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)
99 REPORTS OF AGENTS IN INDIAN TERRITORY. INTRUDERS. 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. The 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. PAYNE. 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 Oklahoma, 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 plank 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 times before, were taken to Fort Smith, Ark., to be turned over to the United States author- 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 and 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. CRIMES. Congress having failed to enact laws making it a crime to steal coal and timber 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 among 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 more 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 (Io 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 have ample opportunity to escape. Matters will not improve until the number of marshals is increased, and appropriation made to pay a large police force of good men to be on duty all the time. CREEK MATTER. 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 notice. INDIAN POLICE. There is at this agency an Indian police force of forty men and three officers. This force is no longer an experiment, and is approved by the best men of the several nations, and is regarded as a great contribution to the expense of maintaining order in the country, where about.one-third of the people are citizens of the United States, over whom the courts of the nations can exercise no jurisdiction. CITIZENSHIP. 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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