Thomas H. Doyle
More than a score of years have elapsed since public opinion was so sharply divided as to whether or not the Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory should be admitted into the Union as separate states or be joined and admitted as a single state. The issue thus defined was a very real one in the minds of the respective partisans and supporters of the two conflicting propositions and the zeal and earnestness with which each championed the cause which he had espoused has seldom been equalled and never surpassed in the realm of politics. After having had a separate territorial existence for more than a decade and a half, Congress finally settled the matter by passing an enabling act which provided for the formation of one state from the two territories, June 14, 1906. During the interval between 1900 and 1906, both houses of Congress received many petitions and memorials from citizens of both territories in which every phase of the statehood question was touched or discussed. Likewise, numerous delegations were sent to Washington for the purpose of making personal appeals before the House and Senate committees onterritories, either for or against single statehood or for or against separate statehood. Needless to state, there were able arguments put forth by both sides. Those who are not familiar with this particular phase of Oklahoma history can gain much enlightenment by reading some of the statements made before such congressional committees. The following document is the text of a statement made before the House Committee on Territories by Hon. Thomas H. Doyle, of Perry, who was a prominent leader of the single statehood forces, in January, 1904.
The Robinson Bill, providing for the admission of Oklahoma and the Indian Territory into the Union as a single state was the measure under consideration by the House Committee on Territories at the time Judge Doyle made his statement. Other citizens of Oklahoma Territory who appeared before the Committee in support of the Robinson Bill were: Chester Howe, of Washington, D. C., (formerly of Oklahoma City); C. G. Jones, Oklahoma City; H. G. Beard, Shawnee; D. C.
Lewis, Oklahoma City; J. H. Maxey, Jr., Shawnee; R. T. Williams, Greer County; John L. McAtee, Oklahoma City; Roy E. Stafford, Oklahoma, City; J. A. Chenowith, Greer County; Capt. J. H. Grant, Oklahoma City; John F. Palmer, Pawhuska; S. M. Cunningham, Lawton, and several others. In support of the Bill, from the Indian Territory, the following persons then residing therein also appeared before the Committee: Clarence B. Douglas, Muskogee; G. A. Henshaw, Madill; Henry P. Robbins, McAlester; A. Grant Evans, Muskogee; T. C. Humphry, McAlester; David A. Harvey, Wyandotte; Samuel Powell, Wagoner.
In opposition to the Bill, the following citizens of Oklahoma Territory appeared before the committee: Bird S. McGuire, of Pawnee (Territorial delegate to Congress); Sidney Clarke, of Oklahoma City; J. W. McNeal, of Guthrie; D. L. Sleeper, of Lawton, and Henry Lasson, of El Reno.
Judge Doyle, who made the principal argument in support of the bill then before the Committee, had long been regarded as one of the ablest leaders of the single statehood forces. He had been a pioneer attorney at Perry and had represented Noble County in the lower house of the Territorial Legislative Assembly, in 1897. Since statehood he has served continuously as a justice of the Court of Criminal Appeals. He is the senior vice-president of the Oklahoma Historical Society.
COMMITTEE ON THE TERRITORIES,
The committee met at 10:30 o’clock a. m., Hon. Edward L. Hamilton in the chair.
The Chairman. The Hon. Thomas H. Doyle will address the committee on the subject of statehood for Oklahoma.
STATEMENT OF HON. THOMAS H. DOYLE, OF OKLAHOMA.
Mr. Doyle. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, not unmindful of the great responsibilities resting on this committee, in that your action as the Committee on Territories to a very great extent molds the destiny of more than 3,000,000 people living in the six Territories of the United
States, and with a profound respect for the wisdom and statesmanship of the committee as a whole and a proper respect for the judgment and sense of duty of each individual member of this committee, I shall in this argument for single statehood for Oklahoma and Indian Territories, as provided for by the Robinson bill, be guided by that great rule of human conduct, a golden rule in cases of this kind, where a man seeks to represent his people. That rule is that you shall be careful concerning the principles you select as a test of their rights and obligations. Mindful of the fact that the question of creating and admitting a new State into the Union is one of the most important questions that can possibly come before this committee or the Congress of the United States, I would ask you to remember that this question of statehood is the question of supreme importance to all the people of Oklahoma and Indian Territories.
Mr. Chairman, far to the west in the south-central part of this country lies the fairest and richest domain of this land. It is the home of more than 1,000,000 white people who have been born, reared, and trained to the duties of self-government in their former homes. They are the best of our country’s enterprising pioneers. They are an industrious, intelligent, patriotic and liberty-loving people. All are competent to become citizens of a State, all are capable of self-government. They have come from every state in the Union, and this fact is one of the happiest circumstances attending the settlement of the twin territories.
