Willis Anderson Bailey's testimony to the Dawes Commission in 1902
Department of the Interior
Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes
In the matter of the application of Willis A. Bailey, et al., for identification as Mississippi Choctaws, consolidating the application of:
Willis A. Bailey M. C. R. 6214
Caleb D. Bailey, et al. M. C. R. 5536
Mollie C. Akers, et al. M. C. R. 5531
Rhunie Lewis, et al. M. C. R. 6215
Cordie Bates, et al. M. C. R. 6249
William T. Bailey, et al. M. C. R. 6310
List of papers forwarded to the Secretary of the Interior comprising the record in the consolidated case of Willis A. Bailey, et al.
Original application of Willis A. Bailey before the Dawes Commission for identification as a Mississippi Choctaw...........…………………………………………………………………………………………pg. 1
Testimony of Beverly P. Boatright......................................................................................................pg. 8
Department of the Interior, Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes.
Muskogee, I. T., August 28, 1902 #6214
In the matter of the application of Willis A. Bailey for the identification of himself as a Mississippi Choctaw.
S. Heard, Attorney for Applicant.
Willis Bailey after being first duly sworn testifies as follows:
Q) What is you name? A) Willis A. Bailey
Q) What is your age? A) Sixty-eight.
Q) What is your post office address? A) Port, Oklahoma
Q) How long have you lived in Port, Oklahoma? A) Hardly two years.
Q) Where were you born? A) Tennessee
Q) What place? A) Lynnville, Giles County.
Q) How old were you when you left Tennessee? A) I left in '78.
Q) And you went where? A) From there to Texas, Paris, Texas.
Q) How long did you live in Texas? A) About eighteen years.
Q) And you went where then? A) From there to the Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory, near Woodford.
Q) From there you went where? A) To where I'm living now, near Port, Oklahoma.
Q) Is your father living? A) No sir, been dead several years.
Q) Is your mother living? A) No sir, she died when I was quite young.
Q) What was your father's name? A) William Bailey
Q) What was your mother's name? A) Hamrick.
Q) What was her given name? A) Quintilly Bailey was her name.
Q) Through which parent do you claim Choctaw blood? A) My father.
Q) How much do you claim? A) I claim something near 1/4, I will explain to you why I claim that. My grandfather Bailey claimed to be a half blood, and my father and my grandmother on my mother’s side were cousins, there is where I claim to be a quarter, you know.
Q) Now, has your father ever been recognized in any way or enrolled as a member of the Choctaw Tribe of Indians by the Choctaw tribal authorities or the United States authorities in the Indian Territory? A) No sir, never was.
Q) Have you evidence of your father’s and mother's marriage with you now? A) No sir, I have not.
Q) When were they married do you know? A) No sir, I can't tell you.
Q) Or where? A) They were married in Tennessee in the county where I was raised, in Giles County.
Q) Do you know whether they were married by a minister under a license? A) I am satisfied they were, I don't know of course.
Q) Are you married? A) Yes sir.
Q) Is your wife living? A) I have been married twice, my last wife is living.
Q) What was your first wife's name? A) Parthenia Bailey.
Q) She is now dead? A) Yes sir, she died in '60.
Q) Was she an Indian or a white woman? A) She didn't claim to have any Indian blood at all.
Q) A white woman? A) Yes sir.
Q) Did you have any children by that wife? A) Yes sir, I had one.
Q) Is that child living? A) Yes sir, was a few days ago.
Q) What is his name? A) William Thomas Bailey.
Q) Has he ever been before the commission to be identified as a Mississippi Choctaw? A) No sir, he is talking of coming.
Q) Where does he live? A) In the Chickasaw Nation 14 miles north of Ardmore, Glenn is his post office.
Q) Has he a family? A) Yes sir.
Q) Can you give the names of his children? A) William was one, and Adolphus.
Q) Those two children are all? A) Yes sir, that's all he had.
Q) What is the name of your second wife? A) Sarah R. Bailey.
Q) Is she living? A) Yes sir.
Q) Is she a Choctaw Indian or a white woman? A) White woman, does not claim any Indian blood at all.
Q) You do not make any claim for her? A) No sir.
Q) Have you any children under twenty one years of age and unmarried that you want to make application for? A) No sir.
Q) Have you any children by this second wife? A) Yes sir, I have four.
Q) Are all of them married and of age? A) Yes sir.
Q) Give us the name of the oldest by Sarah R.? A) Caleb D. Bailey.
Q) He has been before the commission, has he to be identified as a Mississippi Choctaw? A) Has he? I didn't know it, must have been a late thing.
