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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 24

24      REPORTS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR. 
in violation of article 7 thereof and section 2139 of the Revised Statutes
as 
amended, and that, second, in any such case proceedings may be taken in pur-
suance of the authority conferred by section 2140 of the Revised Statutes,
and, 
if deemed advisable, criminal prosecutions may also be instituted under the
pro- 
visions of section 2139. 
The last year's experience only emphasizes anew the necessity, many 
times reported, of having funds that can be used to pay the legitimate 
expense of procuring evidence against parties who sell liquor to 
Indians. From several parts of the country have come requests for 
authority to employ detectives to procure such evidence, and the 
persons making the requests have said that the liquor sellers are so 
effectively organized and keep so constantly informed as to the 
movements of the United States officers that it is very hard for 
anyone connected with the Government service to obtain the evi- 
dence necessary to convict even parties who are known to be engaged 
in the liquor traffic among Indians. All these reports were referred 
to the Department with the request that they be submitted to the 
Department of Justice. The action taken by the Department of Jus- 
tice resulted in the conviction of several parties, and others were in 
jail and under indictment awaiting trial when the Supreme Court of 
the United States rendered its decision in what is known as the " Heff
case." 
Albert Heff had been convicted in the United States district court 
of Kansas of selling liquor to an allotted Indian in the town of Hor- 
ton, which was not on an Indian reservation, and had been sentenced 
to imprisonment in the county jail for a period of four months and to 
pay a fine of $200 and the costs of the prosecution. The court of 
appeals of the eighth circuit had previously decided the question 
involved  adversely to the contention    of Heff.   Therefore, Heff 
applied directly to the Supreme Court of the United States for a writ 
of habeas corpus, and the decision already referred to, rendered by 
that court on April 10, 1905, set the petitioner at liberty. 
The purport of the decision was published in the daily press, and 
the allotted Indians soon learned that they could obtain liquor as 
other people did. Reports began to pour in upon this Office from 
various agencies that the Indians were drinking to excess, and the 
agents and superintendents asked to be advised what they should now 
do in regard to the sale of liquor to allotted Indians in view of the 
decision in the Heff case. This question was submitted to the De- 
partment, and the Acting Attorney-General, on May 25, 1905, ren- 
dered an opinion from which the following extracts are taken: 
The scope of that decision is indicated in the following paragraph at the
close 
of the opinion: 
"We are of the opinion thatwhen the United States grants the privileges
of 
citizenship to an Indian, gives to him the benefit of and requires him to
be sub- 
ject to the laws, both civil and criminal, of the State, it places him outside
the 


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