Chronicles of Oklahoma

Skip Navigation

Electronic Publishing Center
Oklahoma Historical Society
Chronicles Homepage
Search all Volumes
Copyright 2001
Purchase an Issue

Table of Contents Index Volume List Search All Volumes Home

Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 5, No. 3
September, 1927
SINGLE VERSUS DOUBLE STATEHOOD

STATEMENT of THOMAS H. DOYLE—(Concluded)

Page 266

Mr. Doyle.      Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee. I assure you I appreciate the fact that you have been patient and indulgent in listening to the presentation of our claims in behalf of the one State cause, and I wish to say that I have been here for a month waiting an opportunity to appear before the committee as a member of the single statehood executive nonpartisan committee, and my appearance here has been entirely at my own expense. I am not here as an attorney. I am not here in a representative capacity, nor as a man who expects to be rewarded, simply as a member of that committee, in carrying out the objects of that committee. I am very anxious to get through and to get back home.      I wish to say to you, gentlemen of the committee, that I want no member of this committee to take my criticisms of Mr. McGuire’s bill, or his attitude in this matter, as personal to him in any way. Mr. McGuire stands as high in my estimation as any other member of the bar of our Territory or any other citizen that we have in the Territory. We have been living in adjoining counties since the opening of the Cherokee Strip for settlement in 1893. Although in the general practice of law a part of the time, Mr. McGuire has been the United States assistant district attorney for that district and for that Territory for a number of years. We have been thrown in contact repeatedly in the courts and also on the rostrum in connection with political matters; but all these charges that appear in the press of this country in connection with Mr. McGuire are simply newspaper talk as far as I am concerned and as far as all good citizens of our Territory are concerned. He stands as high as any man in every respect, both as a lawyer and as a citizen, and although we differ on this question of statehood I do not wish it to be understood in any away that I desire to have this committee believe that I speak in any manner disrespectfully of Mr. McGuire.

Mr. Lloyd.      We are glad to have you make this state-

Page 267

     ment, Mr. Doyle, but Mr. McGuire does not need any commendation to this committee.

Mr. Doyle.      And he does not need it at home, I assure you. But I wish to say at this time that I believe Mr. McGuire, by reason of the fact of his being United States district attorney and one of that class of our population that are benefited and who have a selfish interest in having Oklahoma Territory remain as a Territory, is somewhat biased in his views in regard to the question. I do not think he has been in as close touch with the common, ordinary, everyday people of Oklahoma Territory as myself, either officially or in his everyday affairs. I have had the honor to represent the people of my county in the legislative assembly for four years, and these matters have been fully discussed in that particular body.      Also, I presume I have been in that Territory more than Mr. McGuire has. His official business has called him elsewhere. But I do not want this committee to take my mere assertion in this matter of what the sentiment of our people is, and I want now to read to you the expression of the Oklahoma School Teachers’ Territorial Association in a resolution as to their attitude in regard to this matter. When Mr. McGuire says that two-thirds of the people are against single statehood I think it proper that it should go before this committee. I am reading from page 1109, volume 36, of the Congressional Record, the resolution of the school-teachers’ Territorial organization, addressed to Senator Beveridge, January 20, 1903, about one year ago:      Whereas the Territory of Oklahoma and the Indian Territory are united in geographical location, in the nature and and character of their soils and climate, and each is the complement of the other in those great natural resources which make a region fit for the home of a prosperous and enlightened people; and      Whereas the white people of the two Territories are united and bound together by common ties of relationship, habits, character, and social life, making their histories common and their destiny one; and      Whereas there are 150,000 white children of scholastic age in the Indian Territory who are absolutely deprived of the boon of public free schools, and are the only subjects of the United States Government in either hemisphere that have been thus neglected; and

