Appeals for Catawba Membership from Johnny Morrow

The following documents are letters sent by Mr. Johnny Morrow to the Catawba Nation Executive Committee and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) appealing for inclusion on the Catawba Tribal Membership Roll. The first letter posted was his initial appeal to the Executive Committee. The second letter posted was his appeal to the BIA, after receiving a rejection letter from the Executive Committee, to over-ride the decision made by the Committee.

Letter to Catawba Nation Executive Committee

The Catawba Indian Nation Executive Committee
P.O. Box l88
Catawba South Carolina 29704
February l4, 2000

My name is Johnny Andrew Morrow. My wife Pearl and I presently reside at [Address censored]

I was born [Birth date censored] to H.L. (Mack) Morrow and Lula Ballard Morrow. My older brother, Glen Morrow, was born February 4, l928 and is now deceased. Glen had one daughter, Mary June Morrow, born [Birth date censored]. Therefore, all the enrollment applications for Tribal membership for me and my descendants and Mary June and her descendants are enclosed in one envelope.

My mother, Lula Ballard, was born April 26, l905 in what is now Love County, Oklahoma. She was the youngest daughter of Lillie Susan Harris Ballard, who was born April 2l, l972 [1872]on the Catawba Reservation in South Carolina. Lillie Susan was the daughter of Nancy Harris, who was born January l6, l85l and Lillie Susan's grandparents were Allen & Rhoda Harris.

My mother, Lula Ballard Morrow, died January 28, l936. At that time my brother Glen was seven years old and I was four months old. We were going to be sent to separate families. So to keep that from happening our grandmother, Lillie Susan took the two of us to raise. Our grandmother, Lillie Susan Harris Ballard died on May 2l, l955 and is buried at Lindsay, Oklahoma. Our great grandmother, Nancy Harris Starkey died December l6, l919 and is buried at Bradley, Oklahoma, which is l0 miles west of Lindsay.

Since my grandmother, Lillie Susan Harris Ballard, was born on the Catawba Reservation in l872, she certainly should have been on the Catawba rolls. Therefore, being her direct lineal descendants should qualify us to be accepted as members of the Catawba tribe, with our names added to the Roll.

We have previously applied for Tribal membership and as of this date have never received any return communication from the Executive Committee.

We do appeal to you and will appreciate your consideration and approval of our membership applications. We do feel that this is our blood and heritage right.

We are enclosing various documentation to substantiate our relationship to my grandmother, Lillie Susan Harris Ballard.

Thank you very much, Johnny A. Morrow- [Address Censored]

Letter to Bureau of Indian Affairs

March 2l, 2000

[Address Censored]

Regional Director, Eastern Region
Bureau of Indian Affairs
370l North Fairfax Drive
Arlington, Virginia - 22203
Re: Appeal of Catawba Executive Committee Decision

We do wish to appeal the decision of the Catawba Executive Committee in rejecting our request to be added to the Final Base Membership Roll of the Catawba Indian Nation.

The rejection letter states that Lillie Susan Harris Ballard was not listed on certain rolls. This reasoning seems to forget that Lillie Susan was born on the Catawba Reservation in l872 and lived there for the first 20 years of her life, which would indicate that she most definitely should have been on the Catawba rolls. Also, the fact that she was the granddaughter of Chief Allen Harris would seem to indicate that she should have been on the rolls.

She married and bore two children there on the reservation. She and her husband then left the reservation in search of a better way of life. Lillie Susan and her husband settled in the Gainesville, Texas area, where they had six more children. Her husband died in l907 leaving her with eight children to raise. After her youngest daughter's death in l936, she also took her daughter's two sons to raise.

I mention the above phase of her life simply to show that she was a strong Catawba woman who was dedicated to her family. Having the initiative to try and make a better life for her family by leaving the reservation should not take away from the fact that; she should have been on the Catawba Rolls, and also, the fact that her lineal descendants should be added to the base roll.

We do petition you to set aside the Executive Council's decision and allow our names to be added to the Final Base Membership Roll of the Catawba Indian Nation.

We do feel this is our blood and heritage right and will certainly appreciate your help in this matter.

Thank you,

Johnny A. Morrow: For Self and on behalf of: Cynthia Morrow, John David Morrow, Anita Morrow Peddycoart, Cody Gee, Lindsey Gee, Ryan Peddycoart, Mary Morrow Hutton, Heather Hutton Johnson, Brandi Hutton and Braden Glenn Johnson

Copies of both of these letters is available for download below in the Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format. To open and read them, you will need the Acrobat Reader program, which can be downloaded for free from the Adobe site at

Download  appeal_exec_comm.pdf    (Letter to Catawba Nation Executive Committee)

Download  appeal_bia.pdf    (Letter to Bureau of Indian Affairs)