Frank P. Morgan, Intermarried Choctaw Citizen

Dawes Commission, No. 380. United States Court. No. 123. Citizenship Court, No. 115-M.

The name of this applicant appears upon the 1890 tribal roll, opposite No. 14815.


September 8, 1896. Application filed with the Dawes Commission alleging that on the 27th day of October. 1876, he was a citizen of the United States, a white man, and a resident of the Choctaw Nation, but that on that day he was legally married to Mrs. Emily Harlan. nee Cochran.

Attached to the application is a certificate of marriage showing that the applicant was married to Emily Harlan in the Creek Nation, Indian Territory, on October 27, 1897. This certificate is signed “Theodore Hyatt, an ordained minister.”

There is also attached the affidavit of S. A. Harlan, wherein it is stated that the applicant married the widow of affiant’s stepson, Buck Harlan. and that said widow’s maiden name was Cochran, and that she was a citizen by blood of the Choctaw Nation.

October 22, 1896. Answer of the Choctaw Nation filed.

December 2, 1896. Decision of the commission rendered in words and figures as follows, to wit: “Admitted as an intermarried citizen.”

February 10, 1897. Appeal by applicant from action of Dawes Commission to the United States court for the central district of the Indian Territory.

June 22, 1897. The following report of a master in chancery was filed:

In the United States Court for the Central District of the Indian Territory. Frank P. Morgan, plaintiff, v. Choctaw Nation, defendant.

Report of Special Master in Chancery

This case was duly filled before the Dawes Commission September 8, 1896. plaintiff claiming citizenship by virtue of intermarriage with a Choctaw woman.

The defendant answered, or pleaded, denying the jurisdiction and authority of the Dawes Commission to hear and determine the cause and denying the legality of the rules and procedure of the Dawes Commission, and denying that the evidence adduced was sufficient to establish the claim of plaintiff to citizenship, and alleging that the evidence in this case does not show that the plaintiff was married according to the Choctaw law, and therefore acquired no rights in the Choctaw Nation.

The Dawes Commission gave judgment for defendant December 2, 1896, from which plaintiff did not appeal: but the defendant under a mistake appealed the case. Plaintiff has filed nothing in answer to defendant’s appeal.

From the evidence adduced in the case I find that the plaintiff was married on the 27th day of October 1876. according to the laws of the United States, to a recognized Choctaw woman by blood, but the evidence does not show where said marriage was solemnized. There is no direct evidence to show whether the defendant is a resident of the Choctaw Nation or not, but the Inference from the evidence in the case is that he is a resident of the Choctaw Nation and has continuously resided in the Choctaw Nation ever since his said marriage with said Choctaw woman. I also find from additional evidence filed In the case since the judgment of the Dawes Commission that the plaintiff has been duly and regularly enrolled by the Choctaw Nation as an intermarried citizen of the Choctaw Nation.

Respectfully submitted this 22d day of June, 1897.

W. B. Rutherford. Special Master in Chancery.

July 13. 1897. Judgment of the United States court ordering enrollment of applicant. Certified copy hereto attached.

September 9. 1899. Appeared before the commission at South McAlester and was enrolled as a citizen by intermarriage in accordance with the judgment of the United States court.

December 17, 1902. Decision of Choctaw-Chickasaw citizenship court setting aside and annulling judgment of United States court.

March 23, 1903. Papers transmitted to Choctaw-Chickasaw citizenship court No testimony taken in the, citizenship court.

April 30, 1904. Opinion of citizenship court, by Judge Weaver, holding that—

There was no evidence that the marriage was “under the sanction and authority of the laws and customs of the Choctaw Nation,” as it appeared from the record that the marriage took place in the Creek Nation.

Decree entered accordingly.

April 13, 1906. Petition filed for the enrollment of applicant under the ruling of the department in the Lula West case. The petition stated that applicant’s name appeared on the tribal roll of 1896.

