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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1873
([1873])

[Choctaw and Chickasaw agency],   pp. 208-209 PDF (992.3 KB)


Page 208

208       REPORT OF COMMISSIONER          OF INDIAN     AFFAIRS. 
fear to disturb their title as at-present situated, lest it be construed
as involving such 
extinguishment ot title to a part of their lands, and thus the conditional
grants made 
to railroads be put into effect. This would entail great loss in their landed
interests. 
They have an imstinctive prejudice against sectionizing land, constantly
associating it 
with a territorialgovernment, and the introduction of a white population
to over- 
whelm. 
There are, however, some points on which the Cherokees desire legislation
by Con- 
gress. The first and roost important act which they desire is the unconditional
repeal 
of all acts granting lands in the Indian country to railroad companies, 
o take effect 
when the Indian title is extinguished. These grants the Cherokees regard
as unjust 
and unwarranted. They hold that the land was and is theirs, bought and paid
for, and 
held by patent, and that the Government had neither moral nor legal right
to give 
away, conditionally or otherwise. They, therefore, demand the immediate and
uncon- 
ditional repeal of the laws making such grants. Should a difficulty arise,
growing out 
of the repeal of these conditional land-grants, the Cherokees demand that
the Govern- 
ment settle that difficulty with the railroad companies in such a manner
as in no way 
to jeopardize or compromise the interests of the Tndians. They claim that
these con- 
ditional land-grants were made without their consent, and contrary to their
will, and 
that it is the duty of the Government to relieve them entirely of any complications
that may arise out of the condition of affairs brought about by these conditional
land- 
grants. They also desire such legislation as will secure to the Cherokees
the payment 
at an early day of a fair price for all lands west of the 960 west longitude,
upon which the 
Cherokees have agreed the United States may settle other Indians. The first
step 
toward getting the Cherokees to consent to the allotment of' their lands
in severalty, 
or to the adoption of the Ocmulgee constitutionm, or other change in their
government, 
is the repeal of all acts granting their lands to any parties whatever. This
I regard 
as a necessary condition; without this they will scarcely consider the questionof
allotment or change in their government. 
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
JOHN B. JONES, 
United States Agent for Cherokees. 
Hon. E. P. SMITH, 
Commissioner Indian Affairs. 
17. 
U. S. INDIAN AGENCY FOR CHOCTAWS AND CHICKASAWS, 
Boggy Depot, C. N.,. October 20, 1873. 
Sir: In compliance with your instructions, I submit the following as the
annual re- 
port of the condition of the Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians for the year 1873.
Because of the large extent of territory occupied by these nations-being
about three 
hundred miles east and west by one hundred and twenty north and south-it
has taken 
more time and labor than I expected to obtain the inclosed statistics. This
is the rea- 
son of the late date of my report: 
I have found, as my estimate shows, that the amount and kind of products
are quite 
different from those reported last year. The growth of cotton, wheat, barley,
and oats 
has largely increased. These nations have much more wealth and are making
more 
progress in agriculture than they have heretofore been accredited with. They
are 
opening new farms, building thousands of rods of fence, and preparing in
every way 
to extend their agriculture. They are not limitud, as formerly, to the crop
of corn, 
but are now raising cotton, wheat, barley, oats, &c., with good success.
There has not been much change in their educational systems or opportunities.
There are several more schools in each nation than reported last year. The
progress 
of the pupils has been in accordance with the character of the teachers.
The teachers 
are selected by the officers of the nations in all the schools except Spencer
Academy 
and New Hope Female Seminary of the Choctaw Nation. A large part of the teachers
of the other schools are unfit for their positions. The funds appropriated
by the Chick- 
asaw Nation are sufficient to support good schools, but through incompetency
of 
many of the teachers less progress is made than should be. The funds of the
Choctaw 
Nation are not so large; but much of theirs used in support of neighborhood
schools 
does little good, because they have poor teachers. A majority of the officers
appointed 
or elected to take charge of the schools and select the teachers are incompetent
for the 
duties of their offices', and hence poor teachers and poor schools. If there
were fewer 
schools, with educated teachers, selected, for instance, by some missionary
board, or 
other competent authority, there would be much more moral, religious, and
educa- 
tional progress in these nations. 
Much dissatisfaction has been expressed by the Choctaw iNation because the
con- 


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