Cherokee Commission

Sacramento Daily Record-Union., March 20, 1889
Sacramento, Calif. 1875-1891

    Caldwell, Kan., March 19th.— The semi-annual meeting of the Cherokee Strip Live Stock Association was called to order this afternoon by President Hewing. J. B. Mayes, Chief of the Cherokees, made an address in which he assured the members of the Association that they need have no fear in regard to retaining possession of the land ; that they had leased it for five years, and there was nothing that could remove them as long as they paid their rent.
    After the speeches an opportunity was given all those desiring to ask the Chief questions. Among the questions asked was his opinion in regard to the Cherokee Commission, to which he replied:
    "That will amount to nothing. All they will do is to come down here and have agood time. We will not sell for $1.25 per acre."
    Another asked what they would do if the soldiers attempted to remove them, to which Chief Mayes replied : "It will be an easy matter to stop that. If the soldiers attempt to put you out, all that will be necessary is to serve an injunction on them."
    Another asked : "What will we do with the boomers?"
    Mayes replied : "We will take care of the boomers. You stay with us and we will stay with you."
    At the conclusion of Mayes' speech Snyder, a wealthy Kansas City cattle man, made a motion that the Chief be elected an honorary member of the Association, which was carried.

The Salt Lake Herald., March 30, 1889
Salt Lake City, Utah 1870-1909
The Cherokee Commission

    WASHINGTON, March 29.—The President today appointed J. Otis Humphrey, Illinois; Alfred M. Wilson, Arkansas; and ex Governor George D. Robinson, Massachusetts; a commission to treat with the Cherokee and other Indians in relation to opening their portion of the Oklahoma country. The commission is appointed under the terms of the Indian bill

New-York tribune., April 09, 1889
New York, N.Y. 1866-1924

Washington, April 8.—It is learned that the members of the Commission recently appointed to negotiate with the Cherokee and other Indlan tribes for a cession of their lands in the Indian Territory will meet in Washlngton early next week to receive their instructions from Secretary Noble. It is understood that the Commission will first direct its attentiom to the Cherokee strip, which contains about 6,000,000 acres, and if no unexpected obstacles are encountered all nccessary relinquisments will have been obtained by June 10.

St. Paul Daily Globe., May 02, 1889
Saint Paul, Minn. 1884-1896
    Washington, May 1.— Officials in the interior department acquainted with the recent negotiations with the Sioux Indians for the cession of 11,000,000 acres of their land to the United States are not sanguine of the success of the present commission. This commission is governed by practically the same law as the former commission, except in the matter of price for the land. The former commission was only authorized to pay 50 cents per acre, while the present commission can pay $1.25 per acre. The Indians refused to sell for 50 cents before, and the commission brought them to Washington to confer with Secretary Vilas. He offered them $ 1 per acre, subject to the ratification by congress of his action The Indians refused this and demanded $1.50, and it is not now believed they will take $1.25, and about all the commission can hope to accomplish is to secure a treaty from them, naming the price they will take, and then ask congress to appropriate it. Like trouble is anticipated with the work of the Cherokee commission. Both commissions will meet here next week to receive final instructions before proceeding West.

The Salt Lake Herald., May 18, 1889
Salt Lake City, Utah 1870-1909
Chief Mays of the Cherokees

    ST Louis May 17.,—The latest information from the Cherokee nation is to the effect that Chief Mays has taken no action in the matter of furnishing facilities for the transaction of business by the Cherokee commission which is expected there on the 25th inst. to negotiate for the purchase of Indian lands. He declined to call the national council in special session to consider that the matter, but says he will submit to that body at its regular any proposition the committee may make.

Pittsburg Dispatch., May 26, 1889
Pittsburg, Pa. 1880-1923
    Guthrie, May 25.,—On the 15th of May I received a letter from Hon. A. M. "Wilson, a member of the Cherokee commission, in which he said: "I have received no instructions from the Interior Department, but presume that I will as soon as the vacancy in our commission is filled. I may also mention that there are no commissioners on the part of the Cherokees, and until there are I presume a trip to Tahlequah by the United States Commission would be useless. Yet we might be ordered there so far as I know."
    So I concluded it would be a matter of some time until the commissioners would arrive in Tahlequah to negotiate with the Indians, and, therefore, in company with Mr. Stephen, the photographer, I set out upon the journev "home" to Guthrie. Two miles out from the pretty little capital of the Cherokees we met a party of Osages who were on their way to Tahlequah to meet in council with the Cherokees regarding the coming conference with the United States Commissioners. The party consisted of Euzaa-Tah-Wah-Tah-Inkah, Governor; Savey, chief and Ne-Kah-Wah-Shin-Ten-Kah, leading councilmen. and W. P. Mathes, interpreter. The Indians were a fine looking set ot men. The two councilinen were especially fine looking. They were six feet high and proportionately well formed. They wore long hair, and had aquiline noses and small, piercing black eyes. They had arrayed themselves in all of their finery for this occasion it was to be a very"' courtly affair. In crossing a pool of water some mud was splased on the chief's handsome blanket, which seemed to annoy him very much. He carefully brushed each particle of mud from his blanket, and the party then rode on.

