Saturday, February 4, 2017


CHAPTER X, The Sun Sets in the West
I still have a great deal of work to do -- put the photos in the right place, collect one by one, all the citations, get better maps than those home made ones I made . . . and God only knows what else. If anyone can help me, contact me at Also as a word file, the fonts are all the same, columns are correctly placed, et cetera. But when I copy and paste it here to this blog -- that all changes! If I made a glaring mistake and don't see it, let me know. If you want to yell at me, do so. Nothing's gonna convince me the "Melungeons" are  "Portuguese Adventurers" -- that's not happening. But just about everything else is possible. Melungeons are descendants from a band of the "Catawba." We should be proud of THAT, not some imaginary people dreamed up by Dorothy on her way to Oz. Eventually I'll go over each of these segments, one by one, and properly cite it. Melungeons have the same right to shoot for state recognition as others in the Carolina's or Virginia. I don't know if Tennessee has a state recognition procedure or not -- don't think it does. Melungeons were originally discovered in Scott or Wise County, Virginia -- perhaps they could go for state recognition in one of those counties. If you are looking for the citations give me some time. I am working on this chapter first because I want to ask both the Oklahoma and Arkansas Historical Societies some questions about the "Catawba Indian Association". 

Immigration to Arkansas of the “Lungens”     

The first occasion where the term "Melungeon" occurs that anyone has discovered at this point is below. It was written after the fact. So in reality the term "Melungeon" had already been used by the time the author uses it in this case, but she speaks of a time where the term "Lungen" was used. (1) For this reason, I am mentioning it first. Ialso mention as my family emigrated to Arkansas at an early date. (2) (3) A second time the word is found is in 1813 (I forget the exact year) in the minutes of Stoney Creek Primitive Baptist Church. (4) My family also attended that church, and out names are mentioned quite a lot in those church minutes.

p. 4. In this chapter, the author lists several Indian tribes that at one time lived in Baxter County, and lists several that are not tribes at all. Others NEVER lived in Baxter County, or if they did it was long before contact with Europeans. Some tribes that were there are Osage, Delaware, Shawnee, Kickapoo, and Cherokee, the last four arriving early in the 19th century. And she does list them.
p. 5. She mentions that while Arkansas was still claimed by Spain, the Spanish encouraged the displaced American Tribes to settle on their lands in Missouri and Arkansas. She speaks of the Cherokees living along the White River. Now these displaced tribes settled on what the Osages had considered their hunting grounds, and so warfare erupted between them and the emigrant tribes. After a few years this became American soil. She speaks of a Major Jacob Wolfe who in 1810 established a Trading Post and Indian Agency in Baxter County, saying he is called the father of Baxter County.

p. 6. Now we come to the pages that mention the “Lungeons”. She says “ . . . another Jacob came up White River in search of fortune and adventure. She calls him a son of Old Erin (Ireland), lately of McMinnville, Tennessee. He and a man named McDonald, four slaves, and four other men poled a flat boat up White River until they found a spot to their liking. The exact spot of their first trading post, which has been lost. Then the author states “in the unpublished manuscript of my late father, Herbert A. Messick, he writes this concerning his great grandfather Herbert A. Mooney . . .” So we now know the origin of this source. A man was telling family stories, and they were passed down from earlier generations.

In the next paragraph she continues; “By the fall they had constructed one log building, for the store and two cabins for living quarters. The four men who had come with Mooney were men of Mystery, referred to by old timers who knew of them as “Lungeons”. They were neither Negro nor Indian and in later years Jacob Mooney was ostracized for living with these “foreigners.”

I so wish the author had given her father’s exact words from his unpublished manuscript. One can easily twist the meaning by changing a word or two, something the person paraphrased that can be taken in a different light than intended. She places the word “foreigner” in parenthesis. She assumes them of Mediterranean heritage, saying; “Could these men have been Melungeons – the mysterious people of the hills of Tennessee who have recently been identified as being Mediterranean’s possibly of Jewish lineage, and who lived in America prior to Columbus’s discovery of the “New World”? Of course to suggest they came to American before Columbus is now considered silly, but once upon a time wild theories were often considered possible. Today thank God, we know better. I hope to contribute to making the notion that they are of Mediterranean origin also as being "silly".

She continues with Mooney and McDonald (one of the items they took with them to Arkansas was a Whiskey still – moonshine is also indigenous to Arkansas) creating their own whiskey from local ingredients. "Whisky" suggests to me of a Scottish ancestry, not Mediterranean. They soon returned to Tennessee. Both men later joined Ol’ Hickory (Andrew Jackson) during the War of 1812, serving near New Orleans. She says that after nine years, Mooney returned to Arkansas with a wife and four children. I happen to recall in a Goodspeed's Biography of my g-g-g-grandpa Richey it saying when the Battle of New Orleans was fought, my g-g-g-grandpa Richey was at Mobile Bay. That's close to New Orleans. He returned to Arkansas as well, but a couple of decades later.

At the bottom of page 4, she speaks of Mooney’s return to a place now called “Mooney’s Landing”. She mentions going up White River to a place called “Bates Town”. That’s got to be Batesville, in Independence County. In the record of my William Wayland, it mentions him being an overseer to a road in 1819 going to White River at Batesville. (5) The daughter of William Wayland was later to marry the son of John Richey, to become one set of my g-g-grandparents.

Friday, November 26, 1819, William Wayland is appointed overseer of the second road of said township . . . [note: it is talking about Strawberry River Township -- about 20 miles from Batesville. Batesville is on the banks of the White River] . . .

Tuesday, January 15th, 1822 -- P 13, Samuel Crow is appointed overseer of the road leading from Donaldsvile to White River [note: there is no Donaldsville in that area -- must have been a short lived community] . . . in place of William Wayland . . .

Since the events of this chapter of that book occurred in 1810, and it says he was gone 9 years, it seems to be saying he returned to Batesville about 1819 as well. So my William Wayland and this Jacob Mooney might well have bumped into one another near White River, near Batesville, but who can say?

p. 7. Things get even more interesting. She says . . . Wolfe had performed several weddings for Mooney’s men and Quapaw Indian maidens.” Well, four of Mooney’s men were “Lungeons”. Had these “Lungeon” men married into the Quapaw Tribe? The Quapaw are a small indigenous Arkansas tribe north of the Caddo, west of the Chickasaw (when the Chickasaw were in Mississippi), and south of the Osage. They now reside in Northeastern Oklahoma.