Page 268

     Whereas the parents of said children have made their homes in the Indian Territory at the invitation of the Indian tribal government and at the earnest solicitation of the United States Government and have by their labors transformed a wilderness into a land of civilization and orderly life; Therefore be it      Resolved, by the Territorial Teachers’ Association of the Territory of Oklahoma, That we petition the Congress of the United States to make provision for the immediate relief of our friends and neighbors by the enactment of laws which will authorize and provide for the establishment of a system of public schools in that area now embraced by the boundaries of the Indian Territory."      I want to read further the petition of the people of Chandler, Lincoln County:      We the citizens of Chandler, Lincoln County, Okla., regardless of political party affiliation, in mass meeting assembled in the city of Chandler, this 8th day of December, 1902, hereby announce our belief in and allegiance to the single statehood principles enunciated by the recent resolutions of the Claremore statehood convention.      We desire to indorse and commend the broad and patriotic views of the Senate Committee on Territories embodied in that committee’s substitute bill, known as the Nelson bill, which provides for single immediate statehood for Oklahoma and the Indian Territory.      We believe that any other bill than that which provides for the union of these twin Territories—so closely related socially and commercially, each so fairly and fully the complement of the other—upon an equal basis, would be fraught with disaster to each, limit and cramp their boundaries and opportunities, and oppress their people with the burdensome and unnecessary transaction of dual State Government      Therefore be it      Resolved, That we heartily indorse the Nelson statehood bil and urge its immediate enactment into law, and that copies of this resolution be furnished the local press and the original forwarded to Hon. C. B. Ames, at Washington, D. C., with a report that he present the same to the Senate Committee on Territories.      Roy Hoffman,      T. B. Knapp,      J. D. Perkins,      Committee on Resolutions.      Adopted with objection.      Attest:      F. W. Rash, President.      G. A. Smith, Secretary.      Mr. Hoffman was the former assistant United States at-

Page 269

     torney. Mr. Knapp, as I remember, was one of the Republican Territorial executive committee—all representative citizens.

Mr. McGuire.      That teachers’ resolution does not go into the question of statehood, does it?

Mr. Doyle.      I think so. It says:      Whereas the white people of the Two Territories are united and bound together by common ties of relationship, habits, character, and social life, making their histories common and their destiny one.      I want to read the resolution of the Medical Society of a year ago this month:      At a meeting of the Oklahoma County Medical Society, a representative body of the medical profession of the ’Territory, of indifferent tenor politically, which meeting occurred the 23rd instant, the following resolution was moved and seconded and passed unanimously by the society:      "Resolved, That this meeting unequivocally indorse the bill known as the Senate substitute for the omnibus bill providing for the entrance into the Union of those Territories known as Oklahoma and Indian Territories as one State, under the name of Oklahoma.      "Signed by the officers of the Oklahoma County Medical Society, and copies forwarded to Senators Beveridge and Cockrell.      R. D. Long, M. D., President.      W. J. Boyd, M. D., Secretary."      I could take up and give you a great many additional endorsements of that character.      There is one on the question which I have presented here in regard to the particular proviso of Mr. McGuire’s bill, the piecemeal clause, and I want to say a word in explanation at the outset in justice to Mr. McGuire’s bill. When Mr. Harvey was the first Delegate of Oklahoma Territory that clause was added to his statehood bill and it has been followed to a certain extent up to this time, except that part relating to taxation of Indian lands which would carry it over twenty-five years before it would become operative. It has been supplemented. The conditions then were entirely different. That was over ten or twelve years ago. Then this white population did not exist in the Indian Territory. In a discussion between himself and myself before the visiting committee of Senators, Mr. Asp, of Guthrie, claimed to be the originator of that clause at that time and sought to

Page 270

     justify its provisions by reason of the conditions exisiting when it was first conceived. I want to read to you a comment on that clause, of Senator Tillman.

Mr. Lloyd.      What Tillman is that; Senator Tillman?

Mr. Doyle.      Senator Tillman. And the people of his State. He spoke for them. This is on page 1121, volume 36.

The Chairman.      I do not know how far the rule in relation to comments on the proceedings of the two Houses of Congress goes.

Mr. Doyle.      I will just refer to it, and any member of the committee may read it. He uses stronger language than I have used.

Mr. Powers.      Mr. Tillman generally uses strong language.

The Chairman.      I think you had better not put that in the record, Mr. Doyle. You can give it to us for our information.

Mr. Doyle.      Very well. In perusing that you will see that Mr Tillman states this from personal observation, he having made a lecture tour throughout both Territories, and he speaks from personal knowledge of the character of the people of both Territories, and the principle sought to be established by the piecemeal absorption clause.

The Chairman.      It is proper for us to know this, and you can tell us confidentially; but I do not think I would put it in your speech in the body of the proceedings.

Mr. Doyle.      I will not do it, but it is possible that my comments on that subject would be considered extreme by some parties who will follow me, and I want to show that being an outsider and not living there, he denounced it in language that was commended by—

Mr. Lloyd.      You would hardly say that Mr. Tillman is not an extremist.

