Tuesday, December 21, 2010

$15 Million in 1907 Equals $454,625,322.15 in 2009

Indian Citizen April 18, 1907 p1 c1-2

I "might" be getting off the "reservation" on this one, but, what if? (pun intended)

The lawsuit file on April 13, 1907 initially involved approximately one thousand –five hundred individuals seeking a transfer from the Choctaw and Chickasaw freedmen roll to the by blood roll of the tribe of their respective birth.

It was calculated that these men, women and children who were the children or descendants of Choctaw and Chickasaw men would stand to gain the equivalent of ten thousand ($10,000) each; in a land allotment of three hundred and twenty acres as opposed to the forty acres they would receive as “freedmen.”

The argument used by the tribes, the Dawes Commission and the Department of the Interior was based on the antebellum “custom” of children of slave women following the status of their mother in regards to their “race.”

However, the mandate for the Dawes Commission and the Department of the Interior was to enroll and allot 320 acres of land to all who “possessed” Indian blood!

Seems to me, a debt is long overdue and payable? Whether a person was born out of wedlock or not does not affect their genealogy.

Joe and Dillard PERRY Chickasaw Freedmen Card# 61 rear
Later in the year the number of claimants to what eventually would be known as Equity Case 7071 increased to two thousand. That would adjust the inflation figure to what cost $20,000,000 (twenty million dollars in 1907 would cost $454625322.15 million in 2009. I suspect the number would increase each year until the debt is paid?
"Test Case" for transfer cases
Joe and Dillard PERRY Chickasaw Freedmen Card# 61 front

I find this interesting in light of the ongoing litigation concerning the Cobell case involving issues of “Native Americans” receiving monetary damages for a case that involved “land and mineral rights” based on the United States Government not fulfilling its fiduciary responsibility to the plaintiffs.

Lead litigant Equity Case 7071 Bettie LIGON Choctaw Freedman Card# 106 rear

Should any of the Cobell money go to anyone in the so called Five Civilized Tribes, you might make the argument the descendants of the claimants on Equity Case 7071 should share in the allocation of the funds?

Lead litigant Equity Case 7071 Bettie LIGON Choctaw Freedman Card# 106 front

About the Settlement

A proposed Settlement has been reached with American Indian Plaintiffs in a long-running class action lawsuit against the federal government for mismanagement of individual Indian trust accounts and trust assets. The Settlement is with the Secretary of the Interior, the Assistant Secretary of the Interior-Indian Affairs, and the Secretary of the Treasury. The individual Indian trust accounts relate to land, oil, natural gas, mineral, timber, grazing, water and other resources and rights on or under individual Indian lands.

The class action lawsuit claims that the federal government failed to fulfill its financial responsibility for the individual Indian trust resulting in the loss, misdirection, and unaccountability of several billion dollars of monies held in trust or which should have been held in trust by the United States for Indian beneficiaries in Individual Indian Money (IIM) accounts.

Under the terms of the Settlement in Cobell v. Salazar, the federal government will create a $1.512 billion Accounting/Trust Administration Fund and a $1.9 billion Trust Land Consolidation Fund. The Settlement also creates a federal Indian Education Scholarship fund of up to $60 million to improve access to higher education for Indian youth. The Settlement also includes a commitment by the federal government to appoint a commission that will oversee and monitor specific improvements in the Department's accounting for and management of individual Indian trust assets, going forward.

The Agreement creates two groups of Indians eligible to receive Settlement money - the Historical Accounting Class and the Trust Administration Class. Details of who is eligible follow.


For the record, NO the Cobell case is not exactly like Equity Case 7071 but there are elements in 7071 that deserve similar resolution like Cobell in monetary ways.

I have no idea how many descendants of Equity Case 7071 know about this case. I have not been able to complete a compiliation of the litigants with all of the additional material that is related to them from Dawes Commission records to the Choctaw Chickasaw Citizenship records and more (one of these days I will complete that task.) It is my opinion these people who are listed in 7071 deserve their day in court.

Tragically when the case DID come before the United States Supreme Court, a brief was not filed (highly dubious) and the justices never heard arguments on the case.

Supreme Court Memorandum December 12, 1911

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your resources and dedication. I am descendant of King Blue (maternal side) and Sally Colbert (paternal) both owned by Winchester Colbert from Pontotoc County. My phone number 405-926-0217. Email address evroniaharding50@gmail.com.