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came up to get some general relief, through Mr. Dockweiler, after he was on the board, and through others. I have introduced several bills here and the Senators have introduced them in the Senate. Because of the favorable attitude of ('ongress, as shown by reporting this bill and the passing of the bill in the Senate, certain individuals, due to jealousy if nothing else, began to say, "Who is interested in this bill?" The only assistance I have had is my own knowledge, the knowledge I have gotten from the department, and the assistance I have had from Doctor Collett in getting evidence and information. And I want to say to you, and it comes right in this connection, that no attorney has spoken to me, not one, in this connection. This is simply a matter of justice, and I have presented it for the purpose of getting favorable results for these Indians.
After some favorable results were shown, a few individuals at home were inquiring whether there was not some chance to get in, to act as attorney, or something like that. That is what I have been advised, but they have not presented it to me in that light. because I have said all the time that the only thing I can do is to present the facts to the committee, and when the bill is passed, if it ever passes, then it is up to the Secretary of the Interior to determine who shall assist these Indians, with regard to presenting their case to the Court of Claims in the way of an attorney.
The CHAIRMAN. What I had in mind were the activities of this incorporated society.
The CHAIRMAN. All sorts of tales have come to this office with regard to this claim, and many men have been mentioned as being involved in the activities.
Mr. RAKER. Personally I know of no one in connection with that, except some letters I have received, but Doctor Collett, who has been assisting me in gathering the information.
I simply want to say this in conclusion, and I think the record will show it: From New York west all the Indians in the United States have been compensated for their claims to land except the California Indians, and what we ask now, and all we ask, is that these Indians be justly dealt with. There is no doubt they had the rightful possession of the lands, and had they been able to defend their own rights alone, had not the Government by law said, “You can not deal with anyone except us; you can not dispose of your land except to come to us,''it is possible their interests would have been cared for. But the Government said, “We will take care of you," and it took care of them in a way. But then the gold rush came to California and the land, which was in their possession rightfully, was sold by the Government, and now they ask for only one consideration, that you favorably pass this bill, which simply authorizes them to go to the Court of Claims and have their case adjudicated there. If they have a good case they will win it, but if they have no case they will go out of court with nothing. That is the only purpose and object here. I have been told by everybody who has gone into the matter that there is more merit and more justice presented upon the face of the record for these Indians than any other Court of Claims bill that has gone through, and I repeat that, Mr. Chairman, because I believe it is a fact, as is shown by the records I have presented. I think I have presented enough, although I have a great deal more matter which I could present.
Mr. LEATHERWOOD. Does this bill meet with any opposition from the so-called white people of California?
Mr. Raker. None whatever. Practically everybody I know of is in favor of it. I have been home and people have talked to me. I met a minister who had some relation to the Indians and he said, “What are you fellows doing? Why is Mr. (ollett around here talking with the Indians?” He said, “le ought to have talked with me first." It is because they were not called on. They had been sitting around idle and giving no consideration to these matters, but when we had the bill favorably reported by the committee and the Senate passed the bill by unanimous vote they said, “There must be something back of this, there must be something in it; maybe we can get in on this." I said, “There is no way on God's earth by which you can get in on this matter; if this bill goes through it is up to the Secretary of the Interior as to who shall be recognized to represent these Indians." · Mr. LEATHERwood, I do not want to ask an improper question, but are the people you refer to as now asking queer questions jealous Indians?
Mr. RAKER. Jealous white people; just a few. I have sent out reports as to what occurred, and every one has come back satisfied, except one man, who did not give a really satisfactory answer. He is a minister representing some of the Indians. I have his letters here and my correspondence with him. I think Doctor (ollett will explain all of that to you. I wanted to explain the bill and then let them go into this. I thank you. Dr. Collett is here and six or seven Indians representing themselves,
men who can take care of themselves, Mr. Alfred C. Gillis, Mr. Albert R. Wilder. Mr. Frank Isles, Mr. T. W. Billings, Mr. A. J. Hogan, Mr. Harrison Diaz, Mr. Stephen Knight, Mr. William Fuller, and Mr. Albert F. James.
The CHAIRMAN. If that is all you care to say, we will ask Mr. Collett to make a statement.
