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Kansas Historical Quarterly - Charles Curtis and the Kaw Reservation

by Berlin B. Chapman

November 1947 (Vol. 14 No. 4), pages 337 to 351.
Transcribed by lhn;
digitized with permission of the Kansas Historical Society.

Kansas Historical Quarterly, November 1947AT WASHINGTON in January, 1932, after most of the material in this article had been assembled, I asked Hon. Charles Curtis, Vice-President of the United States, to read the manuscript. It was labeled, "Kaws," and was prepared in connection with a study entitled, "Dissolution of the Osage Reservation." [1] Mr. Curtis had been in congress in the first decade of the century when the Kaw and Osage reservations in Oklahoma territory were dissolved and had taken an active part in the dissolutions.

Mr. Curtis read the manuscript, made notes useful in supplementing it, and in discussion he seemed especially interested in minors, their place and the protection given them in the dissolution of the Kaw reservation. His mother was a quarter-blood member of the Kansas or Kaw tribe. [2]

An examination of the Kaw papers in the archives in Washington showed that Curtis had been a man of peculiar importance among the Kaws. From his paramount influence among them came the policy and plan by which the reservation was broken up. His influence at Washington during the dissolution may be judged from the fact that he was chairman of the house committee on expenditures in the Interior Department, a member of the committee on Indian affairs, and chairman of the subcommittee having charge of Indian territory legislation.

The Kaw reservation embraced about 100,137 acres on the southern border of Kansas. It now constitutes the portion of Kay county, Oklahoma, east of the Arkansas river. The Kaws bought

DR. BERLIN B. CHAPMAN is associate professor of history, Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College, Stillwater, Okla.

(337)

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the reservation from the Osages, and like the Osages had removed from Kansas. In the late 1860's the Kaws were living in Kansas on the verge of starvation. Their population was less than 700 and they were noticeably decreasing in number. In the neighborhood of Council Grove they had a diminished reserve of some 80,000 acres, while their "trust lands" adjoining the reserve consisted of 175,000 acres. [3]

To provide for the removal and most urgent necessities of the Kansas Indians, $25,000 was appropriated by act of congress approved February 14, 1873, said amount to be reimbursed from the proceeds of the sale of their lands in Kansas. [4] The Kaws left their reservation in Kansas on June 4 and arrived at their new reservation in the Indian territory on June 21 "without the loss of one member, and without having had any difficulty with the whites or among themselves." Their number was 533. [5]

The new reservation was in the region known as the Cherokee outlet. The Osages paid the Cherokees for lands in the Kaw reservation. By proper transfer of funds arising from the sale of their lands in Kansas, the Kaws on October 27, 1881, reimbursed the United States the amount of $70,096.12 paid to the Osages for lands occupied by the Kaws in the Indian territory.[6] Thus the Kaws purchased their reservation at the rate of seventy cents an acre. The reservation was included in the lands which the Cherokees by deed of June 14, 1883, relinquished to the United States in trust for the use and benefit of the Osages and Kaws. In less than ten years after the Kaws paid for their reservation, the United States government entered upon a vigorous policy of dissolving reservations in the western half of Indian territory, known after May 2, 1890, as Oklahoma territory. There from 1890

CHAPMAN: CURTIS AND THE KAW RESERVATION 339

to 1893 the Cherokee commission negotiated eleven agreements. By these agreements about twelve thousand Indians sold their _reservations to the government and received allotments as part of the consideration for relinquishment. The reservations embraced fifteen million acres. [7]The surplus lands were opened to white settlement.

Indians on the Osage, Kaw, Ponca, and Otoe and Missouri reservations had acquired titles by purchase, and were the only tribes in Oklahoma territory to resist successfully the offers and threats of the Cherokee commission. [8] The four reservations formed a compact area on the southern border of Kansas just west of the 96th meridian, or west of the site of present Bartlesville, Okla.

In 1890 Agent Laban J. Miles of the Osage agency at Pawhuska, to which agency the Kaw reservation was attached, reported that the Kaws were opposed to taking allotments, claiming that it would eventually deprive them of lands which they had paid for and to which they had received a pledge that they should receive a title in fee. [9] In the spring of 1892 a number of mixed-bloods expressed a desire to take allotments but insisted on having 160 acres per capita set apart for them. Miles said that he knew of no law by which they could receive that amount and the request of the Indians was withdrawn. Since the Cherokee commission was expected weekly, Miles deferred the matter until their arrival. [10]

In council with the Pawnees on November 16, 1892, David H. Jerome, chairman of the Cherokee commission, said:

Congress has resolved that it will open this whole country west of 96° after the Indians have taken their homes. . . . Under the law that Congress passed creating this Commission we have made contracts for all of this territory except what is north and east of you. There is so little territory that is not under contract that it is unreasonable to suppose that the Government would stop when there is such a little spot left. There is no question about Congress having power, but it is only a question of kindness to the Indians as to how it shall be brought about. [11]

On June 23, 1893, the commission went to the Osage agency, re-

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mained almost a month, and in the meantime sought interviews with members of the Kaw tribe. They ascertained that the Kaws would only follow when the Osages led, so they did not visit them at their homes. [12]> The surplus lands of the four reservations were not sold to the government and none was opened to white settlement.

