indian Freedmen land allotment in Taft, Oklahoma. Second, he preserved the legacy of Creek Freedmen by compiling the written history in a book which spanned the years 1858-1921.
Joseph P. Davison
Was a prominent African Creek active in the development of the Creek country and its politics. Davison was born in 1840, the son of Julie Gibson, Sarah Davis’s daughter, and D.N. McIntosh, Chief William McIntosh’s son.
Claude A. Cox, Principal Chief
To the Creek People, Article by Claude A. Cox, Principal Chief regarding Constitutional election, which reads in part…”On April 14, 1979, we must choose between proven failure of the past and a dread for the future of the Creek people, There is but one choice. As a Creek tribal government we must: (3) Elect council representatives from districts rather that tribal towns as was the case under the disastroud[s] 1867 Constitution. While tribal towns continue to be important socially, it far better to be represented by a tribal member familiar with the unique needs of the districts where we live.” page 1 Muscogee Nation News April 1979.
Leguest Choteau Perryman
Extra Census Bulletin- The Five Civilized tribes In Indian Territory, The Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole Nations – Paragraph 6 reads, “The negroes are among the earnest workers in the Five Tribes. The Creek Nation affords the best example of negro progress. The principal chief, virtually a negro, comes from a famous family in Creek annals. His name is Leguest Choteau Perryman”. Department of the Interior Census Office, Washington D.C., United States Printing Office, 1894
Obituary of Martha Davison Jones, daughter of Patsy McIntosh and J.P. Davidson born in 1865. Father was superintendent of Pecan Mission and Warrior’s Creek Council, representing Arkansas Town. Jones attended Tallahassee Mission School of the Indian Territory and married in 1892.
Obituary of Odessa Myers Division 1913-1994. She attended the Creek Indian Mission School until age 16. At this age she was only able to speak the Indian language. Her grandmother then enrolled her in Peters Chapel School where she learned to speak English and finish her education.
African Creek Indian identity
Congressional Records dialogue; before a committee held on November 21, 1878 at Muskogee, Indian Territory.” The Committee met. Senators present: the chairman and Mr. Grover, Present on behalf of the Creeks: Messrs. Porter, Hodge and Stidham.
Jess Franklin, having been duly sworn, was examined. By the Chairman: QUESTION: What is your name? ANSWER: Jesse Franklin. Q. Are you a Creek? A. Yes, sir. Q. Were you a slave? A, Yes, sir. Q. Were you born here? A. I was born among the Indians. Q. Where? A. In the state of Alabama. Q. What office do you hold in the nation. A. I am a judge of the Supreme Court. Q. Judge of the Supreme Court, are you? A. Yes, sir. Q. How many colored men are on the bench besides you? Any? A. No sir, I am the only one. Q. What are the other four? A. Creek Indians. Q. How long have you been a judge? A. Three years this fall. Q. What is your salary? A. Five dollars per day. Q. While in session? A. Yes sir. Q. How often do you sit? A. As long as there is business to attend to. Exhibit 1
Simon Brown, having been duly sworn was examined. Q. Are you an Indian? A. Yes, sir. Q. Were you born in the Creek nation? A. Yes, sir. Q. Were you a slave? A. Yes, sir. Q. What office do you hold in the Territory? A. I am a Senator Q. Do colored people get their full share of the school fund? A. Yes, sir, so far as allowed by treaty… Q. How many members of the Senate are colored men? A. Three that belong to the Senate. Q. How many belong to the other House? A. I cannot tell exactly all there are. But there are three that belong to the house I belong to besides myself.
WPA interview with Simon McIntosh, “Sugar George and Jesse Franklin (Creek Freedmen) were my uncles and both members of the Creek Council. They, “Coon Creek” Harry and twenty-one other delegates were sent on a mission to Washington. There, the colored delegates were pushed forward to speak for the Indians. They seemed to be able to better express the wishes of the Creek Tribe than the Creeks themselves. The Government officials called upon said: We want to talk to the Indians. What are these colored men doing the talking for”? The Creek delegates said, “What’s the matter? We want them to talk for us” So the Government officials saw that the Creeks thought of the Negroes as being equal with themselves. That is all changed now. Indian Pioneer History, Jerome Emmons, Interviewer, Page 403-404, August 10, 1937.