STATEMENT OF REV. FREDERICK G. COLLETT.
The (HAIRMAN. Will you state your name, your occupation, and whom you represent?
Mr. Collett. Frederick G. ('ollett, executive representative of the Indian Board of Cooperation, an organization incorporated to do work in ('alifornia and adjoining States.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the nature of your incorporation and what is it incorporated to do?
Mr. Collett. It is incorporated to assist the Indians in gaining their rights and privileges under the State and Federal laws, and to secure remedial legislation and appropriations where they are needed and found to be justified.
The CHAIRMAN. Are you incorporated under the laws of California?
Mr. Collett. None at all; it is a voluntary organization, eleemosynary in its nature.
The CHAIRMAN. From what source do you gain your funds to conduct these investigations?
Mr. COLLETT. The Indian Board of Cooperation is supported entirely by voluntary contributions. Until very recently the white people have supplied the funds altogether, but recently, through Indian auxiliaries throughout California, the Indians have been voluntarily helping. It has been reported that there was a levy. There is no warrant or justification whatsoever for the term “levy."
The CHAIRMAN. But is it not a fact that you yourself have gone before Indian bodies and there made a definite arrangement or told the Indians that they should pay $6 each to become members of these auxiliaries?
Mr. COLLETT. No; the membership dues are voluntary; hundreds of Indians have never paid a cent, while others have paid but 25 cents.
The CHAIRMAN. I am asking these questions because of information that has come to me. Do you mean to say you have not appeared before audiences of Indians and solicited-after arguments showing them why it would be to their advantage to become members -solicited them to join an auxiliary by paying a flat fee of $6 apiece for every member of the family? Mr. COLLETT. No. The CHAIRMAN. Well, what did you do?
Mr. COLLETT. We have asked them to become members and, so far as possible, to pay any amount that they could, not to exceed $6. The membership dues are payable in advance, but no one has ever been required to pay anything in advance or to pay anything at all. The Indians themselves will bear me witness that it has been a voluntary effort on their part because of their desire to help themselves. The Indian Board of Cooperation has adopted the policy that the best way to help the Indian is to help him to help himself.
The CHAIRMAN. Did you attend a meeting at Somes Bar?
The CHAIRMAN. Upon what basis did you collect this $12, if it was $12, from him What was the argument given to Offield to get him to pay this amount of money whatever it was?
Mr. COLLETT. In order that he might help to gain remedial legislation and the rights of his people.
The ('HAIRMAN. Then it was not wholly voluntary on his part? You made some suggestions to him and pointed out to him some reason why it would be to his advantage to do that? Mr. COLLETT. Surely. The CHAIRMAN. Then you did solicit it? Mr. COLLET. Yes, sir.
The (HAIRMAN. I understood you to say a few moments ago that it was wholly voluntary?
Mr. COLLETT. It was wholly voluntary. I may come to you and if you gave me soinething it would be because I solicited it, but it would be voluntary on your part,
The CHAIRMAN. That is what I meant when I asked you the question as to whether you solicited it and you said you did not. Now, you may not understand the definition of solicited the way I would, but it would seem to me from your admission here that you did offer an inducement and solicit?
Mr. COLLETT. Oh, surely; and we have been delivering the goods as well,
The CHAIRMAN. You have made a pretty general survey of this question throughout the State; you have traveled up and down in various directions with regard to this matter? Mr. COLLETT. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. And you have collected money here and there? Mr. COLLETT. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. What do you say as to the total amount of money you have collected from these Indians up to date? Mr. COLLETT. I believe about $11,000.
The CHAIRMAN. Just what has that money been spent for and how much of the money has been spent?
Mr. COLLEFT. It has all been spent.
The CHAIRMAN. And for what purposes? Give us some details as to the expenditure of the money?
Mr. COLLETT. Well, it has been expended for the officers of these auxiliaries travel to county seats, San Francisco and to Washington, D. C.; it has gone for their board; it has gone for their rooms; it has gone for clerical help and it has gone for various things.
The CHAIRMAN. Are you a lawyer?
Mr. (OLLETT. Some of it does, but not one penny from any source whatsoever has gone to me since January 1, 1922.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you an arrangement or do you propose to make an arrangement with these Indians for remuneration for the services you are rendering in addition to the amount you are collecting from them day to day?
