Petition and Papers Relative to Certain Lower Brulé Indians

1st SessionNo. 324

Mr. GAMBLE presented the following

Petition, with accompanying papers, of certain Lower Brule Indians in South Dakota residing upon the Rosebud Reservation in said State and claiming to belong to the Last-Named Tribe, asking for legislation to permit them to secure allotments upon said Reservation.

APRIL 28, 1902.—Referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs and ordered to be printed.


To the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled:

We, the undersigned, recognized as members of the Lower Brulé tribe of Indians, and residing with that portion of said tribe now living and belonging on the Rosebud Reservation, in the State of South Dakota, respectfully petition your honorable body that such legislation be enacted as will secure to us the lands which we have selected as our allotments on the Rosebud Reservation before the same are thrown open to settlement, as will be done after the ratification of the agreement with the Rosebud Sioux Indians, for cession to the United States of the portion of their reservation unallotted, and lying within what is known as Gregory County, S. Dak.

We represent, and show by evidence herewith submitted, that we, except John Sully, a white man, are of Sioux Indian blood; that we all have been living with the Lower Brulé Sioux Indians, and recognized by them as belonging to said tribe and entitled to all of the rights and benefits thereof as other members of said tribe, and that we have heretofore had and enjoyed such rights and benefits; that because it happened that when the great Sioux Reservation was divided up into separate reservations under the agreement of 1898 we were supporting ourselves and were not at that specific time receiving rations from the Government at the Rosebud Agency, though residing on the portion of the reservation set apart for the Indians so receiving rations at that agency, we have been denied the right to allotments of lands selected by us.

We further represent that in the proceedings of the council with the Lower Brulé Indians preliminary to the negotiation of the agreement for the removal of a portion of the Lower Brulé tribe to the Rosebud Reservation it was distinctly stated by the chiefs to Inspector McLaughlin, who conducted the negotiations, that we were recognized as members of the said Lower Brulé tribe of Indians, and that it was the desire of the said tribe that your petitioners should be enrolled as such members, and be entitled to all the rights and privileges of said tribe; that this action was taken at that time, not as the initiative proceedings for our recognition as members of said tribe, but because there had been recently some action by the Department calling in question our right to allotments of lands that had been made to us, notwithstanding the fact that we had long been recognized as members of the said tribe of Lower Brulé Indians, and had received other benefits inuring to such members under the treaties with the Sioux Nation of Indians.

e further represent that to deprive us of the lands we have selected and improved as our homes will work a very great hardship to us, and leave us without homes, lands, etc.

We urgently request that, in the legislation for the ratification of the agreement of the Rosebud Sioux Indians for cession to the United States of the unallotted lands of the reservation in what is known as Gregory County, S. Dak., now pending before Congress, and set out in Senate Doc. No. 31, Fifty-seventh Congress, first session, such provision be made as will secure to us and to our children and grandchildren the lands we have selected for our allotments, and which we have improved and are improving as our homes.

And we will ever pray.
John Sully
Mary Sully,
(For herself and for her minor children, Millie Sully, John Sully, Frank Sully, Georgia Sully, and Sammy Sully and Cloudy Sully.)
Eva Sully
William Kinkade
Mary Gaughen,
(For herself and her minor children, Emma Gaughen, 011ie Gauhen, Nellie Gaughen, Julia Gaughen, Amy Gaughen.)
Louise Waugh,
(For herself and her minor child, John Waugh.) Estella Blackbird,
(For herself and her minor children, Susie Blackbird, Lucy Blackbird, Annie Blackbird, and George Blackbird.)
Rosebud Reservation, S. Dak., April 18, 1902.

Department of the Interior, Office of Indian Affairs,
Washington, April 4, 1902.

SIR: This office is in receipt of your communication of the 29th ultimo, with which you enclose the formal application, dated March 22, 1902, of Mrs. Mary Sully, for allotments of land on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, S. Dak., for herself, husband, children, and grandchildren, as follows:

Her husband, John Sully, a white man.

Her children: Mary Gaughen (nee Kinkade), 33 years old; Louise Waugh (nee Sully), 20 years old; Estelle Kinkade, 25 years old; Willie Kinkade, 27 years old; Eva Sully, 19 years old; Millie Sully, 16 years old; John Sully, 15 years old; Frank Sully, age not given; Georgia Sully, 12 years old; Sammy Sully, 10 years old, and Cloudy Sully, 6 years old.