Q) Give me the name of another child of yours? A) Mollie C. Akers.
Q) Is she a daughter of yours? A) Yes sir.
Q) She has been before the commission also has she? A) Yes sir.
Q) Was she before the commission May 10, 1902? A) Yes sir.
Q) Any others? A) Cordie M. Bates.
Q) Where does she live? A) She lives at Port, there close to me.
Q) In Oklahoma? A) Yes sir, she plans to come as soon as we get back home.
Q) Has she a family? A) Yes sir.
Q) How many children? A) Two.
Q) What are the names of these two children? Charley D. Bates.
Q) And the name of the other? A) Effa A. Bates.
Q) Have you any other children? A) Nothing but my widowed daughter that's here, Mrs. Lewis.
Q) What is the name of your ancestor through whom you claim your right to be identified as a Mississippi Choctaw? A) Why Richard Bailey.
Q) What relation was he to you? A) He was my grandfather.
Q) What was the name of his wife? A) He was married twice, I suppose. I don't know what his first wife's name was; his last wife was named Foster, Lockey Foster.
Q) Who was Hammet, or Hammerick, or Hammitt? A) That's my mother's name, and it seems my grandmother on my mother's side was a Bailey.
Q) You claim through your grandfather? A) Yes sir, Richard Bailey.
Q) How much Choctaw blood did he have? A) I understand he was a half blood.
Q) And you say he was married twice, what was his first wife's name? A) I can't tell you.
Q) What was his second wife's name? A) Lockey Foster, I don't know anything about his first wife.
Q) Were they both white women? A) Yes sir, I suppose they were, I know the last one was.
Q) How old would Richard Bailey be if he were living now? A) I declare I can't tell you; I can't tell you what year he died, I was small when he died.
Q) And you are 68 now? A) Yes sir.
Q) Was he a middle aged or old man or young man when he died? A) He was somewhere about 60 or 65.
Q) And you think he died when you were about how old? A) Probably fifteen years old, I was big enough to do pretty good farm work then.
Q) Then your grandfather must have been quite a young man in 1830, 72 years ago? A) Yes sir, I suppose so.
Q) Do you know if he was living in Mississippi or Alabama in 1830? A) I can't tell you judge whether he was or not, he lived in the south portion of Tennessee when I knew him.
Q) Can you give the name of any Choctaw ancestor of yours that lived in Mississippi or Alabama in the old Choctaw Nation in 1830 and had a family there then? A) No sir.
Q) When your son, Caleb D. Bailey, testified May 31, 1902, he was asked the question: "What is the name of your ancestor through whom you claim your right to be identified as a Mississippi Choctaw". and he said, " Bailey, and my father's mother, her maiden name was Hammett", is that right? A) Yes sir, I believe so.
Q) He claimed through Bailey, his grandfather, your father, and he also claimed through your mother, her name was Hammett? A) Her name was Bailey.
Q) And then Hammett is the maiden name of your mother and she married a Bailey is that right? A) Yes sir, that's right.
Q) Then your mother had Choctaw blood did she? A) Yes sir, agreeable to my understanding.
Q) Now, that name has been spelled H-a-m-m-o-c-k, H-a-m-m-i-t, and H-a-m-m-e-r-i-c-k, can you spell it the way it should be? A) Yes sir, H-a-m-r-i-c-k, I know that.
Q) That is right is it? A) Yes sir, that's right, the probability is that some of my children may spell it different because they were not old enough to know exactly.
Q) Do you know her Christian name? A) Quintilley Hamrick.
Q) Can you tell through which parent your mother got her Choctaw blood, her father or mother? A) It seems she got what little she had from the Bailey family, her mother.
Q) Through her mother? A) Yes sir, it seems my grandmother on my mother's side was a Bailey and married a Hamrick, that's where I claim a quarter in place of less you know.
Q) How do you know whether Richard Bailey or Quintilley Hamrick or any of your Choctaw ancestors lived in the old Choctaw Nation in Mississippi or in Alabama in 1830 and were the heads of families there then? A) I can't tell you about that, Judge, but we will bring up evidence from older persons than I am that can tell whether or not it was the case.
Q) Your son, Caleb D. Bailey who testified May 31, 1902, has stated that he thought some of his ancestors lived in Mississippi in 1830, And he gave the name of Bill Boatright as a man who knew something about his ancestors, do you know anything about that? A) Yes sir, but he’s got it wrong the way his first name is spelled, it is Beverly, and he is right smart older than I am, and he knew my grandfather, and his deposition will come in later on, Judge; he has got the way it is spelled wrong, his name is spelled B-e-v-e-r-l-y.
