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lations governing the leasing of lands in the Osage Reservation for oil and gas. Under these regulations royalty has been fixed at 163 per cent of the gross proceeds from sales, after deducting oil used for fuel. The gas is subject to the payment of royalty at the same rate.
In connection with the probate work in the Five Civilized Tribes in Oklahoma, it is noted that there were 53,433 cases, of which there were disposed of during the year about 1,400. The attorneys appeared in over 10,000 cases, and instituted 213 civil actions, involving $1,525,000, and 37 criminal actions.
Distinction between Indian citizen and white citizen.—The distinction between the Indian citizen and the white citizen lies mainly in the exercise of the function of governmental supervision. That some Indians, both citizen and noncitizen, are as fully qualified to manage their own affairs as the average white citizen, is patent to everyone claiming the least knowledge of Indian matters. For the purpose of determining what Indians belong to the competent class, and thereby entitled to assume full control of their property freed from governmental supervision, a commission has been created and has been instructed to proceed with the examination of Indians on their reservations, naming those particular Indians who possess the necessary qualifications to entitle them to the unrestricted use of their moneys and properties entirely free from governmental control. When this commission shall have reported, it is then proposed to separate those so qualified from governmental control through the issuance to them of patents in fee for all lands now held in trust for them by the Government, and to transfer to them all funds to which they are entitled, and finally sever the bonds which now hold them as Government wards, either upon application of the individual Indian or by departmental authority, as shall hereafter be decided upon.
FIVE CIVILIZED TRIBES.
By the Indian appropriation act approved August 1, 1914, effective September 1, 1914, the offices of the Commissioner to the Five Civilized Tribes and superintendent of Union Agency in Oklahoma were abolished, and in lieu thereof the President of the United States was authorized, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to appoint a Superintendent for the Five Civilized Tribes, with his office located in the State of Oklahoma, with authority to reorganize the department and to eliminate all unnecessary clerks. A supervisor was placed in charge of the superintendency on September 1, 1914, and the accounts and mailing divisions of the former offices were consolidated. A superintendent was appointed December 22, 1914, and entered upon duty January 1, 1915. His report shows that on
April 5, 1915, 14 divisions in the office were consolidated into 7, the field force was reorganized, and 59 employees were eliminated; this reorganization was effected to eliminate duplication of work, but the large reduction in employees was made not so much because their services were not needed as because a deficit of approximately $25,000 had to be averted. While the bulk of tribal land has been allotted and sold, still the work incident to the supervision of the affairs of approximately 33,000 restricted individual Indians has materially increased.
Enrollment and allotment. In the Five Civilized Tribes there are 19,525,966 acres of land, of which 15,794,400 acres have been allotted, 139,202 reserved for various purposes, and 2,549,959 acres sold.
Under the act of August 1, 1914, 312 additional persons were enrolled, making a total of 101,521 persons enrolled as citizens of the Five Civilized Tribes, to all of whom complete allotments, or payment of money in lieu of allotments, have been made, except in a few cases; but there remains a large amount of unfinished work in connection therewith, such as the investigation of alleged fraudulent and duplicate enrollments, adjustment of allotments, and miscellaneous details that constantly arise.
Auction sale of unallotted lands.-Two sales of unallotted lands in the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations were held during the year, one of the timberlands and one of the surface of the segregated coal and asphalt lands, at which sales there were sold 3,147 tracts, containing 360,995 acres, for $2,176,148.
The first auction sale of unallotted lands in the Five Civilized Tribes was held in November, 1910. Since that date there have been sold a total of 32,972 tracts, containing 2,549,959 acres, for $14,652,341.32, over one-half of which, together with the interest thereon, has been collected, of which $5,931,984 is on deposit in National and State banks in Oklahoma, bearing interest at an average rate of 44 per cent, the balance being on deposit in the United States Treasury. There remains unallotted $7,400,000.
There remain to be disposed of 1,042,405 acres, including 823,521 acres of timberland and 184,757 acres of the surface of the segregated coal and asphalt land, all of which is located in the Choctaw Nation excepting 5,860 acres which are scattered throughout the Chickasaw, Creek, and Cherokee Nations.
Town lots.—A total of 309 towns have been surveyed and platted, which towns contain an area of 64,772.16 acres. Patents to 301 town lots were issued during the year, and there was received during the same period from the sale of town lots $4,668.16, which, together with receipts from sales made previously, makes a total of $4,539,911.73 received from this source. Two thousand four hundred and
forty-eight town lots remain unsold, all of which, excepting 168, are located in the segregated coal and asphalt area in the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations. Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations.
The total area of these two nations is 11,660,951 acres, of which 6,953,048 acres are located in the Choctaw Nation and 4,707,903 acres in the Chickasaw Nation. There have been allotted a total of 8,091,386 acres, leaving 3,569,565 acres unallotted, of which 98,474 acres have been reserved for various purposes and 2,431,361 acres have been sold for $14,053,760. There remain to be disposed of approximately 1,042,000 acres and the coal and asphalt underlying the segregated coal and asphalt land and other tribal property, including over 2,000 town lots and six boarding schools, the estimated value of which is $16,000,000; also the distribution of all the funds of these tribes to citizens entitled to participate therein.
Cherokee Nation.—The total area of the Cherokee Nation is 4,420,068 acres, of which 4,346,203 acres have been allotted to 40,193 citizens, 22,880 acres reserved for town-site and other purposes, and the remainder, consisting of 50,905 acres, have been sold, except 80 acres. The tribal affairs of this nation are completed, with the exception of the disposition of the 80 acres of land now in litigation, 226 acres included in what is known as “Big Lake,” the delivery of approximately 750 deeds and the completion of the per capita and equalization payments.