Mr. Chairman, our people have bound themselves to this region and made it their own by all the ties that bind men to their homes. They have made it one of the richest and most prosperous portions of America. Nature had already done its share. In the language of the eloquent Grady:
"There is centered all that please or prosper human kind. A perfect climate above a fertile soil yields to the husbandman every product of the Temperate Zone. There by night the cotton whitens beneath the stars, and by day the wheat locks the golden sunshine in its bearded sheaf. Of the essential items of all industries—coal, cotton, iron and wood—that region has an abundance. Field, mine and forest." That, sir, is the picture and promise of our land, the State proposed to be made by the union of both our Territories.
That great author Washington Irving visited our country at an early date and he has described it in one of his works: "A Tour on the Prairies." You have all read that book. There is pictured our grand primeval forests, fertile and extended prairies, magnificent rivers, and beautiful mountains.
With all these blessings what more is necessary to make us a happy and contented people? That one thing, the birthright of freemen. Our God-given heritage as American citizens. A people’s government, made for the people, made by the people, and answerable to the people. In other words, the sacred right of self-government; the sacred right to participate in the affairs of this nation—our country.
Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, you have heard Senator Clarke, and you will hear other gentlemen distinguished for their ability and influence, men of eminence and high place in our Territories advocating that Oklahoma alone is entitled to statehood, and that conditions in Indian Territory are not right for statehood. This raises the main question that is now before you, the question of single or separate statehood for these Territories.
This question is one of vital importance to the people of both Territories, as not only their future prosperity depends upon its right solution, but also their social and political status in this nation as well.
There can be but little doubt that a large majority of the people of Oklahoma and Indian Territory favor their union as a single State, and they believe that not only the interest of all the people of both Territories, but the interests of the nation as well, would be better served by their union than by maintaining a separate existence. This sentiment among our people is founded not only on sound sense and State pride, but on high and patriotic motives, in that they are prompted by the great consideration of how they can most certainly "sow greatness to their posterity and successors."
When the Indian Territory was created and defined in 1834, the boundaries were practically what constitute the outer boundary of Oklahoma and Indian Territory to-day. All of Oklahoma is included except what is now Beaver County, formerly known as "No Man’s Land," which was added
to and became a part of Oklahoma by act of Congress of May 2, 1890.
March, 1899, the act passed, creating Oklahoma, and opening to settlement 3,000,000 acres of land in the heart of what now constitutes Oklahoma Territory. This land was opened April 22, 1889. No form of government was provided for until May 2, 1890, then the organic act was passed. September, 1891, the Sac and Fox, Iowa and Pottawatomie Indian reservations, containing 1,282,434 acres in the eastern part of the Territory, and the Cheyenne and Arapaho reservations, containing 4,297,771 acres in the western part, were opened to settlement.
September 16, 1893, the Cherokee strip, containing 6,014,239 acres, was opened to settlement.
In 1895, the Kickapoo Reservation, containing 206,662 acres, was opened to settlement.
In 1896, Greer County was added by a decision of the Supreme Court of the United estates.
In 1901, the Kiowa, Comanche, Apache and Wichita reservations were opened to settlement, containing——acres.
And we still have the Osage, Ponca and Otoe reservations and the Kiowa and Comanche pasture reservations, approximately 2,000,000 acres, still reserved from settlement. This, in brief, is the history of the opening to settlement of Oklahoma. One after another the Indian reservations have been added to original Oklahoma, which constitutes less than one-eighth of the present Oklahoma.
The provisions of our organic act provide for the further adding to Oklahoma in the future the remaining area of the original Indian Territory that now constitutes the Indian Territory. Section 1 of our organic act reads as follows:
"Section 1, page 38, Statutes of Oklahoma: That all that portion of the United States now known as Indian Territory, except so much of the same as is actually occupied by the Five Civilized Tribes and the Indian tribes within the Quapaw Indian agency and except the unoccupied part of the Cherokee outlet, together with that portion of the United States known as the public-land strip, is hereby erected into a temporary government by the name of the Territory of Oklahoma. That portion of the Indian Territory included in said Territory of Oklahoma is bounded by a line drawn as follows:"
I have hung a map on the wall there. The red line is the division line, and I will leave out reading the minute description of the boundary.
Then, following after the boundary, in the same paragraph, it reads:
"Whenever the interests of the Cherokee Indians in the land known as the Cherokee Outlet shall have been extinguished, and the President shall make proclamation thereof, said outlet shall thereupon, and without further legislation, become a part of the Territory of Oklahoma. Any other lands within the Indian Territory not embraced within these boundaries shall hereafter become a part of the Territory of Oklahoma whenever the Indian nation, or a tribe owning such lands, shall signify to the President of the United States in legal manner its assent that such lands shall so become a part of the Territory of Oklahoma, and the President shall thereupon make proclamation of the same."