During the half dozen years after 1893 the matter of allotment on the Kaw reservation seems to have scarcely occurred to the agents in making their annual reports. The Kaws held their lands in common. According to custom each individual, with the consent of the tribe, could occupy as much land as he wished. In 1899 Agent William J. Pollock reported that no allotments had been made and that there was consequently a great inequality in the possession of lands. He pointed out that under existing conditions intermarried men and a few wealthy and more intelligent Indians were monopolizing vast areas without paying for their use. [13]

When the Kaws decided to take allotments they seem to have taken up the matter with one accord. No opposition party, so common in the dissolution of reservations, disturbed the progress of the work. On August 24, 1900, the national council passed unanimously "the following preamble and resolution": Whereas certain interest peculiar to the Kaw Tribe of Indians both of land and money and [are] now pending before the Department at Washington, Be it therefore resolved by the Kaw Council this day in Session that we respectfully urge the Hon. Secretary of the Interior Through the Hon. Commissioner of Indian Affairs to allow a delegation of four (4) from the Kaw Tribe to wit: Wah-Shun-Gah, Governor, Forrest Chouteau Councilman, W. E. Hardy, Sect. and Achan Pappan Interpreter to visit Washington at the convenience of the Hon. Secretary of the Interior for the purpose as above stated, and that the expenses of said delegation be paid from the Kaw Tribal Funds. [14]

From Topeka on September 10 Curtis wrote to W. A. Jones, commissioner of Indian affairs, as follows: "You will remember I had a conversation with the Secretary and yourself in regard to a Delegation of Kaws visiting Washington. You both agreed if they would pass a resolution of their Council that you would permit them to make the trip. I hand you herewith a copy of the resolutions which have gone into the Department through the proper officers. I hope you will grant their request. It has been years since a dele-

CHAPMAN: CURTIS AND THE KAW RESERVATION 341

gation of this Tribe visited Washington." [15] On October 18 Agent Oscar A. Mitscher forwarded to the office of Indian affairs a petition from the tribe requesting authority to visit Washington; authority was granted by E. A. Hitchcock, Secretary of the Interior, on October 25, and in the latter part of December the delegation was in Washington. [16] The results of consultation there are difficult to assess, but the visit appears as a proper prelude to events of the next three years.

In 1901 Mitscher reported that all the Kaw Indians but three or four had made selections of 160 acres for a home. [17] "The Kaws are anxious for allotment, and have asked for it," said William M. Jenkins, governor of Oklahoma territory, in his report for that year. [18] In compliance with the instructions of the Department of the Interior, Special Agent Frank C. Armstrong investigated conditions on the reservation and on December 16 the department received his recommendation that all the lands be allotted. Armstrong said that each person should be allotted 160 acres to be held under the provision of the general allotment act. He stated that much of the land was very valuable, and that the Indians could sell the surplus in 80- or 160-acre tracts for a better price than the government would pay. [19] On the same day Curtis submitted to the office of Indian affairs a resolution of the tribal council, dated December 12, 1901, requesting the government at its own expense to resurvey the reservation so as to enable each member of the tribe to select 160 acres as a homestead. [20] "We ask for this resurvey in order that it may be easier to have our lands divided among our members," reads the resolution. It was observed that a survey had been made some thirty years past but that many of the cornerstones had been removed or destroyed. Curtis stated that he hoped the request of

342 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

the Indians would be granted. [21] On December 21 Commissioner Jones recommended that authority be granted for the expenditure of $2,500 for the resurvey and that the same be made under the supervision of the agent of the Osage agency. [22] He stated that obliteration of monuments was quite likely, especially since the lands had been regularly leased for cattle grazing purposes during the past nine years. [23]

The Secretary of the Interior granted the necessary authority January 8, 1902, and on February 7 Walter E. Stumph was directed to make the resurvey. [24]

Early in the year, without the intervention of the Department of the Interior and without being urged by it, the Kaws proposed to make an agreement for the division of their lands, the distribution of their funds and the sale of their landed interests in Kansas. On January 15 Wah-shun-gah said in reply to a letter from Curtis:

I very much prefer a delegation to go to Washington, rather than attempt a settlement here, for to submit matters here would only delay our purpose. So I ask that a delegation of 7 representative Kaw Indians be allowed to come and treat with the Government for final disposition of our matters. [25]

In transmitting the letter to the commissioner of Indian affairs, Curtis wrote:

