Native American Heritage

Image is in the National Archives Catalog as National Archives Identifier 7717616

Wallace Rolls of Cherokee Freedmen in Indian Territory, ca. 1890–ca. 1896

The Cherokee Tribe challenged the citizenship status claims of individuals formerly enslaved by the Cherokees of In­dian Territory, and of some Shawnee and Delaware Indians claiming to be Cherokee citizens. The establishment of the Freedmen’s status was important in determining their right to live on Cherokee land and to share in annuity and other pay rolls.

At various times during the 1890s, several Commissioners of Indian Affairs conducted investigations to compile Cherokee Freedmen, Shawnee-Cherokee, and Delaware-Cherokee rolls. The Commissioners included John W. Wallace, Leo E. Bennett, Marcus D. Shelby, James G. Dickson, William Clifton, William Thompson, and Robert H. Kern. They consolidated these lists into the "Wallace Rolls."

Rolls Relating to Cherokee Citizenship, 1890–1890

Also called the "Wallace Rolls," the 1890 Rolls Relating to Cherokee Citizenship (National Archives Identifier 2123894) provide an applicant’s name, age, sex, residence, and other personal information. Rejected applicants are not included.

The Wallace Rolls consist of eight lists:

  • Authenticated Freedmen
  • Authenticated Freedmen, Dead Roll
  • Admitted List
  • Free Negroes (before the Civil War)
  • Questioned List, Affidavits of Questioned Cherokee Freedmen, 1889–1891 (National Archives Identifier 2123887)
  • First Supplemental List (Mostly from the Questioned List)
  • Second Supplemental List—Affidavits, 1891–1892 (National Archives Identifier 2123888), "Bennett List." Agent Leo E. Bennett of the Union Agency received affidavits by persons who had been rejected or had failed to apply.
  • Third Supplemental List—Affidavits,1893 (National Archives Identifier 2123892), "Shelby List." Special Commissioner Marcus D. Shelby received affidavits from individuals seeking enrollment as Cherokee Freedmen.

One volume of the Wallace Rolls of Cherokee Freedmen is available for viewing in the National Archives Catalog (National Archives Identifier 300345). While these images are not indexed on the National Archives Catalog, a searchable name index to the record is available on under the title Wallace Roll of Cherokee Freedmen.

Revised lists to the Wallace Rolls are available on microfilm M1833, Index to and Revised Copies of Cherokee Citizenship Rolls Called the "Wallace Rolls," 1890–1896.

Please note: Only selected records have been reproduced digitally and/or copied onto microfilm. For more information about any of these rolls, please contact the Archives 1 Reference Branch at

If you are unable to locate your ancestor in the Wallace Roll, consider searching the Kern-Clifton Roll of Cherokee Freedmen.