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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1855

Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs,   pp. [1]-21 PDF (9.4 MB)

Page 16

ence on the charity of the whites, or on depradations committed on 
their property. Humanity and policy require that provision should 
be made for them, and I therefore renew the suggestion heretofore 
made, that funds be placed at the disposal of the department to 
abate the nuisance complained of. 
Regulations, with accompanying forms for application, by Indians, 
for bounty land, under the act of March 3, 1855, were issued from 
this office in April last, copies of which are among the documents 
herewith. About eleven hundred and fifty applications have been 
presented here, under these regulations, and referred for the definite 
action of the commissioner of pensions, with the request that war- 
rants, when issued, be sent to this office for transmission through its 
local agents to the owners, without the intervention of agents or 
Measures have been recently instituted, with your approval, for 
carrying into effect the 6th clause of the 19th article of the Choc- 
taw treaty of 1830, for the benefit of the Choctaw orphans ; and the 
lands set apart for that purpose now remaining unsold, with those 
reverted and acquired, from previous sales, have been advertised to be 
sold in the month of December ensuing. Notice has also been given 
for the sale of the unsold Creek Indian reserves in Alabama, as pro- 
vided by the act of March 3, 1837. These sales are to take place in 
the Coosa land district, on the 26th December, and in the Tallapoosa 
district on the 9th January next. 
The policy of paying the annuities of Indian tribes in semi-annual 
instalments, which prevailed to a considerable extent at a former pe- 
riod, has, in certain cases, within two years past, been revived. Within
the central superintendency, where funds can, without much expense, 
be placed in the hands of the agents as required, and where the In- 
dians participating in the several payments are concentrated within a 
narrow range, this policy is believed to be eminently beneficial ; espe-
cially in eases where the amount of the annuity of the tribe is large, 
and the per capita of each individual is a considerable sum of money. 
Under treaties negotiated in 1854, large payments are required to 
be made to many of the tribes on the frontiers-within the Territories 
of Kansas and Nebraska; and, as respects some of them, this policy 
seems to be peculiarly fitting and appropriate. The Indians having 
acquired the right to locate separate tracts of land for individual 
homes, it seemed proper to afford to those who might desire, and to 
stimulate to the desire those who otherwise would not have it, facili- 
ties for making improvements on lands, and collecting about their 
family residences the comforts and conveniences of civilized life. By 
adopting semi-annual payment of the annuities, as the knowledge of 
a judicious manner of expending money for these objects has been 
acquired, funds would thus be placed in the hands of the Indians for use.
In case of a few of the treaties referred to, it was stipulated that 
the tribal annuity should be paid in a particular month of the 
year; but generally the whole.subject of the payment, as to time 
and manner, is left with the President. After due consideration and 
with a wise and hnmane purpose of so arranging the affairs of the 
tribes as. to promote the well-being of their people, the President has 

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