I believe this request of his should be granted, and would suggest that Wahshun-gah, head chief, Forrest Chouteau, Wah-noh-o-e-ke, William Hardy, Mitch[ell] Fronkier, (all of the above are councilmen), and Akan Pappan and W. E. Hardy, who is Secretary and treasurer of the tribe, be on the delegation. If the above delegation is selected, the various elements of the tribe will be fully represented. [26]

Secretary Hitchcock granted the necessary authority. [27] A general council was held February 1, 1902, and the seven named representatives, elected by majority vote, were authorized to prepare the agreement. They were empowered to "enter into such an agreement with the Government as they deem to be for the best interests of

CHAPMAN : CURTIS AND THE KAW RESERVATION 343

our said tribe." [28] At Washington on February 8 they signed an "Agreement of the Kansas or Kaw Indians of Oklahoma Territory among themselves relative to their tribal lands and funds, and memorial to Congress." [29] The agreement they signed was the product of Curtis' pen. [30]

According to the agreement the roll of the tribe as shown by the records of the local agency, as it existed on December 1, 1901, and listing all descendants of members born between that date and December 1, 1902, was declared to be the roll of the tribe for the distribution of lands and funds. There should be set apart to each member of the tribe 160 acres for a homestead which, with certain provisions, should be nontaxable and inalienable for a period of twenty-five years from January 1, 1903. Persons who had already selected homesteads should be allowed to retain them while others were directed to select homesteads within thirty days after the ratification of the agreement.

If any member of the tribe failed to make such selection within said time, then it should be the duty of the tribal agent to make the selection for such member or members. A provision stated that "selections of homesteads for minors shall be made by his or her parents." There was a further provision that in case there were children born to members of said tribe between the ratification of the agreement and December 1, 1902, selection should be made for them within thirty days after their birth, and all selections must be made on or before January 1, 1903.

After the selection of homesteads the remaining Kaw lands in Oklahoma territory, with certain provisions, should be divided equally, in acres, among the members of the tribe, giving to each as nearly as practicable, the same number of acres of farming and

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grazing lands, and as near to the homestead of each as possible. The lands, other than homesteads, set aside to each member should be free from taxation as long as the title remained in said member, but in no event to exceed twenty-five years and, with certain provisions, the same should not be sold or encumbered in any way before the expiration of ten years from the date of the deed to said member. The uninherited lands of minors should be inalienable during their minority. Selections and allotments made under the agreement should conform to existing surveys in tracts of not less than eighty acres.

The administrative work in dividing the lands should be left almost entirely to the local agency and the Indians. It should be the duty of the agent, the clerk in charge of the Kaw subagency, together with a committee of three members of the tribe, to be selected jointly by the agent, clerk in charge, and the tribal council, to divide the surplus lands among the members of the tribe, in accordance with the agreement.

In the selection of homesteads, no member should be permitted to select lands already selected by another member of the tribe, unless the other member should be in possession of more lands than he and his family were entitled to under the agreement; in such case the member in possession should have the right to make the first selection. The Secretary of the Interior should furnish the head chief of the tribe deeds, properly filled out, for the conveyances provided for in the agreement; and the head chief was directed thereupon, and in the presence of the agent in charge of the tribe, to execute the deeds; after execution they should be delivered to the agent whose duty it was to see that they were properly delivered to members entitled to them. Each member should be entitled to a separate deed for lands conveyed as a homestead.

When a deed should be approved by the Secretary of the Interior and by the head chief it should operate as a relinquishment to the individual member of all the right, title, and interest of the United States and of the Kaw tribe (as a tribe) in and to the lands embraced therein. Disputes between members of the tribe as to the right of possession in the selection of homesteads should be adjudicated and settled by the agent, subject to the approval of the commissioner of Indian affairs.

The Kaws should cede to the United States 160 acres including the grounds of the school and agency buildings. The United States should maintain a school there for the Kaws for at least ten years.

[portrait of Indian chief]

Curtis, who was part Kaw Indian, was born in North Topeka. He represented Kansas In Washington as a representative and as a senator for many years, and from 1929 to 1933 he was Vice-President of the United States, the first native Kansan to be so honored.

CHAPMAN: CURTIS AND THE KAW RESERVATION 345

Twenty acres should be reserved as a cemetery. Eighty acres at the Kaw agency [31] (now Washunga) should be set aside as a townsite, which should be laid off into lots and sold at public auction.

The Secretary of the Interior should be empowered, in his discretion and at the request of any member of the tribe, to issue a certificate to such member authorizing the sale of any or all of his lands, and the acquisition of a pro rata share of the funds of the tribe. The member should then have the right to manage and dispose of his property the same as any other citizen of the United States, but his lands should be subject to taxation, and his name should be dropped from the rolls of the tribe. Adult heirs could sell and convey inherited lands, and so could minors, under certain legal regulations. But all conveyances of heirs were subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Interior and to rules and regulations prescribed by him.

