INDIAN AFFAIRS: LAWS AND TREATIES

Vol. I, Laws     (Compiled to December 1, 1902)

Compiled and edited by Charles J. Kappler. Washington : Government Printing Office, 1904.


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PART IV.—PROCLAMATIONS.

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Margin Notes
Preamble.
    Ante, p. 560.
Lands ceded by Wichita, etc., Indians.
Ante, p. 708.
Lands ceded by Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache Indians.
Ante, p. 560.
Ante, p. 708.
31 Stat., 727.
31 Stat., 1093.
Lands ceded by Wichita, Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache Indians open to entry Aug. 6, 1901.
Registration of applicants.
R. S., 2304.
31 Stat., 847
Entries determined by drawings.
Regulations.
Notice of drawings.
Presentation of application numbers.
Preference right of settlers on “neutral strip.”
    Ante, p. 703.
Adjoining lands.
    Ante, pp. 563, 704.
Town-site entries
County seats.
Warning against premature entry.
Settlement of undisposed lands.
Wire fences not to be destroyed, etc.
Regulations.

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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

A PROCLAMATION.
July 4, 1901.

Whereas, by an agreement between the Wichita and affiliated bands of Indians on the one part, and certain commissioners of the United States on the other part, ratified by act of Congress approved March 2, 1895 (28 Stat., 876, 894), the said Indians ceded, conveyed, transferred and relinquished, forever and absolutely, without any reservation whatever, unto the United States of America, all their claim, title and interest of every kind and character in and to the lands embraced in the following described tract of country now in the Territory of Oklahoma, to wit:

Commencing at a point in the middle of the main channel of the Washita River where the ninety-eighth meridian of west longitude crosses the same, thence up the middle of the main channel of said river to the line of 98° 40´ west longitude, thence on said line of 98° 40´ due north to the middle of the channel of the main Canadian River, thence down the middle of the said main Canadian River to where it crosses the ninety-eighth meridian, thence due south to the place of beginning.

And whereas, in pursuance of said act of Congress ratifying said agreement, allotments of land in severalty have been regularly made to each and every member of said Wichita and affiliated bands of Indians, native and adopted, and the lands occupied by religious societies or other organizations for religious or educational work among the Indians have been regularly allotted and confirmed to such societies and organizations, respectively;

And whereas, by an agreement between the Comanche, Kiowa and Apache tribes of Indians on the one part, and certain commissioners of the United States on the other part, amended and ratified by act of Congress, approved June 6, 1900 (31 Stat., 672, 676), the said Indian tribes, subject to certain conditions which have been duly performed, ceded, conveyed, transferred, relinquished and surrendered forever and absolutely, without any reservation whatsoever, expressed or implied, unto the United States of America, all their claim, title and interest of every kind and character in and to the lands embraced in the following described tract of country now in the Territory of Oklahoma, to wit:

Commencing at a point where the Washita River crosses the ninety-eighth meridian west from Greenwich; thence up the Washita River, in the middle of the main channel thereof, to a point thirty miles, by river, west of Fort Cobb, as now established; thence due west to the north fork of Red River, provided said line strikes said river east of the one-hundredth meridian of west longitude; if not, then only to said meridian line, and thence due south, on said meridian line, to the said north fork of Red River; thence down said north fork, in the middle of the main channel

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thereof, from the point where it may be first intersected by the lines above described, to the main Red River; thence down said Red River, in the middle of the main channel thereof, to its intersection with the ninety-eighth meridian of longitude west from Greenwich; thence north, on said meridian line, to the place of beginning.

