Letters, Telegrams, Petitions 122-130

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No. 122

Department of the Interior,
Washington, October 21, 1903.

The Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes.

Gentlemen: The Department is in receipt of your report of October 7, 1903, in pursuance of departmental letter of September 28, 1903, requesting a report relative to the charges made by Mr. R. C. Adams, representing the Delaware Indians, concerning the acceptance of applications by you after receipt of notice of the order of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia in the case of George Bullette et al. v. E. A. Hitchcock et al., and returning the communication of said Adams.

Your report was forwarded by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs on October 16, 1903, a copy of which is enclosed for your information.

Respectfully,
THOS. RYAN, Acting Secretary


No. 123

Department of the Interior,
Washington, October 21, 1903.

Mr. Richard C. Adams,
Bond Building, Washington, D. C.

Sir: The Department is in receipt of a report from the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes, dated October 7, 1903, upon your letter dated September 14, 1903, alleging that very great wrongs are being perpetrated upon the Delaware Indians in the Indian Territory, by reason of the failure of the United States to protect them in their treaty rights, specially charging that said Commission, after notice of the restraining order issued by the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia, “continued to receive selections and applications for allotments” upon lands alleged to have been segregated for the Delaware.

The Commission denies said allegation, and refers to its report of October 2, 1903, in which it was stated that a “mistake was made in checking over lands embraced in the Delaware segregation when certain applications were made, and through a mistake was signed and sent out. If there has been any other notice except the one sent to Mr. R. C. Adams himself, the Commission at this time is not aware, and certainly no attempt was made to evade the restraining order referred to by Mr. Adams in his letter, and no intentional violation was made of it by the Commission, as strict orders were given, immediately upon notice that said restraining order had been issued, that no action whatever should betaken by the Land Office regarding lands embraced within the Delaware segregation.

In view of the instructions given the Commission on October 6, 1903, a copy of which has been furnished you, it is not deemed necessary to comment further upon the report of the Commission.

Respectfully,
THOS. RYAN, Acting Secretary


No. 124
Telegram

October 2, 1903.

Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes,
Muscogee, Ind. T.

Notwithstanding the favorable decision of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia in the suit of Bullette and others against the Secretary of the Interior and others, your Commission should not, until further directed, receive or act upon applications for allotments in the Cherokee Nation. Letter will follow.

THOS. RYAN, Acting Secretary


No. 125

Department of the Interior,
Washington, October 3, 1903.

Commissioner of Indian Affairs

Sir: You are informed that the Department on October 2, 1903, sent a telegram to the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes, at Muscogee, Ind. T., as follows:

“Notwithstanding the favorable decision of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia in the suit of Bullette and others against the Secretary of the Interior and others, your Commission should not, until further directed, receive or act upon applications for allotments in the Cherokee Nation. Letter will follow.”

Respectfully,
THOS. RYAN, Acting Secretary


No. 126
Telegram

Muscogee, Ind. T., October 5, 1903.

Secretary of Interior, Washington, D. C:

By departmental telegram of October 2 the Commission is directed not to receive or act upon applications for allotments in the Cherokee Nation until further directed.

Please confirm by wire

BIXBY, Chairman


No. 127
Telegram

Washington, October 6, 1903.

Bixby, Chairman, Muscogee, Ind. T.:

Answering telegram 5th instant, departmental telegram 2d instant, concerning applications for Cherokee allotments. Is hereby confirmed. Explanation and full instructions mailed you this day.

THOS. RYAN, Acting Secretary


No. 128

Department of the Interior,
Washington, October 7, 1903.

The Commissioner of Indian Affairs

Sir: You are informed that the Department is in receipt of a telegram from Chairman Bixby, of the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes, dated October 5, 1903, as follows:

“By departmental telegram of October 2 the Commission is directed not to receive or act upon applications for allotments in the Cherokee Nation until further directed. Please confirm by wire.”

To which the Department telegraphed the following reply on the 6th instant:

“Answering telegram 5th instant, departmental telegram 2d instant, concerning applications for Cherokee allotments, is hereby confirmed. Explanation and full instructions mailed you this day.”

Respectfully,
THOS. RYAN, Acting Secretary


No. 129

Department of the Interior,
Washington, October 7, 1903

Commissioner of Indian Affairs.

Sir: There is enclosed herewith for your information copy of departmental letter of October 6, 1903, sent to the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes, relative to the segregation of lands in the Cherokee Nation for the Delaware Indians, and suspending all proceedings looking to the allotment of lands in the Cherokee Nation until such segregation shall have become effective.

Respectfully,
THOS. RYAN, Acting Secretary


No. 130

October 6, 1903.

The Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes,
Muscogee, Ind. T.

Gentlemen: Section 22 of the act of July 1, 1902 (32 Stat., 716, 718), entitled “An act to provide for the allotment of the lands of the Cherokee Nation, for the disposition of town sites therein, and for other purposes,” is as follows:

“Exclusive jurisdiction is hereby conferred upon the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes, under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, to determine all matters relative to the appraisement and the allotment of lands.”

