United States. Office of Indian Affairs.

Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs online

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and it is gratifying to state that only one error was nuide in computing interest.

Cherokee warrants, on account of the fact that the Government now pays them and
the interest due thereon, have advanced in price from 85 cents to 98 cents flat. The
warrants are rarely presented by the persons in whose favor they were originally
issaed, but are almost invariably sent through some bank for collection. Wht^n the
Cherokee authorities had the matter of the payment of these warrants in hand, the
price of the warrants went as low as 75 cents.

Payment to destitate Cherokee Indiani. — The principal chief of the Cherokee Nation
having advised this office that a large number of full-bloo<l Cherokee Indians were
in destitute and needy circumstances, and the report of the chief having been for-
warded to me by the Department, and the matter having \yeen. carefully considered,
I was directed to relieve this destitution by making a small per capita distribution of
money among said destitute Indians. This distribution of money was made during
the months of April, May, and June. I received for disbursement $15,000, and out of
this sum disbursed, to relieve destitution, $13,067, paid incidental expenses incurred
in connection with said pajrment, $684.32, and returned to the Treasury, $1,248.68.

I had two pajjing parties in the field during the period mentione<l above. Prior
to the said parties going into the field I issued the following circular letter, in order
that those interested might be fully advised:

7b vehom it may concern:

Notice is hereby given that I will beat the following-named places in the (Cherokee Nation, Ind. T.,
on the dates mentioned, for the purpose of distributing funds in my hands to relieve needy and
destitute Cherokee full-blood Indians who live in the vicinity of the towns named:

Party Ho. 1.— Saline Court-House, April 15 to 18. inclusive: Moodvf«, April 22 to 24, 1902, inclusive;
Kansas, noon April 25 to 26, 1902, inclusive; Spavinaw, April 29 to May 2, 1902, inclusive: Whitmore,
May 6 to 9, 1902, inclusive; Ooingsnake Ck)urt-Hou8e, May 12 to 16, 1902, inclusive; Zena, May 19 to 22,
190?, Inclusive.

Party Ho. 8.— Remy, April 23 to 26, 1902, inclusive; Swimmer. April 28 to 30, 1902, inclusive; Stilwell,
May 2, 3, and 5, 1902, inclusive; Campbell, May 6 to 9, 1902, inclusive; McKee, Mav 12 to 1-J, 1902,
inclusive; Marble, May 16 to 18, 1902, inclusive; Bunch. May 19 to 23, 1902, inclusive; Cookson, May
26 to 29, 1902, inclusive; White Oak, June 8, 1902; Catoosa, June 4, 1902, commencing at noon;
Bartlesville, June 6, 1902.

Such Cherokee full-bloods as are in destitute clrfcumstances and desire to participate in the dlstri-
bntion of this fund should present themselves at any one of the towns nameo on dates given.

For further information on this subject address the United States Indian agent, Muskogee, Ind,. T.

The newspapers throughout the Indian Territory very kindly copied this notice.

The ip&y rolls on which these payments were made show that 4, 189 persons actu-
ally received money. The paying parties report that the full-blood Cherokees were
in very destitute circumstances, and while the amounts paid to heads of femilies were
small, I am satisfied it relieved them from want and destitution and tided them along,
so that they could put in their crops. It is to be remembered that this distribution
of money was not moneys appropriated by the United States, but was moneys ai-tu-
ally belonging to the Cherokee tribe of Indians which had been collected by this
office for them from noncitizens, account of royalties on hay, merchandise tax, etc.

Payment per diem and mileage to witnesses before the Dawes Commission and expenses
of Cherokee citisenslLip commission. — The President, on January 20, 1902, approved
the act of Cherokee council, making provision for the representation of the C'herokee
Nation before the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes, in connection with the
work of completing the roll of citizens of the Cherokee Nation, and for other
purposes.

Tnis act provides for attorneys to represent the interests of the Nation, and at the
same time gives the Commission authority to summon before it witnesses and to
allow such witnesses 10 cents per mile and $2 per diem while actually in attendance
before the Commission.

This act also provides for the payment of the current and contingent expenses
of the Commission and fixes the salaries of the attorneys and provides for the
employment and pay of a stenographer, and also authonzes the attorneys, wh^n
necessary, to engage the services of some person in serving subpoenas upon witney^es.

