Sunday, April 27, 2008

A Study Of How Congress Is Manipulated: Chapter 3

The following comments address claims made for Section 2 of S. 514 and H.R. 2028, which is provided in it’s entirety in the previous post.

Congress finds that--

Comment: Findings 1 through 3 are generalities similar to the claims made in previous recognition attempts of which members of the Muscogee Nation, as Eastern Creeks in Walton and Washington counties, were party to. These claims can be dismissed in the same manner as previously done through extensive BIA studies and review of published historical and anthropological sources. See the BIA determination on this group:

Creeks East of the Mississippi 010 CEM-V001-D005 Not Acknowledged Proposed Finding Documents 1981.01.29 Recommendation and summary of evidence for proposed finding against Federal acknowledgement of the Lower Muskogee Creek Tribe - East of the Mississippi, Inc. of Cairo, Georgia pursuant to 25 CFR 54.

Misleading claim:

Sec. 2 (4) members of the Nation--
(A) participated in the 1814 Treaty of Ft. Jackson and the Apalachicola Treaty of October 11, 1832; and


This appears to be an attempt to associate the Muscogee Nation of Florida with historical treaties based on an unsubstantiated generality. It is also an attempt to define the two different Indian groups involved in the above treaties as one.

The 1814 treaty of Ft. Jackson was an agreement and capitulation concerning the Red Sticks only, and did not involve all Creeks.

The Apalachicola Treaty of October 11, 1832, was with the Apalachicola (also known as Pallachacola), who were related to the Creeks. There were actually two treaties with the Apalachicola, the second being June 18, 1833. Both of these treaties concerned the ceding of lands to the U.S..

For those who do not have an available copy of Kappler’s Volume II (Treaties, 1778-1883), the treaties can be read online at

I believe that none of the treaties show a historical affiliation that can be substantiated with the Muscogee Nation of Florida’s claims.

Misleading claim:

(B) were included in the Abbott-Parsons Creek Census, dated 1832 and 1833;


Another generality without substantial evidence. The complete census, including towns, names of heads of families, numbers of males, females, and slaves in each family can be found online at:

There were additional Creek census’ taken for various purposes. The other major census was the 1843 Creek census, taken from house to house and recording the number of males and females in age groups. The copy of this census has not been microfilmed and is in the National Archives.

Misleading Claim:

Sec 2 (5) members of the Nation have established an ancestral claim to land taken from the Nation by General Andrew Jackson in the aftermath of the War of 1812 pursuant to the 1814 Treaty of Ft. Jackson;


Another generality without substantial evidence. Individuals central to the Muscogee Nation of Florida claim as a tribe were actually fairly prosperous land owners, having purchased tracts of land from the U.S. government under the April 24, 1820 Public Lands Act during the period from 1897 to 1912. Documents showing similar land purchases by the Ward, Boggs and Ramsey families - which are heavily involved in the “history” of the Muscogee Nation - are on file.

Of particular interest are the land purchases and dates of purchase by the Ward family in Walton County, since this is the location that the Muscogee Nation claims a historical connection as the governing location for over 150 years.

William J. Ward of Walton County
Certificate No. 25394
160 acres
5th August 1897
Certificate No. 13141
160 and fifteenth hundredths acres
5th August 1897
Certificate No. 19022
159 and ninety-four hundredths acres
11 March 1905
Document No. 63089
80 acres
20 May 1909
Patent No. 255136
159 and eighty-seven hundredths acres
25 March 1912

Jessie Joseph Ward of Walton County
Certificate No. 19022
159 and ninety- four hundredths acres
11 March 1905
Certificate No. 21500
80 acres
8 May 1908

Misleading Claim:

Sec. 2. (6) beginning in 1971, the Secretary of the Interior distributed to members of the Nation in 3 actions per capita payments for land claim settlements;


The three Docket claim awards were made to approximately 7,000 individuals throughout Eastern United States. Approximately 50,000 applied and were included in the 1971 Census, most from the rolls of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma as of that year. The recipients of the award were not necessarily identical to or limited to the groups that originally petitioned.