Here is the second reference she makes to the “Lungeons”. She says “Mooney continued to commute between his wife in Tennessee and his trading post in Arkansas until his death in 1832. By the time he moved to Arkansas for good, his former slaves and the “Lungeon” men had died and most of their families had moved west with the other Indians.. . . later, Jacob Mooney had lived near the Whiteville Church, and is buried there. When the cemetery was fenced, Mooney’s grave and the graves of the mixed bloods who lived with him were left outside.”

Interesting it says the families of the Lungen men moved west with the other Indians. Are the "Lungens" the mixed bloods whose graves were left outside the fenced in cemetery? It sounds as if these Lungeon men had married those Quapaw women, and their descendants moved west with them. It might be interesting to research Quapaw genealogy. As I often discover however, about 90 percent of my research is NOT imediately productive, so I won't get my hopes up . . . But remember the Quaw were NOT the only tribes in Missouri and Northern Arkansas. So were the Delaware, Miama, Shawnee, and others. 

I found an interesting document online. It is on the page below. I have transcribed it below as well. I included the above stories because these Melungeon peoples were American Indians, who were of mixed race heritage, the Indian component being the Saponi Band of the Catawba. This article is about what happened to the Catawba wgho moved to Indian Territory/Oklahoma and Arkansas. The next story is similar.

The Story of Hosea Morgan 

There was a Hosea Morgan in 1834 from Arkansas, who said he was Catawba, and he wanted to live in the Cherokee Nation, West, in Oklahoma. He was given a flat denial – NO!They said he looked Spanish but he said he was Catawba Indian. (6) Remember most of the bands associated historically with the Catawba had been largely assimilated by the time of the French and Indian War 1756-1763 or the Revolution a decade and a half later. There are records of Catawba serving in both conflicts. They were becoming more mixed blood each generation. Unless they wanted to marry their cousins (and there were taboos against that) they married either local Whites or Blacks. We are talking about a few hundred survivors scattered over half a dozen locations from Virginia to South Carolina, in the beginning. After several generations, their numbers grew larger as their blood quantum grew smaller.

Image 2.

Aquohee Dist Apr. 3. 1834,

To the Gentlemen of the Delegation. 


I take the liberty to inform you that Hosea Morgan who kept my mill has had the field and houses assessed to him as an emigrant to the Arkansas. And Major Curry Gave the good will of it to a White man named Roland Terry.

I waited on Major Curry and stated the case to him and I had many witnesses Present to prove my right to the place and that the man who had the place assessed was no Citizen of the Nation nor had any right of claim whatever to enroll as a Cherokee.

The Old man Is supposed to be a Spaniard but calls himself a Catawba Indian. His wife is said to be Negro.

John Smith his X mark


E Jones

We the undersigned certify that a man named Hosea Morgan Having the appearance of a Spaniard but representing himself to be a Catawba Indian having spent many years among the Spaniards and having with him a Negro family, came into this District six or seven years ago or there abouts.
On his first arrival he applied to the Council for permission to reside in the Nation as a Citizen but was refused About two years ago Mr. Smith obtained a permit for him to attend my his mill. But he has never made any pretentions to have any right or title to land or Citizenship in the Nation till he was received as an emigrant to the Arkansas.

Now we respectfully but earnestly protest against, persons having no Cherokee blood and possessing no sort of title in our country being allowed to alienate portions of the land in this way which we conceive to be utterly unlawful for our own acknowledged citizens to do.

Signed on behalf of a full meeting of the Citizens of the Dist.

his X mark
Sweetwater his X mark
Peter his X mark (6)

So Mr. Morgan was denied the right to live amongst the Cherokee West.

Catawba Come to Oklahoma –
Broken Treaties, Broken Promises
The movements of these Catawban bands have accurately been mapped by Dr. Carson. (7) While Catawban bands that once connected intimitely with the Catawba Nation are wondering around in Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee to later become known as "Melungeons", what are the main band of Catawba up to? Lets find out James Kegg was a Catawba chief. He once wrote a document to Congress, and parts of it are recorded below;

Some Catawba History as Told By James Kegg
Another interval of 15 years or more lapsed (8) 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 interior (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 west 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 Catawba's 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 Catawba's 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.

So while the Saponi were having trouble with being a small band separated from any relatives for a generation or two, now, the Catawba proper were not getting anywhere in their attempt to remove to the west, or to have their lands in the east restored, either. As Mr. Kegg says, they became a wondering tribe. (9) When Kegg speaks of the people becoming a wondering tribe, he might have been speaking of those that became the Melungeons to  historians as well as the main band.

Treaty with South Carolina 

In the 1830s the tribes in the American Southeast had all been removed west of the Mississippi except one -- The Catawba and the bands associated with them. Some of the remaining Catawba wanted to be removed to the west as well, and so they signed a treaty with the State of South Carolina. called "The Treaty of Nation's Ford" in 1840 (10). South Carolina wanted to get rid of It's Indians, too, but the rest of the country had just forgotten about them. It was a simple treaty. The Catawba were to leave their lands in South Carolina, North Carolina was to provide them with new lands, and once they removed South Carolina would give them $5,000 to help them resettle. The problem with this treaty is that nobody told North Carolina they were committing to giving the few Indians any land, and they refused to do it. They tried to move in with the Eastern Cherokee, but there was still ancient friction between the two, and the move failed. So Catawba families were left wondering around not knowing what to do. Many went back to their old homes in York County, South Carolina. There was another problem. Many families had earlier been considered Catawba, but were now considered "assimilated" Indians. Many of these are now state recognized in Virginia and the Carolinas. Many smaller bands had stopped functioning as Indian tribes and bands after the Tuscarora and Yamassee Wars 1711-1717. They were still mentioned as late as the French and Indian War and some even up to the the Revolutionary War.

The Catawba in York County, South Carolina had also just petitioned the Cherokee, as well as the Chickasaw, for permission to settle amongst them, and were declined by both. A few Catawba were adopted by the Creek, and Choctaw. It was said some Catawba moved to the Chickasaw Nation. I can't help but remember that my family moved to live in the Chickasaw Nation.