August 6, 1906. Hearing before Commissioner to the Five Civilized Tribes. Applicant, testified that he had been recognized prior to 1896 by the tribal authorities: that he had voted in tribal elections, and had permits signed by the county judge of the Choctaw Nation; that he has one daughter enrolled as a citizen by blood of the Choctaw Nation; that he never lived in the Creek Nation.

January 24, 1907. Decision of the commissioner holding that the marriage was not performed in accordance with the Choctaw laws and that the application should be denied.

March 4, 1907. Action of the commission approved by the Secretary of the Interior.

Statement of Council

It is respectfully submitted that the appeal taken by applicant by mistake from a decision in his favor should have been dismissed by the United States court and that the citizenship court had no jurisdiction. For many years after the marriage of applicant to his Indian wife he was recognized by the tribal officers as a citizen and was placed upon the rolls as such, and that therefore he should have been put upon the final rolls as made up by the Secretary.

Respectfully submitted.
Ballinger & Lee.

(One in all.)

Copy of Order of Court

United States or America, Indian Territory,
Central District, ss:

In the United States court in the Indian Territory, central district, at a term thereof begun and held at South McAlester, in the Indian Territory, on the 13th day of July, A. D. 1897.

Present, the Hon. William H. H. Clayton, judge of said court.
The following order was made and entered of record, to wit:

Frank P. Morgan v. Choctaw Nation. No. 123


On this day this cause came on to he heard in open court, the same being the 13th day of July and one of the judicial days of the April, A. D. 1897, term of court: both plaintiff and defendant announced ready for trial; and the court having heard the evidence and argument of counsel finds that the plaintiff is a member and citizen of the Choctaw Nation by intermarriage, and the court further finds that this plaintiff was by the duly constituted authorities of the Choctaw Nation placed upon the last roll of the members and citizens of the Choctaw Nation, and that his name now appears upon the last compiled roll of said nation as a member and citizen of said nation by intermarriage.

It Is therefore ordered, adjudged, and decreed by the court that the plaintiff, Frank P. Morgan, is a member by intermarriage of the Choctaw Nation, and entitled to nil the rights, privileges, immunities, and benefits in said nation as such intermarried citizen and member.

It Is further ordered, decreed, and adjudged by the court that the defendant, Choctaw Nation, recognize said rights, privileges, benefits, and immunities to their full extent, and recognize and treat said plaintiff, Frank P. Morgan, as such member and citizen of the Choctaw Nation in all respects.

It Is further ordered, adjudged, and decreed by the court that the clerk of this court transmit a certified copy of this judgment to the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes, and that the said commission place the name of this plaintiff, Frank P. Morgan, upon the rolls prepared or to be prepared by them of the members and citizens of the Choctaw Nation.

It is therefore ordered, decreed, and adjudged by the court that the plaintiff, Frank P. Morgan, have and recover of and from the defendant, Choctaw Nation, all his costs herein laid out and expended, for all of which let execution issue.

United States Of America, Indian Territory,
District, ss:

I, E. J. Fannin, clerk of the District Court of the United States for the central district of the Indian Territory, do hereby certify the foregoing to be a true copy of an order made by said court on the 13th day of July, 1897, as appears from the records of said court now on file in my office.

In testimony whereof. I have hereunto set my hand at my office in South McAlester, A. D. 1903.

E. J. Fannin, Clerk.
By I. M. Dodge, Deputy.

This is to certify that I am the officer having custody of the records pertaining to the enrollment of the members of the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek, and Seminole Tribes of Indians, and the disposition of the land of said tribes, and that the above and foregoing is a true and correct copy of a certified copy of a judgment of the court dated July 13, 1897. In the matter of the enrollment of Frank I. Morgan as a member of the Choctaw Nation.

J. Geo. Wright, Commissioner to the Five Civilized Tribes
By W. H. Angell, Clerk in Charge of Choctaw Records.


Choctaw, History,

United States Congress. Five Civilized Tribes In Oklahoma, Reports of the Department of the Interior and Evidentiary Papers in support of S. 7625, a Bill for the Relief of Certain Members of the Five Civilized Tribes in Oklahoma, Sixty-second Congress, Third Session. Department of the Interior, United States. 1913.

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