University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1883

Report of the commissioner of Indian affairs,   pp. III-LXXI ff. PDF (28.2 MB)


Indian lands, tribal reservation, or lands specially set apart for Indian
purposes, shall 
for the first offense, upon conviction thereof, pay a fine of not more than
five hundred 
dollars, and be imprisoned at hard labor for not more than one year; and
for every 
subsequent offense, shall, upon conviction thereof, pay a fine of not more
than ono 
thousand dollars, and not less than five hundred dollars, and be imprisoned
at hard 
labor for rot more than two years, nor less than one year; and the wagons,
teams and 
outfit of such person or pemons so offending shall be seized and delivered
to the 
proper United States officer,-and be proceeded against by libel in the proper
and forfeited, one-half to the informer and the other' half to the United
States, and in 
all cases arisinnder this act, indians shall be competenit witnesses : Proivided,
That the provisions of this section shall not apply to emigrants or travelers
passing through stich Indiali lands, tribal reservations, or lands especially
set apart 
for Indian purposes, without committing any willful trespass or injury to
person or 
On the 10th February last the bill as read and referred was reported 
back by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs without amendment, 
but Congress again adjourned without taking action in the matter. 
While on this subject I desire to say a 'ew words in regard to the 
repeated attempts which have been made by United States citizens 
during the past four years to unlawfully appropriate certain lands of 
the Indian Territory reserved under treaty by the Government for Indian 
purposes, under the pretext that such lands are open to the public for 
settlement. Full accounts of these raids and of the measures taken by 
the Government to expel the intruders will be found in the successive 
annual reports of this office for the years 1879, 1880, 1881, and 1882. 
During the period referred to, D. L. Payne, the recognized leader of the
movement, has been repeatedly arrested only to be released by the miili-
tary authorities on the Kansas border, or held to answer to a civil suit
in the United States court at Fort Smith to recover the penalty imposed 
by the statute, a suit invariably terminating without any practical re- 
sult. With each repetition the movement appears to acquire additional 
strength. From official reports made to the War Department and on 
file in this office, I learn that in the expedition which left Arkansas City
for the Oklahoma lands on the 1st February last there were about 250 
persons, principally from  Kansas and Missouri, including some 20 
women and children, with from 80 to 100 wagons filled w'ith provisions 
and forage sufficient to last them 30 or 40 days, and with tents, furniture,
agricultural implements, &c. They appeared in the main to be a well-
to-do, quiet set of farmers, and a different class of people from those who
had been engaged in previous similar enterprises, but they were all well
armed, mostly with Winchester rifles and carbines, and among them it 
was reported there was one man iroin Wichita, Kans., who had with 
him a full wagon-load or whisky and cigars, intending to open a saloon 
on arriving at their destination. 
Besides this party, there were other and smaller outfits which were 
discovered and heard of en route from Caldwell and Coffeyville, Kans., 
to join the main body. Those fron    Caldwell are stated to have bee  
with one or two exceptions persons without visible means of suppor k, 

Go up to Top of Page