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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])

Taxation of Indian lands in Iowa,   pp. 480-482 PDF (1.1 MB)


Page 481

TAXATION OF INDIAN LANDS IN IOWA. 
481 
I hereby certify that the foregoing act was published in the Iowa State Register,
Febru- 
ary 20, and Des Moines Leader, February 19, 1896. 
Signed,                                                 W. M. McFARLAND,
Secretary of State. 
ACT OF CONGRESS APPROVED JUNE 10, 1896. (29 Stat. L., p. 331.) 
That the United States hereby accepts and assumes jurisdiction over the Sac
and Fox Indians of 
Tama County, in the State of Iowa, and of their lands in said State, as tendered
to the United States 
by the act of the legislature of said State passed on the sixteenth day of
January, eighteen hundred 
and ninety-six, subject to the limitations therein contained; and the United
States Indian agent of 
the Sac and Fox Agency, Iowa, and the governor of the State of Iowa, respectively,
are hereby author- 
ized to transfer by deed of conveyance, for the use and benefit of said Indians,
the legal title held by 
them in trust, respectively, and the trusteeship of the lands of the Sac
and Fox Indians of Tama County, 
Iowa, to the Secretary of the Interior and his successors in office. 
OPINION OF ATTORNEY-GENERAL FOR IOWA ON THE RIGHT OF IOWA TO TAX INDIAN LANDS.
STATE OF IOWA, OFFICE OF ATTORNEY-GENERAL, 
Des Moines, August 9, 1905. 
Hon. WM. G. MALIN, 
Agent Sac and Fox Indians, Toledo, Iowa. 
DEAR SIR: I am in receipt of your favor of the 7th instant, and thank you
for the infor- 
mation therein contained. 
In relation to the right of the State to tax the land of these Indians, I
perhaps ought not 
to express an opinion unless the question should be referred to me by one
of the depart- 
ments of the State, but I may suggest that the act of February 20, 18196,
specifically declares 
the right of the State to tax these lands, and that the act of Congress of
the same year in 
accepting the grant of jurisdiction of the Indian lands accepted such grant
subject to the 
declaration on the part of the State of its right to tax such lands for State,
county, bridge, 
county road, and district road purposes, and for such other purposes as the
general assembly 
may from time to time by special statute provide. 
Under this grant and reservation upon the part of the State, and the acceptance
of such 
grant subject to the condition therein contained by the United States Government
under 
the act of Congress, I am unable to see how any question can arise as to
the right of the 
State to tax these lands. 
I am, yours, very truly,                                  CHAS. W. MULLAN.
JUDGE BURNHAM'S8 LETTER TO THE AGENT IN REGARD TO HIS DECISION. 
VINTON, IOWA, September 18, 1905. 
Hon. WV. G. MALIN, Toledo, Iowa. 
My DEAR SIR: Replying to yours of 14th instant, in regard to the decision
referred to, I 
have to say: The principal grounds of the decision and question involved
was stated in a 
newspaper account, a clipping from which I inclose. 
The question of the power of the State to tax the Indian lands was not directly
involved, 
though the act of 26 general assembly of Iowa, chapter 110, had considerable
weight with 
me in reaching the conclusion I did. By that act the State of Iowa expressly
reserves to 
itself the right to tax the Indian lands for State, county, bridge, county
road, and district 
road purposes, so that in surrendering its jurisdiction over the Indians
and their lands to 
the General Government did not take away the right of the State of Iowa to
tax their 
lands. 
I believe this answers your inquiry. 
Very truly,                                                  G. W. BURNHAM.
[Inclosure to Judge Burnham's I tter.] 
The right of an Indian, living in tribal relation, to sue in his own name
in the State courts 
was determined by the district court, Judge Burnham presiding, in Tama County
last 
week, so far as that court is concerned. It is understood that the case will
be appealed, 
so that the judgment of the court of last resort may be had in the question,
as it is an impor- 
tant one and afects many tradesmen as well as the Sac and Fox tribe of Indians
living in 
Tama County. 
The question was presented upon an agreed statement of facts, the salient
point in which 
was that the Indian who brought suit was a Sac and Fox Indian living in tribal
relation 
with some 346 other Indians upon their lands in Tama County, the title of
which is held in 
trust for their use and benefit. The cause of action was the killing of a
pony on the right 
of way of the Chicago and Northwestern Railway Company belonging to plaintiff.
It was conceded that the State had never exercised jurisdiction over the
personal property 
of the Indians, and that this pony had never been assessed or listed for
taxation, and no 
IND 1905-31 


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