Section 2 provides for the further right of Congress to add to any State Oklahoma proper.
Thus we see by the language of that act and all other acts relating to Oklahoma and Indian Territory, that it has been the intention of Congress at all times in the past that the original Indian Territory, out of which Oklahoma was formed, should eventually become one single State as originally outlined by the fathers. And when we view the ragged, irregular, eccentric boundary line that now divides the two Territories we can not believe that this boundary line was other than temporary.
When the first Oklahoma legislature assembled it adopted the great common seal for the new Territory. This design, as shown here on page ——, General Statutes of Oklahoma, shows after the motto "Labor omnia vincit," Columbia as the central figure, representing justice and statehood; on her right is the American pioneer farmer; on her left is the American Indian. These representatives of the white and red races standing there beneath the scales of justice symbolize the intended union of Oklahoma and Indian Territory, arid is emblematic of equal justice to all. Beneath are the words "Grand seal of Oklahoma Territory."
All territorial legislation has been with the intent and expectation of the ultimate union of both Territories as a
single State. For instance, the Territorial University was located at Norman, on the banks of the South Canadian River, where said river constitutes a part of the boundary line between both Territories. You will see by this map that it is centrally located as to both Territories and is east of a large portion of Indian Territory.
The Agricultural and Mechanical College at Stillwater is located to the north, near the boundary line, and this point will be in the eastern half of both Territories when united as a State.
The oldest normal school is located at Edmond, which is very near the geographical center of both Territories, and at present our laws provide for the admission of pupils from the Indian Territory to all our Territorial institutions on an equality with our own students.
I think these facts are entitled to more consideration than the remark made by Mr. Clarke that nine-tenths of the people of Oklahoma are against single statehood, and I say to you that all men having only the best interests of our people at heart, and who have given the question thought, believe that the idea of forming two States out of these Territories is a visionary theory that is destitute of practical wisdom, as it would only tend to waste the energies and dissipate the resources of all our people; and that these advocates are men who have allowed personal ambition and selfish interests to guide them as against the best interests of our people. These separatists offer no argument in support of their position not based on sectionalism, party expediency, or partisan advantage. They want to do wrong for the sake of party policy. Let me say to them that any political party that will violate its principles and the principles of good government out of policy or expediency will always pay the debt with sorrow and regret.
Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I take it that the two greatest considerations in the creation of a State population and area. The questions, however, of natural resources and natural division should be considered also and given their proper weight. Population alone is but one of the considerations entering into the question. State sovereignty does not rest on population alone, as in the United States Senate neither population, size nor resources are considered.
Rhode Island, the smallest State, and Texas with its vast domain, there stand upon an equality. Nevada, with only a few thousand people, and New York, the great Empire State, with its many millions of inhabitants, are equal in that branch of the National Government. And such is the jealousy of the States of their representation in the United States Senate that no small State may hope to be admitted if it were not for partisan interests.
Because in the adding of a State to the Union, every State gives up a part of its influence in all three co-ordinate branches of the National Government. It is an assignment, so to speak, of a part of their power and influence in national affairs, each State surrendering its proportionate share to the new State.
A wide discretion is given to Congress by the Constitution in the words, "New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union." This, the only provision of the Constitution upon the subject, leaves Congress the sole judge of the expediency of admitting a State into the Union. For this reason we must remember that a new State primarily organized and admitted into the Union for the benefit of its own people, is in a large degree for the benefit of the whole people of the nation. And a Territory seeking admission ought in population, in area, in present and prospective development and intelligence of its people to be on a par with the average of the other States of the Union; thus the equilibrium of the States may be preserved and maintained in the Senate.
If a Territory falls short of this standard it is unjust to the other States to admit it into the Union on a footing of equality. These general principles are fundamental and ought to control.
On the question of population no one can dispute that the twin Territories united are entitled to statehood under any rule ever suggested in Congress, having a population of about 1,400,000 people and enough at the taking of the last census to entitle the new State to five Representatives in the House branch of Congress. The first rule regarding population was set forth in the ordinance of 1787 by the Continental Congress creating the Northwest Territory. Article 5 of said ordinance creating said Northwest Territory provides, therein, whenever any of the proposed States shall have 60,000 free inhabitants, etc.
The ordinary and more general rule has been—that is, whenever any rule was followed—to require a population equal to the unit or ratio required in population for one member of Congress. The extreme rule was set forth by Senator Dillingham in his argument before the Senate upon the omnibus bill. That rule was to require a population which would equal the average population of all the States. Yet I believe the true rule to be that where a fair number of people demand State government there is no just cause for denial, provided the questions of area, natural divisions, and natural resources are settled, because progress in the development of a Territory’s resources is dependent to a very great extent upon statehood. This last rule has been the rule generally followed by Congress in the admission of new States.
