COURTS HANDLING AFFAIRS IN INDIAN TERRITORY.
By the treaty of 1866, between the United States and the Indian tribes in the Indian Territory, the United States and the Indian tribes in the Indian Territory, the trial and punishment of an Indian charged with offenses against the person or property of another Indian in the Indian Territory was left to the tribal courts. In time this changed.
The famous United States Criminal Court at Fort Smith, Arkansas, was established as office of the judge of the Western District of Arkansas on the second Monday in May, 1871. Judge Isaac C. Parker presided for the first time over the court that was destined to attract, under him, universal attention. The court had previously been held at Van Buren, Arkansas, five miles from Fort Smith.
The Fort Smith court had exclusive, original, and final jurisdiction of all crimes committed in the Indian Territory and No Man’s Land, as well as having the usual jurisdiction of a portion of the State of Arkansas, excepting offenses committed against the person or property of a member of Indian Tribes in the Indian Territory by other members of Indian tribes in said Territory.
The first act of Congress tending to reduce the jurisdiction in the Indian Territory, of the Federal Court for the Western District of Arkansas, was approved January 6, 1883. It provided that “All that part of the Indian Territory lying north of the Canadian River and east of Texas and the one hundredth meridian not set apart and occupied by the Cherokee, Creek, and Seminole Indian tribes” be annexed to and form a part of the United States Judicial District of Kansas, and giving the United States District Courts at Wichita and Fort Scott, Kansas, the exclusive original jurisdiction of all offenses committed within the limits of said territory against the laws of the United States, and that all portions of the Indian Territory not so annexed to the district of Kansas for judicial purposes and not set apart and occupied by the Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw, and Seminole Indian Tribes, be annexed to and constitute a part of the judicial district, known as the Northern District of Texas, the United States Court at Graham in said District to have exclusive original jurisdiction of all offenses committed in said territory against any of the laws of the United States; it was, however, specifically provided that the act should not in any way effect whatever cases in such territory were already commenced and then pending in the Fort Smith Court, nor were said district courts of Texas or Kansas given any greater jurisdiction in the territory than was previously held by the court for the Western District of Arkansas.
[Note: The court system relative to Indian Territory was discussed in many of the early newspapers during the years that Judge Parker was in charge. I am only going to cover events starting with the latter part of 1879. MAW]
Interesting article about reasons why outlaws go to Indian Territory...
Arkansas City Traveler, Wednesday, December 17, 1879.
It is a very common occurrence for men who commit crime in Kansas to make their escape into the Indian Territory. Having reached there, they claim immunity from punishment and are ready for a life of the outlaw. Many of these charmers are secluded in the western part of the Territory, though by far the greater number are making homes among the natives of the Five Nations.
If an intelligent observer should travel through that part of the Territory lying East of the 96 degree of longitude he will be struck with the large number of white population claiming rights in the Territory by virtue of various concessions. Scores of white men are there without authority from the general Government, but claim protection under the local laws of the tribes, prescribing citizenship to those who intermarry with the Indian.
Now, the white race can well afford to spare those who, as a general rule, from choice, adopt the domestic relations of an inferior race, but does the Indian derive any advantage thereby? What can be the scale of society for generations to come that has for its progenitors a vagrant vicious class? It has long been the policy of the Government to keep the Territory intact from the grasp of the white man, but during the elapse of time, he has gone in by stealth, and this element now enacts the local laws of the most important tribes.
The criminal records of the Federal court at Fort Smith bear testimony that more crimes are committed within the territory than can be brought to trial at that renowned bar of justice. No thoughtful man will presume that left to itself, the present condition of things will improve in the Indian Territory. The reader will ask, Is there a remedy for these evils? We believe so. If Congress should pass an act to open this Territory to the actual settler, the problem would soon be solved. But, say some, “This would be doing injustice to the Indian; we can’t afford to break faith with the red man; he is our ward and entitled to our protection.” This is pretty logic provided it does no violence to the rights of the white race. We confess that we are of the brotherhood who believe that the white man is as good as any, and entitled to some rights as well as the Indian. We search in vain for authority in the organic law of this government to make treaty with Indian tribes. If the Indian is solely the ward of this government, by what right is he clothed with the importance of a Foreign power and treaties ratified for his special benefit? But if Congress can never get ready to open the Territory to the actual settler, justice to the citizens of Kansas demands that an act be passed prescribing to the Federal Courts of this district concurrent jurisdiction over the Indian Territory.
The large influx of population into southwest Kansas for the last two years will demand, at least, an annual session of the Federal Court on the southern border of the State; and with the Territory attached to this judicial district, no locality offers as many advantages for the business of a Federal Court as Arkansas City.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 28, 1880.
Three U. S. Marshals were in town on Monday last, hunting for parties to put in an appearance at the Fort Smith Federal Court.
Arkansas City Traveler, Wednesday, February 18, 1880. Front Page.
PUNISHMENT OF CRIME IN THE INDIAN TERRITORY.
The House Committee on Indian affairs have agreed upon the terms of the bill to provide for the punishment of crime in the Indian Territory. At the meeting of the Committee on Friday morning Chairman Scales was instructed to report it to the House. It provides that the laws of the respective States and Territories in which are located Indian reservations, relating to the crimes of murder, manslaughter, arson, rape, burglary, and robbery, shall be deemed and taken to be the law and in force within such reservations; and the district courts of the United States within and for the respective districts in which such reservations may be located in any State, and the territorial courts of the respective territories in which such reservations may be located shall have original jurisdiction over all such offenses which may be committed within such reservations.
“In respect to all that portion of the Indian Territory not set apart and occupied by the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Seminole Indian Tribes, the provisions of the laws of the State of Kansas relating to the crimes of murder, manslaughter, arson, rape, burglary, and robbery shall be deemed and taken to be the law and in force therein; and the United States district court for the western district of the State of Kansas, at Fort Scott, shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over all such offenses arising in said portion of the Indian Territory. The place of punishment of any and all said offenses shall be the same as for other like offenses arising within the jurisdiction of said respective courts.”
Arkansas City Traveler, March 24, 1880. Front Page.
WASHINGTON, March 13, 1880.
THE INDIAN TERRITORY QUESTION.
“The motion made on Tuesday by Senator Thurman, to refer to the Committee on the judiciary the remonstrance of Indian chiefs against the passage of the bill to establish a United States court in the Indian Territory, was taken up on Wednesday. Mr. Vest opposed the motion, saying the Committee on territories, who reported the bill, included several able lawyers, fully competent to draw a bill, and there was no reason to refer this any more than any other bill to the Committee on the judiciary. Mr. Edmunds thought that a bill to establish a United States court in a territory which had been set aside as an independent domain raised such important judicial questions as to make it a proper subject for consideration by the judiciary Committee. Considerable debate occurred between Senators Vest, Edmunds, Garland, and Conklin, the latter ably defending the point he had taken, and the bill was finally referred to the judiciary Committee.”
Arkansas City Traveler, August 4, 1880.
Our U. S. Commissioner’s court was in full blast last Monday, straightening (?) out some kind of a Territorial mess lately indulged in by one Ishmael Davis and a Cherokee Indian.
Arkansas City Traveler, September 1, 1880. Front Page.
Capt. Payne and five of his comrades, H. H. Stafford, J. K. Jarratt, J. Brophy, A. H. Riggs, and W. H. Smith, were brought in by the military last Friday, after a long detention, and turned over to the U. S. court, at this place. He found here no criminal charge against him, and was set at liberty at once and cited, together with his five comrades, to appear to November term of the U. S. court, to answer charge of going, the second time, into the Indian Territory.
Capt. Payne was very desirous to answer the charge at once, and without delay, but it cannot probably be well attended to by either party—plaintiff or defendant—at present.
It is a very important matter and will, no doubt, be decided by His Honor, Judge Parker, when tried in accordance with the genius of our Republican institutions, consistent with the spirit of the age in which we live, and in the great interests of civilization and advancement, and in the encouragement, as has always been the case, of the hardy, energetic, and bold pioneers of our country, a liberal construction of the law. Ft. Smith Elevator.
Arkansas City Traveler, November 24, 1880. Editorial Page.
POPE AND PAYNE.
Gen. John Pope has fired off his annual columbine in the form of an official report, reviewing Indian affairs in the Department of the Missouri. The burden of the document is devoted to the late eruption of the Southern Cheyennes and repeated and pending raids of Capt. Payne into Oklahoma. Gen. Pope details the action of the military authorities in twice removing Payne and his followers, and on the last occasion turning them over to the United States district court of Fort Smith. He says it is certain that Payne and his comrades “fully believe in their right to settle in the Oklahoma district, and are anxious to test the question in the United States courts. He also expresses the belief that it is the intention of the colonists to reenter the Territory pending the trial of their case, and under the President’s proclamation it will be necessary to arrest them and repeat the same process. Gen. Pope accordingly urges that the question of their right to settle in the Territory be passed upon as soon as possible by the U. S. court, now in session at Fort Smith.
It is clear from the general tenor of Gen. Pope’s report that he anticipates a formidable raid. He is too well informed not to know that the Oklahoma Colony whose headquarters are in Wichita represents an enlisted force of several thousand men, scattered through Southern Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas, and that the mass of these recruits will respond to the call for a general movement, advancing simultaneously by front and flank to the heart of Oklahoma.
They commit no trespass upon Indian reservations; they will occupy only the ceded lands, from which the Indian title has been extinguished by Government purchase, and which are designated as “public lands” on the Government maps. It is true also that the executive is prohibited by act of Congress from locating any more Indian tribes upon any public lands, and hence they lie in idleness and implied perpetual isolation from development and civilization. The position of Capt. Payne and his associates is ably fortified by the elaborate opinion of Col. Broadhead, and Judge Krum and Philips, of the St. Louis bar, a committee appointed to investigate and report upon the subject. What course the executive may pursue in regard to the pending invasion cannot be foreseen. We believe but for the obstinacy of Secretary Schurz, President Hayes, whose first message to the present Congress contained a very decided expression in favor of opening the Indian Territory, would suspend his proclamation and direct Gen. Pope to interpose no further barrier against the settlement of Oklahoma.