Creek Nation.-The total area of the Creek Nation is 3,079,095 acres, of which 2,997,114 acres have been allotted to 18,712 persons, 16,016 acres reserved for town-site and other purposes, and 63,470 acres sold, leaving 2,495 acres unsold.
During the year two suits have been instituted in the United States district court to recover certain lands for the Creek Nation, estimated in value from $2,000,000 to $4,000,000, allotted to Barney Thlocco and Thomas Atkins, who, it is claimed, were not entitled to enrollment. There has been paid to equalize Creek allotments a total of $1,048,325. The tribal affairs of this nation have been disposed of, with the exception of the completion of equalization payments, delivery of about 500 deeds, the disposition of 2,495 acres of unallotted lands, 168 town lots, the capitol building and lot, and 5 boarding schools.
Seminole Nation.-The total area of the Seminole Nation is 365,852 acres, of which 359,697 acres have been allotted to 3,119 citizens, 1,932 acres reserved for town sites and other purposes, and the remainder sold.
The tribal affairs of the Seminole Nation are practically completed, except the delivery of about 500 deeds, the disposition of the
remaining tribal money to the members of the tribe, also of any tracts of land that may be recovered for the nation by reason of double enrollment and allotment, and two tribal schools with the land on which they are located, each containing 320 acres.
Industrial work.—This important branch of the service is carried on principally by 12 Government farmers. Through their efforts the Indians are interested and engaged in farming; better and more modern methods of farming have been adopted, including diversity of crops; a larger area of land is being cultivated; a better quality of seed is being planted; the live stock being raised is of better type; and conditions generally very much improved. The farmers are endeavoring to induce every Indian family to grow a home garden and produce poultry and live stock for its use.
It has been the practice to place exhibits of farm products raised by Indian citizens of the Five Civilized Tribes at the Oklahoma State Fair. Last fall the Five Civilized Tribes exhibit won first prize, a silver loving cup, for the best Indian exhibit.
Regardless of this progress, the force is insufficient to meet the demands for instruction. At least four additional positions should be authorized, as there are entirely too many restricted Indians under the supervision of each farmer to obtain the best results.
The work of the farmers should be supplemented by an ample force of field matrons to teach home economics, sanitation, prevention of diseases, and kindred subjects essential to home life and thrift. Three such positions have been authorized, but they are wholly inadequate. Not less than 12 are needed.
Restrictions.-When allotments were taken by allottees of the Five Civilized Tribes, none of the lands were alienable. By various acts of Congress the restrictions against alienation have been removed upon various classes of this land and, under the acts of May 27 and 29, 1908, 12,225 applications for removal of restrictions have been filed. Of this number, 8,138 have been approved, 1,401 have been denied, 2,011 have been dismissed for various reasons, 312 orders have been canceled, 28 are now pending in the department, and 335 are pending in the office of the superintendent for the Five Civilized Tribes.
Where restricted allottees are found to be competent to manage their affairs, the restrictions are unconditionally removed, but where they are not believed to be competent, but have more land than they can handle or are in need of medical attention, improvements, live stock, or farming equipment, a portion of their land is sold and the money disbursed under supervision. Since May 27, 1908, 4,457 tracts have been sold under supervision, comprising 329,638.56 acres, for a consideration of $3,274,623.26.
During the fiscal year 1915 the sum of $545,958.11 was expended and 260 houses and 72 barns were constructed from land sale proceeds. This money is held in 43 separate banks, and on June 30, 1915, there were 1,273 separate accounts.
Inherited land.—The status of inherited lands is practically the same as on June 30, 1914, as there is very little which can be done pending a decision in the case of Mallory v. Bushyhead now pending on appeal in the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
Oil and gas leases on allotted land.—During the fiscal year ended June 30, 1915, there were filed 1,480 leases and 829 assignments. Three thousand three hundred and thirty-seven leases were canceled by the department during the year, a greater number than heretofore canceled in any one year. This is apparently due to the generally demoralized condition of the oil market in this field.
The total of 31,300 oil and gas leases have been filed for departmental consideration. The status of these leases is as follows: Surrendered or canceled by the department after approval, 12,187; canceled by agreement after approval, 226; expired, 484; removed from departmental supervision after approval, 4,640; withdrawn or disapproved by the department, 6,978; canceled for failure to refile, 537; returned to lessee because of lack of jurisdiction, 121; pending action by the department, 1,012; leaving 5,115 approved and at this time in force and effect.
Mineral leases, tribal.—Under the provisions of the act of June 28, 1898 (30 Stat. L., 495), there were in force June 30, 1914, 109 leases approved by the Secretary of the Interior, covering 99,800 acres. The act of Congress approved March 4, 1913 (37 Stat. L., 1007), authorized the Secretary of the Interior to grant to the operator of any coal mine or mines in the State of Oklahoma the right to lease additional adjoining or contiguous acreage from the unleased segregated coal land of the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations. Thirty-five applications have been filed under this act, 3 have been withdrawn, 1 rejected, and 21 approved, leaving 10 pending departmental action. The royalties collected for the fiscal year 1915 from the coal and asphalt leases on the segregated coal lands in the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations amounted to $219,284.56, of which $3,724.19 represents royalties on asphalt.
Surface rents on segregated and unallotted lands. During the year 1,743 tracts of land in the segregated coal districts of the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations and 10 tracts of unallotted land in the various nations were rented, from which a total consideration of $36,954.74 was received.