But even under the harsh rule suggested by Senator Dillingham, and which has never heretofore been invoked, Oklahoma and Indian Territory united would have the population necessary to fulfill that requirement. We would be to-day, if united as a State, ranking as the twenty-third State in point of population. We have passed Nevada, Alaska, Wyoming, Arizona, Idaho, Delaware, New Mexico, Montana, Utah, District of Columbia, North Dakota, Vermont ("Indian Territory," "Oklahoma Territory"), South Dakota, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, Florida, Colorado, Maine, Connecticut, West Virginia, Nebraska, Maryland, Arkansas, South Carolina and Louisiana.
The above-named States and Territories rank in the order named, according to the report of the last census, commencing with the lowest in rank.
Oklahoma and Indian Territory, separated, rank as 38 and 39, that is, between Vermont and South Dakota.
Mr. Chairman, another matter in connection with the population of Oklahoma I wish to call your attention to is the census tables. They show a density of population in Oklahoma of 10.3 and the Indian Territory of 12.6 persons to the square mile. The opening of the Kiowa, Comanche and Wichita reservations to settlement since the census was taken would now make our density equal at least to that of Indian Territory. The question now arises, What may we expect to gain in population in the future? Practically all our Indian reser-
vations have now been opened to settlement and our future increase of population will be in the ordinary way.
We find by these tables that Nebraska in 1890 had a density of population of 13.8 and in 1900 13.9 persons to the square mile, an increase of only one-tenth of one in ten years. Kansas had in 1890 a density of population of 17.5 and in 1900, 18 persons to the square mile, a gain in ten years of one-half of one to the square mile; and the tables show that even this small gain was made in the manufacturing and mining parts of the State, and that there was a decrease in the rural population. We find Arkansas had in 1890 a density of population of 21.3 and in 1900, 24.7 persons to the square mile, a gain of 3.4 persons to the square mile, due mostly to the developments of its mineral resources. These statistics are significant. It shows that when the population of an essentially farming State reaches a certain density its future increase is slow. However, this is not true in cotton-growing districts of recent settlement. The tendency there is to divide up what ordinarily constitutes a homestead into small tracts; and in Oklahoma we have a large cotton area, but not so great as that in Indian territory.
The average increase in population in the United States for the decade between 1890 and 1900 was 21 per cent. The increase in the States of Kansas and Nebraska was only 3 per cent. It cannot be contended in the light of the census figures that our territories are sparsely settled. As it is we have a greater density of population than Nevada, which has 0.4; Wyoming, 0.9; Idaho, 1.9; Montana, 1.7; Utah, 3.4; Orgeon, 4.4; North Dakota, 4.5; Colorado, 5.2; South Dakota, 5.5; Washington, 7.7; California, 9.5 and Florida, 9.7 persons to the square mile.
In addition to the question of increase, I wish to call the attention of the committee to the showing made by the census abstract to show that even with all the wonderful and marvelous developments we have had in Oklahoma Territory from its opening in 1889—the first census taken in 1890, the last census; upon which these propositions are based, being taken in 1900—that even in those ten years, in that decade, it did not have the per cent of increase in population which other states have had during that particular period when they were being settled up and the lands were being thrown open to set-
tlement; and since that time in those states the increase has been slow, Dakota being the highest, ranging in the thousands.
The percentage of increase of Oklahoma for that decade was 407.6, the highest of any State or Territory in the Union, the next highest increase being the Indian Territory. In the decade between 1880 and 1890 the percentage of increase in the State of North Dakota was 1,434.7. I simply call the attention of the committee to this as against the statement of Mr. Clarke that no such increase as that of Oklahoma was ever known before.
In the State of South Dakota for that decade the per cent of increase was 734.5. In Colorado it was 387.4.
And so on, gentlemen. You may view these tables and you will find that when a country has been opened to settlement under the beneficent provisions of the homestead act, the increase is always marvelous, but we should not base the per cent of increase when those conditions are existing upon that which we may in prospect expect to have and continue in the future.
Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, the next greatest consideration involves the question of area. Oklahoma alone has an area of 38,830 square miles. Indian Territory has an area of 31,000 square miles. Both Territories united as a single State its area would be 69,830 square miles, which is about one-fourth the size of Texas and much less than one-half the size of California or Montana. It would still be the smallest state west of the Mississippi River, with the exception of Iowa, Missouri and Arkansas, whose areas are approximately the same as the new State would be. The gross area of the United States, including five continental Territories, is 3, 616,484 square miles, and the average area of the 50 States and Territories is 72,330 square miles. The average area of the 45 States alone is about 62,000 square miles. This would leave the proposed State about 8,000 square miles, above the present average; but when New Mexico, Arizona and our Territories united are admitted as three more States the average area will then be but little less than the area of this proposed State. United as a single State we would have a less area than the following-named States and Territories, whose areas are as follows
And we would almost exactly equal Missouri’s area—69,415 square miles—and Washington with 69,180 square miles. We would still have a much smaller area than any State north, south or west of us.