But with or without military intervention, we consider the opening of these 14,000,000 acres of public lands a certain and speedy event. It is the public sentiment and temper of the southwest that breech clout barbarism shall no longer block the national highway, and stem the tide of civilization between Kansas and the Gulf. The President could do no wiser act than to order Gen. Pope to suspend offensive operation and give Capt. Payne honorable escort to the public lands.
In any event, we believe before the ides of March are passed, there will 20,000 bona fide settlers tilling the soil and building the capital city of the future State of Oklahoma.
. . .
Arkansas City Traveler, Wednesday, December 8, 1880. Front Page.
THE OKLAHOMA QUESTION.
JUDGE W. P. CAMPBELL UPON ITS LEGAL AND MORAL PHASES.
Editor Wichita Eagle:
I wish through your paper to give my views of Payne’s raid upon Oklahoma. My purpose is to do what I can to save a few honest, hard working men from being entrapped in a scheme that is not intended for their benefit, and can end only in loss to anyone who has anything to lose, and trouble and difficulty to all who go to Oklahoma in opposition to the national authorities.
I echo the sentiments of a large majority of the solid businessmen and farmers of this city and county when I say that no honest laboring man can afford to be used by these Oklahoma boomers. And it is the wish of all such that their scheme shall fail, as it certainly will. There is a sense of justice and honor and a disposition to abide by the law characteristic of the American people that, when the test comes, will knock the wadding out of all such business.
Payne and his coadjutors pretend that there is no act of Congress against his going into the Oklahoma country, so called. But the law is too plain to be explained away on a flimsy technicality. The law prohibits anyone going into the Indian country without leave, and makes it the duty of the President to remove all intruders, and for that purpose to use the army if necessary. A second intrusion subjects the intruder to a penalty of one thousand dollars. The phrase “Indian country,” is one of long use and well understood meaning, and includes Oklahoma as much as it does any Indian reservation within the limits of the Indian Territory.
Payne and his crowd laugh at the penalty inasmuch as it is merely a civil liability, and does not subject them to imprisonment. But before they can succeed in this business, they must have the cooperation of men who are not indifferent to such matters. The only hope they have of success is to precipitate into the country such numbers that the army will be powerless to remove them until Congress shall be forced to recognize and legalize their occupancy. If they could find the precious metals to tempt the cupidity of man, their scheme, lawless as it is, might succeed. But when you ask a man to risk his little all and go to hard work, plowing in the ground, he is in no great haste to do so. The average Oklahoma boomer is little given to plowing, except by proxy. He expects to reap a rich harvest by the sweat of other men’s brows, and unless they delude a sufficient number of poor workingmen into the idea that by joining the expedition they can better their condition and obtain a valuable homestead in this promised land, their speculations will prove fruitless.
If asked to give the best reason for opposing the Oklahoma raid, I answer, because it is not right. It sets at defiance the laws and treaties of the national government, and the President cannot, under his oath of office, permit it to be done, but is charged by every consideration of honor, good faith, and duty to prevent it, by the whole power of the army if necessary.
Much has been said and written derogatory to the policy of treating with the Indians as an independent people, and it is urged that we should regard them as citizens, and subject them to all the duties and responsibilities of other citizens. This sounds very well from our standpoint, and if no other right but ours intervened, there could be no objection to it. But they were an independent people before they came under our jurisdiction.
So far as the Indians immediately interested are concerned, the policy of recognizing and treating with them as a sovereign independent people originated with the Kingdom of Spain, and while they occupied Spanish dominions. In this relation they became possessed of certain rights. Spain ceded her dominions known as the Territory of Louisiana to France, subject to the treaty rights of the Indians, and in turn the same territory was ceded by France to the United States, by the great Napoleon who required as part of the consideration by which we obtained this magnificent empire, a solemn promise “that we would execute such treaties and articles as may have been agreed upon between Spain and the tribes and nations of Indians, until by mutual consent of the United States and the said tribes or nations other suitable articles shall have been agreed upon.”
We have the power and, if we will, may disregard this stipulation, but not without dishonor. We have certainly gone as far in that direction as fairness will permit. We compelled the Indian to submit to extermination or the alternative of a settlement in the Indian Territory. He chose the latter with a promise, on our part, that it should be held sacred to him forever.
By treaty certain divisions of territory were set apart for certain tribes and nations, and the remainder, including Oklahoma, reserved for the future settlement of other Indians.
The act of Congress prohibiting the settlement of any more Indians in the Indian Territory is a violation of this agreement and ought to be repealed.
If we would civilize the Indian, let us give him an example of truth and justice, as practiced by civilized people. If we would teach him to obey the law, let us show him how law can protect him in the enjoyment of his rights. The Indian is no fool, if he is a barbarian. He knows that the settlement of Oklahoma by whites in the manner proposed is the entering wedge that shall eventually send him adrift, with his papoose and squaw, with no spot on earth that he can call home. He is naturally opposed to it, and he will doubtless resist it with all the force of his savage nature.
Much has been accomplished toward the enlightenment of the Indian during the last twenty years, and much more may be accomplished by pursuing an enlightened and Christian policy. But it is vain to offer him courts and laws while we exhibit an utter disregard of to him the highest law; to offer him bible and schools while we rob and drive him from his home.
The principal objection the Indian has to white civilization is on account of his apprehension that it means death to him, and unfortunately the experience of the past is poorly calculated to remove this apprehension.
His rights are as dear to him as ours to us, and he feels his wrongs as we do ours. Perhaps it is very stupid and unreasonable in him to do so. Perhaps he should consider it very kind of our Paynes to force him to sacrifice his traditions, tastes, habits, and prejudices in the interests of commerce and agriculture.
This is not the first time the people have been called on to vindicate the national honor. Good faith with the Indian is not necessarily antagonistic to the interests of commerce. Convince him that we do not mean a conquest of his country and a destruction of his prosperity, and there will be little trouble in gaining his consent to run railroads through the Territory. It is not necessary to rob him in order to give him the benefits of courts and laws.
We need to give him schools and churches adapted to his nature and surroundings, and thus gradually fit him for citizenship, when he will accept the new relation from choice.
I favor every legitimate means of opening up the highways of trade through the Territory; the settlement of all the Indians in the Territory who will go there voluntarily; the establishment of courts with special legislation intended to protect the Indian from imposition, and to secure him exclusive control of the soil; the building of schools and railroads at Government expense, and the use of every other means of encouragement to the Indian to work out the problem of his own civilization.
With such encouragement and security he will, in time, himself build towns and cities, and invite immigration and enterprise. I would like to see the Government, the consent of the Indians being first obtained, construct a double track railroad from Arkansas City through the Territory so as to connect with the southern system of railroads, and give all companies the right to run their cars over it that will comply with such salutary regulations and conditions as may be imposed.
But whatever is done, let it be done on the principle of rigid justice and good faith to the Indians, they being the judge of what is justice and good faith.
Very respectfully, W. P. CAMPBELL.
Arkansas City Traveler, December 8, 1880.
Omaha, Nebraska, December 4, 1880. Judge Dundy in the United States Circuit this morning decided in the Ponca Indian case—to recover their old reservation and establish a title thereto—that the Ponca tribe of Indians have legal estate in the reservation, and are entitled to possession thereto.
This case is the first on record where one Indian brought suit against another in the courts of the United States, and has aroused deep and wide-spread feeling on account of the wrong done the Poncas.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 5, 1881.
PAYNE DEFENDS HIS POSITION.
Fort Smith, Arkansas, December 31. David L. Payne, of Oklahoma fame, by his attorneys, Baker, Krum and Boudinot, of St. Louis, today filed his answer to the suit pending against him in the United States court, for unlawfully entering and remaining in the Indian Territory.
By his answer he avers that he was not at the time charged in the complaint in any part of the Indian country owned or occupied by any Indian tribe at the time charged in the complaint, and for some time prior thereto, he, as a citizen of the United States, was located on lands belonging to the United States exclusively, within the limits of the Indian Territory, and to which no Indian or Indian tribe had any right or title whatever; that his location and settlement was made upon lands purchased by the United States from the Creek and Seminole Indians by a treaty ratified in August, 1866, and that said lands are a part of the public domain. He denies that he was removed from any part of the Indian country embracing lands belonging to any tribe of Indians or to which any tribe of Indians had any right whatever, but claims that he has been wrongfully and unlawfully ejected from his said settlement upon the public domain by the military forces of the United States, and claims damages in the sum of $20,000.
Arkansas City Traveler, March 16, 1881.
[From the Cheyenne Transporter.]
George W. Padgett, who killed W. H. Stevens, near Caldwell last June, was tried at Fort Smith at the last term of court and found guilty of murder in the first degree. He has killed seven men, and the sentence is certainly a just one.
Arkansas City Traveler, May 11, 1881. Editorial Page.
Fort Smith, Ark., May 3. Judge Parker, of the United States district court, has rendered a judgment for the government in the suit of the United States vs. David C. Payne, charged with unlawfully invading the Indian Territory. The penalty under the statutes is $1,000. Six other cases of the same nature were decided in favor of the government.
Winfield Courier, May 12, 1881.
Some of our friends would believe as long ago as last summer that Dave Payne had been tried in the U. S. court at Fort Smith for trespassing on the Indian lands and acquitted. We informed them that such was not the case, but that he was awaiting his trial. That trial has recently taken place and he was found guilty and fined one thousand dollars and costs. Several other trespassers were found guilty.
Thus dies the Oklahoma boom just as all sensible persons were sure it would end. We do not think that Payne is very badly beaten. He and his clique probably made a good thing off the stupid fellows who were green enough to pay two dollars each for membership dues and those more stupid chaps who paid $25.00 each for a share in the Oklahoma town company.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, July 7, 1881 - Front Page.
Judge Parker’s opinion in the case of the United States vs. D. L. Payne sets forth at length the legal status of the land, which it has been claimed, was open to pre-emption as the nucleus of the future state of Oklahoma. Payne, it will be remembered, was expelled from the Indian Territory by the United States military forces, and on re-entering the Territory, was expelled again. This second entry being punishable under the laws of the United States, an action was brought against Payne, who in his answer, denied that he was in the Indian Territory, or any part thereof; averred that the land from which he was expelled was the property of the United States, and subjected to pre-emption, like other public lands, and that he had settled on it under the pre-emption and homestead laws. The question presented for decision was, therefore, “Was the land on which Payne claimed to have settled a part of or within the Indian Territory?”
