ninety-eighth and one hundredth degrees for that purpose, and no other-since known as the “leased district.” It will not be disputed that up to 1855 the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations had full title to all of the lands in said leased district. In that year they were leased to the United States for the permanent settlement of certain Indians thereon; at the same time it was provided that “the territory so leased shall remain open to settlement by Choctaws and Chickasaws as heretofore” (11 Stat., 611, art. 9, treaty of 1855), and that while those other tribes or bands of Indians to be located thereon were not to be under Choctaw control, the treaty provided that the President, in prescribing rules and regulations for their control, should make them not inconsistent with the rights and interests of the Choctaws and Chickasaws. This treaty shows that the Choctaws and Chickasaws made the fullest arrangement and reservation of their right to occupy this country as before; that it was mutually understood between the Choctaws and Chickasaws and the United States that this country should be under the jurisdiction of the Choctaw government, and that the United States expected the Choctaws and Chickasaws to occupy it. The record in the case just decided shows that the Choctaw Nation recognized its government on this basis, and denominated the country of the “leased district ”as Hotubbee district. This district was represented in the government of the Choctaw Nation as such until 1866, and at the time of the treaty of 1866 was not occupied by anybody except Choctaws and Chickasaws (the few Wichita and other Indians who were there having gone north to be fed).

3. Such was the condition of affairs in September, 1865, when representatives of the United States and the tribes of Indians of the Southwest, including the Choctaws and Chickasaws, met in council or convention at Fort Smith, Ark., to renew the relations which existed at the breaking out of the rebellion. The commissioners of the United States came with the olive branch in their hands and stated that there was no desire to take advantage of, or enforce, any penalties for the unwise actions of those nations in making treaties with the rebel government, and expressed a desire that still other Indians might be admitted into this leased district,” and, with that in view, entered into negotiations with the Choctaws and Chickasaws (the details of which need not be here stated), resulting later in the treaty of 1866.

4. This treaty was prepared by commissioners representing the United States. In it was a provision by which, in terms, the Choctaws and Chickasaws ceded to the United States, for an express consideration of $300,000, the entire "leased district," embracing 7,713,239 acres of lands; but this sum of $300,000 was not to inure to the benefit of the Choctaws and Chichasaws, but to the freedmen, so that practically the Choctaws and Chickasaws were to get nothing for themselves for the seven millions of acres of land, and that body of land which was known as the “leased district,” which was held by lease for a special purpose, and no other, was changed into an absolute ownership by the United States for a nominal consideration of $300,000, which was to go to the freedmen and not to the Choctaws and Chickasaws. The lease was always treated by the United States and the Choctaws and Chickasaws as a trust, for the special purpose of settling Indians thereon, and that cession of 1866 was always regarded by the administration officers of the United States as a cession in trust, and was never regarded otherwise until 1892, after a lapse of nearly thirty years, when, for the first time, there was any contention to the contrary by the United States.

The Congress of the United States so regarded it and dealt with it. The Choctaws and Chickasaws always contended that it was a trust. Therefore, when, in 1889, the United States determined that these lands that had been conveyed to the Choctaws and Chickasaws in fee should no longer be subject to Indian government, but should become part of the public domain and be subject to settlement by whites, etc., the Choctaws made the claim that when this change of policy occurred the trust ended and they became entitled to those lands free and discharged from said trust. The controversy was by Congress referred to the Court of Claims, which tribunal held that the trust existed. From that decision an appeal was taken to the Supreme Court of the United States, which court has recently decided that by the terms of the treaty of 1866 it was a cession absolute for a named consideration of $300,000, and therefore the court was without power to grant to the Choctaws and Chickasaws the relief they claimed, and that the power to right any wrong done them by that treaty rested not in the courts, but in Congress.

Therefore, we come with this our petition, showing that we purchased those lands from the United States, and paid for them an enormously valuable consideration, and received a conveyance in fee; that said tract, containing more than 7,000,000 acres, by the form in which the treaty of 1866 was drafted, was ceded to the United States by the Choctaws and Chickasaws for an apparent consideration of $300,000, which was not for their benefit (but which, if it was for their benefit, was most grossly and unconscionably inadequate); and we pray that the Congress of the United States will not take advantage of the language in which the treaty was drafted, but, in the exercise of sovereign power, according to conscience, grant us justice.

The said third article of the treaty of 1866, when viewed in the light of the Supreme Court decision, makes title to the United States of 7,713,239 acres of land, which is the acreage of the “leased district,” and takes tribal citizenship and 40 acres of land each for some 9,000 or 10,000 freedmen, a fair computation of the value of the latter item being not less than $1,000,000, and even that is a low estimate. Taking the third article of the treaty of 1866, and construing it as a whole, the startling proposition is revealed to us that the Choctaws and Chickasaws have yielded up 7,713,239 acres of land in the “leaseri district” and $1,000,000 worth of property in their home country for the benefit of their freedmen, the consideration being the insignificant sum of $300,000. We refuse to believe that the United States intends to stand on such a transaction.

We have confined this memorial to a simple statement of fact, unencumbered with details, but will esteem it a favor if we may be permitted, at some convenient time, to present the matters herein referred to as fully as justice may require.

Citizens of the United States have claims against the Choctaw Nation, and to enable them to do equity it should receive equity.

Proposed by W. G. Ward.
Passed the house January 7, 1901.

