Agreement with the Comanche, Kiowa and Apache, 1892
Whereas David H. Jerome, Alfred M. Wilson, and Warren G. Sayre, duly appointed Commissioners on the part of the United States, did, on the sixth day of October, eighteen hundred and ninety-two, conclude an agreement with the Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache tribes of Indians in Oklahoma, formerly a part of the Indian Territory, which said agreement is in the words and figures as follows:
“Articles of agreement made and entered into at Fort Sill, in the Indian Territory, on the twenty-first day of October, eighteen hundred and ninety-two, by and between David H. Jerome, Alfred M. Wilson, and Warren G. Sayre, Commissioners on the part of the United States, and the Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache tribes of Indians in the Indian Territory.
“Subject to the allotment of land, in severalty to the individual members of the Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache tribes of Indians in the Indian Territory, as hereinafter provided for, and subject to the setting apart as grazing lands for said Indians, four hundred and eighty thousand acres of land as hereinafter provided for, and subject to the conditions hereinafter imposed, and for the considerations hereinafter mentioned, the said Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache Indians hereby cede, convey, transfer, relinquish, and surrender, forever and absolutely, without any reservation whatever, express or implied, all their claim, title, and interest, of every kind and character, in and to the lands embraced in the following-described tract of country in the Indian Territory to wit: Commencing at a point where the Washita River crosses the ninety-eighth meridian west from Greenwich; thence up the Washita River, in the middle of the main channel thereof, to a point thirty miles, by river, west of Fort Cobb, as now established; thence due west to the north fork of Red River, provided said line strikes said river east of the one-hundredth meridian of west longitude; if not, then only to said meridian line, and thence due south, on said meridian line, to the said north fork of Red River; thence down said north fork, in the middle of the main channel thereof, from the point where it may be first intersected by the lines above described, to the main Red River; thence down said Red River, in the middle of the main channel thereof, to its intersection with the ninety-eighth meridian of longitude west from Greenwich; thence north, on said meridian line, to the place of beginning.
“Out of the lands ceded, conveyed, transferred, relinquished, and surrendered by Article I hereof, and in part consideration for the cession thereof, it is agreed by the United States that each member of said Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache tribes of Indians over the age of eighteen (18) years shall have the right to select for himself or herself one hundred and sixty (160) acres of land to be held and owned in severalty, to conform to the legal surveys in boundary; and that the father, or, if he be dead, the mother, if members of either of said tribe of Indians, shall have the right to select a like amount of land for each of his or her children under the age of eighteen (18) years; and that the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, or some one by him appointed for the purpose, shall select a like amount of land for each orphan child belonging to either of said tribes under the age of eighteen (18) years.
“That in addition to the allotment of lands to said Indians as provided for in this agreement, the Secretary of the Interior shall set aside for the use in common for said Indian tribes four hundred and eighty thousand acres of grazing lands, to be selected by the Secretary of the Interior, either in one or more tracts as will best subserve the interest of said Indians. It is hereby further expressly agreed that no person shall have the right to make his or her selection of land in any part of said reservation that is now used or occupied for military, agency, school, school-farm, religious, or other public uses, or in sections sixteen (16) and thirty-six (36) in each Congressional township, except in cases where any Comanche, Kiowa, or Apache Indian has heretofore made improvements upon and now uses and occupies a part of said sections sixteen (16) and thirty-six (36), such Indian may make his or her
selection within the boundaries so prescribed so as to include his or her improvements. It is further agreed that wherever in said reservation any Indian, entitled to take lands in severalty hereunder, has made improvements, and now uses and occupies the land embracing such improvements, such Indian shall have the undisputed right to make his or her selection within the area above provided for allotments, so as to include his or her said improvements.
“It is further agreed that said sections sixteen (16) and thirty-six (36) in each Congressional township in said reservation shall not become subject to homestead entry but shall be held by the United States and finally sold for public school purposes. It is hereby further agreed that wherever in said reservation any religious society or other organization is now occupying any portion of said reservation for religious or educational work among the Indians, the land so occupied may be allotted and confirmed to such society or organization, not, however, to exceed one hundred and sixty (160) acres of land to any one society or organization so long as the same shall be so occupied and used; and such land shall not be subject to homestead entry.
