Testimony taken by the Committee on Indian Affairs - 1885
Testimony taken by the Committee on Indian Affairs
1885


E. B. TOWNSEND.

Washington, D. C., January 23, 1885.
E. B. TOWNSEND recalled.
By the Chairman:

Question. Where was it that you got this letter asking you to come straight back?—Answer. About sixty miles north of the Osage Agency, in the Osage Nation.
Q. You were on your way to Washington, were you not?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. At what place did you receive that message?—A. At Belknap.
Q. Where you staid all night?—A. No, sir; I did not stay there all night; I took supper there.
Q. The messenger overtook you there?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. As soon as you got back to the agency, which was late at night?—A. Pardon me, Mr. Chairman; it was not as soon as I got back. I had not been to the Sac and Fox Agency.
Q. Yon got this letter and went straight back, arriving there late at night, and Keokuck appeared before you the next morning before you got up?—A. I had not been there before. I had not been there for some weeks or months. I came from Washington to the Osage Agency, and on that trip I had not been to the Sac and Fox Agency.
Q. In response to this letter you went straight to the agency —A. After I had communicated with the Department by this telegram.
Q. How soon did you go back after you received this letter?—A. I think it was about three days.
Q. You staid at the agency over night?A. From about midnight until 10 or 11 o'clock the next morning.
Q. Where did you go when you received the letter?—A. I went to Cherryvale.
Q. That was where you received the letter, was it not?—A. No, sir; I sent the telegram from there. The place where I received the letter is seventy or eighty miles from Cherryvale. I was en route to Coffey­ville, Kans., at the time. In fact, I expected to leave the service at Cherryvale, and I waited there to communicate with Washington before going to the Sac and Fox Agency. Upon receiving that answer I felt fully justified in going to the Sac and Fox Agency.
Q. How soon after you got this letter did you turn your face Sac and Foxward

By Mr. Harrison:

Q. That was the letter of June 19?—A. Yes, sir; I telegraphed to Washington on June 27, and upon receiving the answer I started for Sac and Fox Agency.

By the Chairman:

Q. I will be obliged to repeat my question. How soon after the receipt of that letter did you start for the Sac and Fox Agency?—A. I started eight days after the receipt of that letter.
Q. Eight days?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. Where did you spend all that time?—A. At the Osage Agency.
Q. Did you telegraph from the Osage Agency?—A. No, sir; I telegraphed from Cherryvale.
Q. Where did you receive the answer?—A. At Cherryvale.
Q. How long was it after you got that letter that you received the answer to your telegram?—A. Eight days.
Q. What were you doing during the time you received the letter and the time you received the telegram?—A. If I had my diary I could give you the exact dates, but from memory I can only say that, while I was at the Osage Agency waiting for annuity goods that were on deposit in Saint Louis, which had to be transferred, I received orders to repair to Muskogee and Ockmulgee or any other place necessary to get information in regard to the Creek troubles. After going to Muskogee and Ockmulgee I returned to the Osage Agency, and remained two days. This was my second visit. I then left, as I supposed, to come to Washington.
Q. You had Mr. Pickett's letter at that time?—A. Yes, judging from the date, but I would not trust my memory. I am a little confused in the fact that this letter is dated June 19. It may have taken five or six days for it to reach me, for I was 150 miles from the Sac and Fox Agency, and the messenger had to take his time to drive that distance. It was brought by a private messenger. I think my telegram is dated the 27th of June, and I must have received the letter the same day, or possibly the 25th, allowing time for the special messenger to find me.
Q. The special messenger came from Sac and Fox Agency?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. And this letter was brought from Sac and Fox Agency?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. You are sure?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. What leads you to be so sure?—A. Well, I depend upon my memory.
Q. It seems to be directed to you at Osage Agency and mailed at Sac and Fox Agency.—A. I don't think I am mistaken about it, but I will read it again [witness examines letter].
Mr. Harrison. Mr. Chairman, he says it was sent from Sac and Fox Agency.
The Chairman. It appears to have been mailed there.
The Witness. I may have put it in another envelope, but I stand by my testimony that it came to me by private messenger, and I think I received it on the 25th or 27th of June, 1883.
The Chairman. If that is so you must have had another letter by mail.
The Witness. It is barely possible, and I may have exchanged the envelopes.

By Mr. Harrison:

Q. How does the postmark compare with the date of the letter?—A. The postmark is June 19, but that letter never reached me through the post-office.
The Chairman. It might have gone to the Osage Agency
The Witness. No, sir; it could not possibly have gone there. If it is in an envelope that bears, postmark, very likely I put it there. It is very evident, Mr. Chairman, that this is not the envelope that brought the letter. That envelope went to Osage Agency by mail. It is evidently a mistake.

