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to make certain annual money payments to the Indians. The previous perpetual annuities, of course, likewise continued in force. The lands ceded were tribal lands held in common, and under the terms of the treaty negotiated at Chicago in 1833 each individual member of the nation was to receive his proportionate share in tribal lands or funds. The treaty provided that the Pottawatomies should receive the same title to their lands as was received by other Indian tribes exchanging their homes east of the Mississippi River for homes west of the Mississippi River, and, as heretofore shown, this title was to be a communal title in fee simple.
At the time the treaty of Chicago of 1833 was negotiated the Indians, as stated, were in detached bands, and those members of the nation living in the northern part of Wisconsin declared that there was no right in the bands which negotiated the treaty of 1833 to undertake to cede their homes and their lands in Wisconsin. After the treaty of Chicago of 1833, 14 separate treaties were made by the United States with separate bands, all providing for the removal of the Indians west of the Mississippi River, but none was made with the Wisconsin Pottawatomies separately.
By article 4 of the treaty of 1833 it was provided that the annuities due to the Indians "shall be paid at their location west of the Mississippi River.” Quite a large number of the Indians, especially those in Wisconsin, refused to remove west of the Mississippi River. Article 4 had stated the place of payment of their annuities to be at their new location, the object of said article being to make an inducement to the Indians to remove west of the Mississippi River.
Many of the Wisconsin Pottawatomies refused to remove to the new home west of the Mississippi River; in fact, about 2,000 refused to go. The United States held that the treaty of 1833 had ceded their lands to the United States, and the Government of the United States took possession of the same and sold these lands as public domain to settlers. Thus, those Indians who elected to remain in Wisconsin lost all of their lands in the State of Wisconsin, and since then have eked a precarious existence and have been wanderers in the northern part of the State. The reason given by the Indians for refusal to remove Was that the chiefs who had undertaken to negotiate the treaty of 1833 had no right to represent them or to attempt to cede their lands. The Government, however, as stated, held otherwise and took possession of the lands. Attempts were made to force the Wisconsin Bands of Pottawatomies to remove west of the Mississippi River, with the consequence that because of the drastic measures adopted about 1,500 of the 2.000 Indians referred to above fled to Canada. The Indian Office then forfeited the share in lands and funds secured to the tribe as a whole of those members of the Pottawatomies who refused to remove from the State of Wisconsin, and instead paid over the moneys and lands it held as a trustee for all of the Indians to those members who did remove west of the Mississippi River. The attention of Congress was called to the matter in 1864, and by act of June 25, 1864 (13 Stat., 172), Congress declared that no forfeiture had occurred and directed that the shares of those Wisconsin Pottawatomies who had not removed west of the Mississippi River should be withheld in the Treasury and retained to their credit until such time
as they might remove to the then home of the tribe in Kansas. This act provided as follows:
To enable the Secretary of the Interior to take charge of certain stray bands of Winnebago and Pottawatomie Indians now in the State of Wisconsin, with the view to prevent any further depredations by them upon the citizens of that State, and for provisions and subsistence, $10,000: Provided, That the proportion of annuities to which said stray bands of Pattawatomies and Winnebagoes would be entitled if they were settled upon their reservations with their respective tribes shall be retained in the Treasury to their credit, from year to year, to be paid to them when they shall unite with their said tribes, or to be used by the Secretary of the Interior in defraying the expenses of their removal, or in settling and subsisting them on any other reservation which may hereafter be provided for them. (13 Stat., 172.)
The Indian Office continured to ignore the Wisconsin Band of Pottawatomies and forfeited all shares in tribal lands and funds of those Pottawatomies who continued to reside in Wisconsin or went to Canada. At this time practically the entire funds of the Pottawatomies have been disbursed and those members of the tribe who remained in Wisconsin have been deprived of any shares in the tribal lands and funds.
Your committee has carefully considered the treaties, the laws, and the facts set forth in the hearings on H. R. 1776 and is of the opinion that the United States as the guardian of the Wisconsin Band of Pottawatomie Indians now within the border of the United States should account to them for their just and proportionate share of the tribal lands and funds of the Pottawatomie Nation of Indians. These Indians are impoverished and are to a considerable extent a burden upon the State of Wisconsin. Your committee therefore recommends that Congress appropriate a sufficient sum of money to pay what is due the Pottawatomie Indians now resident in the States of Wisconsin and Michigan by placing to their credit the balance due them, said balance to be determined by the Secretary of the Interior as follows: By computing the interest on the original sum of $447,339 at 4 per cent per annum from April 1, 1908, to April 4, 1910, and on the balance thereafter found by deducting the amounts expended out of the appropriations made by Congress for the Pottawatomie Indians of Wisconsin under the Act Apr. 4, 1910 (36 Stat. L., 288)..
$25,000 Act Aug. 24, 1912 (37 Stat. L., 539).
7,000 Act June 30, 1913 (38 Stat. L., 102).
7,000 Act Aug. 1, 1914 (38 Stat. L., 606)..
7,000 Joint resolution Mar. 4, 1915 (38 Stat. L., 1228).
7,000 Act June 30, 1913 (38 Stat. L., 102).
150,000 said interest to be computed at the rate of 4 per cent to July 1, 1916. The reason for recommending that the rate of interest be 4 per cent is that most of the funds to the credit of various Indian tribes in the United States bear interest at the rate of either 3 per cent or 4 per cent, and there seems to be no good reason why the fund of the Pottawatomie Indians should bear interest at a higher rate.