Her grandchildren: Emmit Gaughen, 10 years old; 011ie Gaughen, 8 years old; Nellie Gaughen, 6 years old; Julia Gaughen, 4 years old; Amy Gaughen, 2 years old; John Waugh, 5 years old; Susie Blackbird, 10 years old; Lucy Blackbird, 8 years old; Annie Blackbird, 6 years old, and George Blackbird, 4 years old, children of Estelle Kinkade.

Mrs. Sully states in her application that she is a full-blood Sioux Indian, 46 years of age, and sets out at some length the history of her claim.

In transmitting her application you state concerning the same that she is the wife of a white man, John Sully; that her former husband was named Kinkade; that she swears she was born and reared on the Great Sioux Reservation on the west side of the Missouri River where she has always lived; that she was for a while on the Lower Brulé Reservation, where she and members of her family received benefits as Indians, were allotted lands, etc.; that they elected to leave Lower Brulé and come to the Rosebud Reservation with the Lower Brulé to take allotments, but for reasons unknown to her allotments at Rosebud have been withheld from her and members of her family; that there was some disturbance of their status at the time Inspector McLaughlin negotiated the agreement with the Lower Brulé Indians to remove to the Rosebud Reservation, at which time the chiefs and leading men presented the matter to the inspector and urged that the whole Sully family, “all of whom they recognize as belonging to their tribe or band, should be enrolled as members thereof;” that Mr. McLaughlin promised the chiefs that he would present the matter to the Department with his recommendation thereon, etc.; and that Mrs. Sully urges that her claim in this matter be given prompt attention, as she fears that she and her family will be deprived of the lands that they have selected and improved as their allotments.

In reply, you are informed that under date of July 9, 1895, A. B. Lucas, esq., of Castalia, S. Dak., addressed a communication to this office in which he called attention to the matter of allotments of lands on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, and presented the claims of Mary Drappo or Drapeau (mother of the present applicant) and her daughters and granddaughters for allotments on the said reservation. September 23, 1895, the case was fully reported to the Secretary of the Interior, who under date of September 28, 1895, passed upon the question as to whether or not the said persons were entitled to allotments or enrollment as Sioux Indians, deciding as follows:

From the evidence presented by Agent Wright, of the Rosebud Agency, in his letter of the 10th instant, it appears that the father of the aforesaid Mary Drappo was a Yankton Indian, and that her mother was a member of the Crow Creek tribe, both of whom were enrolled at the Yankton Agency; that while living at that agency with her parents she married her present husband, a white man, and moved to Cedar Island, on the Missouri River; that about 1868, when the Rosebud Agency was located at Whetston Creek (then the Whetstone Agency), near the Missouri River, she applied to the agent and received a ration ticket for herself and six children, where she drew rations for about two years; that when the Whetstone Agency was moved from the above-named location (which removal was effected during the year 1875, in the State of Nebraska, where the agency was known as the Spotted Tail Agency, whence it was again moved to Dakota in 1878, to its present location, where it has since been known as the Rosebud Agency), she remained at Cedar Island, and has drawn no rations since at any place; that after the agency was moved her husband took a claim on the east side of the Missouri River and moved there with his family, and that they moved back to the west side of the river and on to the Rosebud Reservation about six years ago, where she has since lived; that she then applied to the present agent at Rosebud for a ration ticket and was informed that he had no authority to give it to her.

From this statement of facts it appears that Mrs. Drappo is of Yankton Sioux lineage, and that for a short period subsequent to her marriage she was allied with the Indians of the Whetstone (now Rosebud) Agency, although she never resided upon any of the reservations of the Great Sioux Nation until about six years ago, when she moved to, and has since remained upon, the Rosebud Reservation.

Section 2 of the act of March 2, 1889, providing for the division of a portion of the reservation of the Sioux Nation of Indians into separate reservations, provides:

“That the following tract of land, being a part of the said Great Reservation of the Sioux Nation, in the Territory of Dakota, is hereby set apart for a permanent reservation for the Indians receiving rations and annuities at the Rosebud Agency, in said Territory of Dakota. * * * (25 Stats., 888.)

