1885 Choctaw Freedmen
Who Elected To Leave the Nation

(Approximately 69 persons classified as Choctaw Freedmen chose to leave the Choctaw nation prior to adoption of the Choctaw Freedmen in 1885.  These 69 should not be confused with the more than 6000 Choctaw Freedmen remaining in Indian Territory. 

Various records from the Ft. Smith field office of  the Office of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands (Freedman's Bureau) indicate that twenty years prior, in 1865, the plight of many Freedmen in the Choctaw Nation was woeful. Many newly freed slaves were subject to attack, confiscation of property, and various outrages committed upon them. This occurred  particularly in the Freedmen settlements near the Arkansas border.  Though few in number, these Freedmen, after years of trying to live in their nation, chose to emigrate to the United States for an opportunity at a different life. They were given payments of $100 to leave and thus forfeited any future rights as citizens of the Choctaw Nation.  These 69 Freedmen, represented less than 1% of 1% of the Freedmen who remained, and who later applied for and were enrolled on the Dawes Rolls.

There are those who deny the presence of the Choctaw Freedmen, who dispute their having any blood ties to their nation, and kinsmen, and who speak of the 69 emigrants as the Choctaw Freedmen as a whole.  The decision of these persons seeking a better life, are often used by persons wishing to continue to deny Freedmen recognition of their heritage. However, the more than 6000 Freedmen found on the Dawes Rolls, the families found on the 1910 and 1900 Federal Special Indian Census, and those admitted to citizenship in 1885 all  represent the thousands of African-Choctaws who arrived in the Territory in the 1830s, who lived both in and out of bondage and who worked the land until statehood and remained.  Their descendants live both inside and outside of Oklahoma today, and thousands of African Choctaw Ancestry descend from those referred to as the Choctaw Freedmen. Note that the largest group were the 69, and that Districts 2 and 3 contained less than 10 emigrants each.

These 69 emigrants listed below, are still part of the Indian Territory Freedmen community in an historical sense, and they are included here, for those who may descend from these 69, and who may be seeking the names of their ancestors. )  


After their release from bondage in 1866 following the signing of the Treaty of 1866 in Ft. Smith, Arkansas the Choctaws of African ancestry went through many years of uncertainty about their rights to remain in the land of their birth. The nation agreed to the terms outlined in the treaty, including the adoption of the Freedmen, but spent many of the next several years attempting to determine what level of citizenship that the freedmen would be given. As a result of many efforts that went on for several years in the nation, it would not be until 1885 when the Choctaw Freedmen would officially become citizens of their homeland by birth.

The discussion arose whether or not to allow some of the Freedmen to leave the nation, accepting a cash payment in lieu of other rights as a citizen. A vast majority elected to remain in the land that they knew as home. Though, like the freedmen of the other nations, their presence was welcomed by some and shunned by others, a majority did stay. A census was thus conducted of all of the Freedmen noting those who opted to take a cash payment and to leave the nation. The 1885 Choctaw-Chickasaw census therefore has several categories. The book containing this census, consists of a one volume book of 100 plus pages of names of the freedmen, categorizing them as 1) Those who Elected to leave the nation, 2) Those admitted to citizenship, and 3) Those whose enrollment was "Doubtful" All will be produced here copied from the original source.

The names listed below are in the following order:

Name--Name of Freedman
Designation---Head of house or child---(H) Head  (W) Wife
Nationality--Whether from the Choctaw or Chickasaw Nation
Slave Owner---Name of Choctaw to whom they belonged before freedom.

1885 Census
Containing Freedmen Registration
from the Three Districts
Choctaw Nation.
No. of Persons Who Elected to Leave the Nation
Completed in July 1885

