Act of April 21, 1904

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33 Stat. L., 189

AN ACT Making appropriations for the current and contingent expenses of the Indian Department and for fulfilling treaty stipulations with various Indian tribes for the fiscal year ending June thirtieth, nineteen hundred and five, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the following sums be, and they are hereby, appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, for the purpose of paying the current and contingent expenses of the Indian Department, and in full compensation for all offices the salaries for which are specially provided for herein, for the service of the fiscal year ending June thirtieth, nineteen hundred and five, and for fulfilling treaty stipulations with various Indian tribes, namely:

To pay such contingent expenses of the Choctaw and Chickasaw citizenship court and such of its officers as the Secretary of the Interior may deem proper, and for rental of quarters, five thousand dollars, to be immediately available. And the unexpended balance of the appropriation for contingent expenses, as provided in the act of July first, nineteen hundred and two, of five thousand dollars remaining on the books of the Interior Department December thirty-first, nineteen hundred and three, amounting to one thousand one hundred and thirty-six dollars and twenty-five cents, to the credit of the Choctaw and Chickasaw citizenship court, is hereby re-appropriated for the necessary expenses of the said court until December thirty-first, nineteen hundred and four.

For one stenographer to each of the three judges of the Choctaw and Chickasaw citizenship court, appointed by them, respectively, at one hundred dollars per month each from March third to June thirtieth, nineteen hundred and three, one thousand one hundred and eighty dollars and sixty-five cents ; for traveling expenses and subsistence of said stenographers, the reporter, and the bailiff of said court, not to exceed three dollars per day each, one thousand five hundred dollars ; in all, two thousand six hundred and eighty dollars and sixty-five cents, to be immediately available.

For salaries of four commissioners appointed under acts of Congress approved March third, eighteen hundred and ninety-three, and March second, eighteen hundred and ninety-five, to negotiate with the Five Civilized Tribes in the Indian Territory, twenty thousand dollars, and said Commission shall conclude its work and terminate on or before the first day of July, nineteen hundred and five, and said Commission shall cease to exist on July first, nine teen hundred and five: Provided, That said Commission shall exercise all the powers heretofore conferred upon it by Congress:

And provided further, That the Secretary of the Interior is hereby granted authority to sell at public sale in tracts not exceeding one hundred and sixty acres to any one purchaser, under rules and regulations to be made by the Secretary of the Interior, the residue of land in the Creek Nation belonging to the Creek tribe of Indians, consisting of about five hundred thousand acres, and being the residue of lands left over after allotments of one hundred and sixty acres to each of said tribe.

And all the restrictions upon the alienation of lands of all allottees of either of the Five Civilized Tribes of Indians who are not of Indian blood, except minors, are, except as to homesteads, hereby removed, and all restrictions upon the alienation of all other allottees of said tribes, except minors, and except as to homesteads, may, with the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, be removed under such rules and regulations as the Secretary of the Interior may prescribe, upon application to the United States Indian agent at the Union Agency in charge of the Five Civilized Tribes, if said agent is satisfied upon a full investigation of each individual case that such removal of restrictions is for the best interest of said allottee. The finding of the United States Indian agent and the approval of the Secretary of the Interior shall be in writing and shall be recorded in the same manner as patents for lands are recorded.

Expenses of Commissioners and necessary expenses of employees; for clerical help, including secretary of the Commission and interpreters, two hundred and forty-two thousand two hundred and ninety-five dollars ; contingent expenses of the Commission, three thousand dollars:

Provided further, That this appropriation may be used by said Commission in the prosecution of all work to be done by or under its direction as required by law; in all, two hundred and sixty-five thousand two hundred and ninety-five dollars.

That no proceedings heretofore had with respect to allotments in the Cherokee Nation shall be held invalid on the ground that they were had before there was authority to begin the work of allotment in said nation:

Provided, That nothing herein shall be construed as validating any filings heretofore made on lands segregated for the Delaware Indians.

To complete the town-site appraisement and surveys in the Indian Territory under the provisions of the act of June twenty-eighth, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight, twenty-five thousand dollars:

Provided, That said work shall be completed on or before July first, nineteen hundred and five.

To carry out the provisions of section ten of the supplemental agreements with the Creek Nation, as ratified by the act of June thirtieth, nineteen hundred and two, and section thirty-seven of the Cherokee agreements as ratified by the act of July first, nineteen hundred and two, ten thousand dollars.

For the purpose of placing allottees in the Indian Territory in possession of their allotments, to be expended under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, thirty thousand dollars:

Provided, That no portion of the money herein appropriated for the Indian Territory shall be paid to any person in the service of the United States until such person shall make oath that he has no financial interest with any person or corporation dealing in Indian lands in the Indian Territory.

