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Freedmen and the Five Civilized Tribes

General Information

1. Abel, Annie Heloise
The American Indian as Slaveholder and Secessionist. Cleveland: Arthur H. Clark Company, 1915.
This work was one of the first studies to treat the slaveholding tribes. It has recently been reprinted by the University of Nebraska Press.

2. Foster, Laurence
Negro-Indian Relations in the Southeast. New York: AMS Press, 1978.
This is a reprint of an early Ph.D. dissertation and the pioneering regional study of those tribes that were later removed to Indian Territory.

3. Porter, Kenneth Wiggens.
The Negro on the American Frontier. New York. Arno Press, 1971.
Though this work puts much of its emphasis on the Seminoles, Porter deals with tribes indigenous to the Southeast and treats their history in the post-removal period.

4. Wright, J.Leitch, Jr.
The Only Land They Knew. New York: The Free Press, 1981.
This is a general study of slavery and explores the contact between Indians and blacks in the slavery system, demonstrating that the legalities of servitude often made little or no distinction between Indians and blacks.

Cherokee Freedmen

5. Halliburton. R., Jr.
Red Over Black: Black Slavery among the Cherokee Indians. Greenwood Press, 1977.
This study emphasizes the post-removal period.

6. Perdue, Theda.
Slavery and the Evolution of Cherokee Society, 1548-1866. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1979.
This is an excellent study of the way the Cherokees adopted the institution of slavery and practiced it from the colonial period to the Civil War.

Chickasaw Freedmen

No detailed history of slavery among the Chickasaws has been written.

Choctaw Freedmen

7. Littlefield, Daniel F., Jr., and Mary Ann Littlefield.
"The Beams Family: Free Blacks in Indian Territory." The Journal of Negro History 41 (January 1976): 17-35.
This is a study of a remarkable family's struggle against slave hunters and their physical and legal efforts to survive.

No detailed history of slavery among the Choctaws has been written.

Creek Freedmen

8. Littlefield, Daniel F., Jr.
Africans and Creeks. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1979.
This work presents a history of black creek contact from the colonial period to the Civil War.

9. Porter, Kenneth Wiggens.
The Negro on the American Frontier. See above.

10. Wright, J. Leitch, Jr.
Creeks and Seminoles: The Destruction and Regeneration of the Muscogulge People. Linclon: University of Nebraska Press, 1986.
This work details the role of people of African descent in the history of the Creeks and Seminoles primarily in the pre-removal period, with some emphasis, however, on the post-removal and post-Civil War period.

Seminole Freedmen

11. Klos, George E.
"Black Seminoles in Territorial Florida." Southern Historian 10 (1989): 26-42.
This adds little new information to previous studies.

12. Klos, George E.
"Blacks and the Seminole Removal Debate, 182 1 -1835." Florida Historical Quarterly 68 (1989): 55-78.
This adds little new information to previous studies.

13. Littlefield, Daniel F. Jr.
i Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1977.
This work explores slavery and other relationships between Seminoles and blacks from the late eighteenth century to the American Civil War. Reprinted at the end of this work are a number of lists of slaves with varying amounts of biographical information.

14. Opala, Joseph
"Seminole-African Relations on the Florida Frontier," [University of Oklahoma] Papers in Anthropology 22 (Spring 1981): 11-51.
This work adds little new information to previous studies.

15. Porter, Kenneth Wiggens.
The Negro on the American Frontier.

16. Watts, Jill.
"We Do Not Live for Ourselves Only"', Seminole Black Perceptions and the Second Seminole War." UCLA Historical Journal 7 (1986): 5-28.
This work is interesting for its attempt to look at events from the blacks' perspectives.

17. Wright, J. Leitch, Jr.
Creeks and Seminoles.
See above.

Freedman Members of the Five Civilized Tribes
Published Histories

Cherokee Freedmen

18. Gammon, Tim.
"Black Freedmen and the Cherokee Nation." Journal of American Studies II (December 1977): 357-364.
This is a very general study.

19. Gammon, Tim.
"The Black Freedmen of the Cherokee Nation." Negro History Bulletin 40 (July-August 1977): 733-735.
This is a very general study.