By the Chairman:

Q. If the name you spoke of was left blank in the print, would you have any objection to our printing it?—A. Yes, sir. I am sorry I submitted it yesterday. I feel as if a matter of private correspondence is not a subject for public inspection. When I handed it to the Chairman yesterday I did so with the understanding that after reading it he would return it. Without any disrespect, I must insist upon my rights in the matter of my private correspondence. I have given you abundant evidence that I am willing to commit it to you, but I am not willing to gratify the idle curiosity of those who have come before this committee to abuse me.
Q. You gave as your reason yesterday that a name appeared in the letter that you did not care to have published. Was that the only reason?—A. No, sir. It is private correspondence and relates to my private affairs. I am not a lawyer, and do not appear with one.
Q. Have you any objection to letting me have it again?—A. I must decline unless you assure me that my letter will be returned. I trusted it to you yesterday as I would to a friend, with the expectation that you would return it. If the committee insist upon spreading it upon the record, I will simply ask the privilege of consulting counsel before I surrender it.
Mr. Harrison. I suppose the witness has a right to do that.
The Witness. I came here yesterday prepared to lay all the facts before the committee. I have nothing to withhold.

By the Chairman:

Q. Do you consider it a part of your province to prescribe what use we shall make of the facts?—A. No, sir; but it is my right to protect my private correspondence. I am not a lawyer, and I therefore ask the committee to give me time to consult with one.
Q. Do you decline to let me take it now?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. Is it because you are afraid you will not get it back?—A. No, sir.
Q. Why do you decline now?—A. Because it is in my possession, and I prefer to keep it. If the Chairman will assure me that it will be returned I will surrender it..

By Mr. Harrison:

Q. You mean without its being used by the committee?—A. Yes, sir.

By the Chairman:

Q. What use do you suppose I desire to make of it?—A. You want it for your own information, I suppose.
Chairman. Well, I don't care to make any terms. You can trust it with one or not.
The Witness. I mean no disrespect.
The Chairman. You will be kind enough then to put upon the record your reasons for taking back that letter and refusing to let me see it further.—A. I gave it to you yesterday and it was understood it was to be returned.
Q. Will you tell the committee why you refuse to let the Chairman see the letter further?—A. I have already said that it was private correspondence, and not a matter that pertains to public affairs.
Q. It is no more private to-day than it was when you put it into my hands, is it?—A. No, sir.
Q. What has led you to withdraw it to-day, when you offered it yes­terday?
Mr. Cameron. It is not quite fair to say that he offered it yesterday. You asked him, Mr. Chairman, if he had any objection to allowing the committee to see it.
The Chairman. He handed it to me and I showed it to the other members of the committee.
The Witness. I surrendered it upon the understanding that it should be treated as confidential. It is not to protect myself but to protect others that I make the objection.

By the Chairman:

