Reflections from the Ah­nish­i­nah­bæójib­way (We, the People)


1910 letter questions how W.E. Natives establish blood quantum

June 10, 1910
Hon. E. H. Long
Spe’l. Ass’t. to Att’y. Gen’l.
Detroit, MN

Dear Sir:

I have the honor to submit the following matter for your consideration:

While engaged at White Earth, in notifying applicants for fee simple patents to appear at your office in Detroit, there to establish their status as to blood, I had occasion to visit the tent occupied by Mrs. Delia Gubins and Elizabeth LeClair, her sister, and while there they made the following statement, to wit,

You dont want to take us for Indians for we are not.  This is the first time we have ever camped out: we belong in St. Paul, and are french and not Indians.  Our fathers name was Benjamine La Fond; he was a black-smith, our mothers name was Margbaret La Fond; they both received half-breed scrip but we never claimed to have Indian blood until Gus Beaulieu came to us in St. Paul, and told us that he would get us on the White Earth rolls and get us good allotments and find buyers for them.  That the tribal fund would soon be divided and we would get a share; we would be fools not to take a chance like that to get some of the tribal money.

Then they made a complaint that their parents had been beaten out of their scrip; that their mother Margaret, sometimes known as Maria La Fond, had sold her scrip to Isaac Van Ettan, “a man who was married to a cousin of Gus Beaulieu,” for $40 and later their father had sold his and they understood that it had been placed on land in the Iron range, that was worth Millions of dollars.  They wanted the Government, to get the land for them as their parents had been swindled out of their scrip.  I advised them to report the matter to you and see what you could do; I asked them to do this for the reason that I did not have a witness with me when they told me the story and I think that it will be of interest to us if we wish to show how people have become enrolled on this reservation.

Yours respectfully
Thomas E. Harper
Special Agent


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