FITZPATRICK'S INDIAN TITLE CHART EXTENDED
JOSEPH F. RARICK, J..S.D.
David Ross Boyd Professor of Law
College of Law
University of Oklahoma
A NOTE OF APPRECIATION
Richard Gholston, Esquire, is now, August 11, 1980, the Resident Attorney for the Prudential Insurance Company of America in Dallas, Texas. For many years, he served the same company in Oklahoma City. While there, he became known as an expert on Indian titles. It was inevitable that he would see the need to extend the Fitzpatrick Charts.
While it is true that his extension was prepared in 1958, there has been no significant legislation in the area passed since then. But on the other hand a few cases decided since 1958 make an update of the work desirable. Further, new methods of reproduction have made it possible to add some additional details on the charts. But, perhaps of greatest importance is the necessity to expand some of the material to make it more suitable for a teaching tool. Seeing this necessity was the product of having taught the draft of this book in the fall of 1978. I regret that these factors dictate that I alter some of Mr. Gholston's work rather than merely supplementing it as I did in a draft edition of this work.
I say, in all sincerity, that the credit for that which is accurate and useful must go to Mr. Gholston. The blame for that which is inaccurate falls on me.
FITZPATRICK'S INDIAN TITLE CHART - EXTENDED
INTRODUCTION AND EXPLANATION
The charts and notes that follow are closely modeled after Fitzpatric's Indian Tribe Chart, designed and written by Mr. Kirby Fitzpatrick and published in 1917 by the Harlow Publishing Company of Oklahoma City. Mr. Fitzpatrick's chart has been widely used by examiners of titles to lands of the Five Civilized Tribes in Oklahoma, and in fact is still used by a considerable number of lawyers today. The chart, however, has not been extended since the Act of May 27, 1908. The purpose of this work is to extend Mr. Fitzpatrick's chart so as to cover subsequent acts of Congress and court decisions that affect the rights of the members of the Five Civilized Tribes to alienate their lands.
Because certain decisions rendered by the courts since Mr. Fitzpatrick completed his chart made a few changes necessary in that portion delaing with the Act of May 27, 1908, it was felt desirable to begin this chart with that act. In addition, the May 27, 1908, act is the basic law affecting these Indians and subsequent acts are principally amendments. Furthermore, there were few conveyances prior to 1908.
Beginning with the Act of may 27, 1908, a separate chart has been prepared for each Act of Congress that affected these Indians' rights to alienate their lands, except for the Act of July 2, 1945, which is included in the January 27, 1933 chart. The specific acts covered by these charts are the Acts of may 27, 1908; April 12, 1926; May 10, 1928; January 27, 1933; August 4, 1947; and August 11, 1955. The date of the act covered by each chart is shown in the upper left margin and following it is an explanation of the effective dates.
In the left margin of each chart is a brief description of the relationship of the tribal member under investigation, to the property or to his successor or predecessor in title. In some instances this description is followed by a number indicating a reference to the numbered notes following the charts.
The wording in the center portion of the charts are statements of conditions under which members of the Five Civilized Tribes may alienate their land by deed or will.
The first four columns to the immediate right of the statement of conditions are numbered (1) (2) and (3).
(1), which has two columns, refers to the numbered notes following the chart. The purpose of these notes is to explain and justify the conclusions which are incorporated into the chart. In some cases, two or more numbers are shown indicating that more than one note applies.
(2) refers to the status of the tribal member as an adult, shown as "A", a minor, shown as "M" and both shown as "All". When land is shown to be alienable by a minor, it is to be understood that the minor must act through a guardian and by order of the county court. A minor is a male under 21 years and a female under 18.
(3) shows the character of the land, "H" indicating homestead, "S" indicating surplus and "All" indicating both homestead and surplus.
The remaining six columns of the chart show the quantum of Indian blood by symbols as follows:
Three-fourths or more, but less than full-blood
Half or more, but less than three-fourths blood
Less than half-blood
Intermarried white citizen
INDEX OF CHARTS
- Act of May 27, 1908, 35 Stat. 312
- Act of April 12, 1926, 44 Stat. 239
- Act of May 10, 1928, 45 Stat. 495
- Act of January 27, 1933, 47 Stat. 777
- Act of August 4, 1947, 61 Stat. 731
- Act of August 11, 1955, 69 Stat. 666
Back to main page