54th Congress, 2nd sessoin, Senate, Document # 144
The Catawba Tribe of Indians
February 23rd, 1897 – ordered to be printed as Senate Document for use of committee on Indian Affairs. Mr. Pettigrew presented the following memorial on behalf of the individuals formerly comprising and belonging to the Catawba Tribe of Indians, and accompanying papers. Department of the Interrior, Wasington, Feb. 1, 1897.
Sir, I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of 23 untimo, with the following papers:
A memorial on behalf of the individuals formerly comprising and belonging to the Catawba Tribe of Indians.
In response thereto I transmit herewith copy of a communication of 29th instant from Commissioner of Indian Affairs, to whom the matter was referred.
I return herewith the memorial of the Catawbas, and trandmit herewith copies of the Correspondence referred to in the Commissioners letter, which contains, it is stated, a full and complete trestimony of those Indians as described from the files and records of his office andother sources, with his views concerning the policy to be adopted regarding them.
D. R. Francis, secretary.
The Chairman, Committee on Indian Affairs
Department of the Interior, Office of Indian Affairs, January 29th, 1897
Sir, I am in receipt, by Department reference, of * * * * * a memorial in behalf of individuals formerly comprising and belonging to the Catawba Tribe of Indians, with request of the inquiries contained in sid memorial be answered and information concerning the statements therein and the appended memorandum be furnished., the memorial submitted by Senator Petigrew is signed by James Bain, and George E. Williamson, Secretary of the Catawba Indian Association, and they ask on behalf of the individuals formerly comprising and belonging to the Catawba Tribe of Indians to be informed “as to the status of the tribal lands of the Catawba Indians formerly occupied by the Catawba Tribe of Indians in the Carolinas, and to secure anything that may be due them as accrung from said lands, and also to receive any further relief, help, or benefits they may be found, upon careful examination of the facts in their case, be entitled to receive in write, justice or equity from the United States or otherwise in the matter of new homes in the West or their lands in the East.”
In answer to this memorial, I rspectfully enclose herewith a copy of a letter from this office, dated January 16, 1896, addessed to Honorable H. M. Teller, United States Senate, also a copy of a letter from this offica dated March 28th, 1896, addressed to R. V. Belt, esquire, in this city. These letters give a full and complete history of these Indians, as disclosed from the files and records of this office, concerning the policy that should be adopted respecting them.
The communication of Senator Pettigrew and the disclosures referred to therein a herewith returned.
Your obedient servant,
D. M. Browning, Commissioner
The Secretary of the Interior
To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress Assembled;
Your petitioners come representing that they are the representatives of the individuals and their descendants who were formerly the members of the Catawba Tribe of Indians that owned and occupied lands in the states of North Carolina and South Carolina; that in pursuance of the policy of the United States to remove all the Indian Tribes to new homes to be provided for them west of the Misissippi River, Congress passed an act July 29,1848, appropriating $5,000 for the removal of the Catawba Indians, with their own consent, to the west of the Mississippi River, and for settling and subsisting them one year in new homes first to be obtained for them (9 stat. L., 264); that nothing was accomplished under this act; that the provisions and appropriations thereof were reenacted in the act of July 31, 1854 (10 stat. L., 316); that some efforts were made to secure for the Catawbas new homes among the Choctawand Chickasaw Indians in the Indian Territory, and under the encourgement of hopeful results, and of the laws of Congress on the subject, many of the Catawba Indians left their lands and homes in the Carolinas and journied at their own expense to the country west of the Mississippi River, hoping and expecting to be there furnished with and loated there and subsisted for one year upon new homes; that the Department of the Interior has so far failed to accomplish anyhting towards securing for the Catawbas such new homes or in doing anything in their behalf as was contemplated and expected under the provisions of the law referred to; that the Catawbas reached the states and territories bordering on the then Indian Territory, where they expected to be settled in new homes, but have been left stranded in that territory and in the neighboring states, where they have had to seek a livelyhood s best they could, without any land upon which they could build homes for themselves and families; that they are in great need, and are very anxious to be given lands, homes, or allotments of any of the lands that now are or may hereafter become available for that purpose in the Indian Territory or n Oklahoma Territory; that they desire to be informed sa to the status of the tribal lands of the Catawba Indians formerly occupied by the Catawba Tribe of Indians in the Carolinas, and to secure anything that may be due them as accruing them rfom said lands; and also to receive any other or further relief, help, or benefits they may be found, upon careful investigation of the facts in their case, be entitled to receive in right, justice or equity, from the United States or otherwise in the matter of new homes in the West or as to their lands in the East; and they pray that all these as the facts may warrant, demand and require.
And your petitioners will ever pray.
Fort Smith, Arkansas, December, 7, 1896
James Bain, President of Catawba Indian Association
Geo. E. Williamson, Secretaty of Catawba Indian Association
The present location and number of those Catawba Indians who went West, expecting to be located on lands west of the Mississippi River by the Department of the Interior are as follows, as furnished by James Bain, president of the Catawba Indian Association at Fort Smith, Arkansas:
Greenwood, Ark.,44; Barber, Ark, 42; Crow, Ark., 13; Oak Bower, Ark., 3; Enterprize, Ark., 6; Fort Smith, Ark., 17; Total Ark., 125.
