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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1905, Part I

Report of the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes,   pp. 579-640 PDF (26.6 MB)

Page 579

MUSKOGEE, IND. T., June 30, 1905. 
SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith the annual report of the 
Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes for the fiscal year ended 
June 30, 1905. 
It was estimated in March, 1904, that the Commission would prac- 
tically finished the work of administering upon the estates of the Five 
Civilized Tribes by July 1, 1905. This estimate of course did not 
include such fractions of work as would necessarily be carried over by 
operation of law; it presumed no interruptions of the work by judi- 
cial proceedings, and it did not contemplate the adoption of new 
undertakings by Congress. 
In accordance with the foregoing, Congress gave the Commission 
the appropriation it asked for, required the work to be finished within 
the time named, and limited the existence of the Commission to July 
1, 1905. 
Immediately after this legislation had been formulated Congress 
made extensive additions to the duties of the Commission. It did not, 
however, increase the appropriation or lengthen the time for the com- 
pletion of the work. It reopened the Delaware claims, which had 
been settled by the Supreme Court, and there devolved upon the Com- 
mission the adjudication of numerous individual rights under the new 
law. It also reopened the rolls of the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, 
and Seminole nations to provide allotments for newly born children. 
The Commission called attention to these features in its report of 
June 30, 1904, but it asked for nothing additional. It addressed 
itself to the task of devising new sources of economy and efficiency. 
The well-linown state of the public revenue, apart from other consid- 
erations, admonished such a course; and we have the satisfaction of 
showing, as is done in detail in this report, that we have been able to 
make good the expectation that was entertained. More has been done 
than we thought we should be able to do, and the remaining work is 
brought to a condition where, to finish the remnants which are left 
and to await the slow and uncertain determination of what is held 
up by judicial proceedings, the service of one man, with a reduced 
and diminishing corps of clerks, alone is necessary. 
Congress authorized the beginning of the allotment of th~e lands 
of these tribes to the individual citizens of the tribes, in 1898. when 
the Curtis bill was passed. That was the beginning not only of the 
allotment of the land, or rather the preparatory work therefor, but 
also of the effacement of the tribal governments. The primary cause 
Of this step was the incapacity of the tribes for self-government. 

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