Mr. Doyle.      I want to say that he is right on that principle, and that his language is worthy of any man’s perusal and approval. Now, gentlemen, I want to quote an authority in support of the position I take, and I do not think anybody will question it.      I quote from George Tichnor Curtis, in his constitutional history of the United States, in connection with the argument that I make, as to the sovereignty of a Territory and as to the fact that only one sovereignty has ever been created

Page 271

     Congress within the area of both Territories. This is one argument, at least, if we can speak of a Territory as a sovereignty. Of course it is simply a tentative sovereignty. It has no real sovereignty because the negative power of Congress over its legislation deprives it of sovereignty, but it has autonomy.      I want to read to you what Mr. Curtis says, speaking of Territories and the following comment on the admission of new States, volume 2, page 228. He says—      That Congress is placed under the obligation of a public trust to permit such communities to become States, and to bring them into the Union as States when the people demand it and they have sufficient population and resources so to sustain a State government, republican in form and spirit. It is not a proper discharge of this public trust to keep any Territory indefinitely in the condition of a Territory, thereby keeping open a field for the continued exercise of Federal patronage and power.      Territorial government is not self-government, and although it is necessary for a certain period for Congress to govern settlers on the public domain, a period that may vary in different cases, yet, where the Territorial community has become so large, so prosperous, that its people are entirely capable of governing themselves, it is contrary to the spirit, institutions, and, in my opinion, to the intent of the constitution, to withhold from them the full panoply, rights, and privileges of statehood, and not keep them in subjection to a distant power over which they have not even a partial control, as the citizens of every State in the Union have.      I think that is good authority. That work is frequently referred to in decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States, as you all know, and the theory of Mr. Curtis is the sound one, and I think his brief and argument as one of the counsel in the Dred Scott case is worthy of perusal by any man interested in Territories and their relation to the General Government. You will also remember that he was counsel, as I remember it now, for President Johnson in the impeachment trial, and was an eminent writer, lawyer, and jurist. He was a brother of a former justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.      Taking into consideration the fact that we have the population, as set forth in the argument made, and particularly by Mr. Clarke and by Mr. Morgan, and the arguments that will be made by my friend Senator Havens, and all the arguments they make in regard to Oklahoma are doubly applicable

Page 272

     and sustain and strengthen our cause, when you stand on the indisputable ground that both Territories should be one State, and not two petty States jealous of each other.      I want to say further at this time in regard to the bills that are pending here for the creation of a delegate for the Indian Territory, that if any one of these bills were to become law, it would tend to defeat ultimate single statehood, and would probably result in two separate States.      The Indian Territory, if created as a separate jurisdiction, Territory, or State, would be at a greater disadvantage than any Territory or State heretofore created. It would be smaller in area than any Territory that has ever been created and organized as a territory. Indiana has heretofore been the smallest, but Indian Territory would lack 3,000 miles of being even as great as Indiana. Oklahoma goes a trifle over Indiana, and is the second smallest ever created and organized into a Territory. This does not refer to small States which were colonies created by crown acts of the English Kings. I might further refer to Vermont and West Virginia. You know the history of those commonwealths.      They never were Territories for a day. New York and New Hampshire claimed Vermont in the early days. Virginia became divided during the Civil War, and West Virginia, was created as a State; but it never had a Territorial government and no Territory has ever been created of as small an area as the Indian Territory. Only one Territory has ever been heretofore created—and that is Indiana—as small as Oklahoma. Indian Territory, if organized as a Territory, would be at the disadvantage of having no public domain from which public grants of land to promote education and the general welfare of the country could be made, and it would be different in that respect from any Territory heretofore created. We all remember the rule laid down in the creation of the Northwest Territory, article 3, which reads, as I remember it, as follows: "Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary for good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged." I want to read that particular clause of the ordinance of 1787, but I presume every member is familiar with it.

Page 273

Mr. Lloyd.      You might incorporate that.

Mr. Doyle.      Very well. The conditions existent there are not such as that land may be granted, and under the provisions of the Robinson bill, we having almost 4,000,000 acres of unappropriated public domain in addition to the 2,075,000 acres heretofore granted, we have sufficient to equalize sections 16 and 36 in every township of Indian Territory that is to be taken from the public domain in Oklahoma. As the Robinson bill provides it shall be taken as indemnity land, and in addition to that the Robinson bill makes a grant of $5,000,000 cash.      The Quay bill does not grant indemnity lands, but makes a straight grant of $10,000,000 in lieu of sections 16 and 36, heretofore reserved in all States of the Louisiana Purchase, but which under the existent circumstances can not be reserved in the Indian Territory.

Mr. Lloyd.      Do you maintain that Indian Territory, as it now stands, can not maintain its public schools?

Mr. Doyle.      As it now stands, it can not. I am speaking of the proposed legislation creating it as a separate State.

