United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1904, Part I
Reports concerning Indians in Indian territory, pp. 181-209 PDF (14.5 MB)
208 REPORTS CONCERNING INDIANS IN'INDIAN TERRITORY. there is evidently placed upon the vendor of improvements the burden of estab- lishing before the Commission, rather than myself, the facts referred to in said section. Correspondence.-The correspondence at this office has increased in volume during the past fiscal year. Every communication received is answered or referred to the proper officer for attention. The letters received average about 500 per day, and those sent out between six and seven hundred. Indian police.-The Indian police force at this agency is made up of 1 captain and 2 lieutenants, with 23 privates. The officers receive a salary of $15 per month and the privates $10 per month. The Indian police, acting under instructions, place allottees in possession of their allotments and remove therefrom objectionable persons; seize timber unlawfully cut; drive cattle unlawfully held in the Indian Territory therefrom; assist the deputy United States marshals, when requested to do so, in making arrests, and perform such other duties as may be required of them under law. Their services, considering their small pay, have been satisfactory. Railroads.-The constant increase in population and the general development of the Indian country has induced much railway building, and many new miles of rail- road have been constructed during the past fiscal year. Many of the older lines are constructing new and important branches, and many new and thriving towns are springing up. I have no data as to the number of lines that have been and are now being constructed, nor the number of new miles actually operated. Revenue. -Attention is respectfully invited to the report of the reivenue inspector for the Indian Territory, which is submitted as an appendix to mine. Conclusion.-I think it proper for me to express my thanks to your office and the Department in giving me cordial support in discharging the many difficult and ardu- ous duties of the agent at this agency. I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, Your obedient servant, J. BLAIR SHOENFELT, United Slates Indian Agent. The COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. REPORT OF REVENUE INSPECTOR FOR INDIAN' TERRITORY. MUSKOGEE, IND. T., August 6, 1901. SIR: I have the honor to submit herewith my report for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1904. The revenue inspector, prior to March 15, 1904, worked under the direction of the United States Indian inspector for the Indian Territory, but in a letter of that date the Secretary of the Interior said, among other things: "In view of the fact that the Indian policemen are under the control of the agent, it is considered advisable that he be especially charged with the duty of collecting the cattle tax in the Chickasaw and Choctaw nations, and that the revefnue inspectors be placed under his direction and control." Since the reception of the above-mentioned instructions the revenue inspector and the district revenue inspectors have been under the direction of the United States Indian agent. The nature of the taxes collected for the several nations, as well as their respective amounts, are as follows: Creek Nation.-There remainsqn this nation considerable unselected land very desirable for grazing purposes, and in order to utilize this for the benefit of the nation it has been provided that the same may be leased for grazing purposes at a rental of not less than 15 cents per acre. In practice it has been uniformly leased at the rate mentioned. These leases, or rather grazing permits, in no case extend beyond the current year within which they are granted, and of course in no way interfere with the selection of allotment by any citizen of the nation. The total amount of this tax or rent collected during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1904, was $11,361.85. This sum would doubtless have been increased but for the fact that the opening of high- ways frequently cuts the pasture into tracts too small to be utilized, and from the further fact that it has been found expedient in a number of instances to refuse to grant the use of the public domain where it could only be used in connection with allotments of citizens, the right to use which on the part of the cattle owner could not be-so shown. In other words, grazing permits have been refused in those cases where it was evident that to grant the same would probably work hardship and injury to allottees. The only other tax in the Creek Nation the collection of which falls within the duty of the reve- nue inspector is the Creek permit tax, which includes a merchandise and an occupation tax. Pur- suant to the direction of the honorable Secretary of the Interior, lists of persons subject to this tax were made during November, 1903, and notices demanding payment of the tax duly served. Upon petition by the merchants of the city of Muskogee to the Department, the collection of this tax was stayed or suspended until the decision of an action involving the legality of the tax, pending in the court of appeals for the Territory. This act-ion being still undecided, the matter remains in abeyance. Chickasaw Nation.-The only tax in this nation falling under the jurisdiction of the revenue inspector is the Chickasaw cattle tax. The law prescribing this tax was enacted by the Chickasaw national council May 3, 1902, and approved by the President of the United States on the 15th day of the same month. It requires all noncitizens of the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations to pay a permit tax of 25 cents per head on all cattle, horses, and mules, save minor exemptions, held by them within the limits of the Chickasaw Nation. To facilitate the collection of this tax, the nation has been divided into three districts, and the work of collecting the tax has been and is now being actively pressed in said districts by district revenue inspectors.
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