1st District
Page 1
1 Susan Hope (H)----Choctaw------Edward Nail
2 Birtie Hope(C)----Choctaw------Born after Slavery
3 Bertha Hope (C)---Choctaw------Born after Slavery
4 Adaline Richmond (H)Choctaw-----Adaline Richmond
5 William Burris (C)-Choctaw-----Born After Slavery
6 Elisha Frazier(H)--Choctaw-----Sirra Pickens
7 Caroline Frazier(W)Choctaw-----Campbell LeFlore
8 Letha Frazier(C)---Choctaw-----Born After Slavery
9 Elisha Frzier(C)---Choctaw-----Born After Slavery
10 Elexander Duncan(H)Choctaw-----Tandy Walker
11 Wilson Duncan(C)---Choctaw-----Born After Slavery
12 Lavonia Duncan(C)--Choctaw-----Born After Slavery
13 Lavinia Duncan(C)--Choctaw-----Born After Slavery
14 Mary Duncan(C)-----Choctaw-----Born After Slavery
15 Alexander Duncan(C)Choctaw-----Born After Slavery
16 Isaac Morris(H)----Choctaw-----Annie McCurtain
17 Matilda Morris(W)--Choctaw-----Campbell LeFlore
18 Isaac Morris(C)----Choctaw-----Born After Slavery
19 Ellona Morris(C)---Choctaw-----Born After Slavery
20 Jane Rogers(H)-----Choctaw-----Peter Folsom
21 Annie Rogers----Choctaw-----Born After Slavery
22 Chester Rogers--Choctaw-----Born After Slavery
23 Fannie Anderson(H)-Choctaw-----R.S. McCarty
24 Aron Anderson---Choctaw-----Born After Slavery
25 Eddie Anderson---Choctaw----Born after slavery
26 Carrie Anderson---Choctaw----Born after slavery
27 Frank Butler---Choctaw----Born after slavery
28 Charley Clark(H)---Choctaw----Peter Folsom
29 Ben Clark----Choctaw----Born after slavery
30 Ellis Wright(H)----Choctaw----Lewis Walker
31 Eliza Wright----Choctaw----Born after slavery
32 Susan Wright-----Choctaw----Born after slavery
33 Peggy Wright-----Choctaw----Born after slavery
34 Edmund Wright----Choctaw----Born after slavery
35 Hannah Wright----Choctaw-----Born after slavery
36 John Dansby (H)----Choctaw----Born after slavery
37 Salina Dansby (W)----Choctaw---Born after slavery
38 Edward Dansby----Choctaw---Born after slavery
39 William Dansby----Choctaw----Born after slavery
40 John Dansby----Choctaw----Born after slavery
41 Lucy Dansby----Choctaw----Born after slavery
42 Douglas Dansby----Choctaw---Born after slavery
43 Minerva Battiest(H)----Choctaw---McKee Folsom
44 Simon Solomon----Choctaw----Wesley Hayes
45 Henry Clark (H)----Choctaw---Peter Folsom
46 Lewis Clark----Choctaw------Born after slavery
47 John Clark----Choctaw-----Born after slavery
48 James Clark----Choctaw---Born after slavery
49 Lucy Avery (H)----Choctaw----Campbell LeFlore
50 Henry Avery-----Choctaw----Born after slavery
51 Kitty Perry----Choctaw----Lizzie Perry
52 Moses Harlan (H)--Choctaw----Aron Harlon
53 William Harlan--Choctaw---Born after slavery
54 Ann May(H)--Choctaw----A.W. Geary
55 Mary May--Choctaw---Born after slavery
56 Richard May--Choctaw---Born after slavery
57 Rosey Ann May--Choctaw---Born after slavery
58 Ailsey May--Choctaw---Born after slavery
59 Lewisa May--Choctaw---Born after slavery
60 Manda Clark (H)--Choctaw---Born after slavery
61 Manda Lyons--Choctaw----Born after slavery
62 Georgia Ann Lyons--Choctaw---Born after slavery
63 Cora Lyons--Choctaw---Born after slavery
64 Bruce Lyons--Choctaw----Born after slavery
65 Artemicia Lyons--Choctaw----Born after slavery
66 Celia Kincaid (H)--Choctaw---(not listed)
67 Betsey Pickins (H)--Chickasaw---(Not listed)
68 Centennial McGillbry (Gr.D)--Choctaw-- Born after slavery
69 Sophia Colbert (H)--Chickasaw-----Susan Colbert

I, Thomas Ainsworth, Chief of Commission of the Board of registration of freedmen of the 1st District Choctaw District, do certify that the above and foregoing pages numbered from 1-3 in inclusive containing names numbered from 1-81 inclusive, except nos. 52, 53, 54, and 76 erased by order of commission, contain a complete list of freedmen and descendants, who elect to take per capita allowance as registered by the commission of the 1st District. Given by my hand this 30th day of July 1885.
Thomsa D. Ainsworth
Chief Commissioner on Freedman's Registration.

Samson Holson & Edmond Krebs Associates I, Thompson McKinney National Secretary Choctaw Nation do certify that the foregoing pages numbered, 1-3 inclusive, containing names numbered eighty one(81) but erased by order of Commission, which made 4 less than 81, and since this, Choctaw General council striken 8 more names by close examination, which decreases the number eighty one to sixty nine (69).

These names appeart to be correct that is only registered in the First District Choctaw Nation. There are two more Districts to appear in the next pages.

Therefore I do certify that the foregoing pages numbered form one to three and names numbered from one to sixty-nine includsive to be true and correct.

In witness here I have here to set my hand and affix the seal of the Choctaw Nation this 23rd day of November A.D. 1885. Thompson McKinney
National Secretary
Choctaw Nation.


2nd District

1. Hannah Boyd(H)--Freed by Choctaw-----Silas Jones
2. Ben David
-- "
3. Lewis Burs
-- "
4. Melinda Burs
5. Jannie Burs
6. Philis Burs
7. Emma Alice Burs
8. Jacob Hall (H)--" -----Mitchell LeFlore

3rd District
1. Anderson Carter
Edmund Turnbull 2. Lizzie Carter
3. Dottie Carter
4. Amanda Carter
5. Hannah Carter
6. Mack Carter

1885 Choctaw Census (By Blood)

Back to Main Page