From a historic perspective, the Allotment Act had just been passed by Congress whereby all the Indian lands in Oklahoma were to be divided up into individual family allotments, with the excess sold off. The more land that was sold off, the more money the individual tribes would obtain from that sale. On the Cherokees behalf, they knew who was Cherokee and who wasn’t. It was a small tight knit community, as were all tribes. When someone unknown says they are Cherokee, and no one in the community has ever heard of them, red flags are thrown up. So when these families who had never, as far as anyone’s recollection, lived in the Cherokee Nation, the Cherokee didn’t believe them. They thought these people just wanted free Indian lands. Maybe a trip to Oklahoma and a visit with local tribal leaders would have helped the situation, I don’t know. It didn’t help the Western Catawba organization.

Map 27.Catawba Arrive at Skullyville/Ft. Smith


The 1763 Treaty of Augusta left the Catawba with 144,000 acres of land. The state of South Carolina wanted it. 

But what is this "1848  Treaty" that is mentioned? Nation's Ford Treaty was dated 1840, NOT 1848 (11). Remember the removals of the other southeastern tribes that had taken place throughout the 1830s, culminating in the Cherokee removal throughout the winter of 1838-1839 that became known as the “Trail Where they Cried”, or the “Trail of Tears.” South Carolina decided they just didn't want any Indians left in their state and decided to give them to North Carolina. No one bothered to tell the North Carolinians, and they refused to take them in. This treaty is known as “The Treaty of Nation's Ford. I found it online and transcribed it below –

The Treaty of Nation's Ford
A treaty entered into at the Nation's Ford Catawba between the chiefs and headmen of the Catawba Indians of the one part and the commissioners appointed by the legislature of South Carolina and acting under the commissioners from his excellency Patrick Noble, Esq., Governor and Commander in Chief of the State of South Carolina of the other part.

Article First – The chiefs and headmen of the Catawba Indians for themselves and the Nation. Hereby agree to ??? sell and convey to the state of South Carolina all their right title and interest to their boundary of land lying on both sides of the Catawba River and situate in the Districts of York and Lancaster and which are represented in a plat of survey made by Samuel Wiley, and dated the twenty-second day of February. One thousand seven hundred and sixty-four, and now on file in the office of the secretary of state.

Articles Second – The commissioners on their part engage in behalf of the state to furnish the Catawba Indians with a tract of land of the value of five thoudans dollars, three hundred acres of which must be good, arable lands which must be purchased for their use in Haywood County, North Carolina, or in some other mountainous thinly populated region where the said Indians may desire.

Article Third – The commissioners further engage that the State shall pay the said Catawba Indians two thousand dollars annually for the term of ten years. The first payment to which is to be paid on their removal and on the first of January each and every year thereafter until the whole is paid.

Please note they were selling 144,000 acres and would be returned an un-mentioned number of acres, three hundred acres of which had to be good land. Their new lands were to be “in the mountains”.

Haywood County is the location of the Cherokee in Western North Carolina. The South Carolinians were expecting the Catawba abnd their anceient enemy, the Cherokee, to live together in North Carolina. The fact that the North Carolinians were not informed that the South Carolinians were dumping the Catwba on their doorstep, didn't help things either. Also this was NOT a federal treaty, but rather a treaty between the state of South Carolina and the Catawba. Some Catawba tried to live amongst the Cherokee, but most quickly left. They lost their lands in South Carolina, but the land they were promised never materialized. They were left wondering about, looking for a place to stay. This state of affairs could not continue for ever.

The Gentry's and Lerblanche Families.
Here is a story of an extended Catawba Family that also moved to Indian Territory, about 1848, which is the same time as those other families mentioned above.

I need to explain a little bit. There is a file at Oklahoma Historic Society called “Indian Pioneer Papers. In the 1930s there was a project to try and have old-timers who remembered, what Indian territory was like before statehood, in the days before there was any law. My great Uncle, Oscar taylor Richey, wrote about our family. Now Oscar's mother's maiden name was Brown, and his maternal grandma was a Guess/Gist. Another family, children of James Harvey Gist, are related to us. Their descendants also wrote about their family, as they too, came to Indian Territory. Our Guess/Gist relatives (proven through DNA testing) mention some Gentry's living in Checotah, which is located near the Creek/Cherokee border. As we'll find out, these Genrty's were mixed-blood Catawba. (12)

As it turns out, a Lerblanche family also wrote about their family. Willie Lerblanche told a part of their story. The person who interviewed her said she was from Checotah, Oklahoma. Here are a few words she chose to tell;

“My grandfather was Elijah Hermigine Lerblanche. He was born in March, 1836, son of a Louisiana Frenchman and Vicay Genrty, who was daughter of Ellijay Gentry, a White man married to a full blood Catawba Indian. He came from Alabama to the Creek Nation at the age of 12.” Now Alabama was the home of many Creek Indians already, so she means their family moved from Alabama to Oklahoma (then called Indian Territory) about 1848, several years after the Trail of Tears. So Vicay's mother was full blood, making her half. This means Elijah, b. 1836, was 1/4th Catawba. Apparently the whole Gentry/Lerblanche clan moved with in with the Creek Nation.

Remember my relatives, surnamed “Gist/Guess? Here is a small part of that story. “One day I was in Checotah when a very funny incident occueerd. An Indian man named Gentry had a store there . . .” Is is funny, sort of, kinda mean, too. If you want to hear the rest of it go to the link about to hear the rest of it. I can get carried waay telling stories and forget the point I was trying to make. These are Gentry's from Checotah. Records put some Catawba in Checotah (I'll get to that in a minute), as well as these Lerblanche's and Genrty's. And one branch of my family knew them.

Carlson then reports about some movement for these families to remove to Indian Territory/Oklahoma. Such stories are of great interest to me, as this is where my family relocated to.

Leaving Carolina
Remember someone mentioned an 1848 treaty. Well, here it is. In 1848 some of the Catawba tried to come to Indian Territory per the government supplying money for that purpose at that time. Brown (13) writes in “The Catawba Indians”, p. 323 “On July 29, 1848 the 73rd Congress apprppriated $5,000 to defray the expense of the move [to Indian Territory].” Chief James Kegg wrote a letter to President James Polk at that time and said there were 42 Catawba families who wanted to use that appropriation to move west. He said (p 324) “We humbly beg his Excellency the President . . .to remove us west of the Miss[issippi] under the act of the late Congress.” . Still on page 324, Brown writes, “Whether the President ever saw the letter is problematical.” In the next paragraph Brown writes that the Cheorkee were asked if the Catawba could live amongst them and it says: “The answer from John Ross and the Cherokee counsel was a firm NO. But before the reply was received, the Catawba themselves expressed a preference for living among the Western Chickasaws . . . [who] at one time had invited the Catawba to settle amongst them. Government representatives promptly opened up negotiations with the Chickasaws among whom – the agent was told, some of the Catawba’s descendants were already settled.” It continues to say: “The principal men of the tribe assured the agent that the Catawba would be welcome, but only the council had the right to invite them, officially. But when a Chickasaw Counsel meeting was held in February of 1849, the Catawba proposal was voted down. This change of sentiment was attributed to the sudden death of old Chief Albertson ”, a strong advocate of the Catawba’s.” So we have a substantial number of Catawba Indians with no land base and no home. I suspect many on the rejected rolls are in reality, Catawba mixed-bloods. Were mine Catawba rather than Cherokee? Evidence suggests we are both.

