Testimony of Mark P. Miller.
|Washington, D. C., January 13, 1885.|
Mark P. Miller sworn and examined.|
Question. Where do you reside?--Answer. I reside at Caldwell, Kans.
Q. How long have you resided there?--A. The last time about four or five years. I resided there previously. I came there twelve years ago the first time, and the last time about eight years ago.
Q. What is your business?--A. Clerk, accountant, copyist.
Q. Have you any interest in the cattle business?--A. No, sir; not a particle.
Q. Have you any knowledge of the Indian Territory?--A. Yes, sir.
Q. What is your knowledge?--A. I have been over about every pasture west of the Caldwell or Eastern Trail.
Q.Have you been connected with this association?--A. Yes, sir; I have been clerk of the board of arbitration.
Q. How long were you the clerk of the board of arbitration?--A. I was clerk as long as the board was in existence. There is no board now.
Q. Why is it no longer in existence?--A. Because all the matters before it have been disposed of.
Q. There is no complaint that has been made to them that has not been adjudicated?--A. Not that I ever heard of.
Q. How much was paid to outside people by the association as the result of the arbitration?
The Witness. I do not understand the question, senator.
Q. The board of arbitration was to adjust claims against the association, was it not?--A. No, sir. There would be two parties claiming the same range, and the duty of the board was to settle the claims of the parties. Two or more parties would contest the same range.
Q. Were there no claims made against the association by people who were crowded off this land?--A. I heard some complaint against the board made by citizens of the State that they had been crowded out.
Q. But the board did not take any jurisdiction of these matters?--A. Yes, sir; if a man thought he had any right upon that land, the board would recognize that right.
Q. How soon after the association had obtained this lease did you come into its employ?--A. The first of June, 1883.
Q. Are you now in the employ of the association?--A. No, sir.
Q. Do you think the compensation was a fair one?--A. Yes, sir; I do.
Q. You thought it was fair at the time?--A. Yes, sir; very fair.
Q. Do you think they could have obtained more if they had tried?--A. I do not think they could have obtained more.
Q. Do you think if they had put it up to competition they could have obtained more?--A. I do not think any responsible parties, at that time as a body, were in competition against the association. Individuals said they would give more for a certain lease, but I do not think in the aggregate it would have been more beneficial.
Q. Do you think it was better for these parties to lease the land in the way they did than to have used it for themselves?--A. As far as using it is concerned it would be a great deal like giving the lease to me and telling me to use it by myself. The Indians have no cattle to put on it, nor have I.
Q. Would it be best for the Indians to receive the money without working than to have to earn it?--A. Of course it would be better for him to earn the money himself.
Q. What would be the effect upon a body of white men in furnishing them money enough to take care of themselves without doing any work?--A. I would like to try the effect myself for a while. [Laughter]
Q. What do you think would be the effect upon an ordinary white man? Take 6,000 white men- about the number of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians- and keep them on rations for ten years, what would be the effect upon them?--A. I think it would have a very bad effect upon them. I do not think that one of these 6,000 would ever be elected a Senator from Massachusetts.
Q. It would have a very bad effect, you say?--A. Yes, sir.
Q. Is it not a fact that anything that tends to relieve them of work has a bad effect on them?--A. Yes, sir; I think so.
Q. In that view it was, I asked you whether it was better for the Indians to take the rental and spend it themselves or be required to earn their living by occupying this land wioth cattle themselves?--A. I should think it would be better for both the whites and the Indians to be put on the same footing.
Q. I am looking after the general policy, and not after the lease particularly. What is the best method to change the Indians from idleness and listlessness into self support?--A. I think the more they are brought into intercourse with business men the quicker they will see how to get on the same plane with ourselves.
Q. Do you know whether any sum of money or other valuable thing was used to secure this lease?--A. Well, sir, if such a thing had been done, I was in a psoition to know.
Q. How?--A. Well, I settled up, this past summer, an account between a friend, a brother-in-law of mine, and two or three parties in a cattle transaction running over four years, and I know if any hush-money was there it would have been in the items of this account.
Q. You did not find anything of the kind charged?--A. No, sir.
Q. Would you expect to find such an item?--A. Yes, sir; it was a private transaction, and if such money or other thing had been paid it he would have charged it in some way. Members of the board of directors also have been particular friends of mine, and they have told me different matters, and I believe if there had been anything in this kind I would have heard it.
Q. None of the directors told you anything of this sort?--A. No, sir. This account was about $12,000, and if any hush-money was paid it would appear in these books. This party was a prominent business man, and had always been in the association. He is now our county commissioner, and he has had cattle in the Territory for nine years, and if there had been any money used for bad purpose he would have been called on to pay his share.
Q. Mr. Ivey testified to being crowded off from a claim he had on this land. Do you know anything about that?--A. Inever saw any notice of contest, and I keep a sort of docket. There was no such claim before the board of arbitration. There was a case in which an Indian named Owens made a claim against Andrews and others, and in his description, when he came to describe the country, he made one of his streams cross the other.
Q. He was rather an ignorant fellow, was he not?--A. No, sir. He was an intellegent man, buut he did not know the geography of the country.
Q. Did that claim have anything to do with Ivey?--A. No, sir. He never filed any claim of contest.
Q. Do you know anything about Mr. Ivey's occupation?--A. No, sir. I know that several of the Cherokees came to the Strip and made a partial occupation, and then subleased to the highest bidder, but whether Mr. Ivey was one I do not know. But Cherokees did that, I know.
Q. Do you know anything about his claim of taking up a range?--A. No, sir. I do not know anything about his having occupied any of this land.
Q. You never heard of it?--A. No, sir.
Q. Do you know if Mr. Boudinot had a range on this land?--A. I should have recollected it if he had any contest, because his name was so celebrated there. He had no claim before the board in his own name. I never knew he had a claim there until I heard him testify here.