Friday, February 22, 2013

Choctaw Freedmen - A Rich History and Legacy

Images of Choctaw Freedmen family from Skullyville and descendants

There were more than 1600 cards of enrolled Choctaw Freedmen on the Dawes Rolls. These 1600 cards represented more than 5000 individuals who had either been enslaved in the Choctaw Nation, or were children and grandchildren of those persons enslaved in the Choctaw Nation.  By the time of the Dawes Commission several thousand applicants had appeared in front of the commission, in application for land allotments that would be given to them.  What remains today is a plethora of records, reflecting a history rich in family data, and missing history. The history of Choctaw Freedmen belongs on many landscapes, American history, Choctaw History, and African American history. The persons whose history is reflected on this blog have long been overlooked, and today's scholars, from Harvard to Stanford and institutions in between would make an amazing contribution to historiography by studying the history of Choctaw Freedmen.

My ancestors were among those persons identified as Freedmen of the Five Tribes, and the purpose of this goal is to share the fascinating aspects of their history, their culture, and their legacy.

The Choctaw Freedmen lived in a land that today has forgotten them, so it is the goal to present this history so that descendants of Choctaw Freedmen, scholars of Choctaw history, and students of early Oklahoma history will find unique,  and will find worthy of inclusion on the pages of history.

This image represents Choctaw Freedmen Card #1-Simon Clark; Choctaw Freedman Card #704; and Choctaw Freedman Card #1602. Simon Clark's Card was the very first card of the Choctaw Freedmen cards, and Archie Newton's card was the very last Choctaw Freedman Card (It should be pointed out that there are many additional categories of cards among Choctaw Freedmen also.)