Q) Does this man Beverly Boatright know anything about your Choctaw ancestry, and about your grandfather, and about his being a Choctaw Indian and living in Mississippi in 1830? A) Yes sir.
Now Mr. Bailey, your son, Caleb D. Bailey, testified on May 31, 1902, your daughter Mollie C. Akers, testified on May 10, 1902, and when your son, Caleb, testified he was asked why he did not bring this man Boatright before the Commission to testify and he said: “I supposed he had been here, didn’t my sister, Mollie C. Akers, have him here?”, and he was told no, and he said he would get this witness at once. How the time has passed on, it is now the 28th of August, and that witness has not been brought here, and this case is going to be written up very soon. I am going to allow you fifteen days time in which to introduce that witness here, and if at the end of that time he is not produced the case will be written up without his testimony unless the Commission sees fit to give more time, but you ought to get him here if he is an important witness in your case.
By the applicant: Well now, is it necessary that he should come personally before the commission or would a deposition do?
By the Commission: His personal testimony is better than a deposition, and if you cannot get him here in person get his deposition.
Fifteen days time from the date hereof is allowed this applicant in which to introduce the testimony of Beverly Boatright and other proper testimony or evidence he desires to present in support of this application.
Q) Did any of your Choctaw ancestors own any improvements on land in Mississippi or Alabama in 1830? A) I don’t know anything about that.
Q) Did any of your Choctaw ancestors go from that old Choctaw Nation east of the Mississippi River to the Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory, with other Indians between 1833 and 1838 or ’40? A) I don’t know.
Q) Did any of your Choctaw ancestors within six months after the ratification of the treaty go to the United States Indian Agent, Colonel Ward and tell him that they wanted to stay in Mississippi, take land there and become citizens of the States? A) I don’t know anything about that.
Q) Did any of your Choctaw ancestors own any land or claim any land in that old Choctaw Nation east of the Mississippi river under article fourteen of the treaty of 1830? A) Not that I know of.
Q) Now Mr. Bailey, can you give me the name of any Choctaw ancestor of yours that has ever lived in Mississippi or Alabama, or that lived there in 1830 and was the head of a family there then? A) No sir, I can’t.
Q) And you think this man, Beverly Boatright, can testify to that fact? A) Yes sir, I think he can.
Mr. Heard is fifteen days time sufficient to get this man’s testimony before the Commission, Beverly Boatright?
By Mr. Heard: I think eighteen days will be, give me eighteen days and I think I will get him here.
By the Commission: The fifteen days time is changed to eighteen at the request of Mr. Heard, attorney for the applicant.
Q) Do you know whether any of your Choctaw ancestors either of these two commissions, that of 1837, or the Commission of 1842, and claimed any benefits as Choctaw Indians? A) I don’t know anything about that Judge.
Q) Did you ever hear that any of your ancestors received any scrip form the government, which entitled them to select land either in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, or Arkansas? A) No sir, I never heard about that.
This script was issued under the act of congress approved August 23rd, 1843, and was issued to those Choctaw Indians who proved their claim under article fourteen of the treaty of 1830, and also proved that their land which they held in the old Choctaw Nation had been taken from them and sold by the government.
Q) Do you understand the Choctaw language? A) No sir.
Q) How many of your family or your kin people have been here before the commission to be identified as Mississippi Choctaw? A) None but my son and daughter.
Q) Caleb D. Bailey and Mollie C. Akers? A) Yes sir.
Q) Is that all? A) Yes sir.
Q) Do you want their cases considered with yours? A) Yes sir.
The consolidated cases of Caleb D. Bailey, et al. M C R 5738, is here referred to for the purpose of consolidation.
Q) Is there anything further you want to say now? A) No sir.
By Mr. Heard, attorney for applicant.
Q) Mr. Bailey, do you know how much Choctaw blood your mother had? A) Well, it is just as I told you, no sir, I don’t know, not exactly how much.
By the Commission: This applicant has the appearance and physical characteristics of being descended from white parentage; he has gray hair, brown eyes.
Q) What was the color of your hair formerly? A) Black.
He states his hair was formerly black; he does not understand the Choctaw language, and has no knowledge of a compliance on the part of his ancestor with any of the provisions of article fourteen of the treaty of 1830.
W. H. Martin being first duly sworn on oath states that as stenographer to the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes be recorded in full the above proceedings on the 23rd day of August, 1902, and that the within and foregoing is a full, true and correct transcript of his stenographic notes in the name.
W. H. Martin
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 10 day of September, 1902
B. C. Jones