Q. You do not propose to trust it with the Chairman any further?—A. I have not said so. I am willing to trust it with him if he is willing to return it as a private matter or confidential letter.
Q. But not unless he makes in advance this promise?—A. I am not dictating terms, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman. I asked the question.
The Witness. I am not willing to surrender my private correspondence.
Q. Are you willing to trust it with the Chairman unless he gives an express promise to return it?—A. I am not willing to trust my private correspondence with any one else.
Q. Will you be kind enough to answer the question I put to you? Are you willing to trust the Chairman again with the letter unless he first expressly promises to return it?—A. I do not choose to go upon record in that shape.
Q. Very well. You got back to the agency at some time, did you?
The Witness. Since when, sir
The Chairman. After the receipt of the letter.
The Witness. Yes, sir.
Q. And some time, about 11 or 12 o'clock at night, before you went to bed, did you see anybody?—A. I saw William Herr and two other Indians at the agency.
Q. Who were the others?—A. I cannot recollect their names.
Q. Did you see anybody else that night!—A. No, sir; I do not think I did.
Q. What was your conversation with them?—A. I asked Mr. Herr, the agency interpreter, to send the other Indians down to the Deep Fork River, where I had left the team on account of the water being so high; I wanted them to go down and have it brought up to the stable.
Q. These were all you saw that night?—A. Yes, sir; all I believe, I saw that night.
Q. Who was the first man you saw in the morning ? Was it this same man?—A. I cannot say now whether he was the first or not.
Q. He called on you before you got up, but you do not know whether he was the first you saw or not?—A. No, sir.
Q. Did more than one man call?—A. Yes, sir; Mr. Herr was with Keokuck.
Q. Did anybody else call?—A. I do not recollect now.
Q. It was so common a thing that it slipped your memory, that men called upon you before you got up in the morning?—A. I do not recollect who I saw first.
Q. You do not recollect whether you saw anybody else before Keo-kuck or O'Hara or not?
The Witness. Mr. Chairman, it is not O'Hara, it is Herr—William Herr.
Q. He is the same man that called after your arrival and whom you sent for the horses?—A. I did not send him after the horses. This man interpreted for me. I asked him to send the other Indians down to the river and bring up my horses.
Q. He is the same man you had a conversation with?—A. I had no conversation with him. He interpreted for me to another Indian.
Q. Well, you had an interview with him?—A. No, sir; I should not call it an interview.
Q. You saw him?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. You addressed him; you addressed some remarks to him?—A. I asked him to interpret for me.
Q. You had an interview with him, did you not?—A. I should not call it an interview.
Q. Well, you and he were in the same great presence?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. And some words passed between you?—A. Simply to the extent that I have stated.
Q. And that same man appeared in the morning with Keokuck?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did you ask him to see Keokuck?—A. No, sir.
Q. Did you say anything about Keokuck the night before?—A. No, sir.
Q. Did this man come to interpret for Keokuck?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. Does not Keokuck speak English.?—A. No, sir.
Q. Are you sure of that?—A. I am very sure of it. I never heard him say six words in English that I can remember. I never heard him put six words of English together.
Q. How old is he?—A. He is about sixty years old.
Q. Is he a pretty intelligent. Indian?—A. Yes, sir; yes very clear headed, and a man estimated very highly by the Indians. He has great influence with a certain portion of the Indians.
Q. I thought he was in Iowa. He was here last winter in reference to a claim the Iowas made upon the Government, and I suppose that led me to think he was from Iowa.
The Witness. I think that perhaps the Chairman is guided somewhat by the fact that a branch of the tribe is located near Tama City, Iowa.
Q. That may be my mistake. He came to you that morning, and what did he say to you?—A. He asked if I was prepared to lease or willing to lease their land.
Q. It had been communicated to you by your partner in a letter that there were a lot of men there who were red-hot to get leases, had it not?—A. My partner had written that there were men on the ground anxious to obtain leases.
Q. Did he communicate to you in any way that they were red-hot to get the leases?—A. It seems to me, Mr. Chairman, that you take advantage of my private correspondence by insisting upon an answer to that.
Q. Well, I will put it in a different form. Did anybody, in any way, communicate to you that people there already on the ground were in that condition of temper in reference to the leasing business?—A. I was advised two or three days before reaching there that there were three or four gentlemen on the ground with very strong political influence, Kansas gentlemen, who were trying to effect a lease.
Q. Were you advised from any source that there was anybody on the ground turning the attention of these parties to something else, while he could get a lease?
The Witness. I beg pardon, bat I do not apprehend the question.
Q. Were you advised before you got there that night at 11 o'clock, from any source, that there was a man already on the ground there in your interest, leading the attention of these red-hot men to something else?—A. I think I have answered the Chairman fully on that point to the best of my knowledge.
Q. Who advised you that men were there with great political influence?—A. Mr. Pickett.
Q. Did be say it was political influence?—A. It was a matter of public notoriety.
Q. Did he inform you before you got there, that there were men on the ground in this condition of temper as to the subject of the lease, and with political influence?—A. I cannot now recall the exact language.
Q. Have you no means of recalling the exact language?—A. I cannot say that I have
Q. Have you no means to recall the language by which Mr. Pickett communicated to you the exact status of things there, before you got there?—A. I am not aware that he communicated the exact status there to me. He advised me that there were men there upon the ground after the lease.
Q. You were not sure that what he said was the exact status? If he did not tell you before or after you arrived there, that there were others present in this intense anxiety to obtain this lease, tell me how it came about that the chief was brought into your presence before you got up in the morning.—A. I do not know, sir. I was not responsible for his presence; I did not send for him.
Q. You do not know how it came about that with this intense anxiety of others to obtain the lease the chief of the nation was brought to you in the morning before you got up, when you did not arrive until 11 o'clock, and did not see anybody but this interpreter?—A. Mr. Chairman, Chief Keokuck has corresponded with me during the past three or four years in regard to his own children I brought East to place at the Hampton school. I think that the knowledge that I was at the agency induced him to come and see me.
Q. You considered it a friendly call?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. A call of etiquette. Did he talk about leases? Did you not say he stated to you, "Do you want to execute this lease?" Did you not say that in substance a little while ago?—A. I have said so.
Q. What made you say it was a friendly call? Was it not a business call?
The Witness. Have I said it was a friendly call
Q. Was it not a business call?—A. I suppose it could be considered as a friendly or a business call, either.
Q. That part which related to business, I want you to testify about. How came this chief of the nation to be produced on a call, part of which was friendly and part of which was business, before you got up in the morning?—A. Well, sir, I am unable to answer that.
Q. You do not know how it happened?—A. No, sir; I do not.
Q. This was the same man you saw the night before, was he not ?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. This man you saw the last moment before you went to bed?—A. I did not see him the last moment before I went to bed.
Q. This same man you had what I call an interview with the night before. Who was with him?—A. He brought Keokuck around.
Q. Before you got up in the morning?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did not this surprise you?—A. No, sir; it was not a surprise to me.
Q. It was not an uncommon thing for people to call upon you at that hour in the morning?
The Witness. If the Chairman will permit me to answer that question, I would like to do so in my own way, if there is no objection.
The Chairman. There is no objection. It is your business and obligation to answer as you ought.
The Witness. It was no uncommon thing for Chief Keokuck and other chiefs at that and other agencies to come to see me and other officers that early in the morning and very late at night.
Q. What was the occasion before this when he ever called upon you before yon got up in the morning?—A. I do not know that I can state any occasion.
Q. Or when any other chief called?—A. Yes, sir.
Q: When was that?—A. Other chiefs have called upon me very early in the morning, perhaps not before I got up, and after I retired for the night.
Q. If this was a friendly call, it was rather early, was it not?—A. I do not know, sir.
Q. Was it not early for a merely friendly call? That part which pertained to business, you say, did not surprise you. Is that so?—A. I world like to say that the interview took place about 8 or 9 o'clock in the morning. I retired very late and I naturally slept late.
Q. It was not a very unusual thing?—A. No, sir.
Q. How long did it last?—A. It lasted for about half an hour, I should say.
Q. In your room?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did it pertain to anything else but the leases?—A. Yes, sir; he talked about his children, as he was in the habit of doing when he saw me.
Q. Was there anything unusual about the condition of his children required an interview before you got up?—A. Well, sir, it was natural that a father should wish to inquire about the condition of the health of his children.
Q. Mr. Townsend, where is your lease?—A. I have it with me.
Q. Have you any objection to showing it to the committee?—A. No, sir; I brought it for that purpose. I can furnish a copy to the committee.
Q. Has a copy been furnished to the Department?—A. Yes, sir; a copy has been provided for the Department.
Q. You regard your lease a paper of value, do you not?—A. I so re­gard it, sir.
Mr. Cameron. It will be returned, Mr. Townsend.

