Letters, Telegrams, Petitions 131-140

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No. 131

Department of the Interior
Washington, October 7, 1903.

Richard C. Adams,
Attorney at Law, Bond Building, Washington, D. C.

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. 132

Department of the Interior,
Washington, October 29, 1903.

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

Gentlemen: By letter of October 6, 1903, you were directed to make such examination and investigation as would enable you to determine what tracts of land should be added to the list of lands to be segregated for the protection of the Delaware Indians in the Cherokee Nation, and what tracts embraced in the list heretofore made out should be stricken therefrom. It is important that a final list should be made up and approved as soon as may be. It is equally important, however, that the interests of all concerned should be carefully respected and protected.

In order that the Department may have a better understanding of the condition of affairs, and to the end that speedy action may be taken when you shall submit a new list for action by the Department, these further instructions are given:

You will at your earliest convenience make up a list of the tracts embraced in the former list which, as shown by the records of your office, are claimed and occupied by Delaware Indians, and to which there are no adverse claims.

You will make another list, which shall embrace all tracts claimed by Delaware Indians but not included in the list heretofore presented to you. You will make a third list embracing the tracts included in the list heretofore presented to which some Cherokee citizen other than a Delaware makes claim. You will transmit with each of these lists a statement of the condition of the tracts embraced therein, as to the occupancy thereof and improvements thereon, so far as the same are known to you, and will also recommend what action should betaken by the Department upon each of such lists.

These instructions are not intended to supersede those of October 6, and you will therefore proceed upon any line of examination and investigation which may have been entered upon under those instructions.

Very respectfully,
E. A. HITCHCOCK, Secretary


No. 133

Department of the Interior,
Washington, October 30, 1903.

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

Sir: There is transmitted herewith for your information a copy of departmental letter, dated the 29th instant, and sent to the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes, instructing it further in the matter of the investigation now being carried on concerning segregated Delaware lands in the Cherokee Nation, Ind. T. Respectfully,

THOS. RYAN, Acting Secretary


No. 134

Washington, D. C, September 9, 1903.

The Secretary of the Interior, Washington, D C.

Sir: Ever since the Delaware Indians removed to the Cherokee Nation they have been imposed upon by the Cherokee in many ways. The Cherokee first denied the right of the Delaware to participate in the funds of the nation, whereupon the Delaware were compelled to appeal to your Department and to Congress, and finally to bring suit in the Court of Claims before their rights were enforced and before they were allowed to share in the per capita distribution of the Cherokee funds.

When the Dawes Commission began negotiations with the Cherokee the Cherokee denied the right of the Delaware to ownership of the 157,600 acres of land purchased by them under the agreement of 1867, and the Delaware were again forced to appeal to your Department and to Congress, and the matter is now pending in the Supreme Court of the United States.

In the meantime Congress provided, by section 25 of the Curtis Act and section 23 of the Cherokee allotment act, that the lands claimed by the Delaware should he segregated from the rest of the Cherokee domain and remain in possession of the Delaware until their rights were finally determined by the Supreme Court.

Shortly after the passage of the Curtis Act, on or about November 4, 1890, the Delaware petitioned the Dawes Commission, asking that the lands selected by them might be segregated so that their interests might not be infringed upon by designing Cherokee. The Dawes Commission, in their reply, expressed the opinion that there was no necessity of a segregation at that time.

On February 27, 1901, I requested the Department to instruct the Commission to segregate the lands selected by the Delaware. At the same time I filed with the Department several copies of maps showing in colors the lands claimed and selected by the Delaware. My letter was referred to the Commission for consideration and report, and it stated that “the lands of the Cherokee have been surveyed and a mere segregation of the lands claimed by the Delaware would involve no act on the part of the Commission other than a withholding (if the same from general allotment.” The Department concurred in this opinion, and so advised me in April 1901. On December 17, 1902 the Commission passed resolutions and segregated the lands claimed by the Delaware and advised the Delaware that the same would be withheld from allotment.

On January 1, 1903, the Commission began the allotment of the lands in the Cherokee Nation. In February the Commission experienced a change of heart and allowed certain Cherokee to make filings on the lands segregated for the Delaware. In March and April the filings became more numerous, and in May more than one hundred filings had been made on segregated lands. The Delaware petitioned against this outrage both to the Department and the Commission, but without avail. Finally, on June 2, 1903, the Delaware brought an injunction suit in the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia against the Commission and the Secretary of the Interior, and a restraining order was granted. Since this time upward of 27 selections have been made by Cherokees on the segregated lands, notwithstanding the restraining order. Complaint was made to your Department, and about July 21 the Department telegraphed to the Dawes Commission forbidding it to allow any more allotments to he made on the segregated lands. It seems, however, that the Commission is still disregarding the orders of the court and the Department and paying no attention to either, but is continuing to send out notices to Delaware, requiring them to contest within nine months the selections of Cherokees on the Delaware holdings, or be forever barred.

