This database contains court case files from the U.S. Court in Indian Territory regarding applicants seeking enrollment in the Cherokee and Creek tribes for the years 1896–1897.
Congress authorized the Dawes Commission in 1893 to negotiate land allotments among members of the Five Civilized Tribes (Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, Seminole). These allotments would assign portions of previously held tribal land to individuals. To do this, the commission first had to determine who qualified to be enrolled as a citizen of a tribe.
Documents in this database come from appeals made relating to the enrollment process. They include “briefs, memorandums, exhibits, applications, clippings, correspondence, decisions, histories, letters, opinions, order, proceedings, rolls, and telegrams pertaining to appeals for requests for enrollment as Cherokees and Creeks under the act of 1896. These cases were heard by the U.S. Court in Indian Territory Northern District at Muskogee.”
What You Can Find in the Records
Some case files are very detailed, while others are quite brief. The files can include important names, dates, and family relationships, as plaintiffs explain or establish their connection with the tribe.
Because these records are case files, a browse or search will take you to the first page of the file. You will want to use the arrow keys to navigate through all the documents related to the case.
Some of the details in this description come from NARA’s description for Series P2293.