By Mr. Harrison:

Q. If you have a copy you can compare it with the clerk.—A. Very well, sir.
Q. What is the term of this lease?—A. The term is for ten years.
Q. What is the rental stipulated?—A. Sixty cents per head.
Q. For how many cattle?—A. For not less than 2,000, and as many as the range will carry.
Q. You paid the first money yourself?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. Will you tell us the method by which you paid it?—A. I made out a roll, taking every man, woman, and child, and divided the amount of money, $2,000, up, and paid per capita, the same as the Government requires.
Q. How much per capita was it?—A. if my memory serves me correctly, it was about $22, $23, or $24
Q. To each man, woman, and child that much?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. To whom did you pay the children's $22, or whatever it was?—A. In case of every minor child the money was paid to its parent, if it had a parent. If it had no parent, it was paid to a guardian selected by the leading men, as required by the Government.
Q. Did the Government lay down some rate by which you should pay it?—A. I was guided by the rule of the Government.
Q. They laid down no rule in this particular transaction?—A. Yes, sir; the rule for the payment in such transactions is contained in a letter of the Secretary, dated about April the 27th or 29th, 1883.
Q. To whom was that letter addressed?—A. It was addressed to Mr. Fenlon; wherein it stated that moneys paid upon such leases shall be paid per capita to every one in the tribe, and not to a favored few.
Q. Where did you get that rule in reference to the appointment of a guardian for minors who have no parents ?—A. It is customary among the Indians.
Q. That was not a rule of the Department?—A. It was a custom of the Indians, and also a rule of the Department.
Q. Was there no rule in the Department as to this payment of money you made?—A. No, sir; none except that letter. That was my guide.
Q. Did you ever show this lease to the Department?—A. I furnished a copy to the Department.
Q. When?—A. Last fall or last summer; immediately after I took possession of the range. I was upon the ground and made a careful copy and certified to it, and sent it to the Indian agent.
Q. What Indian agent?—A. The present Indian agent.
Q. What is his name?—A. Mr. Taylor.
Q. Have you ever laid it before the Department here in Washington?—A. The agent did it.
Q. Have you received anything from the Department in reference to this lease ?—A. I do not know that I have, sir, except in instructions that came to me last fall.
Q. Instructions came to you last fall?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. Who instructed you last fall?—A. The Commissioner of Indian Affairs
Q. Were you an officer of the Government last fall, to be instructed?—A. I should say a year ago last fall.
Q. A year ago last fall did you get instructions about this lease?—A. I did not say that, sir.
The Chairman. That was the question I asked.
The Witness. I understood the Chairman to ask if I had ever received anything from the Department. I went on to state that a year ago last fall I received instructions to proceed to the Sac and Fox Agency to investigate certain charges made there. These charges embodied a complaint against myself—that I was there trying to effect a lease with the Indians, and these charges also referred to a letter of the agent to the Department.
Q. Were these instructions in writing?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. You were instructed to proceed to investigate a charge against yourself?—A. No, sir; I did not say that.
Q. I understood you to say that they did involve you.—A. Yes, sir.
Q. You were sent because you were supposed to be more familiar with the subject. —A. I went under instruction from the Department.
Q. Is that an answer to the question whether you ever received any instructions in reference to this lease? I only ask if that is an answer to my question?—A. No, sir; I do not think that I ever received any communication from the Department.
Q. Have you ever received any reply at all in reference to this lease?—A. No, sir.
Q. Who was present when you made the lease and paid the Indians?—A. I think all the Indians were there.
Q. Anybody else?—A. Mr. Pickett.
Q. Who else?—A. Mr. Wells.
Q. Who is he?—A. He is interested in the trading store at that point.
Q. Is it the same store that you are interested in?—A. Yes, sir; the same store. Then David Castenburg, a clerk in the store.
Q. Anybody else?—A. I said all the Indians were there.
Q. Any white men, I mean?—A. I do not recollect. I presume not.
Q. Who counted the Indians?—A. I do not know that any one counted them.
Q. They reported there?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. Who counted the cattle?—A. I counted them myself.
Q. Then the Indians were paid by you and your partners in the presence of only the Indians and yourself and your partners, a sum of money which you determined yourself by this count. Is it not so?—A. No, sir.
Q. Who else counted the cattle beside you?—A. I do not know that anybody else did except the parties of whom I purchased them.
Q. Exactly. The amount to be paid to each individual Indian depended upon the number of cattle and the number of Indians, did it not?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. You and your partner and your clerk were the only white men that witnessed that transaction, as far as your memory runs?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. If you had not been honest men, disposed to do absolutely right with the Indians, who was there that could ever call you to account?—A. Well, sir, there were parties there who would quickly and correctly detect any irregularity; and, furthermore, I went to the agent and asked him to accompany me and witness the payment, which he declined to do.
