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Mr. MERITT. There are some complications in connection with the swamp land. We are quite willing to have that come up for adjudication. Mr. BALLINGER. Well, that resulted in an order of suspension being issued in 1913, and the order of suspension and the reason therefor I am going to explain. I will ask that these papers be included in the record. The CHAIRMAN. Let me see them. Mr. BALLINGER. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. What do you propose to show by this? Mr. BALLINGER. That merely shows the order of suspension, and since that order no patents have been issued. The CHAIRMAN. Do you want that printed 2 Mr. BALLINGER. Yes, sir; in the record. The CHAIRMAN. It is so ordered. (The said order of suspension follows:)
DEPARTMENT of THE INTERIOR, Washington, November 19, 1913. The CoMMIssionER of THE GENERAL LAND OFFICE. SIR: I inclose herewith for your information, o of letter of even date, addressed to the Governor of Minnesota, with reference to the swamp-land grant to that State. Your attention is particularly directed to that portion of the letter which advises the State that the issuance of further patents to it for swamp lands has been suspended. Respectfully, A. A. Jon Es,
First Assistant Secretary.
DEPARTMENT of THE INTERIor, - Washington, November 19, 1913. Hon. ADolph O. EBERHART, Governor of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minn. MY DEAR Gover Nor: Referring to our conversation of recent date and to a communication filed in this department by the Northern Minnesota Development Association, with reference to the alleged failure of the State of Minnesota to comply with the conditions of the swamp-land act of September 28, 1850 (9 Stat., 519), as extended by the act of March 12, 1860 (12 Stat., 3), I have to direct attention to the fact that the act of September 28, 1850, supra, recites that the purpose of the grant is to enable the several States “to construct the necessary levees and drains to reclaim the swamp and overflowed lands thereon * * *,” and that section 2 of the actexpressly requires “that the proceeds of said lands, whether from sale or by direct appropriation in kind, shall be applied, exclusively, as far as necessary, to the purpose of reclaiming said lands by means of said levees and drains aforesaid.” The Northern Minnesota Development Association alleges that the State of Minnesota has ignored the foregoing conditions of the grant and diverted the proceeds of the land granted into a general school fund, failing to make provision for the reclamation and drainage of swamp and overflowed lands. Section 2 of article 8 of the constitution of the State of Minnesota provides that one-half of the proceeds of the principal of all funds derived from sale of swamp lands shall be appropriated to the common school fund of the State and the o one-half to its educational and charitable institutions. So far as can be ascertain from an examination of the statutes of Minnesota no provision has been made by the State for the devotion of the proceeds of the sales of swamp lands or by direct appropriation in kind for reclamation work. I am advised that a considerable area of swamp lands in Minnesota, said to approximate 500,000 acres, still remains unpatented, and in view of the law and the conditions hereinbefore recited, I feel it my duty to suspend the issuance of further patents under the swamp-land grant to the State of Minnesota. . In the meantime, in order that the department may be fully advised as to the situation and be enabled to determine what course should be pursued in the matter, the State is hereby requested to submit a full showing as to whether or not it has complied with the terms and con
ditions of the swamp-land grant, and if not, what steps it proposes to take looking to the performance of the trust imposed upon it in the granting act and assumed by the State when it accepted patents for lands therein granted.
Hoping to be advised that the State is ready and willing to carry out the conditions of the trust, I remain, Very truly, yours,
A. A. JONES,
First Assistant Secretary. The reason stated in the order of suspension is not the real ground for the order. The record is being treated as confidential, and therefore the statement I am now about to make is based upon the best information I have been able to obtain. A mistake was made in the survey of the ceded lands under the treaty of 1855 which resulted in somewhere between 200,000 and 1,000,000 acres of the Indian lands that were not ceded by that treaty being thrown open to entry.
Within this area the State of Minnesota erroneously obtained swamp lands under patents from the United States. The Land Office, prior to 1913, reported to the Secretary of the Interior that the State had erroneously obtained title to a large quantity of lands within that area to which it was not entitled and demanded either the restitution of that land or that the amount the State had received to which it was not entitled should be deducted from any amount the State was found by the department to be entitled to under the agreement of 1889. Here the department proposed that the State should make restitution for its ill-gotten gain, but no attempt was made to restore to the Indians or to compensate them for the lands which the Government had acquired as the result of the erroneous surveys under the treaty of 1855, and which had been disposed of. This, I am told from reliable sources, is the real cause for the issuance of the suspension order in 1913. I attach hereto. a memorandum of decisions rendered by the department and citation by file numbers of papers filed with the Secretary's Office by the Land Office relating to this controversy. If any of the members of this committee desire to obtain the exact facts they can probably obtain the record from the Solicitor's Office, access to which has been denied to the general council, and thereby obtain the exact facts.