Fort Worth Daily Gazette., July 27, 1889
Fort Worth, Tex. 1882-1891

What Chief Mays Says of Harrisons Cherokee Commission

Some of the Commissioners Not Aware that the Cherokees Have a Constitutional Government

He Hopes They Will Go Home with the Belief that the Cherokees Are Civilized–A Professional Crank


Special to the Gazette
    Tahlequah, I. T., July 26.—Chief Mays was found in his apartments this afternoon but refused to give his ideas as to what action will be taken upon the offers of the Cherokee commission.
    "My idea is that they will not consider any proposition whatever," he said. "I have never received any instructions and do not know what they will do or what they expect to accomplish. I only know it is supposed they are coming in regard to the sale of the land. I refuse to say whether I am in favor of selling or not but everybody will know in a few days, I will only say that if we want to sell we can get a good deal better price than I am told they will pay for it. I can secure $3 an acre or more."
    "Is there any foundation to the claim of the Cheyennes and Arrapahoes to owning 4,000,000 acres of the Cherokee outlet?"
    "None whatever. I do not think that we will have any trouble at all in settling that part of the question or in regard to tho Cherokees having the best title to the strip. I will say that while such men as Congressman Perkins will uphold this idea those who are perfectly acquainted with Cherokee affairs will not. I am personally acquainted with Perkins and know him to be a professional crank on this subject. Even the men who compose this commission are not acquainted with the present condition of the Cherokees and to my certain knowledge some of them did not know the Cherokees have a constitutional form of government based upon that of the United States. In conclusion I hope that the commissioners may accomplish a good work and that they will leave with the impression upon their minds that the Cherokees are a civilized people.


Tho Hard Feelings Between the Creeks and Cherokees Grow More Bitter

    Fort Gibson, I. T., July 26. —The Cherokee commission was met here yesterday by a delegation of Creek Indians headed by Indian Agent Bennet who asked that the Creeks be heard at once in reference to certain technical matters concerning the sale of their remaining land. The request was granted and Gen. Fairchild has arranged to meet the Creeks at Muscogee today. The hard feeling between the Creeks and Cherokees grows more bitter as the pending negotiations come to a focus. The Cherokees upbraid the Creeks for the Oklahoma deal and their indignation increases as the Creeks make further preparation to sell. The Cherokees are almost a unit in their opposition to any and all transactions by which their lands are to be marketed. Chief Mayes demonstrated a firmness in refusing to call the council that bids fair to handicap the labors of the commission at their outset. He is reported to have publicly stated to the commanding officers at Fort Gibson that he would not call an extra session under any circumstances. Gen. Fairchild expressed a desire to confer with the chief at Tahlequah as soon as possible ostensibly with the object of inducing him to call an extra session at once. During the delay that must ensue before the delegates assemble the general says the commission will go to the Cheyenne and Araphoe agencies to consider their claims in the Cherokee strip. The most important facts that have occurred to the commission thus far are the length to which their negotiations must necessarily extend and the hostility demonstrated by the Cherokee authorities. It may be several months before preliminary negotiations can be opened. The commission goes to Muskogee to-day.


Special to the Gazette
    MUSKOGEE, I. T., July 26—Two members of the commission appointed to confer with the Cherokees in regard to their lands west of 96 degs., Hon A. M. Wilson of Arkansas and Governor Fairchilds of Wisconsin, were driven over this morning from Fort Gibson, where they arrived yesterday, to this place and are now the guests of ex-United States Indian Agent Owens. They leave at 8 o'clock this evening for Tahlequah, going by the way of Wagoner, where they will be met by ex-Governor Hartranft of Pennsylvania, the other member of the commission.