Mr. COLLETT. There is no arrangement and no arrangement contemplated. No member of the board gets any compensation or even expenses for any services rendered. Our work is voluntary, and I am the only representative of the board who receives compensation other than additional help that is being employed from time to time.
The CHAIRMAN. You are giving up your entire time to this activity?
The CHAIRMAN. About how many of these Indians have you addressed and solicited? Mr. COLLETT. I presume I have addressed 5,000 or 6,000.
The C'HAIRMAN. About how many of the 5,000 or 6,000 you have addressed have contributed to this fund?
Mr. C'OLLETT. Perhaps a little over half of that number have contributed some amount, ranging from 25 cents to $6.
The CHAIRMAN. Then you have no fixed amount as an entrance fee? Mr. (OLLETT. No; none at all. They may enter whether they pay a cent or not, and hundreds of them have entered without paying anything
The CHAIRMAN. What form of blank or paper do these Indians sign to become members?
Mr. ('OLLETT. They do not sign any blank or paper. The secretary of their organization, an Indian, records their names.
The CHAIRMAN. And what promise do the Indians get from you or from your association which would compensate them for the money they pay in?
Mr. COLLETT. The promise that the money is to help them secure their rights and privileges, to secure remedial legislation from the State and from the Federal Government, and to help to gain for them their rights under the State laws.
The CHAIRMAN. Was this association originally formed for the purpose of taking up this claim? Mr. COLLETT. No. The CuairMAN. What was it formed for and when? Mr. COLLETT. For the general betterment of Indian conditions in California. The CHAIRMAN. Generally? Mr. COLLETT. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you ever prosecuted any other claim, except this one, before the Congress or elsewhere?
Mr. COLLETT. I have been here many times, and I have appeared before the Senate. The investigation made by the Board of Indian Commissioners under Mr. McDowell and the investigation made by the Office of Indian Affairs were made in response to the joint effort of Judge Raker, the Board of Indian Commissioners, represented by Mr. Dockweiler and others, before the Senate committee a few years ago on my initiative.
The. CHAIRMAN. I do not want you to get the idea that I am asking you these questions because I am at all antagonistic, but certain information has come to this committee which makes it necessary to have you well qualified before you go on with your testimony, and I want to be sure that this committee has in its record a statement that you are either conducting this movement properly for these Indians or that you are not.
Mr. (OLLETT. That is proper
The CHAIRMAN. And that is why I have questioned you as closely as I have. Do you desire to ask any questions, Mr. Leatherwood ?
Mr. LEATHERWOOD. An answer has partially been given to a matter that has come to my mind. I want to be clear as to whether or not any fee whatsoever is required for membership in this association?
Mr. COLLETT. A fee is not required.
Mr. LEATHERWood. It is purely a voluntary association to work out the general betterment of the Indians?
Mr. COLLETT. Yes, sir. Mr. LEATHERWOOD. Have you in your visits with the California Indians, come in contact particularly with the Indians in the southern part of California? Mr. COLLETT. Yes, sir.
Mr. LEATHERWOOD. Have you ever met with any opposition or has there ever been any antagonism shown against you or your work in that country by the people outside of the Indian tribes?
Mr. COLLETT. No. There was an inquiry made by Mr. Hoffman, agent of the department, and following that a careful investigation was made, at my request, of the Indian Board of Cooperation and its activities, and the present commissioner, on reporting on it, said that I and my associates were sincerely working for the benefit of those Indians. A very careful survey was made and at the time the survey was made the office of Indian affairs and its inspector had a copy of the board's bylaws, the auxiliary by-laws, a copy of all papers used with the Indians, the membership rolls, a statement of the entire number who were enrolled, the amouut that had been paid by them and how the work was conducted in detail, and the response of the present Commissioner of Indian Affiairs came after that.
