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Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs for the Year 1869 (1870) online

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In December last a bill was introduced in the Senate by Senator
Dawes —

To divide a portion of the reservation of the Sioux Nation of Indians in Dakota
into separate reserves, and to secure the relinquishment of the Indian title to the

This bill passed the Senate February 1, 1886, and was favorably re-
ported by the Committee on Indian Affairs in the House of Repre-
sentatives. It was never reierred to this office for report, but in its
main features meets with my approval. The rights of the Indians ap-
pear to be carefully guarded, and their consent, as provided in the
treaty of 1868, is necessary before the provisions of the bill can be
carried into effect.


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The Great Sioax Reservation, including Grow Greek, contains an area
of 21,593,128 acres; the area of the separate reservations provided for
in the bill is estimated at 12,845,521 acres, a redaction of 8,747,606
acres. This reduced area allows very nearly 500 acres for each Indian.
The Indians can never make nse of the immense tract of land belonging
to them, while the proceeds of the sale of nearly nine million acres
would create a fund which, judiciously and honestly managed, would
forever supply them with the means of education and self-support.

The Sioux are an intelligent people, and the younger el^nent among
them is rapidly becoming reconciled to a civilized and industrious mode
of life. Their advancement is retarded by the older chiefs, who are
opposed to any progress that will lessen -their own importance. They
also desire to live in idleness on their annuities, rather than to receive
them as aids to industry and self-support. If these Indians can be
brought to accept the provisions of the Dawes bill, with an ample allow-
ance of land in severalty to each Indian, with a large fund for educa-
tional purposes, and for the purchase of cattle and agricultural imple-
ments, I see no reason why they should not rapidly advance and ulti-
mately become as contented and prosperous as the white communities
around them. I earnestly hope that this bill will become a law and
that the Indians will cheerfully accept its provisions.


On the 1st of April, 1886, Frank B. Hagan, esq., of Pine Level,
Fla., was appointed a special agent of the Department for the purpose
of making further efforts to locate these Indians upon homesteads, as
contemplated by the Indian appropriation act approved July 4, 1884
(23 Stats., 95). He accepted the appointment on the 27th of June,
1886, but reported that it would be impracticable to visit the Indians
before October, that portion of the State occupied by them being cov-
ered with water, and inaccessible before that time.


For many years, in fact most of the time since the removal to and
settlement of the five civilized tribes in the Indian Territory, there has
been among them a constant source of disturbance by reason of un-
settled disputes as to who are justly entitled to be called citizens of the
various tribes. Many adventurous white men have entered the Terri-
tory and in time have married Indian women and raised £amilies, while
others without such a justification or plea claim citizenship based on
long residence and other considerations, so that thousands of persons
of white and some of colored blood claim citizenship, which is stoutly
disputed by the Indian authorities.


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On the l8t of March, 1886, the Supreme Court, in the case of The
Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians v. The United States and the
Cherokee Nation, rendered the following decision:

If Indians in that State (North Carolina), or in any other State east of the Miaaie-
aippi, wish to e^Joy the benefits of the common property of the Cherokee Nation, in
whatever form it may exist, they mnst, as held by the Court of Claims, comply with
the coDstitntion and laws of the Cherokee Nadon and be readmitted to citizenship as
there provided.

In view of this decision, and with the approval of the Department,
Agent Owen was instructed, under date of August 11, 1886, to issue
no further certificates to claimants to citizenship in the Cherokee Na-
tion entitling them to remain in the Cherokee country. Hereafter, all
persons who enter that country without the consent of the Cherokee
authorities will be deemed intruders and treated accordingly.

SSo far as relates to the large class of persons denominated ^< doubtful
citizens" already in the Cherokee Nation, no basis of settleDient has
been determined upon, although a plan was submitted to the Depart-
ment with report of June 22, 1886. This question of determining who
are justly entitled to citizenship and who are not is still under the con-
sideration of the Department and the Indian authorities, and I hope
that a juHt and satisfactory conclusion will be reached, which, without
the intervention of Congress, will quiet all apprehension on this subject
in future.


For the last five years attention has been called to the condition of
afi^irs relative to the estates of deceased aud female allottees under the
provisions of the Eickapoo treaty of June 28, 1862 (13 Stats., 623). I
am now able to report that the bill for their relief has finally become a
law, and that this subject can now be dropped from the annual reports.



In the latter part of October and beginning of November, 1885, a large
body of intruders, under the leadership of Couch, again entered the Ter-
ritory, with the avowed object of settlement on the coveted lands, camp-
ing on the banks of the Canadian, near Council Orove, whence, upon
the representations of the Department, they were again removed across
the line by the military, under the President's proclamation of March
13, 1885.

