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
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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