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Ft. Gibson Post

Vol III No 33

Thursday June 30, 1898 (Part 2)

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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           Set Forth in the Committee Report of the Curtis Bill
     In the committee report recommending the passage of the Curtis bill last week is to be found much interesting information. Among other things the report says:
     "Your committee find that, while under treaty provisions the lands of each tribe were to be held for the use and benefit of each of its members, yet the truth is that the lands are in the possession of a very few; and while some of the more powerful members have in their possession and under their control thousands of acres, the poorer class of Indians are unable to secure enough land for houses and for farms; and your committee has provided in this bill for a division of the use of the surface of the lands so that each of the members of the tribes will be placed in possession of his share of the common lands. We believe this to have been the intent of all parties when the treaty was made.
     "Your committee found that while there are only about 65,000 Indians in said Territory, there are about 300,000 whites. Lines of railroad have been constructed through the Territory in various directions. These people have built up a large number of prosperous cities and towns; they have no title to their lands; no municipal government, no provision for the erection of school houses and for the education of their children except by private means. By this bill we authorize the inhabitants of any city or town of said Territory having more than 200 residents to incorporate under the laws of Arkansas. Consent of the United States is given to the tribes to convey by deed to any city or town the lands embraced within the limits of said corporation and to provide for the disposition of the lands so purchased. It is made unlawful to violate certain provisions of that act, but ample time is given for making changes rendered necessary by its provisions."

     Gus Young, a 15 year old colored boy who lived in this city, was drowned in the Lake a mile south of town Saturday last while in swimming. Several other boys were with him at the time, but none of them could rescue the unfortunate. It is supposed he was taken with cramps, as he was a good swimmer. The body was recovered a few hours after the drowning within a few feet of the bank. The boy had been recently returned home from school at Joplin, Mo. A large crowd of colored people attended the funeral Sunday.

     The first legal hanging in the Territory under the jurisdiction of the United States court will take place at Muskogee to-morrow, July 1, when K B Brooks and Chas. Perkins will be swung into eternity. Both are colored and will pay the extreme penalty for rape and murder. All the preparations have been made and the execution will certainly take place as advertised.

     News reached here Monday of the killing of Johnson Raincrow at or near Greenleaf Court house Sunday night. None of the particulars were learned other than that Raincrow was shot and instantly killed at a gathering of some kind by another Cherokee, whose name we failed to learn.

Pages 2 & 3 - preprinted

Page 4, column 1


It's an easy matter for a man to go to war, but coming back home is not always so easily done.

Next week The Post will publish that portion of the Arkansas law, which applies to elections as referred to and made by the Curtis bill. It will be profitable reading just on the eve of our approaching municipal election.

The Rough Riders have "historized" themselves in the first land fight in the Spanish American war. The battle of La Quisina will adorn the pages of history with an account of one the most brilliant engagements of this cruel war. The Rough Riders, and especially those from Indian Territory, have covered themselves in blood and glory.

While it is true that Fort Gibson is cursed with a few unprogressive pull-backs, their unwelcome presence should not discourage or influence the better element of our promising little city. The pull-back is to be found in all new towns that are struggling to keep apace with Nineteenth century progress. They are eye sores to a town and rotten carbuncles to enterprise, but if the good citizens will try they can soon relegate them to the rear, where they belong, and where they will soon be lost sight of by men of industrious go-ahead ideas.

There seems to be a disposition on the part of a few to create a division among our citizens in the approaching city election citizenships. Men who will attempt to do this are no good for the town and their talk should not be countenanced. Such men as this have kept the town down for, lo, these many years, and if we continue to listen to them Fort Gibson will never amount to anything. Let us now start in anew by laying aside our prejudices and jealousies and vote for the good of Fort Gibson, regardless of what her enemies may try to do or may say. Those who try to work on the prejudices of our people are a detriment to the development and progress of our town. Don't listen to them.

     The dawn of a new era is at hand. The Curtis bill, with its good and its bad features, is at last a law - a stern, stubborn reality - and a definite course is marked out before us. We all now know what is coming and all may now make their arrangements to meet the changes to be made accordingly. There is no longer any doubt as to how the vexed Indian problem is to be settled, so far as the five civilized tribes are concerned. They are no longer Indians under law, but American citizens under American government. The last vestige of their tribal laws have been taken from them and their tribal governments are but ghostly shadows of their former self.
     But withal, laying aside sentimentalities and considering the malefeasance, corruption, fraud and inequity of tribal govern-
Page 4, column 2
ment in recent years, it must be admitted that the passage of the Curtis bill is a Godsend to the common citizen of the Five Civilized Tribes. It will settle the intruder question and protect the common Indians, alloting to them for their own use and benefit their share of the lands. It will break up the monopoly of lands by the rich, which has reach enormous proportions in the entire Indian Territory; it will secure to the tribes the rich mineral deposits and prevent that from being used by a few individuals; it will assist in establishing more schools and churches; it authorizes the laying out of cities and towns and gives them the power to enact and enforce ordinances; it will insure to all people of this country the protection to which all people are entitled, and at the same time it protects the interest of the various tribes. It opens up the avenues of progress by the admission of foreign capital and business to our towns, and it will relegates the unprogressive pull back to the shades of happy forgetfulness.

     The townsite provisions of the Curtis bill as finally agreed upon and passed by congress are much better and more satisfactory than they were when the bill was introduced. While they may work a hardship on citizens of the Cherokee nation who have heretofore purchased and paid said nation for town lots, it will at the same time enable us to go ahead and build up our cities and towns by the admission of wide-awake business men with the capital to do it with. The Curtis bill gives outside capital a show in the towns of the Indian Territory. It gives the non-citizen an equal chance with the Indian citizen in the purchase, improvement and holding of town lots, and one is just as safe as the other in his investments.
     This being the case, and in view of Fort Gibson's great natural advantages over all other townsites in the Indian Territory, it may be reasonably expected that Fort Gibson will shortly enter upon a boom that will surprise the world and make such prairie towns as Muskogee and Wagoner turn green with envy.

In the election of the best men to fill the city offices the votes of our colored citizens may be depended upon to a considerable extent, and they should be represented in the list of nominations to be made next week. The colored citizens of Fort Gibson have interest in the town just the same as the Cherokee and white voters. The general impression that certain ones can drive the colored voters to the polls like cattle and vote them as they please in not correct of Fort Gibson. Our colored citizens are too intelligent and progressive for that now, and when you hear it said that Mr. So and So can carry the colored vote for whoever he see fit, you can deny it. Nobody has any pull on the colored men of Fort Gibson this time. They are free independent and industrious citizens, and they will vote as they pleased and as intelligent men should vote - for the best most competent candidates and for the up-building and best interest of our town.

Page 4, column 3-5 [reprint of the article about how great Fort Gibson is]


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