The salaries of the attorneys and stenographer, and the incidental expenses
incurred by the Commission in connection with its work, were originally paid by
warrants drawn by the principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, but this appropria-
tion having become exhausted the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, under date of
June 18, 1902, advised me that the Department, under date of June 14, 1902, author-
ized and directed the Indian Office to place to my official credit, as Indian moneys,
the sum of $2,000 for the payment of fees and necessary expenses incurred by the
Cherokee Nation in the defense of citizenship cases before the Dawes Commission, and
that requisition for the amount mentioned above had l^een issued, in order that it
might l^ in mv hands before the close of the citizenship rolls on July 1. During
the quarter ended July 30, 1902, out of the fund just mentioned, I made the following



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206 REPORTS CONCERNING INDIANS IN INDIAN TERRITORT.

disbursements: Per diem and mileage of witnesses, $93; Incidental expenses of the
Commission, $189. 38, and returned to the Treasurer the unexpended balance of said
fund, amounting to $1,717.62.

Seminole HatioB. — In December, 1897, the Seminole Nation and the Commission,
of the Five Civilized Tribes, otherwise known as the Dcwes Commission, entered
into an agreement which provided for the allotment of their lands and the establish-
ment of a United States court at Wewoka, the capital of said nation, and gave the
United States courts exclusive jurisdiction over all controversies growing out of the
ownership, occupation, or use of real estate owned by the Seminole Nation, and to
try persons charged with homicide, embezzlement, oribery, and embracery com-
mitted in the Seminole country, without reference to the citizenship of the persons
charged with such crimes. The Seminole Indian courts were allowed to retam their
jurisdiction as they had it prior to the ratification of such agreement, except such
cases as would be tried in the United States court, and the agreement also provided
for the gradual extinguishment of the tribal government.

No revenues or royalties of any character have been collected by me for the benefit
of the Seminole Nation during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1902. The Commission
to the Five Civilized Tribes has completed the enrollment of the Seminole Nation,
and has also practically completed the allotment of their lands in severalty.

The principal chief of the Seminole Nation has frequently complained to this office
that noncitizens have introduced and held cattle in the Seminole Nation. Theee
complaints are then sent to an Indian policeman, stationed at Wewoka, Seminole
Nation, for investigation and report, and if it is found that said cattle are being held
within the limits of said nation contrary to law, then an order issues directing that
they be removed therefrom.

The office has enforced the intercourse laws of the Seminole Nation, and aided in
assisting the chief in the execution of the Seminole laws, whenever it was called
upon to do so.

The ad van(!ed state of the Seminole Nation at this time is largely due to the wisdom
and foresight of its late principal chief, the Hon John F. Brown, who has been suc-
ceeded as such principal chief by Hon. Hulputta Micco.

Sale of town-site maps. — There have been placed on file in this oflSce photolitho-
graphic copies of the town-site maps of the towns of Muskogee, Mounds, and Wagoner,
m the Creek Nation, Ind. T., and Centralia, Choteau, Collinsville, Chelsea, Catoosa,
Lenapah, Nowata, Ramona, Vinita, and Welch, in the Cherokee Nation, and Wood-
ville. in the Chickasaw Nation. I am directed to dispose of these maps at prices
fixed by the Department, and to deposit the proceeds ot the sale of same to the credit
of the United States, for the benefit of the fund ** Town-site commissioners for Indian
Territory." There has been received for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1902, on
account of the sale of town-site maps of the towns mentioned, the sum of $73.20.

Payment of expenses of town-site work in the Indian Territory. — Acting under instruc-
tions of the Department, since January 1, 1901, all expenses incurred in connection
with the town-site work in the Indian Territory, except the salaries of the town-site
commissioners and the 8Uper\T8ing engineer for the Indian Territory town-site sur-
veys, are paid by this office. There are approximately about 100 people connected
with this work who receive pay through tnis office, such as surveyors, transitmen,
chainmen, and rodmen, all of whom are paid monthly. I also pay the salaries of
such employees in this office and that of tne United States Indian inspector who do
town-site work. This includes draftsmen and clerks. Up to June 30, 1902, as stated
in the opening of this report, I disbursed out of the town-site fund, to pay expenses
of the character mentioned above, $84,890.60. This amount includes $238.51 in pay-
ment of expenses incurred during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1901. In addition
to paying tne salaries of the emjjloyees mentioned, I-also pay the traveling expenses
of the surveyors and such other incidental expenses as the purchase of stakes, axes,
office rent, etc The preparation of the vouchers on which the payment of the
exi^enses mentioned above is made involves considerable work by the office.

