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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1903, Part II
([1903])

Report of the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes,   pp. 1-190 ff. PDF (101.5 MB)


Page 7

COMMISSION TO THE FIVE CIVILIZED TRIBES.            7 
The work of determining the rightful citizens or heirs and of getting 
the properties into necessary shape for distribution was all indispensa-
ble preliminary work, and by far the greater part of the work to be 
done; but it has been finished with the exception of some nominal 
fractions delayed from special causes, and a very large part of the final
distribution has been made, all at a cost, including even the expense 
of the first five years of fruitless negotiation, of about 5 cents per acre.
The work remaining to be done is chiefly the unfinished allotting of 
the lands of the Cherokee and of the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes, 
those of the Creeks and Seminoles being practically disposed of. If 
our recommendations made elsewhere are adopted, the surplus lands 
of the Creeks will be sold by the Secretary of the interior without the 
aid of this Commission. 
The Cherokee land office has been allotting the lands of that tribe 
for six months, with interruptions by reason of the great floods during 
the spring of 1903, and the feilure of funds caused cessation of work 
during the month of June, except for three and a half days. The 
allotments, however, during the six months ending June 30 of the 
present year were 10,079 in number. This indicates that the people 
of that nation should all have their homes assigned to them by the 
end of the calendar year 1904, unless there is greater difficulty in locat-
ing the full bloods and poorer classes at the end than is experienced in
the earlier stages of the work, and if it is not retarded by injunctions
or other unavoidable interruptions; and it seems not unreasonable to 
expect that, upon the same line of reasoning, the entire work of the 
Territory will be disposed of, except such remnants as are incident to 
all large undertakings, involving protracted contentions, by the end 
of the fiscal year 1904-5. 
The same interests are opposed to the completion of this business 
that were opposed to its being commenced, and as the end draws near 
they pursue with redoubled energy the same tactics of obstruction, 
fault-finding, exaggeration, slander, and all manner of false state- 
ments, in order to confuse the situation,-muddy the waters, and 
embarrass, hinder, and-prevent the conclusion of the work. But 
every consideration of legitimate interest calls for the firm and consist-
ent maintenance of the past and present policy of the Government; 
and we only ask of Congress and the Administration, whose intruments 
we are, that before they heed these extraordinary statements, yet not 
more extraordinary than those of 1898, they hear both sides now as 
then, and we venture the assertion that inquiry will develop that they 
are false in substance, and are voiced only by men whom we have 
foiled, or are seeking to foil, in unlawful and predatory practices, or 
by the credulous and deluded followers of such men. 
LEGISLATION AND AGREEMENTS. 
Commenting upon the agreements pending before Congress or before 
the several tribes the Commission, in its ninth annual report, said: 
Should all these agreements be ratified by the tribes practically all necessary
authority will have been secured for the complete administration of the five
estates 
entrusted to the care of the Commission. 
The agreements referred to, being the supplemental agreement with 
the Creeks (Appendix No. 1, p. 98), the supplemental agreement with 
the Choctaws and Chickasaws (Appendix No. 1, p. 102), and the agree- 


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