Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States
INDIAN TERRITORY, The, a portion of the public lands of the United States, not organized in preparation for becoming a state, but set aside as a residence for various Indian tribes.
—That consistent friend of the Indian, Jefferson, seems to have been the first to form the idea of transferring the Indian tribes across the Mississippi to the new acquisition of Louisiana. (See his proposed Louisiana amendment,
—The capital of the Indian territory is Tahlequah, and the population is about 75,000. The leading tribes are the Cherokees (19,000), the Choctaws(16,000), the Creeks(14,000), and the Chickasaws (5,000), but there are a large number of smaller tribes. At the outbreak of the rebellion most of the tribes were divided in sympathy, and many of them formed treaties with the confederate states, but these were readmitted to their former privileges in 1865-6, slavery being abolished among them. In 1870 a convention at Ocmulgee formed a state government, with a governor; a senate composed of one member from each nation, or group of nations, having over 2,000 population; and a house of representatives, elected in the ratio of one representative to 1,000 population. This was rejected through the objections of the smaller tribes to the composition of the senate. Efforts have since been made to organize the Indian country as the territory of Oklahoma, but the Indians object to this step strongly, and congress has not yet taken it. In 1881-2 an organized expedition from southern Kansas, styling itself "the Oklahoma colony," made persistent efforts to settle in the Indian country, in defiance of the ancient prohibitions against settling there without the consent of the government; but they have as yet been intercepted and turned back by the army. The final breaking up of the Indian imperium in imperio will probably come through the agency of the treaties made by the Indians in 1866, by which they agreed to grant the right of way through their country to railroads. Interests were thus developed which almost immediately led congress to extend the revenue laws and taxation to all territory "within the bounds of the United States," although the treaties with the Indians guaranteed to them freedom from taxation. The supreme court has upheld the power of congress to thus change the treaties, and their final abrogation is evidently only a question of time.
—The act of June 30, 1834, is in 4 Stat. at Large, 729; in 2 Stat. at Large, 139, 146, will be found a summary of previous Indian acts, and supreme court decisions thereon.
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