At the date of the aforesaid act, Mrs. Drappo was not receiving rations at the Rosebud Agency, nor had she received any there since it ceased to be the Whetstone Agency, many years before, and then only for a limited period, up to which time, however, and until about six years ago, she had never resided upon the lands of the Rosebud Reservation. Nor has it been established that she was residing there at the date of the act named.

It would seem, therefore, that whatever rights attach to Mrs. Drappo as an Indian attach to her as a member of the Yankton Sioux tribe, and that she has no rights as a member of any of the tribes or bands of the Great Sioux Nation.

These facts apply with equal force to the children of Mrs. Drappo, named in your letter.

The agent of the Rosebud Agency and also the said Mr. Lucas were fully informed of this decision, the latter being furnished with a copy of the same.

June 19, 1899, the Indian agent of the Yankton Agency submitted to this office the application of Mrs. Millie Drappo McGhee (a sister of the present applicant) for enrollment as a half-breed Yankton Sioux at the agency under his charge. Her application was on July 13, 1899, submitted to the Department with the statement that from the facts in the case it appears that Mrs. Millie McGhee was one-quarter Yankton; Sioux; that her mother, Mary Drappo, was one-half Yankton and one-half Crow Creek, and that it would seem that the said Mrs. McGhee would be entitled to enrollment with the Indians of the Yankton Agency, but that her children would not. In reply the Department, in letter of July 18, 1899, stated that neither Mrs. McGhee nor her children were entitled to the rights applied for.

This letter reads as follows:

Mrs. McGhee is a quarter-blood Yankton Sioux, being the daughter of a white man and a half-blood Yankton woman, whose father was a member of that tribe, the mother being a Crow Creek Indian. Mrs. McGhee is the wife of a white man, and has never had a legal residence upon any Indian reservation, although it appears that for a short time during her infancy she may have resided with her parents at or near the old Whetstone Agency on the Missouri River, and possibly later with them also on the Rosebud Reservation, but she has never been recognized as a legal member of any tribe of Indians.

Mary Drappo, or Drapeau, Mrs. McGhee’s mother, made application in 1895 for enrollment with the Rosebud Sioux, including also two sons and two daughters and one granddaughter—Mrs. McGhee being one of the daughters whose names were then mentioned.

It was then decided (September 28, 1895) that Mrs. Drappo had no rights as a member of any of the tribes or bands of the great Sioux Nation; that whatever her rights as an Indian attached as a member of the Yankton Sioux tribe, and that these facts applied with equal force to her children.

Section 2 of “An act in relation to marriage between white men and Indian women,” approved August 9, 1888 (25 Stats., 392), provides:

“That every Indian woman, member of any such tribe of Indians, who may hereafter be married to any citizen of the United States is hereby declared to become by such marriage a citizen of the United States, with all the rights, privileges, and immunities of any such citizen, being a married woman: Provided, That nothing in this act contained shall impair or in any way affect the right or title of such married women to any tribal property or interest therein.”

Both Mrs. Drappo and Mrs. McGhee are the wives of white men. Mrs. Drappo retains her status as an Indian, having married prior to the date of the above-named act, and is entitled to recognition and enrollment as a member of the Yankton Sioux tribe; but Mrs. McGhee, whom it is assumed married subsequent to that date, thereby became a citizen of the United States. Neither of them is a recognized member of any tribe of Indians.

Mrs. McGhee being the daughter of a white man and an Indian woman who is not a recognized member of any tribe acquires no rights under the provisions of the act of June 7, 1897 (30 Stats., 90), which declares:

“That all children born of a marriage heretofore solemnized between a white man and an Indian woman by blood and not by adoption, where said Indian woman is at this time or was at the time of her death recognized by the tribe, shall have the same rights and privileges to the property of the tribe to which the mother belongs or belonged at the time of her death, by blood, as any other member of the tribe, and no prior act of Congress shall be construed as to debar such child of such right.”

Not being herself a recognized member of the tribe the children of Mrs. McGhee are also debarred of tribal rights.

It does not appear that Mrs. Drappo has applied for enrollment with the Yankton Sioux, nor is it known to the Department that she desires to be enrolled with that tribe. Therefore, notwithstanding the statement herein as to her rights, it may not be inferred that authority to enroll her name is granted.