Mr. Clark called your attention to the average area of States east of the Mississippi River. As these Territories are west of said river I think it more logical to make the comparison with the average area of the 19 States west of the Mississippi River, which is 96,691 square miles, an average of 28,000 square miles more than both Territories united would be.
For statistical purposes there have been defined five geographical divisions of the States and Territories, known as the North Atlantic, South Atlantic, North Central, South Central and Western divisions. The South Central division includes Oklahoma and Indian Territories and the States of Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas, the average area of the States in this division being 78,837 square miles. The average area of the states of the North Central division composed of the following States:
Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas, is 64,000 square miles. The average area of the States of the Western division composed of the following States: Montana,
Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and California, is 108,000 square miles.
So when we examine these figures of the area of other States I take it to be a self-evident fact that in the matter of area it is absolutely necessary to unite these two Territories as a State in order that the new State may compare favorably with other States in the matter of area, and I think it would be the part of wisdom and statesmanship to do so; for this reason alone the fathers of this country made a rule for our guidance in this the first rule ever made regarding the area of new States. It is set forth in the ordinance of 1787 creating the Northwest Territory.
The average of the five States created out of the Northwest Territories is 50,000 square miles, as upon the admission of said States it was deemed wise to follow natural boundaries, and a large portion of the Northwest Territory was afterwards included in Minnesota to give it an outlet on Lake Superior sufficient to make the average of the five States contemplated by the ordinance to be 70,000 square miles. I ask you, has any man ever doubted or questioned the wisdom and statesmanship of the fathers who formulated that ordinance? Of the thirteen original States five of them had areas approximating the territories united. They are as follows:
And I might say the State of Massachusetts, which then included not only the present State, but also the State of Maine, would make that State average as then existing almost the same as the two Territories. The State was afterwards divided for reasons with which the committee is familiar. You all know that Maine and Massachusetts were separated by the State of New Hampshire, and it was deemed to be against public policy to have a State formed out of two distinct and separated areas of territory.
Mr. Spalding. From what States is the bulk of your immigration coming now?
Mr. Doyle. From every State in the Union. The bulk
at this time is coming from Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas.
Mr. Spalding. And is it the same as to the Indian Territory ?
Mr. Doyle. Yes, sir; absolutely. I will say to you, in answer to that question, that the class of men who are coming there at this time are men who are taking advantage of the high prices of land in the States that they come from—Iowa, a great many from Minnesota and Nebraska—and have come there and have bought large tracts of land. That is the class of citizens that is coming from the North. I notice by a local paper this week that at least 7,000 came in on the excursion dates of this month.
Mr. Howe. A large portion of them from Illinois.
Mr. Doyle. Yes, sir; they are that class of men who have taken advantage of the high prices offered for land in those States and come to our Territories, where they can get more land cheaper for their boys and other members of their families.
Thus it will be seen that these Territories united fulfill every requirement on the question of area and natural division. Mr. Clarke says they have been divided on geographical lines by the organic act. You have heard read the provisions of the organic act and which, as a matter of fact, provides for their union and not division.
Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, in answer to Mr. Clarke’s statement I ask you to look at this map. Oklahoma alone there has the shape and outline of an Indian reservation or a Spanish land grant. The dividing line between the Territories looks like a Chinese letter. Irregular and unnatural in outline and misshapen in form are both Territories, separated even more so than those States whose boundarries were fixed in an unknown country by the charter acts of the English Crown.
Both Territories united would form a magnificent State, symmetrical in form and outline, and harmonizing in area, form, and outline with all the neighboring States.
Mr. Chairman, looking at that map of both Territories you see the majestic rivers which flow across Oklahoma eastward to their confluences with the great Arkansas River in the eastern part of Indian Territory. Here is the South
Canadian, the North Canadian, the Deep Fork, the Cimarron, the Salt Fork, and the Arkansas rivers, and you see that they in their course flow eastward across both Territories and seem like ties binding them together. Their fertile valleys, commencing in the eastern part of Indian Territory, extending westward across both Territories, and the same may be said of the Washita River and the great Red River, which forms the southern boundary line of both Territories.
No geographical reason of any kind can be urged against the union of these Territories as a State, but all natural conditions prove the wisdom of the fathers when they defined the boundaries of the original Indian Territory. I ask you, gentlemen, to study well this map, as it is one of the strongest arguments in favor of our position—that is, for one State.