The President having on July 23, 1885, issued a proclamation declaring
the leases made by the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians void, and direct-
ing the removal of the alleged lessees, their cattle, and their employes
from the reservation within a specified time, thousands of cattle were
driven to graze on the Oklahoma lands. Upon the recommeudatiou of
the Department (December 3, 1885,) measures were at once taken by

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the War Department whicb^ according: to official reports on file in this
office, resulted in the supposed clearance of all cattle and intmders from
Oklahoma. Sabsequently, however, in the early spring of the present
year, it was ascertained that there were still large nnmbers of cattle on
the Oklahoma lands, and these also were removed by the military.

Upon the receipt of a telegram from the commanding officer at Fort
Beno, stating that a number of boomers, horse thieves, &c., were con-
gregated in the Chickasaw Nation just over the Oklahoma line, await-
ing a chance to enter Oklahoma, and inquiring whether he should arrest
them, I recommended to the Department, on the 17th May last, that
the Secretary of War be requested to take immediate action, and on
the 3d June the necessary orders were issued from the War Depart-
ment, resulting in the arrest and expulsion from the Indian Territory
of the persons referred to.


In many instances small bands of Indians leave their, reservations
and lead wandering, vagabond lives in the neighboring Territories and
States. Some of these visit their reservations at the time of annuity
payments and receive their annuities, while others remain permanently
away, preferring to lose their annuities rather than to return. A notable
instance of the latter class is the Mo-ko-ho-ko band of Sac and Fox In-
dians. These Indians belong to the tribe known as Sac and Fox of the
Mississippi, and now number about ninety. In December, 1875, they
were removed from Kansas to their reservation in the Indian Territory,
but nearly all of them soon returned to Kansas, and have since lived
vagrant lives, intruding on the lands of citizens. They are at present
on what was an old Indian reservation, which is now owned and occu-
pied by citizens who have complained to this office of the intrusion of
the Indians and requested their removal. Bepeated efforts have been
made to induce them to return to their reservation and remain there,
whereby they would receive a large amount of accrued annuities as well
as be participants in the future annuity pajrments and other advantages
enjoyed by that portion of the tribe living in the Indian Territory; but
they have steadily refused to do so.

It appears from the report of United States Indian Inspector Ban-
nister, who recently visited them, and frt>m other correspondence in the
flies of this office, that these Indians are of the veiy lowest grade of
humanity, and are steeped in superstition. They have no rights in the
State of Kansas, either of citizenship or prop^iy, and are simply a
roving band of trespassers, naked and starving, without any means of
support whatever, and in a most deplorable and pitiable condition.
The support, protection, and even the existence of these Indians, and
others similarly situated, demand their removal to the reservation to
which they belong, where they can be supplied with the necessities of


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life, and taugbt to make their ]iviug by agriculture, and where their
children can be educated.

The principles laid down in the case of " Standing Bear" {6th Dill.,
453) should not, in my opinion, be applied to a people utterly ignorant
and devoid of reason, and mere depeiidents for existence upon the
bounty of the Gk>Ternmcnt These roving bands are the wards of the
Government, and are entirely incompetent to comprehend their situation,
and it is the duty of the Government to take such action as may be for
their best interest, without applying to them the technical principles
upon which the writ of habeas corpus is based. \

The subject of Indians leaving their reservations is causing the office
considerable embarrassment, and I believe the matter should be laid
•before Congress, with a view to securing such legislation as will enable
the Department in all cases, with the aid of the military, if necessary,
to send to their reservations all Indians absent therefrom without per-
mission from the Department, and to keep them there.


On October 30, 1885, there were filed in this office, for approval of the
Department, twenty- five deeds from members of the Black Bob band
of Shawnee Indians, or their descendants or representativ^es, conveying
certain lands which had been patented to them, situated on the reser-
vation of the band in Johnson County, Kansas* In consequence of rep-
resentations made relative to the method of procuring these convey-
ances, action on the question of their approval was suspended until an
investigation could be had as to the sufficiency of the consideration in
each case, and as to the methods used to secure the deeds. On Decem-
ber 18, 1885, 1 instructed United States Special Agent E. E. White to
make a full investigation of the subject, which was done. The report
and accompanying papers are quite voluminous, consisting of some
thousand or twelve hundred pages of closely written matter.

An examination of these papers will be made as soon as possible and
the matter will be presented to the Department by si>ecial report.


In my last annual report it was stated that the lowas requested that
action as to the disposition of their lands under the act of March 3, 1885
(23 Stats., 351), be delayed until Congress could remedy certain defects
in the law, viz, the fbilnre to provide for making allotments to orphans
and minors.

