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Letters, Telegrams, Petitions No. 91-100

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No. 91

Department of the Interior,
Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes,
Muskogee, Ind. T., June 9, 1903

The Secretary of the Interior

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith a report of the operations of the Commission during the month of May. The report is in duplicate, one copy for the Office of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and one for your Office, as required by the Department.

Attention is called to the fact that, owing to the absence of Commissioner Needles on leave of absence, and the absence of Chairman Bixby at Washington, this report is at present signed only by Commissioner Stanley and myself. It is considered possible that Mr. Bixby can concur in the report at Washington, and he is currently advised of its being forwarded. In any event, it is deemed more in consonance with the Department’s wishes to send the report, even in its partial form, than to delay any account beyond the period of receipt known to be desired by the Department.

Also attention is called to the inability at this time of embracing in the report a statement of the land contest work for the month of May. The records of this division are of such a character that, on account of the enforced suspension of work on the 3rd instant, the clerk in charge of the docket is unable to make up a summary until July 1, when the records at various offices will be accessible and the various clerks will return to work.

Submitting the foregoing, I am.

Respectfully,
C. R. Breckinridge, Commissioner in Charge


No. 92

Department of the Interior,
Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes,
Muskogee, Ind. T., June 9, 1903.

The Secretary of the Interior

Sir: We have the honor to submit herewith the following statement of the work of the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes for the month of May 1903.

Cherokee Allotment Division

Approximately 1,500 tickets of admission to the Cherokee land office were issued, making a total of 8,500 tickets issued to date. Of this number, approximately 3,500 tickets have been presented at the land office.

Five hundred and forty citizenship certificates embracing 1,156 applicants and 220 reservation certificates, embracing 349 applicants, were issued during the month.

Applications for 1,822 allotments and homesteads were received during the month. Of this number 1,269 were approved. The approval of 402 was withheld because the enrollment of the applicants as citizens of the Cherokee Nation had not been finally approved by the Secretary of the Interior; 113 because the land applied for land already been allotted, and 38 because the land applied for was embraced in the 157,600 acres of land which the Commission caused to be segregated to the Delaware Indians.

During the month there were allotted to the citizens of the Cherokee Nation 130,264.52 acres of land, valued at $412,235.95.

Respectfully submitted.
____________ _________ Chairman
____________ _________Commissioner
C. R. BRECKINRIDGE, Commissioner
W. E. STANLEY, Commissioner
(Through the Commissioner of Indian Affairs.)


No. 93

Department of the Interior,
Washington, Jane 22, 1903.

The Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes

Gentlemen: The Department is in receipt of Commissioner Breckinridge’s communication of the 9th instant, transmitting therewith “report of the operations of the Commission during the month of May, 1903. Said report is approved and there is enclosed herewith copy of the letter of transmittal of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, recommending its approval and reporting the number of citizenship cases now pending in his office.

Respectfully,
E. A. HITCHCOCK, Secretary.


No. 94

Department of the Interior,
Office of Indian Affairs,
Washington, July 20, 1903.

The Secretary of the Interior.

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith a report from Inspector Wright dated July 9, 1903, transmitting a report from Agent Shoenfelt dated May 25, 1903, forwarding a communication from Richard C. Adams dated May 14, 1903, inclosing a copy of a resolution passed by the Delaware council on May 12, 1903, asking that the Delaware citizens be placed in the possession of lands set aside for them in the Cherokee Nation.

The inspector invites attention to section 21 of the Cherokee agreement, and states that he does not understand that the Delaware lands have been allotted, and that action can not therefore be taken by the Indian agent under the provisions of section 21 of the agreement.

He further states that if the lands referred to have been finally segregated for the Delaware Indians, and if the same will be allotted to them regardless of the outcome of the pending suit, it would seem that the Delaware Indians should be placed in the possession of their land, and he submits the matter for consideration with recommendation that the Indian agent be instructed to remove objectionable persons from the lands mentioned, if the Department shall consider it proper to issue such instructions. The matter relating to the segregation of Delaware lands is now pending before the supreme court of the District of Columbia, and the Office is not advised whether the Department holds that the Delaware land has or has not been segregated, neither does the Office understand that allotment certificates have been issued by the Commission for any of the Delaware lands covering the alleged segregation, and the Indian agent it seems under the law is without authority to place a citizen in possession of lands until such time as the allotment certificate shall have been issued.

Very respectfully, W. A. Jones, Commissioner


No. 95

Department of the Interior,
Muskogee, Ind. T., July 9, 1903.

The Secretary of the Interior

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith a communication from the United States Indian agent at Union Agency, dated May 25, 1903, with which he submits a communication from Mr. Richard C. Adams, inclosing a copy of a resolution passed by the Delaware Indians in council assembled at Dewey, Ind. T., on May 12 last, in which request is made for the removal of all persons other than Delaware Indians, or descendants of such Indians, from the lands segregated for the use of Delaware in the Cherokee Nation.