This map also shows a veritable network of railways interwoven east and west and north and south across both Territories. Six great trunk lines, Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe and the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific cross both Territories from north to south, and St. Louis and San Francisco; Missouri, Kansas and Texas; C. 0. & G., and the Fort Smith and Western cross them from east to west. All these roads have numerous branch lines, and in addition the Indian Territory has the Missouri Pacific and Kansas City Southern, and Oklahoma has the Orient, D. E. & G., and G. and El Reno. The boundary between Oklahoma and Indian Territory is crossed by railways in sixteen places, and there has never been an acre of land granted to secure these railroads.
Mr. Chairman, and gentlemen of the committee, no man thinks more highly than I do of Oklahoma Territory, her people, and her natural advantages, such as a fertile soil, and a climate, which is the finest in the world. There, fanned by gentle zephyrs and clothed in the sheen of eternal spring, is a country where honest industry is sure to receive its just reward. But, in the consideration of the further question of our natural resources, I must say that Oklahoma alone has not that diversity of resources that is necessary and essential for a State. It is principally a prairie country, some timber, and no mineral to speak of, devoted chiefly to agriculture and stock raising. In this matter of natural resources and cli-
mate the Indian Territory is the perfect complement of Oklahoma.
It has forests as valuable as any State in this Union, and mineral wealth as great as that which has given Pennsylvania precedence as a manufacturing State. The splendid natural resources of Indian Territory need the aid of Oklahoma in their development. What Oklahoma lacks in order to become an industrially and productively powerful and prosperous State is entirely made up and supplied by the Indian Territory. By combining the two we get in wealth and resources a perfect State—Agriculture, stock raising, lumbering and mining—all that is needed for the development of an ideal commonwealth. All these resources of these two Territories combined ought to be utilized for one great State and for one people. Surely in this we find a strong argument for their union. That would give us physical advantages the equal of any state. The vast beds of coal in the Indian Territory are inexhaustible. It has vast undeveloped iron mines, it has the finest asphalt mines in the world, and large fields of natural gas and oil. The coal supply of Oklahoma is received from the Indian Territory.
It is essential to every industry in Oklahoma, from our steam threshing machines to our flouring mills, for our, factories and in all lines where steam power is used, and also for cheapness of fuel in our homes, that we should be united with the Indian Territory as one State, in order that proper legislation may be had to protect our people from any unfair discrimination by the railroads in the carrying of this and other products. Then the State would have the power within itself to regulate that traffic, but if you separate these Territories and make two States then the control of each is limited, because under the Federal Constitution each State can only control and regulate the railroad traffic which is entirely local within the State itself, beginning and ending there, and that traffic which naturally will be carried on between the two States will be subject only to the provision of the interstate-commerce law, and subject only to Federal control instead of State control. Surely no man would want to see our industries crippled and our people and our resources placed at such a disadvantage, which would be the
case if Oklahoma and the Indian Territory were separate states.
Oklahoma, united with the Indian Territory as a State, will have the essential and necessary diversity of resources in addition to the richness and fertility of Oklahoma’s prairies.
Great manufacturing cities are growing in the neighborhood of the inexhaustible coal fields of the Indian Territory. A large part of said coal lands are soon to be sold under the provisions of a recent act of Congress.
We have in Oklahoma several fine cities near the border of the Indian Territory, Oklahoma City being the largest. In these cities is where the wholesale, jobbing, and manufacturing interests and the financial and commercial interests of both Territories are centering. The union of the Territories as a State will tend in every way to make within the borders of the new State several great cities, where wealth, one of the considerations in the creation of a State, will center.
All the trade relations, commercial intercourse, and business interests of both Territories require that they be united; all business associations cover both Territories. The bankers’ association, which is composed of representative bankers of both Territories, indorsed single statehood at their last annual convention. A people whose industrial and commercial life is so interwoven and so naturally assimilated as is the people of these Territories should not be separated, and the good sense and practical judgment of all our people realize this when they ask that single statehood shall be provided.
Mr. Chairman, by the union of these Territories as one State it will relieve the people of great burdens of taxation. We all know that it is nearly as expensive to conduct the government of a small State as it is of a large State. The two Territories united under one State government would probably save half the expense that would be involved in the maintenance of them as separate States. Now, it is for the interests of the taxpayers to have a State of good fair size, not only to have a State possessed of all the natural resources necessary to make a prosperous State, but it is also in the interests of the people of the State to have it of
such a character that the cost of its government will not be a serious burden upon the people.
Mr. Chairman, united, our Territories possess all the attributes of an ideal commonwealth. We will have all that goes to make up a jowerful and prosperous State. We will be a State that in population, area, form, and natural resources can compare favorably with all other States. Then we will have those honorable feelings of State pride that are prompted by patriotism, public virtue, and intelligence in the minds of all residents of a great and powerful State. Every consideration of sound public policy, both as to the welfare of the nation as well as for the best interests of both Territories, demands that they should be united as a single State.
