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

Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs,   pp. 1-155 PDF (58.6 MB)


Page 21

COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
this whole region was Indian country and was occupied by Indians, but it
is 
claimed that the Indian title has since, either by treaties between the Indians
and the Government or as the result of acts of Congress permitting allotments
to be made, been extinguished, and that in respect to this particular tract
the 
title has been passed to a white man, and therefore it is no longer Indian
country. 
The Government claims that whether the title has been extinguished as to
this particular tract or not, that under the treaty with the Indians of the
Pillager and Mississippi Chippewa bands in 1855 the law in respect to the
introduction of liquor in this particular country remains, and that claim
is supported by the decision of the United States Supreme Court in the case
of United States v. Four Gallons of Whiskey (93 U. S., 198). Section 7 of
that treaty of 1855 provides.that "the laws which have been or may be
enacted 
by Congress regulating trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes are to
continue and be in force within the several reservations provided for herein;
and those portions of said laws which prohibit the introduction, manufacture,
use of, and traffic in ardent spirits, wines, or other liquors in the Indian
country 
shall continue and be in force, within the entire boundaries of the country
herein 
ceded to the United States, until otherwise provided by Congress." It
is conceded 
that the tract of land in question was included within this country to which
this 
particular treaty applies. It has been held by the Attorney-General, in Opinions
of Attorney-General (vol. 22, p. 232), that the phrase "Indian country'"
is a gen- 
eral phrase applying to the region which is occupied and inhabited by the
Indians, 
and that it may include a particular tract of land as to which the Indian
title 
has ceased if it is within the general or outside boundaries of that Indian
country; that the mere fact that the title to a particular small tract of
land 
has passed through the Government to a particular individual will not exclude
it from being part of the Indian country, although the tribal right to possession
as to that particular part has been extinguished. And with that holding I
am inclined to agree. It seems to me that the term " Indian country"
is a 
general term  which applies to a region that is generally occupied by the
Indians, although there may be a small tract or scattered tracts within its
boundaries wherein the Indian title has been extinguished. If in general
a 
tribal right of possession continues or it is in possession of the Indians
by allot- 
ment or otherwise, it remains, in my judgment, Indian country. 
The only difficulty that I find in relation to the question arises from the
amend- 
ment of January 30, 1897, which is an act providing specifically with reference
to the sale of intoxicating liquors to Indians and the bringing of intoxicating
liquor into the Indian country, and which makes guilty of a misdemeanor 
"any person who shall sell, give away, dispose of, exchange, or barter
any malt, 
spirituous, or vinous liquor of any kind whatsoever, or any essence, extract,
bit- 
ters, preparation, compound, composition, or any article whatsoever, under
any 
name, label, or brand, which produces intoxication, to any Indian to whom
allot- 
ment of land has been made while the title to the same shall be held in trust
by 
the Government, or to any Indian, a ward of the Government, under charge
of 
any Indian superintendent or agent, or any Indian, including mixed bloods,
over 
whom the Government, through its departments, exercises guardiaship, and
any person who shall introduce or attempt to introduce any malt, spirituous,
or vinous liquor, including beer, ale, and wine, or any ardent or intoxicating
liquor of any kind whatsoever into the Indian country, which term shall 
include any Indian allotment while the title to the same shall be held in
trust 
by the Government, or while the same shall remain inalienable by the allottee
without the consent of the United States." 
It is claimed on behalf of the petitioner that the last clause of the enactment
just quoted, to the effect that the term " Indian cohntry  * * * shall
include 
any Indian allotment while the title to the same shall be held in trust by
the 
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