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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1884

Reports of agents in Indian territory,   pp. 70-100 PDF (15.3 MB)

Page 99

The number of intruders is increasing rapidly, and there being practically
no law 
to punish for intrusion, it is only a question of time when they will control
the coun- 
try. The removal of intruders by the troops is a farce of the first water.
When com- 
Rlaint is made by the Indian authorities of the presence of intruders, the
military is 
called upon at once to remove the intruders beyond the limits of this agency.
troops go to the locality, and if the intruder has not stepped into the woods
and out 
of sight for a day or two, they arrest and escort him to the State line,
and turn him 
loose. The intruder takes one or two breaths of State air, and returns to
the Terri- 
tory and the place from whence the troops took him. 
E. L. Payne, and his followers, to the number of about 800, made their regular
semi-annual settlement on the lands not occupied by the tribes, known as
and the Cherokee "Strip," in the northwestern part of the Territory.
I called on the 
military to remove them. The town of Rock Falls consisted of a few rough
houses and soimme tents; it was destroyed, and the boomers removed across
the State 
line of Kansas. Payne and a few of the leaders who had been removed several
before, were taken to Fort Smith, Ark., to be turned over to the United States
ities for trial. Here again the question of jurisdicton comes up, and at
this writing 
it is not determined whether he should be tried at Fort Smith, Ark., Fort
Scott, Kans., 
Wichita, Kans., or Graham, Tex. It makes little difference where they are
tried, the 
result will be they will be fined $1,000 each, and will inform the court
that they are 
dead broke. The court can only turn them loose as it had done before. Payne
his crowd will he intruding again on the same land within six months. Until
a law 
shall be enacted to punish by imprisonment for return to the reservation,
after hav- 
ing been removed, it will be a physical impossibility to comply with the
treaties to 
"remove and keep out all intruders" from an agency half as large
as the State of 
New York, with a population of 100,000. 
Congress having failed to enact laws making it a crime to steal coal and
from the reservation of the five civilized tribes, large quantities are removed
by cit- 
izens of adjoining States, for which they pay nothing. This creates ill feeling
the Indians toward the whites, resulting in some shooting affairs. Whisky
is the 
cause of three-fourths of the murders in the Territory, and as the number
of intruders 
and bad characters increase from year to year, the supply of bad whisky is
plentiful. It comes into the Territory from all directions, by wagons, pack-horses,
railroads, and express, and in all shapes and quantities. The profit in the
traffic is 
so enormous that parties will take all chances. The Indian police and marshals
all that can be done, and arrest hundreds, who are sent to the penitentiary,
but the 
country is so large and so munch of it unoccupied that the whisky peddlers
ample opportunity to escape. Matters will not improve until the number of
is increased, and appropriation made to pay a large police force of good
men to be on 
duty all the time. 
In the contested election case in the Creek Nation, the decision by the Department
that Perryman was elected chief, seems to have settled the disturbance, and
is ac- 
quiesced in by all parties. The state of affairs is such, and those in power
in the nation 
so utterly helpless, that a few designing men can inaugurate a rebellion
on short 
There is at this agency an Indian police force of forty men and three officers.
force is no longer an experiment, and is approved by the best men of the
nations, and is regarded as a great contribution to the expense of maintaining
in the country, where of the people are citizens of the United
over whom the courts of the nations can exercise no jurisdiction. 
The question of citizenship in these nations that has for a long time been
before the 
Department, as to whether the Indian nations or the Department, shall determine
who are entitled to citizenship in these nations, is one of great importance.
A de- 
cision cannot be made too soon, and the Unsettled condition of this matter
is a 
source of annoyance both to the nations and the claimants. 

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