Judge Parker begins by inquiring whether Payne had the right to pre-empt any of the lands conveyed by the Seminole treaty of 1866, which was the treaty under which the Government acquired its title to them. The homestead and pre-emption laws provide that any lands which have been reserved by any treaty, law, or proclamation of the president, are no part of the public lands of the United States subject to those laws, so long as such reservation continues. The power to reserve may be exercised by treaty, law, or executive proclamation. The third article of the Seminole treaty, the judge holds, clearly reserves these lands for the purpose of locating on them other Indians and freedmen. He treats this portion of the question at considerable length, and explains why the government wanted to locate other Indians and freedmen there. The Indian branch of the inquiry involves nothing not generally known, but the privilege of freedmen to enter on the land at will, is not so well understood.
Judge Parker holds the intention of the government to have been to provide a place for the settlement of the liberated slaves of the Indians. The tribes of the Indian Territory held colored people in slavery, and when these were set free, it was not known whether the several Indian tribes who held them to slavery would observe their pledges to secure them the same rights which the Indians themselves enjoyed.
It was fear that the prejudice growing out of their former condition as slaves would be so strong against them that, in order to protect them, it might become necessary to settle them in a colony by themselves. This purpose of the government was manifested by the terms of the treaty with the Choctaws, and in making the treaty with the Seminoles, it sought to provide a home for freedmen as had been held in slavery by the Indians in the Indian Territory, to which they might be removed, should it be necessary in order to secure them in their rights. The government intended to locate there those freedmen who had been slaves in the Indian Territory, and none others; and these could only be settled on this land by the authority and permission of the government. Colored persons who were never held as slaves in the Indian country, but who may have been slaves elsewhere, are like other citizens of the United States, and have no more right in the Indian country than other citizens.
If this land is open to pre-emption settlement, it has been so ever since the treaty of 1866, with the Seminoles. Yet the government has never attached it to any land district, so that settlers could take the necessary preliminary step to perfect their titles. That it has not done so, shows how it has construed the treaty, which is a contract to which it is one of the parties. It is a matter of public notoriety that the Seminoles have similarly construed the treaty; and in this case, the construction upon which both parties to the treaty agree is the proper one to be adopted by the courts.
Treaties, like statutes, must be construed, if possible, to give them effect. The judge disposes of the claim that the right to pre-empt these lands is granted by a clause in a railroad charter. The supreme court has held that “whenever a tract of land has been appropriated to the public use, it has been severed from the mass of public domain, and subsequent laws of sale are not construed to embrace it, though they do not in terms express it.” This land, having been reserved prior to the passage of the railroad grant and charter, and the charter being general in its terms, and not making any special reference to this land, cannot be held to embrace it. This railroad grant was what the counsel of Payne mainly relied on to sustain their case, but the law, as expounded by Judge Parker, seems to show that it was of no value whatever.
He next decides that the land is a part of the Indian Territory because, if it is not, the laws of the United States do not extend over it. Payne was therefore clearly an intruder by the law, and is liable for the penalty.
This exhaustive opinion puts a complete quietus upon all schemes for colonizing the Indian Territory until it shall be opened for settlement by the proper authorities. Especially does it deprive the Hon. J. Milton Turner of the advantages arising from a previous condition of servitude, and we trust the freedmen whom he is exhorting to follow him to Oklahoma will be advised in time. This is one of the instances in which the United States seems to have the power to observe its treaty and obligations with the Indian, and the finest of Indian reservations appears to be beyond the reach of raiders. Globe Democrat.
Arkansas City Traveler, August 17, 1881.
U. S. COMMISSIONER. It is with pleasure we note that at a term of the circuit court of the U. S. of America, for the district of Kansas, held at Leavenworth, June 16th, 1881, our townsman, I. H. Bonsall, was duly appointed commissioner of the U. S. District Court. This, with the other business incumbent upon Mr. Bonsall as a J. P., will give him his hands full of legal matters.
Winfield Courier, August 18, 1881.
The examination of the Woodruff brothers, charged with stealing a steer in the Territory, was had before U. S. Commissioner Webb on Monday, and consumed the entire afternoon, there being a dozen or more witnesses examined. It appears that the steer was with the cattle of the defendants from the territory to their home in Butler County, the Woodruff’s saying they could not drive it back. It was put in the corral with the other cattle, and has not been seen since. The Woodruff’s were bound over in the sum of five hundred dollars each, to appear at the next term of the United States district court at Fort Smith, Arkansas, in November.
Arkansas City Traveler, August 24, 1881.
Woodruff, the man arrested for stealing a steer from Deer Creek ranch, has been bound over in the sum of $500 to appear at the next term of court at Fort Smith, Arkansas. He will be tried for drawing a revolver on Capt. Will Whiting. The examination took place before U. S. Commissioner Webb, at Winfield, last week. The cattle Woodruff obtained from the Whiting Bros. are in the sheriff’s hands, under an attachment issued in favor of the Whiting Bros., who sold him the stock.
Arkansas City Traveler, August 31, 1881.
John T. Bennett, a citizen of this county, living between Clear Dale and South Haven, was last Sunday morning, arrested by Sheriff Thralls, on the charge of stealing cattle, and brought to this city. The Complainants are Nez Perce Indians. There seems to be no doubt of Bennett’s guilt, and the Sheriff is of the opinion that he has been engaged in the same business for three years. Mr. Hazzard, to whom the stock was sold, had butchered four of them at the date of Bennett’s apprehension. During the afternoon of the same day, he visited the prisoner; and was requested by him to “run” the cattle yet alive, and to efface the brands on the hides of those he had killed. After the preliminary examination, he will be taken to Fort Smith to be tried in the Federal Court. Wellingtonian.
Arkansas City Traveler, September 14, 1881.
An execution was issued last month by the U. S. District Court at Fort Smith, Arkansas, against Oklahoma Payne, et al., for the collection of the $1,000 fine assessment against them last winter.
Arkansas City Traveler, September 28, 1881.
John D. Smith, formerly Agent at Pawnee Agency, Indian Territory, now languishes in Fort Smith jail, under the charge of embezzlement. His trial was postponed from the last term of the U. S. Court.
Cowley County Courant, January 19, 1882.
The Wichita correspondent of the Kansas City Times says Captain David Payne has the papers prepared and will bring suit in the District Court of Sedgwick County against General Pope for his arrest and ejectment from Oklahoma Territory. This suit will involve the question of the right of settlement in that territory.
The following does not apply to “Courts” in Indian Territory. I insert it for the humor used in the early day...
Cowley County Courant, January 19, 1882.
E. S. Bedilion, Clerk of the District Court, is in receipt of the following definite letter of inquiry, and not having been acquainted with the man himself, he gave us the letter to answer.
“FORT WORTH, Jan. 13, 1882. Clerk C. C. Was there such a man lived about ten or twelve years ago in your county and did he marry there the reports are here that he has a wife somewhere in Kansas or in The Nation. He has given my family a great deal of trouble. I should like to know something about him.
There was. We knew him well. He lived in Bean-blossom Hollow, and used to catch skunks for a living. He was the only resident in the county at that time, and everybody knew him well. He was a brass-mounted son of a gun on wheels, wore a mutton-chop coat with bean-soup lining, and was known as the “bad man of the border.”
The last thing we heard of him he stole a sore-eyed dog and had to leave the country. We forget the dog’s name, but think it was “Hunty.” Hunty is dead now, or was a few years ago. He was a great rabbit dog. He never caught any rabbits, but would if he had continued to run. Yes, he was married to an Indian widow with twelve small Indians, and we supposed he was at some agency beating the Government. They had to get up and dust when Hunty got after them. He would make them hunt their holes and then he would smell at the hole and bark. He used to bark, too, whenever he heard the bark of a tree. He is a bad man, and we would advise you not to have anything to do with him.
Cowley County Courant, February 2, 1882.
D. L. Payne, of Oklahoma notoriety, filed suit in the district court against Gen. H. Pope, commander of the department of the Missouri, for ejecting him from Oklahoma, in the Indian Territory, on the 15th of June and 7th of August, 1881. In his petition Payne alleges that Oklahoma is United States land subject to settlement, and which he had a right to occupy as a citizen and a bona fide settler. The plaintiff asks $25,000 for ejectment. This suit will determine in the court the status of Oklahoma, and whether it is subject to settlement as government land or not.
Arkansas City Traveler, March 1, 1882. Editorial Page.
The Senate Committee on Territories heard a delegation from the five Nations in the Indian Territory in opposition to Vest’s bill for the establishment of a U. S. Court in the Territory. The committee invited them to place the agitation in the form of a bill.
In connection with the bill to establish a United States Court in the Indian Territory, now pending before the Senate committee, it is said that the Indians of that Territory regard the measure with suspicion; that they suspect it to be a scheme tending to the opening up of their country to settlement and to deprive them eventually of their lands. To remove this fear and at the same time afford protection to life and property in that Territory, the chairman of the committee, today, proposed to the representatives of the Indians that they assist to the extension of the United States criminal laws only over their Territory. This proposition was received with apparent favor, and it is probable that a substitute for the pending bill will be framed providing for the punishment for criminal offenses in the Indian Territory, but leaving all civil questions to be settled as now arranged among the Indians.
Arkansas City Traveler, March 29, 1882.
We would call the attention of our readers to the “Notice to Stockmen,” which appears in this issue, and would recommend them to read the same with attention, and in the case of stockmen, would suggest that a compliance with the same would best subserve their interests. As we understand it, the Indian Department intends to enforce the levying of the tax, and will see that non-complying stockmen are ejected and punished for trespass, etc. The penalty in this case is such fine as the court may direct, and an additional penalty of $1 per head for all stock the trespassing stockman may have in the Territory.
Arkansas City Traveler, March 29, 1882. Editorial Page.
It will be seen by the advertisement elsewhere in this issue that Major D. W. Lipe, the authorized agent of the Cherokee Council for the collection of the tax for holding stock on the Cherokee Strip, in the Indian Territory, is at present at Caldwell for the purpose of collecting said tax from parties liable. Although the time mentioned in the “Notice to Stockmen” expired yesterday, yet, we presume the Major will not leave Caldwell right away.