Checotah, I. T., 17; Texanna, I. T., 15; Jackson, I. T., 15; Star, I. T., 34; Panther, I. T., 22; Oak Lodge, I. T., 10; Redland, I. T., 4; Rainville, I. T., 2; Indianola, I. T., 3; Center, I. T., 4; Ward, I. T., Sacred Heart, I. T., 4; Steigler, I. T., 2; total 132.
Grand total, 257.
Department of the Inerior, Office of Indian Affairs, Washington, January 16th, 1896
I am in receipt of your letter of January 9, 1896, enclosing one from P. H. Head, a Catawba Indian, of Sanford, Colorado, submitting a petition perporting to have been signed by himself and 25 others, embracing six families, who claim to have once resided in South Carolina but are no longer “recognized” by said state, and asking to be united with the Ute Indians now living in the Uintah Reservation, and to be recognised by the Government as members of said Ute Tribe receiving and enjoying in common with them all rights and priveleges at the protection of the government. Mr. Head, in his letter, entimates that this petition will be followed by one signed by the Ute Indians in Utah.
You asked that the matter might receive my attention, and advise given as to what steps are necessary to have this change made.
In reply, I have to say that it is the policy of the government to abolish the tribal relatonship of the Indians as fast as possible, and to settle each Indian upon a separate tract of land that he can call his own, to the end that hemay become self-supporting and independent of government bounty. It would not be in keeping with this policy, I think, to gather up people who happen to have more or less Indian blood in their veins and are living among the Whites, separate and apart from Indian communities, and incorporate them into a tribe and place them upon an Indian Reservation. (1)
The General Allotment Act of 1887 wisely provided for Indains who were not living upon any reservation at the date of passage of said act, or for whose tribe no longer no reservation had been created, by allowing them to apply for and secure to themslves lands upon the public domain.
To answer your question directly as to what steps would be necessary to have these people united to the Indian Tribe occupying the Uintah Reservation in Utah, I should say that where there are no specific Treaty stipulations with any given tribe touching such matters, as to the case with these Ute Indians, the usual course persued is to obtain he concent of the tribe to which an Indian desires adoption and then to have such adoption approved by this office and the Secretary of the Interior; any such consent must be procurd under the eye of he agent and should bear his certificate to the effect that the action of the Indians in adopting such Indian represented the wishes of the tribe and was taken in open council. This briefly would be the proper course to persue in order to obtain adoption into an Indian Tribe
The petition, with Mr. Head's letter, is herewith, respectfully returned.
D. M. Browning, Commissioner
Hon. H. M. Teller, United States Senate
Department of the Interrior, Office of Indian Affairs, Wasington, March 28, 1896
I am in receipt of your letter of February 22nd, transmitting in pamphlet form a “Petition and Memorial in the matter of claims and demands of the Catawba Indian Association of the United States.” publihsed at Fort Smith, Ark., giving the proceedings of a conventions of Catawba Indians held in that city April 15, 1895, called for the purpose ofconsidering the condition, status and welfare of all Catawba, and all non-Reservation Indians, and to take action in procuring and allotment of land under the forth section of the General Alotment Act of Feb. 8, 1887 (24 Stat. L., p. 388), as amended by the Act of Feb 28., 1891 (26 Stat. L., p. 795).
This memorial purports to come from the Catawba Indians comprising, they allege, “All persons of Catawba Indian descent, and ther descendants, including all persona who have intermarried with Catawba Indians, and all persons of mixed Catawba and White Blood and descent, residing in any of the states or territories of the United States or in the Indian Territory;” claiming further that theUnited States has never made any provisions for them in giving them a grantor title to large tracts of the public domain as it has done for the Cherokees, Creeks, and other tribes, only giving them a small tract of land in South Carolina, although belonging to the same groups of Indians as the Cherokee and Creeks; the United States of America has made no provisions whatever to occupy and use any part of the public domain belonging to the United States, except the aforesaid small tract of land in South Carolina, unless it be to take alotments under the aforesaid section 4 of the Act of 1887, as ammended by the act of 1891, and and asking for such Executive action or conrgessional legislation as may be necessary to secure equal rights with other Indians to share in the public domain belonging to the United States.
In your letter, transmitting this petition and memorial, you state that you are requested to ascertain (one) whether or not th Catawba have any tribal lands in the sattes of North or South Carolina to which the tribal title has not been ceded or extenguished; (two) whether there is any reason why these individual Indians may not take up lands in severalty on the pblic domain as provided in said section four of The Act of 1887.
You suggest that arraingements might be made whereby they could take land in severalty within the kiowa and Comanche and Wichita Reservations, Oklahoma Territory, when the unalotted lands of said reservation shall be opened to to public settlement, or between the time of the ratification of their agreements, and the issue of the presidents proclomation opening the same to esttlement, or even befoe the ratification of said agreement, etc.
In reply I have to state that the Catawbe Indians are a division of North American Indians, which included in the last century twenty-eight confederated tribes. A few of these ewre in North Carolina, but most of them were in South Carolina. The principle tribe in the later state was the “Katawba.” , and their chief on in the former was the “Woccon”. The few survivors of this people are on the Catawba Reservation in York County, S. C. They do not belong to the Muscogeean linguistic stock, of North American Indians, as intimated in the Memorial, but to the Siouan stock, while the Cherokees belong to the Iroquoian stock.
