Act of June 10, 1896

29 Stat. L. 321

For salaries and expenses of the commissioners appointed under acts of Congress approved March third, eighteen hundred and ninety-three, and March second, eighteen hundred and ninety-five, to negotiate with the Five Civilized Tribes in the Indian Territory, the sum of forty thousand dollars, to be immediately available; and said Commission is directed to continue the exercise of the authority already conferred upon them by law and endeavor to accomplish the objects heretofore prescribed to them and report from time to time to Congress.

That said Commission is further authorized and directed to proceed at once to hear and determine the application of all persons who may apply to them for citizenship in any of said nations, and after said hearing they shall determine the right of said applicant to be so admitted and enrolled:

Provided, however, That such application shall be made to such commissioners within three months after the passage of this act. The said Commission shall decide all such applications within ninety days after the same shall be made. That in determining all such applications said Commission shall respect all laws of the several nations or tribes, not inconsistent with the laws of the United States, and all treaties with either of said nations or tribes, and shall give due force and effect to the rolls, usages, and customs of each of said nations or tribes: And provided further, That the rolls of citizenship of the several tribes as now existing are hereby confirmed, and any person who shall claim to be entitled to be added to said rolls as a citizen of either of said tribes and whose right thereto has either been denied or not acted upon, or any citizen who may within three months from and after- the passage of this act desire such citizenship, may apply to the legally constituted court or committee designated by the several tribes for such citizenship, and such court or committee shall determine such application within thirty days from the date thereof.

In the performance of such duties said Commission shall have power and authority to administer oaths, to issue process for and compel the attendance of witnesses, and to send for persons and papers, and all depositions and affidavits and other evidence in any form whatsoever heretofore taken where the witnesses giving said testimony are dead or now residing beyond the limits of said Territory, and to use every fair and reasonable means within their reach for the purpose of determining the rights of persons claiming such citizenship, or to protect any of said, nations from fraud or wrong, and the rolls so prepared by them shall be hereafter held to be the true and correct rolls of persons entitled to the rights of citizenship in said several tribes: Provided, That if the tribe, or any person, be aggrieved with the decision of the tribal authorities or the Commission provided for in this act, it or he may appeal from such decision to the United States district court: Provided, however, That the appeal shall be taken within sixty days, and the judgment of the court shall be final.

That the said Commission, after the expiration of six months, shall cause a complete roll of citizenship of each of said nations to be made up from their records, and add thereto the names of citizens whose right may be conferred under this act, and said rolls shall be, and are hereby, made rolls of citizenship of said nations or tribes, subject, however, to the determination of the United States courts, as provided herein.

The Commission is hereby required to file the lists of members as they finally approve them with the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, to remain there for use as the final judgment of the duly constituted authorities. And said Commission shall also make a roll of freedmen entitled to citizenship in said tribes, and shall include their names in the lists of members to be filed with the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. And said Commission is further authorized and directed to make a full report to Congress of leases, tribal and individual, with the area, amount, and value of the property leased and the amount received there for, and by whom and from whom said property is leased, and is further directed to make a full and detailed report as to the excessive holdings of the members of said tribes and others.

It is hereby declared to be the duty of the United States to establish a government in the Indian Territory which will rectify the many inequalities and discriminations now existing in said Territory, and afford needful protection to the lives and property of all citizens and residents thereof.


United States. Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes. Laws, Decisions and Regulations Affecting the work of the Commissioners to Five Civilized Tribes, 1893-1906. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1906.

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