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Act of April 26, 1906, Public Number 129

AN ACT To provide for the final disposition of the affairs of the Five Civilized Tribes in the Indian Territory, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That after the approval of this Act no per son shall be enrolled as a citizen or freedman of the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek, or Seminole tribes of Indians in the Indian Territory, except as herein otherwise provided, unless application for enrollment was made prior to December first, nineteen hundred and five, and the records in charge of the Com missioner to the Five Civilized Tribes shall be conclusive evidence as to the fact of such application; and no motion to reopen or reconsider any citizenship case, in any of said tribes, shall be entertained unless filed with the Commissioner to the Five Civilized Tribes within sixty days after the date of the order or decision sought to be reconsidered except as to Decisions made prior to the passage of this Act, in which cases such motion shall be made within sixty days after the passage of this Act: Provided, That the Secretary of the Interior may enroll persons whose names appear upon any of the tribal rolls and for whom the records in charge of the Commissioner to the Five Civilized Tribes show application was made prior to December first, nineteen hundred and five, and which was not allowed solely because not made within the time prescribed by law.

SEC. 2. That for ninety days after approval hereof applications shall be received for enrollment of children who were minors living March fourth, nine teen hundred and six, whose parents have been enrolled as members of the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, or Creek tribes, or have applications for enrollment pending at the approval hereof, and for the purpose of enrollment under this section illegitimate children shall take the status of the mother, and allotments may be made to children so enrolled. If any citizen of the Cherokee" tribe shall fail to receive the full quantity of land to which he is entitled as an allotment, he shall be paid out of any of the funds of such tribe a sum equal to twice the appraised value of the amount of land thus deficient. The provisions of section nine of the Creek agreement ratified by Act approved March first, nineteen hundred and one, authorizing the use of funds of the Creek tribe for equalizing allotments, are hereby restored and reenacted, and after the expiration of nine months from the date of the original selection of an allotment of land in the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek, or Seminole tribes, and after the expiration of six months from the passage of this Act as to allotments heretofore made, no contest shall be instituted against such allotment: Provided, That the rolls of the tribes affected by this Act shall be fully completed on or before the fourth day of March, nineteen hundred and seven, and the Secretary of the Interior shall have no jurisdiction to approve the enrollment of any person after said date: Provided further, That nothing herein shall be construed so as to hereafter permit any person to file an application for enrollment in any tribe where the date for filing application has been fixed by agreement between said tribe and the United States: Provided, That nothing herein shall apply to the intermarried whites in the Cherokee Nation, whose cases are now pending in the Supreme Court of the United States.

SEC. 3. That the approved roll of Creek freedmen shall include only those persons whose names appear on the roll prepared by J. W. Dunn, under authority of the United States prior to March fourteenth, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, and their descendants born since said roll was made, and those lawfully admitted to citizenship in the Creek Nation subsequent to the date of the preparation of said roll, and their descendants born since such admission, except such, if any, as have heretofore been enrolled and their enrollment approved by the Secretary of the Interior.

The roll of Cherokee freedmen shall include only such persons of African descent, either free colored or the slaves of Cherokee citizens and their descendants, who were actual personal bona fide residents of the Cherokee Nation August eleventh, eighteen hundred and sixty-six, or who actually returned and established such residence in the Cherokee Nation on or before February eleventh, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven ; but this provision shall not prevent the enrollment of any person who has heretofore made application to the Com mission to the Five Civilized Tribes or its successor and has been adjudged entitled to enrollment by the Secretary of the Interior.

Lands allotted to freedmen of the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes shall be considered " homesteads," and shall be subject to all the provisions of this or any other Act of Congress applicable to homesteads of citizens of the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes.

SEC. 4. That no name shall be transferred from the approved freedmen, or any other approved rolls of the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek, or Seminole tribes, respectively, to the roll of citizens by blood, unless the records in charge of the Commissioner to the Five Civilized Tribes show that application for enrollment as a citizen by blood was made within the time prescribed by law by or for the party seeking the transfer, and said records shall be conclusive evidence as to the fact of such application, unless it be shown by documentary evidence that the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes actually received such application within the time prescribed by law.