In a publication entitled Statistics of South Carolina by Robert, Mills, published in 1826, in Charleston, South Carolina, by Hurlbut and Lloyd, pages 104-129, is given a history of the Indians oraboriginal of the country, to the effect that South Carolina, when first settled by the English, was settled with numerous tribes of Indians whose settlements extended from the ocean to the mountains. From documents extant in the secretry of state's office, and other sources that might be relied on,, Mr. Mills concluded that the number of thses different nations or tribes exceeded twenty-eight. The Westoes and Savannahs were the two most potent tribes. A right to the soil of the country was grounded upon the acknowledged truth of this doctrine, that the earth was made for man, and was intended by the creator of all things to be improved for the benefit of mankind. These wild lands therefore, were not recognized as the separate property of the few savages who hunted over them, but belonged to the common stock of mankind. This doctrine is argeeable to the judicial determination of the courts of South Carolina with respect to the rights in land derived soley from uninterupted possession for a term formerly of five, now (1826) of ten years.
But most of the first ettlers of Carolina, not satisfied to rest their right of soil upon the law of nature and their government, made private purchases from the Indians, and the government (state) itself entered into treaties with the aborigines. The first public deed of conveyance by the Indians found on record is dated March 10, 1675.
In giving a description of the names, location, and number of Indian tribes in Carolina about the year 1700 he gives the following on page 108:
“The Catawbas, Sugaree on Sugar Creek, Lancaster District, occupied the country above Camden on each side of the river of the same name, a small remnant of this tribe of Indians still occupies a tract of country, laid off 15 miles square, lying partly in York and partly in Lancaster districts, on both sides of the river.”
Speaking of the population, he states (p. 114):
“The Catawbas are now reduced, from habits of indolence and inebriation, to very few; their numbers do not exceed 110 of every age. In 1700, (some years after the first settlement of Carolina) they mustered 1,500 fighting men. This would give the population of the nation at that time between 8,00 and 10,000 souls. About the year 1743 the Catawbas coud only bring 400 warroirs into the field, composed partly of refugees from various smaller tribes, who, about this time, were abliged by the state of affairs to associate with them, on account of their reduced numbers. Among them were the Wateree, Chowan, Congaree, Nachee, Yamasee, and Coosah Indians. At present not 50 men can be counted in the list of their warriors.
The remains of theirnation now occupy an area of 15 square miles, laid out on both sides of the Catawba River., and include parts of York and Lancaster districts. This tract embraces a body of fine lands, timbered with oak, etc. These lands are almost all leased out to White settlers for 99 years,, renewable at the rate of $15-20 per annum for eath plantation of about 300 acres. The annual income from these lands is estimated to ammount to about $5,000. This sum, prudently managed, would suffice to support the whole nation, now comprized of about 30 families, comfortably. Yet these wretched Indians live is a state of abject poverty, the consequences of their indolence and dissipated habits. They ???? for their rent before it is due, and the $10 or $20 dollars received are requently spent in a debauch; poverty, beggary, and misery follow for a year.
The Catawba have two villages, one on each side of the river.. The largest is Newtown, situated directly on the river bank. To the other, which is upon the opposite side, they have given no name, but it is generally called Turkeyhead. King's Bottom” is a very rich tract of land which the Indians have had sense enough to reserve for their children.
The first settlement was made in this district by emigrants from Pennsylvania around the year 1745, was called “The Waxhaws”, from the name of the creek on which the principle settlements ewre located (then supposed to be within the bounds of North Carolina). These settlements were made in the neighborhood of the Catawbas, then a powerful and warlike tribe of Indians., whose chief town was situated on the west side of Sugar Creek (more properly “Sugawee,” that being the ancient Indian name), just opposite the mouth of Little Sugar Creek. The sight of this ancient. The sight of this ancient town is now in York district and under cultivation in the plantation of Mr. Alderson, but not a vestage of it is to be seen.
About the year 1750 the early settlers of the Waxhaws became in a great measure rid of their powerfuland dangerous neighbors, the Indians, as the small pox brokw out among them and carried off, from the best information, three-forths of the whole tribe. Shortly afterwards they leased out most of their lands on Sugar Creek to some of the emigrants and removed and esttled in the towns where they now reside.”
In the description of the county of York, he states:
“This section of the of the country was settled about the yar 1760, principly from Pennsylvania and Virginia. Its name may be placed to York, in Pennsylvania, from whence some of the first settlers came.
There are no other settlements, as villages, in the district, except the Indian settlement on Catawba River. These Indians have two towns. The most important is called Newtown, situated immediately on the river; the other is on the opposite side, and is called Turkeyhead. The Indian lands occupy an extent of country on both sides of the river equal to 180 square miles or 115,200 square acres. [NOTE: not my mistake – it does say “square acres. An acre is a measurement of area, not length, so the word “square” is reduntant, confusing, and misleading]. Most of this has been disposed by them to the whites in leases for ninety-nine years, renewable. The rent of each plantation is from ten to twenty dollars per annum. . . . The Catawba Nation could, at the first settlement of the state; muster 1,500 fighting men. At present their warriors do not exceet 30. For your nformation I include a sketch of a portion of a map of South Carolina and North Carolina, showing the aforesaid Reservation of 180 square miles.