Mr. Lloyd.      Would not Indian Territory be as well qualified to take care of its public schools as Oklahoma?

Mr. Doyle.      No sir; we have 2,055,000 acres of land now granted altogether. I would refer to the governor’s report. The rentals alone exceed $1,000 per day.

Mr. Lloyd.      You are basing that upon the theory that the Congress of the United States would not make a provision for the school fund?

Mr. Doyle.      I base it upon this theory, Mr. Lloyd, that the Dawes Commission has failed in the allotting of the land to carry out the principles of this Government that have been in force for the last century, in that public land has always been reserved in the new States that have been created and added to the United States to promote education. The Dawes Commission failed to reserve any land to promote education in the Indian Territory, except that they did provide that 500,000 acres of mineral land should be segregated under the Atoka Agreement for the benefit of the Choctaw and Chickasaw Indian schools. That agreement stood until the last session of Congress, when an act was, passed by

Page 274

     Congress that provided for the sale of that segregated land, and when that land is sold the proceeds are to be divided pro rata among the members of the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes, thereby wiping out the only provision that had been made for the promotion of education in this Indian country.

Mr. Lloyd.      Then, as a moral proposition, would it not be wrong to require Oklahoma to keep up the schools of both the Indian Territory and Oklahoma?

Mr. Doyle.      It certainly would be, unless we consider the fact that our grants were made in connection with the same act that provides for the annexation to Oklahoma or Indian Territory, and in which the indemnity lands spoken of here are taken in lieu of Sections 16 and 36 in the Osage country. They were taken from other parts of the public domain of Oklahoma, because under the treaties with the Osage there can be no public domain there. The provisions of the Robinson bill carry out the idea that sections in lieu of 16 and 36 shall be taken from the public domain of Oklahoma, as has been done in the Osage Nation case. We still have a large unoccupied public domain remaining, but these lands are not as good as the lands that were first segregated. Take them for instance in Beaver County, which has close to 3,000,000 acres of public domain at this time alone. That is within the arid district. The Robinson bill provides that $5,000,000 appropriation in order to equalize the value of the land already granted and selected and that proposed to be granted and selected under the bill.

Mr. McGuire.      Is it your suggestion that lieu lands should be taken from the present public domain remaining in Oklahoma?

Mr. Doyle.      Yes, sir.

Mr. McGuire.      For the Five Civilized Tribes?

Mr. Doyle.      Yes, sir; in lieu of aid, for sections 16 and 36 in each congressional township in the Five Tribes—the same as have already taken indemnity lands in the Kickapoo country in lieu of sections 16 and 36 in the Osage country which is now a part of Oklahoma Territory.

Mr. McGuire.      In that way the schools of the Indian Territory would be supported from lands taken from the public domain in Oklahoma.

Page 275

Mr. Doyle.      It does not support the schools.

Mr. McGuire.      But to that extent, I say.

Mr. Doyle.      To that extent; yes, sir; in addition to the $5,000,000 which we appropriate to carry out the former principles I have referred to—to promote education.

Mr. McGuire.      To whom do the public lands belong that are not ceded to the Territory?

Mr. Doyle.      To the United States; and the original grant of school lands is to the State of Oklahoma, whatever it might be, and Congress reserves the right to fix the boundaries of that State as it sees fit in the future.      When Mr. Clark states that the Indians have been opposed to single statehood I want to call the attention of the committee at this time to the attitude of Chief Green McCurtain when he was here advocating the sale of reserved mineral lands. He stated, as the press reported him, that ultimate single statehood would cause the funds derived from the sale of the mineral lands to go to the common school fund of the new State, and that the Choctaw and Chickasaw Indian school children would be educated then in the common schools; and further, that in his opinion whatever indemnity the nation would give to his people would be small in comparison to the value of the mineral lands reserved originally for the benefit of the school children of the Choctaw and Chickasaw Indian Nation. That is the gentleman Mr. Clark quotes now as wanting separate statehood. I say to you that if the original intention of this agreement as made by the Dawes Commission had been carried out it would have been the strongest argument that could be offered before this body in favor of separate statehood; then the Indians would have land to promote education; but the men that Mr. Clark states now are opposing single statehood are the very men who consented to have that land sold in order that the funds derived therefrom could be distributed pro rata among the members of the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes.      I want to say that some of the members of the committee which I have the honor to be a member of are men who are leaders in the councils of the Five Tribes. I refer to Mr. Paschal, of Tahlequah, who is a member of this executive committee and chairman of one of the Oklahoma City