20. Littlefield, Daniel F., Jr.
The Cherokee Freedmen. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1978.
This work traces the history of the Cherokee Freedmen from emancipation to Oklahoma statehood.

Chickasaw Freedmen

21. Littlefield. Daniel F., Jr.
The Chickasaw Freedmen. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1980.
This work traces the history of the Chickasaw Freedmen from emancipation to Oklahoma statehood.

Choctaw Freedmen

22. Flickinger, Robert Elliott.
The Choctaw Freedmen and the Story of Oak Hill Industrial Academy. Fonda, IA: Journal and Times Press, 1914.
Though a history of region and education, this work is extremely valuable for the number of photographs of Choctaw Freedman it contains.

No detailed history of the Choctaw Freedmen has been written.

Creek Freedmen

23. Debo, Angie.
The Road to Disappearance. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1967.
This History of the Creeks, while not emphasizing the history of the Creek Freedmen, contains much information about the role of blacks, particularly in Creek politics.

*[No detailed history of the Creek Freedmen has been written.]

Seminole Freedmen

24. Bateman, Rebecca Belle.
"'We're Still Here"': History, Kinship, and Group Identity among the Seminole Freedmen of Oklahoma."
Ph.D.diss.. Johns Hopkins University, 1991.

25. Opala, Joseph
A Brief History of the Seminole Freedmen. African and Afro-American Studies and Research Center Papers: Series 2, Number 3. Austin: University of Texas, 1980.
The title indicates the depth of this work, but it brings the Seminole Freedman history down to recent decades.

Freedman Members of the Five Civilized Tribes
Family History Resources

Five Civilized Tribes

26. National Archives Microfilm Publications, Microcopy T529.
The Final Rolls of Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes
Arranged by tribe, Indians by blood, freedmen, minor and newborn (both Indian and freedman), the rolls list roll number, age, sex, blood quantum, position in the family, and census card number.

27. (National Archives Microfilm Publications, Microcopy Ml 186).
Enrollment Cards for the Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914
The enrollment cards provide much valuable information: name of each family member, age, family relationship, sex, tribal enrollment of parents, owners' names of former slaves, names of parents, parents' tribal enrollment, parents' owners if they were slaves, other rolls on which their names appear, aliases or changes in names.

28. (National Archives Microfilm Publications, Microcopy M 130 1).
Application Jackets for the Five Civilized Tribes
Information varies but often includes evidence submitted to support applications, affidavits, marriage and other records, and transcripts of testimony. Some jackets contain hundreds of pages of information, others very little. There are also jackets for those applications labeled "Doubtful."

29. (National Archives--Southwest Region, Film 7RA-24)
Index to Rejected Applicants
This index to the application jackets of the Five Civilized Tribes (those ultimately rejected) may be incomplete.

30. Office of the Secretary of the Interior. Indian Territory Division. Special Files. (National Archives).
Chickasaw Freedmen
This extensive file is mislabeled. It contains huge quantities of information about the freedmen of various tribes and includes correspondence, affidavits, and testimony that contain much personal and family information.

3 I. (Oklahoma Historical Society).
Records of the Dawes Commission
This extensive file of records of the Dawes Commission contains much information about freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes.

32. (Oklahoma Historical Society .
Indian-Pioneer History
These 106 volumes contain the bound transcripts of WPA interviews with Oklahoma residents in the late 1930s. Included are many freedman family histories and biographies. The Historical Society maintains a card index to the content of the volumes.

33.Angela Y. Walton-Raji, publisher, 305 N. Chapel Gate Lane, Baltimore, MD 21229. (410) 525-0099.
The Frontier Freedman's Journal: An African American Genealogical & Historical Journal of the South, Indian Territory. and the Southwest
The Premiere Issue (Spring 1992) contained information on family history, census records, and genealogical resources.

Cherokee

34. (Oklahoma Historical Society, Film DC42).
List of Freedmen entitled and exercising citizenship in the Cherokee Nation. Authenticated Roll, 1880
Arranged by district, the census lists name, age. and sex. The Canadian District census does not indicate family groups, but the census of the other eight districts indicates households by double spacing between groups of names.