During the last few days I have received complaints from Delaware Indians stating that Cherokees who have made selections on their lands are now renting the same, and in some instances, where the lands are located near the railroad station, are selling town lots from said lands.

One of the complainants is James W. Gibson, a Delaware Indian, who holds 40 acres of land adjoining the town of Dewey. He says that one A. H. Norwood, who represents himself as the agent for a certain Cherokee woman, is now selling town lots on Gibson’s land.

I, myself, am in receipt of a letter signed by Tams Bixby, Commissioner in charge of the “Cherokee land office, dated August 3l, 1903, stating that James S. Fuller, of Fort Gibson, appeared before the Cherokee land office and claimed part of the lands on which I hold improvements and which are included in the segregated lands. This letter is similar to many sent out to various Delaware, but shows that the Commission considers all the applications made by Cherokees on segregated lands to be valid.

These Delaware are asking me, and I would like to know for my own information, whether or not your Department has the means and power to protect these people in their rights, and, if so, what further steps are necessary to procure such protection. It seems to me a most remarkable situation that with a restraining order issued by the supreme court of the District of Columbia in full force, and with such instructions as I am informed your Department has forwarded to the Dawes Commission, they should continue to act in open defiance and disregard of such order and instructions. It is certainly an outrage upon the Delaware, who have taken all the steps that seemed possible in their own behalf to protect themselves from these wrongs.

I respectfully request that the Department request the Indian agent to remove from Mr. Gibson’s land all persons objectionable to him, and likewise to instruct the Dawes Commission to notify all parties who have made selections on the segregated lands that said selections have been canceled, and that no contests will he heard and no filings made on the segregated lands until after the Supreme Court of the United States shall have determined the rights of the Delaware Indians thereto.

Very respectfully,
RICHARD C. ADAMS, Representing the Delaware Indians

Exhibit A

Department of the Interior,
Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes,
Tahlequah, Ind. T., August 31, 1903

R. C. Adams, Fort Gibson, Ind. T.

Dear Sir: On July 10, 1903, James S. Fuller, of Fort Gibson, Ind. T., appeared before the Cherokee land office at Tahlequah, Ind. T., and selected in allotment for his wife, Rosa L. Fuller, the S. ½ of the SW. ¼ of the NE. ¼ of sec. 1, T. 15 N., R. 19 E., of the Indian meridian, containing 20 acres. It appears that you also claim the above described tract of land or a part thereof.

Section 69 of the act of Congress, approved July 1, 1902 (Public No. 241), pro-vides as follows:

“Sec. 69. After the expiration of nine months after the date of the original selection of an allotment by or for any citizen of the Cherokee tribe, as provided in this act, no contest shall be instituted against such selection, and as early thereafter as practicable patent shall issue therefor.”

You are, therefore, hereby notified that you may appear at the Cherokee land office at any time within nine months after the date of said selection and make application for the above-described tract of land, or any part thereof claimed by you, and file contest therefor if you so desire.

Respectfully,
TAMS BIXBY,
Commissioner in Charge, Cherokee Land Office.


No. 135

Department of the Interior,
Washington, September 19, 1903.

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

Sir: The Department is in receipt of your communication of the 9th instant, protesting against the action of the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes in allowing Cherokee to the on segregated Delaware lands, and requesting the Department to instruct the Commission to notify all interested parties that such selections have been canceled, and that no contests will be heard in the matter until after the United States Supreme Court shall have determined the rights of the Delaware to the segregated lands.

You enclose a copy of a letter from the Commission to you, dated August 31, 1903, advising you that James S. Fuller has filed on land claimed by you.

You are informed that your communication, with said enclosure, has been referred to the Commission, with the request that a report be made in the matter.

Respectfully,
THOS. RYAN, Acting Secretary


No. 136

Department of the Interior,
Washington, September 19, 1903.

The Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes

Gentlemen: You are requested to make a report upon the enclosed communication of Mr. Richard C. Adams, dated September 9, 1903, protesting against the action of your Commission in allowing Cherokee to the on segregated Delaware lands, and requesting the Department to instruct you “to notify all parties who have made selections on the segregated lands that said selections have been canceled, and that allotment of lands to Delaware Indians, no contest will be heard and no filings made on the segregated lands until after the Supreme Court of the United States shall have determined the results of the Delaware Indians thereto.”