That the Delaware-Cherokee citizens who have made improvements, or are in rightful possession of such improvements, in the Cherokee Nation at the time of the passage of this act shall have the right to first select from said improved lands their allotments, and thereafter, for a period of six months, shall have the right to sell the improvements upon their surplus holdings of lands to other citizens of the Cherokee Nation entitled to select allotments at a valuation to be approved by an official to be designated by the President for that purpose; and the vendor shall have a lien upon the rents and profits of the land on which the improvements are located for the purchase money remaining unpaid; and the vendor shall have the right to enforce such lien in any court of competent jurisdiction. The vendor may, however, elect to take and retain the possession of the land at a fair cash rental, to be approved by the official so as aforesaid designated, until such rental shall be sufficient to satisfy the unpaid purchase price, and when the purchase price is fully paid he shall forthwith deliver possession of the land to the purchaser:

Provided, however, That any crops then growing on the land shall be and remain the property of the vendor, and he may have access to the land so long as may be necessary to cultivate and gather such growing crops. Any such purchaser shall, without unreasonable delay, apply to select as an allotment the land upon which the improvements purchased by him are located, and shall submit with his application satisfactory proof that he has in good faith purchased such improvements.

That the Secretary of the Interior be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed, upon the sale of lands in Indian Territory covered by coal and asphalt leases, to sell such lands subject to the right of the lessee to use so much of the surface as may be needed for coke ovens, miners houses, store and supply buildings, and such other structures as are generally used in the production and shipment of coal and coke. Lessees may use the tipples and underground workings located on any lease in the production of coal and coke from adjoining leases, and are hereby authorized to surrender leased premises to the owner thereof on giving sixty days notice in writing to such owner and paying all charges and royalties clue to the date of surrender:

Provided, however, That nothing herein contained shall release the lessee from the payment of the stipulated royalty so long as such lessee remains in possession of any of the surface of the lands included in his lease for any purpose whatever: And provided. That any lessee may remove or dispose of any machinery, tools, or equipment the lessee may have upon the leased lands.

That the act entitled “An act to refer to the Court of Claims certain claims of the Shawnee and Delaware Indians and the freedmen of the Cherokee Nation, and for other purposes,” approved October first, eighteen hundred and ninety, he, and the same is hereby, amended so as to confer upon the Court of Claims the same jurisdiction to determine the claims and rights of those alleged citizens of the Cherokee Nation known as intermarried whites as is therein conferred upon said court relative to the rights and claims of the Shawnee and Delaware Indians and the freedmen of said Cherokee Nation, and said case shall be advanced on the calendar of said Court of Claims and the calendar of the Supreme Court, if the same is appealed. Said court in said judgment shall fix the amount due the attorney or attorneys of record for their legal services, not exceeding the amount stipulated by the contracts between said claimants and said attorneys, and shall in said judgment direct that the ac counting officers of the United States shall deduct from the amount due each claimant the attorney fee allowed in said judgment and pay the same directly to said attorneys and shall pay the balance to the claimants.

That the claim of J. Hale Sypher against the Choctaw Nation, for legal and professional services rendered by him to said nation, under an agreement made and entered into between the legally authorized commissioners of said nation and said Sypher on the seventh day of November, eighteen hundred and ninety-one, is hereby referred to the Court of Claims for adjudication ; and jurisdiction is hereby conferred upon said court to hear and determine said claim upon the principles of a quantum meruit and without regard to the provisions and requirements of section twenty-one hundred and three of the Revised Statutes ; and the said court shall ascertain and determine the character, extent, and value of the services rendered by said Sypher to said nation under said agreement ; and the court, having ascertained and determined the amount justly and equitably due and payable from said nation to said Sypher for services rendered by him under said agreement, shall report their findings to the next session of Congress.

All un-leased lands which are by section fifty-nine of an act entitled “An act to ratify and confirm an agreement with the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes of Indians, and for other purposes,” approved July first, nineteen hundred and two, directed to “be sold at public auction for cash,” and all other un-leased lands and deposits of like character in said nations segregated under any act of Congress, shall, instead, be sold under direction of the Secretary of the Interior in tracts not exceeding nine hundred and sixty acres to each person, after due advertisement, upon sealed proposals, under regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary of the Interior and approved by the President, with authority to reject any or all proposals:

Provided, That the President shall appoint a commission of three persons, one on the recommendation of the principal chief of the Choctaw Nation, who shall be a Choctaw by blood, and one upon the recommendation of the governor of the Chickasaw Nation, who shall be a Chickasaw by blood, which commission shall have a right to be present at the time of the opening of bids and be heard in relation to the acceptance or rejection thereof.

All expenses, inclusive of necessary clerical help in the Department of the Interior, connected with and incident to such sale shall be paid from the funds of the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes on deposit in the Treasury of the United States: Provided, That all leased lands shall be withheld from sale until the further direction of Congress.



MLA Source Citation:

United States. Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes. Laws, Decisions and Regulations Affecting the work of the Commissioners to Five Civilized Tribes, 1893-1906. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1906. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 23 July 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/act-of-april-21-1904.htm - Last updated on Mar 28th, 2013


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