Q. He stood outside and let you transact this business yourself?—A. I do not know whether he stood outside or inside.
Q. Not being present is the same as being outside. That would be correct, would it not? What is your estimate of it?—A. I simply know that I requested him to be present and he was not present.
Q. Did any living man know how many cattle you had, except yourself?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. Who?—A. The men from whom I purchased.
Q. Were they there?—A. No, sir.
Q. So there was no living man present who knew how many cattle you had except yourself?—A. I do not know that there was.
Q. I am not questioning your honesty; but suppose you were not honest men, had the Indians any protection from being cheated?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. What was the protection they had then?—A. Well, sir, they could detect immediately and readily any irregularity.
Q. Did they know the number of cattle?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. How did they keep the tally?—A. They did not keep any account.
Q. They trusted to your honesty?—A. Yes, sir; as far as that is con­cerned, they did, and to our papers and invoices in the matter, and I explained to the interpreter present, that at any time he wanted to see the original invoice it was at his service.
Q. I would like to have you answer the question: If you had not been honest men, who was there present at the time when you paid that money that could tell whether you paid on all or half the cattle?—A. I would like to say that this payment of $2,000 had nothing whatever to do with reference to the number of cattle then on the range.
Q. What was it for?—A. It was an advance made to the Indians three months before the lease took effect, to enable them to buy some agricultural implements, and other necessary articles, and seed, and things necessary to commence their spring work with.
Q. Upon what account did you pay it?—A. On account of the lease.
Q. Is that the only time you ever paid anything?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. So, when you come to pay the next time the honesty of that: trans-action or whether you had been honest men, there would be no means of detecting?—A. You mean the honesty of that transaction?
Q. Yes, sir; what were the means they had on hand to detect dishonesty?—A. They knew that $2,000 had been paid; they were present and saw it paid.
Q. What was there in the lease to secure the Indians from imposition?—A. There is no difficulty about that. If there is any misunderstanding or any other trouble arises, the condition is that it shall be referred to a board of arbitration. The agent and one person to be selected by the Indians and one by ourselves, to whom shall be referred all questions of dispute or otherwise.
Q. Where is your trading house situated?—A. The one in which I am interested is about 35 miles west of the agency proper.
Q. Near what?—A. Near the Sac and Fox Agency; that is the nearest point.
Q. How far is it from this range or country that you have leased?—A. It is about 5 miles from the headquarters of my range and coral.
Q. Is it on the reservation?—A. No, sir; it is on the south side of the Deep Fork, and on the land set apart for the Kickapoos.
Q. Are there any trading stations on the Iowa land proper?—A. No; none that I am aware of.
Q. Are there any trading places or stores near you?—A. Yes, sir; there is one within 15 miles.
Q. Who is it kept by?—A. By Burr & Nixon. They are within 30 or 35 miles.
Q. Have the lowas some sort of rendezvous or station?—A. Nothing of the kind, I am sorry to say. They should have, but it has never been provided.
Q. Which is the nearest to their agency of all the trading stations that you know of?—A. You mean nearest the Kickapoo Agency?
Q. Yes, sir; near their reservation?—A. Well, sir, there is very little difference between the Sac and Fox Agency and Shawneetown; they are about the same distance.
Q. How many stores are there at this Sac and Fox agency?—A. There are two stores at the Sac and Fox Agency.
Q. How many at Shawneetown?—A. Two at Shawneetown.
Q. Is your store at Shawneetown?—A. No, sir; it is not.
Q. How far is it from the store you mentioned, kept by Burr & Nixon?—A. It is about 30 or 35 miles.
Q. How far from the Iowa Reservations?—A. Thirty or thirty-five miles.
Q. Is it not within the limits of the Iowa lease?—A. No, sir; it is about, I should think, a mile removed from the southern limits of our lease.
Q. So you are a private citizen when you are on your lease, and a mile from your lease you are a licensed trader of the United States?—A. No, sir.
Q. After going a mile you become a private citizen—a lessee of the United States Government?—A. I am not aware that my status changes in the mile.
Q. You are a private citizen as one of these lessees?—A. Well, sir, I claim to be nothing but a private citizen.
Q. The lease carries you a mile from your store, and when you go to the store you are a licensed trader?—A. I am still a licensed trader, wherever I am.
Q. They could revoke your license?—A. Yes, sir; they could revoke my license at any time.
Q. You are there by authority of the United States?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. So you do change your position when you go from this lease?