Page 276

     single statehood conventions—the last one that was held; also Mr. Johnson, of Chickasha. Of that committee of twenty, at least five are men who are prominent in the affairs of the Five Tribes—men who have been legislators, men who stand high in every respect in that Territory. I believe they represent the true sentiment of the people of the Five Tribes.      I want to say as to the blanket Indian—the Snake band of the Creeks and the Keetowah band of the Cherokees they are the only remaining portion that could possibly be classed as being the kind of Indians we have in Oklahoma Territory. The others are classed in the report of the Dawes Commission, that I think has been made in the past few days, as having only a tincture of Indian blood, and being white men in all respects and in every way entitled to self-government as men could be. When I oppose the bills that are pending for a delegate, I say that it would delay statehood, in my mind, because it would tend to create another autonomy within the area of the two Territories.

Mr. Lloyd.      What do you think about the question of right, as to the making of a single State and turning over to that State public institutions and public buildings which have been paid for by Oklahoma?

Mr. Doyle.      In response to that question I wish to state this: That the only public buildings Oklahoma Territory has are educational buildings. We have no State capitol. We have no penitentiary. We have no reform school for boys. We have no reform school for girls. We have no blind asylum and we have no insane asylum. Those unfortunates, under the conditions that exist there, are farmed out to corporations which are organized for the purpose of bidding to secure and care for and control that class of people. You will all remember the scandals incident to this system that have occurred there. It attained a national notoriety. It was in connection with the treatment of that class of people under contract that had been made by the executive part of our Territorial government.      Possibly one of the strongest reasons that has developed for the necessity of those institutions—but the fact is

Page 277

     that we have anticipated a union of both Territories as one State, and for this reason the legislative assemblies have always failed to agree to locate institutions of that character—and the only reason that has been urged is that it would be unfair to the part of the new State that is to be composed of the Indian Territory to permanently locate those institutions. We have a fund that now approximately amounts to one-half million dollars derived from rentals of section 33 in the counties of the Cherokee strip and the counties of Comanche, Kiowa, Caddo, and Greer, that has never been expended and which is known as the public-building fund. Those amounts were, under the provision of the original grant, to be devoted to public buildings of the Territory, and under the provisions of this act in the counties where they have been segregated. They have been segregated only in 11 counties of Oklahoma’s 26.

Mr. Lloyd.      You have a university, have you not, and some normal schools?

Mr. Doyle.      We have a university. The last assembly appropriated the money to rebuild the university. It is located right on the line, as I stated before, on the banks of the South Canadian River, where the river forms the boundary line between both Territories. Those institutions are educational institutions, and they are the only institutions that have been provided for thus far. Three of them are located east of what will be the center of the new State if both Territores are united as one State and will be accessible in every respect to the Indian Territory as they are to Oklahoma Territory.

The Chairman.      Will you kindly define the Cherokee Strip ?

Mr. Doyle.      Yes, sir. It is all north of that line (indicating on the map).

The Chairman.      Please put it in words so that it will be intelligible to those who may not hear you, if you can.

Mr. Doyle.      The Cherokee strip is composed of that part of Oklahoma—

Mr. Lloyd.      Please give the counties, Mr. Doyle.

Mr. Doyle.      It is composed of that part of Oklahoma, as now constituted, including in the Osage Nation, Pawnee County, Noble County, Kay County, Grant County, Garfield County, Woods County, Woodward County, and five town-

Page 278

     ships in Payne County. The Cherokee Outlet, so called, was added under the provisions of the organic act to Oklahoma Territory in 1893 by proclamation of the President.      It was a part of the Cherokee Nation; $8,000,000, in round numbers, is the amount paid by the United States, as awarded by the Cherokee Commission in their agreement in behalf of the Government with the Cherokee Indians, for that land, and then it was added to the public domain. The most recent part that has been added to Oklahoma Territory is constituted in the counties of Caddo, Kiowa and Comanche, which formerly was Kiowa, Comanche, and Wichita Indian reservations, but which have been recently organized as counties. I want to say to you, gentlemen, in regard to the question that arose as to the organization of the Indian Territory into counties that in the light of our experience in connection with the counties that have been created in the Cherokee Outlet, that experience has proved that you can organize counties in that country, as was done in that instance, where there was not a dollar’s worth of taxable property, and where there was not a single inhabitant prior to the 16th day of September, 1893. To-day those counties stand as prosperous as any counties in the United States. The governor appointed the first set of county officials and everything started on that day.      Homestead land is not subject to taxation until after a patent has been issued by the Government, but we have progressed, and have made counties that are just as prosperous as any counties in the United States. The provisions of the Robinson bill provide that the 25 recording districts, which are tentatively counties, shall be treated as counties for the purpose of electing members to the constitutional assembly, and shall so remain until at least the first meeting of the new state legislative assembly. The conditions there now are, as you all know, merely subdivisions of their population. They have railroads, they have homes, they have churches, and they have schools within their towns. They have all that would tend to make at the outset good counties.      Starting from the time the statehood bill passes under the provisions of this bill, they are treated as county subdivisions of the State, their condition entirely different from the conditions existent in the Kiowa and Comanche country,

