Bunch on the Dawes Applications

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The American Dawes Commission, named for its first chairman Henry L. Dawes, was authorized under a rider to an Indian Office appropriation bill, March 3, 1893. Its purpose was to convince the Five Civilized Tribes to agree to cede tribal title of Indian lands under an allotment process to the individual Indian, enacted in 1887 (See Dawes Act for other tribes). In November 1893, President Grover Cleveland appointed Dawes as chairman, and Meridith H. Kidd and Archibald S. McKennon as members.

During this process, the Indian nations were stripped of their communally-held national lands, and the land was divided up into single lots and given to individual members of the nation. However, to prove you were a member of a tribe, you had to declare membership in one and only one tribe to a national registry known as the Rolls. Many people did not sign up to these rolls because they feared government persecution if their ethnicity was formally entered into the system. Furthermore, people often had mixed blood sharing several tribes, so 1/4 Cherokee and 1/4 Creek must register simply as '1/4 Cherokee,' thereby formally losing part of their heritage by fiat of government. On top of all this, many Indian tribes did not consider 'blood' the only criteria as to whether you belonged to a tribe, but the Dawes commission did. The last blow to logic was that many Freedmen or Slaves of Indians who were freed after the civil war, were kept off the rolls.

I created the following charts after reviewing all the Dawes applicants who listed their surname as "Bunch."   I have added some names based on my family history research to connect families.  A typical application would show the applicant's name (indicated on the charts by the application number to the right of it) and list brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents, etc.  However, possibly to protect their families and because Cherokees often went by various names, changed their names as they entered different phases of life, etc. not all the information provided was straightforward.  An example would be using "agee", which means "mother" for "mother's name."  The first chart summarizes what I know about Dow & James Bunch.

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Contact me if you believe there is an error in any of these charts or if you can add to them.

Contact me if you believe there is an error in any of these charts or if you can add to them.

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