And whereas, in pursuance of said act of Congress ratifying the agreement last named, allotments of land in severalty have been regularly made to each member of said Comanche, Kiowa and Apache tribes of Indians; the lands occupied by religious societies or other organizations for religious or educational work among the Indians have been regularly allotted and confirmed to such societies and organizations, respectively; and the Secretary of the Interior, out of the lands ceded by the agreement last named, has regularly selected and set aside for the use in common for said Comanche, Kiowa and Apache tribes of Indians, four hundred and eighty thousand acres of grazing lands;

And whereas, in the act of Congress ratifying the said Wichita agreement, it is provided—

That whenever any of the lands acquired by this agreement shall, by operation of law or proclamation of the President of the United States, be open to settlement, they shall be disposed of under the general provisions of the homestead and townsite laws of the United States: Provided, that in addition to the land office fees prescribed by statute for such entries the entry man shall pay one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre for the land entered at the time of submitting his final proof: And provided further, That in all homestead entries where the entry man has resided upon and improved the land entered in good faith for the period of fourteen months he may commute his entry to cash upon the payment of one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre: And provided further, That the rights of honorably discharged Union soldiers and sailors of the late civil war, as defined and described in sections twenty-three hundred and four and twenty-three hundred and five of the Revised Statutes, shall not be abridged: And provided further, That any qualified entry man having lands adjoining the lands herein ceded, whose original entry embraced less than one hundred and sixty acres, may take sufficient land from said reservation to make his homestead entry not to exceed one hundred and sixty acres in all, said land to be taken upon the same conditions as are required of other entry men: Provided, That said lands shall be opened to settlement within one year after said allotments are made to the Indians.


That the laws relating to the mineral lands of the United States are hereby extended over the lands ceded by the foregoing agreement.

And whereas in the act of Congress ratifying the said Comanche, Kiowa and Apache agreement, it is provided—

That the lands acquired by this agreement shall be opened to settlement by proclamation of the President within six months after allotments are made and be disposed of under the general provisions of the homestead and town-site laws of the United States: Provided, That in addition to the land-office fees prescribed by statute for such entries the entryman shall pay one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre for the land entered at the time of submitting his final proof: And provided further, That in all homestead entries where the entryman has resided upon and improved the land entered in good faith for the period of fourteen months he may commute his entry to cash upon the payment of one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre: And provided further, That the rights of honorably discharged Union soldiers and sailors of the late civil war, as defined and described in sections twenty-three hundred and four and twenty-three hundred and five of the Revised Statutes shall not be abridged: And provided further, That any person who, having attempted to but for any cause failed to secure a title in fee to a homestead under existing laws, or who made entry under what is known as the commuted provision of the homestead law, shall be qualified to make a homestead entry upon said lands: And provided further, That any qualified entryman having lands adjoining the lands herein ceded, whose original entry embraces less than one hundred and sixty acres in all, shall have the right to enter so much of the lands by this agreement ceded lying contiguous to his said entry as shall, with the land already entered, make in the aggregate one hundred and sixty acres, said land to be taken upon the same conditions as are required of other entrymen: And provided further, That the settlers who located on that part of said lands called and known as the ‘neutral strip’ shall have preference right for thirty days on the lands upon which they have located and improved.


That should any of said lands allotted to said Indians, or opened to settlement under this Act, contain valuable mineral deposits, such mineral deposits shall be open to location and entry, under the existing mining laws of the United States, upon the passage of this Act, and the mineral laws of the United States are hereby extended over said lands.

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And whereas, by the act of Congress approved January 4, 1901 (31 Stat., 727), the Secretary of the Interior was authorized to extend, for a period not exceeding eight months from December 6, 1900, the time for making allotments to the Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache Indians and opening to settlement the lands so ceded by them;

And whereas, in pursuance of the act of Congress approved March 3, 1901 (31 Stat., 1093), the Secretary of the Interior has regularly subdivided the lands so as aforesaid respectively ceded to the United States by the Wichita and affiliated bands of Indians and the Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache tribes of Indians into counties, attaching portions thereof to adjoining counties in the Territory of Oklahoma, has regularly designated the place for the county seat of each new county, has regularly set aside and reserved at such county seat land for a townsite to be disposed of in the manner provided by the act of Congress last named, and has regularly caused to be surveyed, subdivided, and platted the lands so set aside and reserved for disposition as such townsites;