Section 21 of the act of July 1, 1902 (32 Stat. L., 716), provides:

“Allotment certificates issued by the Dawes Commission shall be conclusive evidence of the right of an allottee to the tract of land described therein, and the United States Indian agent for the Union Agency shall, under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, upon the application of the allottee, place him in possession of his allotment, and shall remove therefrom all persons objectionable to him, and the acts of the Indian agent hereunder shall not be controlled by the writ or process of any court.”

It is not understood, however, that the Delaware lands have in any sense been allotted, and therefore action could not be taken by the Indian agent under the provisions of the section above quoted, but if these lands have been finally segregated for the Delaware Indians, and will eventually be allotted to them, notwithstanding the outcome of the suit which is pending, it would appear that the Delaware should be placed in possession of their land, and I therefore respectfully submit the matter for the consideration of the Department, with the recommendation that if it is considered proper and there is authority for such action, the United States Indian agent be instructed to remove objectionable persons from these lands. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. GEO. WRIGHT, United States Indian Inspector for Indian Territory


No. 96

Department of the Interior,
United States Indian Service,
Union Agency, Muscogee, Ind. T., May 25, 1903.

Hon. J. W. Zevely,

Acting United States Indian Inspector. Sir: There is respectfully enclosed herewith a letter, dated the 14th instant, from Mr. Richard C. Adams, inclosing a copy of a resolution passed by the Delaware Indians on May 12, 1903, asking that they be placed in possession of land which has been set aside to them in the Cherokee Nation.

In as much as this land has not been allotted and no certificates issued, I transmit the papers with the request that the Department be asked for instructions in the matter.

Very respectfully,
J. BLAIR SHOENFELT,
United States Indian Agent.


No. 97

Kansas City, Mo., May 14, 1903.

Hon. James Blair Schoenfelt,
United States Indian Agent, Muscogee, Ind. T.

Dear Sir: Enclosed you will find resolutions passed by the Delaware Indians in council assembled at Dewey, Ind. T., on the 12th day of May, 1903.

The Delaware Indians believe that they have a right to claim your protection against other persons infringing or intruding on the lands segregated under authority of the act of Congress approved July 1, 1902, and ratified by the Cherokees August 7, 1902, that said lands were segregated for the special benefit of the Delaware Indians and were ordered to so remain, and that the act of Congress above referred to did, by section 23, guarantee to the Delaware Indians the rigid to occupy said lands unmolested by any source whatsoever. Trusting that you will take steps to protect the interests of the Delaware,

I am. Sincerely, yours,
Richard C. Adams
Address reply to my office address, Bond Building, Washington, D. C.


Whereas under the treaty of July 1, 1866, between the United States and the Delaware Indians the United States agreed to acquire and to convey to the Delaware a tract of land which should be equal to 160 acres “for each man, woman, and child who shall remove to said country,” which said lands were subsequently so purchased and paid for by the Delaware at a price thereafter agreed on; and

Whereas by the fifth article of said treaty of 1866 it was provided that “the United States guarantee to the said Delaware peaceable possession of their new homes herein provided to be selected for them in the Indian country and protection from hostile Indians and internal strife and civil war,” etc.; and

Whereas under the provisions of section 23 of the act of Congress entitled “An act to provide for the allotment of the lands of the Cherokee Nation,” etc., approved July 1, 1902, it was provided that in case the suit of the Delaware against the Cherokee Nation should not be determined by the time the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes should be ready to begin the allotment of lands in the Cherokee Nation, that in that case said Commission should “cause to be segregated 157,600 acres of land, including lands which have been selected and occupied by Delaware,” etc.; and

Whereas said suit of the Delaware Indians against the Cherokee Nation is still pending and undetermined in the Supreme Court of the United States; and

Whereas the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes has heretofore segregated the 157,600 acres of land above referred to, which has been designated upon maps duly filed with said Commission, in conformity with the direction and wishes of the Delaware; and

Whereas under section 21 of the act of July 1, 1902, above referred to, upon application of the beneficiaries, under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, the United States Indian agent for the Union Agency is required to place the Indians in possession of their lands and to remove there from all persons objectionable to them; and

Whereas, notwithstanding the guarantees of the United States hereinbefore recited, and notwithstanding the fact that the lands purchased by the Delaware have been segregated and set aside as in the act of July 1, 1902, directed, numerous persons not Delaware by blood or descendants of Delaware Indians, and not having authority from said Indians, have taken possession of certain portions of the lands so segregated and are attempting to hold the same against the wishes of the Delaware Indians: Therefore be it

Resolved by the Delaware Indians in general council assembled, That the Secretary of the Interior and the United States Indian agent for the Union Agency are hereby requested to immediately remove from the lands segregated for the use of the Delaware all persons who are not Delaware Indians or descendants of Delaware Indians, or who are not occupying or holding said lands under the authority of Delaware Indians or descendants of Delaware Indians, and place such lands in possession of the Delaware Indians claiming the same, in compliance with the treaties and acts of Congress hereinbefore mentioned, and in justice to the rights of the Delaware Indians.

