April 3, 1979
To Whom It May Concern:
The Delaware Indians of Idaho, Inc. have successfully traced their
heritage to the Cherokee Delaware. The group of nearly two hundred
Delawares In Idaho have a common ancestry as descendants of Esaw
Creech Killer and Lucinda Marshall. From the evidence gathered in
support of their claim it appears that these Delaware were displaced
from their Cherokee lands at the time of Cherokee Allotment. It also
appears that these Indians were denied both money and land in that
allotment process. Such treatment at the hands of the Cherokees further
deprived the Lucinda Marshall descendants of their right to land in
The recent history of the Delaware people records one hundred and fifty
years of retreat and still no homeland or recognition. According to the
tradition among the Delaware Indians of Idaho, their ancestors left
Oklahoma and proceeded to Billings, Montana and then, to Basin, Wyoming.
The small group emigrated to the Boise Valley in 1921. Over the many
years this little band of Indian people have lived frugal lives on the
verge of poverty. This year, 1979, marks the first year in which they
will have a high school graduate. Several of the members are currently
enrolled in an Adult Education program that will lead to the G.E.D. It
is honored as fully recognized American Indians the Delaware youth in
Idaho were qualify in the future for assistance in higher education.
The vast amount and years of careful research done by Mrs. Charlotte
Simmons and the group attests to the sincerity of their petition. The
Pratt Registry information and the Cherokee claim papers lend substance
to the request. The genealogical charts give evidence of the common
ancestry. This group of Indian people have roots deep In America’s
past. If as a nation we are concerned for human rights and dignity,
and if we are determined to right the wrongs of the past, then. It is
imperative that federal recognition as Delaware Indians be accorded this
band of Delaware Indians in Idaho.
I have read the prepared materials and I attest to their validity. I
endorse the petition that federal recognition be granted to the Delaware
Indians of Idaho.
Dr. Patricia K. Ourada
BSU Professor of History
Author of The Menominee Indians. Norman:
University of Oklahoma Press, 1979.