On February 21, 1902, Agent Mitscher transmitted the agreement and memorial to Commissioner Jones with his approval. [32] "The agreement they present represents the unanimous wish of the tribe," Mitscher said, "and I feel convinced that their action is well advised, and that they are prepared to assume the responsibility." He observed that tribal conditions discounted individual effort and that "a community of interests tends to dependence, carelessness, indifference, shiftlessness, and downright laziness." Commissioner Jones also endorsed the agreement, saying that as a whole the tribe was probably as nearly ready as any in the country to be placed upon its own resources. [33] He observed that the agreement was in entire harmony with the views of the office of Indian affairs as expressed in the last two annual reports. On March 10 the agreement was transmitted to the house of representatives [34] and on July 1 it was incorporated without material change in an act of congress. [35]

During the summer of 1902 Mitscher wrote: "Allotment has occupied the center of the stage the past year upon the Kaw reserva-

346 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

tion. Little else noteworthy has occurred to merit remark." [36] On June 23 Mitscher submitted to the office of Indian affairs a schedule of homestead allotments prepared by Stumph under his direction, which schedule was thought to contain the names of all Indians en titled to allotments up to that time. [37] The schedule could not be closed prior to December 1, 1902, since descendants of allottees born during the year previous to that date were entitled to allotments. It was subsequently determined that there were twelve children so entitled, eleven of whom were born between June 20 (the date of the close of the former schedule) and December 1.

On February 23, 1903, Mitscher forwarded to the office of Indian affairs a complete or "Final" roll of the tribe, containing the names of 247 persons, [38] together with the description and acreage of the homestead selection allotted to each person. [39] The schedule was transmitted to the Secretary of the Interior on March 21 and approved by him three days later. The commissioner of Indian affairs was directed to prepare deeds for the conveyance of the allotments by the head chief of the tribe to the respective allottees, as shown by the schedule, in accordance with the provisions of the agreement. Homestead allotments embraced a total of 39,670 acres.

It has been observed that the homestead selections were practically completed before the agreement was ratified by congress. According to the agreement the surplus lands could not be prorated until after January 1, 1903. [40] The schedule of homestead selections constituted the basis upon which the remainder of the lands were divided; that is to say, all persons whose names appeared upon the

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approved schedule of homestead selections were entitled to receive a pro rata share of the surplus lands, and only such persons could participate in the distribution.

On January 17 the Department of the Interior approved instructions for the division of the surplus lands and on January 23 the same were sent to Mitscher. [41] It was expected that he would be aided greatly in the matter of getting a nearly equal division of lands in acres among the members of the tribe by a judicious use of the many "lots" containing less than the legal subdivision of forty acres which occurred along the Arkansas river. It was pointed out that quite a large number of the lots had been taken in the homestead selections, and by reason thereof, in not a few cases, homesteads contained less than 160 acres. In such cases, where practicable, it was expected that an effort would be made to supplement this deficiency so that all members might ultimately receive very nearly the same number of acres. The instructions stated that so far as practicable all the farming lands of each member of the tribe should lie in a compact body and all the grazing lands in one compact body.

The provision in the agreement stating that all selections and allotments should conform to existing surveys of the reservation in tracts of not less than eighty acres was an impossible one in reference to allotting the surplus lands. On February 10 Mitscher reported that this provision had met with the compliance of the tribe, there being no homestead selections of less than eighty acres in one tract; but that in dividing the surplus lands it seemed impossible to comply strictly with the provision since there were several instances of forty-acre tracts which were entirely surrounded by homestead selections. [42] In reply, A. C. Tonner, acting commissioner of Indian affairs, stated that "it was not intended to instruct the Kaw Allotment Commission to do impossible or impracticable things." [43] He explained that where there were isolated tracts of less than eighty acres, or isolated lots along the Arkansas river of less than forty acres, necessarily these tracts would have to be assigned in less quantities than that mentioned in the agreement.

The Kaw allotment commission was composed of Mitscher, Edson Watson (the clerk in charge of the Kaw subagency), Chief Wahshun-gah, Forrest Chouteau, and William Hardy. The three tribal

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members were selected on February 6;1903, in the manner prescribed in the agreement. Since there was no provision in the agreement for the payment of the three persons selected, the council passed a resolution petitioning the commissioner of Indian affairs that four dollars per day be allowed each of them and also that the same compensation be allowed an interpreter while actually attending to the business of the commission. [44] The money was to be "payable from grass money or any other tribal funds available." Provision for compensation and for certain expenses was accordingly made.

