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

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

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CHAP. 12 | CHAP. 59 | CHAP. 164 | CHAP. 234 | CHAP. 255 | CHAP. 256

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Chapter 256
Sections 2 | 3 | 4

Margin Notes
Note a What records legalized by above act.
Chap. 256 Indian Office, recording of deeds, etc., legalized.
    R. S., 463.
Chap. 256 but not to affect validity, etc.
Sec. 2 Records to be kept of all deeds by Indians requiring approval.
Sec. 3 Seal—copies, how certified.
    R. S., 882.
Sec. 4 Certified copies of records to be furnished—fees.
Sec. 4 Receiving clerk—bond, etc.
Sec. 4 Fees to be paid into Treasury.
Sec. 4 none for copies for official use,
Sec. 4 or for poor Indians,
Sec. 4 or for unverified copies.

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Chapter 256
    July 26, 1892. | 27 Stat., 272.
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An act to legalize the deed and other records a of the Office of Indian Affairs, and to provide and authorize the use of a seal by said office.

aThe deed records legalized by this act begin in 1825. These deeds show the transfer of lands granted to individual Indians under the several treaties since 1817 whenever a restriction was made that the lands should not be sold without the consent of the President; also the transfer of those lands allotted to individual Indians, the patent for which contained a similar restrictive clause upon the sale of the land.

The other records referred to are those of the current correspondence of the office, of treaties before ratification, of contracts made with special attorneys (Rev. State., 2103-2106), and of similar papers.

Some of these records run back to 1800 and a few even prior to that date, when the office was under the War Department, but it was not until the year 1824 that a regular record of all the correspondence of the office was inaugurated and kept up.

Be it enacted, &c., That the recording of all deeds and papers heretofore made and done in the office of Commissioner of Indian Affairs be, and is hereby, confirmed, approved, and legalized; and said record heretofore made shall be deemed, taken, and held to be good and valid and shall have all the force and effect and be entitled to the same credit as if it had been made in pursuance of and in conformity to law.

But shall have no effect whatever upon the validity or invalidity of the deed or paper so recorded, and shall be no evidence of constructive notice to any persons not actually knowing the contents.

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SEC. 2

That the Commissioner of Indian Affairs is hereby empowered and directed to continue to make and keep a record of every deed executed by any Indian, his heirs, representatives, or assigns, which may require the approval of the President of the United States or of the Secretary of the Interior, whenever such approval shall have been given, and the deed so approved returned to said office.

SEC. 3

That the Commissioner of Indian Affairs shall cause a seal to be made and provided for the said office, with such device as the President of the United States shall approve, and copies of any public documents, records, books, maps, or papers belonging to or on the files of said office, authenticated by the seal and certified by the Commissioner thereof, or by such officer as may, for the time being, be acting as or for such Commissioner, shall be evidence equally with the originals thereof.

SEC. 4

That the Commissioner of Indian Affairs shall have the custody of said seal, and shall furnish certified copies of any such records, books, maps, or papers belonging to or on the files of said office, to any person applying therefor who shall comply with the requirements of said office, upon the payment by such parties at the rate of ten cents per hundred words, and one dollar for copies of maps or plats, and the additional sum of twenty-five cents for the Commissioner’s certificate of verification, with the seal of said office;

and one of the employés of said office shall be designated by the Commissioner as the receiving clerk, who shall give bond in the sum of one thousand dollars,

and the amounts so received shall, under the direction of the Commissioner, be paid into the Treasury of the United States; but fees shall not be demanded for such authenticated copies as may be required by the officers of any branch of the Government

or by any Indian who shall satisfy the Commissioner by satisfactory legal evidence that he or she is not able, by reason of poverty, to pay such fees,

nor for such unverified copies as the Commissioner in his discretion may deem proper to furnish. [July 26, 1892.]

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