The matter was reported to Congress February 8, 1886 (Senate Ex.
Doc. No. 70), and a bill covering the case, prepared in this office, passed
the Senate May 17, 1883, but was not acted upon in the House of Bep-
resentativea. No further aotion under said act will be taken until the
necessary legislation is had to remedy the defects complained of by the

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BecommendatioD was made last year that Congress be requested to
appropriate a certain sum of money to reimburse certain bands of Chip-
pewa Indians for the damage and ii^nry sustained by them in the con-
struction of these reservoirs. It is hoped that the recently appointed
commission, in its negotiations with these Indians, has arranged a sat-
isfactory basis upon which full compensation may be made them for
every iiyury they may have sustained by reason of the construction of
said reservoirs.


The disposition of these Indians, located upon the Tongue and Bose-
bud Bivers, has been a matter of grave concern. The reservation on
the Bosebud, created by Executive order of November 26, 1884, did
not include the lands occupied by the Indians on Tongue Biver. The
extension of the reservation was strenuously opposed by the citizens
in the vicinity, and the reservation was indefinite in its boundaries, and
filled with settlers having rights existing prior to the date of the order.
The removal of the Indians to some other location did not seem to be
feasible, even if desirable.

Under this oonditiou of affairs it was determined to make an effort to
locate them upon separate tracts under the provisions of the homestead
laws. Preliminary to this work it was necessary to have the lands on
the Tongue and Bosebud Bivers in the vicinity of the reservation prop-
erly surveyed. This is now being done under the direction of the Gen-
eral Land Office. When the surveys are completed the Indians will be
properly located, if possible, upon homesteads, and the remaining lands
on the reservation will be restored to settlement


A Strong opposition has been recently developed among the Winne-
bagoes to the passage of the bill now pending before Congress (S. 715)
providing for the sale of a portion of the reservation. On February 4
last this office received, by Department reference, a letter from thirty-
nine members of the tribe requesting that the influence of t)ie Depart-
ment be exerted to defeat the passage of the bill, and stating that the
tribe had never consented to such sale, but desired that assignments of
land in severalty be made to such of its members as had not received
any, and further stating that, if all are provided for, there will be no
good land to spare, as fully one-half of the reservation is too broken and
rough for cultivation. In consequence of the opposition to such sale
manifested in the letter referred to, on the 26th of same month I ad-
dressed a communication to the Department recommending that the
chairman of the Senate Commitee on Indian Affairs be requested to
see that no final action be taken on the bill in the Senate until the re-
port of the Department should be submitted thereon.


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lu tbe latter part of March last I had a conference at this office with
a delegation of ten Winnebagoes who had come here for the purpose of
discossing the above and other matters of interest to them, from which
it appeared that the tribe opposed the proposed sale and desired that
aHotment« be made to all those who had not received any. On March
22 last this office requested the chairmen of the respective Committees
on Indian Affairs of the ^nate and House of Representatives to allow
said delegation of Indians a hearing relative to the provisions of the
bill. Since the date of the above-named communications to the chair-
men of the committees referred to, no action seems to have been taken
on the bill by Congress.

The statement made in my last annual report that the Winnebagoes
had expressed a desire to sell a portion of their reservation was based
on reports of their agents, who doubtless represented the sentiment
of the tribe on the matter, so far as it was then known. I am still of
the opinion expressed in said report, that legislation substantially
like that recently had for the Omahas (act August 7, 1882,) would
be beneficial to the Winnebagoes, who would then have the benefit
of and be subject to the laws, both civil and criminal, of the State of
Nebraska, and would receive permanent individual titles to their land.
It is to be hoped that their consent may yet be given to the sale of a
portion of their reservation.


Daring the past year the ageht of thie Western Shoshone Agency
(Duck Valley Reservation), Nevada, reported the arrival there of some
Pi-XJtes under the leadership of Paddy Cap, one of the several home-
less roving bands of Pi-Utes who have of late been the object of so
much solicitude among the frieinds of the Indians in the East. As they
seemed anxious to remain there permanently, directions were at once
sent to have them properly cared for. About 60 arrived^t the
agency, but when all together the band numbers about 300. Finding
that they could live in pleasant relations with the Shoshones, they
asked to be permanently settled upon lands adjoining the Duck Valley
Reservation on the north, and in order to help them to make a start
toward jself-snpport the Shoshones generously and commendably vol-
unteered to assist them in putting in their first crop.

