The Atoka Agreement Involved

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The extent of this proposal for freedmen`s allowance was clearly only the right to hold and use 40 hectares of land that depended on the future action of Congress. It is not the property of such a country that belongs to those released under this provision; Nor does it insist on the intention to transfer the title to such countries. It would take a highly unnatural construction of the terms of the Atoka agreement to assert that Congress` intention was to extend the granting of tax exemptions to other than those it envisioned and planned. If the subsequent legislation had extended to the same granting of land granted to persons released by the Atoka agreement and had indeed granted them allowances (such as those granted to Indian allotments), it could be said that the tax exemption granted by the terms of that agreement was continued and extended to cover free oil allowances. But no allocation was made to those released under the Atoka agreement. These allocations were made as part of the additional agreement and “as planned.” The allowances for released persons, in accordance with the provisions of the additional agreement, concerned a class of Allottees very different from that provided for by the Atoka agreement. Those released in the Atoka Agreement are those who, under the 1866 treaty, held rights over the Indian country. The released persons under the supplementary agreement are allottes, who thus benefit from land, regardless of their right under another treaty or law. The land granted by the two agreements is totally different. According to the will of Congress, the Atoka agreement grants a simple lease; by the title of the simple fee endorsement. The additional agreement did not provide for an allocation to members of the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes of Indians with a different status than they occupied under the Atoka Agreement. “As members of the tribe,” they had the right to participate in tribal areas.

Not with the freed people. Under the Atoka Agreement, those released by Chickasaw were to have temporary allocations of land whose title depended exclusively on the future definition of whether, therefore, they had been accepted by the Chickasaws in accordance with the provisions of the Treaty of 1866. The terms of the additional agreement created a new and totally different condition for those released by Chickasaw. They should be allocated independently of their Indian adoption or their rights under a previous treaty or law; this matter is referred to the appropriate court for decision. If, in accordance with the Atoka Agreement, allowances had been allocated to these persons “which they maintain and use until their rights are established under the Treaty of 1866,” all their rights, titles and interests on and on the land assigned to them would have been transferred by the court of claims decision. With the exception of the additional 1902 agreement, they would have the same status as other U.S. citizens residing in the Chickasaw Nation, for whom no land allocation is provided. The exclusive right of these applicants to the allocation of land in the Chickasaw Nation, acquired by the provisions of the endorsement, we must only pay attention to its conditions for the claimed exemption. Nowhere in this act is there, either in the express language or by the necessary involvement, of a tax exemption; Nor do the applicants argue that such a concession was granted under a provision of that act. Under the additional agreement, the only power of the Commission for the five civilized tribes with respect to those released by Chickasaw was to make a role or census of the population in accordance with the Atoka Agreement, “and to make land allocations to them in accordance with the additional agreement.” The additional agreement was ratified and confirmed by the tribes on September 25, 1902; but until April 1903, neither the Indians nor the freedmen were delivered.