Adopted May 12, 1903.

STEPHEN A. MILLER, Chairman.
EDWARD D. YOUNG, Secretary


No. 98

Washington, D. C, July 18, 1903.

Hon. Thomas Ryan,
First Assistant Secretary Interior, Washington, D. C.

My Dear Sir: In the case of Bullette and others against the Dawes Commission and the Secretary, the preliminary injunction restrains the Dawes Commission during the pendency of the suit “from entering or receiving any applications for allotment of said segregated lands, from entertaining or considering any contests in relation to such application, from holding or determining that the statute of limitations referred to in subdivision, 3 has any application to any Delaware Indian by virtue of any application heretofore filed, or from taking any steps looking to or preliminary to the allotment of said segregated lands, or from committing any of the illegal acts set forth in the bill of complaint.”

We were informed immediately after the reopening of the land office at Tahlequah that the Dawes Commission had, in violation of the above restraining order, proceeded to receive filings from Cherokees upon lands within the segregated limits, and that they were placing such applications on file just as they had previously done. We immediately telegraphed to Mr. T. B. Woodward, an attorney at Dewey, Ind. T., directing him to proceed to Tahlequah and ascertain the facts. We also wired Mr. K. S. Murchison, an attorney at Tahlequah, to ascertain the facts and report to us by wire, and also to make an affidavit as to the present situation. We also communicated with a representative of the Indian Rights Association, whom we understood to be in the Territory, for such information as he might possess concerning this matter. We received from Mr. Murchison the following telegram:

Tahlequah, Ind. T., July 14, 1903
RICHARD C. ADAMS, Bond Building, Washington
Thirteen applications have been made during July.

K. S. MURCHISON


Also the following:

“Tahlequah, My 15, 1903. ”

Richard C. Adams,
Bond Building, Washington

“When Cherokee applicants claim improvements on land, permitted to file subject to suit.
“K. S. MURCHISON


On the 18th we received a telegram from Mr. Woodward, as follows:

“Dewey, Ind. T., July 18, 1903. ”

Richard C. Adams,
Bond Building, Washington:

“Have been to Tahlequah. Cherokees filing on any Delaware lands. Registered Delaware can’t file.

“T. B. Woodward.”


We also received, on yesterday evening (18th), a note from Mr. Brosius, in response to our inquiry, dated at Vinita, July 15, in which he says:

“I notice the latest order of the D. Commission, as to filing on Delaware segregated lands, if not occupied by Delaware.

“S. M. Brosius.”


On the 17th of July, Mr. R. C. Adams received a notification from the Dawes Com-mission, signed by C. R. Breckinridge, commissioner in charge of the Cherokee land office, notifying Mr. Adams that certain lands therein described, near Fort Gibson, and within the Cherokee segregation, were filed upon, on May 25, by one James S. Fuller, and notifying Adams as follows:

“You are, therefore, hereby notified that you may appear at the Cherokee land office at any time within nine months after May 26th, 1903, 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, C. R. Breckinridge,
Commissioner in charge of Cherokee Land Office.

Note. The land last-above described is not only a part of Delaware segregation, but is claimed by Mr. Adams as his selection, the improvements thereon having been purchased by him from this same James S. Fuller, to whom he paid $1,000 in cash, the deed being on file in the register’s office in the Cherokee Nation in accordance with the Cherokee law, all of which facts are well known to the Dawes Commission. While the filing was made before the restraining order was issued, this notice was served afterwards, showing that the Commission is going right along as if no order had been passed.

I will gladly hand you the originals of all the above for examination if you desire them. I have not attached them, because I desire to call the attention of Judge Anderson to them, and after doing so, will hand them to you if you wish.

You will note that every one of the acts above complained of are the very acts which are specifically mentioned and described in the restraining order, and which is now in full force.

We are expecting fuller and more detailed information every hour, and as soon as it arrives I will take pleasure in putting you in possession of it.

Respectfully,
GEO. S. CHASE.


No. 99
Telegram

Department Of The Interior,
Washington, July 21, 1903.

Tams Bixby,
Chairman Dawes Commission, Muscogee, Ind. T.:

The Department is informed that the Commission is not obeying restraining order in Bullette et al. against Secretary Hitchcock and Dawes Commission. The Com-mission must suspend all action on applications for Cherokee allotments received prior to the suit and must not receive or act upon later applications until so directed. Report facts.

THOS. RYAN, Acting Secretary.


No. 100
Telegram

Muscogee, Ind. T., July 22, 1903.

The Secretary of the Interior
Washington, D. C.

Telegram of Assistant Secretary Ryan, 21st, refers to restricting order against Secretary Hitchcock and Dawes Commission. The Commission has no notice or information whatever of this order, and would suggest that copy of same be furnished. Commission understand that under said order it should not even receive applications and suspend action thereon until further direction.

NEEDLES,
Commissioner in Charge

 


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