*Though they (the Cherokee Nation) have legal recognition as a tribe and elect their own chief, they lack sovereignty.*
WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!
(this again appears to be a misguided book from the Ross party stand point...I would not take seriously any contentions made in it except those that come from a documented source and then I'd go to the primary source document to verify the information or conclusion drawn from it.
Again this book merely demonstrates the continuing conflict down through the civil war of the Ross/Ridge controversy within the Cherokee Nation and now continues today.
Apparently the Cornsilks and Freedmen are on their way to Washington D.C. to continue this controversy - again this is a small faction within the greater Cherokee Nation today - the vast and overwhelming majority of Cherokee families did not have slaves - apparently John Ross had quite a few. Having done a great deal of genealogical research - old records are generally less than clear as to family relationships and a great deal of *guessing* has gone into many family genealogies - many being disproved today by DNA projects.
The Dawes Roll was compiled from those folks who were living in the Indian Territory when the Dawes Commission began giving out parcels of Cherokee Land...if they were not living in the Indian Territory they did not get land or on the Dawes Roll. Many known Cherokee descendants today are not members of the Cherokee Nation for this reason.
This book illustrates the continued misguided historical view point of those who try to *explore* the Cherokee History from outside the Nation.
Again, I point you to the recent case of the Freedmen vs the Cherokee Nation:
I'm inclined to agree with Cooley - cut this faction loose from the Cherokee Nation - otherwise this conflict is just going to be like the Ever Ready bunny, it's just going to keep going and going and going - I find it strange the Cornsilks have not applied for Federal Recognition, since they are so set on forcing the Cherokee Nation to accept a group that is from their civil war days, not to mention their vile opinions of the Cherokee Nation. Congress has the power to make the Freedmen *Indians* if they cut the Ross Party loose from the Cherokee Nation make them their own band, the Freedmen issue is solved since they would more than likely be made a part of the Ross Party Band. However, I'd think federal funding would be excluded since the Freedmen are not Indian by Blood - or funding would include Indian Funding and Freedmen Funding, let's make it even clearer that at least Indian dollars are not going to non Indians.
I suspect one can not understand the Cornsilks positions unless you regress in time and can follow the all the various and numerous conflicts within the Cherokee Nation around the time of the Civil War. Although I'd be weary of any opinions and interpretations in the book without further research in the primary source documents)
The intermarried whites who enjoyed living in Indian country where land was free and there were no taxes were the first to make regular use of black slaves in the nation. Many observers claimed that slavery began to play a significant role among the Cherokees after 1783 when the white Tories who took refuge with the southern Indian allies of George III stayed on with their slaves after the Revolution and institutionalized slavery. Resident federal agents and some missionaries encouraged the use of black slaves as well.
same source p. 208:
On February 20, the Loyal council passed an act emancipating all slaves in the Cherokee Nation as of June 25, 1863. This emancipation act freed few slaves, however, for most of them were owned by those Cherokee mixed-bloods allied with the Confederacy. This council would also vote at a later session on November 14, 1863, "that liberated slaves not having rights and privileges as the Citizens of the Cherokee Nation, shall be viewed and treated as other persons, members of other Nations or communities, possessing no right to citizenship." That is, they were to be expelled as "intruders." "But if such persons desire to become laborers within the Cherokee Nation, they shall be admitted upon the same terms as others who are not citizens. But the person so employing said liberated persons shall first obtain a permit for that purpose."
It was one of the ironies of Cherokee history that Ross, and not Watie, was the leader of the full-bloods. Watie had the sturdy temperament of a full-blood; Ross was a well-meaning bureaucrat.
Ross was now seventy-five years old. His country lay in ruins. He had three sons and three grandsons who had served in the Union army, and many close members of his family had died in the war. One of this sons and a nephew had been killed in the war. His plantation was in weeds, his home burned, and his slaves (fifty to one hundred) freed....Ross firmly believed that three years of loyal service to the Union by the overwhelming majority of the Cherokee males in the Indian regiments deserved a reward and not a punishment from the federal government. (this appears to be the feeling among those Cherokee's who *helped* at every stages of the establishment of the US government, however, in each and every case, the US government did not even acknowledge the help much less reward it.)
The Southern delegates were distraught when they learned of this new turn of events. "I wrote to you some time ago," E.C. Boudinot wrote to his brother, William P. Boudinot, on July 2, 1866, "that we had signed a satisfactory treat. Since then things have taken a change under a mistaken apprehension that a compromise can be made. The President directs that another treat shall be made" with the Ross party. [Dale and Litton, Cherokee Cavaliers, p. 246]
This second treaty was signed by the commissioners and Loyal delegates on July 19, 1866 (including a shaky signature obtained from Ross in his hotel room). It contained thirty-one separate and complex articles. The most important article from Ross' point of view was Cooley's agreement not to divide the nation. Instead, the Southern Cherokees received only semi autonomous control of the Canadian District within the nation (electing their own council representatives and local sheriffs, judges, and court officers) and were required, just as any other district, to obey the laws passed by the majority of the council. They also lost control over any part of the nation's land and funds. All Cherokee funds remained in the hands of the national treasury and it's Loyal majority in the council. In return for this, Ross had to agree, against his private objections, to give citizenship (once again there is no mention at all in this treaty that citizenship was granted, thus the need to consult primary documents on this subject, I would guess the term citizenship wasn't even contemplated by these treaty signers and probably wasn't even in the Cherokee vocabulary of the time, much less a Cherokee concept of the time. The contemplated *benefit* of the time was the US giving individual Cherokees land grants of the Cherokee Land) to former Cherokee slaves, to repeal the act confiscating rebel improvements...to sell the Cherokee Strip...