Blumer continues to say neither Congress nor the Catawba were in a hurry to be removed. By the late 1850s they were just getting all the paperwork for removal to take place, but hte Civil War started up, and all eyes were focused elsewhere. Their eyes ere refocused on Indian Territory only when in the 1890s or so Congress was talking about the Allotment Act, which would take away "excess" Indian lands. Mixed blood Catawban Indian peoples in the East, from the Atlantic to the Appanachians and beyond started wondering why they were never given any land in Oklahoma, lands they's been promised.

In “Catawba Nation, Treasures in History,” by Thomas J. Blumer, (pp 52-53) he writes: “The Treaty of Nations Ford is a simple document. Article One conveyed the 144,000 acre reservation to the state of South Carolina. This article was of course, carried out with the full acquiescence ofthe Catawba. Article Two provided the Catawba with a new tract of land far removed from White settlements. Article Two, caught in a political vacuum between North and South Carolina, was never fulfilled. Article Three regarded payment for the 144,000 acre reservation. South Carolina never made proper payment and the debt remains unsettled.”

He also talks of many Catawba who left the reservation, some to settle with the Eastern Cherokee, some just left for points unknown. No one knows how many Catawba left, or how many of these people were. People had been leaving the Catawba Reservation,assimilating, for many years, for generations in fact.

Also recall that by this time ALL members of ALL the bands began to call themselves “Catawba” rather that Esaw, or Wateree, or Sugaree, or the names of the other bands. They had for the most part, died out, are could no longer defend themselves. Slavery (until 1717), disease (1728, 1737, 1759, and 1780-ish), warfare (Tuscarora and Yamassee Wars 1711-1717) and assimilation (post 1720) had all done their damage, and left pitifully small remnants scattered here and there, to be hardly remembered at all.

The “Western Catawba Association” of the 1880s-1890s
Several years back, I exchanged several emails with Dr. Thomas Blumer , who was a foremost expert on the Catawba. It is my understanding that he has since passed on. I emailed him family photos and stories. He became interested in the fact that my family was Indian but not federally recognized and that we had at one time lived near both Fort Smith, Arkansas, and Leflore County, Oklahoma. This is where the Catawba who came to Oklahoma we said to have gone. The fact that we were “Brown’s” also got his attention, as Brown is one of the known Catawba surnames. He told me of an effort to form a “Western Catawba Association” in Fort Smith, Arkansas in the 1890s. However by the 1890s we had left and were living in the Chickasaw Nation, Still, he peaked my curiosity. I wondered, was my family part-Catawba, then? I looked for more information. Chapman Milling said in “Red Carolinians” (15):By the Indian appropriation act of 1848, $5,000 was set aside to completely remove the Catawba to the Indian country west of the Mississippi. In November of 1848 the heads of forty-two families sent a petition to the Indian Office requesting to be allowed to be removed to the Chickasaw Nation. Nothing materialized because of this request, however. Eventually a few families went to live in the Choctaw Nation and in 1855 several Catawba were adoptedinto the Choctaw Nation. Muriel Hazel Wright (16) wrote “A Guide to the Indian Tribes of Oklahoma” in 1951. In that book, she chronicled a history of all the sixty-nine tribes that either came to Oklahoma, or are indigenous to the state. She was Choctaw herself (her father was a former Principle Chief). She said of the Catawba — another group left the nation during the removal period. In 1897 they formed the Western Catawba Association at Fort Smith, Arkansas. She speaks of some who received Choctaw citizenship in 1853. Ms. Wright said of the Catawba who migrated to Arkansas and Oklahoma – The descendants of some of the Catawba who settled in the Choctaw Nation are now absorbed into the Indian population of Haskell and Le Flore Counties. The descendants of some of those who settled in the Creek and Cherokee Nations have been reported living southeast of Checotah in McIntosh County. The main portion of the tribe live in the Eastern part of York County, South Carolina. There are few Catawba in Oklahoma, and those are counted in the general Indian population of the state. They were last enumerated as a separate tribe in this region in 1896, and their total population in the Indian Territory being given as 132. The largest portion, or 78 lived in the Choctaw Nation, most of them in the region between the present cities of Stigler and Spiro. Seventeen of them gave Checotah [A related Gist family wrote of the Gentry family, who were said to have been Catawba], Creek Nation, as their post office, and 15 lived around Texanna, [Vance’s note: Texanna is also where Captain Dutch settled, as did some of Sequoyah’s family] in the Southwestern part of the Cherokee Nation, now included in McIntosh County. In the same year (1896) there were 145 Catawba living in Arkansas, most of them in and around Greenwood and Barber.

She adds – In October 1848, William Morrison, chief of a band of Catawba (?42 persons or heads of households?) living at Quallahtown,, Haywood County, North Carolina, addressed a letter to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs asking for the appointment of a superintendent to remove his people to the Indian Territory . . . These people expressed their preference for settlement among the Chickasaw, but the Chickasaw council took no action on the subject.[Vance’s note: I don't now if this was the head of 42 families or individual Catawba — different sources imply different things. Also the Chickasaw as we have seen, did take action, and rejected the Catawba proposal in February 1848.] In “Red Carolinians” Chapman J. Milling wrote the following – "The Catawba Indian Association of Fort Smith, Arkansas," an organization having a membership of 257 persons, the alleged descendants of Catawba who went West under the act of 1848. The petitioners were distributed as follows in Arkansas and Indian Territory: Arkansas—Greenwood, 44, Barber, 42, Crow, 13, Oak Bower, 6, Fort Smith, 17; Indian Territory and Oklahoma - Checotah, 17, Jackson, 15, Star, 34, Panther, 22, Oak Lodge, 10, Redland, 4, Ramville, 2, Indianola, 3, Center, 4, Ward, 3, Sacred Heart, 1, Steigler, 2. It will be seen that most of those in the Indian Territory were living in the Creek and Choctaw Nations. The petition sets forth that these Catawba families had removed west, some as late as 1854, "journeying at their own expense to the country west of the Mississippi River, hoping and expecting to be there furnished with new homes..." Having never been assigned lands, they were "left stranded in that Territory and the neighboring states." They therefore prayed for relief. The government took the position that the petitioners were white men with a trace of Indian blood, and therefore not entitled to relief. The memorial indicates, however, that descendants of Catawba Indians existed in considerable numbers in the Southwest only 44 years ago. Although no Indians are today recorded as Catawba in the state of Oklahoma, there is little reasonable doubt that an appreciable amount of Catawba blood persists in the eastern section of that commonwealth.