SEC. 5. That all patents or deeds to allottees in any of the Five Civilized Tribes to be hereafter issued shall issue in the name of the allottee, and if any such allottee shall die before such patent or deed becomes effective, the title to the lands described therein shall inure to and vest in his heirs, and in case any allottee shall die after restrictions have been removed, his property shall descend to his heirs or his lawful assigns, as if the patent or deed had issued to the allottee during his life, and all patents heretofore issued, where the allottee died before the same became effective, shall be given like effect ; and all patents or deeds to allottees and other conveyances affecting lands of any of said tribes shall be recorded in the office of the Commissioner to the Five Civilized Tribes, and when so recorded shall convey legal title, and shall be delivered under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior to the party entitled to receive the same: Provided, The provisions of this section shall not affect any rights involved in contests pending before the Commissioner to the Five Civilized Tribes or the Department of the Interior at the date of the approval of this Act.

SEC. 6. That if the principal chief of the Choctaw, Cherokee, Creek, or Semiole tribe, or the governor of the Chickasaw tribe shall refuse or neglect to perform the duties devolving upon him, he may be removed from office by the President of the United States, or if any such executive become permanently disabled, the office may be declared vacant by the President of the United States, who may fill any vacancy arising from removal, disability or death of the incumbent, by appointment of a citizen by blood of the tribe.

If any such executive shall fail, refuse or neglect, for thirty days after notice that any instrument is ready for his signature, to appear at a place to be designated by the Secretary of the Interior and execute the same, such instrument may be approved by the Secretary of the Interior without such execution, and when so approved and recorded shall convey legal title, and such approval shall be conclusive evidence that such executive or chief refused or neglected after notice to execute such instrument.

Provided, That the principal chief of the Seminole Nation is hereby authorized to execute the deeds to allottees in the Seminole Nation prior to the time when the Seminole government shall cease to exist.

SEC. 7. That the Secretary of the Interior shall, by written order, within ninety days from the passage of this Act, segregate and reserve from allotment sections one, two, three, four, five, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, the east half of section sixteen, and the northeast quarter of section six, in township nine south, range twenty-six east, and sections five, six, seven, eight, seventeen, eighteen, and the west half of section sixteen, in township nine south, range twenty-seven east, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory, except such portions of said lands upon which substantial, permanent, and valuable improvements were erected and placed prior to the passage of this Act and not for speculation, but by members and freedmen of the tribes actually themselves and for them selves for allotment purposes, and where such identical members or freedmen of said tribes now desire to select same as portions of their allotments, and the action of the Secretary of the Interior in making such segregation shall be conclusive. The Secretary of the Interior shall also cause to be estimated and appraised the standing pine timber on all of said land, and the land segregated shall not be allotted, except as hereinbefore provided, to any member or freedman of the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes. Said segregated land and the pine timber thereon shall be sold and disposed of at public auction, or by sealed bids for cash, under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior.

SEC. 8. That the records of each of the land offices in the Indian Territory, should such office be hereafter discontinued, shall be transferred to and kept in the office of the clerk of the United States court in whose district said records are now located. The officer having custody of any of the records pertaining to the enrollment of the members of the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek, or Seminole tribes, and the disposition of the land and other property of said tribes, upon proper application and payment of such fees as the Secretary of the Interior may prescribe, may make certified copies of such records, which shall be evidence equally with the originals thereof ; but fees shall not be demanded for such authenticated copies as may be required by officers of any branch of the Government nor for such unverified copies as such officer, in his discretion, may deem proper to furnish. Such fees shall be paid to bonded officers or employees of the Government, designated by the Secretary of the Interior, and the same or so much thereof as may be necessary may be expended under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior for the purposes of this section, and any unexpended balance shall be deposited in the Treasury of the United States, as are other public moneys.

SEC. 9. The disbursements, in the sum of one hundred and eighty-six thousand dollars, to and on account of the loyal Seminole Indians, by James E. Jenkins, special agent appointed by the Secretary of the Interior, and by A. J. Brown as administrator de bonis non, under an Act of Congress approved May thirty-first, nineteen hundred, appropriating said sum, be, and the same are hereby, ratified and confirmed : Provided, That this shall not prevent any individual from bring ing suit in his own behalf to recover any sum really due him.

That the Court of Claims is hereby authorized and directed to hear, consider, and adjudicate the claims against the Mississippi Choctaws of the estate of Charles P. Winton, deceased, his associates and assigns, for services rendered and expenses incurred in the matter of the claims of the Mississippi Choctaws to citizenship in the Choctaw Nation, and to render judgment thereon on the principle of quantummeruit, in such amount or amounts as may appear equitable or justly due there for, which judgment, if any, shall be paid from any funds now or hereafter due such Choctaws by the United States. Notice of such suit shall be served on the governor of the Choctaw Nation, and the Attorney-General shall appear and defend the said suit on behalf of said Choctaws.