For the benefit of parties having doubts as to the power of the Cherokees to enforce the tax, we append the following sections from the Revised Statutes of the United States, directly bearing upon this matter.
SEC. 2117. Every person who drives or otherwise conveys any stock of horses, mules, or cattle, to range and feed, on any land belonging to any Indian or Indian tribe, without the consent of such tribe, is liable to a penalty of one dollar for each animal of such stock.
SEC. 2147. The superintendent of Indian affairs, and the Indian agents and sub-agents, shall have authority to remove from the Indian country all persons found thereon contrary to law, and the President is authorized to direct the military force to be employed in such removal.
SEC. 2149. The Commissioner of Indian Affairs is authorized and required, with the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, to remove from any tribal reservation any person being therein without authority of law, or whose presence within the limits of the reservation may, in the judgment of the Commissioner, be detrimental to the peace and welfare of the Indians, and may employ for the purpose such force as may be necessary to enable the agent to effect the removal of such person.
SEC. 2150. The military forces of the United States may be employed in such manner and under such regulations as the President may direct.
First. In the apprehension of every person who may be in the Indian country in violation of law; and in conveying him immediately from the Indian country, by the nearest convenient and safe route, to the civil authority of the Territory or judicial district in which such person shall be found, to be proceeded against in due course of law;
Second. In the examination and seizure of stores, packages, and boats, authorized by law;
Third. In preventing the introduction of persons and property into the Indian country contrary to law; which persons and property shall be proceeded against according to law;
Fourth. And also in destroying and breaking up any distillery for manufacturing ardent spirits set up or continued within the Indian country.
NOTICE TO STOCKMEN.
Holding Cattle on the Cherokee Strip
Notice is hereby given to all parties holding cattle, sheep, horses, hogs, or other stock in that strip of country, known as the Cherokee Outlet, being part of the Indian Territory, that they are intruders and trespassers under the intercourse act.
To remain they must have license for so doing from the Cherokee Council, and without such license, properly obtained, they shall be promptly removed in such manner as shall be
directed by the Hon. Secretary of the Interior, by whose order I give this notice. Six days from the date of this notice will be given for parties to settle with the authorized agent of the Council, Major D. W. Lipe, who will be at Caldwell to attend to this.
At the end of the above named time all the delinquents will be reported for removal.
JOHN M. NEAL, U. S. Indian Inspector.
Caldwell, March 23rd, 1882.
Arkansas City Traveler, March 29, 1882.
Gen. John McNeil, U. S. Indian Inspector, came over from Caldwell last week to give notice that parties grazing stock on Cherokee lands must come before Major Lipe, at Caldwell, and pay their tax. They had notices for most of the cattle and sheep men along the line south of this place.
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.
[From the Washington correspondent of the Topeka Commonwealth.]
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.
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.
Winfield Courier, April 27, 1882.
It is proposed to establish a Federal court at Muscogee, Indian Territory, with criminal jurisdiction.
Winfield Courier, June 8, 1882.
At Tahlequah, Indian Territory, Reuben Lucas was shot by order of the court for the murder of A. McKinney. He met his death bravely.
Arkansas City Traveler, June 21, 1882.
The Indians in the Nation have decided to support the bill establishing a United States Court in the Territory, and have instructed their delegates at Washington to support the bill. The court will be at Vinita, Muskogee, or Fort Gibson.
Arkansas City Traveler, September 20, 1882. Editorial Page.
[From the Cheyenne Transporter.]
The U. S. Court is now in session at Ft. Smith, Arkansas.
Capt. Payne and “outfit” were taken to Ft. Smith last Saturday, in charge of military. Payne will learn after awhile that his Territory trips are unprofitable—but that will never be as long as he can dupe poor fools of farmers out of their hard earned money by his “rights,” “shares,” stocks, and privileges he sells them. Payne and “Co.” make money hand over fist by their boomer schemes.
On the 23rd ult. a detachment went off to Oklahoma to drive off the settlers there, Lieut. Taylor, of Co. F, 9th Cav., in command. They captured Capt. Oklahoma Payne on the 30th, with a few settlers. The outlaws are now in camp on the southwest side of the Fort, and are under close guard night and day, until Co. D of the 20th Inf., will take them to Ft. Smith, where they will have to right themselves before the U. S. court.
Arkansas City Traveler, September 20, 1882.
Geo. H. Johnson brought in a horse-thief on Monday and turned him over to acting Agent Woodard, who sent him to the guard house, at Ft. Reno. The young fellow had stolen one of Johnson’s horses from the picket pin at night and started up the trail.
Johnson followed after and overtook his man on Red Rock and arrested him, with the aid of some cattlemen, and brought him down. He will be taken to Fort Smith, and Johnson will be at the heavy expense of appearing against him. “What has become of that Wichita U. S. Court bill?”
Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, September 28, 1882.
Lieut. C. W. Taylor, 9th U. S. Cavalry, with a squad of ten men, arrived at Fort Smith on the 21st inst., with Capt. Dave Payne and his party consisting of the following persons: W. P. Miller, A. P., A. L., and E. Lewis, A. C. McCord, M. Hatfield, P. W. Odell, M. Rumman, H. A. Weatherby, W. H. Osburn, wife and child, and Miss Dicy Dixon. The entire party were served with summons to appear at the November term of the U. S. District Court at Fort Smith, and then released. Payne and his party were taken from Fort Reno, via Henrietta, Texas, and in that place Payne served out a writ of habeas corpus, which Lieut. Taylor resisted all attempts to serve. While it makes little or no difference what becomes of Payne, Lieut. Taylor ought to be made to understand that the military are subservient to the civil authorities, and any attempt on the part of a Lieutenant, or any other officer, to resist civil law, makes him just as liable to punishment as Payne can possibly be for his attempt to settle upon the Oklahoma lands. That young man Taylor needs a lesson on the firm of the United States government.
Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, December 14, 1882.
We urge upon Hon. Thomas Ryan the propriety of pushing through his bill for attaching the northwestern portion of the Indian Territory to the District of Kansas for judicial purposes, and for the establishment of a U. S. Court at some eligible point near the southern border of Kansas. The western portion of the Territory is now practically under no other law than that of force, for the reason that where a criminal is arrested and sent to Fort Smith, persons having knowledge of his guilt cannot be induced to give information for fear of being dragged to Fort Smith as witnesses at a great inconvenience and loss of time and money. The practical effect of this state of affairs is to make the Territory a harboring place for the worst class of outlaws in the country, whom the law-abiding and orderly people cannot rid themselves of except by taking the law into their own hands.
Winfield Courier, December 14, 1882.
Extensive arrests have recently been made by the Indian police of parties hunting buffalo and other game on the reservations in the Indian Territory. There is a federal law against hunting on these lands, with the penalty of a heavy fine and confiscation of effects. The Indian authorities say they are determined to stop this government invasion, and have issued instructions to arrest all outside hunting parties found on the reservation and confiscate their property. Hunters from Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Texas, and other states are already arrested, and will be arraigned before the nearest United States court.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 10, 1883.
The Wichita Judicial District.
Advices from Washington state that Col. William A. Phillips, an agent of the Cherokee Indians, has addressed the Secretary of the Interior, asking his assistance to secure a presidential veto on the bill which provides for the holding of a term of the United States court at Wichita, Kansas, and transfer to its judicial jurisdiction certain portions of the Indian Territory heretofore attached to the western district of Arkansas.
[U. S. DISTRICT COURT AT WICHITA ESTABLISHED.]
Arkansas City Traveler, January 17, 1883.
The bill providing for the holding of U. S. District court at Wichita has passed both Houses of Congress, and will no doubt soon receive the President’s signature. It provides that there shall be a term of the U. S. District Court for the district of Kansas at Wichita, in each year on the first Monday in September. The city or county authorities are to provide a suitable building for the court, and its officers without expense to the United States. The bill provides that all that part of the Territory lying north of the Canadian River and east of the Panhandle of Texas and 100th [?] meridian not set apart and occupied by the Cherokee, Creek, and Seminole Indian tribes, shall, from and after the passage of this act, be annexed to and constitutes part of the United States Judicial District of Kansas, and the U. S. Courts at Wichita and Ft. Scott, in the district of Kansas, shall have exclusive original jurisdiction of all offenses committed within the limits of the Territory hereby annexed to the district of Kansas against any one of the United States, now, or that may hereafter be operative therein.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 17, 1883.
The Nation’s Wards.
The Indian Commissioner recently issued a circular to the various Indian Agents in which he illustrates the policy to be enforced in the management of the Nation’s wards. This circular contains a series of rules, the first of which provides for a court of Indian officers at each inspection agency, to consist of three men selected from the most intelligent, moral, and reliable of the tribe, who shall hold stated sessions and hear and adjudge offenses. The court is empowered to enforce their decisions, the only appeal being to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs in Washington. Each Judge is to be appointed for a term of one year, subject to removal at any time at the decision of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. Each Judge is also to receive $20 a month salary. This Court is to have jurisdiction over all Indian Offenses enumerated in the new rules. The first of these offenses named are the sun dance, the calf dance, the war dance, and all other so-called sports assimilating thereto, the penalty for which, for the first offense, is the withholding of rations for fifteen days, and for the second offense, the withholding of rations for not less than ten days or more than thirty, or by incarceration in the agency prison not exceeding 30 days or both.
Another Indian offense designated is plural marriage, the penalty for which is a fine of $200 or work at hard labor for a period of twenty days or both. The proceeds of this penalty are to be devoted to the benefit of the tribe to which the offender belongs. Rations are also to be withheld from husbands who fail to support their wives.
Medicine men are also held to be offenders against the civilization of the agencies, and any attempt on their part to prevent the attendance of children at the agency schools, or to influence the tribe to continue their heathenish rites, are to be punishable by ten days’ solitary confinement on bread and water.
The destruction of any tribal property is also to be punished by imprisonment for a term not exceeding thirty days, or until such time as evidence satisfactory to the Court is presented that the offense will not be repeated.
Each agent is instructed to present the new rules to the several tribes at once, and to send nominations for the judgeships as soon as possible, so that no time may be lost in the establishment of the new system.