Page 279

     where there was not a dollar of taxable property, and where the counties started out in 1901 with county officials appointed by the governor, and where they are to-day good, populous counties, getting along just as well as any counties in any part of the United States. I think, in the light of that experience, which has been observed by all in our Territory, that in these Indian reservations and in the organization of municipal subdivisions of the Indian Territory there is no great problem that should deter any person from considering the provisions of this bill as being proper and benficent in creating 25 new counties in Indian Territory, as defined now as recording districts.

The Chairman.      I would like to get an idea as to the distances in relation to the line between Oklahoma and Indian Territory. The line begins on the north line and extends south to the north line of the Creek Nation how many miles?

Mr. Doyle.      Fifty-eight miles.

The Chairman.      And thence extends west how many miles?

Mr. Doyle.      Thirty-six miles.

The Chairman.      And thence south to what river?

Mr. Doyle.      To the North Fork and the Canadian.

The Chairman.      And thence west along the North Fork and Canadian how far?

Mr. Doyle.      Sixteen miles.

The Chairman.      And thence south from there how far?

Mr. Doyle.      Thence south twenty-four miles.

The Chairman.      To what river?

Mr. Doyle.      The South Canadian; thence following the meanderings of the South Canadian River in a northwesterly direction to a point in the south part of Canadian County.

The Chairman.      About how far would that be—how many miles?

Mr. Doyle.      About eighty miles.

The Chairman.      And thence south?

Mr. Doyle.      Thence south to Red River.

The Chairman.      About how far is that?

Mr. Doyle.      One hundred miles. It covers 16 townships, 6 miles to a township.

The Chairman.      Have you finished your statement?

Mr. Doyle.      I have practically finished.

Page 280

The Chairman.      Is there any member of the committee who desires to ask Mr. Doyle any question?

Mr. Doyle.      There is just one matter that I want to comment on at this time, and it will be taken up in the argument by my friend Havens. I want to say that in addition to what I have said regarding the treaties, that the treaty of the United States with France, or rather with the French Nation, the treaty of cession of the Louisiana Purchase, provides as follows in article .3:      "The inhabitants of the ceded territory shall be incorporated into the Union of the United States, and shall be admitted as soon as possible, according to the principles of the Federal Constitution, to the enjoyment of all of the rights, advantages, and immunities of citizens of the United States. In the meantime they shall be maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty, property, and the religion which they profess."      That is article 3 of the treaty, and all of what constitutes Oklahoma, except Beaver County, and Indian Territory are within the boundaries of the Louisiana Purchase. There, sir, is a solemn compact in a treaty of cession, a covenant with the French nation that the territory ceded shall be incorporated into the Union of the United States and admtited as soon as possible.      This clause in that treaty has been fully argued upon the floor of Congress—its import, its effect on this Government under the provisions of that treaty, when the United States admitted Louisiana as a State and when Josiah Quincy made his great argument against creating the new State. It has been argued and expounded in the creation of Arkansas as a State, and of Missouri, and of all other States within the Louisiana Purchase, and no man has ever contended under the provisions of that treaty but what the right of statehood should be granted to subdivisions as made in this nation of that particular area of which I am speaking, with the exception of the argument of Josiah Quincy, of Massachusetts, against the admission of Louisiana. Pursuant to that treaty, when the Indian Territory wad segregated from that domain as it originally was, it was intended to create an Indian State.      That was the purpose and the intent in the treaty of 1854, which, if carried out—and it would have been carried

