Page 7

Creation of Corporations 

     After September, 1902, when the Supplemental Treaty became law, providing that all full-bloods in Mississippi were entitled to allotment in the Indian Territory irrespective of their conformity to the 14th article of the treaty of 1830, the eyes of fortune seekers were turned toward the full-bloods. Heretofore no exclusive effort had been made in their interest, because of certain difficulties.  Full-bloods could not be aroused to any great extent by the arguments of the real estate agents, and frequently they were utterly indifferent to all inducements held out to them. The country was too far away, and the claims were too vague for their indolent and ignorant minds to comprehend, and when once their ardor was kindled it was soon cooled off. These facts account for the repudiation by them of their contracts with one agent upon the appearance of another. 

     But probably a still greater difficulty, experienced in the removal of the full-bloods, was their extreme poverty. Not only was it impossible to secure any advances for services to be rendered them in the prosecution of their claims, but nothing could be hoped for till the claims were finally consummated, and the claimants were bona fide residents of the Indian Territory, securely located on their allotments. 

     Nor was this all. As the Choctaws were unable to move to their western home, money had to be advanced to them from the very start.  They probably required some small sums at the outset as an earnest, their transportation had to be paid to the Indian Territory. They had to be clothed and fed in their new home for some time after their arrival, and money would have to be advanced in order to sustain them and their families as well as to improve their allotment. 

     These impediments were too great for the small concerns which had heretofore been so persistent in helping the Mississippi Choctaws perfect their claims. Some smaller concerns went out of business; others merged into larger establishments, in which the original promoters furnished the experience and usually worked for a salary. In this way united action on a larger scale was resorted to for the removal of the full-bloods. 

     To meet this demand corporations were created, capitalized at hundreds of thousands of dollars, and authorized to engage in prosecuting the claims of the Mississippi Choctaws and in locating them on their claims. Agents were sent into the field and lawyers, into the forum. The lawyer and the agent both realized more than when working for themselves, and generally conducted a more legitimate business. 

     The money advanced soon collected the Mississippi Choctaws with their families at their nearest railway stations. Special arrangements were made with railroad officials for through coaches and cheap transportation. A coach was loaded with Mississippi Choctaws and headed for the Indian Territory. That carload was landed as is a drove of Kentucky mules, the goods were delivered and the agent was off at once for another carload. 

     This removal was kept up during the six months of 1902 and 1903 provided for in the Supplemental Treaty. As the most important work of this kind was done by a concern with headquarters at Ardmore, Indian Territory, the greater number of Mississippi Choctaws found themselves in the vicinity of that city.  There they were cared for after a fashion until the land offices were opened for allotment.

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Copyright 2001 - All Rights Reserved
Ellen Pack