Evidently the Secretary does not realize the situation in the Territory regarding the Indians if those rules are intended to be enforced. It is a decree against Indian rites and religion, which we believe cannot be enforced. The sun dance will be danced by the Cheyennes, Arapahos, Kiowas, and Comanches, and polygamy will be indulged in until they are educated to abandon it, and the medicine man’s influence will rule supreme as the Pope’s. As to withholding rations, think this has been tried and failed. The Cheyennes will have their rations or fight. Nothing is said regarding disarming them. That has been tried and failed, too, and it will not be a healthy place for the Agents, or even healthy within the Territory if these orders are carried out.
Arkansas City Traveler, February 21, 1883.
We have received a copy of the decision of Judge I. C. Parker on the status of lands in the Indian Territory in the case of the United States vs. D. L. Payne, in the District Court of the United States for the Western District of Arkansas, at the May term 1881. This is a civil suit to recover a penalty of one thousand dollars for being in the Indian Country contrary to law. Payne denies that he was in the Indian Country, but claims that he settled on land belonging to the Government and subject to settlement. The following is the opinion of the court in regard to the title, and why it is not subject to settlement.
The lands in controversy are a part of those which were by the treaty of the 14th February, 1833, made with the Creeks, set apart to them. By the treaty of the 7th of August, 1856, made between the United States and the Creeks, they conveyed these lands to the Seminoles, provided, however, that the same should not be sold or otherwise disposed of without the consent of both tribes legally given. The Seminoles, by the 3rd article of the treaty made between them and the United States, March 21st, 1866, provided as follows: “In compliance with a desire of the United States to locate other Indians and Freedmen thereon, the Seminoles cede and convey to the United States their entire domain, being the tract of land ceded to the Seminole Indians by the Creek Nation under the provisions of article 1st, treaty of the United States with the Creeks and Seminoles, made and conceded at Washington, D. C., August 7th, 1856.”
The Creeks, by the 7th article of the treaty of June, 1866, consented to this cession by the Seminoles.
To my mind this language used in the 3rd article of the Seminole treaty amounts to a conveyance of the title of land described to the United States. But the fact that the title of the land is in the United States does not necessarily make it that part of the public domain which is subject to settlement by citizens of the United States under the homestead and pre-emption laws, because these laws are explicit, and any lands which have been reserved by any treaty, law, or proclamation of the President, are no part of the public lands of the United States subject to these laws so long as such reservation continues, and when any part of the public lands have been once lawfully reserved, that reservation cannot be set aside except by a clear and explicit act of the lawful authority, showing thereby clearly a purpose to open to settlement, by the citizens, the land reserved.
It will be seen that Oklahoma is government land, and that no tribe of Indians have any interest in these lands, but that the government reserved them for the purpose of locating Indians and Freedmen thereon, and therefore the law has the same application to them that it does to Indian reserves. The court further says: “Now, in the estimation of many persons, it may be desirable to open this country to settlement. If so it must be done by the power that has a right under the constitution and laws of the country to do it.”
Arkansas City Traveler, Wednesday, March 7, 1883.
There is now in Washington a delegation of colored men from the Indian Territory, who were former slaves of the Indians, and who are seeking legislation for appropriating money and lands agreeably to the treaty between the Choctaws and Chickasaws and the government in 1866. The Department of the Interior was surprised to hear that there are 30,000 negroes in the Territory who have never cast a vote, and who have been denied access to the schools and to the courts, being incompetent as witnesses or jurors. The delegation is asking the government, agreeably to the stipulations of the treaty, to remove them from among the Indians and settle them on the Oklahoma lands, which Payne and his followers are now trying to obtain possession of. Secretary Teller has caused the Indian Commissioner to draw up a bill providing for the requested relief, and it has been transmitted with strong recommendations to have it incorporated in the deficiency appropriation bill. The bill provides 160 acres of land for every head of a family, eighty acres for every unmarried person over 21 years of age, and sufficient money for the expenses of removal and settlement on the land.
Winfield Courier, March 22, 1883.
The Oklahoma Lands.
We have at hand the decision of the U. S. District Judge, I. C. Parker, in the case of the United States vs. D. L. Payne, relative to the status of the lands in the Indian Territory known as the Oklahoma country. In summing up the court says:
“It was Indian country beyond question while the Creeks and Seminole occupied it. The government obtained it for Indian occupancy. Of course, it could not at the same moment make the treaty and transplant other tribes on the land, but we find it commenced to do so as soon thereafter as possible. It has gone on and treated it as devoted to that purpose, by settling on a large portion of it Indian tribes. It cannot be presumed that for fifteen years the Government has had a tract of country within the very heart of the Indian country, which it has purchased and permitted to remain in such condition, as it might become a place of refuge for criminals and outlaws, who could depredate and prey upon their Indian neighbors and others with immunity from punishment, especially when the government has pledged protection and security from intruders to all the tribes in the Indian country. Yet this is so if this is Indian country, because the laws of the United States would not extend over it, and it would not be within the jurisdiction of any state or territory. It never intended this. It did not by this treaty of purchase with the Seminoles do it. By its act of reservation of this country, situated as it was and being reserved for the purpose it was, it continued still to be Indian country as much as if it had been at that time entirely occupied by Indians. Now, in the estimation of many persons, it may be desirable to open this country to settlement. If so, it must be done by the power that has a right under the constitution and laws to do it. It must not be asked or expected that to accomplish this end the courts will break or even bend the timbers of the law, especially when that power in the government which could act has, time and again, refused to act. The courts do not make the laws. They interpret, construe, and execute them as they find them.
From my views of the law, as applicable to this case, upon the facts set up by the defendant, he is liable for the penalty under the law, and the demurrer to the answer must be sustained.
It is so ordered.
Arkansas City Traveler, March 28, 1883.
For some time past a gang of horse thieves have been plying their vocation in the Territory, but up to within a few weeks past succeeded in eluding all efforts made to discover their mode of operation or whereabouts.
The circumstance which has led to the demoralization of the outfit was the purchase of a pony by Capt. Nipp of a cowboy named Jay Wilkinson some three weeks since, which pony Capt. Nipp afterwards discovered, had been stolen from the Territory. With this information Deputy McIntire and a Mr. Phipps started out in search of Wilkinson, whom they learned was in the vicinity of the Cimarron River. Hearing that Wilkinson and several of his companions had fled to a dug-out, and were fixing for a fight, Mr. McIntire deemed it advisable to return to Caldwell for reinforcements, and being joined by Deputy U. S. Marshal Hollister and another officer, the four returned, and after considerable reconnoitering and a lively chase, succeeded in missing their men, but captured one Hostetter, another member of the gang, with whom they started to the State, where Hostetter was committed to the Winfield jail to await the next term of U. S. Court at Wichita, not being able to give the $500 bail required. Wilkinson, who had been dodging around trying to swap for a fresh horse, was gathered in by the boys at Johnson Ranch, who carried him to Caldwell and turned him over to Deputy Hollister, who straightway telegraphed to Messrs. McIntire and Nipp the fact of his possession and declared the intention of leaving for this place, requesting these gentlemen to meet him, which they did, bringing Wilkinson to town where he had an examination, and was committed to jail with Hostetter. Another of the gang, known as Mulvane George, was also arrested, but gave $500 bail and is now at large.
Deputy McIntire informs us he expects shortly to have more of the gang in his clutches, in which we hope he may not be mistaken.
Winfield Courier, March 29, 1883.
We clip the following account of the capture of two horse thieves by Deputy U. S. Marshal McIntire, mentioned in another column, from the Arkansas City Democrat.
About three weeks ago a young man by the name of Jay Wilkinson, a well known cowboy of the Indian Territory, sold a pony to Capt. J. B. Nipp of this city, and a few days afterward the Captain found out that the pony had been stolen from a ranchman in the Territory, and informed Deputy U. S. Marshal McIntire of the fact, who, in company with a gentleman by the name of Phipps, started out to capture Wilkinson, whom they learned was at Smithey’s ranch on the Cimarron River in the Indian Territory. Upon arriving at the ranch, they found out that Wilkinson had been informed by some of his confederates in this city in regard to the movements of Deputy McIntire, and with two of his companions had proceeded to an old dug-out some ten miles from the ranch, armed and equipped with provision and ammunition, with the intention of standing the officers off. George and Mr. Phipps made a careful survey of the situation, and found that the boys were too well fortified to attempt an attack by themselves, so they quietly pulled out for Caldwell, where they secured the services of Deputy U. S. Marshal Hollister and another gentleman and returned for their game. When they arrived at the dug-out, they found it deserted, but the indications were that the boys had made a hasty exit, as they left behind a shot-gun, revolver, and a number of other articles, and upon looking around they discovered Wilkinson and his two companions just disappearing over a hill some two miles distant. They immediately mounted their horses and started in pursuit, and had a lively chase for twenty miles, when they arrived at Johnson’s ranch, where they found Jack Martin sick in bed and the only one at the camp, who informed them that Wilkinson and one of his gang had been there about half an hour before them, and had left their ponies and taken two of the best horses at the ranche and struck out in a northerly direction.
Just as the officers and posse were getting ready to leave, a young man by the name of Frank Hostetter, whom they had spotted as one of the gang, rode up and they placed him under arrest, and left one man to guard him, while the remainder of the party struck out after Wilkinson, whom they followed for about forty miles in the direction of the State, but finally lost track of him, and returned to the ranch after Hostetter. Hostetter was brought up to the city and taken before Commissioner Bonsall for preliminary examination, and bound over in the sum of $500 to appear at the next term of the U. S. Court at Wichita; being unable to give the required bond, he was taken to Winfield and placed in the county jail to await trial.
Wednesday, the same day the officers arrived in this city with Hostetter, Wilkinson rode into Johnson’s ranch with the intention of again swapping horses, but as Smithey and Johnson happened to be at the camp at the time they persuaded him, with a couple of double-barreled shot-guns to give himself up, and the next day took him to Caldwell and turned him over to Deputy U. S. Marshal Hollister, who telegraphed to George McIntire that he had started for this place with the prisoner, and to meet him in the Territory so there would be no trouble; and George, in company with Marshal Sinnott, Patterson, Nipp, and Rarick, started out and met Hollister about twelve miles from the City and escorted him in. Wilkinson had his preliminary examination on Saturday and was sent up to the county jail to await his trial at the next term of the U. S. Court.