SEC. 10. That the Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized and directed to assume control and direction of the schools in the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek, and Seminole tribes, with the lands and all school property pertaining thereto, March fifth, nineteen hundred and six, and to conduct such schools under rules and regulations to be prescribed by him, retaining tribal educational officers, subject to dismissal by the Secretary of the Interior, and the present system so far as practicable, until such time as a public school system shall have been established under Territorial or State government, and proper provision made there under for the education of the Indian children of said tribes, and he is hereby authorized and directed to set aside a sufficient amount of any funds, invested or otherwise, in the Treasury of the United States, belonging to said tribes, including the royalties on coal and asphalt in the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations, to defray all the necessary expenses of said schools, using, however, only such portion of said funds of each tribe as may be requisite for the schools of that tribe, not exceeding in any one year for the respective tribes the amount expended for the scholastic year ending June thirtieth, nineteen hundred and five ; and he is further authorized and directed to use the remainder, if any, of the funds appropriated by the Act of Congress approved March third, nineteen hundred and five, " for the maintenance, strengthening, and enlarging of the tribal schools of the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Seminole nations," unexpended March fourth, nine teen hundred and six, including such fees as have accrued or may hereafter accrue under the Act of Congress approved February nineteenth, nineteen hundred and three, Statutes at Large, volume thirty-two, page eight hundred and forty-one, which fees are hereby appropriated, in continuing such schools as may have been established, and in establishing such new schools as he may direct, and any of the tribal funds so set aside remaining unexpended when a public school system under a future State or Territorial government has been established, shall be distributed per capita among the citizens of the nations, in the same manner as other funds.

SEC. 11. That all revenues of whatever character accruing to the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek, and Seminole tribes, whether before or after dissolution of the tribal governments, shall, after the approval hereof, be collected by an officer appointed by the Secretary of the Interior under rules and regulations to be prescribed by him ; and he shall cause to be paid all lawful claims against said tribes which may have been contracted after July first, nineteen hundred and two, or for which warrants have been regularly issued, such payments to be made from any funds in the United States Treasury belonging to said tribes. All such claims arising before dissolution of the tribal governments shall be presented to the Secretary of the Interior within six months after such dissolution, and he shall make all rules and regulations necessary to carry this provision into effect and shall pay all expenses incident to the investigation of the validity of such claims or indebtedness out of the tribal funds : Provided, That all taxes accruing under tribal laws or regulations of the Secretary of the Interior shall be abolished from and after December thirty-first, nineteen hundred and five, but this provision shall not prevent the collection after that date nor after dissolution of the tribal government of all such taxes due up to and including December thirty-first, nineteen hundred and five, and all such taxes levied and collected after the thirty-first day of December, nineteen hundred and five, shall be refunded.

Upon dissolution of the tribal governments, every officer, member, or representative of said tribes, respectively, having in his possession, custody, or control any money or other property of any tribe shall make full and true account and report thereof to the Secretary of the Interior, and shall pay all money of the tribe in his possession, custody, or control, and shall deliver all other tribal property so held by him, to the Secretary of the Interior, and if any person shall willfully and fraudulently fail to account for all such money and property so held by him, or to pay and deliver the same as herein provided for sixty days from dissolution of the tribal government, he shall be deemed guilty of embezzlement and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not exceeding five thousand dollars or by imprisonment not exceeding five years, or by both such fine and imprisonment, according to the laws of the United States relating to such offense, and shall be liable in civil proceedings to be prosecuted in behalf of and in the name of the tribe for the amount or value of the money or property so withheld.

SEC. 12. That the Secretary of the Interior is authorized to sell, upon such terms and under such rules and regulations as he may prescribe, all lots in towns in the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations reserved from appraisement and sale for use in connection with the operation of coal and asphalt mining leases or for the occupancy of miners actually engaged in working for lessees operating coal and asphalt mines, the proceeds arising from such sale to be deposited in the Treasury of the United States as are other funds of said tribes.

If the purchaser of any town lot sold under the provisions of law regarding the sale of town sites in the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek, or Seminole nations fail for sixty days after approval hereof to pay the purchase price or any installment thereof then due, or shall fail for thirty days to pay the pur chase price or any installment thereof falling due hereafter, he shall forfeit all rights under his purchase, together with all money paid thereunder, and the Secretary of the Interior may cause the lots upon which such forfeiture is made to be resold at public auction for cash, under such rules and regulations as he may prescribe. All municipal corporations in the Indian Territory are hereby authorized to vacate streets and alleys, or parts thereof, and said streets and alleys, when vacated, shall revert to and become the property of the abutting property owners.

