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Statement of the Case.
the value of certain lands in Kansas, set apart for these Indians, and subsequently sold by the United States, as well as for certain amounts of money agreed to be paid upon their removal.
These claims were referred, under the act of March 3, 1883, known as the “Bowman Act," to the Court of Claims. That court reported its findings to the Senate, January 16, 1892, and thereupon, on January 28, 1893, Congress passed an act to authorize the Court of Claims to hear and determine these claims and to enter up judgment as if it had original jurisdiction of the case without regard to the statute of limitations. There was a further provision, that from any judgment rendered by that court, either party might appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States.
The petition, which was filed on February 10, 1893, set forth as the substance of the treaty that the claimants ceded and relinquished to the United States all their right, title and interest in and to certain lands of the claimants at Green Bay, State of Wisconsin, and in consideration of such cession and relinquishment the United States, in and by the said treaty, agreed and guaranteed as follows:
First. To set aside, as a permanent home for all of the claimants, a certain tract of country west of the Mississippi River, described by metes and bounds, and to include eighteen hundred and twenty-four thousand (1,824,000) acres of land, the same to be divided among the different tribes, nations or bands of the claimants in severalty, according to the number of individuals in each tribe, as set forth in a certain schedule annexed to the said treaty, and designated as Schedule A, upon condition that such of the claimants as should not accept, and agree to remove to the country set apart for them within five years, or such other time as the President might from time to time appoint, should forfeit to the United States all interest in the lands so set apart.
Secondly. The United States agreed to protect and defend the claimants in the peaceable possession and enjoyment of their new homes and to secure their right to establish their own government, subject to the legislation of Congress respecting trade and intercourse with the Indians.
Statement of the Case.
Thirdly. The United States agreed that the lands secured to the claimants by the treaty should never be included in any State or Territory of the Union.
Fourthly. The United States agreed to pay to the several tribes or nations of the claimants, hereinafter mentioned, on their removal west, the following sums respectively, namely: To the St. Regis tribe, five thousand dollars ($5000); to the Seneca nation, the income annually of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), (being part of the money due said nation for lands sold by them in New York, and which sum they authorized to be paid to the United States); to the Cayugas, twenty-five hundred dollars ($2500) in cash, and the annual income of twenty-five hundred dollars ($2500); to the Onondagas, two thousand dollars ($2000) in cash, and the annual income of twenty-five hundred dollars ($2500); to the Oneidas, six thousand dollars ($6000) in cash, and to the Tuscaroras, three thousand dollars ($3000).
Fiftbly. The United States agreed to appropriate the sum of four hundred thousand dollars, ($400,000) to be applied from time to time by the President of the United States for the following purposes, namely: To aid the claimants in removing to their new homes and supporting themselves the first year after their removal; to encourage and assist them in being taught to cultivate their landş; to aid them in erecting mills and other necessary houses; to aid them in purchasing domestic animals and farming utensils and in acquiring a knowledge of the mechanic arts.
By a supplemental article the St. Regis Indians were allowed to remove to the said country if they so desired, but were exempted from obligation so to do.
The treaty of Buffalo Creek having been duly assented to by all the parties thereto, was afterwards on, to wit, the 4th day of April, A.D. 1840, duly proclaimed; and certain disputes thereunder having arisen, it was afterwards modified in some particulars not having reference to the matter of this claim, and as so modified was again proclaimed on, to wit, the 26th day of August, 1842.
The petition further alleged that at the time of the making
Statement of the Case.
of the treaty of Buffalo Creek aforesaid, and for many years prior thereto, the claimants owned and occupied valuable tracts of land in the State of New York, and had improved and cultivated the same and resided thereon, and from the products thereof chiefly sustained themselves.
That the President of the United States never prescribed any
time for ine removal of the claimants, or any of them, to the lands, or any of them, set apart by the treaty of Buffalo Creek, and no provision of any kind was ever made for the actual removal of more than about two hundred and sixty individuals of the claimant tribes, as contemplated by the said treaty; and of this number only thirty-two ever received patents or certificates of allotment of any of the lands mentioned in the first article of the said treaty, and the land allotted to those thirty-two was at the rate of 320 acres each, or 10,240 acres in all.
That after the conclusion of the said treaty of Buffalo Creek the United States surveyed and made part of the public domain the lands at Green Bay, ceded by the claimants, and sold or otherwise disposed of and conveyed the same and received the consideration therefor.
That the lands west of the Mississippi River; secured to the claimants by the said treaty of Buffalo Creek, were set apart by the United States and designated upon the land maps thereof as the New York Indian reservation, and so remained until in, or about the year A.D. 1860, at which time the United States surveyed and made part of the public domain the lands aforesaid, and the same were sold or otherwise disposed of by the United States, which received the entire consideration therefor; and the said lands thereafter were, and now are, included within the territorial limits of the State of Kansas. The said lands at the time the same were so appro priated by the United States were of great value, to wit, of the value of one dollar and twenty-five cents ($1.25) per acre and upwards.