There are four or five others connected with the gang whom the officers are laying in wait for, and the indications are that they will bring them to tow before many days.
LATER. Since writing the above the officers arrested another young man known as Mulvane George, whom they have good reasons to believe is connected with the gang. His bond was fixed at $500 and his father, who resides at Mulvane, was telegraphed to and came down and fixed it up.
Arkansas City Traveler, April 11, 1883.
Hostetter and Wilkinson, arrested for horse stealing, had a preliminary examination before Judge Bonsall last week; and in default of $1,000 bail each, were committed to jail in Wichita till the fall term of the U. S. Court.
Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, April 12, 1883.
Hostetter and Hatfield, the two horse thieves taken by Deputy Marshals Hollister and McIntire, had an examination at Wellington last week, and were committed to the Wichita jail for trial at the September term of the U. S. District Court. Loper, who appears to be the worst pill in the box, will not have his examination for a week or two. Three of the horses stolen from the Carnegie & Frazier ranch were recovered.
Arkansas City Traveler, June 6, 1883.
Mr. W. R. Little of Sac & Fox Agency, who was in our city last week attending the U. S. Commissioner, Bonsall’s court, in the case of John Huffine, started for his Territory home Saturday evening.
Arkansas City Traveler, June 6, 1883.
John Huffine, charged before U. S. Commissioner Bonsall with embezzling money from his employer, W. R. Little of Sac & Fox Agency, last week, was bound over in the sum of $200 to appear at the next term of court at Wichita. At this writing he had not given bail and was in custody.
Caldwell Journal, July 5, 1883.
The Secretary of War has transmitted to the Interior Department the following telegram from General Pope. “Ft. Leavenworth, June 25. To the Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.: David L. Payne has applied to the United States circuit court today for an injunction against yourself and me, restraining us from interfering with his entrance to and occupation of the Oklahoma districts in the Indian Territory. This application brings up for decision the whole question of the status of the Oklahoma district. I sent the papers served on you and myself jointly to the United States District Attorney for Kansas, who requested that we report the facts to Washington, in order that instructions may be sent him. The case needs immediate attention, and I request that the District Attorney for Kansas be telegraphed to at once to attend to the case.”
Secretary Lincoln adds that he has furnished a copy of the telegram to the Attorney General, with a request that he take the necessary measures to meet the application.
Arkansas City Traveler, July 11, 1883.
Payne Wants An Injunction.
The secretary of war has transmitted to the interior department the following telegram from Gen. Pope.
“Fort Leavenworth, June 25. To the Secretary of War, Washington, D. C. David L. Payne has applied to the United States circuit court today for an injunction against yourself and me, restraining us from interfering with his entrance to and occupation of the Oklahoma districts in the Indian Territory. This application brings up for decision the whole question of the status of the Oklahoma district. I sent the papers served on you and myself jointly to the United States District Attorney for Kansas, who requested that we report the facts to Washington, in order that instructions may be sent him. The case needs immediate attention, and I request that the District Attorney for Kansas be telegraphed to at once to attend to the case.”
Secretary Lincoln adds that he has furnished a copy of the telegram to the Attorney General, with the request that he take the necessary measures to meet the application.
Caldwell Journal, July 19, 1883.
We are informed that Colonel Manee is in the guard house at Fort Reno, charged with giving liquor to an Indian. Colonel may be guilty of the charge for ought we know, but even if he is, he should have an opportunity to defend himself before the proper law officers. That section of the Territory is attached to the U. S. District of Kansas, and any man arrested on the charge of violating the Intercourse laws of the U. S., should at once be brought before a U. S. Commissioner, and if sufficient evidence is adduced to hold him until the next term of court, he should be permitted to give bail. That nothing of the kind has been done in Manee’s case is an outrage which should not be tolerated for one single moment. If a murder is committed in the Territory, or valuable stock stolen, the Interior and the War departments have no means by which they can pursue and arrest the guilty parties; but if a poor devil of a cowboy should happen, in the generosity of his nature, to give a half-breed Indian (who can usually get all the whiskey he wants) one single drop of an intoxicating beverage, he is at once put under arrest and deprived of any rights or privileges accorded to the worst criminals in the country. The person or persons who caused the arrest of Manee and McCasker may have done what they conceived to be their duty under the circumstances, but the suspicion prevails that private pique and malice prompted their course, and unless they can show clean hands and fair dealing, there will be lively times.
Manee is not a renegade, however true the accusation against him may be, and we venture to say that a first-class bond of $10,000 or even more, can be furnished in this city to secure his appearance at any court in the country in answer to the charges upon which he is now held at Reno.
His detention under the circumstances is a wrong, and one which should be resented by every man doing business legally in the Territory, for the reason that if any whipper-snapper of the Indian Department can cause the arrest and imprisonment of a single man, however humble, to gratify his whim or his malice, he can also encroach upon the rights and liberties of the largest cattle owner, with his thousands of dollars behind him. Only by protecting the rights and privileges of the humble, can the rich and the lofty hope to escape injustice themselves.
Arkansas City Traveler, July 25, 1883.
Cicero Beeson, who, it will be remembered, absconded last week with moneys belonging to his employer, Capt. J. B. Nipp, was captured about five miles from Osage Agency, Indian Territory, by Messrs. Nipp and Breene, and brought back to town. His preliminary examination was waived before Judge Bonsall on Friday, and he was bound over to the next term of court. Bail was fixed at $500, which we understand was furnished.
Arkansas City Traveler, August 8, 1883.
The three men charged with selling liquor to Indians were brought before U. S. Commissioner Bonsall and waived examination and were held in the sum of $500 each to appear before the U. S. Court at Wichita. One of the men, Patrick Duffey, has given bail, and the others went to Wichita in default.
Caldwell Journal, August 16, 1883.
We are informed that about 250 boomers left Arkansas City on Friday of last week, for the Oklahoma lands. Payne was in Arkansas City at the time, but gave out that he did not intend to accompany the expedition. We learn that, in conversation with others, he stated it to be his intention to keep still pending the trial of his case before the U. S. Circuit Court, and that he thought inasmuch as he had adopted that course, the War and Interior departments should also maintain a neutral position and permit anyone who chose to settle upon the Oklahoma lands.
The fellow don’t seem to understand that such a course on the part of the government would be a virtual abandonment of its claims, and one is sometimes at a loss to know whether he is a fool or a knave. Perhaps a close analyzation of his character would develop both elements, each alternately predominating as circumstances seem to require.
Arkansas City Traveler, August 22, 1883.
P. A. Lorry, of Bolton, with J. B. Nipp and Dr. Alexander, of this city, have been drawn as petit jurors to serve at the next term of the U. S. Court at Wichita, which meets the first Monday in September.
Arkansas City Traveler, August 22, 1883.
The case of R. W. Wood, on a charge of horse stealing, came up last Monday before U. S. Commissioner Bonsall, and resulted in the defendant being bound over to the next term of the district court at Wichita in the sum of $250. Bail was given.
Arkansas City Traveler, August 22, 1883.
Deputy U. S. Marshal G. H. McIntire, from Cowley, recently landed a number of boarders with our sheriff, who will likely remain with him till the September term of U. S. Court. This is the third or fourth trip of the kind this man McIntire has made to Wichita, and he either has plenty of material to work on, down there in the pocket of Sumner and Cowley Counties, or else he is a pretty good worker. We believe they are going to make him sheriff of Cowley County, at least we suppose he is the same McIntire mentioned in the exchanges from that county, in connection with that office. Wichita Daily Times.
Winfield Courier, August 23, 1883.
GEO. H. McINTIRE.
The announcement of Geo. H. McIntire as a candidate for the office of Sheriff of this county came in last week too late for special notice, but we want to say that George is one of the best officers this county ever had; that he is efficient, energetic, courageous, and courteous, and knows all about the business. He quietly goes about his work without any bluster but does it all the same. He has been in such work in this county for 12 years; was deputy under Dick Walker 4 years, under Shenneman 3 years, and has been U. S. Deputy Marshal 2 years. He has 16 criminals now for trial in the U. S. Court at Wichita. Of the 32 criminals taken to the pen by Shenneman, Geo. secured unaided 13. If he gets the nomination, none but criminals will regret it.
Arkansas City Traveler, September 5, 1883.
A number of persons went up on the three o’clock train Monday morning to attend United States court at Wichita.
Arkansas City Traveler, September 5, 1883.
Quite a large number of our citizens, among whom were J. B. Nipp, O. S. Rarick, G. H. McIntire, and A. W. Patterson, were subpoenaed to attend the term of the United States court now in session at Wichita.
Winfield Courier, September 6, 1883.
Geo. H. McIntire, the nominee for Sheriff, is one of the best officers Cowley County ever had. He has no bluster about him, but attends quietly to business and does it up completely in good shape. He has put thirteen prisoners in the Wichita jail within two months to stand their trial in the U. S. court at that place. Yet he has not done any blowing about and few know of the extent of his service, catching rascals either for the United States, or for this state, which have also been efficient and remarkable.
Caldwell Journal, September 6, 1883.
Judge McCrary Renders a Decision in Effect Against the Oklahoma Colonists.
The following opinion rendered by Judge McCrary a few days ago will be read with interest by all persons who contemplated moving to Oklahoma.
In the Circuit Court of the United States, District of Kansas, August, 1883.
David L. Payne, complainant, vs. Robert T. Lincoln and John Pope. In equity.
MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION.
The complainant alleges that he is a citizen of the United States, and that he served as a soldier of the United States during the war of the rebellion, and was honorably discharged; that he is entitled to settle upon certain territory described in the bill for the purpose of taking a homestead and of obtaining and keeping his home, residence, and his citizenship therein; that he has been attempting by all means in his power to enter upon said territory for that purpose and would have done so were it not for the acts of the defendant, who is a major-general in the army of the United States, having command of a large body of United States soldiers, and who, under orders from the president, has by force prevented complainant from entering upon said territory, and thus unlawfully deprived him of a right guaranteed to him by the constitution and laws of the United States. The bill avers that the territory in question is public land of the United States and open to settlement under the laws hereof.
The particular territory in controversy is described as follows, in the bill.
