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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1905
Part I ([1905])

Reports concerning Indians in Indian territory,   pp. 202-221 PDF (9.1 MB)


Page 203

REPORTS CONCERNING INDIANS IN IND. TER.                203 
All Indians of this agency entitled thereto have received allotments in sever-
alty, either under the act of February 8. 1887. commonly known as the Dawes
allotment act, or under special acts applicable to a particular tribe. By
virtue 
of having received allotments in severalty. and under the express provisions
of 
the above-mentioned act of February 8. 1887 (section 6), and the act of March
3, 1901, the Indians of this agency are citizens of the United States. They
may 
lease their allotments, under the act of June 7, 1897, for a period not exceed-
ing three years for farming or grazing purposes, or ten years for mining
or 
business purposes, and by section 2 of the act approved April 28, 1904, "all
the 
laws of Arkansas heretofore put in force (by the act of May 2, 1890, 26 Stat.
L., 
81) in the Indian Territory are hereby continued and extended in their opera-
tion, so as to embrace all persons and estates in said Territory, whether
Indian, 
freedmen, or otherwise, etc." Therefore. no jurisdiction over the person
of 
the Indian is exercised by the officer in charge of this agency. There are
no 
blanket Indians among the tribes; in fact, only about one-fifth of the entire
population are full-blood, and the majority of these converse in the English
language. As a class the Indians are moral, sober, progressive, and self-support-
ing. They are not, however, frugal or economical in the use or appropriation
of 
resources. Many are careless and improvident, and were it not for the income
received from the leasing of their allotments would become paupers and a
burden to the community; nor is this class wholly confined to the full-blood
ele- 
ment. The allotment of lands in 1891 was but a step in the preparation for
citizenship; experience and education must complete the course. 
The removal of restrictions on alienation of lands of deceased allottees,
un- 
der the act of May 27, 1902 (32 Stat. L., 245), so that the heirs may sell
or con- 
vey the lands inherited, subject to the approval of the Secretary of the
Interior, 
has resulted in the sale, during the past year, of 725.69 acres. The total
area 
of this agency, including the reservations of all the tribes, is about 212,000
acres, of which the Indian title to about 34,298 acres has been extinguished.
This includes 10,000 acres sold by the Seneca and 405 acres sold by the East-
ern Shawnee under a special clause in the act of May 27, 1902; 6,323 acres
sold 
by the Peoria and Miami under the provisions of the acts of March 2, 1889
(25 Stat. L., 1013), and May 27, 1902 (supra), and those sold by the Wyandot
having allotments in sections 21 and 28, township 27, range 24, Indian Territory.
An innovation to the usual method (i. e., under the rules and regulations
of 
the Secretary of the Interior) of disposing of inherited Indian lands in
this 
agency is through legal proceedings in the United States courts in this district.
Partition suits are instituted, resulting in decrees of sale by the court
under 
laws applicable to such proceedings. These sales are not made under the super-
vision of the Secretary of the Interior, nor are such deeds approved by him.
This matter has been made the subject of special report and is now before
the 
Department. 
No annuities have been paid the Indians of this agency during the past year.
The question of removal of restrictions on alienation from all Indian lands
is agitated from time to time by impetuous white citizens and a few unthinking
Indians; but I am convinced that while there are may allottees who are com-
petent to "judiciously manage their business affairs," legislation
permitting 
allottees to dispose of their allotments, without limitation, would be at
this 
time unwise and a detriment to the progress and welfare of a great majority
of the Indians, many of whom would, in such an event, become a prey to the
unscrupulous and soon be in want and penury. However, I believe that the
right to dispose of a portion of their allotment should be granted to some,
those 
only who desire it and who are unquestionably capable; such ability to be
de- 
termined by thorough investigation by an officer of the Government or through
the courts. 
During the past year a contract of lease for mining lead, zinc, and other
minerals has been made by the consent of the tribal council with J. T. McRuer
George W. Bailey, and A. R. Ford, covering 40 acres of tribal lands of the
Quapaw Indians; also a lease for mining purposes with Rev. M. 0 D'Haemens,
covering 40 acres of tribal lands, which lands are also used and occupied
by 
the Catholic Church for religious and educational purposes. These contracts
are now in the Department awaiting action. 
The past year has been one of great activity in the mining industry in the
Quapaw Reservation. Valuable mines have been developed and numerous mills
are in operation. A great future is predicted for that reservation in mining.
Many allottees are deriving much profit from the leasing of their lands for
min- 
ing purposes. On the other hand many ignorant and uneducated Quapaws, 


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