With a view to providing a home for these roving non-reservation
Pi-Utes, townships 15 south, ranges 1, 2, and 3 east of the Bois4 me-
ridian, in Idaho, were withdrawn from sale and settlement by Executive
order dated May 4, 1886, and set apart as an addition to the Duck
Valley Beservation, for the use and occupation of Paddy Cap's band of
Pi-Utes and such other Indians as the Secretary of the Interior may
see fit to settle thereon. The Pi-Ute Indians have been roaming about
for years, homeless and helpless, and it is encouraging to find them at
7572 I A rv


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last manifesting a disposition to settle down to the pnrsoits of civilized
life. It is probable that all of Paddy Cap's band can be brought
together on this reservation and placed ander the charge of the West-
em Shoshone Agency, and possibly some of the other roving bands,
seeing the benefits and advantages enjoyed by their brethren in having
a permanent home, may be indaced to settle there. This is a most
encooraging step toward the settlement of the future of this wander-
ing people, and it is my desire and intention to use every means within
my power to gather the remaining bands of these Indians upon that
reservation or some other in that vicinity. '


By an Executive order dated May 17, 1884, all those portions of
townships 29 north, ranges 14, 15, and 16 west, south of the San Juan
Eiver, being a portion of the addition to the Navajo Reserve, were re-
stored to the public domain. By reason of this restoration strife sprung
up between the Indians and the whites for the occupancy of this coun-
try, the Indians unwilling to give way to the whites and the whites
determined to settle on the restored lands. The relations between them
became so strained as to give rise for a time to the most serious ap-
prehension. Special Agent Parsons was sent to that country last spring
to make a thorough investigation of the difficulty growing out of the
dispute as to land rights between the Kavajo Indians and the white
settlers, and as a result he advised the restoration to the Navajo Bes-
ervation of all the lands embraced in the aforesaid Executive order
as the only permanent solution of the difficulties on the San Juan River.
He also advised the appointment of some trustworthy man to repair to
the scene of the trouble, 100 miles from the agency, and repieseut the
Indian service. Troops (two companies) were stationed there last
spring, and by Executive order of April 24, 1886, the aforesaid lands
were restored to the Navajo Reservation. Since then comparative quiet
has been established.


In referring in my annual report for 1885 to the adverse decision of
the Oourt of Claims in the suit of these Indians against the United
States and the Cherokee Nation West, it was stated that the case would
be taken on appeal to the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme
Court, in rendering its decision in March last, already quoted on page
XLV of this report, decreed that if the Cherokees in North Carolina or
any other State east of the Mississippi wished to enjoy the benefits of
the common property of the Cherokee Nation they must comply with the
constitution of that nation, and be readmitted to citizenship as pro-
vided by law.

Looking to the very best interests of these Eastern Cherokees and
their settlement in permanent homes, removed from the annoyances to

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which they are now sabjected by reason of intrusion by whites, as well
as of anxiety arising from the uncertain tenure of their lands and the
difficulty of adjusting tWr rights thereto (because of their peculiar
stat-us in the State), I consider that the best course for these Indians
now to adopt, to guard them from such embarrassment in the future,
would be to negotiate with the national council of the Cherokee Nation
West for their readinission to citizenship in that nation, as decided by
the Supreme Gourtof the United States to be necessary. When satis-
factory arrangements shall have been made they can then take the neces-
sary steps for the sale of their lands in North Carolina and their removal
to the Indian Territory. This can all be effected, in my opinion, through
the regular channels of the Government, without the aid or the con-
nivance of quasi firiends or self-constituted agents itinerating through
their respective communities or towns, disseminating promises and
pledges that neither the Cherokee Nation West uor the Government
made or aathorized to be made. And this, too, can be done without
neglect of the routine of domestic duty or the cultivation of annual
crops on the part of most of the Indians. I shall urge the Indians to
adopt this course, and shall lay the matter before the Department with
a view to the adoption by Congress of the legislation necessary to carry ■
these suggestions into effect


These Indians are as a rule wild, intractable, and idle, and conse-
quently have made but little progress in agricuUure and education. For
some time past their agents have had difficulty in controlling them, and
a spirit of insubordination has been manifested.

Early in May last an annuity payment was made the Utes of the
Ouray Agency by the then agent, Mr. Carson. The Indians had been
previously notified of the date of payment, and with the assistance of
the former enrollment, the interpreter, the police, and the chief men of
the tribe, the agent had prepared a new roll, revised and corrected up
to that date, showing 1,293 persons. This made the per capita share of
each $11.87. After he had finished paying all who presented themselves
he found that the shares of 279 Indians, amounting to $3,356.34, had
not been called for, and, as' usual in such cases, they were retained by
him to be returned to the United States Treasury. On learning of this
tiie Indians who were at hand and had already received their shares
peremptorily demanded, with arms in their hands, that these uncalled-
for shares be divided amongst them, in addition to what they had already
leeeived. To this demand the agei}t at first refused to yield, but as the
Indians became insubordinate and threatening, and he believed that
his life and the lives of the agency employes were in danger, he con-
sented and paid the entire amount to them, which made an additional
p^ capita payment to those who were on the ground of $3 31.

la oonsequence of the threatening attitude of the Utes at Ouray
Ageocy^as set oat in a letter from Mr. Carson, late agent there, under

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date of April 16, 1886 (transmitted by the Department to Lieutenant

Online LibraryUnited States Office of Indian AffairsAnnual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs for the Year 1869 (1870) → online text (page 6 of 92)