Schoolcraft, in his History of the Indian Tribes of the United States, volume 3, page 293, has an article on “Carolina Manusript Respecting the Origin of the Catawba”. N this paper he states that:
“The Catawba are a Canadian Tribe. The Connewangos were their heredity enemies, and with the aid of the French, were likely at last, to overhelm them. The Catawba, judging correctly of their perilous condition, determined on a removal to the vicinity of the English settlements. They set out from their ancient homes about the year 1650, crossed the St. Lawrence, probably around Detroit, and bore for the headwaters of the Kentucky River. The Connewangos all the time kept in full pursuit. The fugitives, embarrassed with their women and children, saw that their enemies would overtake them, chose a position near the source of the Kentucky and there awaited the onset of their more powerful adversaries. Turning therefore, upontheir pursuers, with the energy disperatoin sometimes inspires, they gave them a terrible overthrow. This little naton, after their great vistory, without proper regard to policy, divided into two bands. The one remained on the Kentucky, which was called by the hunters the Catawba, and were in tme absorbed into the great families of the Chickasaws and Chickasws. The other band settled in Botetourt County, Virginia., upon a stream afterwards called Catawba Creek. They remained there but a few years, their hunters pressing on to the South, discovered the Catawba River, in South Carolina (Eswa Tavora), and the entire Virginia band (about 1660) came in a body to effect a prmanent settlement upon that stream.
[NOTE: this whole story has no basis in fact whatsoever. Spanish explorers discovered Siouan speaking tribesmen in the Carolinas in the 1540s and again in the 1560/70s.]
“In the year 1735 the nation had in reservation only 30 acres of their large and fertile territory, not a foot of which was in cultivation. In the history of South carolina, Ramsey solemly envolkes to the people of South Carolina to cherish this small remnant of a noble race, always the friends of the Carolinians, and ready to peril all for their safety. They never have shed a drop of American blood, nor stolen property to the value of a cent. They have lost everything but their honesty. Hagler or haigler waas a great man, and the nation still speak of him with great feeling. They have never looked up since his death.”
Hagler or Haigler was succeeded by King Prow or Frow in 1765, who reigned but a short time. On his death, General Newriver, who had gained a splendid victory on New River n Virginia over the Northern Indians, was called to rule over them., they having determined, in imitation of their white brethren, to repudiate royalty. He was succeeded by General Scott, grandson of King Hagler or Haigler, and afterwards by Colonel Ayers.
In an appendix to the laws of the Colonial and state governments relating to Indians and Indian affairs, from 1633 to 1831, inclusive, published in Washington City in 1832 by Thompson and Homans, is given the “Proceedings of the Congressand the Confederation relating to Indians and Indian Affairs.”
On page 15 of said Appendix, under the date of November 2, 1782, appears the following, viz:
“The Committee, consisting of Mr. Duane, Mr. Ramsey, and Mr. Wharton, to whomwas rferred a letter of the first, from the Secretary of War, report;
“That they have had a conference with the two deputies of the Catawba Nation of Indians; that their mission respects certain tracts of land reserved for their use in the state of South Carolina, which they wish may be so secured to their tribe as not to be intruded into by force, nor alienated evenwith their own concent; whereupon,
“Resolved, That it be recommended to the legislature of the State of South Carolnia to take such measures for the satisfction and security of the said tribe as the said legislature shall, in their wisdom, think fit.”
In Brevard's Digest of the Laws of South Carolina, vol. 1, title 96, Indians, among other things appears the following, adopted in 1808, viz.:
“Sec. 8. Whereas it is expedient that the Catawba Indians should have the power to rgant and make leases for life, for lives, as well as for a term of years, of the lands vested in them by the laws of this state.
“Sec. 9. Be it therefore enacted, that rom and immediately after the passing of this act, it shall and may be lawful for the Catawba Indians to grant and make to any person or persons any lease or leases, for life or lives or term of years of any of the landsof any of the lands vested in them by the laws of this state: provided that no lease shall exceed the term of 99 years or three lives in being.
“ Sec. 10. And be it further enacted, that the governor for the time being shall be authorized and is hereby required to appoint five fit and proper persons to sprintend the leasing of the lands of the Catawba Indians in manner aforesaid. And no lease of the lands of the aforesaid Catawba Indians hereafter to be made,, whether for life or lives or term of years, shall be heald or deemed as valid and good in law unless the same be witnessed by a majority of the said superintendants at the time of making thereof, and signed and sealed by at least four of the headmen or chiefs of said Catawba Indians: Provided, that a annual rent be reserved as a compensation for such lease.
“Sec. 11. And be it enacted, That the said superintendant shall be commissioned for the purpose aforesaid, for seven years, which commission shall be rcorded n the office of Secretary of State, and an office copy thereof shall be taken and received as good evidence in any court of law or equity witin this state as the original would be if produced in any case within it might be necessary to produce such original commission.
“Sec. 12. And it be further enacted, that all acts and claims of acts or resolutions repugnant hereto be, and the same are hereby repealed.
Sec. 13. Whereas many inconveniences have been experienced by he leasees of the Catawba Indians, as well as by the Indians themselves,, under the operation of an act passed in the year of our Lord 1808, which act ordains that two shall at any time be made for such lease, or any part thereof, for more than three years rent in advance, and that nopayments shall be demed or held to be valid unless the same be made conformably to this act, and receipts therefor given by such of the chiefs of the nation as usually transact their affairs, and by a majority of the said superintendants.