Milling also says in Red Carolinians “Having traced several distinct migrations to North Carolina, Virginia, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Utah, Colorado, we have thus seen that the Catawba Tribe is not so nearly extinct as was supposed and has been frequently asserted. It is true however that the only band having any semblance of tribal status is the remnant in South Carolina . . .” I cannot help but think that had Congress acted, there might be a Catawba Tribe of Oklahoma, too. However, since these families have all scattered today, that is no longer possible.

I suspect that, like the Sizemore’s, many of these families have forgotten their tribal origins, and think their ancestors were Cherokee. I could not help but recall what my great Uncle had written about our family living in Sequoyah or Leflore County. That is where many of these Catawba had been. Also they sought permission to live in the Chickasaw Nation. My family also lived there.

Some Catawba try to move West in the 1840s-1850s (4 CSD #144)
If you recall a few pages back, I found some Lerblanche and Gentry family members who moved into the Creek Nation. It was recorded that he grandpa moved in the the Creek Nation when he was about 12 years old. It said he was born in 1836 making it 1848 when they left their old home for a new one they hoped to receive. They also said they were Catawba. They settled in/around Checotah in the Creek Nation. If you will look above a couple of paragraphs you will see there were about seventeen KNOWN Catawba living in Checotah. Well this is the same year another bunch left for the Indian Nations. Below is a record of more Catawba who moved into the Territory of the Indian Nations.

“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, nothing 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 believed 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.

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, section 11, of 1853, between the Choctaws and the government of the United States.”

The Hon. James L. Orr, of Anderson, S. C., and Representatives 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 generosity 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. Please know n 1822 it was said there were 450 Catawba and by about 1900 there were said t be about 100.  Many just left

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 of Catawbas, 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 disappointed that the Catawba's 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 Catawba's 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 unreasonable that any fund set apart for the use of these Catawba's 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 circumstances, and as from the tenor of your letter of January 6, the exact provision that may be made for the removal and settlement of the Catawbas of South Carolina appears as yet to be indefinite. And unacertained. 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 character may 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.

Catawba in Georgia 
[In] 1872 . . . Hon. J. C. Harper, of the House of Representatives from Georgia, brought to the attention of this office the 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 Jeffries, of Belleville Virginia, Catawba Indians, served five years in the Army and were honorably discharged, and these 84 persons were their descendants.

Recall earlier that these men were listed as “Saponi” – yet their family calls them “Catawba”. This shows the Saponi to be a band of the “greater” Catawba. Also note that when the government thought them to be Cherokee, it wanted a list of all their names. Perhaps this is why there is no list of the names of the 257 Catawba found in Indian Territory (Oklahoma) and Arkansas. If you were Cherokee, they were interested in finding you, but if you're ancestors were Catawba, well – you don't qualify. Below are the names of the 84 Catawba's in Georgia:

Buckner Guy, 80;  Rose Guy, 12; Judy Guy, daughhter 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 Martha, 3.

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

Some Melungeon Families Were Migrating to Oklahoma, too
Dr. Carlson's dissertation is over a thousand pages long. I have gone through it seeking references where some tried to obtain lands in Oklahoma. Remember these Saponi and Cheraw Indian bands had for a time lived in the Catawba territory, but they moved off em masse -- the Saponi to the North Carolina border with Virginia; Today they make up several state recognized tribes as well as the people often called the "Melungeons". The Cheraw settled further down the Pedee River where they became known as both the Cheraw and the Pedee Indians who settled even further down.. Eventually many of these people settled in Robison County, North Carolina, and their descendants are known as the Lumbee Indians, today.

Many members of these remnant groups came to Oklahoma only to realize the Catawba were NOT to be given any land, and many tried to apply as Cherokee, and they failed. Carlson wrote down a few of the names of some of these people who tried to apply as Cherokee, and Forest Hazel wrote down a few more names.

Carlson says “. . .In 1896, J. W. Perkins and John Baldwin again petitioned the Federal Government as well as the Cherokee Nation for permission to move as a body to Indian Territory, but the attempt failed.”

This statement has my interest! The following thoughts are my ramblings and were not discussed by Carlson. This is the same timeframe that Bain and Williamson were attempting to get the “Western Catawba Indian Tribe” federally recognized in Arkansas and Indian Territory (Oklahoma) where 257 individuals petitioned the federal government. Another record of this organization lists 4,000 members. I wonder if these two groups knew of each other’s attempts in the 1890s, one along the Oklahoma/Arkansas border and the other on the Southwest Virginia/North Carolina border?

Remember, these groups had to have the approval of the federal Government, as well. Remember they wanted lands to settle on, too, and since they had been living as Whites, the government decided they had already assimilated, why run the risk they’d revert back? Again this is just my guess. So the tribes didn’t want to share their lands with descendants of the Catawba, Saponi and Saura, and the government wanted ALL THE INDANS to assimilate, and gradually disappear, as these Eastern Siouans were in the process of doing. So these attempts were doomed to failure, from the start.

We have made the difficult connections between Fort Christanna and the first place the Melingeons are known to have lived – Southwestern Virginia and Northeastern Tennessee. These people were NOT Portuguese nor were they mixed Negro-White ONLY – there was an Indian component that was the olny reason they traveled together. .

Carlson begins chapter nine, p. 333 by saying; “In the last half of the 1800s, small groups of families and individuals of the Salyorsville Indians had been periodically moving out to the Cherokee and Creek Nations in Indian Territory.” Since this is what my family did – I am listening. He continues; “Coincidently, years later in an unrelated matter, many Salyersville Indian families remaining back in Kentucky would get involved in a court claims issue regarding all ‘Eastern Cherokee.’ In the process, they would provide letters, testimonies, and interviews which reveal the size and strength of their families as they addressed the government as a group.” Apparently the people of Magoffin County only heard about the interviews for Eastern Cherokee descendants, now known as the Guion Miller Rolls, until 1907, and the court of claims would make its decision in 1905.