On April 8 the commission met, organized by electing Mitscher chairman, and commenced the division of the surplus lands. [45] On April 17 Mitscher reported that the division had been accomplished "to the entire satisfaction of the members of the tribe," [46] and on May 26 he forwarded the schedule to the commissioner of Indian affairs. [47] The schedule was approved by Secretary Hitchcock on June 27. On July 17 authority was granted for Mitscher to have recorded in the office of the recorder of deeds of Kay county both the homestead and additional allotment deeds, the cost to be paid by the Indians. [48]

The work incident to dividing and prorating the lands was accomplished by the local agency with no additional clerical force, at an expense to the tribe of about $200, and with remarkable harmony. In 1932 Curtis observed, somewhat with a sense of satisfaction, that there was not a single contest over the division of lands. Shepard's Oklahoma Citations shows that it has not been necessary for the supreme court of the United States or the supreme court of Oklahoma to interpret the agreement he drew up.

From Mitscher's annual report of 1903 and the "Schedule of Allotments of Surplus Lands," it appears that in the division of the surplus lands 60,263 acres were allotted to 247 allottees. Thus each member of the tribe secured about 245 acres in addition to a homestead of 160 acres. [49] The townsite was laid out in township twenty-seven north, range four east, and named "Washunga," after the principal chief. From June 25 to 30, 1903, there were 524 lots sold,

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bringing a total of $6,065. [50] By act of congress approved on April 21, 1904, the reservation was attached to Kay county. [51]

In the agreement drawn up by Curtis and incorporated in an act of congress, was a provision that all claims, of whatever nature, which the Kaw tribe might have against the United States should be submitted to a commission to be appointed by the Secretary of the Interior from the officers or employees of his department for investigation, consideration, and settlement; and the United States should, without delay, render to said tribe of Indians a complete accounting of all moneys agreed to be paid to said tribe to which they might be entitled under any treaty or act of congress.

A commission was accordingly appointed, consisting of William C. Braly, Charles J. Groseclose, and Edward B. Fox. Samuel J. Crawford, former governor of Kansas, was the attorney of record for the Kaws. His principal application was for the moneys due the Kaws as evidenced by various certificates of indebtedness or script transactions concerning lands in Kansas.

The commission made a report of more than seventy pages, including exhibits, and in conclusion said that the Kaws were entitled to $155,976.88 in satisfaction of their claims. [52] On November 26, 1904, the tribe, with some dissenting votes, passed a resolution agreeing to accept this sum "in full settlement of all its claims against the United States submitted to said commission." [53] The Indian appropriation act of March 3, 1905, provided for the payment of this sum to the Kaws, stating as a prior condition that the Kaws should execute and deliver to the United States a general release of "all claims and demands of every name and nature against the United States." [54]

Edson Watson, superintendent of the Kaw training school at Washunga, convened a general council of the Kaws on April 22, 1905. On that day a release, as provided in the act of March 3, was executed. [55] Watson said: "There were 45 signatures for the release and there were none opposing it." The first signatures on the release are those of Washungah, Wah-mo-o-e-kah, Forrest Chouteau. William Hardy, Mitchell Fronkier, W. E. Hardy, and Charles Curtis.

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The sum appropriated by congress was credited to the tribe under the "Kansas consolidated fund." [56] The Kaws made claims for additional compensation from the government. In 1934 the court of claims, under a liberal jurisdictional act, investigated the financial relations between the tribe and the government. It found a valid claim for $102,524.65 but a counterclaim of $462,045.65, so that the Kaws were not entitled to judgment in any amount. [57]

About 1923 it was found that some of the lands held by minor allottees contained very valuable oil and gas resources. On February 13 of that year Curtis introduced in the senate a bill providing that the period of restriction against alienation on surplus lands allotted to minor members of the Kaw tribe be extended for a period of twenty-five years in all cases where allottees had not reached the age of majority. The bill became a law on March 4. [58] On the reservation were 420 Kaws of whom 77 were full bloods. Those having less than half blood numbered 312. [59]

The name of Charles Curtis has been indelibly stamped on legislation extending the white man's law over the Five Civilized Tribes, and finally disposing of their affairs. The role Curtis played in the dissolution of the reservation of his own tribe has been given more to supposition than to investigation. He had a profound interest in his tribe. His high position in the government enabled him to assist the Kaws in the dissolution of their reservation in Oklahoma territory, and in the prosecution of claims against the government. [60]

Curtis took a homestead about a mile north of Washunga. His pro rata share of the surplus lands was 259 acres. His daughters took adjoining homesteads ten miles north of Washunga, and his son's homestead was southwest of theirs. The restrictions against alienation of the surplus lands expired in 1928. According to the offIce of

CHAPMAN: CURTIS AND THE KAW RESERVATION 351

Indian affairs, restrictions on homesteads will not expire until 1948. As long as restrictions remain the homesteads are nonalienable and nontaxable except that the production of oil and gas and other minerals may be taxed by the state of Oklahoma in all respects the same as production on unrestricted land. Curtis devised his homestead allotment to his three surviving children, in equal shares, in a trust status. The will was approved by the Assistant Secretary of the Interior pursuant to the acts of June 25, 1910, and February 14, 1913. [61]

In 1945 the Kaws numbered 544, of whom 314 were residing at the jurisdiction where enrolled. About 87 percent of the lands of the Kaw reservation had been alienated through sales, patents in fee, certificates of competency, etc., leaving a tribal area of 13,261 acres. [62] There is no tribal organization, and the tribe has a very small amount of money on deposit in the United States Treasury.