“Sec. 14. And it be further enacted, that no payments shall be hereafter made for such lease, or any part thereof, for more than seven years in advance, and that nopayment shall be held or deemed valid ; unless receipt therefor be given and attested by one of the said superintendants.
“Sec. 15. And it be further enacted, that a lease for three years or 99 years of the said Catawba lands shall be, and the same is hereby, declared to be a qualification equivalent to a free hold in all cases where a free hold is not required by the constitution of this state or of the United States.
In 1815 an act was passed by the legislature of South Carolina entitled “An Act to Authorize and Empower the Superintendent of the Catawba Indians to Institute Actions ffor Tresspass on Their Lands, and For Other Purposes Therein Mentioned.”
“Whereas certain persons now hold posesson of the landsbelonging to the Catawba Indians, without obtaining a lease for the same from the headmen or chiefs of the nation, agreeable to the act of assembly passed the 15th day of December, 1808, empowering the said Indians to lease the lands vested in then, and there is no power or authority in any person or persons to institute an action or actions at law to put such persons as hold their lands without a lease out of the possessio thereof: For remedy whereof, be it enacted by the honorable Senate and House of Representatives, now met and setting in general assembly, and by te authority of the same, that from and immediately after the passing of this act, the supernitendant now appointed, or that may be hereafter appointed, by the governor of the state, or a majority of them shall be, and are hereby authorized and empowered, in their own names or in the names of a majoriey of them, as agents, to comence and prosecute, an action or actions of trespass to try titles to the lands claimed by and vested in the said Indians, that is now or may hereafter be held in possession by any person or persons, without a lease frm the headmen or chief of said nation of Indians, in persuance of the act of the general assembly aforesaid, and also in like manner an action or actions of quare clausum fregit, for trespass committed on said lands; and also actions for injuries done to the personal property of said Indians; and the damage recovered in the actions to try titles, or in any actions to quare clausum fregit, or action for injury done to the personal property of said Indians, shall be collected by the said superintendent for the benefit of said Indians.
“And it be enacted by the authority aforesaid, that the said superintendents, or a majority of them, shall have power I the same manner, as they are authorized to bring actions, to make distress for for arrearages of rent now due, or that may hereafter become due, or bring an action or actions to recover the same in any court having jurisdiction.
“And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that this shall be deemed and taken as a public act, and judically noticed as such without special pleading, and liberally construed for carrying the purposes aforesaid into effect.”
“Catawba Indians – For the removal of the Catawba Tribe of Indians now in the limits of the State of North Carolina to the Indian Country west of the Mississippi, with the consent of said tribe, under the direction of the President of the united States, a sum not exceeding $5,000: provided no portion of this sum shall be expended for the purpose of removing said Indians until the President shall first obtain a home for them. Amongst some of the tribes west of the Mississippi River, with their concent, and without any charge upon the government.”
In a letter dated November 13th, 1848, John C. Mullay, a clerk in this office, forwarded a letter, dated Oct. 6, 1848, from one George T. Mason, enclosing a request by the Chief of the Catawbas,, a memorial of said tribe of Indians at Quallatown, Haywood County, N. C., dated Oct. 4, 1848, on file in this office (misc. M., 280), addressed to the President, signed by William Morrison, chief, and following heads of each Catawba family, viz., Phillip Kegg, Lewis Stevens, John Heart, John Scott, Franklin Kenty, Antony George, David Harris, Thomas Stevens, John Harris, Jesse Harris, Nancey George, Sally Harris, Polly Redhead, Patsey George, Harriet Stevens, Betsy Heart, Cynthia Kegg, Patsy George, Jr., Mary Ayres, Margaret Ayres, Betsey Ayres, Susan Kegg, Eliza Kanty, Frankie Brown, Jinny Joe, Jenny Ayres, Rachel Brown, Easther Scott, Katy Joe, Sally Redhead, William George, Peggy Kanty, Rosa Ayres, Becky George, Polly Harris, Elizabeth Brown, Polly Harris [same name is listed twice], Mary Joe, Allen Harris, Mary Harris and James Kegg, comprising 42 persons, all of whom signed by mark, in the presence of Abram Sellers, George T. Mason., and John T. Gibson, requesting the appointment of a reliable and trustworthy business man to superintend their removal west.
In transmitting said memorial Mr. Mullay speaks of him, after several personal interviews held with said chiefs, as an intelligent, respectable Catawba, and of the preference of his people to a home with the Chickasaw Indians West, who, he stated, had at one time given the Catawba an invitation to esttle among them.
In this annual report of this office for the year 1849 (Doc. 5, p. 949), it is stated that –
“The department has not yet succeeded in finding a suitable home west of the Mississippi for the Catawba Indians residing in North Carolina. They prefer a residence among the Chickasaws, to whom application was made to receive them,, but to which there has been no final answer. Proper efforts will be made carry out, next season, if practiceable, the Law of July 29th, 1848, providing for their removal.”
Agent A.M. M. Upshaw was instructed, Nov. 6, 1848 (Chickasaw Letter Book C., p. 32), to ascertain whether or not the Chickasaw Nation would receive the Catawba on the terms prescribed by the law.
