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Ft. Gibson Post

Vol III No 31

Thursday June 16, 1898 (Part 1)

Abstracted / Transcribed by Linda Haas Davenport

When the print is so faded that it cannot be read <.....> will be used . All transcription will be as found in the paper, misspellings and all

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Dividing Line

Page 1 - Full Page

[The Curtis Bill has been a topic of news in most of the early Indian Territory newspapers that I have been transcribing. The Curtis Bill was expected to make sweeping changes in Indian Territory. A few issues past the Post announced the passage of the Curtis Bill by the House of Representatives and this issue announces the passage of the Bill by the Senate. The Bill, as passed is printed in full on the front page with a large box in the center of the page as follows:]

The Final Steps

     The Curtis bill, after months of delay, having at last passed both houses of congress, will now, without the least doubt whatever, soon become a law. The concluding steps to be taken with the measure is all that it is necessary for us to further consider.
     The bill as it passed house having been altered considerably in the senate, not by any new amendments, but by the striking out of a number of important sections, it has been sent to a joint conference committee of the two houses, which will come to a final agreement on the bill as it shall go to the president. This conference committee consists of Sherman, Little and Curtis of the house, and Pettigrew, Platt of New York and Jones of Arkansas from the senate. It is understood that the committee will re-insert section 15, relating to townsites, it having been stricken out as a senate compromise. A few other minor changes will be made, after which the bill will go direct to the president and become a law with his signature. It is also understood that, an agreement will be reached, without much if any trouble, this week.
     The next steps after the Curtis bill is signed by the president will be taken by the Dawes Commission, who will at once return to the Indian Territory, complete the work begun last summer of making up the rolls of citizenship, and then allot the lands to each individual citizen.
     There are hustling, bustling and stirring times ahead of us, which are of far more interest than the war with Spain, and which will mark the beginning of a new ear in the progress of Indian Territory. Get ready for the big wagon of Progress is lumbering on toward us.


 Page 1, column 1

     It Has Passed Both Houses of Congress at Last.
     Full Text of the Measure as it Now Stands
           No Doubt that it Will Soon Become a Law
     The Curtis bill, which has been watched with so much interest by our people since it was introduced in the house at the beginning of the present congress, has at last been passed by both houses, and will now undoubtedly become a law in a very short time. The bill passed the senate last week, without any amendments, although several sections were stricken out. The full text of the measure as it now stands follow, the lines of stars indicating where sections were eliminated by the senate:

[I'm not going to transcribe all of this - I'll hit the highlights of each section and not include all the legal phrasing]

Sec. 1. ... word "officer" when the same appears in the criminal laws, ... shall include all officers of the several tribes or nations of Indians in said Territory.

Sec. 2. ... if any civil suit, either in law or in equity, ... that the property of any tribe is in any way effected by the issues being heard, ... the tribe shall be notified.


Sec. 9. That the jurisdiction of the court and municipal authority of the city of Fort Smith for police purposes in the state of Arkansas is hereby extended over all that strip of land in the Indian Territory between the corporate limits of the said city of Fort Smith and the Arkansas and Poteau rivers to the mouth of Mill creek, ... Provided, that no charge or tax shall ever be made or levied by said city against said land ...


Sec 11. That when the roll of citizenship of any one of said nations or tribes is fully completed .. Dawes Commission, shall proceed to allot the exclusive use and occupancy of the surface of all lands of said nation or tribe ... among the citizens thereof, as shown by said roll, giving to each, as far as possible, his fair and equal share ... but all oil, coal, asphalt and mineral deposits in the lands ... shall be reserved to the tribe or nation ... There shall also be reserved from the allotment a sufficient amount of lands now occupied by churches, schools, parsonages, charitable institutions and other public buildings for their present actual and necessary use ...
Page 1, column 2
... and such new schools as may be needed; also sufficient lands for burial grounds where necessary. ... whenever ... any member of a tribe is already in possession of lands, his allotment may be made out of the lands in his possession. ... That if the person to whom an allotment shall have been made shall be declared, upon appeal herein provided for, by any of the courts ... to be not entitled to any allotment, he shall be ousted and ejected from said lands; that all persons known as intruders who have been paid for their improvements under existing laws and have not surrendered possession thereof ... shall within 90 days thereafter, refund the amount so paid them, with 6% per centum interest ... That the lands allotted shall be non-transferrable and shall be liable for no obligations contracted by the allottee and shall be non-taxable. ... That all towns and cities heretofore incorporated, ... are hereby authorized to secure, by condemnation or otherwise, all the lands actually necessary for public improvements, regardless of tribal lines, and when the same cannot be secured otherwise than by condemnation, then the same may be acquired as provided ... [in] Mansfield's Digest of the Statutes of Arkansas.

Sec. 12. That when report of allotment of lands of any tribe shall be made to the Secretary of the Interior ... he shall confirm such allotments, the allottees shall remain in peaceable possession ...

Sec. 13. ... rules and regulations of the leasing of oil, coal, asphalt and other minerals in said Territory, and all such leases shall be made by the Secretary of the Interior ... No lease shall be made for a period longer than 15 years, nor cover the mineral in more than 610 acres of land. ... Leasees shall pay on each oil, coal, asphalt, or other mineral claim at the rate of one hundred dollars per annum in advance for the first and second years, two hundred dollars per annum, in advance, for each succeeding year thereafter ... paid to the tribe ...
Page 1, column 3
... The rate of royalty to be paid by all lessess shall be fixed by the Secretary of the Interior.

Sec. 14. That the inhabitants of any city or town in said Territory having two hundred or more residents therein may proceed, by petition to the United States court in the district in which such city or town is located, to have the same incorporated as provided in Chapter 28 of Mansfield's Digest of the Statutes of Arkansas ... if not already incorporated, and such city or town government, when so authorized and organized, shall possess all the powers and exercise all the rights of similar municipalities in the said State of Arkansas. All male inhabitants of such cities and towns over the age of twenty-one years, who are citizens of the United States or of either of the said tribes, who have resided therein more than six months next before any election held under this act, shall be qualified voters at such election.
Page 1, column 4
... all inhabitants of such cities and towns, without regard to race, shall be subject to all laws and ordinances of such city or town governments, and shall have equal rights privileges and protection therein. ... Such town governments shall in no case have any authority to impose upon or levy any tax against any lands ... until title is secured from the tribe ... all improvements on town lots ... shall be considered personal property ... shall be subject to taxation. ... for the support of [the town] and for school and other purposes ... not to exceed in the aggregate 2 per centum of the assessed value thereof ... shall maintain free schools ... all the laws of the State of Arkansas, so far as applicable, are hereby put in force in said Territory ... Provided, That nothing in this act or the laws of the state of Arkansas shall authorize or permit the sale of any intoxicating liquors in said Territory ...


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