Section 23 (pp. 718, 719) provides that

“Sec. 23. All Delaware Indians who are members of the Cherokee Nation shall take lands and share in the funds of the tribe, as their rights may be determined by the judgment of the Court of Claims, or by the Supreme Court if appealed, in the suit instituted therein by the Delaware against the Cherokee Nation, and now pending; but if said suit be not determined before said Commission is ready to begin the allotment of lands of the tribe as herein provided, the Commission shall cause to be segregated one hundred and fifty-seven thousand six hundred acres of land, including lands which have been selected and occupied by Delaware in conformity to the provisions of their agreement with the Cherokees dated April eighth, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, such lands so to remain, subject to disposition according to such judgment as may be rendered in said cause; and said Commission shall thereupon proceed to the allotment of the remaining lands of the tribe as aforesaid. Said Commission shall, when final judgment is rendered, allot lands to such Delaware in conformity to the terms of the judgment and their individual rights thereunder. Nothing in this act shall in any manner impair the rights of either party to said contract as the same may be finally determined by the court, or shall interfere with the holdings of the Delaware under their contract with the Cherokees of April eighth, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, until their rights under said contract are determined by the courts in their suit now pending against the Cherokees, and said suit shall be advanced on the dockets of said courts and determined at the earliest time practicable.”

The suit referred to in section 23 of the act was decided by the Court of Claims adversely to the Delaware on February 2, 1903, and was subsequently appealed by them to the Supreme Court of the United States, where it is now pending.

April 20, 1903, your Commission made a report of its action with respect to compliance with the provisions of said section 23, from which report it appears, among other things, as follows: That on December 16, 1902, there was filed with your Commission by Walter S. Logan, claiming to be the attorney for the Delaware Indians, a schedule of lands aggregating 157,600 acres selected by Delaware and claimed by them under the agreement of April 8, 1867, with the Cherokee Nation; that on December 17, 1902, by resolution, your chairman was instructed to “cause to be set aside and segregated 157,600 acres of land in the Cherokee Nation in accordance with the provisions of section 23 of the act of Congress approved July 1, 1902 ( Public, No. 241), subject to disposition according to such judgment as may be rendered in the case of the Delaware Indians v. The Cherokee Nation now pending in the United States Court of Claims and as shown by the description of said land” in the schedule referred to; that on January 1, 1903, your Commission opened the Cherokee allotment office at Vinita, Ind. T., and proceeded to the allotment of the remaining lands of the Cherokee tribe; that on January 23, 1903, your Commission received from Richard C. Adams, claiming to represent the Delaware Indians, an alleged corrected schedule of lands selected by them; that since January 1, 1903, a number of Cherokee citizens have made application for allotments of lands embraced wholly or in part in the aforesaid schedules, claiming to have been for years in the possession of the lands asked for and to own valuable improvements thereon, and that “no Delaware citizen has ever occupied such lands or owned any improvements thereon;” that a number of Delaware Indians, since the filing of said schedules and the opening of the allotment office, have made requests to be “allowed to make final selections of land containing their improvements and upon which they reside, claiming that no portion of the lands occupied by them is included within the said Delaware segregation;” that the Commission has been advised that there are “numerous other Delaware citizens whose improved lands are not included within the said segregation,” and “whose property rights are thus unprotected.” Your Commission states, among other things, that it believes that the lands embraced in said schedules “have not been selected with a due regard for the interests of either the Delaware citizens generally or other citizens of the Cherokee Nation.” The schedules of lands so selected by the Delaware Indians were not transmitted to nor formally approved by the Secretary of the Interior.

The act referred to above imposes upon your Commission the duty of investigating and determining what lands are subject to segregation, and your Commission can not substitute the judgment of the Delaware Indians, or any of them, or anyone acting for them, or any of them, for your own judgment in this matter. To be effective the segregation must be approved by the Secretary of the Interior, and pending such approval your Commission should not proceed to allot any of the lands in the Cherokee Nation. When the segregation is made and approved no application for allotment of any of the lands so segregated should be received by your Commission pending the determination of the suit in question.

It seems clear that the list or schedule of lands does not meet the requirement of the statute in that it does not include all the lands which have been selected and occupied by Delaware, and in that it does include lands which no Delaware has selected and occupied, but to which other Cherokee citizens have claims based upon alleged settlement and improvements thereon. You will, therefore, proceed at once to make such examination and investigation as will enable you to determine what tracts should be added to said list and what tracts now embraced therein should he excluded, care being taken to make the list cover the full quantity of land required to be segregated. You will as soon as possible report the results of such investigation, with suitable recommendations in the premises. In the meantime, and until the segregation shall have become effective, you will suspend all proceedings looking to the allotment of lands in the Cherokee Nation.

Very respectfully,
THOS. RYAN, Acting Secretary

 



MLA Source Citation:

Allotment of Lands to Delaware Indians, 58th Congress, 2nd Session, Senate, No.104, 1904 AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 19 December 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/letters-telegrams-petitions-122-130.htm - Last updated on Oct 7th, 2012


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