In said instructoins it was intimidated that the Department knew very little about the Catawbas, othing of their origins, or of their language and customs, , or how they got from their home in South Carolina to Haywood County, in North Carolina. Hey were believe d however, to be a quiet and well disposed people, numbering in all about 80 souls. From their location and supposed former alliances with the Cheorkees, the impresson was established that they would prefer a residence with the Cherokees, and steps were taken to ascertain whether or not they would receive the Catawbas on the terms prescribed. Information was subsequently obtained that they would probably object to going to the Cherokees, and expressed a preference to take homes with the Chickasaws. Agent Upshaw responded, on the 8th of January, 1849, that the Chickasaws would probably receive the Catawbas, but that their council must first act on the subject. (Chickasaw U. 55) It does not appear however, that the Chickasaw Council ever took action on the case.
Subsequently, it appears that the Choctaw Council passed an act entitled “An Act Naturalizing Certain Persons Therein” which was approved November 3rd, 1893, (Choctaw Laws, 1869, p. 124) as follows, viz.:
Sec. 11. Be it enacted by the general council of the Choctaw Nation assembled, that Willim Morrison, Thomas Morrison, Sarah Jane Morrison, Molly Redhead, Betsey Heart, Rebeccah Heart, Phillip Keggo, and the infant child of Phillip Keggo, Rosey Ayres, Betsey Ayers, Julian Ayres, Mary Ayres, Sophonia Ayres, and Sally Ayres be,and they are hereby declaresd, naturalized citizens of the Choctaw Nation, invested with all the rights, priveliges, and immunities of Naturalized citizens of the same.”
Although there is nothing in the act to show the nationality of these persons, you will see by a comparison of the names attached to the aforementioned memorial of the Catawbas, that they are the same persons. This opinion is coorborated by a subsequent Act of said council, approved November 12, 1856 (Choctaw Laws, 1869, p. 153) entitled, “An Act Giving Greater priveleges to the Catawbas hereby naturalized).”
Sec. 18. Be it enacted by the General Counsil of the Choctaw Nation Assembled, that the Catawbas who were made citizens of this nation by a special act of Session XX, section11, of 1853, between the Choctaws and the government of the United States.”
The Hon. James L. Orr, of Anderson, S. C., and Reprsentatives in Congress, having called the attention of this office to the fact that a remnant of the Catawba Tribe of Indians numbering about 70 persons residing within his state, expressed a desire to become affiliated with the Choctaw people; that they possessed a small reservation in South Carolina that they were willing to sell, and that the proceeds in connection with a contemplated appropriation for their benefit of the legislature of the state, would supply them with a fund amounting, as was presumed, , to about $5,000 suffecient, if properly applied,, to enable them to make the improvements necessary to a successful commencement of cultivating the soil, and of other pursuits incident to civilized life. This office instructed C. W. Dean, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, in a letter addressed to him at Ft. Smith, Arkansas, dated January 6, 1857 to direct agent D. H. Cooper to lay the subject before the Choctaw nation in council assembled or other wise, as he might deem most judicious, inviting attention to the generocity and hospitality of the Choctaws manifested in the reception and kind treatment of a small party of their fellow Catawbas, then living among the Choctaws which had inspired them with confidence in that people, and with an anxious desire the same privileges with their brethren who had gone before them in the same enterprise.
He was advised that in the Indians appropriations act approved July 31st 1854, (10 stat. 1, p. 316), the following item appears, viz. –
“For the reappropriation for expences of the removal of the Catawba Indians to the west of the Mississippi River, and of settling, and subsisting them one year in their new homes, provided that a home shall first be obtained for them, and that they shall be removed only with their own cencent to receive this small band ofCatawbas, and , and would permit them to reside within the limits of their territory.
Superintendent Dean reported on this matter March 20, 1857, as follows:
“It is the opinion of Agent Cooper, in which opiniion I concur, that nothing can be effected as to the procurement of homes for these Indians among the Choctaws until the next session of the general counsil of the nation, and I believe it does not again convene until next Autumn.”
“I was in hope, indeed, from inquiry, was almost satisfied – that the act of the Choctaw Counsil passed at the Choctaw Counsil passed at the session of 1853, conferring the privelege of citizenship upon certain Catawba Indians that emigrated and were permitted to settle in the Choctaw Country in that year, was made general and comprehensive in its terms, so as to include all the Catawba Indians that might be disposed to cast their lot with them, as there seemed at the time to be an understanding that the greater portion, if not all the residue of the tribe was desirous of emigrating to the Choctaw Country.; but I have recently procured a copy of the act of 1853 (a transcript of which is in file in the Indian Bureau), and perceive it is limited and specific in its terms, including only those that emigrated in that year.
I am further inclined in the belief that the Choctaws were dissapointed that the Catawbas that emigrated at the time mentioned were unable to turn over to the treasury of the nation a certain sum of money that it was supposed that they were to receive from the United States for their removal and temporary subsistence, but which amount, instead of being paid into the treasury of the Choctaws, reverted instead to the surplus fund of the treasury of the united States. As thee Catawbas were invested with the full priveleges of the citizens of the Choctaw Nation and became equal participants in the distribution of their annuities, etc., it seems not unreasnable that any fund set apart for the use of these catawbas should have become a portion of the common stock for common good, and such, I learn, was the general expectation of all parties when the act of 1853 was passed.
