Friday, January 1, 2016

Closing one year, opening another

I didn't do a year end post like I usually do because my focus has been on what is to come in 2016. Before I go into that, I would like to share a few of the 2015 year end "winners".

Most popular post/s - The Forgotten Descendants of Sequoyah series that focused on the descendants of Sequoyah through his son, George "Big Dollar/Money" Guess, Jr., as a whole, included the most popular posts.  The top post, from both the series and the blog for the year 2015, was Big Dollar and Tianna. It was truly an honor to be asked to research the descendants of Sequoyah and to be given the opportunity to learn about his family and then share that information with my readers.

The most popular page in 2015 was Fraudulent Organizations. I received well over 100 emails this year concerning the issue of fraudulent/fake organizations that claim to be Cherokee tribes. The American public is becoming aware of the problem and they are concerned. Keep sharing the truth. 

In 2015, the state where most of my readers came from was Oklahoma. Thank you to all my readers from Oklahoma and everywhere else. Without you, my blog would not be the success that it is. I appreciate you and all the support you have given me. 

In 2016, I'll finish the series on the descendants of Sequoyah. There is more to share about the children of Nelson Guess and I'll share information about the ancestors of the famed Cherokee dancer, Winnie Guess Perdue, going back to Sequoyah. 

I'll also spend time writing on the combined topics of the 1896 citizenship applications, Eastern Cherokee applications, the Guion Miller roll, and the birth of the wannabe. It is my belief that all of those things together strongly contribute to the continuation of the Cherokee Blood Myth. We must get to the root of an issue before we can combat the problem. That's what I hope to accomplish with the new posts on the subject of the birth of the wannabe.

Additionally, I hope to be able to write about the situation at NSU that Cherokee Nation citizen, Dr. Leslie Hannah, has been dealing with. I've not yet shared the information I have because the case is still in the courts. Despite what you might have read on the topic elsewhere, I hope to address the issue from a different viewpoint than others. In my humble opinion, this is the single most important case of fraud in academia to date and it should matter to every Cherokee as well as those in the Cherokee Nation administration.

For those of you who enjoy my political posts, don't worry. If there is a reason to write on a Cherokee Nation political topic, I will do so. Currently, I'm watching the Cherokee Phoenix closely to see what changes take place since the long time Executive Editor, Bryan Pollard, was "forced out" of the job. Yes, yes, I know he resigned, but not until the board had already decided to force him out (my opinion.) Since many of the citizens of the Cherokee Nation strongly desire a free press, independent of the influence of the Cherokee Nation administration, I'll be watching, as will others, as the Phoenix transitions to a new full time Executive Editor. I'll also watch for anything else that warrants the attention of the Cherokee people and write about it as needed.

In closing, I'd like to thank the team of "anonymous" researchers who sometimes contribute their time on projects covered in the blog. I'd also like to thank my anonymous sources who share information as long as their identity is protected. And, once again, I'd like to say thank you to all my readers. I wish you all health and prosperity in the new year and hope you join me in 2016 for lots more genealogy, history and other things of interest to the Cherokee people.

Those are my thoughts for today.
Thanks for reading.

copyright 2016, Polly's Granddaughter - TCB

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Children of Nelson Guess - Part 1

Like Sequoyah Guess (b. 1890), Albert Guess was only a little boy when his father died and he was dependent on others to make sure he and his siblings were enrolled by the Dawes Commission. Sadly, Albert did not have adult Cherokees looking out for his best interest (or the interest of his sisters) so things didn't go as well for him as they did for Sequoyah Guess.

After Nelson Guess, Albert's father, died in 1896, his white wife, Frances, remarried. Available documentation from 1900 to 1913 indicates Frances and her new husband, a white man named Clarence Haggard, were more interested in what they could get from the Cherokee Nation and Nelson's Cherokee children than they were in taking care of those children and looking out for their best interests.

June 1900, the family was found on the U.S. Census. Clarence was listed as head of household with Frances as his wife; Dorcas Damon (child of Frances before her marriage to Nelson Guess) as his step daughter; Albert, Eliza, and Susie Guess as his step children; and Lena Haggard as his daughter. Lena was listed as born April 1899 and one year old.

Later that year, in October 1900, Frances applied to the Dawes Commission for herself as an intermarried white and for Nelson's three children, Albert, Eliza, and Susie, as Cherokees by blood. She said Nelson Guess died three years prior (1897) and that she had not remarried since his death.

Technically, she was honest because she and Clarence didn't marry legally until September 1901.  

To make that clear, Frances Guess, widow of Nelson Guess, legally remarried in 1901 though she'd already been living with the man prior to the marriage based on information from the 1900 U.S. Census.