April 5, 1900, the Secretary referred to this office a communication from Hon. R. J. Gamble, M. C., inclosing a letter from Rev. John Eastman “in regard to the status of Mrs. Drappo, Mrs. Sully, and others, who claim enrollment with the Rosebud Indians,” and stated that it was claimed by the said Rev. Mr. Eastman that these claimants “had also received $50 per capita payment to all Indians of the age over 18 and who received allotment * * * according to the seventeenth section of the treaty of 1889.” The Department directed that the records of this office be examined to the end that it might be informed whether or not this statement as to the applicant was correct, and if so at what agency they received their allotments and per capita payments. In reply this office stated, under date of May 15, 1900, as follows:

In reply I have respectfully to report that upon an examination of the records of this office t was found that an allotment was made, under date of January 28, 1895, at the Crow Creek Agency to a “Mrs. Sully,” aged 72, who received a per capita payment of $50. At the same time it was also found a Mrs. Sully, aged 44, had received an allotment of land at the Lower Brule Agency and under date of June 11, 1896, received a per capita payment of $50. The Indian agents of the respective agencies were therefore requested to report at once whether or not the Mrs. Sully found to have received an allotment and per capita payment of $50 at their agencies was the woman to which Rev. Mr. Eastman referred.

I am now in receipt of a report, dated the 7th instant, from the United States Indian agent of the Crow Creek Agency that the Mrs. Sully who received an allotment of land on the Crow Creek Reservation is not in any way related to the Drappo family. Under date of April 19 last Agent Ash reported as follows:

“In reply I have to advise you that Mrs. Sully, wife of John Sully, is the daughter of Mary Drappo or Drapeau, whom I have known for the past thirty years, and her children received allotments Nos. 546, 547, 548, 549, 550, 551, 552, 553, and Joseph La Tuna, son-in-law of Mrs. Sully, and Mrs. La Tuna, his wife (daughter of Mrs: Sully), received allotment No. 606, in 1895, on the Lower Brulé Reserve.

“That the records of this office show Mrs. Sully received the $50 payment made June 11, 1890, No. 228, also Mrs. Sully’s daughter, Mrs. Joseph La Tuna, No. 203 on same pay roll.’

It would therefore appear that Rev. Mr. Eastman’s statement is in part correct, as the only members of this family who received allotments and per capita payments were Mrs. Sully and her children. It further appears that they received such allotments in 1895, and in the same year applied for allotments of land and enrollment at the Rosebud Agency, but were denied such rights in Department letter dated September 28, 1895, in which decision it was further stated that neither Mrs. Drappo nor any of her children were entitled to rights as Indians with any of the tribes or bands of the Sioux Nation. Therefore, it would seem that Mrs. Sully and her children received their allotments upon the Lower Brulé Reservation before this decision was rendered. These allotments were reported upon the schedule by the allotting agent at the time, but it was afterwards decided to reallot the lands upon this reservation, and such reallotment has been made and the schedule received in this office. It does not contain the names of Mrs. Sully nor any of her children.

June 4, 1900, the said Rev. Mr. Eastman again wrote concerning this case and stated that in his opinion the Department had committed an error of law in deciding the same as well as an error of fact, etc., and requested that the claim of Mrs. Sully and her children and the others involved in the decision be resubmitted to the Department for its consideration of certain questions which he propounded asking in brief as to where the burden of proof lay in the premises and for an interpretation of the provisions of law quoted in Department letter of September 28, 1895. This letter of inquiry from Mr. Eastman, which was in fact an appeal from the previous decisions of the Department in the matter, was submitted to the Department by this office in a somewhat lengthy report, dated July 5, 1900, the conclusion of which reads as follows:

In conclusion I have to say that I fail to find such equitable or legal considerations in the case as in my opinion called for the reversal of action previously taken in the premises, and it is therefore recommended that the motion for review and reversal of the Department’s previous action be denied and that such previous decision be adhered to as final.

The Department, under date of July 13, 1900, advised Rev. Mr. Eastman in this case “that the recommendation of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs is approved, and that the previous decision of the Department in the case of Mrs. Drappo and others mentioned by you (him) is adhered to as final.”

From the above-quoted decisions of the Department it will be seen that neither Mrs. Sully nor any of her children or grandchildren have through her any rights to benefits with the Indians of the Rosebud Agency.