Fort Worth Daily Gazette., August 01, 1889
Fort Worth, Tex. 1882-1891

Cherokee Politicians Discuss the State of the Nation

Both Factions are Opposed to the Sale

of the Cherokee Strip—The Commissioners Meet

They will Make a Proposition to Buy the Strip for a Dollar and Twenty-Five Cents an Acre—Barbecue In Their Honor

Special to tho Gazette
    Tahlequah, I. T., July 31—A great political meeting has just ended at this place.
    At least two thousand five hundred people have listened to the opinions of prominent Cherokees on the present condition of this people.
The Cherokee commission, including their secretary, were given prominent places and listened very attentively to every word said.
    They expressed themselves as being well pleased with the whole affair.
    After the speaking which ended at 2 o'clock dinner was served and places of honor were reserved for the commission ers.
    Five beeves were killed for the occasion at the expense of the political party under Downing.
    Prominent members of both political parties accused each other bitterly but no disturbance was caused and the whole affair was very quiet and orderly.
    The commissioners were more than anxious to suspend their opening session, which was to have taken place this morning at 10 o"clock, until night.
    Every speaker who spoke on the Cherokee Strip opposed the sale, and especially at $1.25 per acre.
    Both parties are bitterly opposed to the sale and the discussion of this subject was the main topic of the day.
    Later—5:30 p. m.—The commission had a very formal meeting at this hour but adjourned until to morrow at 10 o'clock.
    In conversation with Horace Sutt, the secretary of the commission, he said that in the morning they would make a proposition to buy the Strip for $1.25 per acre, and would request the chief to assign the day he would answer them.

Fort Worth Daily Gazette., August 02, 1889
Fort Worth, Tex. 1882-1891

The Cherokee Commissioners Addres Chief Mayes Officially
Uncle Sam's Proposition to the Indians to Sell Out Will be Submitted To-Day—Per Capita Money at Hand

Special to the Gazette
    TAHLEQUAH, I. T., Aug. 1.—The chief is considering the proposition made by the commissioners last night who declare that its contents will not be made public until the chief is ready to answer it. It was left with him to decide when the next business session would be held and the agents of the United States government are quietly awaiting his action. On being asked by a reporter when he would call the meeting he said, "I do not know, but just as soon as I have time to consider this proposition, for I do not want to delay the business of the commission.
    At this moment the chief opened a copy of the Fort Worth Gazette and said he wanted to correct a mistake in regard to not having received any information from any member of the Cherokee commission of their coming. He said: "I received a letter from Gen. Fairchilds written at Fort Gibson and dated July 25, but I did not receive it until last Monday the day the commission arrived. The people are in the midst of a great political fight and are not giving their attention only to the business of the commission but mostly to the coming election which is next Monday."
    Each member of the commission recognized this fact and did not feel the least discouraged on account of their actions. Gen Fairchild and ex-Governor Hartealt spent the day in reading. Judge Wilson engaged himself by walking about and conversing with his friends at this place. He is well acquainted here and is a great friend of every Cherokee.
    At a late hour a reporter secured a copy of the first letter of business between Chief Mayes and the commission. The letter from the commission was submitted last night and was answered late this evening.
To Hon. Joel B. Mayes, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.
    The undersigned commissioners appointed by the president of the United States under act of congress dated March 31, 1889, to treat with the Cherokee and other Indians owning or claiming lands west of tho 96 longitude in the Indian Territory for the secession to the United States of their title claims and interests of any kind or character in or to said lands, are authorized to submit to the Cherokee nation a proposition by which they shall cede to the United States in the manner and with the effects aforesaid all their rights in said land upon the same terms as provided in the agreement made with the Creek Indians of date July 9, 1889, and ratified by congress at its last session. The commissioners are now ready to submit to the Cherokee nation the proposition above stated and they respectfully request that they be informed when and to whom the same be submitted. Your obedient servants.
Lucius Fairchild
Affred Wilson
J F Hartealt

The following is the reply of Chief Mayes:
"Hon. Lucius Fairhild, Alfred Wilson, J. F. Hartealt:
"Sirs—I have the honor to be in receipt of your favor of the 31st ult., stating that you had been appointed by the president of the United States under act of congress of March 31 1S89 to treat with the Cherokees and other Indians owning or claiming lands west of the 96th degree of longitude in the Indian Territory for the cession to the United States of their title, claim and interest of every kind and character in said land, and were authorized to submit to the Cherokee nation the proposition that said nation shall cede to the United States in the manner and with effect aforesaid all the right of said nation in the said land upon the same plan as is provided in the agreoment made with the Creek Indians, dated January 19, 1889, and ratified by congress at its last session, and requesting to be informed upon what day and to whom the same may be submitted.
    "In response to this inquiry you are respectfully advised that any hour convenient as principal chief of the Cherokee nation I can receive from you such propositions as you may see proper to submit. In this connection it will be approved by this department if you will make explicit your presentation of the subject when you submit it giving full details or the law under which you act.
    "I have the honor to be very respectfully.
[Signed] JBMayes"     Horace Seed, secretary of the commission, said that the commission would make their proposition in full tomorrow morning giving in full every detail as regards to title, etc.
    Hon. R. B. Ross, treasurer of the Cherokee nation, arrived here this evening with $55,000, the annual fund from the United States government.