And whereas, by the act of Congress last named, it is provided—

The lands to be opened to settlement and entry under the Acts of Congress ratifying said agreements respectively shall be so opened by proclamation of the President, and to avoid the contests and conflicting claims which have heretofore resulted from opening similar public lands to settlement and entry, the President’s proclamation shall prescribe the manner in which these lands may be settled upon, occupied and entered by persons entitled thereto under the Acts ratifying said agreements, respectively; and no person shall be permitted to settle upon, occupy or enter any of said lands except as prescribed in such proclamation until after the expiration of sixty days from the time when the same are opened to settlement and entry.

And whereas, by the act of Congress last named the President was authorized to establish to additional United States land districts and land offices in the Territory of Oklahoma to include the lands so ceded as aforesaid, which land districts and land offices have been established by an order of even date herewith;

And whereas all of the conditions required by law to be performed prior to the opening of said tracts of land to settlement and entry have been, as I hereby declare, duly performed;

Now therefore, I, William McKinley, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the power vested in me by law, do hereby declare and make known that all of the lands so as aforesaid ceded by the Wichita and affiliated bands of Indians, and the Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache tribes of Indians, respectively, saving and excepting sections sixteen, thirty-six, thirteen and thirty-three in each township, and all lands located or selected by the Territory of Oklahoma as indemnity school or educational lands, and saving and excepting all lands allotted in severalty to individual Indians, and saving and excepting all lands allotted and confirmed to religious societies and other organizations, and saving and excepting the lands selected and set aside as grazing lands for the use in common for said Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache tribes of Indians, and saving and excepting the lands set aside and reserved at each of said county seats for disposition as townsites, and saving and excepting the lands now used, occupied, or set apart for military, agency, school, school farm, religious, Indian cemetery, wood reserve, forest reserve, or other public uses, will, on the 6th day of August, 1901, at 9 o’clock a.m., in the manner herein prescribed and not otherwise, be opened to entry and settlement and to disposition under the general provisions of the homestead and townsite laws of the United States.

Commencing at 9 o’clock a.m., Wednesday, July 10, 1901, and ending at 6 o’clock p.m., Friday, July 26, 1901, a registration will be had at the United States land offices at El Reno and Lawton, in the Territory of Oklahoma (the office at Lawton to occupy provisional quarters

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in the immediate vicinity of Fort Sill, Oklahoma Territory, until suitable quarters can be provided at Lawton), for the purpose of ascertaining what persons desire to enter, settle upon, and acquire title to any of said lands under the homestead law and of ascertaining their qualifications so to do. The registration at each office will be for both land districts, but at the time of registration each applicant will be required to elect and state in which district he desires to make entry. To obtain registration each applicant will be required to show himself duly qualified to make homestead entry of these lands under existing laws and to give the registering officer such appropriate matters of description and identity as will protect the applicant and the government against any attempted impersonation. Registration can not be effected through the use of the mails or the employment of an agent, excepting that honorably discharged soldiers and sailors entitled to the benefits of section 2304 of the Revised Statutes of the United States, as amended by the act of Congress approved March 1, 1901 (31 Stat., 847), may present their applications for registration and due proofs of their qualifications through an agent of their own selection, but no person will be permitted to act as agent for more than one such soldier or sailor. No person will be permitted to register more than once or in any other than his true name. Each applicant who shows himself duly qualified will be registered and given a non-transferable certificate to that effect, which will entitle him to go upon and examine the lands to be opened hereunder in the land district in which he elects to make his entry; but the only purpose for which he may go upon and examine said lands is that of enabling him later on, as herein provided, to understandingly select the lands for which he will make entry. No one will be permitted to make settlement upon any of said lands in advance of the opening herein provided for, and during the first sixty days following said opening no one but registered applicants will be permitted to make homestead settlement upon any of said lands, and then only in pursuance of a homestead entry duly allowed by the local land officers, or of a soldier’s declaratory statement duly accepted by such officers.