35. (Oklahoma Historical Society).
Citizens and Freedmen of the Cherokee Nation, 1867
This census, arranged by district, lists name, age, sex, and color.

36.Office of Indian Affairs. Records Relating to Cherokee Citizenship. (National Archives).
Letters Received Relating to Cherokee Citizenship. 1875-89
These letters relate to both general issues and to individual claims relating to citizenship. They are arranged by year and then file number.

37. Office of Indian Affairs. Records Relating to Cherokee Citizenship. (National Archives).
Affidavits. 1889-90
These affidavits relate to applications for enrollment taken by John W. Wallace and are grouped according to status. The groupings include Free Negroes (free at the start of the Civil War), Admitted Cherokee Freedmen, Authenticated Cherokee Freedmen, and Rejected Cherokee Freedmen. The affidavits contain much family history.

38. Office of Indian Affairs. Records Relating to Cherokee Citizenship. (National Archives).
Affidavits of Questioned Cherokee Freedmen. 1889-91
These affidavits were submitted to Agent Leo E. Bennett at Muskogee for further investigation. Included are affidavits from applicants and witnesses, arranged alphabetically by surname of the applicant.

39. Office of Indian Affairs. Records Relating to Cherokee Citizenship. (National Archives).
Affidavits. 1891-1892
These affidavits were from applicants rejected by Wallace. They include affidavits from applicants and witnesses and are arranged alphabetically by surname of the applicant.

40. Office of Indian Affairs. Records Relating to Cherokee Citizenship. (National Archives).
Affidavits. 1893
These affidavits from applicants for Cherokee citizenship were submitted to Special Commissioner Marcus D. Shelby and include statements from both admitted applicants and rejected applicants. They are arranged roughly in alphabetical order according to the initial letter of the surname.

41. Office of Indian Affairs. Records Relating to Cherokee Citizenship. (National Archives)
Drafts of Census Rolls. 1889-90
These are various drafts of the Wallace Roll. See below.

42. Office of Indian Affairs. Records Relating to Cherokee Citizenship. (National Archives).
Wallace Rolls. 1890
Among the categories of citizens are Authenticated Freedmen, Admitted Freedmen, Rejected Freedmen, and Free Negroes. Entries list name, age, sex, residence, and other information. Arranged by district, names are then in alphabetical order by initial letter of the surname of the head of household.

43. Office of Indian Affairs. Records Relating to Cherokee Citizenship. (National Archives).
Supplementary Census Rolls. 1891-92.
These rolls are Bennett's revision of Wallace's rolls.

44. Office of Indian Affairs. Records Relating to Cherokee Citizenship. (National Archives).
Indexes to Revised copies of Wallace Roll of Cherokee Freedmen. ca. 1890-93
This two volume Index is to the Revised Wallace Rolls (see below). Names for Authenticated Freedmen and Admitted Freedmen appear in inks of different color.

45. Office of Indian Affairs. Records Relating to Cherokee Citizenship.
Revised Copies of Wallace Rolls. ca. 1890-96 (National Archives).
These are the Wallace Rolls as revised by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.- They do not include names of rejected applicants as appear in other versions of the rolls. Some of the six volumes have name indexes.

46. Office of Indian Affairs. Records Relating to Cherokee Citizenship.
Roll of Cherokee Freedmen. 1896-97. (National Archives).
This file contains one volume and some unbound papers. The roll, known as the Kern-Clifton roll, lists both authenticated and admitted freedmen. Names appear in family groups, followed by position in the family, age, sex, district of residence, and other information.

47. (Oklahoma Historical Society)
Cherokee-Freedmen (Tahlequah)
I the documents in this huge set of Cherokee national records can be found, among other documents, lists of freedmen admitted to Cherokee citizenship by the Cherokee Supreme Court in 1871 and lists of those rejected. Also included are affidavits filed during the 1870s by freedmen whose citizenship was challenged for one reason or another. These affidavits include age, names of former owner, place of residence, and location during the Civil War.