Agent Cooper gives it as his opinion that on assembling of the National Council of the Choctaws and Chickasaws, on the payment of a reasonable sum thereof by the United States or by the State of South Carolina.
Under these circumstnces, and as from the tenor of your letter of january 6, the exact provision that may be made for the rmoval and settlement of the Catawbas of South Carolina appears as yet to be indefinite. And unascertained. I beg permission to suggest that the interim that must occur before further action can be had with the tribes be occupied in adjusting definitely and with precision what amount will be under control of the department so secure the purposes indicated, so that a proposition determinant in its charactermay be ready to be laid before the tribes whose cooperation is asked in the premises.
“From Agent Cooper's letter to me on the subject, I beg leave to offer the following extant, and to ask for it the consideration of the department:
“I have but little doubt the remnant of the Catawba Indians can be accomodated in the Choctaw and Chickasaw Country, upon the payment by the United States or the State of South Carolina, of a reeasonable consideration to the Choctaws and Chickasaws, both ofwhich tribes have an interest direct in all sums of money that might be realized from the use or sale of the country embraced within their boundaries.
No action appears to have been taken by the government or any of the Indians on the question of their removal to the Choctaw or any other Indian Country until 1872 when Hon. J. C. Harper, of the House of Representatives from Georgia, brought to the attention of this officethe question of the removal of certain Indians in North Carolina and Georgia. Presuming they were Cherokee, this office requested him on the 13th of June, 1872, to furnish a list of the names and ages of said Indians. In reporting the names, Mr. Joseph McDowell , of Fairmount, Georgia, under date of October 1872 (Misc. M., 229), stated that the Indians referred to, and asking relief of the government, were Catawba Indians, and 84 in number, viz:
Those italicized desired permission of the president to settle in the Indian Territory, all of whom Mr. McDowell states were good and loyal people, and that if any Indian deserved assistance from the government these Indians did: that their grandfathers onon both sides the government in the War for Independence, and that their names were on the muster rolls in the War Department.
William Guy, of Granville County, Georgia, and Simon Jerrers, of Belleville Virginia, Catawba Indians, served five years in the Army and were honorably discharged, and these 84 persons were their descendants.
Buckner Guy, 80 Rose Guy, 12 Judy Guy, dauther of
Lucinda Anderson McClelland Guy, 8 Simon Jeffers, 80
(his daughter, wife of Wm. U. S. Grant Guy or Edmond Guy, 80
Anderson, a Cherokee, 60 Wolford Grant Guy, 7 Willis Guy, 61
Polly Guy, 50 Luisa Guy, 8 Mahala Guy, 61
James Guy, 55 John Guy, 6 George W. Guy, 36
Clark Guy, 53 Johnson Guy, 11 Mary S. Guy, 33
Judy or Judith William Guy, 6 Andrew T. Guy, 31
Guy, 48 Katy Guy, 2 Martha Bingham, married
Silvy Guy, 45 Peter Guy, 40 a White man, 29
Elizabeth Guy, 20 Tabathy Steward, 50 Amanda M. McDowell,
George Guy, 19 Viney Guy, 48 married a White man, 27
Amanda Anderson, 25 Ann Gipson, 46 Joshua R. Guy, 25
Nathaniel Anderson, 23 Katherine Guy, 45 Amanda T. Guy, white wife
Mary Anderson, 21 Rachel Guy, 43 of Joshua R. Guy, 24
Eliza Anderson, 21 June Bingham, married Erastus M. Guy, 3
Nancy Anderson, 19 a white man, 41 Mary C. Guy, white wife of
Cornelia Anderson, 18 George Guy, 28 A. T. Guy, 28
William Washington Thomas Guy, 14 Henry H. Guy, 4
Guy, 20 John Guy, 12 Emma F. Guy, 2
Albert A. Guy, 28 Henrietta Guy, 8 Ruth M. Guy, 21
Amanda Guy, 26 Mary Guy, 23 Sarah A. Guy, 19
Joseph M. Guy, 24 Newton Guy, 16 Isaac H. Guy, 17
Caroline T. Guy, 22 Caroline Guy, 14 Millard F. Guy, 16
Martha Guy, 23 William Guy, 12 Lily F. Guy, 12
Alexander Guy, 21 Ann Guy, 10 Samuel H. McDowell, son of
Sarah Guy, 18 Daniel Guy, 35 Amanda M., 5
Geraldine Guy, 12 Mary Guy, 45 Eli H. H. J. McDowell, son
George Guy, 11 Charles Guy, 18 of Amanda M., 1
Henrietta Guy, 9 George Guy, 16 Elizabeth Guy (white) wife of
Tennessee Guy, 7 Adaline Guy, 14 G. W. Guy, 30
Ann Guy, 14 Brag Guy, 12 Laurado Guy, 4
Caly Lee Guy, 2
Charles Bingham, son of
As these Indians were Catawba's and not Cherokees, Mr. McDowell was informed Oct. 22, 1872, that they could not receive any of the benefits arising from the Cherokee removal fund of 1848.
