Saturday, February 6, 2010

Dawes Rolls and Enslaved Practices

Unscrambling Landrum Family in Indian Territory

Those of us who delve into research in the Indian Territory during the 1880s usually end up in the Dawes Final Rolls of the Five Civilized Tribes. Researching in these rolls can reveal your ancestor’s age, American Indian blood percentage, their parents and family unit, whether or not they had been a slave, and verify their roll number. Your ancestor had to be living in the Indian Territory during 1898 and 1914 to be listed on these rolls. But, some family units are difficult to decipher without reviewing the actual Dawes packets and applications of individuals. Such is the case when trying to determine why so many children of nearly the same age declared their father as George Landrum.

Q Are you a son of George and Cassie Landrum? A I am a son of George and Peggy.
Q You and this applicant are not full brother and sister then?
A No, sir, half brother to her, my mother was Peggy and her mother was Cassie.
Q Was your father married to Peggy before he married Cassie?
A Yes,sir
Q When did he marry Cassie, was it in slavery days? A Yes sir
Q Was Peggy dead then? A No sir he had two wives.
Q Were both of his wives slaves? A Yes sir.
Q Did he pretend to live with both of them at the same time?
A Yes sir.
Q Was that sort of thing permitted in that day? A Yes sir that was the go in them days, nigger babies is what was wanted.

George Landrum appears to be the father of both Peggy and Cassie Landrum's children while enslaved in the Indian Territory. In reviewing the applications it is possible to believe that George’s purpose was to breed slave babies. Slave breeding was not only a common practice, it was accepted. Jim Landrum best explains it in his application, (Dawes Packets, Cherokee Freedmen, D683-D741 D701, pg. 11). Through this application, it is verified that the same George Landrum was the father of Peggy and Cassie's children.

Happy surname hunting!

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

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