SUSAN "CHEN-NA-CHU" LAWRENCE
(LEONARD)

BASICS:
Born- 1864
Location- Yosemite Valley, Mariposa, California
Died- 1947
Location- Usona, Mariposa, California
SPOUSE:
Archibald Campbel Leonard
CHILDREN:
Albert Leonard
Henry Robert Leonard
Lucinda Leonard
Frank F Leonard
May Leonard
Naomi Narie Leonard
Maude Leonard
Fannie Leonard
James Owen Leonard
John Robert Leonard
Thomas Henry Leonard
Illa Leonard
Violet Hjane Leonard
Archie Richard Leonard
The image used is of Susan, taken from this larger photo with her husband, Archie, circa 1914.

These two photos, in Yosemite, making baskets - by herself (the same photo here from the Traditions and Innovations book) and with two others are VERY questionable as to whether or not those are indeed Susan.

Ok. There is something I need to get out of the way, before you view these documents.

I personally view a Census form as a "stats" document, while the Indian Application for enrollment is a "personal history" document. The difference between the two is who is actually filling out the document and the purpose of the document. A Census is filled out by "stats" people who tend to copy information from year to year, so if an error is made, there is a good chance it is carried over into the following Census. The "stats" people may be getting the information from a Head of Household, a husband or a wife, etc. Consider this scenario - It is the late 1800's/early 1900's, and you are married to a person that cannot read or write, and they speak very little English. So you provide information for them. You also may not know everything about the person. To you, an Indian is an Indian. You aren't fully aware of different tribes and such. So when the information is provided, somehow the WRONG tribe information is given. OR maybe the "stats" people filled in that blank themselves, and used whatever information they thought was right, but got it WRONG. The main information to gather from a Census is where someone lived in a given year, and who they were living with. It is a document to count heads in a given area, nationalities, male/female, etc. On certain occasions, other information can be gleaned from these documents, but sometimes they will conflict with other documents, and sometimes even with themselves. An application for enrollment, however, is completed by the individual the application is for, and signed by that individual. Even though an error can creep through here and there, very often these are more accurate than a Census. Still though... given their education level, information can be off a bit. For example - "Where was my father born? I know nothing of white people ways. It is misery." So the transcriber writes down Missouri as where the father is from. Or maybe the transcriber mis-interprets something, like a year given. Perhaps a person says 1870, and the transcriber hears 1877. These types of errors can be on an Application as well as on a Census.

The reason I am talking about this is because both Susan and John have such errors in Censuses and on their applications. The Census errors place Susan in the WRONG TRIBE! She herself provides information on her application that she is 1/2 CASSON YOKUT, as her mother was full blooded Casson. Yet the earlier Censuses shows her as Meewuk or Moyuk. As for the application errors, I do not think are in regards to themselves, but to their white father, and where he is from. I will go into detail as I write about each document. I just wanted you to be aware of things like this.

The earliest document to have any referrence to Susan is the 1888 Yosemite Indian Petition to the United States. She is listed in the Yosemite Women section as one of the signers of the petition. This also lists her Indian name. Very fascinating read.

Second up, this Census of Non-reservation California Indians, 1905-1906. This census is mentioned in the above "Yosemite Indian Petition to the United States". Scroll down a bit and you find Susan's brother, John. A little below that is A C Leonard. A C is the initials for Archie Cambell Leonard, Susan's husband. It lists number of kids at 6. If you noticed at the top, it lists them in Mariposa as "Miwak" stock. This flows with the 1912 Indian Census listed below. "Miwak" would be proven wrong, as listed in the Application of 1928.

The third referrence I have of Susan Lawrence is this 1910 US Census - Indian Population. The bottom half identifies the tribe of the family from the top half - Susan is number 11 in the top half, so you go to number 11 in the bottom half. It shows her as 1/2 Meewuk. Meewuk will be shown to be incorrect later. Also note, that if Susan's birth date was 25 Dec 1863, then her age on this Census is off.

Next is this 1912 Indian Census.. Note the header on it - Moyuks of Tule River. In the family listing, it says A C Leonard, which is the initials of Archie Cambell Leonard, Susan's husband. It does not list Susan by name, however. It just says Mrs. Leonard and 6 kids (with a breakdown of boys/girls). The ages aren't close for the adults (Susan would have been 51 in 1912, not the listed 42), and the children do not line up correctly for the age range/number of boys and girls the Census gives. This is what I was referring to above about a Census just being a "stats" form. This basic information is close to that 1905/6 entry above, which means it was probably copied over.

The next document is this 1920 US Census.. This is not like the 1910 US Census - Indian Population, as it does not list tribe. Take note of where Susan's father (James Lawrence) is from - California. So far, we have seen him from Missouri, Arkansas, Ireland and now California. See his information on where I believe he truly is from.

In 1928, Susan filled out an Indian Application for enrollment - Pg 1, Pg 2, Pg 3, Pg 4, Pg 5, Pg 6. This is the second most important document regarding Susan. It lists her date of birth (25 Dec 1863), 5 sons, place of birth (Yosemite Valley), maiden name (Lawrence), degree and band of Indian ( 1/2 CASSON - not MEEWUK or MOYUK as seen above), treaty signed information (Camp Barbour Treaty), mother's name (Telefina) and band (CASSON), father's name (James Lawrence), mother's name again (Telefina), mother's degree of Indian blood (4/4, aka FULL blooded), her mother's Indian name (Pa-Mah-Hah), where her father was born (Missouri, which I have covered as being incorrect), where her mother was born (Mariposa County), type of wedding they had (Indian custom), dates of death for parents (James - 1910, Telefina 1889), type of property owned, her grandparents on her mother's side (Oo-tee-yeh, Sus-kai-yeh), where the grandparents were born (Yosemite Valley), then her signature and mark (finger print). This document, as I stated in the opening monologue, is more reliable than a Census due to the nature of who provided and filled out the information. I did say this was the SECOND most important document though, because this document was submitted TO the government, while...

...Susan's September 6th, 1939 blood degree document FROM the government acknowledges the degree of blood and band - 1/2 CASSON. This is the most important document for Susan when it comes to governent issues over bloodline and degree of Indian. This is what the government initially goes by, and it refers back to the Application for enrollment.

The next document for Susan is this 1940 US Census. Living with her are 3 sons and 3 familiar (to me, anyways) guests - John Lawrence, his daughter Julia Lawrence and my father, Robert Lawrence. My dad is 1+ yrs old here.

Sadly, per the California, Death Index, 1940-1997, Susan passed away 14 Sep 1947.

Should you have any more information by way of documents or any questions, you can contact me on Facebook at this link.
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