In the case of Mrs. Sully’s husband, a white man, it is not shown that he was ever adopted by the Rosebud Indians as a member of their tribe and his adoption approved by this Department; and unless he could satisfactorily establish his claims by blood or adoption to rights with the Rosebud Sioux it is not seen how he could legally be given an allotment on the Rosebud Reservation.

Very respectfully,
W. A. JONES, Commissioner. R. V. BELT, Esq.,
Attorney at Law, Washington, D. C.

Resolved by the Sioux Indians of thy Rosebud Indian Reservation, in the State of South Dakota, in council assembled (according to the custom of said Indians), That John Sully and his wife, Mary Sully, are, and have heretofore been, recognized as members of the Lower Brulé tribe of Sioux Indians, and as such are, with all of their children and grandchildren, entitled to allotments of land and all other rights and benefits with the Lower Brule Sioux Indians on the Rosebud Reservation; that the said Mary Sully is a woman of Sioux Indian blood; that prior to the agreement negotiated by Inspector McLaughlin with the Lower Brule Sioux Indians for their removal to the Rosebud Reservation the said Mary Sully and members of her family had been allotted lands on the Lower Brule Reservation, and had received benefits as members of said Lower Brulé tribe of Indians under the Sioux Indian treaties; and that they removed to the Lower Brulé Reservation from the Rosebud Reservation, and again from the Lower Brulé Reservation to the Rosebud Reservation, and have taken allotments of land on which they have built houses and made other improvements in making homes for themselves, but said allotments of land have not been allowed to them by the allotting agents, and unless they are secured in said allotments before the ratification of the pending agreement for opening to settlement the lands within what is known as Gregory County, S. Dak., they will be deprived of their homes and allotments and will be without lands.

It is therefore desired by the Indians of the Rosebud Reservation that such action be taken by the Department and by the Congress of the United States as shall be found to be necessary to secure to the said John Sully and Mary Sully and the children and grandchildren of said Mary Sully, all being of Sioux Indian blood, a good and sure title to the lands they have selected for allotments to the full extent they are entitled thereto as members of the said Lower Brulé tribe of Indians now residing upon the Rosebud Reservation.

That the names, ages, and sex of the persons covered by these resolutions and recognized to be entitled to the rights herein specified are;

John Sully, white man, male, husband of Mary Sully.
Mary Sully, Sioux Indian, female.
Mary Gaughen (née Kinkade), female, daughter of Mary Sully, age 33 years.
Louise Waugh (née Sully), female, daughter of Mary Sully, age 20 years.
Estelle Kinkade (now Blackbird), female, daughter of Mary Sully, age 25 years.
Willie Kinkade, male, son of Mary Sully, age 27 years.
Eva Sully, female, daughter of Mary Sully, age 19 years.
Millie Sully, female, daughter of Mary Sully, age 16 years.
John Sully, male, son of Mary Sully, age 15 years.
Frank Sully, male, son of Mary Sully.
Georgia Sully, female, daughter of Mary Sully, age 12 years.
Sammy Sully, male, son of Mary Sully, age 10 years.
Cloudy Sully, male, son of Mary Sully, age 6 years.
Emmit Gaughen, female, granddaughter of Mary Sully, age 10 years.
011ie Gaughen, female, granddaughter of Mary Sully, age 8 years.
Nellie Gaughen, female, granddaughter of Mary Sully, age 6 years.
Julia Gaughen, female, granddaughter of Mary Sully, age 4 years.
Amy Gaughen, female, granddaughter of Mary Sully, age 2 years.
John Waugh, male, grandson of Mary Sully, age 5 years.
Susie Blackbird, female, granddaughter of Mary Sully, age 10 years.
Lucy Blackbird, female, granddaughter of Mary Sully, age 8 years.
Annie Blackbird, female, granddaughter of Mary Sully, age 6 years.
George Blackbird, male, grandson of Mary Sully, age 4 years.

The persons named Mary Gaughen, Estelle Kinkade, and Willie Kinkade are the children of Mary Sully by a former husband whose name was Kinkade.

Done in council, on the Rosebud Reservation, S. Dak., this 18th day of April, 1902.
Fool, (his x mark) WHALK,
President of Council.
THOMAS (his x mark) RED LEAF, Secretary of Council.

I certify that I interpreted and explained the foregoing to the council this 18th day of April, 1902.
Interpreter of Council


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