“Being that portion of the so-called Indian Territory lying south of the State of Kansas and west of the State of Arkansas, and being that portion thereof situate and lying between the North Fork of the Canadian river on the north, and the Canadian river on the south, and extending from the Indian meridian on the east, which meridian nearly corresponds with the sixth principal meridian traversing the state line of Kansas from north to south to the north and south township line between townships seven and eight to the west of said Indian meridian, as will more fully appear by reference to the United States survey thereof.”
The prayer of the bill is for an injunction to restrain the defendants from molesting, interfering with, seizing, imprisoning, detaining, or prevent complainant and others similarly situated accompanying him from going to or remaining upon said territory.
There is no service upon the defendant, Robert T. Lincoln, and the present order is only asked as against the defendant, John Pope.
The motion is submitted upon the allegations of the bill in connection with the statutes and treaties applicable to the controversy.
S. N. Wood and Waters & Ensminger, for complainant.
J. R. Hallowell, United States attorney for General Pope.
McGraw, Circuit Judge.
Is the land under question subject to enter under the pre-emption and homestead laws of the United States? This is the controlling question in the case. It is, to say the least, a question of doubt, and one concerning which there is a serious dispute. The executive branch of the government after the investigation, and being advised by the attorney general of the United States, has decided it in the negative, and have accordingly issued orders to the defendant, John Pope, who, as major-general of the army, has military control of the Indian territory, to prevent by force the occupation of the disputed territory by white settlers. Under such circumstances, all that this court can at present be reasonably asked to do is to preserve the status quo until the final adjudication of the controversy. Were the parties at issue upon a question of legal right, and an injunction is necessary for the purpose of preserving all existing rights until final hearing, a preliminary injunction will generally be granted; but in the present case the existing status would be destroyed, not preserved, by granting the writ. The sole purpose for which the injunction is granted in advance of a final hearing in such cases, is to preserve the rights of the parties pending the suit, so as to leave the subject matter intact, to be dealt with by the court in the final decree. It is to compel the party against whom it is granted to maintain his status merely until the matter in dispute shall by due process of the court be determined.
Hight on injunctions, sec. 8, Mammoth Vein Coal Company’s appeal, 54 Pa. St. 182. To grant the preliminary writ to this case would be in advance of hearing upon the merits, to open up the disputed territory by settlement, and this in effect to predetermine the controversy as well as to destroy the present situation.
To refuse this writ is to preserve, or at least not to disturb, the existing status. Without, therefore, considering other questions, the motion for preliminary injunction is overruled upon this ground.
Caldwell Journal, September 6, 1883.
Special to the Kansas City Times.
ARKANSAS CITY, KANSAS, August 31. The greatest excitement that has ever been known in this country exists now. The Oklahoma War Chief, a paper published in Geuda Springs, in this county, makes charges of not only a serious nature, but criminal in character, against Hon. P. B. Plumb, United States senator from Kansas, and Secretary of the Interior Teller. Right on top of this some buck the men driven out of Oklahoma by the United States army. These men are desperate and say, as all now believe, that Judge McCrary was improperly dealt with by these syndicates in Oklahoma. In a word, that McCrary knew that these lands were or were not public lands; that there is no excuse for this delay. The War Chief claims to be able to prove that Hood, a banker in Emporia, and partner to Senator Plumb, has men now taking up these lands, and that the settlers are held back that the syndicates may get hold of all the best lands. Certain it is that there are men now surveying, and taking up land there, and that they have the support of the United States army while all men not in the rings are driven out.
Winfield Courier, September 13, 1883.
A LIVE OFFICER.
Mr. George H. McIntire has been putting in the past two weeks in attendance on the U. S. Court, now in session at Wichita. During the two months preceding the sitting of this court, Mr. McIntire, in the way of his duties as Deputy U. S. Marshal, captured and lodged in the Wichita jail thirteen criminals. These he captured in the Territory bordering our State, and were made up of murderers, horse thieves, illicit whiskey sellers, and other violators of law and order. Like Phil. Sheridan, he “warmed ’em up all along the line.” As this is the same McIntire who is to be our next sheriff, it shows that the convention “knew its man.” George was Sheriff Shenneman’s trusted assistant during all his term of office, and he will be a worthy successor to that brave officer. The Republicans of Cowley hardly ever fail to find the right man for the right place.
Caldwell Journal, September 20, 1883.
D. L. Payne, J. B. Cooper, G. B. Calvert, and A. W. Harris, officers of the Oklahoma Colony, were arrested at Wichita, on Wednesday of last week, on complaint of U. S. Attorney J. R. Hallowell, charging them with a conspiracy to violate the laws of the United States, by settling upon its lands in the Indian Territory.
The arrest is a good thing for Payne, because it relieves him from promises made to his deluded followers, and gives him what he dearly loves above all other things, a little cheap notoriety, and at the same time will enable him to work a new batch of sympathy that will likely aid in replenishing his treasury. Save the above results, and putting the government to an unnecessary expense, we can see no good likely to arise from the arrest of Payne and the men associated with him.
It may be, however, that the U. S. Attorney has taken this step in order to get the case into court in such a way that a decision must be rendered as to the status of the lands in question. But it is claimed that the decision of Judge Parker, of the Western Arkansas district, and the more recent decision of Judge McCrary, practically settles that point, and leave no ground upon which Payne can claim a right to settle upon the Oklahoma lands. Look at the move on the part of the U. S. Attorney from any point we may, it has the appearance to us of being a farce.
Caldwell Journal, October 4, 1883.
D. L. Payne, J. B. Cooper, W. A. Harris, and A. B. Calvert, the leaders of the Oklahoma boomers, were bound over last week, at Wichita, by U. S. Commissioner Sherman, in the sum of $1,000 each, for their appearance at the U. S. Court, which meets at Leavenworth on the 8th inst. The prime object of this prosecution is to fully determine the question of the right of white people to occupy the Indian Territory, particularly that portion which the Payne crowd claim to be public lands.
Caldwell Journal, October 4, 1883.
Bob Perry, a Texas desperado charged with murdering a man by the name of Hart at Hunnewell, August 1st, 1882, was brought to this city on Monday, by J. S. Crozier, U. S. Marshal of Texas, and turned over to the U. S. authorities here in pursuance of a preliminary examination held before a U. S. Commissioner, at Dallas, Texas, where Perry was captured. He was jailed, and will have to remain in confinement for a year. Wichita Eagle.
Caldwell Journal, October 25, 1883.
The Grand Jury of the U. S. District Court, now in session at Leavenworth, have indicted Payne and his three associates on the Oklahoma business. It is barely possible the case may come to trial at this term. Should such be the case, whatever the result may be, the case will be carried on up until it finally reaches the supreme court. By the time that very deliberate body acts upon it, Payne will have been gathered to his fathers, and the Indian Territory, as it exists today, will only be a memory.
Caldwell Journal, November 1, 1883.
Indian Commissioner’s Report.
WASHINGTON, D. C., October 26, 1883.
The following is a synopsis of the annual report of Indian Commissioner Price.
A decided advance has been made in the improvement among the Indian tribes, particularly in the matter of industrial school education. Some tribes have been persuaded to send their children to school that heretofore resisted all efforts to induce them to do so. One question may now be considered as settled beyond controversy, and that is, that the Indian must be taught to work for his own support, and to speak in the English language, or give place to a people who do. Among the things needed to secure success and efficiency in solving the Indian problem, are:
1. An appropriation to survey out the boundaries of the Indian reservations, so that both Indian and white men may know where they have rights and where they have none.
2. A law for the punishment of persons who furnish arms and ammunition to the Indians. No such law now exists.
3. More liberal appropriations for the Indian police.
4. An appropriation sufficient to defray the expense of detecting and prosecuting persons who furnish intoxicating liquor to Indians. No ardent spirits should be introduced into the Indian country under any pretense whatever, nor their sale permitted within twenty miles of the Indian reservation, but under existing laws upon the subject, it is a notorious fact that ale, beer, and preparations of alcoholic stimulants, disguised as medicines, are sold at military posts to soldiers and civilians, and although post-traders are not permitted to sell it directly to Indians, yet it is an easy matter for the Indians to obtain it from soldiers and civilians, to whom it is furnished. The punishments imposed by the law for this offense should be made more severe.
The practice of approving by contracts to collect from the government the money due Indians is one that ought not to exist. It has for years been the practice to approve contracts by which outside parties have taken from the government hundreds of thousands of dollars for service which ought not to have cost the Indians one cent. During the last few years agreements have been entered into between Indians and different attorneys by which these attorneys were to receive from the Indians $75,525 for collecting from the government money said to be due to the Indians.
It is the duty of the government to see that wards of the nation receive what is justly due them free of cost, and it is equally the duty of the government to see that no unjust claim is paid. Congress should confer both civil and criminal jurisdiction on the several states and territories over all the Indian reservations within their respective limits, and make the person and property of the Indian amenable to the laws of the state or territory in which he may reside, except in cases where such property is expressly exempted by treaty or act of congress, and give him all rights in the courts enjoyed by other persons.
Allotments in severalty to the number of 116 have been made to Indians during the year with the best results, and the commission will adhere to the policy of allotting lands where the same can be legally done, and the condition is such to warrant it.
The attention of congress is again invited to the necessity of legislation to enable Indians to make entries under the homestead laws without cost to them. It is necessary that the land within certain reservations be subdivided, and it is important in some cases that this be done at once, although there is not a dollar available for the special purpose.
An amendment to the law in reference to intruders, so as to punish by imprisonment as well as fine, is absolutely necessary. An intruder without property has very little to fear of a fine. Notwithstanding his repeated expulsion from the Indian Territory, Payne and his party of Oklahoma colonists have twice, during the present year, made attempts at settlement in that country, requiring the aid of the military, at great expense to the government to effect their removal. The commissioner gives a detailed account of Payne’s operations, and asks that the special attention of congress be called to these aggressive movements on Indian Territory lands as illustrating the urgent necessity for speedy and effective legislation in regard to trespassers.
Recommendations for legislation for the protection of timber on Indian lands are renewed.
During the year there was paid the Indians in cash its annuity and otherwise $745,000. Less than $200,000 of this amount was for the payment of annuities proper, many of which will expire in the near future by limitation in the various treaties.
