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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])

Reports concerning Indians in Indian territory,   pp. 202-221 PDF (9.1 MB)


Page 218

218     REPORTS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR. 
and 885 were approved as to the agent's adverse report thereon. Of these
885 
applications, 165 have since been granted hearings, leaving 720 applications
upon which hearings are granted upon request of the petitioner. Of the 200
returned for further investigation, the directions of the Department have
been 
complied with as to a large per cent thereof, the others having all been
given 
opportunity to testify. 
The law requires that the findings of the United States Indian agent and
the 
approval of the Secretary of the Interior, removing the restrictions, "
shall be 
in writing and shall be recorded in the same manner as patents for lands
are 
recorded." In view of the different provisions of the various agreements
gov- 
erning the recording of patents to allotted lands in the Indian Territory
and the 
general recording act establishing districts and places of record for deeds
and 
other conveyances and instruments of writing, the question arose as to the
proper place to record the certificates removing restrictions. After consider-
ation by your office and the Department, instructions were given that the
law 
required such certificates to be recorded by the Commission to the Five Civi-
lized Tribes in the same manner that such Commission recorded patents to
these 
allotments; and, therefore, upon return of approved certificates they are
for- 
warded by the agent to the Commission (now Commissioner) for record, and
afterwards returned to this office for delivery to the allottee. 
CREEK LAND SALES-SEALED-BID SYSTEM. 
As mentioned heretofore, section 16 of the supplemental agreement with the
Creek Nation, ratified by act of June 30, 1902 (32 Stat. L., 500), authorizes
Creek citizens to sell their surplus allotments before the expiration of
the five- 
year alienation period, with the approval of the Secretary of the Interior.
The plan under which these sales may be made was adopted by the regula- 
tions of July 10, 1903, putting into effect the sealed-bid system. 
Citizens whose restrictions have not been removed, either by act of Congress
or special certificate approved by the Secretary of the Interior, and who
desire 
to sell a portion of their land not included in their homesteads, may petition
the Indian agent, who, if such action is considered expedient, posts and
adver- 
tises the land for sixty days and specifies the time at which sealed bids
received are to be opened. Each bid is required to be accompanied by a certi-
fied check, payable to the order of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, covering
20 per cent of the amount of such bid. 
As petitions are constantly being received, bids are opened upon different
tracts on Friday of each -week at 2 o'clock p. m., at the agency office at
Musko- 
gee. The opening is public, and the bids are announced to any interested
per- 
sons who care to be present. During the period that the land is being adver-
tised it is personally inspected by a land appraiser, who makes a written
report as to the value of the tract, which report is sealed and not opened
until 
the time of the opening of bids, and is not made public either before or
after 
said opening. 
No bids are accepted for less than the appraisement. If the allottee is will-
ing to accept the highest bid, equal to or above the appraisement, and it
is con- 
sidered advantageous to make the sale, the highest bid is accepted, subject
to 
departmental approval, the person making same being required to deposit a
certified check for remainder of purchase price. 
When a properly executed deed is presented, it is forwarded to the Com- 
missioner of Indian Affairs for approval, together with the original bids
and 
certified checks. Upon approval of the deed and its return with the checks,
which are indorsed payable to the Indian, the deed is delivered to the purchaser,
and prior to October 6, 1904, the checks were turned over to the allottee.
Upon 
the last-mentioned date, however, the regulations were amended, requiring,
except in cases where special authority is obtained from you upon the rec-
ommendation of the agent, that the full purchase price be deposited in a
Gov- 
ernment depository, subject to the check of the Indian when approved by the
agent in amounts of $10 per month or larger sums when specially authorized.
Subsequently, 'upon March 6, 1905, this regulation was changed to permit
the 
Indian to draw $50 per month, the same rule being continued with reference
to larger sums being paid him upon authority being granted therefor upon
the 
recommendation of this office. 
The following is the record showing the number of tracts, acreage, deeds
approved, and amount of money returned or paid out to Indians in connection
with these sales during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1905: 


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