“All allotments hereunder shall be selected within ninety days from the ratification of this agreement by the Congress of the United States: Provided, The Secretary of the Interior, in his discretion, may extend the time for making such selection; and should any Indian entitled to allotments hereunder fail or refuse to make his or her selection of land in that time, then the allotting agent in charge of the work of making such allotments shall within the next thirty (30) days after said time make allotments to such Indians, which shall have the same force and effect as if the selection were made by the Indian.
“When said allotments of land shall have been selected and taken as aforesaid, and approved by the Secretary of the Interior, the titles thereto shall be held in trust for the allottees, respectively, for the period of twenty-five (25) years, in the time and manner and to the extent provided for in the act of Congress entitled ‘An act to provide for the allotment of land in severalty to Indians on the various reservations, and to extend the protection of the laws of the United States and Territories over the Indians, and for other purposes,’ approved February 8, 1887, and an act amendatory thereof, approved February 28, 1891.
“And at the expiration of the said period of twenty-five (25) years the titles thereto shall be conveyed in fee simple to the allottees or their heirs, free from all incumbrances.
“As a further and only additional consideration for the cession of territory and relinquishment of title, claim, and interest in and to the lands as aforesaid, the United States agrees to pay to the Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache tribes of Indians, in the Indian Territory, the sum of two million (2,000,000) dollars, as follows: Five hundred thousand $500,000) dollars to be distributed per capita to the members of said tribes at such times and in such manner as the Secretary of the Interior shall deem to be for the best interests of said Indians, which sum is hereby appropriated out of any funds in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated; and any part of the same remaining unpaid shall draw interest at the rate of five per centum while remaining in the Treasury, which interest shall be paid to the Indians annually per capita; and
the remaining one million five hundred thousand ($1,500,000) dollars to be retained in the Treasury of the United States, placed to the credit of said Indians, and while so retained to draw interest at the rate of five per centum per annum, to be paid to the said Indians per capita annually.
“Nothing herein contained shall be held to affect in any way any annuities due said Indians under existing laws, agreements, or treaties.
“It is further agreed that wherever in said reservation any member of any of the tribes of said Indians has, in pursuance of any laws or under any rules or regulations of the Interior Department taken an allotment, such allotment, at the option of the allottee, shall be confirmed and governed by all the conditions attached to allotments taken under this agreement.
“It is further agreed that any and all leases made in pursuance of the laws of the United States of any part of said reservation which may be in force at the time of the ratification by Congress of this agreement shall remain in force the same as if this agreement had not been made.
“It is further agreed that the following named persons, not members by blood of either of said tribes, but who have married into one of the tribes, to wit, Mabel R. Given, Thomas F. Woodward, William Wyatt, Kiowa Dutch, John Nestill, James N. Jones, Christian Ke oh-tah, Edward L. Clark, George Conover, William Deitrick, Ben Roach, Lewis Bentz, Abilene, James Gardloupe, John Sanchez, the wife of Boone Chandler, whose given name is unknown, Emmit Cox, and Horace P. Jones, shall each be entitled to all the benefits of land and money conferred by this agreement, the same as if members by blood of one of said tribes, and that Emsy S. Smith, David Grantham, Zonee Adams, John T. Hill, and J. J. Methvin, friends of said Indians, who have rendered to said Indians valuable services, shall each be entitled to all the benefits, in land only, conferred under this agreement, the same as if members of said tribes.
“This agreement shall be effective only when ratified by the Congress of the United States.”
Said agreement be, and the same hereby is, accepted, ratified, and confirmed as herein amended.
That the Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized and directed to cause the allotments of said lands, provided for in said treaty among said Indians, to be made by any Indian inspector or special agent.
That all allotments of said land shall be made under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior to said Indians within ninety days from the passage of this Act, subject to the exceptions contained in article four of said treaty: Provided, That the time for making allotments shall in no event be extended beyond six months from the passage of this Act.