Red Lake lands: Letter to Secretary, February 17, 1914. Appeal to Secretary, May 1, 1915. 518835 and 522509.
Mille Lac lands: August 19, 1914.
Swamp grant-State of Minnesota: Decision of Secretary of Interior, Public Lands 32,
Swamp lard grant-State of Minnesota: 22, decision of department of Interior relating to Public Lands, volume 22, page 388. Swamp land grant, Minnesota, Forest Reserve, 25, decision, Attorney General, page 626. Pecision of department of Interior relating to public lands, volume 22, page 301. Letter of A. A. Jones, assistant secretary to Commissioner of General Land Office, dated November 19, 1913, directing suspension of further issuance of patents to State for swamp lands.
It is to correct this error in the survey under the treaty of 1855, as well as to correct other errors in surveys, that provision is made in the draft of the bill submitted by the department for a resurvey.
In 1915–16 the General Council instructed its attorney to take this matter up with the department and secure final action. Petitions and briefs were filed with the department which resulted in the department taking the position, without formal decision being ren
dered, that the patents issued to the State had been erroneously issued. Correspondence with the State ensued, the department endeavoring to secure an adjustment by the voluntary return of the ceded lands by the State. This the State refused to do, and then the department assumed the position of forcing the State to commence proceedings in court to compel the department to issue patents for the remaining lands applied for. This the State has failed to do. Within #. year a suit has been prepared by the Department of Justice affecting a part of the swamp lands on the White Earth Reservation patented to the State, in which suit it is sought to test the question. The filing of that suit has been deferred pending the enactment of a general jurisdictional bill that will put the entire question before the court for decision and thus clean up the entire controversy in one suit. In the jurisdictional bill provision is made for such a suit. Mr. ELSTON. Wherein does your contention in regard to this swamp land differ from the ruling of the department? Mr. BALLINGER. We are in accord upon that, but provision is contained in the bill under consideration for a reference of this matter to a court for final decision. The report of the department on the bill contains no reference to this matter, and I am calling it to your attention so that when you gentlemen take up the bill you may understand the matter. Under the act of 1889 there were many mistakes made in the scaling of timber and the classification of the lands. Much land that was in fact pine land was classified as agricultural land, and I have the abstracts showing that the timber on those lands classed as agricultural lands later sold anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 on the 160 acres, the timber rights alone, and yet that land was classified as agricultural land. . Mr. ELSTON. Is that the land that was sold to homesteaders ? Mr. BALLINGER. Yes, sir. Mr. ELSTON. At $1.25 per acre to homesteaders? Mr. BALLINGER. Yes, sir; in the first instance the timber upon the land as shown by the official reports of the department and of Congress was o as containing about one-third of the actual amount of timber that was subsequently found upon the land, and under the act of 1889 that was put up and sold in the tree standing. It is a singular coincidence that in most of those instances where the scaling of timber was grossly inadequate, where the reports show that there was three or four times the amount of timber stated in the governmental estimates, those tracts were the first tracts that were put up and sold. which indicates conclusively that the officers of *. Government, and the timbermen up there knew what tracts had been improperly scaled. As the result of the timber administration, about which I shall not go into detail, the Indians lost several millions of dollars, and these frauds were the primary, though not the instant cause, of the uprising by the Indians in 1898, and this insurrection among the Indians resulted in a committee of Congress going out there to investigate conditions. Investigations were also made by agents of the department. The departmental report appears in House Document No. 85, Fifty-fifth Con
gress, first session, and shows the extent of the frauds that were perpetrated upon the Indians, and those reports resulted in a change in the manner of disposing of the timber as provided for in the act of 1889, by a provision included in the act of June 27, 1902, which authorized the sale of timber on bank scales instead of standing. Prior to the act of 1902 the Indians lost several millions of dollars of which amount, Mr. Chairman, it will be impossible for them ever to recover against the United States any considerable portion. And it was because of those losses and because of the erroneous surveys that were made that the Indians in the bill introduced by Congressman Ellsworth have asked Congress to stand the expense of the further administration of this estate. They can not hope ever to recover in a court because they can not get the clear proof of actual fraud sufficient to maintain their claim, and yet the reports of Congress and the reports of the department show conclusively that the Indians lost heavily in those transactions. Mr. HASTINGs. What part of that Ellsworth bill gives Congress jurisdiction in the matter of checking that proposition ? Mr. BALLINGER. Section 2 provides: SEc. 2. That as compensation for losses sustained by the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota for the failure to sell and dispose of the lands ceded to the United States in trust under the provisions of the act of January 14, 1889, and subsequently included in forest and other reserve contrary to the intent of said act, the Secretary of the Interior is hereby directed to proceed and dispose of all merchantable timber on any such lands ceded to the United States in trust under said act of January 14, 1899, remaining undisposed of, including the timber on any and all of said lands belonging to the Chippewas and within the limits of any Indian reservation, said timber to be sold under rules and regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary of the Interior, which shall conform so far as practicable to the provisions of the act of June 27, 1902 (32 Stat. at L., p. 400): Provided, That nothing herein contained shall invalidate or impair any existing valid contract for the cutting or sale of any of said timber: Peovided further, That where any such contract shall include the timber upon any land allotted under this act, the proceeds of the timber cut from any such allotted land, after the allotment is made, shall be paid to the allottees under the same conditions as other payments are made under this act.
