No. 8584

William H. Blevins, being first duly sworn, deposes and says:

I am 67 years of age. I live in Washington County, Va., I reckon. I have lived in Va. about 15 years. I was born in Ashe County, N. C. and lived there until 15 years ago, with the exception of the time of the war, when I served in the War on the side of the Confederacy.    I claim through my father, Armstrong Blevins who lived and died in Ashe County XX. I think he was born there. He was 66 when he died. He was the son of Lydia Blevins. I do not know whether Lydia Blevins lived and died in Alleghany or Ashe County, N. C. I think it was Alleghany then. I suppose she died before I was born. Lydia Sizemore (Blevins) was a daughter of Ned Sizemore, Sr.     According to proof made before me in 1888 and 1896 as a Justice of the Peace of Ashe County, N. C., he was a full-blood Cherokee Indian.     As a boy my father used to tell me that he was an Indian. The object of the the proof referred to was for land and money suppose to be due the Cherokees and Sizemores in the Indian Territory. The proof taken in 1888 was sent to one J. W. Mullens, of Grand View, Ark. He was an attorney employed by us to press these claims in the Indian Territory. I never saw the proof after that. I had it transferred to A. E. Ivey of Tahlequah, I. T., another attorney. I heard that Mr. Ivey died, leaving it in his office, but I do not know this to be so. The proof was to be present[ed] to the Cherokee counsil for our rights in the Indian Territory, but I do not know whether it was ever acted on or not.     The proof taken in 1896 was from a number of old men, and was about the same kind of testimony taken in 1888. John Baldwin, J. W. Perkins, took it to put before the Cherokee counsil, but I do not know whether it was ever acted on or not. I do not know whether it was put before the counsil and the Dawes Commission or not, but I have heard it was. If Mr. Baldwin swore that it was put before the Dawes Commission, I believe that he did.     I never heard, officially from the Dawes Commission that the claims were allowed or rejected. I never received anything from it.    I never heard that my father ever received any money from the Government on account of his Indian blood. I never received any money from the Government on account of my Indian blood. I never heard whether Lydia Blevins ever received any money from the Government on account of her Indian blood.     Most of my information in regard to my Indian blood came principally from my father until this proof was taken. My father spoke of it often and spoke of his uncles, Owen, George, and Ned, and his aunts Catharine Hart, Sallie Osborne, and his Aunt Sookey Stamper, and one he called Dollie, she may have been the same as Catharine. I saw his Uncle George Sizemore when I was probably ten years old, and heard him preach. This was in Ashe County, N. C. He was a son of Old Ned Sizemore. He went to what was then called the State of Virginia, before I heard him preach, and then came back. I do not know where he died, but have been informed that he died in West Virginia. I remember him well. He was tall, straight, wore his hair cut off around his shoulders, and had some gray