Settlement of smallpox claims. — In my previous annual report I referred to the out-
break of smallpox throughout the Indian Territory, prevalent during the fall and
winter of 1899, and the winter and spring of 1900, and the work this office did in
connection with the boards of health of the Choctaw, Cherokee, and Creek nations
in suppressing the same. The act of May 31, 1900, appropriated $50,000, to be imme-
diately available, in payment of liabilities^ already incurred and for amount necessary
to be expended in snppre.«sion of smallix)x in the Indian Territory among those res-
ident of the naid Territory not n»eml)er8 of any tribe or nation therein.

The expenses incurred in suppressing this disease in the Cherokee and Creek
nations have all been practically paid. In the Choctaw Nation the expenses incurred
have been paid, except certain claims that have been disallowed pending further



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BEPORTS CONCERNING INDIANS IN INDIAN TERRITORY. 207

proof as to the merits of the same. The total smn paid during the fiscal year ended
Jane 30, 1902, from the $50,000 appropriated by the act of Congress referred to ws»
$1,502.32, and from the fund "Indian moneys, proceeds of labor, Creek," $3.10.

Part of the expenses incurred in connection with the suppression of this disease in
the Cherokee and Creek nations was paid from funds belong ng to said nations, as
the $50,000 appropriated could not be used where the afflicted were members of
any Indian tribe, hence the charge of $3.10 noted above, from Creek Indian moneys.

PrMarration of game in the Indian Territory. — In my last annual report I referred
to the unlawful and indiscriminate killing of game in the Indian Territory, and that
the practice of persons livincr in adjoining States, entering the Indian Territory for
the purpose of hunting, had become so common that complaints were being con-
stantly made to this office to put a stop to it; that the noncitizens did not confine
themselves to killing just what game they needed, but slaughtered deer and wild
tnrkeys by the wholesale and shipped them to their homes; and that they also tres-
pasBed upon the allotments of Indian citizens and individual holdings of Indian citi-
zens, without their consent and much to their annoyance.

I issued a circular letter calling attention to section 2137 of the Revised Statutes of
the United States, which prohibits any person, other than an Indian, from hunting
or trapping, taking or destroying any peltries or game, except for subsistence, in an
Indian country; and also to section 1923 of Mansfield's Digest of the Statutes of
Arkansas, which makes it unlawful for any person to kill, maim, or paralyze any
fish or other water animals, etc. And also to section 1925 of the same digest, which
provides for a penalty for violating the provisions of section 1923.

Later on I directed the Indian police connected with this agency to arrest non-
citizen hunters, and to confiscate any game that they might have in their possession,
together with any guns, ammunition, etc., and report such arrests and confiscation
promptly to this office. Owing to the very limited number of Indian police in the
Indian Territory, but few arrests of this character were made, and my efforts to pre-
serve the game were, for that reason, to a large extent futile.

Citizens and noncitizens alike becoming indignant at the practice of citizens from
the adjacent States entering the Indian Territory and killing the game, presented
the matter to Congress, with the view of having a rigid game law passed, as was recom-
mended in my previous annual report, but although a bill was prepared bjr the
attorneys of the Indian Territory and introduced in Congress in this connection, it
failed of passage. Something should be done, and I again renew my former recom-
mendation that Congress pass proper game laws to protect the game in the Indian
Territory.

Ezeontivee of the Five Civilized Tribes. — It is thought proper here to express the very
hi^h appreciation of the ability and character of the Hon. Pleasant Porter, principal
chief of the Creek Nation, whose untiring efforts, statesmanlike qualities, ana marked
ability have been so conspicuously displayed in the past year or two as principal
chief of the Creek Nation, in advancing and promoting the interests of said nation.