48. (Oklahoma Historical Society).
Cherokee--Citizenship Tahleguah)
This vast file of Cherokee national records contains much freedman material, including affidavits of claimants for citizenship, which contain much family history.

49. (Oklahoma Historical Society).
Cherokee-Intruders (Tahlequah)
This huge file of Cherokee national records contains much freedman material, including affidavits of many declared intruders by the Cherokee Nation. Affidavits give age, names of family members, former owners, and movements during and after the Civil War.

50. Office of Indian Affairs. (National Archives).
Report of Appraisement of Improvements of Cherokee Intruders. 1893-95
Box 4 contains the records of many blacks who claimed right to Cherokee citizenship by virtue of former slavery in the Cherokee Nation and others who claimed right by intermarriage. Records give the name, age, family members, history of residency in the Cherokee Nation, location of property, description, including the number of structures, acres under fence, crops, orchards. and other non-movable property.

51. (Oklahoma Historical Society).
Cherokee Volume 475. Cherokee Freedmen Rejected Cases
This volume contains 351 cases presented before the Dawes Commission. It lists the applicant's address, former owner, parents, and children. Information varies.

52. (Oklahoma Historical Society)
Cherokee. Volume 480. Cherokee Freedmen Doubtful Cases
This volume contains the entries for 650 applicants for Cherokee citizenship filed before the Dawes Commission. Information on each applicant varies but usually contains names of family members, with ages and sex, and post office address, and sometimes includes names of attorneys, parents, witnesses examined, and former owners.

53. (Oklahoma Historical Society).
Cherokee Volume 474. Cherokee Freedmen Doubtful Cases
This volume is a continuation of the volume above, containing cases 651 through 1300.

54. Sober, Nancy Hope.
The Intruders: The Illegal Residents of the Cherokee Nation, 1866-1907.
Ponca City: Cherokee Books, 1991. In addition to a chapter on the black intruders, the book contains an appendix that includes extensive lists of intruders and of persons readmitted to the Cherokee rolls, including freedmen.

Chickasaw

55. Hastain, E
Index to Choctaw-Chickasaw Deeds and Allotments. Muskogee: E. Hastain,
1908. Freedman allotments are listed by name, tribal affiliation, roll number, and location of allotment.

56. (Oklahoma Historical Society, Film CKN1)
1890 Census of Pickens County
Report of Appraisement of Improvements of Cherokee Intruders.

57. (Oklahoma Historical Society, Film CKNI).
1890 Census of Tishomingo County
same information as the one above

Choctaw

58. Hastain, E.
Index to Choctaw-Chickasaw Deeds and Allotments.
See above.

59. Office of Indian Affairs. Other Records Relating to Enrollment of the Five Civilized Tribes. (National Archives).
Rolls of Choctaw Freedmen. 1885.
These rolls, arranged by district, contain lists of freedmen admitted to Choctaw citizenship as well as those listed as doubtful. Entries list name, position in the family, nationality of parents, former master's name, acres cultivated, livestock (cattle, horses and mules. hogs, sheep, and goats).

60. (Oklahoma Historical Society).
Chickasaw Volume 83
Though labeled a Chickasaw record, this volume is the minutes of the Choctaw enrolling commission (1885) in Goodland, Caddo, Boggy Depot. and First District, Choctaw Nation. Information for applicants varies but often includes such details as aliases, family relationships, names of former owners, acres improved, and livestock owned.

61. (Oklahoma Historical Society, Film CTN7).
Choctaw Freedman Census, First District, 1885 (Choctaw Volume 355)
This census records head of family, wife and children, nationality of parents, and former owner.

62. (Oklahoma Historical Society, Film CTN7). This census lists the same
Roll of Freedmen Who Elected to Leave the Nation, 1885-1886, First District (Choctaw Volume 355)
information as that above.

63. (Oklahoma Historical Society, Film CTN7).
Freedmen Whose Title to Citizenship Is Doubtful. Red River County, 1885 (Choctaw Volume 355)
This census lists names, children, and former owner.

64. (Oklahoma Historical Society, Film CTN7).
Freedmen Who Elected to Leave the Nation, Second District, 1885 (Choctaw Volume 355a)
This census lists the same information as that above.

