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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)

Page 208

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 
Correspondence.-The correspondence at this office has increased in volume
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
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
drive cattle unlawfully held in the Indian Territory therefrom; assist the
United States marshals, when requested to do so, in making arrests, and perform
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
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
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
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. 
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
The nature of the taxes collected for the several nations, as well as their
respective amounts, are as 
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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