The order in which, during the first sixty days following the opening, the registered applicants will be permitted to make homestead entry of the lands opened hereunder, will be determined by drawings for both the El Reno and Lawton districts publicly held at the United States land office at El Reno, Oklahoma, commencing at 9 o’clock a.m., Monday, July 29, 1901, and continuing for such period as may be necessary to complete the same. The drawings will be had under the supervision and immediate observation of a committee of three persons whose integrity is such as to make their control of the drawing a guaranty of its fairness. The members of this committee will be appointed by the Secretary of the Interior, who will prescribe suitable compensation for their services. Preparatory to these drawings the registration officers will, at the time of registering each applicant who shows himself duly qualified, make out a card, which must be signed by the applicant, stating the land district in which he desires to make homestead entry, and giving such a description of the applicant as will enable the local land officers to thereafter identify him. This card will be at once sealed in a separate envelope, which will bear no other distinguishing label or mark than such as may be necessary to show that it is to go into the drawing for the land district in which the applicant desires to make entry. These envelopes will be separated according to land districts and will be carefully preserved and remained sealed until opened in the course of the drawing as herein provided. When the registration is completed all of these sealed envelopes will be brought together at the place of drawing and turned over to the committee in charge of the drawing, who, in such manner as in their judgment will be attended with entire fairness and equality of oppor-

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tunity, shall proceed to draw out and open the separate envelopes and to give to each enclosed card a number in the order in which the envelope containing the same is drawn. While the drawings for the two districts will be separately conducted they will occur as nearly at the same time as is practicable. The result of the drawing for each district will be certified by the committee to the officers of the district and will determine the order in which the applicants may make homestead entry of said lands and settlement thereon.

Notice of the drawings stating the name of each applicant and number assigned to him by the drawing will be posted each day at the place of drawing, and each applicant will be notified of his number by a postal-card mailed to him at the address, if any, given by him at the time of registration. Each applicant should, however, in his own behalf employ such measures as will insure his obtaining prompt and accurate information of the order in which his application for homestead entry can be presented as fixed by the drawing. Applications for homestead entry of said lands during the first sixty days following the opening can be made only by registered applicants and in the order established by the drawing. At each land office, commencing Tuesday, August 6, 1901, at 9 o’clock a.m., the applications of those drawing numbers 1 to 125, inclusive, for that district must be presented and will be considered in their numerical order during the first day, and the applications of those drawing numbers 126 to 250, inclusive, must be presented and will be considered in their numerical order during the second day, and so on at that rate until all of said lands subject to entry under the homestead law, and desired thereunder, have been entered. If any applicant fails to appear and present his application for entry when the number assigned to him by the drawing is reached, his right to enter will be passed until after the other applications assigned for that day have been disposed of, when he will be given another opportunity to make entry, failing in which he will be deemed to have abandoned his right to make entry under such drawing. To obtain the allowance of a homestead entry each applicant must personally present the certificate of registration theretofore issued to him, together with a regular homestead application and the necessary accompanying proofs, and with the regular and office fees, but an honorably discharged soldier or sailor may file his declaratory statement through the agent representing him at the registration. The production of the certificate of registration will be dispensed with only upon satisfactory proof of its loss or destruction. If at the time of considering his regular application for entry it appears that any applicant is disqualified from making homestead entry of these lands his application will be rejected, notwithstanding his prior registration. If any applicant shall register more than once hereunder, or in any other than his true name, or shall transfer his registration certificate he will thereby lose all the benefits of the registration and drawing herein provided for, and will be precluded from entering or settling upon any of said lands during the first sixty days following said opening.

