Boarding School and Land Allotment Eras 1879-1933

1903-1905

Private trust companies attempt land dispossession in Indian Territory via Commission to the Five Tribes allotment resolutions

In 1903, the Commission to the Five Tribes proposes forbidding full-blood allottees to be accompanied by agents when choosing allotments, and allottees are prohibited from selecting widely separated land tracts. Moreover, the Commission also supports withholding particular tracts of pine-rich lands from the allottees. The Choctaw oppose the Commission’s decision to withhold the land in the pine timber region from allotment, since many allottees, particularly full-bloods, would thereby be deprived of homesteads upon which they had already built improvements and constructed homes. However, the U.S. Attorney General rules against these resolutions, stating that they violate allottees’ rights (Five Tribes, Annual Report 1904, p. 42 and ibid. [1905], pp. 36-37). Additionally, an investigation into the Commission reveals that the Commission did not act in the best interests of tribes at all; in fact, all members of the Commission, including its chairman, Tams Bixby, are high officials of various private trust companies that lease and manage estates for Indian allottees. Also implicated in the Commission land scandals are officials of the Justice Department, the Internal Revenue Bureau, the Inspector for Indian Territory, the town site commissioner, and even the U.S. Marshal for Indian Territory (Faiman-Silva, 1988).

Traumatic Event