Carlson says, p. 334; For nearly two decades prior to the Court of Claims decision, many people from Magoffin County, both Indian and non-Indian had been sporadically moving in small family groups out to ‘the Nations’ in ‘Indian Territory’. I can add a little something to this. After the Civil War thousand of ex-Confederate soldiers and officials moved to Indian Territory. Parts of the Choctaw Nation even became known as ‘Little Dixie’ because of all these immigrants. Speaking of Louanna Cole, Carlson says (pp. 334-335); “Most of her children out to the Cherokee Nation right before and after the Civil War.” Carlson speaks of a grandson of Louanna who attended school in Vinita. I mention this because there was a short article in the Vinita Newspaper talking about an attempt to create ‘a Western Catawba Tribe’ in the 1880s-1890s. Another member of this family moved to Bedford, Oklahoma. Carlson says; “The rest of Siss’s children (Siss was a daughter of Louanna living in Oklahoma) in 1908 would report to the Special Commissioner of Indian Affairs that while they knew the names of Siss’s half brothers and sisters through Louanna (Louanna never left Magoffin County), they did not know their present place of residence, or even if they were still living. [896]

Around 1880 a number of the Indians and mixed-bloods from Magoffin County . . . would set their sights on removing to the Indian Territory. . . most would go in large family groups. Carlson specifically mentions three families, Daniel and Jahaza Cole, James Jackson Shephard, as well as Shep and Mary Cole’s son, Lewis Cole.”

Carlson also mentions the Howards. He says (p. 336); “Another early connection between the people from the Magoffin County area and Indian territory involved a member of the mixed-blood Howard family who remained closely tied to the Salyorsville Indians who later moved out there. This was James Jackson Shephard. . . . James left the Kentucky mountains sometime between 1872 and 1880 and sat down in San Bois in Indian Territory. [899]” Carlson mentions several places this family lived over the next few decades, including San Bois, Stigler, Broken Arrow, , and even parts of western Arkansas. Did you notice what I noticed? Stigler was one of several towns recorded as having Catawba Indian residents as were recorded by the “Western Catawba Indian Association”. Two Catawba were said to live there, but unfortunately their names were not given, per a document published by the 54th Congress, dated 13 Feb, 1897. Interestingly, Carlson says “James would hunt deer and take the dressed mean to sell at places like Fort Smith.” I must note my great grandparents also lived for a time in the 1870s near Fort Smith, but just inside Indian territory, beside Sequoyah and Leflore counties. I wonder if his family knew mine. Also the “Western Catawba Indian Association” was based out of Fort Smith. Some Howards also married into my Gist family.

Carlson speaks of James Shepard finally settling down in his old age at at Brushy Mountain near Muscogee in the Creek Nation, passing on in 1916. He adds; “by that point in time the Brushy Mountain area near Muscogee had become the residence of a number of Saylersville Indian families who had since emigrated west. He mentions several members of the Cole and Perkins families had migrated to Indian Territory. He mentions Lewis Cole living in Stroud. He says most of the families that came to Indian Territory were members of the Cole, Perkins, and Fletcher families (p. 338).

Carlson says time and again he doesn’t know why these families came to Oklahoma just before the turn of the century, about 1900, a little before or later. I would suspect it had to do with land. Thousands, millions in fact, came to Oklahoma about that time. Parts of Oklahoma were just being opened up for non-Indian settlement from 1889 on. The Western Tribes lost their lands first to land runs and in one case, a lottery. All tribes lost their lands through the “Allotment Act”. All the citizens of the Nations were first given 160 acres. The rest ws either lost in land runs, land sales, and here was one lottery. Moneys from these sales went to the tribes. So the more land they sold, the more money they made. Oklahoma went from a territory of probably, oh, I don’t know, maybe 100,000 persons in 1880 to a state with a population of three million by 1910. We became a state in 1907. People from all over the country came here to get the excess Indian lands at a cheap price. And a good number of these people were folks like my family, and like those from Salyersville, people who had some Indian blood Initially they’d hoped to receive an allotment of 160 acres. Discovering they were not eligible, they remained to purchase the excess. Carlson cites some lady who said her family lived in tents and dugouts. So did my family! My aunt wrote me a letter saying her mother (grandma) had spoken of her parents (my great grandparents) living in covered wagons and in half-dugouts. A great uncle also mentioned these things.

Forrest Hazel

Forrest Hazel worked with some of the family groups in helping them to get recognized as "Indian" by several eastern states, specifically Virginia and the Carolinas'. He wrote the following about those Saponi who tried to sign up as Cherokee on the Guion-Miller roll.

"In 1904, the Eastern Band of Cherokee won a settlement with the U.S. government based on violations of earlier treaties. This meant that thousands of persons of Eastern Cherokee ancestry were eligible for part of the settlement, and many of these people applied to the U.S. Court of Claims for a share (Jordan 1987-1990). It is interesting to read these applications, since a significant percentage of applicants were not Eastern Cherokee, but members of other tribes. These persons would now be identified as Lumbee, Alabama Creek, Meherrin, Haliwa, and Occaneechi (Saponi), along with a number of individuals who probably were of unmixed white or black ancestry.

"At least 20 Occaneechi descendants also applied; all were rejected by the commission as not being of Eastern Cherokee ancestry. Among these were Aaron Thomas Guy, born in Caswell County, North Carolina, the son of Henry Guy and grandson of Henry Guy. Henry Guy, Sr., was the brother of Richard Guy, Buckner Guy, and others who moved to Macon County, North Carolina, from the Texas community in the 1820s. Aaron Guy stated that his mother was a free woman of color, born free and raised by the Quakers in Guilford County, North Carolina. There is also testimony from a former slave who knew Henry Guy, Jr., to the effect that he was an Indian, married to a colored woman. Aaron Guy was living in Indiana at the time of his application.

"William C. Wilson, from Wichita, Kansas, also applied. He stated that he was born near Hendersonville, North Carolina, and was the son of Sam Wilson, a "half Cherokee," and Julian Guy. Julian Guy was the daughter of Richard Guy and Martha Whitmore, and Martha's mother was Lottie Jeffries. Wilson claimed that his grandfather, Richard Guy, was a white man, although the Macon County records list him as a "Free Colored head of Household." He also stated that his father, Sam Wilson, could speak the Indian language. Assuming he was not exaggerating to impress the government man, William Wilson's father may have spoken the old Saponi language, or he may have learned Cherokee from his neighbors in Macon County.