65. (Oklahoma Historical Society, Film CTN7).
Freedman Rolls, Second District-I 885 (Choctaw Volume 36 1)
This census lists the same information as 63 above.

66. (Oklahoma Historical Society, Film CTN7).
Roll of Freedmen Whose Citizenship Is Doubtful. Third District, 1885 (Choctaw Volume 373)
This census lists the same information as 63 above.

67. (Oklahoma Historical Society, Film CTN7).
Freedmen Who Elected to Leave the Nation, Third Judicial District 1885 (Choctaw Volume 374)
This census lists the same information as 63 above.

68. (Oklahoma Historical Society, Film CTN7).
Freedman Rolls, Third District.1885 (Choctaw Volume 375)
This census lists the same information as 63 above.

69. (Oklahoma Historical Society, Film CTN7).
Minutes of the Citizenship Committee, Choctaw Nation, Freedmen. 1885 (Choctaw Volume 432)
This census lists names, ages, and former owners.

70.(Oklahoma Historical Society, Film CTN7).
1896 Census of Freedmen. Boktuklo County (Choctaw Volume 452)
This census lists name of adult, age, marital status, and other information.

71. (Oklahoma Historical Society, Film CTN7).
1896 Census of Freedmen. Eagle County (Choctaw Volume 456)
This census lists name of adult, age, sex, and marital status.

72. (Oklahoma Historical Society, Film CTN7).
1896 Census of Freedmen. Kiamichi County (Choctaw Volume 464)
This census lists the same information as that above.

73.(Oklahoma Historical Society, Film CTN7).
1896 Census of Freedmen. Red River County (Choctaw Volume 464)
This census lists the same information as 71 above.

74.(Oklahoma Historical Society, Film CTN7).
1896 Census of Freedmen. Skullyville, San Bois and Tobucksy Counties (Choctaw Volume 482)
Freedmen are listed by families with names and ages.

75. (Oklahoma Historical Society, Film CTN7).
1896 Census of Freedmen, Towson County (Choctaw Volume 477)
This census lists adults and some children, with age, sex, and marital status.

76. (Oklahoma Historical Society, Film CTN7).
1896 Census of Freedmen, Wade County (Choctaw Volume 479)
Names are arranged by family, with age, sex, and marital status.

77. (Oklahoma Historical Society, Film CTN7).
Freedmen Admitted to Citizenship. Third Judicial District, 1897 (Choctaw Volume 382)
This record includes the census of Kiamichi, Jackson, Blue, Atoka, and Jacks Forks Counties, listing both adults and children, with age. nationality of parents, former owner and other information.

Creek

78. Campbell, J. B.
Campbell's Abstract of Creek Freedman Census Cards and Index. Muskogee:
Phoenix Job Printing Company, 1915. The abstract contains each member's roll and census card number, post office, date of enrollment, age, sex, position in the family, names of father and mother. The index includes all names and is far superior to the government's index to the final rolls, which lists only the names of allottees.

Seminole

79. (Oklahoma Historical Society).
Seminole Census Roll. 1897
This census lists only names, arranged by bands, including the freedman bands. Note: names of family members will appear in different bands, in which membership was determined by the mother.

80. Campbell, J. B.
Campbell's Abstract of Seminole Indian Census Cards and Index. Muskogee: Oklahoma Printing Company, 1925.
Though the title does not indicate it, the abstract and index include freedmen as well as Seminoles by blood. The abstract contains each member's roll and census card number, post office, date of enrollment, age, sex, position in the family, names of father and mother. The index includes all names and is far superior to the government's index to the final rolls, which lists only the names of allottees.

81. Office of the Secretary of the Interior. (National Archives).
Indian Territory Division. Special Files. Seminole Roll
This file contains much biographical information in affidavits and transcripts of evidence taken during creation of the final roll of the Seminoles. Included are extensive files on the Seminole Freedmen.


This information was Prepared by Daniel F. Littlefield, Jr. War and Reconstruction in Indian Territory: A History Conference in Observance of the 130th Anniversary of the Fort Smith Council, Fort Smith, Arkansas, September 14-17, 1995