In September 1902, WC Rogers, a store owner, wrote a letter to the Dawes Commission reporting Frances as a fraud, saying she had a new man, Clarence "Haggar", and had two children by him. He said she only had three children who were Cherokees, Albert, Eliza, and Susie.

October 1902, Frances gave additional testimony to the Dawes Commission. She said Nelson had been dead about 6 years (1896) and that she was still a widow (unmarried) on September 1, 1902. That same day, Mary "Katie" Flemming Pruett, a daughter Frances had from a marriage previous to her marriage to Nelson Guess, gave testimony that her mother had not remarried. Clearly, Frances and Katie lied.

In March 1903, Frances was again questioned by the Dawes Commission and said she did not know Clarence "Hagar" and that she was not married. She also said Susie was her youngest child and that she'd had no children since Nelson's death. Frances lied again.

May 5, 1904, JC Starr testified before the Dawes Commission and reported that Frances tried to bribe him, first with $100, then $200, to not report that she was married. She told him that she gave false testimony to the Dawes Commission and that if asked again, she'd repeat what she said even though she knew it was not true.

Finally June 1, 1904, Frances testified before the Dawes Commission as Frances Haggard. She admitted she had remarried and that she could no longer claim rights as an Intermarried White.

Three days later, on June 4, 1904, Clarence Haggard sought guardianship of Nelson's three children. He said each was entitled to $975 from the Cherokee Nation (with inflation, this calculates to approximately $25,000 each as of 2014) and needed someone to oversee their estates for them. Clarence was granted guardianship.

Two years later, on May 8, 1906, Frances applied to the Dawes Commission for her daughter, Lena. She testified Lena was the child of Nelson Guess and born after his death. When questioned about why she had never tried to enroll Lena previously when she had enrolled the other children, she said she just never did. She said Lena was her youngest child (though she actually had a son younger named Icem/Isom.)

Later that year, on December 26, 1906, Frances filed an Eastern Cherokee application for Albert, Eliza, and Susie. She did not mention Lena. Four times she said Nelson Guess died in 1896. She said she married Clarence Haggard in 1898.

While it's clear, based on the documentation, that Lena was the biological child of Clarence Haggard, and it is clear that Frances lied about Lena's paternity, on February 19, 1907, Lena was approved for enrollment on Dawes as the child of Nelson Guess. The Cherokee Nation lawyers did not challenge the enrollment despite the conflicting testimonies and lies Frances told in her previous attempt to get herself enrolled.

Unfortunately, that is not the end of the story. Stay tuned for the part two of  The Children of Nelson Guess where more of this sad tale of lies and deceit will be continued.

Those are my thoughts for today.
Thanks for reading.

copyright 2015, Polly's Granddaughter - TCB

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Veteran's Day Remembrance - Aaron Carey, My Grandpa

WWII Veteran - Aaron Carey 1922-2002

Aaron Carey enlisted with the U.S Army on December 11, 1942. He was attached to the 612th Tank Destroyer battalion and was part of the European campaign. On Dec. 17, 1944, at the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge, he was captured by the Germans at Honsfeld. After having his coat, gloves and boots taken away, he was marched toward the Prisoner of War camp. It was bitter cold and he had nothing to eat during the entire trip. He endured several months as a POW until he was liberated.

After the war, he returned to civilian life and raised a family like many other veterans. Carey never realized he had honors coming to him. Fifty-five years after WWII, he was presented 7 medals from United States Congressman Tom Coburn. Carey was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the POW medal, an European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign medal (with service stars representing the 8 major battles he participated in), a U.S. Victory medal, a Good Conduct Medal, a Combat and Infantryman badge, and a Rifleman Qualification Combat Infantry Army Award medal. He was also awarded a Cross of Valor by the State of Oklahoma.

Later when interviewed about his wartime experience, Carey said he felt it was important that the young people of today learn about the wars America has fought and the sacrifices made to keep the country free. He said he had told his children about it when they were young like many other veterans did, but he didn't know if the stories had been passed on to the younger generation. He said if given the opportunity to tell young people about WWII, he would advise them, "Let's not go through another thing like this again."


A news article about my grandpa receiving his medals - 

(The Wagoner Tribune; Wagoner, Oklahoma; December 2, 1999; p. 5A, 13A.)


You can read more about 612th TD, Company B by clicking HERE or HERE. 

You can read more about 612th Tank Destroyer Battalion by clicking HERE or HERE

Thank you to all the veterans who have served to keep our country free. You service and sacrifices are not forgotten.

Those are my thoughts for today.
Thanks for reading.

copyright 2015, Polly's Granddaughter - TCB