Page 281

     out but for the Civil War coming on—would have formed a federation of those Five Civilized Tribes, and the organizing of a Territorial government over what now constitutes Oklahoma and the Indian Territory at that time. I say that the treaty with the French nation is paramount to all thes Indian treaties from, the standpoint these gentlemen take, and that it was the obligation of this Government to maintain and carry out its treaties. I wish to call your attention to that. It should be considered by this committee, and that they ought to abide by the conditions imposed by the Federal Constitution, and imposed by reason of public policy, or on any theory that might be advanced here.      We have fourteen hundred thousand people there within the boundaries of those two Territories, and certainly we are entitled to all the rights, privileges, and immunities of citizenship in the United States. I say that when we ask it according to the provisions of the Quay bill and according to the provisions of the Robinson bill we take a ground that is absolutely indisputable when we claim that right, and no answer can be advanced as against our right. I want to say in conclusion that I thank you, gentlemen, for your kind indulgence and for the attention that has been given here to my argument, which I have made in my humble way. I think I have presented these points, and have brought them to your attention, which in the fulfilment of your duty you will carry out.      I would like you to read those cases that I have spoken of in the argument here, and the citations that I have made in the treaty matter. They are very fully discussed, and I believe it sets that particular phase of the question at rest. I want you to consider the provisions of the Robinson bill. I want it considered particularly from the standpoint of chronology. It provides that the governor of Oklahoma Territory shall issue a proclamation on the 1st day of next August for the election of 150 delegates, 75 from each Territory, who shall be elected at the next general election. That obviates the holding of two elections, and we elect them at the time we elect the county officers and members of the legislative assembly.      It provides a scheme of government for the election of the 25 districts that exactly conforms to the provisions of our election law; that is, it provides for a minority representation.

Page 282

     The governor shall appoint the election commissioners for each recording district which our law provides for each county, and not more than two of those election commissioners shall be of the same political faith; that is, it provides for minority representation. The duty of those commissioners shall be to divide those 25 recording districts into precincts. They shall make proclamation as to what constitutes the precincts, and shall name 1 inspector and 2 judges for each of those precincts, and that the election shal be held at the same time that we hold the general election. They shal also receive the nominations of all parties, and shall prepare the ballots.      It provides an appropriation for paying the expenses of that part of the election that is held in the Indian Territory. It provides that the constitutional assembly shall immediately convene upon the adjournment of our Territorial assembly. We have got to have another meeting of the assembly in Oklahoma, the appropriation for it has already passed the house to take up deficiencies in the matter of appropriations, and such things as that. Our assembly convenes on the first Monday in January, 1905, and continues in session for sixty days. That will take up to the month of March, 1905. It provides that the constitutional assembly shall convene immediately following the adjournment of our Territorial legislative assembly, end that they shall sit sixty or ninety days to formulate the organic law for the new State, to formulate a constitution, and to submit that and such separate propositions and ordinances as in their wisdom they shall deem proper.      If they do not adjourn from the time of convening until the extreme limit of ninety days, that takes it up to the 1st of June, 1905. That only leaves from the 1st of June until the first Tuesday after the first Monday in next November to make the nominations for the various State officers, for the members of Congress that will be provided for, for the judiciary, the supreme court judges that the constitution will provide for, for a district judiciary throughout the State, and for county officers. Certainly that is a limited time within which to prepare to have those matters all presented to the people. It provides for an election for the ratification of that constitution and that the election of State officers and members of Congress shall be held one year from the next general election, that is, November, 1905. That will be about five months from the

Page 283

     adjournment of the constitutional convention. And it provides that the State government, under proclamation of the President, shall take effect by January 1, 1906.

Mr. Lloyd.      In other words, the Robinson bill embodies your views?

Mr. Doyle.      Yes, sir; it embodies my views. And I say to you that in taking up the matter of the passage of an act at this time we must at least expect to give not less than eighteen months or two years from the time the bill becomes a law in order that the provisions of the enabling act may be properly carried out, and in order that the people may have a proper and reasonable time within which to understand the new duties and all the duties imposed by that enabling act. It can not be done earlier. For that reason there should be no delay beyond this Congress in the passage of the enabling act for the new State, because the last vestige of the Indian tribal government will end March 4, 1906. We simply will take up the government of the new State where the Indian government ceases, and under the Curtis Act and under the treaties that have been ratified since that time all the members of the tribal governments are made citizens of the United States and all allotments will have been completed.      The Dawes Commission say that their work will be completed not later than July 1, 1905, and for that reason the need and the necessity for action at this time by this Congress in the passage of the enabling act should be apparent and manifest to all. I hope, gentlemen, that you will view this matter in that particular light. While other people may say that it should be postponed to the next session, or to the session after that, I say now is the appointed hour. Now is the time at which we should have an enabling act to meet the conditions existing in our Territories. If you do not want to give us single statehood, if you do not want to unite these Territories as a single State, give us separate statehood for Oklahoma alone, without any infamous clause that those other people may be taken in, as has been said, by benevolent assimilation. There is no benevolence in it. There is no justice in it.      If Mr. McGuire wants two States, and can impress this committee with the wisdom of the position he takes, then give us statehood for Oklahoma Territory alone, and let the