Because of the provision in the said act of Congress approved June 6, 1900: “That the settlers who located on that part of said lands called and known as the ‘neutral strip’ shall have preference right for thirty days on the lands upon which they have located and improved,” the said lands in the “neutral strip” shall for the period of thirty days after said opening be subject to homestead entry and townsite entry only by those who have heretofore located upon and improved the same, and who are accorded a preference right of entry for thirty days as aforesaid. Persons entitled to make entry under this preference right will be permitted to do so at any time during said period of thirty days following the opening without previous

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registration, and without regard to the drawing herein provided for, and at the expiration of that period the lands in said “neutral strip” for which no entry shall have been made will come under the general provisions of this proclamation.

The intended beneficiaries of the provision in the said acts of Congress, approved, respectively, March 2, 1895, and June 6, 1900, which authorizes a qualified entryman having lands adjoining the ceded lands, whose original entry embraced less than 160 acres, to enter so much of the ceded lands as will make his homestead entry contain in the aggregate not exceeding 160 acres, may obtain such an extension of his existing entry, without previous registration and without regard to the drawing herein provided for, only by making appropriate application, accompanied by the necessary proofs, at the proper new land office at some time prior to the opening herein provided for.

Any person or persons desiring to found, or to suggest establishing a townsite upon any of said ceded lands at any point not in the near vicinity of either of the county seats therein heretofore selected and designated as aforesaid, may, at any time before the opening herein provided for, file in the proper local land office a written application to that effect describing by legal subdivisions the lands intended to be affected, and stating fully and under oath the necessity or propriety of founding or establishing a town at that place. The local officers will forthwith transmit said petition to the Commissioner of the General Land Office with their recommendation in the premises. Such Commissioner, if he believes the public interests will be subserved thereby, will, if the Secretary of the Interior approve thereof, issue an order withdrawing the lands described in such petition, or any portion thereof, from homestead entry and settlement and directing that the same be held for the time being for townsite settlement, entry, and disposition only. In such event the lands so withheld from homestead entry and settlement will, at the time of said opening and not before, become subject to settlement, entry, and disposition under the general townsite laws of the United States. None of said ceded lands will be subject to settlement, entry, or disposition under such general townsite laws except in the manner herein prescribed until after the expiration of sixty days from the time of said opening.

Attention is hereby especially called to the fact that under the special provisions of the said act of Congress approved March 3, 1901, the townsites selected and designated at the county seats of the new counties into which said lands have been formed can not be disposed of under the general townsite laws of the United States, and can only be disposed of in the special manner provided in said act of Congress, which declares:

The lands so set apart and designated shall, in advance of the opening, be surveyed, subdivided, and platted, under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, into appropriate lots, blocks, streets, alleys, and sites for parks of public buildings, so as to make a town site thereof: Provided, That no person shall purchase more than one business and one residence lot. Such town lots shall be offered and sold at public auction to the highest bidder, under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, at sales to be had at the opening and subsequent thereto.

All persons are especially admonished that under the said act of Congress approved March 3, 1901, it is provided that no person shall be permitted to settle upon, occupy, or enter any of said ceded lands except in the manner prescribed in this proclamation until after the expiration of sixty days from the time when the same are opened to settlement and entry. After the expiration of the said period of sixty days, but not before, any of said lands remaining undisposed of may be settled upon, occupied and entered under the general provisions of the homestead and townsite laws of the United States in like manner as if the manner of effecting such settlement, occupancy and entry had not been prescribed herein in obedience to law.

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It appearing that there are fences around the pastures into which, for convenience, portions of the ceded lands have heretofore been divided, and that these fences are of considerable value and are still the property of the Indian tribes ceding said lands to the United States, all persons going upon, examining, entering, or settling upon any of said lands are cautioned to respect such fences as the property of the Indians and not to destroy, appropriate, or carry away the same, but to leave them undisturbed so that they may be seasonably removed and preserved for the benefit of the Indians.

The Secretary of the Interior shall prescribe all needful rules and regulations necessary to carry into full effect the opening herein provided for.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington this fourth day of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and one, and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and twenty-sixth.

WILLIAM MCKINLEY

[SEAL.]

By the President:
     DAVID J. HILL,
          Acting Secretary of State.


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