Contested Territory Whites, Native Americans and African Americans in Oklahoma, 1865-1907 by Murray R. Wickett –“It was only among the Seminoles, and to a lesser extent among the Creeks, that intermarriage was fairly commonplace. One contemporary commentator noted that among the Seminole and Creek tribes, “intermarriage became so common, so than now (I have it on the best authority) there is not a Seminole family that is entirely free from negro blood; and there are but three Creek families, some make it two, that are of pure blood.” As a result, the Creeks and Seminoles came to be regarded as the most “primitive” of the Five Civilized Tribes in the eyes of contemporary white settlers. Quote from L.J. Abbott, “The Race Questions in the Forty-sixth State,” Independent (July 25, 1907):208; Wilton, M. Krogman, “The Racial Composition of the Seminole Indians of Florida and Oklahoma, “Journal of Negro History 19, 1934): 412-30. Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, 2000. Cite quoted on page 36.
Contested Territory, by Wickett.” On the one hand, some freedmen were part Indian themselves. They tended to be proud of their Indian heritage. One settler remembered that freedmen did not consider themselves black but rather emphasized their tribal affiliation.” page 16.
Beneath the Underdog: Race, Religion and the “Trail of Tears” by Patrick Minges, Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, page 4.”…[t]he Cherokee intermarried with the white missionaries, government agents, and local settlers while the Muscogean people of the deep south did not. A joke developed among the Southeastern nations which highlighted this aspect of Southern society: “A Creek said to a Cherokee…’You Cherokees are so mixed with whites we cannot tell you from the whites.’ The Cherokee.. replied: ‘You Creeks are so mixed with the Negroes we cannot tell you from the Negroes’ quoted in Martin, Joel. Sacred Revolt: The Muskogees Struggle for a New World. Boston: Beacon Press, 1991, page 73.
Creek Indian Freedmen by blood
Interview with Elsie Edwards, daughter of Tustenugee Emarthle (Jimboy), Western History Collection, Indian Pioneer Papers, pages 188,189,192. Note: Tustungee Jimboy was also known as Jimboy, James Tobler, James boy Grayson and Tustenugee Emarthle. See Creek Freedmen Census card 1442 and the by blood cards of other offspring of Tustenugee Emarthle enrolled as Full at 527 by blood.
Alex Manac’s sister is Bettie Bruner at Creek by Blood Card 725 along with husband, Richmond. Betty’s husband Richmond Bruner is son of Paro Bruner. Paro is listed on Creek Freedmen Card Census Card 1. Blood degrees change from field card to enrollment census card. Silas Micmac, son of Joe Micmac and grandson of Alex was later transferred to Creek Freedmen Card 1006.
William Fisher, son of Josiah and Caroline Fisher was transferred to Creek Freedmen Card 1591 despite notation of “see Card 71 Half Blood Creeks.”
1866ty – 1866 Treaty with the Creek Article 2, pertaining to Freedmen June 14, 1866, Ratified July 19, 1866, Proclaimed Aug. 11, 1866. Note: underline of article 2. Hence, Freedmen to be Adopted as citizens or Members of Said tribe. Equality for all in the Creek Nation!
Excerpt from the Book: The Dawes Commission and the Allotment of the Five Civilized Tribes, 1893-1914 by Kent Carter. This Excerpt, underlined emphasis on the many cases of mixed parentage.
1894 – A Mock up of the Extra Census Bulletin of the 5 CT’s from the Dept. of the Interior, Census Office. It briefly describes the General Conditions of the Tribes and special emphasis on the Chief of Creek Nation by the Name of Lequest Choteau Perryman. States that the Principal Chief, is virtually a Negro!
Act of August 4, 1947
Act of August 4, 1947 – Places the restrictions on the Lands
A Clip from the The Dawes Rolls (Final Rolls of the Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory) which shows the family of Jno. McIntosh Dawes, Enrollee #418 listed on the “By Blood” rolls.
The Clip shows that he is 75 yrs., Male, and Blood-F (Full Blood) Father Rolen McIntosh and Mother Muskogee McIntosh and the rest of his “Full Blood” Family. Reported: Jno. Susan, and Samuel dead, and Edmund Great Grandson died February 28, 1906.
A Clip of the Sells Family as Listed in the J. B. Campbell Abstract of the Creek Freedmen Census Cards, Muskogee, Oklahoma December 1, 1915.
In 1898, the Sells Family lived near Post Office Haines. And Rose, Dawes Enrollee #2523, died December 17, 1904. Note: No Blood Column.
Creek Nation Census Card # 640 and Field #654 for Creek Freedmen (Dawes Enrollee) # 3516 – Harry Sells and His Family. Harry was 43 yrs. of Age. Male- Trible emrollment Status: Town: 1890; Town (Enrolled) Arkansas; Page found: 16 (in the 1890 payment book) Slave of Jackson Cousins? (I cant read) Remarks: He is on the Dunn Roll as #115 as “Harry McIntosh”
Rear of the Census Card Shows the Father of Harry Sells which is Jo Sells, he died before Enrollment (DBE). Harry’s Mother is Rose Sells (DBE) and owner Jackson Cousins.