Fort Worth Daily Gazette., August 04, 1889
Fort Worth, Tex. 1882-1891

The Title to the Cherokee Strip the Subject of Investigation.

TAHLEQUAH, I. T., Aug 3.—The Cherokee commission held a secret conference with Chief Mayes and his advisors yesterday. The commissioners explained their position in detail. Chief Mayes said he hoped to be able to satisfy them that the Cherokee title to the Strip was absolute and it had been so decided by Justice Parker of Arkansas and others. The government itself had time and again recognized their perfect title to the strip. The commissioners will spend several days in examining and discussing with Chief Mayes and his cabinet the main treaties and their construction. If at the end of this time Chief Mayes has been unable to convince the commissioners of the Indians' perfect title to the strip, and if the commissioners insist on negotiating with the Cherokees through the medium of the national council as the proper medium, Chief Mayes will invite them to meet the council at its next regular meeting in November.

Sacramento Daily Record-Union., August 14, 1889
Sacramento, Calif. 1875-1891

The Commissioners Waiting for a Reply from Chief Mays.

Tahliquah, (Ind. T ), August 13th.—For the last week the Cherokee Commission has been waiting for Chief Mays' reply to the Government's offer of $1.25 per acre for the strip, but no answer has been returned. Chief Mays and his Cabinet were in consultation yesterday, and the reply is almost sure to-day. His policy will be one of delay. He will say that nothing can result from further negotiation now, and that the Constitution of the Cherokee Nation for bids the sale of any of the nation's land. He will also ask the Commission to make this proposition more specific, so that when he and his Cabinet bear it before the regular meeting of the Council next November there will be no misunderstanding. The refusal of Chief Mays to treat with the Commission any further is regarded with apprehension by some of the prominent Cherokees. Complications are liable to rise on every hand when tbe Commission visits the other tribes. The Cheyennes and Arapahoes claim part of the strip and are eager for a visit from the Commission to present their claims. The Commission will probably leave here soon to visit the other tribes of the Territory. The delay which Chief Mays has imposed may also induce Congress to take speedy measures and settle the wild tribe on the strip according to the treaty of 186O made with the Cherokee Nation.

Sacramento Daily Record-Union., October 26, 1889
Sacramento, Calif. 1875-1891

Important Points Said to Have Been Indirectly Secured.

Little Rock, (Ark.), October 25th.—Advices received this morning from Indian Territory say that, although the Cherokee Commission failed to accomplish any direct result at the recent negotiations with the Sac and Fox Indians, important points have been indirectly gained, as the Indians, since the visit of the Commission, have been holding meetings and discussing the question of selling their land. The views expressed show the Indians to be gradually reaching the conclusion that the sale is in evitable.

Oklahoma (Ind. T.), October 25th.—The Cherokee Commissioners have arrived here. They were met by W. H. Melton from the Cherokee Nation, who reports that the sentiment there is now strongly in favor of selling the strip for $1 25 per acre. The Commissioners are well pleased with the outlook.

St. Paul Daily Globe., October 30, 1889
Saint Paul, Minn. 1884-1896

The Advice Chief Mayes Will Give to the Cherokees.

Tahlequah, I. T., Oct. 29.—Chief Mayes, of the Cherokee nation, has arrived here to be present at the annual meeting jof the council, to be held here next Tuesday. In regard to the sale of the Cherokee outlet, he said to a reporter that his message to the council had been prepared since his return here from Kansas City and Independence, Mo., where he had been to consult with the cattle men and others concerning the lease of the lands. He said his message would review the history of the lands, and would give a frank statement to the members of the council of the facts in the case, which, since he had gained a more complete knowledge of the government's rights in the premises, convinced him that the best thing they, the Indians, could do would be to accept .the government's offer of $1.25 per acre and the allotment of lands in several His message would contain this recommendation and he had no doubt that the council would adopt it. Ex-Chief Bushyhead is also here. He and Chief Mayes had a long conference this morning and the result was that Bushyhead had promised to use his influence with the council to persuade it to accept the government's offer. Bushyhead has always, heretofore, been the strongest opponent to the sale of the lands. The prospects are now that the commission will have little difficulty in their dealings with the council and that the government's offer will be accepted.

St. Paul Daily Globe., December 21, 1889
Saint Paul, Minn. 1884-1896

They Will Take No Further Notice of the Federal Commission.