The increase in accommodations for Indian pupils, which the school appropriations for the last fiscal year made possible, has been followed by a corresponding increase in the attendance of pupils. Exclusive of five or six tribes, the number enrolled during the year just closed, is 5,143, an increase of 650 over last year. Of the 5,143 boarding pupils, 4,396 attend schools on the reservations or in their immediate vicinity. Boarding and day schools on the reservations have made a creditable record. Eight new boarding schools have been opened, making the whole number now in operation, exclusive of training schools, 77.
Caldwell Journal, November 1, 1883.
The examination of Nellie C. Bailey before the U. S. Commissioner on the charge of killing Bothamley began at Wichita last Friday. The only witnesses examined up to Monday were J. C. W. Donaldson and Ralph P. Collins. The first testified that he washed and laid out Bothamley after he was shot, on the morning of Oct. 8th; that Bothamley had a wound under his right eye, and that the ball came out at the back of his head; that there was a door in the rear end of the car, and the body laid on the floor of the car with the head toward the door. Collins testified to having been called into the car by Donaldson, found a lady in the car lying on a bed; could not recall the exact words of the conversation, but as near as he could remember, she claimed the deceased to be her brother; that they were both from England, and that they had started for Texas in order to establish a sheep ranch in that State; she also stated to witness that at one time her brother was sick, and they left him behind, but afterwards returned for him; and more of such truck, all with the intention of conveying the impression that Bothamley had committed suicide. The examination had not closed at last accounts, but the testimony of the two witnesses above named, together with the well-known character of the Bailey woman, is sufficient circumstantial evidence against the theory of Bothamley committing suicide.
Winfield Courier, November 8, 1883.
The following is a synopsis of the annual report of Indian Commissioner Price.
The practice of approving contracts to collect from the government money due Indians is one that ought not to exist. It has for years been the practice to approve contracts by which outside parties have taken from Indians hundreds of thousands of dollars for service which ought not to cost the Indians one cent. During the last four years agreements have been entered into between Indians and different attorneys by which these attorneys were to receive from Indians $75,521 for collecting from the government to see that the wards of the nation receive what is justly due them free of cost, and it is equally the duty of the government to see that no unjust claim is paid. Congress should confer both civil and criminal jurisdiction to the states and territories over all Indian reservations within their respective limits, and make the person and property of the Indian amenable to the laws of the state or territory in which he may reside, except in cases where such property is expressly exempted by treaty or act of congress, and give him all rights in the courts enjoyed by other persons.
An amendment to the law in reference to the intruders, so as to punish by imprisonment as well as fine, is absolutely necessary. An intruder without property has very little fine. Notwithstanding his repeated expulsion from the Indian Territory, Payne and his party of “Oklahoma colonists” have twice, during the present year, made attempts at settlement in that country, requiring the aid of the military, at great expense to the government, to effect their removal.
The commissioner gives a detailed account of Payne’s operations, and asks that the special attention of congress be called to these aggressive movements on Indian Territory lands as illustrating the urgent necessity for speedy and effective legislation in regard to trespassers.
The Indian tribes of the Indian Territory having failed to adopt freedom into their tribes, as contemplated by the appropriation act of 1882, it is recommended that legislation be asked authorizing their settlement in the Oklahoma district under some well defined jurisdiction and form of government, with power to the secretary of the interior to determine what freed-men should be allowed to settle thereon, or else such stringent laws be passed as will compel the respective tribes to adopt freedmen, as provided in their treaties.
Caldwell Journal, November 22, 1883.
Owing, we suppose to the sympathetic efforts of several soft-hearted females in Wichita, Judge Foster has decided to admit Nellie Bailey to bail in the sum of $10,000. If she can’t furnish the bail, she will have to be confined in the Topeka jail until next September. This is another item serving to convince anyone who gives the subject a moment’s thought, that one term of the Federal Court at Wichita is worse than a farce. Nellie Bailey may or may not be guilty of the crime with which she is charged. In either event, she is entitled to as speedy a trial as the ends of justice will permit.
Arkansas City Traveler, December 5, 1883.
The United States District Court convened on Monday of last week, and among the cases to be heard was that of Dave Payne. The hero of Oklahoma “bobs up serenely” with a persistency only equaled by the going qualities of Tennyson’s brook. And still the Territory is not opened.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 9, 1884.
Frank Goodin, of Okmulgee, Creek Nation, who was arrested and taken before the U. S. Commissioner at Arkansas City on the charge of stealing a steer belonging to E. M. Hewins, was discharged on the ground that the place where the alleged theft occurred was under the jurisdiction of the U. S. District court for the western district of Arkansas. The steer, it seems, had strayed into the Creek country and was picked up and sold, Mr. Goodin being the purchaser. The moral of this is, that stockmen on the Cherokee strip must not let their cattle wander upon the sacred soil of the Muskogee. Caldwell Journal.
Arkansas City Republican, February 16, 1884.
SELECTION BY REV. S. B. FLEMING.
The Lawless Indian.
A recent decision of the supreme court of the United States has been accorded short paragraphs in obscure corners with little thought of its bearing on the welfare of a quarter of a million of people. Two years ago last August the well-known Sioux chief, Spotted Tail, held a council and feast with his people on their reservation in Dakota, and at its close in the afternoon mounted his horse and started home. Coming from the opposite direction, in a wagon, were Crow Dog and his wife. The former got out of his wagon, stooping toward the ground, and as the chief rode along, suddenly rose up and shot him through the breast. Spotted Tail fell from his horse, regained his feet, tried to draw his pistol, reeled and fell back dead. Crow Dog jumped into his wagon and rode at full speed to his camp, nine miles distant. Intense excitement prevailed among the Indians, but no outbreak occurred. It appeared that an old feud had existed between the two men, but that the immediate cause of the assassination was political, Spotted Tail having been put out of the way to make room for an aspirant to his position as head chief. The facts being known, an Indian policeman was instructed to capture Crow Dog. This being done next day, the assassin was turned over to the civil authorities of Dakota, and 20,000 Sioux awaited the results of the “white man’s way.” Upon trial in the district court of the judicial district of Dakota, Crow Dog was found guilty and condemned to death. On appeal the case came before the Supreme Court, the counsel for the prisoner claiming that the district court of Dakota had no jurisdiction in the case, and therefor its finding and sentence were void, and, praying for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus.
The law makers of a nation which boasts of the supremacy of law over the land have allowed to remain on their statute book until the year of our Lord 1884, the following:
Section 2145. The general laws of the United States as to punishment of crimes committed in any place within the sole and exclusive jurisdiction of the United States, except the district of Columbia, shall except the Indian country.
Section 2146. The preceding section, shall not be construed to extend to crimes committed by one Indian against the person or property of another Indian, or to any Indian committing an offense in the Indian country who has been punished by the local laws of the tribe.
This means that over a territory aggregating 225,000 square miles, and among 250,000 people, United States laws shall be inoperative. Fighting, stealing, gambling, polygamy, murder, and every crime which savage passion may breed, shall go on unchecked save by such restraints as the barbarians themselves may devise, while a Christian government calmly looks on and lets them alone. With such a statute before him, Justice Mathews decided that the Indians have a right to try and punish the criminal after their own laws and customs, without interference from the United States, and that the district court of Dakota had no jurisdiction, and Crow Dog’s imprisonment was illegal. He is, therefore, to be remanded to the “laws and customs” of retaliation and revenge, injury and reprisal, and his countrymen will be confirmed in their opinion that the white man’s ways are good only for the white man.
Better than comment is another instance of the practical working of this legal “reservation” for Indians, to which the Commissioner of Indian affairs refers in his annual report just published.
A year ago last September, an Arapaho half-breed, named Robert Poisal, returning from a trip in the Indian Territory, in which he had just placed his children, was shot dead by Johnson Foster, a Creek Indian, no motive but plunder being assignable. The murderer was arrested by mounted police of the Seminole nation; and to prevent “the carrying out of tribunal laws and customs,” in the way of summary vengeance, he was turned over for safekeeping to the military authorities at Fort Reno. On request of the Interior Department, the attorney general ordered the trial of the prisoner before the United States court at Fort Smith, Arkansas, but on further consideration and correspondence, he decided that there was too much doubt as to jurisdiction of the United States in the matter to justify incurring the expense of removing the prisoner and trying the case.
The war department wearied of the custody of Foster and asked to be relieved; the Interior department urged that a dismissal should be made, and reluctantly the attorney general consented. Meantime since it had appeared that complaints of horse stealing and other offenses were pending against Foster in the United States court at Fort Smith, the United States deputy marshal, with a strong guard of troops, undertook to remove him from Fort Reno thither. Within the first fifteen miles, a party of Arapahos nearly succeeded in capturing him, and before half the journey was completed, Foster had murdered the Marshal’s assistant and made his escape. He is now at large. Now that he has murdered a white man, the majesty of the law can be manifested provided he is recaptured.
How much longer will congress turn a deaf ear to the entreaties of government officials, teachers, missionaries, and other philanthropists, religious societies, and institutions, even the “guards” themselves, that Indians be made amenable to law? Apparently hopeless of adequate legislation in his day, Commissioner Price suggests a partial remedy for the evil, which, like Captain Seller’s window sash “will keep out the coarsest of cold.” He recommends that, when new states are admitted into the union, their constitutions shall extend over Indian reservations the jurisdiction of territorial courts. This is a wise suggestion, which should be borne in mind by legislators who can spend days on revision of rules, but cannot give an hour to the erasure of one blot from our statutes. The following indignant protest, made by Bishop Hare in 1866, has added weight and force each year.
“Civilization has loosened in some places, broken the bonds which regulate and hold together Indian society in its wild state, and has failed to give the people laws and officers of justice in their place. This evil still continues unabated. Women are brutally beaten and outraged; men are murdered in cold blood; the Indians who are friendly to schools and churches are intimidated and preyed upon by the evil disposed; children are molested on their way to school, and schools are dispersed by bands of vagabonds; but there is no redress. This accursed condition of things is an outrage upon the One Lawgiver. It is a disgrace to our land. It should make every man who sits in the national halls of legislators blush. And wish well to the Indians as we may, and do for them what we will, the efforts of civil agents, teachers, and missionaries are like the struggles of drowning men weighed with lead, as long as, by the absence of law, Indian society is left without a base. Independent.”
[I ceased looking after the last entry above. MAW]