Mr. Adams unclosed a copy ni your letter of August 31, 1903, to him, advising that James S. Fuller, of Fort Gibson, Ind. T., had filed on land claimed by him. Said copy is also transmitted herewith.

Respectfully,
THOS. RYAN, Acting Secretary


No. 137

Department ok the Interior,
Office of Indian Affairs,
Washington, October 10, 1903.

The Secretary of the Interior

Sir: Referring to Department letter of September 19, 1903, transmitting to the Com-mission for report a communication from Richard C. Adams, dated September 9, protesting against the action of the Commission in allowing Cherokee to the on Delaware lands alleged to have been segregated, there is enclosed herewith a report from the Commission, dated October 2, 1903, concerning this communication.

The Commission says that no filings have been made upon any lands in the alleged Delaware segregation; that Cherokee claiming to own improvements on land within such segregation have been permitted to make out formal application for the selection of such lands, but that in no instances has such selection been approved or filed as a record by the Commission; that the notice which was sent to Mr. Adams by the Commission was sent through a mistake made in checking the land included within the alleged Delaware segregation, as is shown by the Commission’s letter of September 3, 1903, to the clerk in charge of the Cherokee land office at Tahlequah. The letter referred to by the Commission is as follows:

“There is herewith returned to you, notice to R. C. Adams, Fort Gibson, Ind. T., which was sent to this office for signature. The land described in said notice is embraced in the Delaware segregation and under the restraining order heretofore issued by the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia, we can take no steps whatever regarding land involved in this segregation.

“The notice is therefore returned to you with a request that hereafter, before sending out any notices of a similar nature, that your office make a careful examination of the land embraced in any proposed notice for the purpose of ascertaining if the same is embraced in this segregation.

“It is especially desired that no notices of any character affecting lands embraced in the Delaware segregation be sent out from the land office and, that no action whatever be taken affecting any of said land.”

The Commission also says that at the time the letter quoted was written to the land office, the office at Muscogee had received from the office at Tahlequah two notices to Mr. Adams, a copy of one of which Mr. Adams enclosed with this letter; that these notices were checked by clerks in the Muscogee office; that one of them was found to embrace land in the segregation; that the notice sent to Mr. Adams was not properly checked and was permitted to go out; that it was a mistake and should never have been sent out at that time. It is also stated that the office at Tahlequah was directed on October 2 to notify James S. Fuller that he will not be permitted to file upon the following described land, to wit, the S. ½ of the SW. ¼ of the NE. ¼, sec. 1, T. 15 N., R. 19 E., 20 acres, for the reason that it is within the alleged Delaware segregation, and that–

“It does not appear that Mr. Adams has lost any rights by reason of said notice being sent to him, nor would he have lost any rights had he remained quiet, for the mistake would have been caught at the land office later in checking up.”

It is noticed that the Commission states:

“No filings have been made upon any lands in the Delaware segregation so far, and that the Commission has only permitted Cherokee claiming to own improvements on land within this segregation to make out a formal application, but the same in no instance have ever been approved or filed as a record by the Commission.”

Section 6of the Cherokee agreement is as follows:

“The word select and its various applications, as applied to allotments and homesteads, shall be held to mean the formal application at the land office, to he established by the Dawes Commission for the Cherokee Nation, for particular tracts of land.”

This section of the Cherokee agreement is identical with section 6 of the Choctaw and Chickasaw supplemental agreement, and the Assistant Attorney-General, in his opinion of September 3, 1903, said:

“When a selection has been made, rights presumably vest.”

However, by Department letter of October 6, 1903, the Commission was directed to “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 be excluded, care being taken to make the list cover the full quantity of land to be segregated,” and report the same to the Department for consideration. All complaints can now be investigated and passed upon by the Commission and the Department upon their merits, and there is no reason why any land in the possession of the Delaware should not be included in the list, or why any land claimed by the Cherokee should be included therein.

In view of the Department’s instructions a discussion of the Commission’s report is believed to be unnecessary.

Very respectfully,
W. A. JONES, Commissioner


No. 138

Department ok the Interior,
Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes,
Muscogee, Ind. T., October 2, 1903.

The Secretary of the Interior

Sir: Receipt is acknowledged of departmental letter of September 19, 1903, in which the Commission is requested to report upon the enclosed communication of Mr. Richard C. Adams, dated September 9, protesting against the action of the Commission in allowing Cherokee to file on segregated Delaware lands and requesting the Department to instruct the Commission to notify all parties who have made selections on the segregated land that said selections have been canceled and no contests will be heard and no filings made on the segregated lands until after the Supreme Court of the United States shall have determined the rights of the Delaware Indians thereto. Also a copy of a letter from this Commission of August 31, 1903, to Mr. Adams, advising that James S. Fuller, of Fort Gibson, Ind. T., had filed on lands claimed by him.