"William and Joe Gibson, from Murphy, North Carolina, applied, and the note "Probably Negros" was written on their application. William Gibson stated that his parents "passed as part Indian. No Negro blood in them." He further stated that his father spoke the Indian language. On the bottom of his testimony is a note, presumably written by the agent, which says, "This applicant shows the Indian so does his brother now with him. However, their ancestors were never enrolled." These Gibsons, who lived at various times in Tennessee and North Carolina, probably were also related to the Gibsons found in the so-called Melungeon groups of eastern Tennessee and western Virginia, which appear to have originated in the early mixed-blood populations of the North Carolina Piedmont area." 

I am probably related to Joe and William Gibson that he mentions. (21)

The “Western Catawba Indian Association” of the 1880s-1890s

The most illusive of the Western Catawba to research are those that were called the “Western Catawba Indian Assoication” (18). They are mentioned in a Congressionaal document where it is stated the following is stated as in a statement made by and recorded in the 54th Congress from the “Western Catawba Indian Association” that was written to Congress (19).

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 from 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

Notice the above document says that on July 29th, 1848, that Congress apporopriated $5,000 to help pray for the removal of the Catawba Indians westward to Oklahoma, then known as Indian territory. In the treaty of Nation's Ford (the document doesn't appear to be dated) of 1840 was made with the State of South Carolina. The state of South Carolina agreed to pay the Catawba $5,000 if they'd just leave, pretty much. So on two occasions they were told they'd receive money to migrate to Indian Territory. On neither occasion did this occur. There was always a reason why they didn't qualify for the money, or didn't qualify for any lands in Indian Territory, and so forth. Below is a list of the places 257 individuals went west expecting land and so forth that never was forthcoming.

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.

Pony Hill (19)
I have contacted just about everyone I know and asked about some of these things, gathering a little information here, a little there. A few years back I'd emailed Mr. Pony Hill. I mentioned many things, one was my search for James Bain and George Williamson, whose names appear all over documents pertaining to the “Western Catawba Indian Association” that tried to form in the 1890s. 

He replied;

“I was able to locate James Bain in the 1900 census for Fort Smith, Sebastain Ward 4. he was listed as a 60 year old "white" male born in Tennessee (both parents born in California...?). His wife was listed as a 50 year old "white" female born in Mississippi and a step-son of 24 y/o also born in Miss. Living next door was Hugh Morrison (32 y/o 'white' male born in Ark) with his wife Marie (27 y/o 'white' female whose father was born in Tennessee).

“If this is the correct James Bain, of the Western Catawba Assoc., then it is a mystery as to why this lists his parents being born in California. Perhaps he was represnting his wife in the tribe? Both the Robinson and Morrison surnames were listed among the Catawba on the reservation at around 1840, and Indian agent B.B. Massey specifically documented in 1853 that the majority of the Morrison family had moved off the reservation, with at least one family moved near Charleston, SC "not heard from since." Massey also wrote in 1853 that there were at east 15 Catawba living in Arkansas "who had moved out there in 1851 never to return."

If James was 60 in 1900, and he was born in 1840 in Tennessee, I can see that. But then his parents were born in California somewhere between 1800 to 1820. In those days California was a part of Spain. To put this date in perspective, Mexico won her independence from Spain on April 24th, 1821. California became a Terriroty of the United States after the Mexican-American War 1845-1847. A trip overland would have been treacherous, and the Panama Canal had not been built. There's an interesting story (has to be) here, but I don't know what it is. :) Once you were West of the Mississippi, you see a lot of mixed-blood mixed-race people saying they are White, and nobody caring enough to make a big deal out of it. The Morrison name is interesting. Also I found a "Bunch" in the household of one "Bain" family in Arkansas and a "Minor" in the household of a second. I have no idea what any of this means, if anything.

Department of the Interrior, Office of Indian Affairs, Washington, 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 of considering 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.”

Newspaper Articles on the Western Catawba 
These three short articles about the Catawba in Arkansas were written between 1889- 1895, and are found in the local newspaper, "The Fort Smith Elevator". Some people were trying to organize a group of Catawba in the late 19th century. Also found, late in the day, a few lines in an article in "The Indian Chieftain" of Vinita, Oklahoma, dated 1888, when Vinita was a part of the Cherokee Nation. Remember Oklahoma only became a state in 1907.

August 16, 1889, The Fort Smith Elevator, Catawba Indian Association 
The Catawba Indian Association met at Rocky Ridge on the 10th. The meeting was called to order by the President. After the reading of the minutes and the calling of the roll of the officers, transacting other business that came before the order, a call for new members was made and 90 was added to the new list, after which the meeting adjourned to meet at Ault’s’ Mill, three miles south of Fort Smith, the second day of the fair, the 16th day of October, where the delegates and all persons interested will please attend without further notice, as matters of interest will be considered.
J. Bain, President
G. W. Williamson, Secretary

I obtained this material by writing to the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith library. One of their librarians wrote the following:
Hello Mr. Hawkins,
Attached is a copy of the article you requested. The article mentioned another meeting held on October 16th and I found it in the October 25th edition but the film was so dark I could not get a good print to scan. The text of the article follows. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
October 25, 1889 p. 3 col. 5, From Fort Smith Historical Society publication.

Attention Catawba’s
The Western Catawba’s Indian Association met at Ault’s Mill October 16, 1889, at which meeting a number of new members were added to the Association, thus making it nearly 4,000 strong. They appointed an executive committee which is empowered to transact all business and place the matter before congress. The Association adjourned to convene again at a called meeting of the president.” Taken originally from “The Fort Smith Elevator” (newspaper), date probably early Jan 1895.
All Catawba Indians by blood or otherwise are requested to meet at the County Court House in Fort Smith Arkansas on Thursday, Jan 24th, 1895 at 10 o’clock a. m. for the purpose of perfecting the census roll of the Western Catawba Indian Association and the transaction of other matters that may come before the meeting. All Catawba Indians are expected to be present or by proxy as business of importance will come before the meeting.
James Bain, Preset., Geo. E. Williams, Scary,
Western Catawba Indian Association

Please keep the timeframe in mind. The Dawes Act (also called the Allotment Act) had just been passed in Congress meaning the Indians in Oklahoma at least would no longer own all their lands in common – each Indian family was to receive – I think it was 160 acres – I might be wrong about the number of acres. Well many more people were asking for this land than there actually were Indians living on the lands in Oklahoma. So the Indians and whites both grew suspicious some of the applicants.

