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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1883
([1883])

Reports of agents in Indian territory,   pp. 60-90 PDF (14.9 MB)


Page 89

REPORTS OF AGENTS IN INDIAN TERRITORY. 
89 
with the assistance of the entire Army, could not comply with the treaties
made with 
these people "to remove and keep out intruders." These reservations
differ from those 
of the wild tribes in this respect. There, all white men on the reservation
are there by 
permission of the agent. At this agency, 2,000 whites are here by permission
of the 
treaty, and 16,000 who labor for the Indians, and have permits issued by
Indian author- 
ities, besides a constant stream of emigrants through the reservation in
all directions. 
The Indians are to blame for most of the intruders being here. They employ
white men 
without obtaining a permit from their own authorities, as the treaty and
their own 
laws require. The white man thus employed without a permit is an intruder
and 
liable to be so reported at any time. 
The last Congress having failed to provide a penalty for the return to the
reservation 
of those intruders who have been removed, the removal of intruders still
remains a 
farce. 
CITIZENSHIP. 
The question that has been so long before the Department as to whether the
Indian 
Nations or the Department shall determine who are entitled to citizenship
in these 
nations is in a fair way to settlement. Inspector Ward and Special Agent
Beede, hav- 
ing investigated the matter for several weeks here, bave made their report
to the 
honorable Secretary of the Interior. A decision cannot be made too soon,
as the un- 
settled condition of this matter is a source of annoyance to the nations
and claim- 
ants. Since this appointment of the Commission I have declined to investigate
claims 
to citizenship and grant protection papers to those who present a prima facie
case, as 
has been the regulation heretofore; and the authorities do not disturb claimants--all
waiting for the Department to determine what shall be done and who shall
do it. 
PER CAPITA PAYMENT. 
In 1832, when the Creeks were removed from Alabama, there were 573 orphan
chil- 
dren, and the United States set aside twenty sections of the lands taken
from the 
Creeks to be sold for their benefit as the President may direct. The lands
were sold 
and the money placed in the United States Treasury. After fifty years the
sum re- 
ceived for the lands, with interest, amounting to $315,995.06 was forwarded
to me to 
be paid to the orphans or their legal heirs. All except twenty-five of those
who were 
orphans in 1832 are dead. The money was paid to the orphans who were present,
and 
to the legal heirs of those who had died. At this payment, though thousands
had 
gathered to witness it, the best of order prevailed. The police were successful
in 
capturing a large amount of whisky intended for that market. This no doubt
con- 
tributed largely to keep things quiet. The claimants, in nearly every instance,
after 
paying their debts, took their money home with them. If the principal could
be 
paid during the year to the Delawares, to whom I pay annually about $50,000,
it 
would be better for them and for the service. 
LEASED LANDS. 
The Cherokees have collected tax frown cattle-men for grazing on lands known
as 
the " ICherokee strip," lying in the northwest corner of the Indian
Territory, for sev- 
eral years. Last year the sum received was over $40,000, and collected by
the Chero- 
kee authorities. In June last, at the extra session, the Cherokee council
leased the 
above-mentioned lands to a cattle company for a term of five years, at an
annual 
rental of $109,000. The company is entirely responsible, and, as they pay
the rent six 
months in advance, the action of the council was certainly wise. 
The unoccupied lands ceded by the Creeks to the United States are covered
with 
cattle, on which tax is paid to no one. The owners of these cattle, and those
who 
refuse to pay taxes to the Indian authorities, are violently opposed to leasing
Indian 
lands for grazing purposes, because, when the lands are leased, those occupying
them 
are compelled to pay for grazing or get out. There is no sense in permitting
hundreds 
of thousands of dollars to burn up every year, or go into the pockets of
a few cattle- 
owners, who will not pay a farthing for the feed, when it could be let to
the highest 
bidder and a large revenue realized. 
FREEDMEN. 
Under the treaty of 1866 provision was made for the Choctaw freedmen becoming
citizens of that nation, or for their removal. No action has been taken since
the 
making of the treaty, and the Freedmen have remained citizens of the United
States 
and residing and making improvements in the Choctaw Nation. They are not
sub- 
ject to the jurisdiction of the Indian courts, and dissatisfaction and complications
have arisen until the extra session of the Choctaw council was called in
June, and the 
Freedmen adopted on certain conditions, which, if accepted by them and approved
by 
Congress, will settle the matter forever. 


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