By Mr. Harrison:

Q. Does your license allow you to trade with the Iowas?—A. Yes, sir.

By the Chairman:

Q. You trade with the Iowas and Kickapoos?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. Anybody else?—A. I am licensed to trade with these two tribes.
The Chairman. You might have told me that an hour ago.
The Witness. Well, Mr. Chairman , that is owing to my inability to make myself understood.
Q. The same men who are the lessees, under this lease, pay the money, according to their own account, and are at the same time, under the Government, the sole traders. That is the relation, is it not?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. And they pay their money for the cattle without any supervision. You are the sole men to pay the money under the lease, are you not?—A. No, sir.
The Chairman. I have not been able to make myself understood. You are the sole men to pay the rent per capita
The Witness. No, Sir.
Q. Who else is there?—A. The lease provides that this money shall be paid in such manner as the Commissioner of Indian Affairs shall direct.
Q. The Commissioner of Indian Affairs had given you no direction?—A. No, sir.
Q. You have paid it without direction from the Bureau?—A. No, sir; I have loaned them this $2,000 in advance.
Q. In the manner you saw fit?—A. No, sir. In the manner they directed.
Q. That the Indians directed?—A. Yes, sir; the Indian council directed.
Q. Without any direction from the Bureau?—A. No, sir.
Q. But you are the same persons solely authorized to trade with these Indians?—A. I cannot answer that question.
Q. Did not you say you were the sole traders?—A. I said I did not know.
Q. Did you not say you were the sole traders?
Mr. Cameron. He said he knew no others.

By the Chairman:

Q. There are no others, as far as you know?—A. No, sir.
Q. Then, as far as your knowledge goes, you are the sole traders?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. And the sole lessees of the land?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. And the sole parties that are to pay for the use of it?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. So far as you know?—A. No, sir.
Q. Who else besides you are lessees of their lands, as far as you know?—A. No one.
The Chairman. I get it out of you like pulling a tooth.
The Witness. I mean I paid the money with my own hand. I paid it in advance, and when we shall come to make a settlement I will ask the agent to be present, or such persons as the agent desires, and hold myself subject to their orders.
Mr. Cameron. If you desire to make any statement in connection with your own business, go on and make it in your own way.
The Witness. I do not know that I have any statement to make, further than to say that in this letter to which I have referred, known as the "Fenlon letter," I felt, so far as the policy of the Department was understood, that it not only consented to these leases, but regarded them as good for the Indians. So far as my official conduct was concerned, I honestly believed that when I placed my resignation at the disposal of the Department, I was absolutely free from official responsibility, and in view of the possibility of exposing myself to official criticism, before I took the first step, I telegraphed to the Department, through my attorney, asking whether I would jeopardize my official standing by executing the lease, my resignation having been tendered. The reply came, "No; go ahead," or words to that effect. I felt I had done all that integrity or official responsibility required, and upon that basis and theory I have acted all the way through. I had but one interview.with the Sac and Fox in this matter, and that was when they sent for me, and I told them that after I left the service of the Government I would make the lease; that if they desired to make the lease to anybody else, well and good. They decided not to lease to us, and the parties that came in competition got the leases. So it does not look as if I used my official position. Mr. Berry said I had brought all the machinery of the Government to bear. I denounce it as absolutely false. My official position had nothing to do with it. On the contrary, my proposition to these Indians was distinct from my official position. I acted honestly, and I believe I obtained a lease which was openly and fairly made, and fair and liberal and just in all its provisions. If I have exposed myself to the criticism of the committee or the public by acting under the presumption that having tendered my resignation I was free to act, I am willing to assume the responsibility and accept the criticism, but I am not willing to come here and listen to the abuse of men who become prejudiced because in discharge of my duty I have encroached upon what they believe to be their right and privilege. I have not the evidence to prove that there is a combination, but there is a combination, and to-day in your presence there are two or more men who have instituted attacks upon me, because, when in the discharge of my official duty, I have unfortunately interfered with some of their little schemes. Mr. Berry and his brother have been grazing on this same land for four or five years, and have never paid one farthing to the Indians for it. Four years ago, when I was at the Sac and Fox Agency, the Indians came and complained that the Berry cattle was grazing there, and that they were receiving no compensation. I told one of the Berrys of the complaint, and that the Sac and Fox Indians wanted them removed. He said, "At this season of the year I cannot remove them, but will do so in the spring." They are grazing there to-day, and yet this man comes here and, under oath, testifies that I have used undue and dishonorable means to obtain this lease. He has sworn that I have proffered money to the chief to obtain this lease, and I denounce it as absolutely false. He also testified that I offered to build a house for a chief, and so far as his testimony refers to me it is a tissue of falsehoods, the legitimate product of ignorance, malice, and prejudice; further than that I do not know that I can say anything except this: In justice to myself and the Department I consider it my duty to say this, that the testimony he has given shall not reflect upon the Indian Office or its head, Commissioner Price I referred to, because in his attacks upon me, he said he could not get any satisfaction from the Indian Office, and to this extent reflected upon the Commissioner. I assumed the whole responsibility, and if in doing so I have exposed myself to the criticism or censure of the committee or the public I am entirely willing to take the consequences and assume the responsibility.