A schedule of seventy persons very similar to the forgoiing list, each containing many of the same names was forwarded to the office by Mr. McDowell, Oct. 19, 1869 (Misc. M. 805), but for the same reasons, no relief could be granted them at that time more than in 1872.
Another interval of 15 years or more lapsed before the subject was again presented to the department.
On the 21st of November, 1887, James Kegg, of Whittier North Carolina, in addressing the Secretary of the interrior (No. 31383), made the following statement, viz.:
Many years ago his people, the Catawba Indians, leased the land they owned in South Carolina and became a wondering tribe, without homes for their wives and children. They made application he states, to the Cherokees of North Carolina, for homes upon their land and made over to them all their leased lands in South Carolina in consideration of their adoption into their tribe; that about 500 were so adopted and have been identified as such; that some 300 of them were removed ewst under the Cherokee Treaty of New Echota, made December 29th, 1835, leaving a few living among the Cherokees as Cherokee citizens and a small portion remaining in South Carolina “upon a section of land which they owned and was not leased out for a term of years, upon which they now reside.” Those Catawbas remaining in South Carolina, Mr. Kegg states, had no interest whatever in the lands which were leased out by those who became Chrokees by adoption, and he wished to ascertain whether or not the United States gave its concent to the Catawbas to lease out their lands to the State of South Carolina or to her citizens, and if so, upon what terms and the length of term said leases ran.
Without indorsing the statements herein made by Mr. Kegg. He was informed on the 7th of April, 1888, that the Catawba Indians held their lands in South Carolina under agreements or arraingements made with that state over which the Federal Government had no control or jurisdiction. He was then cited to the laws of South Carolina, a set forth I Brevard's Digest, vol 1., titled “Indians”, and to the volume in colonial law herein cited, and for further information respecting the history and previous status of the lands and leases he was referring to the Secretary of State of the State of South Carolina.
There have been frequent communications from and concerning the Catawba Indians since 1888, but none involving of furnishing any new facts of information concerning the history or status of these Indians or their lands.
The last communication on the subject was a letter dated Jan 9th, 1896, from Senator H. M. Teller, including one from P. H. Head (who had been furnished a copy of office letter to Senator Teller dated Feb.13, 1890, giving the status given the status of their lands in South Carolina as above set forth), a Catawba Indian, of Sanford, Colo., submitting a petition perporting to have been signed by himself and 25 others, embracing six families, Catawba Indians, who claim to have once resided in South Carolina, but who are no longer recognized by said state, and ask to be united with the Indians now living on the Uintah Reservation in Utah, and to be recognized by the government as members of the Ute Tribe, receiving and enjoying in common with them all the rights and priveleges of Utes and the protection of the government. In said letter Mr. Head intimaated that this petition would be followed by another signed by the said Ute Indians, which however, has not yet been received in this office.
Senator Teller, in submitting said petition, requested that it receive due attention and that he be advised as to what steps were necessary to have such change effected.
He was informed on the 16th of January, 1896, on the return of said petition, that it was now the policy of th government to abolish the tribal relations of the Indians as fast as possible, and to settle each Indian upon a separate tract of land that he can call his own to the end that we may become self-supporting and independent of government bounty. It would not be in keeping with that policy to gaher up people who happen to have more or less people who happen to have Indian blood in their veins and were living among the White separate and apart from Indian communities and incorporate them into a tribe and place them upon an Indian Reservation.. A copy of the General Alotment Act of 1887, and the Amendatory Act of 1891, with a copy of the rules and regulations indicating the manner of procedure to obtain an alotment of lands upon the public domain under the fourth section of said act were sent to said petitioners for the information as the said section wisely provided for Indians who wre not living upon any reservation at the date of the passage of asid act, or for whose tribe no reservation of land had been created by allowing them to apply for and to ecure to themselves land upon the public domain whether surveyed or unservayed.
With respect to incorporation into the Ute Tribe of Indians occupying the Uintah Reservation, Senator Teller was advised that where there are no specific treaty stipulations given with any given tribe touching such matters, as is the case with the Ute Indians, the usual course to pursue is to obain the concent of the tribe into which an Indian desires adoption, and then have such adoption approved bythis office and the Secretary of the Interrior. Any such concent must be procured under they eye of the agent and should bear his certificate to the effect that the action of the Indians in adopting such Indian represented the wishes of the tribe and was taken in open council. This, briefly, would be the proper course to pursue in order to obtain adoption into an Indian tribe.
Having furnished tis full and complete history of the Catawbas, as far as the same is disclosed is disclosed from the files and records of this office and other sources, you will see just what lands these Indians held and now hold in South Carolina. I know of no land that they own in their tribal capacity as Catawbas in North Carolina. I know of no reason why these individual Indians may not take up lands in severalty under the fourth section of the act of 1887 aforesaid. I do not think it would practicable or wise to ask the President to withhold from public settlement the lands ceded by the Kiowa and Comanche Indians by their last agreement, when that agreement is ratified by Congress, ntil such Indians had first taken allotments thereon. They should conform to the act of 1887, as all the other Indians in like condition have to do.
Your attention is particularly invited to the views of this office in office letter of January 16th, 1896, herein referred to with respect to the policy that should be adopted respecting the Catawba Indians.
This memorial is herewith returned.
D. M. Browning
R. V. Belt, Esq.
1314 Tenth Street NW, City