streaks in it. He passed as a White man and Indian, and claimed to be part Indian. He was the first man I ever heard make a prayer.    They always told me that he and his brothers and sisters were related to the Cherokee Indians. I do not know if he was an ordained preacher or not. I have never heard that Owen Sizemore was a preacher, although I have heard that Hiram was a preacher.     I have never seen any but George. I never heard that Old Ned Sizemore was a preacher. I heard my father say that Old Ned Sizemore lived in what is now Alleghany County, N. C., but was then Ashe Co. at the time I was born. I think he was dead before I was ten years old, but I do not know where he died.   I have heard of Dr. Johnny Sizemore from others, but not my father. I have heard that old man Ned Sizemore's father was John Sizemore, and he lived in Stokes Co., N. C. and had a son, Dr. Johnny Gourd Sizemore, who was a brother of old Ned. That he also had a daughter by the name of Patricia. John Sizemore should have had eight children and can only name two besides Old Ned. I do not know who Patricia married.   Ned Sizemore Jr. was a son of Old Ned. I do not recollect ever hearing tell of George Sizemore ever having a son Ned.  I remember one Elisha Blevins, who said that Old Ned Sizemore came from the Catawba river, or the Catawba Reservation*, as he called it. Elisha Blevins has been dead some time. Wesley Blevins also testified in 1896 to the same affect.   Stephen Hart made affidavit before me also, while I was Justice of the Peace, but I do not remember that he said where he came from. If there was any reservation there at all, I do not know anything about it, only from the testimony.   I saw the affidavit of William A. Lewis of Fort Gibson, I. T., but he did not swear to where Ned Sizemore came from that I recollect. He said that he was well acquainted with the family and that he knew Catharine and Lydia and Owen, and that Ned Sizemore was a full-blood Indian, and he supposed lived and died in Ashe County. William A. Lewis went from Ashe County to the Indian Territory, as I understand it, in 1851, and died I suppose in the Indian Territory. He claimed to be part Indian
    I never heard that any of the Sizemores ever received any money from the Government on account of their Indian blood. If they did, I think I should have known it-- that since I was old enough to recollect.   I was not enrolled on the census of Eastern Cherokee Indians in 1885, and never heard of it before. I was not enrolled in 1851 by the Government. I did not receive any of the money paid in 1851, and none of the Sizemore family did that I know of.   I have heard my father and his brothers talk something about the enrollment of 1851. They were afraid of enrollment; were afraid they would be carried to the Territory and scattered on that account. I do not think my father was enrolled in 1835, or any of the Sizemores that I know anything of. They were afraid of enrollment.   I do not know anything about the removal of the Cherokees, only what I have read and heard my father say, but I think it was about 1835. He was afraid that if he was enrolled as late as 1851, he would be forced to go to the Territory. I know that there are a number of Eastern Cherokee Indians in Western North Carolina now who were enrolled in 1835 and 1851, and received money, but were not forced to go West.
    The word, "Chief" in my application, means that I am chief of the White Top Band of Cherokee Indians, an organization of the principal Cherokee Indians living about White Top, and was perfected about ten years ago. We organized so as to demand our rights in a body. We thought we had not been getting them before.

In 1896, we wanted to go to Indian Territory, and organized for that purpose. When the band was first organized, there were about 2175, I believe. They were all Sizemore descendants. No one else was allowed to become a member if it was known.   I have read the decree of the Supreme Court of the United States referred to in my application, and have it at home.   My father, Armstrong Blevins, I do not think was a party to the treaty of 1835 and 1846(or 48?). I am putting my own interpretation on the decree.   Elisha Blevins, who gave testimony in 1888 and 1896 before me, was not a party to the treaty of 1835 and 1836 and did not claim to be Indian at all.   I suppose Wells Blevins was living in 1835 and 1836. He lived in Ashe County, N. C. I do not know that he was a party to the Treaty of 1835-36.   I do not know that any of the descendants of the Sizemores, or Old Ned himself ever live with the Cherokee Indians. I have had an affidavit before me from Mr. Wagoner that Ned Sizemore visited the Cherokee Indians. The Cherokee Indians never visited them often since I can recollect. I have seen some Cherokee Indians who claimed to be. I saw one regiment in time of War. I have seen very few living here who claimed to be Cherokee Indians except the Sizemores and the descendants of the Sizemores.
    I have heard of Ned Hart, who lived in Ashe County, N. C. I did not understand that he was a Cherokee Indian, but he married a Cherokee Indian, and, as I understand it, the Cherokee blood of the Harts came through Catharine Sizemore.
    The White Top Band of Cherokee Indians, of which I am Chief, has applied to share in this fund so far as I know.

W. H. Blevins    

Subscribed and sworn to before me at Marion, Va., this 11th day of April, 1908.

J. Edward Taylor
Assistant to Special Comm-
issioner Court of Claims  

* [The Catawba Indians were established along the Catawba River at the North/South Carolina border in 1650 and their enemies included the Cherokee. They fought other Native Americans for the British and protected the Carolina colonies from encroachment by the French and Spanish. Many years later, through a treaty in 1760 (Treaty of Pine Hill) and 1763 (Treaty of Augusta), a fifteen mile square reservation was established for them along the Catawba River near the North/South Carolina border. During the 1840's, due to encroachment upon their land, the Catawbas sold what was left of their land to South Carolina, and, despite past differences, the North Carolina Cherokee invited the Catawba to join them. Many of the 110 remaining ones did, but by 1847 most had returned to S.C. By 1910, only 124 Catawba were listed on the census.- First Nations, Issues of Consequence, at]

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