That the lands acquired by this agreement shall be opened to settlement by proclamation of the President within six months after allotments are made and be disposed of under the general provisions of the homestead and town-site laws of the United States: Provided, That in
addition to the land-office fees prescribed by statute for such entries the entryman shall pay one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre for the land entered at the time of submitting his final proof: And provided further, That in all homestead entries where the entryman has resided upon and improved the land entered in good faith for the period of fourteen months he may commute his entry to cash upon the payment of one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre: And provided further, That the rights of honorably discharged Union soldiers and sailors of the late civil war, as defined and described in sections twenty-three hundred and four and twenty-three hundred and five of the Revised Statutes shall not be abridged: And provided further, That any person who, having attempted to but for any cause failed to secure a title in fee to a homestead under existing laws, or who made entry under what is known as the commuted provision of the homestead law, shall be qualified to make a homestead entry upon said lands: And provided further, That any qualified entryman having lands adjoining the lands herein ceded, whose original entry embraced less than one hundred and sixty acres in all, shall have the right to enter so much of the lands by this agreement ceded lying contiguous to his said entry as shall, with the land already entered, make in the aggregate one hundred and sixty acres, said land to be taken upon the same conditions as are required of other entrymen: And provided further, That the settlers who located on that part of said lands called and known as the “neutral strip” shall have preference right for thirty days on the lands upon which they have located and improved.
That sections sixteen and thirty-six, thirteen and thirty-three, of the lands hereby acquired in each township shall not be subject to entry, but shall be reserved, sections sixteen and thirty-six for the use of the common schools, and sections thirteen and thirty-three for university, agricultural colleges, normal schools, and public buildings of the Territory and future State of Oklahoma; and in case either of said sections, or parts thereof, is lost to said Territory by reason of allotment under this Act or otherwise, the governor thereof is hereby authorized to locate other lands not occupied in quantity equal to the loss.
That none of the money or interest thereon which is, by the terms of the said agreement, to be paid to said Indians shall be applied to the payment of any judgment that has been or may hereafter be rendered under the provisions of the Act of Congress approved March third, eighteen hundred and ninety-one, entitled “An Act to provide for the adjudication and payment of claims arising from Indian depredations.”
That should any of said lands allotted to said Indians, or opened to settlement under this Act, contain valuable mineral deposits, such mineral deposits shall be open to location and entry, under the existing mining laws of the United States, upon the passage of this Act, and the mineral laws of the United States are hereby extended over said lands.
That as the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations claim to have some right, title, and interest in and to the lands ceded by the foregoing treaty as soon as the same are abandoned by said Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache tribes of Indians, jurisdiction be, and is hereby, conferred upon the United States Court of Claims to hear and determine the said claim of the Chickasaws and the Choctaws, and to render a judgment thereon, it being the intention of this Act to allow said Court of Claims jurisdiction, so that the rights, legal and equitable, of the United States and the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations, and the Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache tribes of Indians in the premises shall be fully considered and determined, and to try and determine all questions that may arise on behalf of either party in the hearing of said claim; and the Attorney-General is hereby directed to appear in behalf of the Government of the United States; and either of the parties to said action shall have
the right to appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States: Provided, That such appeal shall be taken within sixty days after the rendition of the judgment objected to, and that the said courts shall give such causes precedence: And provided further, That nothing in this Act shall be accepted or construed as a confession that the United States admit that the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations have any claim to or interest in said lands or any part thereof.
That said action shall be presented by a single petition making the United States party defendant, and shall set forth all the facts on which the said Choctaw and Chickasaw nations claim title to said land; and said petition may be verified by the authorized delegates, agents, or attorneys of said Indians upon their information and belief as to the existence of such facts, and no other statement or verification shall be necessary: Provided, That if said Choctaw and Chickasaw nations do not bring their action within ninety days from the approval of this Act, or should they dismiss said suit, and the same shall not be reinstated, their claim shall be forever barred: And provided further, That, in the event it shall be adjudged in the final judgment or decree rendered in said action that said Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations have any right, title, or interest in or to said lands for which they should be compensated by the United States, then said sum of one million five hundred thousand ($1,500,000) dollars, shall be subject to such legislation as Congress may deem proper.
Approved, June 6, 1900.