The relation of this office with the Hon. G. W. Dukes, principal chief of the Choc-
taw Nation; the Hon. D. H. Johnson, governor of the Cnicka«aw Nation; the Hon.
Johii F. Brown, principal chief of the f^minole Nation, and the Hon. T. M. Buffing-
ton, principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, have been very friendly, and they have
cooperated with me and I with them in enforcing the laws of their nations, and have
discharged the duties of their respective offices, I think, with great ability.

The only change that has occurred in the executives of the Five Civilized Tribes
was the recent retirement of the Hon. John F. Brown, principal chief of the Semi-
nole Nation, by the election of the Hon. Hulputta Micco.

School!. — ^At present the teachers of the Choctaw Nation are paid Quarterly for
service^ rendered by means of my official check, while the teachers employed in the
Cherokee, Creek, and Chickasaw nations are paid by means of tribal warrants.

Educational advantages consistent with the prospective growth of the Territory
should be provided for. It is a lamentable fact that at tne present time public
schools can be organized only within the limits of incorporated towns, and as the
tribal relations are soon to be abolished, tribal schools will also, sooner or later, of
necessity, be discontinued, and unless some relief is provided, the rural districts and
small towns of the Indian Territory will be left with no schools, and there is no law
under which they may be established.

Taxation to provide sdiooU in the Indian Territory. — The Indian appropriation act
of March 3, 1901 (31 Stat. L., 1058-1074), contains the following provision:

To enable the Secretary of the Interior to investigate and report to Congress at its next session,
whether it is practicable to provide a system of taxation of personal property, occupation, franchises,
etc., in the Indian Territory, sufficient' to maintain a system of free schools to all tne children of the
Indian Territory, five thousand dollars.



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208 REPORTS CONCERNING INDIANS IN INDIAN TERRITORY.

Under the clause of the act referred to, Mr. Frank C. Churchill, formerly revenue
inspector for the Cherokee Nation, was appointe<l hy the honorable Secretary of the
Interior to investigate and make a report as to the practicability of providing a sys-
tem of taxation on personal property, occupation, franchises, etc., in the Indian
Territory sufficient to maintain a system of free schools for the benefit of the children
within the limits of the Indian Territory.

On the 14th day of March, 1902, a report was submitted by Mr. Churchill, after
careful investigation, in which he recommends that tribal taxes within the limits of
the Five Civilized Tribes be abolished, as they seem to be incomplete, unequal, and
difficult of collection, and that a uniform system be established to correspond with
what is commonly known as ** State tax,'* in lieu thereof.

At the time of submitting the report there was in the Indian Territory 560 post-
offices, with 106 incorporated towns, and 42 small towns not incorporated, wnich
have been, or are to be, surveyed and platted, but in which, at the time report was
submitted, no tax could be le^lly levied.

It is recommended that the continuance of the tribal schools — that is, schools man-
aged in whole or in part by the Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks, and
Seminoles — indefinitely with any semblance of tribal control, would be against the
best interests of the Indian children, as well as a great waste of tribal funds, and that
the school funds belonging to the several tribes in the Indian Territory should, as
early as possible, be put beyond the reach of tribal officials, for the reason that the
schools are not provided for all the Indian children; that many of the Indian chil-
dren now provided with school privileges receive such privileges through political
favoritism and corrupt influences, to the exclusion of others quite as worthy; that
the expense thereby created is far too great for the advantages received, and much
greater than it would be were the schools conducted judiciously and honestly, and
that the present boarding-school system is laulty and expensive.

Reference is also made to the illiteracy and crime prevailing in the Indian Terri-
tory, and much of this illiteracy and crime is attributed to the fact that the citizens
of the Territory have so few educational advantages.

It seems to be the consensus of opinion that no objection would be raised by any
person to the attendance at the same school of Indian and white children, as that
custom now prevails largely throughout the Indian Territory, but that separate
schools should be provided for negroes.

In order to promote greater interest in educational matters, and, next to compul-
sory education, found to be necessary in many of the best States where common
schools are thoroughly established, a moderate tax system for schools would prove
to be the b^t incentive to a proper interest in education, and tend to increase and
develop such an interest, on the ^ound that nothing so emphasizes the real value of
a thing as positive evidence that it costs something in money and effort.

