Act of March 3, 1893

27 Stat. L. 645

SEC. 16. The President shall nominate and, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint three commissioners to enter into negotiations with the Cherokee Nation, the Choctaw Nation, the Chickasaw Nation, the Muscogee (or Creek) Nation, the Seminole Nation, for the purpose of extinguishment of the national or tribal title to any lands within that territory now held by any and all of such nations or tribes, either by cession of the same or some part thereof to the United States, or by the allotment and division of the same in severalty among the Indians of such nations or tribes, respectively, as may be entitled to the same, or by such other method as may be agreed upon between the several nations and tribes aforesaid, or each of them, with the United States, with a view to such an adjustment, upon the basis of justice and equity, as may, with the consent of such nations or tribes of Indians, so far as may be necessary, be requisite and suitable to enable the ultimate creation of a State or States of the Union which shall embrace the lands within said Indian Territory.

The commissioners so appointed shall each receive a salary, to be paid during such time as they may be actually employed, under direction of the President, in the duties enjoined by this act, at the rate of five thousand dollars per annum, and shall also be paid their reasonable and proper expenses incurred in prosecution of the objects of this act, upon accounts there for to be rendered to and allowed by the Secretary of the Interior from time to time. That such com missioners shall have power to employ a secretary, a stenographer, and such interpreter or interpreters as may be found necessary to the performance of their duties, and by order to fix their compensation, which shall be paid, upon the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, from time to time, with their reasonable and necessary expenses, upon accounts to be rendered as aforesaid; and may also employ, in like manner and with the like approval, a surveyor or other assistant or agent, which they shall certify in writing to be necessary to the performance of any part of their duties.

Such commissioners shall, under such regulations and directions as shall be prescribed by the President, through the Secretary of the Interior, enter upon negotiation with the several nations of Indians as aforesaid in the Indian Territory, and shall endeavor to procure, first, such allotment of lands in severalty to the Indians belonging to each such Nation, tribe, or band, respectively, as may be agreed upon as just and proper to provide for each such Indian a sufficient quantity of land for his or her needs, in such equal distribution and apportionment as may be found just and suited to the circumstances; for which purpose, after the terms of such an agreement shall have been arrived at, the said commissioners shall cause the land of any such nation, or tribe, or band to be surveyed and the proper allotment to be designated ; and, secondly, to procure the cession, for such price and upon such terms as shall be agreed upon, of any lands not found necessary to be so allotted or divided, to the United States; and to make proper agreements for the investment or holding by the United States of such moneys as may be paid or agreed to be paid to such nation, or tribes, or bands, or to any of the Indians thereof, for the extinguishment of their therein. But said commissioners shall, however, have power to negotiate any and all such agreements as, in view of all the circumstances affecting the subject, shall be found requisite and suitable to such an arrangement of the rights and interests and affairs of such nations, tribes, bands, or Indians, or any of them, to enable the ultimate creation of a Territory of the United States with a view to the admission of the same as a State in the Union.

The commissioners shall, at any time, or from time to time, report to the Secretary of the Interior their transactions and the progress of their negotiations, and shall, at any time, or from time to time, if separate agreements shall be made by them with any nation, tribe, or band in pursuance of the authority hereby conferred, report the same to the Secretary of the Interior for submission to Congress for its consideration and ratification.

For the purposes aforesaid there is hereby appropriated, out of any moneys in the Treasury of the United States, the sum of fifty thousand dollars, to be immediately available.

Neither the provisions of this section nor the negotiations or agreements which may be had or made there under shall be held in any way to waive or impair any right of sovereignty which the Government of the United States has over or respecting said Indian Territory or the people thereof, or any other right of the Government relating to said Territory, its lands, or the people thereof.

Approved, March 3, 1893.


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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