What is a "standing witness"? In the confines of Cherokee history, a standing witness was a Cherokee Nation citizen who was used or hired by lawyers to testify in citizenship cases, and payment of some sort was given. These cases were brought by non-Cherokees attempting to gain citizenship, obtain land, and payments. Eventually this false testimony from the standing witnesses became such a problem for the Cherokee Nation that several Cherokee men were brought up on perjury charges and other Cherokees testified to the fact these standing witnesses were known liars and could not be trusted.
Because this series will expose an ugly part of our history, I understand this will not be a popular series with some Cherokees. The descendants of the men who were known as standing witnesses and the descendants of those who were fraudulently enrolled will likely not be happy about this information being shared. I've put blogging about this research off for over a year, debating whether I should post about it or not. After much discussion with trusted Cherokee friends, I decided it was time to write this series. The damage these witnesses did was too great and is still causing problems for the Cherokee Nation today. It is important this part of our history be shared.
Those are my thoughts for today.
Thanks for reading.
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