By Mr. Harrison:
Q. I notice in a number of places in this lease that the original text in ink has been erased, and that it has been written in with pencil in two or three places. When was that done?—A. It was done when the lease was executed. I think it is in my own handwriting, and I think it referred to the number of cattle, which was originally 3,000, and it is now not less than 2,000.
Q. The body of the lease shows that it was for five years, with a con­dition that. it could be extended to ten years?—A. Yes, sir; there is a condition that it may be extended to ten years, and I will explain how it cane about.
Mr. Harrison. I think that you ought to explain that.
The Witness. When these Indians sent for me to execute this lease I went to see them, and, after talking the matter over, they decided they would not lease it. The question was submitted to my associate, and he talked with these Indians and the lease was not effected. On the contrary, they declined to make it, and I left the agency with the expectation that I was coming to Washington. They sent a messenger eighty miles to ask me to come back. I said I was not out of the Government service and could not spare the time, and did not think that they were disposed to lease the land; but finally they executed it, and I executed it twenty days after my resignation. Mr. Berry speaks of an interview I had with him in Arkansas City the last of January, 1884, if I recollect his testimony correctly. He said that I represented that I was coming to Washington, and when he got to the Sac and Fox Agency he found me there, and on that occasion he remembered a paper which I endeavored to get the Indians to sign, contradicting the charges which he (Berry) had made. Inasmuch as the charges were dated February 28, I do not understand the necessity to contradict them in January. I refer to this matter simply to illustrate the utter falsity of Mr. Berry's testimony. I left Arkansas City January 24 and came home to Washington, and I left Washington the 19th of March and went back. Mr. Berry swears that I represented to him that I was on the road home, and, on the contrary, turned up at the Sac and Fox Agency.

By Mr. Harrison:

Q. Mr. Townsend, as an officer of the Indian service of some experience, you would not advise, would you, turning white men in miscellaneously, without the supervision of the Department, to negotiate for these leases, would you?—A. Most assuredly not.
Q. Do not you think it leaves the Indians at a disadvantage?—A. I think the leases should be made under the supervision of the Interior Department in order to protect the Indians.
Q. While you got your leases subject to the approval of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, did you submit it immediately?—A. Yes, sir; just as quickly as I could copy it.
Q. What time did the lease go into effect?—A. The lease did not take effect until the 1st of January.
Q. Do you not think it would have been wiser to have gotten the approval of the Department before you negotiated for this lease and before driving cattle on it?—A. Well, sir, I got the approval of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs before I signed the lease.
Q. is it a good thing for these Indians to rent their entire reservation?—A. I should say not.
Q. If the policy is to make Indians self-supporting by their own labor, would you advise the leasing of their entire reservation?—A. That would depend upon circumstances. It would depend also upon the size of the reservation.
Q. What has the size to do with it if they lease the whole of it? Whatever their civilization, do you not think it would discourage them to put somebody else in possession of their entire reservation, and for them to receive annuities from others, instead of working for these things themselves?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. I see that in this lease you negotiated to put up seven rail fences and a double rider?—A. Yes, sir; and I think that induces the Indian to adopt the ways of civilization. It encourages good fencing. It encourages them to fence against other cattle besides their own upon a range. Three weeks ago I was there, and I think there are at least 6,000 or 8.000 head of cattle grazing upon the reservation, for which not one cent has been paid.
Q. Taking that into consideration, do you not think it a wise stipulation that the lessees should enclose their ground, so as to keep off other cattle?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. And the Indians should be protected by the white man's fences?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. And not have to make a seven rail and double-rider fence themselves?—A. Yes, sir; I think that a very good provision.
Q. Do you not think it tends to retard the progress of a tribe to lease its whole reservation?—A. Yes, sir; I think so, under certain circumstances.
Q. Does it not expose their fields and gardens to the mercy of cattle, unless protected by substantial fences?—A. Well, sir, these wild cattle are less liable to interfere with them than domestic cattle. Wild Texas cattle won't go near them.
Q. If you were Commissioner of Indian Affairswould you approve a lease of this kind?—A. Yes, sir. With reference to such Indians, I think so.
Q. Are they civilized?No, sir; they are not civilized; most of them are in blankets.
Q. You think it a good thing, then, to lease the entire reservation to somebody else?—A. Yes, sir; I think in case of Indians like these it is the correct thing to do. But i do not think that I should assign a reservation for the purpose of leasing it; but, at any rate, it would depend upon the condition of the Indians, as to how much of their reservation should be leased. If my own interest had been the interest of the Indians, I could not have tried more faithfully to protect them.
Q. If you were the guardian of these Indians, as a general rule, you would require some security for the payment of the rents, would you not ?—A. Yes, sir; I think the rent is secured in that lease.
Q. In what way?—A. By a lien upon the cattle.
Q. Will you please tell me of what earthly value to these blanket Indians a stipulation that they should have a lien on your cattle would be? They would all be gone before they would know it. There would be no process of law by which they could execute their lien.—A. There is no process of law by which they could proceed against it, but I think security could be had in the courts of Kansas.
Q. Do you think the Iowa, tribe would have access to the courts of Kansas in a suit against you?—A. Would not the agent do it
Q. But the agent does not seem to have made himself a party to this lease. Do not you think that these Indian lands should be leased to the highest bidder—A. Well, sir, I think the Indians .should be allowed to exercise a little discretion in the matter themselves, and be guided by the advice and assistance of their friends and the agent to make the best possible contract.
Q. You would expect to whet his intellect by letting him timid out that he had been cheated; you would put him through that schooling; your experience is that that is the way?—A. I should say not exactly in that way, sir; but the whole policy of the Government has been against teaching the Indians in that way, and in many respects the policy has been a complete failure. The condition of these. Indians is rather that of wards. It seems peculiar that the Department says we want to civilize them, and the moment the Indian asserts his manhood, the Department says, sit down; we are your guardians.
Q. You regard the policy of the Government, to that extent, defective?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. You think it a better method to permit white men to go there and lease lands of these Indians as they please?—A. No, sir.
Q. Do you think your lease is in the line of that policy you suggested?—A. Yes, sir; I do. I would like to make one further remark, to the effect that a few years ago the Department granted what was known as grazing privileges whereby they permitted men to graze upon a reservation by paying 25 or 30 cents a head for cattle.
Q. Was that paid to the Indians?— No, sir; it was paid directly to the Government and not to the Indians.
Q. Mr. Townsend, you said Mr. Berry did not mention the name of the chief with whom you made this arrangement?—A. Well, sir, he was asked to mention his name, but could not do it. As to the chief to whom mention was made by Mr. Berry or anybody else I challenge him or any other man openly to produce one person to whom I offered a dollar.

By the Chairman:

Q. Do you understand that it is the purpose of your being called here to challenge witnesses? What did you understand him to say about this chief?—A. I understand he said I promised him a house.
Q. Yes, sir; he said that. Did you understand that Keokuck told him so? Which do you understand?—A. Well, sir, I cannot say now.
Q. You denounce his statement as false?—A. Yes, sir; absolutely false.
Q. Do you pronounce it false now if he said that Keokuck told him so, or what do you pronounce to be false, that Keokuck told him so or that you offered this house to Keokuck?—A. I pronounce the statement made by Mr. Berry in reference to the matter absolutely false.
Q. Have you authority to say that it is false that Keokuck told him so?—A. I have not said that, but it is false that I have made any such offer.
Q. If he said that Keokuck told him so, do you know whether that is false?—A. I do not know anything about that. There was a man named Colonel Murray, an Indian, who reads and writes as well as any white man, who did some service for me, and I said to him, I cannot even pay you for your services, but if I can ever return what you have done by acts of kindness, I shall be glad to do it. I will be glad to pay Colonel Murray $25, and say, you have earned it honestly. I refer to this because I have enemies out there, and the testimony that has been given in here was no surprise to me.
Gentlemen, I hope I have succeeded in making a defense that has been acceptable to the committee.


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