Notes

1. The history of the Kaws is entwined with that of the Osages. I am indebted to Mr. Curtis for assistance in preparation of the series of four articles, "Dissolution of the Osage Reservation," in Chronicles of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, v. 20 (1942), pp, 244-254, 875-387; v. 21 (1943), pp. 78-88, 171-182.
2. I had written that Curtis' mother was a full-blood member of the tribe, having taken the statement from The Encyclopedia Americana (New York and Chicago, 1918, 1929, 1932), v. 8, p. 310. Mr. Curtis made a notation correcting the error.
3. Francis A. Walker, commissioner of Indian affairs, to Secretary of the Interior, December 2, 1871, in Senate Miscellaneous Documents, 42 Cong., 2 Sess., v. 1 (Serial No. 1481), Doe. No. 10; Kansas or Kaw Indians v. United States, 80 Ct. Cls., 264; 288 (1934) ; Charles C. Royce, "Indian Land Cessions in the United States," in Eighteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution (Washington, 1899), Pt. 2 pp. 822, 823, map 27; Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs (hereinafter cited as RCIA), 1868, pp. 260-262.
The Kaws in 1850 numbered 1,700. In regard to their rapid decrease in population, and their removal from Kansas, see Grant Foreman, The Last Trek of the Indians (Chicago, 1946), pp. 277-282.
4. 17 Statutes, 461. In subsequent legislation congress referred to the "Kansas or Kaw Tribe."-32 Statutes, 636; 43 Statutes, 176.
5. Agent Mahlon Stubbs to Supt. Enoch Hoag, September 1, 1873, in RCIA, 1873, pp. 202, 334.
6. OIA (Office of Indian Affairs), "Indian Appropriations," Ledger 28, folio 5 ; OIA, "Indian Requisitions," v. 93 (No. 99), Requisition No. 4398. A fuller history is found in the report of the general accounting office concerning the petition of the Kansas or Kaw tribe, court of claims, No. F-64. A copy is in the court of claims. The opinion of the court is in 80 Ct. Cls., 264 (1934). See, also, court of claims, Printed Records, v. 677, pp. 289, 290.
Unless otherwise stated, the remainder of the OIA materials cited in this article are in the National Archives, Washington, D. C.
7. Berlin B. Chapman, "The Final Report of the Cherokee Commission," Chronicles of Oklahoma, v. 19 (1941), p. 365.
8. The best record of the offers and threats is the stenographic account of the negotiations of the Cherokee commission, OIA, ISP (Irregular Sized Papers), Drawer 14.
9. Laban J. Miles to commissioner of Indian affairs, August 27, 1890, in RCIA, 1890, p. 190.
10. Same to same, August 30, 1892, ibid., 1892, p. 391.
11. Proceedings of the councils the Cherokee commission held with the Pawnees, pp. 123, 124. The proceedings are in OIA, ISP, Drawer 14. In 1901 Gov. William M. Jenkins estimated that if the four reservations were opened to settlement, allotments being made as provided by the general allotment act, the residue lands would amount to 1,255,886 acres.-"Report of Governor of Oklahoma," 1901, in House Documents, 57 Cong., 1 Sess. (Serial 4293), p. 440.
12. Cherokee commission to the President, August 21, 1893, OIA, 7801 Indian division, 1893; C. A. Dempsey to commissioner of Indian affairs, September 5, 1893, in RCIA, 1893, D. 255.
13. Pollock to commissioner of Indian affairs, August 16, 1899, in ibid., 1899, pt. 1, p. 295.
14. The quotation is from a copy of the resolution in the Indian Office, F. 45020-1900.
15. The letter of September 10, 1900, is marked "Personal." It is filed with ibid. Curtis received a favorable reply. Com. W. A. Jones to Curtis, September 24, 1900, CIA, "F. Letter Book," 642, p. 401.
16. Jones to Secretary of Interior, October 24, 1900, CIA, 7748 Ind. Div., 1900; Hitchcock to commissioner of Indian affairs, October 25, 1900, Interior Department "Letter Book," 111, p. 88; same to same, December 27, 1900, ibid., p. 591. Jones said it was not convenient to have the delegation come before December.--OIA, "F. Letter Book," 646, p. 435.
17. Mitscher to commissioner of Indian affairs, August 14, 1901, RCIA, 1901, Pt. 1, p. 328.
18. House Documents, loc. cit.
19. The report, under date of December 7, 1901, is in House Documents, 57 Cong., 1 Sess. (Serial 4361), Doc. No. 406, pp. 59, 60. The investigation was made in compliance with a provision in the Indian appropriation act of March 3, 1901 (31 Statutes, 1060). Armstrong outlined a plan for the division of the lands of the Osage reservation and said that his suggestion applied equally to the Kaws. House Documents, loc. cit., pp. 9, 10. The report was transmitted to congress February 20, 1902.
20. The resolution, and Curtis' letter of December 16, 1901, are in the Indian Office, Authority, 74008-1901.
21. See, also, the letter of Curtis to Jones, November 2, 1901, OIA, L. 62204-1901.
22. Jones to Secretary of Interior, December 21, 1901, OIA, "L. Letter Book," 513, pp. 177-179.