Thos. W. HUNTER, Speaker. Passed the senate January 7, 1901,

GREEN MCCURTAIN, President. Approved, January 7, 1901.

G. W. DUKES, Principal Chief of the Choctaw Nation. SD-11-3


[ocr errors]

This is to certify that the above and hereto-attached bill No. 9 is a full, true, and correct copy of the original act of the Choctaw general council passed at a special session thereof in January, 1901, entitled “A memorial to the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled;" that said memorial was approved by the principal chief of the Choctaw Nation in his official character on the 7th day of January, 1901, and that the said memorial is now on file in the office of the national secretary of said nation.

In testimony whereof, I, Soloman J. Homer, have hereunto affixed my official signature and the seal of the Choctaw Nation this the 14th day of January, 1901. ČSEAL.]

SOLOMAN J. HOMER, National Secretary of the Choctaw Nation.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]



Mr. DANIEL presented the following




1. Letter of Lieut. Harry H. Caldwell, U. S. N., as to torpedoing of U. S. S. flag-

ship Kearsarge and two other ships of war by the Holland; the need for additional

Holland boats and method for using same against a blockade of New York Harbor

and approaches, etc.

2. Report of Lieut. H. H. Caldwell as to successful trip of Holland, January 8 and

9, 1901, from Annapolis, Md., to Norfolk.

3. Reports of Admiral Farquhar, commander in chief North Atlantic Squadron; Capt.

Wm. Folger, commanding U.S. S. K’earsarge; Lieut. Commander Nathan Sargent,

commanding U. S. S. Scorpion; Commander Mason, in charge of Newport Torpedo

Station, and Lieut. H. H. Caldwell, commander of the Holland, as to value of Holland,

as demonstrated by her successful torpedo attack on U. S. S. Kearsarge during naval

maneuvers off Newport last summer, etc.

4 and 5. Testimony of Commander Richard Wainwright, U. S. N., given before

House Committee on Naval Affairs, as to the military value of the submarine boat


6. Testimony of Rear-Admiral Philip Hichborn, U. S. N., given before House Com-

mittee on Naval Affairs, as to the military value of the submarine boat Holland.

7. Testimony of Admiral George Dewey, U. S. N., and Admiral Philip Hichborn,

U.S. N., as to the military value of Holland submarine boats and reasonableness of

cost of same.

8 and 9. Letters of Lewis Nixon, builder and designer of the Oregon, Massa-

chusetts, Indiana, etc., as to the value of Holland boats; carrying of same on decks

of battle ships; quoting testimony of Charles H. Cramp, shipbuilder, as to utility

of submarine boats and need for additional boats; reasonableness of price of these

boats, etc.

10. Letter of John P. Holland as to the advantage of submarine boats of the size

of the new Holland over larger submarine boats.

11. Contract for purchase of Holland by Navy Department and fixing price of

future Holland boats.

12. Contract between Holland Company and Secretary of the Navy for purchase of

six Holland boats, giving contract requirements.




U. S. S. HOLLAND, Navy-Yard, Norfolk, Va., January 12, 1901. DEAR SIR: Replying to your letter of the 11th instant, I take pleasure in answering your questions as follows:

1. Q. How long have you commanded the Holland?-A. The Holland has been under my charge from June 25, 1900, to the present time. She was formally placed in commission under my command on October 12, 1900.

2. Q. What is the longest submerged run you have made in her?— A. About 1} miles.

3. Q. Do you consider her durable, habitable, and reliable as a vessel of war for coast and harbor defense ?-A. Yes.

4. Q. Commander Mason, of the torpedo station, says in a report to the Secretary: “During the late combined maneuvers of the fleet, shore defenses, and the torpedo flotilla the Holland made a successful attack upon the fleet at night by herself, without convoy, at a distante of 7 miles out from the mouth of the harbor and with the naval crew alone in her." Did you command the Holland upon this occasion? If so, describe how you made the attack and whether you considered it a success.-A. The Ilolland was under my command on the occasion mentioned. She left the torpedo station at sundown and was placed in a partially submerged condition, with the turret and about 6 inches of the hull above water, ready to dive at short notice. Cruised in this condition to southward and eastward of Brentons Reef light-ship. Sighted two vessels of blockading fleet and fired torpedo signal at them, but was not answered, and they disappeared before I could ascertain their identity. About 9 p. m., about 7 miles south-south southeast from harbor entrance, sighted U. S. S. Kearsarge within range and tiresi torpedo signal. Followed her and, getting within 100 yards without being discovered, showed light, hailed her, and informed her commanding officer that she had been torpedoed. The Holland was not seen by any vessel of the blockading fleet or torpedo boat, although she was within torpedo range of three of the former and several of the latter. I consider that the attack was a success, because the Holland could in all probability have torpedoed three blockading vessels without being discovered.

5 Q. Please give your opinion as to the value of the Holland as a coast and harbor defense vessel. —A. I consider her of very great value for that purpose.

6 Q. Would you be willing to command her in case of war with a foreign power that was blockading some of our ports and harbors; and if so, what do you believe you could do with her toward breaking the blockade?--A. Yes. I believe that I could sink one or more vessels of a blockading fleet or else make them keep so far away as to make the blockade ineffective.

7 Q. Do you believe, with six of the Holland boats under your command, having trained crews composed of American men and officered by men of your own selection, that you could break a blockade of New York City made by fifteen ships of war? If so, describe how you would do it.-A.

« ForrigeFortsett »