In addition, receipt of these awards did not require a showing of continuous political existence as a community since time of removal. The awards were not given to the Eastern Creeks as a “Nation”. The BIA and the Claims Court dealt with the “Eastern Creeks” only because it presented itself as an organization claiming to represent Florida Creek descendants in matters involved in pursing these claims. The receipt of these payments does not argue the fact the recipients were part of a “tribe” or constitutes recognition of the Eastern Creek Nation as a tribe.

Members of the Ward family were included in these claims, based on documentation they provided. It should be noted that the documentation identifying them as Creek Indians has since then been shown to be a fabrication of the 1950’s. The Ward family researcher who exposed the fabricated documents is the great-great grandson of W.J. Ward. He suggests that the documents might have been forged in order to participate in the Creek claim awards. Other current members of the Muscogee Nation of Florida, such as the whole Hanks family, were rejected.

A large part of the Muscogee Nation of Florida claims originate around the Ward family in Bruce. Ward family researcher, Jerry Merritt, writes:

“The Ward Record 1840 was donated to the Washington County, Florida Public Library in Dec 1978 and from there a copy found its way into the Special Records Collection at the Pace Library at the University of West Florida. The copy was subsequently “discovered” there and published in the S.E.N.A. (Southeastern Native American) Exchange, Vol 4, Number 1 in the Fall of 1996.

This “record” is so obviously contrived that it’s difficult to even find a starting place when pointing out its shortcomings. The crafters of the Ward Record apparently had only vaguely familiarized themselves with the Ward lineage before attempting this construct and it definitely shows in the final product.”

Ron Jones is another Ward family researcher who has come up with the same conclusions as Merritt. Of the Ward family, he writes:

“All of the older researchers and family members with whom I have spoken or corresponded state that they could not remember any talk of Creek Indian lore tied to the WARD family before the 1950s. This includes both the families of James B. WARD and Elijah W. WARD. Ward papers, that I consider reliable, dated prior to 1950 do not mention the Creek Indians as ancestors. Otis Ward, a descendant of Elijah Ward, wrote paper that is a good example. It is dated ca 1959 and does not mention Creek Indians; I feel sure that he would have if he had knowledge of such lore.”

“Two so-called documents that are dated prior to 1950 will be addressed later in this summary. This is the period of time when a movement began by the Creek Tribe (of Oklahoma) to be reimbursed for the land that was taken away from them by the U. S. Government. There were rumors that those who could prove that they were Creek descendants would get a share as high as $90,000 under Docket 21. There is just no easy or nice way to state it: the motivation for many researchers was money. This phenomenon was not unique to the Creek Tribe or to the WARD family as a similar process occurred with other Tribes and families. It is only fair to point out that there were a few researchers during this time period who were motivated only by a desire to learn their family history, but their efforts were overshadowed by those in quest of the money. Some of those who started out for all the wrong reasons did not like the charade that evolved and tried to distance themselves from it.”

“I accepted most of the lore in the WARD family in 1985. After a few years I started asking questions for which there were no credible answers. I found it necessary to research it for myself and the bottom line is that there are numerous fallacies in the WARD research of West Florida and South Alabama. Some of these fallacies are rather obvious; others take a little more effort to disprove. This data has found its way into a number of texts, onto the Internet, and it is widely circulated in individual genealogies: in general, it is not reliable. Some of it has even been endorsed by respected publications in which too many people are too quick to accept on their reputation alone. I am not alone in these beliefs, but I was one of the first researchers to speak out. I am no longer part of a minority as a growing number of researchers are now asking the same questions that I began asking years ago and coming to the same conclusions.”

At the conclusion of the summary of his discoveries, Jones adds:

“As this new millennium begins, I challenge each and every researcher, or interested cousin, who reads this to join me in helping to preserve a WARD heritage based on truth. Too many of us have worked too hard to watch our family history turn into a "Web of deceptions" and to leave our heirs a farce for a family history.”

Comments to be continued in the next posting ---

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