    Tahlequah, Tnd. Ter., Dec. 19.—Hon. Warren G. Sayre. the only member of the Cherokee commission now in the city, Messrs. Fairchild and Wilson being in the Choctaw nation, addressed a communication to the council to-day, asking if they could give him any information as to whether any answer would be given to the government's proposition to buy the Cherokee outlet. This was made the occasion for an attack upon the commissioners in a renewal of the recent quarrel. Senator Bill took exception to the council's considering Commissioner Sayre'a communication at all. It had not come through the proper channel. The commission before had attempted to cause a rupture between Chief Mayes and the council by sending letters to it over his head, and the senate ought to let them know that they would countenance no such methods of procedure. One member of the commission had no authority to address the council. If that were permitted, soon the commission's stenographer and next the commission's bootblack would be addressing communications to them. They had not treated the Cherokees fairly. They had bulldozed then and threatened them. The speaker concluded by advising the Indians to cease negotiations altogether– "If they intend to rob us of our land, I say let them go ahead and do it," he said.
    Finally Senator Roos' motion that a committee of five from the lower and three from the upper house be appointed to return an answer to the government in its proposition. Chief Mayes to-day sent a message to the legislature informing it that it had been in session long enough; and if it did not adjourn pretty soon he would adjourn it himself. It is thought adjournment will be had on Saturday. The Indians now regard the negotiations between the council and the commission at a close, and will take no action on the government's proposition.

The Salt Lake Herald., December 31, 1889
Salt Lake City, Utah 1870-1909
Purported Cherokee Commission Report

St. Louis, Dec. 30.—What purports to be a synopsis of the Cherokee commissioners report to Congress is printed here. It characterizes the dilatory tactics of the Cherokees as a gross discourtesy to the government and denounces the action of the cattlemen in making fictitious bids for Indian lands. The report recommends that the government avail itself of its undeniable right under section 15 of the treaty of 1866, to settle civilized Indians on unoccupied lands in the Cherokee nation proper, and the payment of such a sum as shall be agreed upon by the Indians, or in case of their disagreement the price per acre to be fixed by the President By the payment of $1,000,000 to the Cherokees fully 10,000,000 acres of land now occupied by tribes west of 96 deg. long. could be opened to settlement while on the other hand $7,000,000 expended for the Cherokee outlet would only secure 6,000,000 acres inferior in quality to the land now owned by the government, but occupied by the Indians who have no title to the soil, but only the right of occupancy at the governments pleasure. The commissioners also suggests the opinion that the alleged Cherokee nation with laws passed and administered by white men who are really United States citizens has become extinct by virtue of long continued intermarriage between Indians and whites and asks if a strict sense of justice warrants the disposition of Indian annuities and other revenue equally among white United States citizens and fullblood Cherokees.

Indian Chieftain., January 09, 1890
Vinita, Indian Territory [Okla.] 1882-1902

Commissioner Sayre Talks About the Negotiations.

Wabash, Ind., January 3, 1890.
    Hon. Warren G. Sayre, member of the Cherokee Indian commission, has returned home from the Indian Territory, and in conversation relative to the work of the commissioners says:
    "Our commission is instructed to treat with the council only, but the members of the latter body are anxious to submit the matter of the land sale to popular vote. They want the endorsement of the people, and in this are not far wrong. Chief Mayes claims to have had an offer of $18,000,000 for the lands from some white men of Independence, Mo. This is $3 per acre, and knowing that it is a crime under the United States law for private persons to offer to purchase this land from the Indian", I told Mayes the other day to go ahead, make the deeds and we should then renew our proposition to take the land at $1.25 an acre, so they could realize twice on the same property. The offer he says he has had comes from cattle owners, who are using the outlet for grazing purposes, and who thus seek to make the Indians dissatisfied and cause them to decline our proposition, the acceptance of which would open this fine pasture tract to settlement. I expect to leave for Washington next Monday and will remain there probably two weeks. The commission then returns to Tuskahoma to negotiate with the Choctaws and then goes to Tishomingo to treat with the Chickasaws. Secretary Noble thinks it will require at least two years to complete our work, and as we are paid $10 each per day, including Sunday, I guess we can bear up bravely under the burden of our duties."

Fort Worth Daily Gazette., May 13, 1890
Fort Worth, Tex. 1882-1891
Cherokee Commissioner In Harness

Guthrie, I. T., May 12—Judge A. M. Wilson member of the Cherokee commission arrived here to day and joined the two other members who reached here Saturday. All the members of the commission are sanguine of success in the coming negotiations with the Iowa Indians with whom they treat first for the sale of their lands The commission will leave for the Iowa village on Wednesday.