SEC. 13. That all coal and asphalt lands whether leased or unleased shall be reserved from sale under this Act until the existing leases for coal and asphalt lands shall have expired or until such time as may be otherwise provided by law.

SEC. 14. That the lands in the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek, and Seminole nations reserved from allotment or sale under any Act of Congress for the use or benefit of any person, corporation, or organization shall be conveyed to the person, corporation, or organization entitled thereto : Provided, That if any tract or parcel thus reserved shall before conveyance thereof be abandoned for the use for which it was reserved by the party in whose interest the reservation was made, such tract or parcel shall revert to the tribe and be disposed of as other surplus lands thereof : Provided further, That this section shall not apply to land reserved from allotment because of the right" of any railroad or railway company therein in the nature of an easement for right of way, depot, station grounds, water stations, stock yards or other uses connected with the maintenance and operation of such company s railroad, title to which tracts may be acquired by the railroad or railway company under rules and regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary of the Interior at a valuation to be determined by him ; but if any such company shall fail to make payment within the time prescribed by the regulations or shall cease to use such land for the purpose for which it was reserved, title thereto shall thereupon vest in the owner of the legal subdivision of which the land so abandoned is a part, except lands within a municipality the title to which, upon abandonment, shall vest in such municipality.

The principal chief of the Choctaw Nation and the governor of the Chickasaw Nation are, with the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, hereby authorized and directed to issue patents to the Murrow Indian Orphans Home, a corpora tion of Atoka, Indian Territory, in all cases where tracts have been allotted under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior for the purpose of allowing the allottees to donate the tract so allotted to said Murrow Indian Orphans Home.

In all cases where enrolled citizens of either the Choctaw or Chickasaw tribe have taken their homestead and surplus allotment and have remaining over an unallotted right to less than ten dollars on the basis of the allotment value of said lands, such unallotted right may be conveyed by the owners thereof to the Murrow Indian Orphans Home aforesaid; and whenever said conveyed rights shall amount in the aggregate to as much as ten acres of average allottable land, land to represent the same shall be allotted to the said Murrow Indian Orphans Home, and certificate and patent shall issue therefor to said Murrow Indian Orphans Home.

And there is hereby authorized to be conveyed to said Murrow Indian Orphans Home, in the manner hereinbefore prescribed for the conveyance of land, the following-described lands in the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations, to wit : Sections eighteen and nineteen in township two north, range twelve east ; the south half of the northeast quarter, the northeast quarter of the northeast quarter, the south half of the northwest quarter of the northeast quarter, the south half of the southeast quarter, the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter, the south half of the northwest quarter of the southeast quarter, the northeast quarter of the northwest quarter of the southeast quarter, the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of the southwest quarter, and the northwest quarter of the northwest quarter of section twenty-four, and the northwest quarter of the southeast quarter, the north half oil the southwest quarter of the southeast quarter, the south half of the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter, the northeast quarter of the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter, and the southeast quarter of the northwest quarter of the southwest quarter of section twenty-three, and the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter of the south east quarter of section twenty-six, and the southeast quarter of the northwest quarter of the northwest quarter, the south half of the northeast quarter of the northwest quarter, the northeast quarter of the northeast quarter of the north west quarter, and the east half of the southeast quarter of the northwest quarter of section twenty-five, all in township two north, range eleven east, containing one thousand seven hundred and ninety acres, as shown by the Government survey, for the purpose of the said Home.

SEC. 15. The Secretary of the Interior shall take possession of all buildings now or heretofore used for governmental, school, and other tribal purposes, together with the furniture therein and the land appertaining thereto, and appraise and sell the same at such time and under such rules and regulations as he may prescribe, and deposit the proceeds, less expenses incident to the appraisement and sale, in the Treasury of the United States to the credit of the respective tribes : Provided, That in the event said lands are embraced within the geographical limits of a State or Territory of the United States such State or Territory or any county or municipality therein shall be allowed one year from date of establishment of said State or Territory within which to purchase any such lands and improvements within their respective limits at not less than the appraised value. Conveyances of lands disposed of under this section shall be executed, recorded, and delivered in like manner and with like effect as herein provided for other conveyances.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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