In reply thereto, the Department is advised that no filings have been made upon any lands in the Delaware segregation so far, and that the Commission has only permitted Cherokee claiming to own improvements on land within this segregation to make out a formal application, but the same in no instance has ever been approved or filed as a record by the Commission.

Relative to the notice from the Commission which was sent to Mr. Adams, a copy of which was enclosed with the letter of Mr. Adams, this notice was sent out through a mistake made in checking the land included therein with the Delaware segregation, as is shown by a letter of the Commission under date of September 3, 1903, to the clerk in charge of the Cherokee land office at Tahlequah, Ind. T., Commissioner Breckinridge being at this place at that time. Said letter is as follows:

“There is herewith returned to you notice to R. C. Adams, Fort Gibson, Ind. T., which was sent to this office for signature. The land described in said notice is embraced in the Delaware segregation, and under the restraining order heretofore issued by the supreme court of the District of Columbia we can take no steps whatever regarding land involved in this segregation.

“The notice is therefore returned to you with a request that hereafter, before sending out any notices of a similar nature, that your office make a careful examination of the land embraced in any proposed notice for the purpose of ascertaining if the same is embraced in this segregation.

“It is especially desired that no notices of any character affecting lands embraced in the Delaware segregation be sent out from the land office and that no action whatever be taken affecting any of said land.”

At the time this letter was written to the land office the office at Muscogee had received from the office at Tahlequah two notices to Mr. Adams, a copy of one of which being Mr. Adams’s enclosure, and said notices were checked by clerks in this office and one of them was found to embrace land in the segregation, but the notice sent Mr. Adams was not properly checked and the notice was permitted to go out. It was a mistake and should never have gone out at that time.

The land office at Tahlequah has this day been directed to notify Mr. James S. Fuller that he will not be permitted to file upon this particular tract of land embraced in the notice complained of by Mr. Adams, for the reason that the same is within the Delaware segregation. It does not appear that Mr. Adams has lost any rights by reason of said notice being sent to him, nor would he have lost any rights had he remained quiet, for the mistake would have been caught at the land office later in checking up.

The letter of Mr. Adams and his enclosure to the Department are herewith returned.

Respectfully,
TAMS BIXBY, Chairman
(Through the Commissioner of Indian Affairs


No. 139

Department of the Interior,
Washington, October 17, 1903.

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

Sir: The Department is in receipt of a communication from the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, dated October 10, 1903, forwarding a report from the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes, dated October 2d, upon your letter of September 9th protesting against the action of the Commission in allowing Cherokees to the on lands listed for the Delaware Indians in the Cherokee Nation, which was referred to said Commission for report on September 19th, 1903.

The Commissioner closes his report by a quotation from departmental letter of October 6, 1903, directing the Dawes Commission to proceed to make an examination and investigation and report the list of tracts which should be segregated for the Delaware to the Department for consideration. The Commissioner states:

“All complaints can now be investigated and passed upon by the Commission and the Department upon their merits; and there is no reason why any land in the possession of the Delaware should not be included in the list, or why any land claimed by the Cherokees should be included therein.”

Respectfully
THOS RYAN, Acting Secretary


No. 140

Washington, D. C, October 6, 1903.

The Secretary of the Interior.

Dear Sir: Enclosed I hand you copy of letter I have this day forwarded to the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes. “We believe that we should be consulted as to each and every tract of land that is in the list of our selections presented to the Dawes Commission in December, 1902, which is disputed, and we believe we should have a complete hearing as to our rights thereto. If there is any tract to which we are not entitled, we are willing and ready to surrender our claims to it, but we believe we should have a fair hearing in every case.

Yours, truly,
RICHARD C. ADAMS


Washington D. C, October 6, 1903.

Gentlemen: The Secretary of the Interior has advised me in person that he has instructed your Commission to report as to what lands should be omitted from the Delaware segregation, and what lands should be included therein. I desire, on behalf of the Delaware Indians, to request that we be allowed to answer as to each particular tract that is in dispute; that the complete record of the same be made and transmitted with your report to the Secretary, before whom we can have a last chance to present our side of the case.

Please notify me immediately at what time and place the contest will begin.

Yours, truly,
RICHARD C. ADAMS

 



MLA Source Citation:

Allotment of Lands to Delaware Indians, 58th Congress, 2nd Session, Senate, No.104, 1904 AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 21 October 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/letters-telegrams-petitions-131-140.htm - Last updated on Oct 7th, 2012


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