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LOWE V. FISHER, 223 U. S. 95 (1912)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Lowe v. Fisher, 223 U.S. 95 (1912)

Lowe v. Fisher

No. 445

Argued November 14, 1911

Decided January 29, 1912

223 U.S. 95


Where the Court of Claim has kept control of a case referred to it by act of Congress giving it jurisdiction as to all questions, its reply made to the request of the officer of the government charged with execution of its judgment for further opinion is to be regarded as part of the decision.

The limitations on the right to return to the tribe in Art. IX of the Cherokee Treaty of August 11, 1866, refer to both freedmen and free colored persons, and freedmen and descendants of freedmen who did not return within six months are excluded from the benefit of the treaty.

Notwithstanding a decree of the Court of Claims determining the rights of Indians in a case over which Congress gave the court jurisdiction, it is competent for Congress to deal further with the subject. Stephens v. Cherokee Nation, 174 U. S. 445; Wallace v. Adams, 204 U. S. 415.

Quaere whether a roll of citizenship of an Indian tribe, made under chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 223 U. S. 96

direction of the Court of Claims, has the conclusive effect of a judicial decree.

Under the Acts of Congress of 1902 and 1906 in regard thereto, the enrollment of freedmen of the Cherokee Tribe was to be made in strict conformity with the decree of the Court of Claims, and should include only such persons of African descent, either free colored or the slaves of Cherokee citizens and their descendants, who were actual personal bona fide residents of the Cherokee Nation August 11, 1866, or who actually returned and established such residence within six months thereafter.

While the Secretary of the Interior did not have power to strike names from the roll of Cherokee citizens without notice and opportunity to be heard, he did have power, after such notice and opportunity had been given, to strike from the roll names which had been placed thereon through fraud or mistake. Garffeld v. Goldsby, 211 U. S. 249.

35 App.D.C. 524 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the construction of the various treaties, acts of Congress and decisions of the Court of Claims in regard to the rights of Cherokee freedmen and their descendants to share in the distribution of tribal property, are stated in this opinion.

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