We hear of all those on the rejected rolls. But we never hear of those who claimed Catawba ancestry — all we hear of are of the Cherokee rejected rolls. Apparently 4,000 people wanted to claim Catawba ancestry. The final list seems to have had only 257 names, so something happened to the rest, and we have no list of the names of those 257 persons, nor of the 4,000. I will continue to look for these lists.

Also, these 4,000 are not on any accepted or rejected roll, either, as no roll was made for the Catawba. I am hoping to discover the names of those 257 as well as those 4,000. General opinion at the time was they were individuals who had a little Indian blood and had been living as whites. The idea of giving free land to people who had not gone through the hardships of removal, people who had left them to live as Whites, was a bitter and difficult pill to swallow, for the traditional Indians who had never left the various tribes, and who still had many full bloods. Also it was suspected that many people applying were simply full blood Whites looking to take Indian lands as had happened so many times in the past. This attitude doomed the petitioners such as these claiming a Catawba heritage, to failure. But what became of them? They seem to have vanished in the dust. Was my family a part of this movement in the late 19th century?

I found one more reference; from "The Indian Chieftain", a newspaper from Vinita, Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory dated 1888, located in what is today north eastern Oklahoma. Indian Chieftain, March 1, 1888, Vinita, Indian Territory (Oklahoma), image 2 of 4 The Western Catawba Indian Association, with headquarters in Fort Smith, proposes to petition congress to set aside for the use of all persons of Indian blood, not members of any tribe, a portion of the Indian Territory.

I cannot help but remember hearing that dad's grandparents were at one time thinking about signing up for the Dawes Allotments, but "something happened" and they never did. I remember my mother mentioning this, and she had no Indian blood, but her family lived next to my great-grandparents on my Dad’s side – the Richey’s, as well. I wish I knew the right questions to ask back when I was younger, but at the time, I had little interest in these things. Part of my quest in doing research was to find out exactly what happened. Why did they back out, and never even apply for Dawes? This would have been the 1890s. They did live near Fort Smith at one time and we do seem to have some ancestors that "could have been" Catawba. They also lived in the Chickasaw Nation and the Catawba had asked the Chickasaw to accept them, an offer the Chickasaw refused. One post even said some Catawba wre said to have moved into the Catawba Nation. Did we belong to this organization, the Western Catawba Indian Association — at one time 4,000 strong? That would explain a lot. The Melungeons too, were Eastern Siouan — and they were also closely attached together both genetically and linguistically. The Cheraw and Saponi, were both always considered the same people.

Catawba in Colorado and Utah (2 CSD #144)

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 cal

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.
Very respectfully,
D. M. Browning, Commissioner
Hon. H. M. Teller, United States Senate

The Last Attempt of the People to Continue to Exist as a Nation
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 gather 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 Allotment 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 allotment 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 Catawba's 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, nntil 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.
Very respectfully,

D. M. Browning

R. V. Belt, Esq.
1314 Tenth Street NW, City

For many, this was the end. There was no more effort. Our ancestors had tried so hard, been denied a right to exist as a tribal organization for at least 50 years now. They gave up and just assimilated. However there were groups in the Carolina's and Virginia, and they had more luck. Most of them gained state recognition, at least. I was lucky, and gained state recognition as “Cherokee” as we have Cherokee heritage as well. But there are tens of thousands of others still left in limbo. But without a tribal structure to keep us together we get Whiter every generation, and in some cases Blacker. But do not forget for a moment who you are also are – American Indian! I've made every mistake in the book, seeking my rightful heritage, but on rare occasion I got it right. Maybe people will read this and realize their Melungeon heritage is NOT Portuguese, it is NOT Angolan or Turkish or Jewish – but rather Saponi, or Catawba, or Cheraw. Be proud of that.Recognition if you can get it, For many however, it likely won't happen. I've never been accused of being  optimistic. :)


(1) taken from Chapter II; Indian Days and Early Settlers; Immigration to Arkansas of the “Lungens,” From "The History of Baxter County, Arkansas" by Mary Ann Messick
(2) "Pioneers and Makers of Arkansas", p 339-342 by Josiah H. Shinn.
(3) History of Methodism in Arkansas" p 29-36
(4) Minutes of Stony Creek Primitive Baptist Church mentioned in "Melungeons and Other Poineer Families" by Jack Gions (c) 2000
(5) Early Lawrence County, Arkansas Records
(7) "Whose Your People?" by Dr. Richard Carlson, PhD dissertation from Michigan State University
(8) Senate Congressional Document # 144
(9) ; Also from my book., Finding Our Indian Blood
(10) "Catawba Nation, Treasures in History" by Dr. Thoms J. Blumer
(12) IPP papers:
(13) "The Catawba Indians, The People of the River"; by Douglas Summers Brown, University of South Carolina Press, (c) 1966.
(14) “Catawba Nation, Treasures in History,” by Thomas J. Blumer, (pp 52-53), Published by the History Press, Columbia North Carolina, (c) 2007 Thomas Blumer.
(15) "Red Carolinians", by Chapman Milling; University of South Carolina Press 1969, (c) Chapman Milling. First Published University of North Carolina Press, 1940.
(16) "A Guide to the Indian Tribes of Oklahoma" by Muriel H. Wright, my edition published by the Civilizarion of the American Indian Series, University of Oklahoma Press, copyright 1951, 1986
(17) Western Catawba Indian Assicoation was mentioned in several newspaper articles of the time. There were articles in the Fort Smith Elevatior dated August 16, 1889, October 16th, 1889, before January 24th, 1895, All these  accounts are from the Fort Smith Elevator Newspaper. there is a ofurth account In the Indian Chieftain out of Vinita, Indian Territory (Cherkee Nation), dated March 1st, 1888.
(18) Senate Congressional Document # 144; 54th Congress
(19) Author of several books about some Catawba/Cheraw Indians who moved to North Florida, including "The Indians of North Florida," by Pony Hill and Christopher Scott Sewell, Printed by Backintime, a subsidiary of Boxes and Arrows, (c) 2011.
(20) "History of the Old Cheraws" by Alexander Gregg

(21) Various Eastern Siouan Communities by Forest Hazel

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