23. The surplus lands of the reservation were divided into fourteen pastures varying in area from 500 acres to about 10,500 acres. Pasture No. 13, containing 663 acres, was reserved for the common use of the Kaws. The remaining pastures, embracing more than one-half of the reservation or 69,383 acres, were subject to lease. The net revenue from the pastures in 1901 totaled $26,413.63.-Mitscher to commissioner of Indian affairs, August 14, 1901, RCIA, 1901, Pt. 1, p. 328; Tonner to Thomas Kelley, January 31, 1902, OIA, "L. Letter Book," 519, p. 16. The Kaws were allowed to take allotments within the pastures and plow them, the allotments to be deducted from the gross area. However, allotments could not interfere with water privileges of pastures.-Telegram from Tonner to W. F. Smith, February 12, 1902, CIA, "L. Letter Book," 520, p. 419.
24. Jones to Stumph, February 7, 1902, in ibid., 520, pp. 68, 69.
25. The letter is in the Indian Office, F. 4323-1902.
26. Curtis to commissioner of Indian affairs, January 21, 1902.-Ibid.
27. Hitchcock to commissioner of Indian affairs, January 25, 1902, CIA, Authority, 74218 -1902.
28. The credentials, dated February 1, 1902, are in House Documents, 57 Cong., 1 Sess. (Serial 4361), Doc. No. 452, pp. 9-11. Sixty-five of the seventy-six adults signed the credentials.
29. The document is in ibid., pp. 3-9.
30. In a letter to the commissioner of Indian affairs on December 16, 1901, Curtis stated that it was his "intention to prepare an agreement" to submit to the Indians which would enable them to carry out their desires with reference to the allotment and division of their lands. -OIA, Authority, 74008-1901. On July 22, 1902, he stated that he did not attend the deliberations of the Kaw delegation when they were considering the agreement. He added: "when I drew up the Agreement I did not recall the fact that it was customary to carry Members of the Tribe who die, upon the rolls until after the next payment. "-Curtis to A. C. Tonner, OIA, "Special Case 201," 43, 594-1902.
I learned from Mr. Curtis that in the early 1890's the Kaws were reluctant to make improvements on lands because at their death the tribal council could give the fruits of their labor to persons other than the heirs. He told the tribe that if they would make selections, improve them and have the superintendent at the Kaw subagency make record of the same, he would secure an arrangement whereby lands would descend to heirs. Selections were made accordingly and Mr. Curtis drew up the agreement.
Agent Mitscher said in 1901: "Credit for the present excellent financial condition of the Kaw Indians belongs largely to Congressman Charles Curtis, who by unremitting effort has, from a condition of poverty, placed the tribe in a position of affluence."-Letter to commissioner of Indian affairs, August 14, 1901, RCIA, 1901, Pt. 1, p. 328.
31. "The Kaw Agency . . is located at the extreme south end of the Kaw Reservation, on high ground heavily timbered, and 1 mile from the Arkansas River and on the banks of Little Beaver River, the most sylvan spot in the Indian service."-Mitscher to commissioner of Indian affairs, August 21, 1900, RCIA, 1900, p. 337.
32. Letter of February 21, 1902, OIA, "Special Case 201," 12057-1902.
33. Jones to Secretary of Interior, March 1, 1902, Senate Reports, 57 Cong., 1 Sess. (Serial 4264), Report No. 2099, pp. 2, 3. "The agreement," said Jones, "proposes the abolishment of tribal organization and an equal division of the lands and an equal distribution of the tribal funds. This is in line with the new policy which must be adopted in dealing with the Indian if he is to be made self-supporting and to become a useful member of the community in which he lives."
34. Thomas Ryan to speaker of the house of representatives, March 10, 1902, House Documents, loc. cit., p. 1.
35. 32 Statutes, 636.
36. Mitscher to commissioner of Indian affairs, August 21, 1902, RCIA, 1902, Pt. 1, 293.
37. Letter to commissioner of Indian affairs, June 23, 1902, OIA, "Special Case 201," 37866-1902. The Schedule of Homestead Allotments" should not be confused with the Schedule of Allotments of Surplus Lands." The latter is sometimes called the Schedule of Additional Allotments." The schedules are in the Indian Office, "Schedules of Allotments," No. 26. They have not been transferred to the National Archives.
38. The tribal roll was adhered to although only 218 persons were alive at the close of the fiscal year 1903. Eighty-nine were full bloods.-Mitscher to commissioner of Indian affairs, August 22, 1903, RCIA, 1903, Pt. 1, p. 269. Mitscher was instructed that if a person whose name was on the roll were dead, the date of death should be noted on the schedule.Tel from Jones to Mitscher April 2 1902 OIA "L Letter Book" 629, p. 285.
39. Mitscher to commissioner of Indian affairs February 23 1903 OIA "Special Case 201," 13516-1903. The roll is filed with the letter. The following excerpt is from the roll:

No. Name Relation Sex Age Sub. Div. Sec. Town. Range Acres
138 Curtis Charles Head M 41 .. NE 26 27 4 160
139 Curtis Permelia Daut. F 15 W 1/2 NE 10        
          N 1/2 SE 10 28 4 160
140 Curtis Harry K. Son M 11 NE 1/4 NE 23 .. .. ....
          Lts. 6. 23 28 3 161.15
          7, 8, 9 .. .. .. ..
141 Curtis Leona J. Daut. F 8 .. NW 10 28 4 160

40. Acting Commissioner AC. Tonner to John F McDermott September 29 1902 . "L. Letter Book," 561, p. 254..,, OIA, approved schedule of homestead selections were entitled to receive a pro rata share of the surplus lands, and only such persons could participate in the distribution.
41. Tonner to Mitscher, January 23, 1903, in ibid., 580, p. 76. The letter of instructions, under date of January 14, 1903, is in the Indian Office, ibid., 578, pp. 117-122. Instructions to Mitscher for laying out the townsite are under the same date and are in ibid., pp. 166-169.
42. Mitscher to commissioner of Indian affairs, February 10, 1903, CIA, "Special Case 201," 10874-1903.
43. Tonner to Mitscher, March 12, 1903, CIA, "L. Letter Book," 591, p. 112.
44. The resolution is in OIA, "Special Case 201," 10874-1903. It bears Mitscher's certification that it was passed February 6, 1903.
45. Tel. from Mitscher to commissioner of Indian affairs, April 8, 1903, ibid., 22670-1903.
46. Mitscher to commissioner of Indian affairs, April 17, 1903, ibid., 26623-1903.
47. Same to same, May 26, 1908, ibid, 34406-1903.
48. Jones to Mitscher, July 23, 1903, OIA, "U Letter Book," 616, p. 157.
49. Mitscher to commissioner of Indian affairs, August 22, 1903, RCIA, 1903, Pt. 1, p. 269.
50. Jones to Secretary of Interior, October 15, 1903, ibid., p. 108.
51. 33 Statutes, 218.
52. The report of the commission, June 30, 1904, is in House Documents, 58 Cong., 8 Sess. (Serial 4830), Doc. No. 169.
53. The resolution is in ibid., pp. 2, 3. See, also, Hubert Work, Secretary of the Interior, to Homer P. Snyder, May 19, 1924, House Reports, 68 Cong., 2 Sess., v. 2 (Serial 8391), Report No. 1394.
54. 33 Statutes, 1048, 1079.
55. The release and accompanying papers are in OIA, "Special Case 201," 36434-1905. There were 62 adult males in the tribe.
56. The agreement Curtis drew up provided that tribal funds amounting to $189,153.30, and other tribal moneys that might accrue from the sale of lands in Kansas, from the sale of town lots in Oklahoma territory, from claims against the United States, and from other sources should be segregated and placed to the credit of the individual members of the tribe on a basis of a pro rata division as shown by the tribal roll on December 1, 1902. Interests of minors should be carefully safeguarded.
57. Kansas or Kaw Indians v. the United States, 80 Ct. Cls., 264.
58. 42 Statutes, 1561, See the following acts concerning removal of restrictions on Haw lands: March 3, 1909, 35 Statutes, 778; May 27, 1924, 43 Statutes, 176; February 27, 1926, 44 Statutes, 134.
59. Hubert Work to M. C. Garber, February 16, 1924, House Reports, 68 Cong., 1 Sess., v. 2 (Serial 8227), Report No. 269, pp. 2, 3.
60. In 1910 Laban J. Miles said: "In 1878, when I assumed charge of the Osage Agency, I found the names of two young people on the Haw rolls; they were not on the reservation, and I dropped their names from the rolls. They never moved to or resided on the reservation. Their names were placed back on the rolls in 1889, I think it was. One of these persons was Senator Curtis . . .; a pretty good answer to the affiliation song." The statement is in Osage Enrollment, Hearings before Subcommittee on H. 17819 and 21199, p. 91. A copy is in the Library of Congress.
61. 36 Statutes, 855; 37 Statutes, 678; 43 Statutes, 176. Charles Curtis died February 8, 1936; Harry K. Curtis died May 29, 1946.
62. "Statistical Supplement" to the RCIA, 1945, pp. 10, 23.