Page 284

     people in Indian Territory work out their own destiny, as set forth by the delegate acts, or by my friend Judge Moon’s act, that provides for the creation of the Territory of Jefferson. I say we require action now. The time has come when there should be action taken by the Congress of the United States either one way or the other. I prefer separate statehood rather than that infamous clause that is in the McGuire bill. Those people have rights, and we ought to respect them. I say to you that two-thirds of the people of Oklahoma Territory want one State upon an equality.      I hope, gentlemen, that if you in your wisdom deem it wise to report a bill emanating from this committee, that you will report a bill on the lines of the Robinson bill. If a committee bill is to be reported I hope it will start with the provisions as set forth in the Robinson bill with such conditions as you may deem wise I want to say that the provision in the Quay bill, section 15, which provides for the alienation and taxation of all Indian allotments in the Indian Territory except homesteads, is one of the wisest provisions ever placed or sought to be placed upon the statute books. The people all demand it. The Indians themselves demand it. The future prosperity of that country is dependent on it. They want no red-tape circumlocution through the departments in the sale and transfer of those lands.      The people are there to buy, and the Indians, to a certain extent, want to sell, and the people want to purchase. They are there and are making homes, and they do not want to be hampered in the manner in which they have been. Those Indians are shown not to exceed 5 per cent of the white men. They are able in every way to transact their own business, and that particular clause ought to be added to any bill formulated by the committee; that is, removing restrictions of sale for all lands in excess of homesteads, and making all lands in excess of homesteads subject to taxation from the time the State is admitted. It is just. It is wise. Then we will have the people of the Indian Territory subject, in respect of property, to the same taxation that the people of Oklahoma may be.      My friend, Mr. McGuire, will urge, possibly, that we have greater taxable valuation. If that clause is added to the statehood bill the Indian Territory will have more taxable property than Oklahoma Territory, because we have within

Page 285

     our borders 2,055,000 acres of public land for schools that is exempt from taxation for all time while owned by the State. We have 3,000,000 acres of public domain that has never been filed on and that is exempt from taxation until a patent may issue. There are 1,700,00,0 acres in the Osage Reservation exempt from taxation, and will be, of the Indian homesteads, for twenty-five years. We have in addition to that 10,000 Indian allotments of 160 acres each that are exempt from taxation, and the Ponca and Oto Reservation is exempt from taxation, and the big pasture reservation of the Kiowa-Comanches, mounting to 480,000 acres, is also exempt from taxation.      You will find from the last report of the governor of Oklahoma Territory, page 2, the fact that now, of our 24,000,000 only 7,000,000 are upon the tax roll. I say as a matter of right and as a matter of justice and as a matter of wisdom and good statemanship, under the existing conditions in both Territories, we having 10,000 Indian allotments of homesteads of 160 acres, inalienable and non-taxable for twenty-five years, that we need the Indian Territory as they need us. I hope that in your wisdom you will find that it is the part of good statesmanship in solving this great problem to make a favorable report upon the Robinson bill, or at least to report a committee bill along those lines, providing for one State for both Territories.      I want to say to you, Mr. Chairman, and to the members of the committee, that you will find that the people of Oklahoma Territory and of Indian Territory will always honor your names and revere your memory if you will do at this time what we believe is proper and right by our people, and grant them the inestimable right of self-government we have been patiently waiting for for years. Year after year we have knocked at the door of Congress for admission. The time for action has come. It can not be postponed. We do not want to be compelled to take measures such as the people of Michigan, Arkansas, and other States took, and which were criticised as being revolutionary in their methods. Our people now confidently anticipate their political freedom, and that this Congress will endow them with all the rights, privileges, and immunities of citizens of the nation.      It is the part of wisdom and statesmanship to direct and regulate by law the creation of the new State in all prelimin-

Page 286

     ary matters, and we have waited for Congress to do this. I sincerely hope, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, that you will make a favorable report on the single-statehood bill, and I assure you that all the people of both Territories will appreciate your action and you will have the thanks and gratitude of all our people. In conclusion, I want, on behalf of the people of Oklahoma Territory and the people of the Indian Territory, to thank you for the interest you have taken in their cause and the patient indulgence you have exhibited toward myself and the other delegates who have appeared before you advocating the cause of single statehood. I thank you, gentlemen.

Return to top


Electronic Publishing Center | OSU Home | Search this Site