And let me say to you, gentlemen of the committee, that while men have made comparisons between conditions existent in Oklahoma and Indian Territory and Arizona and New Mexico, they are absolutely different in every respect. One is the antithesis of the other. All lines of legislation have been for the separation of New Mexico and Arizona. All geographical lines favor their separation. Each is on one side of the great Rocky Mountain divide, and every condition incident to the creation of large commonwealths upon the frontier of our country would demand that they be separated. Legislation has been in that line. Public policy would demand, as a matter of fact, that they should continue to be separated, but public policy demands and all legislation has been with that intent, both national and local, that Oklahoma and Indian Territory should be united. Indian Territory has never been granted a single attribute of autonomy.
It has been there upon the map, possibly a blot upon the civilization of this country, by reason of its political serfdom, with 700,000 people—and that is the most recent report of the most authoritative body, the report of the Dawes Commission, filed this past week with the President, placing the population at 700,000 people entirely governed by the executive department of this Government. It has no legislative power in any way and no local laws other than by Congress enacted incidental to emergencies and exigencies that have arisen there. On the other hand, Oklahoma Territory has its autonomy. It has been recognized
by the provisions of the organic act which I have read to you and given a constrained political existence, such as a Territory may have. Several provisions of the Constitution have been extended over it, but in all those articles and in the subsequent acts of Congress they follow the one idea, that eventually the Indian Territory shall be added before they may hope to become one of the sisterhood of States.
The Chairman. Can you give the committee, Mr. Doyle, some of the details of government of the Indian Territory, as you have described it?
Mr. Doyle. Yes, sir.
The Chairman. Go into detail somewhat in that line.
Mr. Doyle. I want to say, in answer to that, Mr. Chairman, that the most degraded political existence that is known to the English-speaking race is found in the Indian Territory. Their condition is that of political slavery. They have not that much voice in their public affairs and in the administration of the law in that part of the United States as have the recently conquered Boer provinces of South Africa. Under that system of governing 700,000 people by the Executive branch of the Government as it sees fit, they have no voice even in the selection of an officer such as constable. Recently Congress has allowed them a school system in the various towns. They vote and select their school boards under that act of Congress; but even that particular branch is under an appointee of the Executive Department here who stands in the relation of what in a State would be a State superintendent of public instruction.
The Chairman. What provision have they for the maintenance of order?
Mr. Doyle. In regard to the maintenance of order, the act of Congress describes and defines certain acts of the code of Arkansas and certain parts of the law of Arkansas that are made operative in that particular part of the country, to be administered by men upon the bench in the capacity of United States judges by their appointees in each recording district, in the capacity of a United States court commissioner; and when I speak of those courts I mean not the regular Federal courts, but United States courts for that specific purpose.
The Chairman. Then the constabulary is appointed?
Mr. Doyle. The commissioner in each district has the right to appoint a constable. The United States executive department appoints a marshal for each of four districts in the Indian Territory; that is, a United States marshal for each judicial district, with all powers that an ordinary marshal has in a United States Federal district subdivision of a State.
The Chairman. And the sheriff of a State?
Mr. Doyle. And the sheriff of a State—the dual powers.
Mr. Thayer. Do you think people who have been as unfortunate as you represent these people to be are up to the standard of statehood?
Mr. Doyle. I wish to say to you in answer to that. Mr. Thayer, that I do not believe a better people ever populated a State; that those people come there more legitimately in every respect than the people who landed upon the shores of Massachusetts 20 or 30 miles from where you and I were born; that they come there with every right in every respect better than the first settlers upon the Delaware, the Hudson, or here upon the Potomoc. They went there upon the express invitation of the Indians. They went there under the provisions of the Curtis Act—that is, the great majority of them—which provided for the sale of the various town sites throughout the Indian Territory. They went there according to the acts of Congress that provided for the selection and leasing of the various coal, asphalt, and other mineral lands in that country. Certainly it was not contemplated by Congress that when those acts were passed the development of that country should be carried out by the native Indians alone. I want to say to you, Mr. Thayer, that in so far as the Indian part is concerned they have always had local self-government, and, as a rule, there is but a tincture of Indian blood in the great percentage of what constitutes the Five Tribes—just a trace. They were civilized before they left the States of Alabama and Georgia. They have maintained those tribal governments republican in form. They have had a code of laws in each of those five districts; and while it might be said that under their local governments they
became arbitrary and corrupt in every respect, and the existing need for the Curtis and other bills which followed became absolute by reason of the fact that although they in their code invited originally those white men there, they made no provisions in regard to the white population living among them.
Mr. Thayer. State whether they are, on the whole, a self-restrained people and would govern themselves well?