It seems that the increase in population in the Indian Territory in the last decade
was 117.5 percent, and that everything indicates that this increase will continue,
and in a greater ratio, and provision should be made for an acreage income for the
use of all lands leased by Indians that would put this phase of the general question
of an income for schools and other purposes first and foremost. While it might be
contended that such a suggestion might be interpreted as a recommendation lor tax
upon the Indian lands, such is not the case; but, however, a provision making the
validity of all leases and their use in courts as evidence contingent upon such lease
being recorded, and an acreage income actually paid in advance for the full term of
the lease, is intended, and upon this income from the people of the Territory would
have to depend very largely the support of schools and other expenses incident to
its development.

There are upward of 100,000 persons of school age, residents of the Indian Terri-
tory, without free schools, and nearly $400,000 of Indian funds are expended an'hually
for the maintenance of tribal schools in which only* from 12,000 to 15,000 pupils are
enrolled, and only alx>ut 30 of the towns authorized to do so have raised a tax for
schofjls amounting to about $50,000. And there is not less than $50,000,000 of taxable
property, to which additions are l)eing made almost hourly, upon which a tax of
one- half of 1 per cenj would net $250,000, and an occupation tax would yield
tl25,000 and a i>oll tax not les^s than $100,000, to which $200,000 should be added
for taxes upon railroatis, telegraph, telephone, and other corporations and franchises
to correspond with the above amount7and a small acreage income from land leases
and plans as outlined would net about $100,000, the total of these items being
$675,000, and that amount can be raised without proving a burden or hardship upon
anv person.

kecommendation is made that 30 school districts should be established at once,
under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, together with the necessary sub-



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BEPOBT8 OOKCERNING INDIANS IN INDIAN TERBITOBY. 209

divisions, and that all legislation, in the nature of things, should be in a sense pre-
liminary and be added to and enlarged upon with the development of the Territory,
and that once provided for and actually put in operation the real value of good
schools to a new countr}^ will be recognized and cheerfully maintained by the people.

Bailroadi. — With the increase of population and the consequent increase of trade,
railroads have been quick to take advantage of the situation, and many new lines of
road are being built through the Indian Territory.

The Kansas City, Fort Scott and Memphis Railway Company, recently acquired
by the St Louis and San Francisco Railroad Company, constructed during the fiscal
year ended June 30, 1902, 13.096 miles of railroad between Miami and Afton, Ind. T.,
known as the *' Miami Cut-off," thus shortening their line between Kansas City and
Oklahoma and Texas points.

The eeneral manager of the Fort Smith and Western Railroad Company advises,
under date of August 11, 1902, that his company is now operating 63 miles of their
own line, which has been built and put in operation during the past fiscal year, from
Coal Creek to Crowder City, Ind. T., the latter-mentioned town being a junction
point with the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad; that the route taken by the
line of railway is through the very best part of the Choctaw Nation, and that the
management confidently look forward to a good business.

During the fiscal year ended June 30, 1902, the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Rail-
road completed its £d wards and Krebs branches, making a total mileage of 5.11
miles built by this company. These were branches built to coal mines to Militate
the transaction of its coal business.

The Kiowa, Chickasha and Fort Smith Railroad Company, operated by the Santa Fe
system, constructed a line of railway, in connection with the Gulf, Colorado and Santa
Fe Railway Company, from Pauls Valley, Ind. T., to Lindsay, in the Chickasaw
Nation, Ind. T., a distance of 24 miles, and the Santa Fe system has other lines of
railway in process of construction, but not completed.

The Arkansas Western Railroad Company completed its line of road from Havener,
Ind. T., eastward into Arkansas, a distance of about 12 miles.

During the fiscal year ended June 30. 1902, the Choctaw, Oklahoma and Western
Railroad Company, a branch of the Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf Railroad Com-
pany, now absorbed by the Chicago. Rock Island and Pacific Railway Company,
constructed and put in operation a line of railway from Ardmore Junction, near
Hartshome, Ind. T., on its main line, to Ardmore, Ind. T., a distance of 117.65 miles,
and in addition built a number of branch lines and spurs to mines, aggregating 5.86
miles.

The Arkansas and Choctaw Railroad has recently been acquired by the St Louis



Online LibraryUnited States. Office of Indian AffairsAnnual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs → online text (page 30 of 117)