Taxes Charged for Stock In Indian Territory.
Information on Cherokee Strip.
Letter written by C. M. Scott...
Winfield Courier, April 20, 1882.
BOLTON TOWNSHIP, April 17, 1882.
EDS. COURIER: Thousands of sheep are being driven to the state line and Indian Territory for the purpose of grazing them in the Nation. The Cherokees, who control all the lands west of the Arkansas River, north of the Cimarron River, and as far west as the Pan Handle of Texas, charge the sheep men 15 cents per head for grazing privilege, and cattle owners but 50 cents. The sheep men in consequence thereat are complaining, inasmuch as a cow or steer requires ten acres to one for a sheep. The Cherokee authorities don’t seem to heed the complaints and order them to pay or leave, and many will leave, for when 15 cents a head is added to 15 cents more of Kansas tax, it makes a considerable sum on from two to four thousand sheep. (About $600, or $1,200). Grass is abundant and affords good feed for all kinds of stock. It contains much nutriment this year, owing to the slow and steady growth before the late rains. Water is plentiful and the buffalo wallows and small streams are full.
People living along the state line who refused to pay the Cherokee tax last year will be indicted for trespass and tried before the U. S. Court. A list of the offenders has been sent Hon. W. A. Phillips, their attorney, also a list to the Interior Department at Washington, and to the U. S. Marshal at Fort Smith. There are now, within a radius of ten miles of Arkansas City, over 25,000 sheep, which will give on an average four pounds of wool each, making 100,000 pounds of wool to be sold in this market. A little understanding exists among the large flock owners to hold for a fair price, or combine and ship to the best market.
The late cold rains destroyed the chinch bugs, but had a chilling effect on the thousands of young lambs only a few days old, that were out on the prairies unprotected. Many will die in consequence thereof.
Let me say, while talking of sheep, the remarks from Father Meech a few weeks since were worth reading. Have him write again. C. M. SCOTT.
Winfield Courier, April 27, 1882.
KANSAS IN CONGRESS.
Thomas Ryan’s Official Record.
[From the Washington correspondent of the Topeka Commonwealth.]
John Logan mastered the whole science of finance in two weeks, but I must admit that, though I have been in Washington precisely two weeks today, I do not feel myself competent to instruct a yearning public in all the mysteries of that great and complicated machine which we call the government. You will be astonished at my modesty, no doubt, for you and I have known “able” correspondents to grind out vast grists of wisdom within twenty-four hours of their arrival at the capital.
The enthusiastic neophyte first turns his attention to the delegation, and his anxiety for an office may generally be measured by the generous ardor with which he distributes his “taffy.” If the scene is fresh and the zeal of the pursuer unchilled by disappointments, there is scarcely a limit to the extent or variety of his unctuous compliments and admiring constituencies are happily enabled to acquire valuable information, not only respecting the merits of their representatives in either branch of Congress, but also touching the dresses, the varied accomplishments, and unrivaled popularity of their respective wives.
My business having no reference to an office of any kind, what I say will not be inspired by “a lively sense of favors to come.” Nor will I ask space in your crowded columns to go over the record of all of the men who serve us so faithfully at Washington. It will serve my present purpose if you will permit me to express the gratification which I share with all responsible Kansans, at the sure prospect of the unopposed return of our capable Representatives, and to be a little more specific as to the record and services of the man who, for six years, has so successfully represented the Third District.
When Tom Ryan was first nominated, it was most wholly upon the score of his personal popularity, as he had but little political experience, and but slight opportunity to exhibit the peculiar qualities essential to success in Congress. It is not likely that even the warmest of his friends foresaw that he would develop into the persistent and tireless worker that he has since become. That he has always met reasonable demand upon him with resolution and a determination to succeed, the records amply attest. That these demands, coming from an immense district, rapidly growing in population and wealth, have been and are extensive and imperative, no observant man can doubt, yet all have been, and are confronted earnestly and methodically, and the claims of the humblest receive the same attention as those of the most influential.
If it were practicable to make a complete showing within the limits of a newspaper letter, I am confident it could be shown that Ryan has secured the passage of more measures of interest to his people during his service here than has any other member from any State. Let us remind our readers of a few of the more important of these measures.