That the action of the United States in appropriating the said lands as aforesaid was in pursuance of the proclamations of the President, of date December 3 and 17, 1860, and grew
Statement of the Case.
out of an order of the Secretary of the Iliterior of the 21st day of March, A.D. 1859; and between the said last-mentioned date and the proclamation of the said lands aforesaid the claimants employed counsel to protect and prosecute their claims in the premises, and asserted that the United States had seized upon the said lands contrary to the obligations of the said treaty, and would not permit the said claimants to occupy the same or make any disposition thereof, and the claimants have steadily since asserted said claim in the premises.
That of the sum of $400,000, agreed by the treaty of Buffalo Creek to be appropriated by the United States for the purposes aforesaid, only the sum of $20,477.50 was ever so appropriated, except as hereinafter stated, and of this sum only $9464.08 was actually expended.
The petition further alleged that the Tonawanda band had been paid $256,000 for their interest in the land; that settlement had also been had with the Senecas, and that a special act had been passed authorizing the Court of Claims to find the facts and enter up judgment, without interest, and that the statute of limitations should not be pleaded as a bar to any recovery.
The petition concluded with a demand for a judgment for the value of the lands and for the amounts that were to be paid in cash.
The Court of Claims found the facts stated in the margin,"
1 FINDINGS OF FACT. 1. In 1780 the Six Nations of “ New York Indians" consisted of the following nations or tribes : Senecas, Cayugas, Onondagas, Oneidas, Tuscaroras and Mohawks. The Mohawks soon after withdrew to Canada, relinquishing to New York all claim to lands in that State.
The court decide that the Indians described in the jurisdictional act sending this case to this court as "the New York Indians, being those Indians who were parties to the treaty of Buffalo Creek, New York, on the 15th of January, 1838,” were the following: Senecas, Onondagas, Onondagas residing on the Seneca reservation, Onondagas at Onondaga, Cayugas, Cayugas residing on the Seneca reservation, Cayuga Indians residing in the State of New York, Tuscaroras, Tuscaroras residing in the State of New York, Oneidas. residing in New York, at Green Bay (Wisconsin), and in the
Statement of the Case.
together with others which are not deemed material to the consideration of the case, and also found as a conclusion of law from these facts that the petition should be dismissed, whereupon the claimants appealed to this court.
Seneca reservation, Oneidas, St. Regis, St. Regis in New York, the American party of the St. Regis residing in the State of New York, Stockbridges, Munsees, Brothertowns.
2. Some of the New York Indians between 1810 and 1816 petitioned the President of the United States for leave to purchase reservations of their Western brethren with the privilege of removing to and occupying the same without changing their existing relations and treaties with the government or their right to the annuities promised in those treaties. (February 12, 1816, the Secretary of War, by authority of the President, gave bis permission.) In 1820 and 1821 defendants aided some ten Indians, representing plaintiffs, in exploring certain parts of Wisconsin with a view to making arrangements with the Indians residing there for a portion of their country to be inhabited hy such of the Six Nations as might choose to emigrate thither. Among the petitioners for leave to purchase reservations were the Onondagas, Senecas, Cayugas and Oneida nations of New York Indians.
August 18, 1821, the Menominees and Winnebago nations, in consideration of $2000, chiefly in goods, ceded, released and quitclaimed all their right, title and claim in certain lands near Green Bay, Wisconsin, amounting to about 500,000 acres, to the Six Nations and the St. Regis, Stockbridge and Munsee tribes, reserving the right of fishing and the right to occupy a necessary proportion of the lands for the purposes of hunting, provided that in such use and occupation no waste or depredation should be committed on lands under improvement."
The President's approval of the arrangement found in the treaty of August 18, 1821, was signified February 19, 1822, as follows:
“The within arrangement, entered into between the Six Nations, the St. Regis, Stockbridge and Munsee nations, of the one part, and the Menomi. nees and Winnebagoes of the other, is approved, with the express understanding that the lands thereby conveyed to the Six Nations, the St. Regis, Stockbridge and Munsee nations are to be held by them in the same manner as they were previously held by the Menominees and Winnebagoes.
“JAMES MONROE. “February 19, 1822."
The $2000 above mentioned was thus paid : In goods, $900 from the Stockbridges, $400 from the Oneidas, $200 from the Tuscaroras; in cash, $500. The Senecas subsequently denied that they had any title to any lands in Wisconsin. It does not appear that the Cayugas or Onondagas claimed any interest in the lands prior to 1860.
3. Permission to secure an extension of the cession in the preceding