The CHAIRMAN. Gentlemen, the time agreed upon to recess has arrived. We will recess until tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock. (The committee thereupon adjourned.)
COMMITTEE ON INDIAN AFFAIRs,
The committee on this day met, Mr. Homer P. Snyder (chairman) presiding. The CHAIRMAN. Will the committee come to order? We will resume the hearing and Mr. Ballinger will proceed with his argument. Mr. BALLINGER. Mr. Chairman, yesterday I promised to submit a copy of the authorization under which I appear here. I now submit that together with the entire record of the general council relating to the authorization. I also have with me a certified copy of the records of the general council, and they can be compared if anyone so desires. 1. CHAIRMAN. They will be inserted in the record at the proper place.
(The copy of the record referred to follows:)
MINUTES OF THE SEVENTH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE GENERAL COUNCIL OF MINNE
SOTA CHIPPEWAS HELD AT Cass LAKE, MINN., COMMENCING JULY 8, 1919.
Resolved by the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota in General Council assembled, That Webster Ballinger, attorney at law, of Washington, D. C., be, and he hereby is, appointed attorney of the general council for a period of one year with full authority to represent the general council and the committees thereof in all matters pertaining to the affairs of the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota, his compensation to be fixed by the executive committee of the general council, and to be paid, so far as practicable, out of the appropriation made for the support of the general council.
Cass LAKE, MINN., July 9, 1919. Meeting called to order by the chairman, John W. Carl, in the Rex Theater, at 7.30 p. m.
Resolution No. 6 was again read as set out on page 12 of these minutes. After explanations made by Mr. Frank D. Beaulieu in reference to the resolution, Mr. J. A. Morrison moved to adopt the resolution as read. Motion seconded by a voice.
Mr. Cajune offered an amendment to resolution No. 6 that the executive committee be stricken from the resolution and in lieu thereof to empower the council to set the amount of the compensation of Webster Ballinger. The amendment was seconded by Mr. Paul Sheehy. A prolonged discussion followed, after which Mr. Cajune withdrew his amendment, also the second was withdrawn.
A vote on this resolution was taken by raising the right hand. Result of the vote was 64 to 1 in favor of the resolution.
Mr. Frank D. Beaulieu moves to reconsider the vote, seconded by John Laundry, and the motion carried by a vote of 63 to 4.
Mr. Frank D. Beaulieu demands yea-and-nay vote on resolution No. 6. Yea-andnay vote was taken the result being:
Yea, 72; nay, 0.
Mr. BALLINGER. Mr. Chairman, during the course of my statement yesterday I probably did not make plain this act of 1904 directing or authorizing the disposition of 256,000 acres of land of the Red Lake Reservation, and, therefore, at this point I desire to submit a few observations. The inchoate agreement, so far as any record discloses, originated in the department.
The CHAIRMAN. What department?
Mr. BALLINGER. The Indian Office. A representative of the Indian Office went to the Red Lake Reservation and there negotiated this inchoate agreement which appears in full in 33 Statutes at Large, pages 46 and 27. That agreement was transmitted to Congress, and in the Indian appropriation bill approved March 3, 1903, 32 Statutes at Large, pages 1009–1010, it was embodied with modifications, the principal modification being a change in the language with reference to the disposition of the 256,000 acres of land ceded. This provision in the Indian appropriation bill concluded as follows:
Of the amount realized from the sale of said lands the sum of $300,000 shall be paid in cash, per capita, share and share alike, to each man, woman, and child belonging on said Red Lake Indian Reservation within 90 days after the sale herein provided for and the receipt by the United States of said sum from said sales, and the remainder of the proceeds of the sale of said lands shall be paid in cash, per capita, in 15 annual