Section 2 of the bill provides for the payment of the fees due the attorneys who have represented the Indians. The evidence shows that one of these attorneys had been engaged for more than 10 years in the prosecution of the claims of the Indians before his death in 1912, and that since 1905 two other attorneys have been engaged in assistance of the attorney having the contract with the Indians. It has further been shown to your committee that they have been com
pelled to secure assistance in various details of the matter from other persons. At the time that the contract of attorneyship. was made the contract was submitted to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. The contract was a wholly contingent one and provided, as made by the Indians, for a fee of 20 per cent of the recovery to the attorneys. The Commissioner of Indian Affairs after due consideration of the matter approved the contract with a reduction in the amount of compensation to a wholly contingent fee of 15 per cent, stating at the same time that the Indians had no just claim. This position the Indian Office and the Department of the Interior continued to assert until 1908.
Secretary Hitchcock declined to act at all upon the recommendation of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs because of the doubt expressed by the commissioner as to the necessity for any action and the same was returned to the files of the Indian Office. Since then the attorneys for the Indians have prosecuted the case of the Pottawatomies and Congress also passed an act under which an enumeration of the Wisconsin Pottawatomies and a thorough computation was made of the shares to which they are entitled. This work has extended over a period of nearly 14 years.
It was in 1902 that the Indian Office and the Interior Department reversed their position on the merits of the claim of the Pottawatomies and recognized its justice, and the Sixty-third Congress recognized the claim by securing an item of $150,000 in the Indian appropriation bill approved June 30, 1913 (38 Stats., 102; 3 Kappler, 586).
The Secretary of the Interior, in recommending favorably on bill H. R. 1776, also recommends that the claim for services made by the attorneys be referred to the Court of Claims for adjustment on a quantum meruit, and also that the Rev. E. O. Morstad be paid $5,000 for his services to the Indians. Your committee recommends that the recommendations of the Secretary be adopted.
In conformity with the views above expressed, your committee recommends a substitute for section 1, as follows:
That for the purpose of carrying into effect the act of June twenty-fifth, eighteen hundred and sixty-tour (Thirteenth Statutes at Large, page one hundred and seventytwo), and the act of June thirtieth, nineteen hundred and thirteen (Thirty-eighth Statutes at Large, page one hundred and two), the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized and directed to place upon the books of the Treasury to the credit of that portion of the Wisconsin Band of Pottawatomie Indians now residing in the States of Wisconsin and Michigan the amount of money which shall be found as a balance due to the said Wisconsin Band of Pottawatomie Indians by the Secretary of the Interior, said balance to be determined as follows: By computing the interest on the original sum of $447,339, declared to be due said Pottawatomie Indians at the rate of four per centum per annum from April first, nineteen hundred and eight, to April fourth, nineteen hundred and ten, and on the balance thereafter found by deducting the various amounts spent out of the appropriations made by Congress for the said Pottawatomie Indians under the act approved April fourth, nineteen hundred and ten (Thirty-sixth Statutes at Large, page two hundred and eighty-eight), act approved August twenty-fourth, nineteen hundred and twelve (Thirty-seventh Statutes at Large, page five hundred and thirty-nine), act approved June thirtieth, nineteen hundred and thirteen (Thirty-eighth Statutes at Large, page one hundred and two), act approved August first, nineteen hundred and fourteen (Thirty-eighth Statutes at Large, page six hundred and six), joint resolution approved March fourth, nineteen hundred and fifteen (Thirty-eighth Statutes at Large, page one thousand two hundred and twenty-eight) act approved June thirtieth, nineteen hundred and thirteen (Thirty-eight Statutes at Large, page one hundred and two), said interest to be computed at the rate of four per centum on balance due said Indians between the dates of said acts of Congress and to July first, nineteen hundred and sixteen. as the proportionate share of the said Wisconsin Band of the Pottawatomie Indians in the annuities and the land of the Pottawatomie Tribe in which they have not shared, as set forth in the report of the Secretary of the Interior to the House of Representatives, embodied in House Document Numbered Eight hundred and thirty, Sixtieth Congress, first session, confirmed in part by the act of Congress of June thirtieth, nineteen hundred and thirteen (Thirty-eighth Statutes at Large, page one hundred and two), appropriating the sum of $150,000 on account. Said sum shall draw interest at the rate of four per centum per annum. And there is hereby appropriated out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise, appropriated, for the purposes aforesaid, the amount of the balance found to be due to said Wisconsin Band of Pottawatomie Indians now residing in the States of Visconsin and Michigan, as computed by the Secretary of the Interior by the method herein before set forth: Provided, That the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized and directed to pay to Erik O. Morstad, of Carter, Wisconsin, who has lived with and cared for said Indians for many years, the sum of $5,000, said sum to be paid from the amount placed to the credit of said Pottawatomie Indians.
Your committee reports back H. R. 1776 amended as hereinbefore set forth and recommend that it do pass.
CLAIMS OF SISSETON AND WAHPETON BANDS OF SIOUX
APRIL 3, 1916.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House and ordered to be
Mr. STEPHENS of Mississippi, from the Committee on Claims, sub
mitted the following
(To accompany S. 585.)
The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (S. 585) conferring jurisdiction on the Court of Claims to hear, determine, and render judgment in claims of the Sisseton and Wahpeton Bands of Sioux Indians against the United States, having considered the same, report thereon with a recommendation that it do
pass. Senate bill 585 is identical with H. R. 6022, which was the subject of a favorable report (H. Rept. No. 245) under date of February 21, 1916, and H. R. 6022 is No. 79 on the Private Calendar of the House. Reference is therefore made to Senate Report No. 123 and House Report No. 245 in connection with this bill.