The Cherokee Strip lands were brought into market through his influence, and are now nearly all occupied by settlers. The settlers on the Kansas trust and diminished reserve lands owe much of their success in obtaining their titles upon just and reasonable terms to Mr. Ryan’s determined and tireless advocacy. The Osage bill, which passed the House at a time when few dared to hope for its success, and which subsequently became a law, saved the homes of thousands of people from forfeiture, added thousands of acres to the taxable property of the State. His bill for the relief of colored immigrants became a law in spite of much prejudiced opposition; as also did his bill to create a land district in the southwest, the office now soon to be established. Mr. Ryan rendered an invaluable service to the people of the Western half of his district when he secured the passage of a bill to permit settlers whose crops had been destroyed by drouth to leave their claims for a year without losing any of their rights. By this timely and generous act, several thousand poor settlers were saved from a compulsory forfeiture of their claims. Mr. Ryan’s bill directing the Secretary of the Interior to certify to the State some fifty thousand acres of indemnity school lands, became a law, and the title of the State has been perfected. His bill to provide for the sale, at graduated scale of prices, of the residue of the Osage lands lying east of the sixth principal meridian, is also a law.
Mr. Ryan carried through the House in the last Congress a bill to give the right of way to one or more railroads through the Indian Territory, but it failed in the senate. This measure was of peculiar importance to the third District, as it could have enabled the Santa Fe road to continue its line from Arkansas City to Fort Smith. The subject has excited so much attention that it is not likely that the boundary of the Territory will long be permitted to serve as a Chinese wall against the carrying on of necessary enterprises. It was only recently that Mr. Ryan carried through the House, when it was at the mercy of a single objection, the bill providing for terms of the United States Court at Wichita, and attaching a portion of the Indian Territory to the State for judicial purposes. I doubt if there are half a dozen men in the House who could have put through so important a bill without objection. The result was a substantial triumph to Mr. Ryan’s personal popularity and to the confidence which the House reposes in his good faith.
In addition to these measures of a public character, and others that might be mentioned, Mr. Ryan has labored earnestly and effectively to advance the more immediate personal interest of his constituents. His vast district largely settled in recent years, contain a large proportion of ex-soldiers from all the loyal states. The just claims of all these people have always had a warm friend and advocate in Mr. Ryan and the collection of pensions and bounty money in hundreds of cases has been facilitated by his exertions.
Your readers are not unmindful of the fact that Mr. Ryan has persistently sought to have the contracts for Indian supplies awarded at some parts in the West, rather than in New York, so far from the base of supply and distribution. It will be gratifying to them to know that his views have been adopted by the Indian Bureau, and that Kansas City will probably be selected as the place for receiving bids.
In a territory developing so rapidly as has that of the Third District, of course the demand for increased mail facilities has been urgent and incessant. That he has met his demand with characteristic vigor, is shown by the fact that during his three terms he has secured additional mail service to a greater extent than any other member of Congress, and by the further fact that his District is now admirably served by the Postal Department.
If we of the District have been so signally benefitted by the labors of our Representative, you and the people of your own city have additional cause for joining in the acclaim “well done good and faithful servant.”
Take your Government building, for example. With a single exception, it was the only one provided for by the Congress that made the first appropriation for your building. The Committee on appropriations and the house had, by resolution, declared against authorizing any new buildings by the Congress. The passage of the Topeka measure was only secured by the most extraordinary vigor and tact, and as a result of the exercise of those genial personal gifts which have made Mr. Ryan so popular with his fellow members of all shades or politics. It should be added that he was the only Republican who secured a building from that Congress, though over forty were pressed by Democrats and Republicans. The building will not cost far from $300,000, and will be an ornament to your city, as well as decidedly the best government building between St. Louis and San Francis. For years Topeka had struggled in vain to get this building, defraying the expenses of agents here to promote it, but it is not likely that the enterprise would have taken shape to this day, but for the effort of your own Representative.
Your free delivery system is also due exclusively to Mr. Ryan’s labors. True, Topeka was entitled to the carrier service under the law, but could not receive it until an appropriation was made to cover the expenses. An appropriation for the purpose was carried through the House in opposition to the Appropriation Committee, and in spite of the active fight of Mr. Cannon, of Illinois, the chief authority in the House on postal matters, Mr. Ryan’s personal effort, more than any other cause, brought about this result as Mr. Cannon afterwards declared with some feeling. This is a benefit which comes so directly home to all your people that they cannot be wanting in appreciation of the man who secured it for them. . . .
[TAX FRAUDS: Cherokee Cattle Tax.]
Winfield Courier, May 4, 1882.
The Cherokee cattle tax has been collected from Kansas cattle owners for three successive years. In 1879 not one dollar ever reached the treasury of the Cherokees, in 1880 there was a partial divvy, the treasury getting some; in 1881 about $50,000 was collected, and claims are made for five or more thousands of delinquencies. This tender-footed permission given some nabob of the tribe to squeeze the cattle interest constitutes the only act of jurisdiction pretended to by the council of the nation over the strip since the treaty of 1866. Commonwealth.