Mr. LEATHERWOOD. Just one other question: Have you ever had occasion to make any complaint or any report adverse to any officer in charge of the Indians, particularly in the southern part of California? Mr. COLLETT. No; not in the southern part of California.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, just one more question: You recall that I said in the beginning that what Mr. Raker is proposing to do by his bill is simply to affirm or ratify these 18 treaties that were not ratified back in 1851 and 1852? Mr. COLLETT. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. What evidence have you been able to discover which would lead you to believe would be sufficient to change or to get the minds of the present legislators attuned to the point that they would feel they had a better knowledge now with regard to what ought to be done than that which should have been done then, and with that information you certainly must have gone out in this campaign of yours to get what you believed the Indians were entitled to. Now, the point I am attempting to make-although it may not be very clear-is that I do not see how-and I want to be shown-you can make a better case to-day than was made away back there, when all those who were interested were alive and when the matter was passed on and
unanimously refused? If you have any light on that question that is what I want to get.
Mr. ('OLLETT. At the time the treaties were passed by the Senate the records show that there was a great influx of gold seekers in California, men who cared not for God or man. Many of the officials in California at that time were especially known or chosen because of their lack of knowledge of the Ten (ommandments. Senator Gwin was one of the Senators at the time the treaties came up. Ile went to (alifornia in 1849, at the time of the gold rush, and he was hurried back to Washington to protect the interests of the gold seekers. He asked for an executive session; the treaties were disposed of in that executive session, and there is no record of any full hearing having been had.
The (HAIRMAN. Where do you think the Secretary of the Interior gets the information which leads him to make the statement I have put in the record?
Mr. COLLETT. It is evident that he does not get it because he says they were "prob. ably” submitted; if they had been submitted, and he had evidence of them, he would not have said probably."
The CHAIRMAN. He says they were unanimously rejected and that:
“The report of said commission was probably submitted contemporaneoulsy with the 18 treaties, and the Senate not only rejected the treaties but did so by a unanimous
Where did the Secretary get that information?
Mr. COLLETT. He evidently has not any information or he would not say the commission's report was "probably submitted."
The CHAIRMAN. Have you discussed that phase of the question with the Secretary? Mr. COLLETT. No, I have not, but I have personally made a search and had a search made at the Department of the Interior. I have a letter from the Commissioner of the Land Office who has made an exhaustive search; I have looked in the Congressional Globe; I have also examined very carefully the Senate Executive Journal and there is no record of any report from the Private Lands Commission having been before the Senate at that time, but there is evidence of the report of the commissioners who made the treaties; there is evidence of a letter from the Secretary of the Interior, from the Commissioner of Indian Affàirs and from even a local agent out in California. Now then, if these various documents were enumerated in the Executive hearings it is more than reasonable that if there had been a report from some other commission, that would also have been made the subject of note at that time. Now, the report of the commission which made the treaties, the report of the Secretary of the Interior, the report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and of the local agent in California, were all strongly in favor of the treaties and it was shown that the lands which the Indians were promised were not in any sense fair compensation for the land they were giving up. Now then, it seems to me that, to-day, we possess a more normal attitude toward life than those gold seekers who rushed out to (alifornia, 200,000 or more, in a very short period. They were anxious for gold; they wanted to get rich; they had no other thought in mind, and history shows that Indians in those days were regarded very flippantly; the gold seekers were, in a word, not to be trusted with Indian welfare. To show how the early settlers regarded the Indians, they would go out and shoot them along the Sacramento River as they would shoot a jackrabbit, out of mere sport.
The CHAIRMAN. I never heard of that before.
The CHAIRMAN. I simply observed that it is new to me and my Indian friend, Mr. Carter, says it is new to him.
Mr. LEATHERWOon. I think that can be proven historically. Mr. COLLETT. The records are full of these outrages. In the history of Colusa County the report is that Chief Siock died of a broken heart because of the immorality brought in among his people by the whites.
Mr. CARTER. I might say that if such a thing had taken place with the Chickasaws, Cherokees, or Five Civilized Tribes, the white men would have found a two-listed enemy.
Mr. COLLETT. We find in California that where the Indians had implements of war and were sufficiently organized to put up a fight, the Government gave them something to keep them quiet. We find all over the United States that Indians who were in a position to fight and did fight got something, but the Indians of California were peaceable and because they were peaceable they have been most shamefully neglected. They are the only Indians in America who have never received one penny of compensation for their rights in land. Certain things have been done for them, but Congress has always regarded the appropriations and efforts on its part as gratuities and never