Mr. Doyle. Yes, sir. I say to you that I believe when a man stands up, as Mr. Clarke did here, and pictured those people as lawbreakers and outlaws, and said they were represented by such a type of people as Bill Starr and Cherokee Bill, as he did, he does it without any reason of any kind or character. They have as beautiful cities as there are in any part of the West. You find the American home in every one of the four hundred towns in the Indian Territory. You find men just as brainy in every respect, following the profession of the law before those courts as we do in your State of Massachusetts. You find a class of merchants there that are equal to any people. You see them here among you as they come before this committee. They are representative; and it is attempted simply by sophistry to have you believe that crime is rampant in that country simply because, under the system of laws that govern it under the executive administration of affairs there, the Government of the United States prosecutes every crime from a simple assault and the use of profane language clear up to the highest degree of murder. Those matters here in Washington are subject to the police power. Every State delegates those trifling matters to its municipal bodies within its own borders. In making that computation they counted everything from the giving an Indian a glass of whiskey clear up to introducing and disposing. Those are the two crimes incidental to the whiskey business there, and they comprise almost one-half of the whole per cent that he (Mr. Clarke) speaks of.
The Chairman. What are the provisions for public instruction?
Mr. Doyle. The provision for public instruction is just a recent one. It provides that each of those municipali-
ties shall elect a board of education; that they shall have the right to tax all property within the bounds of that municipal corporation for the support of the schools.
The Chairman. What municipalities do you refer to?
Mr. Doyle. I refer to every municipality in the Indian Territory and there is a limit as to the incorporated towns. The limit of incorporation, I believe, is when they exceed 200. I will ask Mr. Howe about that.
Mr. Howe. That is correct.
The Chairman. Under what law are those towns incorporated?
Mr. Doyle. Under the Curtis Act and Arkansas statute.
Mr. Thayer. I understand you are at a disadvantage with other Territories; for instance, New Mexico. Wherein do you think New Mexico is treated better than the Indian Territory at present?
Mr. Doyle. New Mexico for fifty years has had a political existence. They have been allowed to have a legislative assembly that provides its laws. That assembly, in the past fifty years, in its wisdom, has provided all the institutions incidental to a State. They have a beautiful State ’Capitol building, they have a penitentiary. They have all the higher educational institutions that any State may have, and possibly one or two more, including a school of mines and a school of science. The Indian Territory has no law-making body. Towns cannot pass ordinances covering the ordinary misdemeanors, which is a power that the ordinary city is granted by every State government to control. Even the violation of what would constitute an ordinance in a little city or village is there prosecuted in the Federal court, and for that reason the Federal courts are behind in their work and cannot reach the cases that should be reached. There is no provision of law for appeals in criminal cases in anyway there. So far as New Mexico is concerned, it has all those provisions, subject only to the will of Congress, which has the right to nullify any act, whether it be valid under existing law or not, or which has the right to make valid any law on their part that would be ultra vires under the law.
Mr. Thayer. I had supposed something in that line. Now, ought you not to walk before you run? Would it not be well if your Territories there were put on an equality with these other Territories before they demand admittance to statehood in connection with Oklahoma?
Mr. Doyle. Mr. Thayer, I do not think you were here when I made my opening argument. I will repeat the burden of it as to the capability of our people or the people of the Indian Territory for self-government. I wish to say in regard to that that I might, with propriety, quote the language of Daniel Webster, as I can do in substance. In that great oration that he delivered here where we now are on the 4th day of July, 1851, on the occasion of the dedication of the East Wing of this Capitol building. Speaking generally in regard to the American people and their capability of self-government, and particularly as to the people of the State of California, who had shortly before organized their State government, he pointed to it as an illustration of what had there been proven and what all Americans believe, and that is that wherever a large body of Americans go into a community or a country they carry with them the instinct and knowledge of self-government the teachings of their youth and their experience in the exercise of that function—and the consequence is that to whatever region an American citizen carries himself he takes with hire fully developed in his own understanding and experience our American principles and opinions, and becomes ready at once, in operation with others, to apply them to the formation of new governments. Of this a most wonderful instance is seen in the history of California, and that they are fully capable in every respect of self-government. That is his language; and I say to you that that population in the Indian Territory now, which has come there, practically all of it, since the passage of the Curtis bill in 1898—the increase has been more than 100 percent since that time—are people that are born, bred, and reared to all the conditions incidental to self-government. They have exercised that function in the other States. I will say that a large part of the population are Union soldiers, men who went out and fought in defense of their country. You see their snow-white heads in every gathering of a public character. They are
living in that particular community. No period of probation is necessary for that class of people, any more than it would be for the Indians, who have for a hundred years, in their minor governments, exercised the right of self-government.
The Chairman. Mr. Doyle, the committee will have to rise now. We will continue the hearing at a later date, to be fixed by the committee.
The committee thereupon adjourned, subject to call.