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Sec. 3. That the preceding section shall not apply to any case wherein is involved the validity of any patent or copyright, or in which is drawn in question the validity of a treaty or statute of or an authority exercised under the United States; but in all such cases an appeal or writ of error may be brought without regard to the sum or value in dispute.
Approved March 3, 1885. CHAP. 758.-An act relating to the supreme court of Montana Territory and providing for the establishment of judicial districts in said territory.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That hereafter the
supreme court of the territory of Montana shall consist of chief justice and three associate justices; three of whom shall constitute a quorum; they shall hold their oflices for four years, and until their successors are appointed and qualified; they shall hold a term annually at the seat of government of said territory, Provided however, That no justice shall act as a member of the supreme court of said territory of Montana in any action or proceeding brought to such court by writ of error, bill of exceptions, or appeal from a decision, judgment, or decree rendered by him as judge of a district court.
That said territory shall be divided into four judicial districts, and a district court shall be held in each district of the territory by one of the justices of the supreme court, at such time and place as may be prescribed by law.
Sec. 3. That all offences committed before the passage of this act shall be prosecuted, tried and determined in the same manner and with the same manner and with the same effect as if this act had not been passed.
Approved July 10, 1886. CHAP. 132.—An act authorizing the Secretary of War to adjust and settle the account for arms, ammunition and accouterments between the Territory of Montana and the C'nited States.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the secreretary of war be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to adjust and balance the account for arms, ammunition and accouterments between the the territory of Montana and the government of the United States, by crediting said territory with the balance now standing against it on said account.
Approved February 17, 1887. CHAP. 213.--An act to ratify and confirm an agreement wih the Gros Ventre, Piegan, Blood, Blackfeet, and River Crow Indians in Montana, and for other purposes.
Whereas, John V. Wright, Jared W. Daniels, and Charles F. Larabee, duly appointed commissioners on the part of the United
States, did, on the twenty-eighth and thirty-first days of December, anno Domini cighteen hundred and eighty-six, and the twenty first day of January, anno Domini eighteen hundred and eighty-seven, conclude an agreement with the various tribes or bands of Indians residing upon the Gros Ventre, Piegan, Blood, Blackfeet, and River Crow Reservation in Montana territory, by their chiefs, head-men and principal men, embracing a majority of all the male adult Indians occupying said reservation, which said agreement is as follows:
Agreement concluded December twenty-eighth and thirty-first, eighteen hundred and eighty-six, and January twenty-first, eighteen hundred and eighty-seven, with the Indians of the Gros Ventre, Piegan, Blood, Blackfeet, and River Crow Reservation in Montana, by John V. Wright, Jared W. Daniels, and Charles F. Larabee, Commissioners.
This agreement, made pursuant to an item in the act of Congress entitled “An act making approviations for the current and contingent expenses of the Indian department, and for fulfilling treaty stipulations with various Indian tribes, for the year ending June thirtieth, eighteen hundred and eighty-seven, and for other purposes," approved May fifteenth, eighteen hundred and eighty-six, by John V. Wright, Jared W. Daniels, and Charles F. Larabee, duly appointed commissioners on the part of the United States, and the various tribes or bands of Indians residing udon the Gros Ventre, Piegan, Blood, Blackioot and River Crow Reservation in the territory of Montana, by their chiefs, and principal men, embracing a majority of all the male adult Indians occupying said reservation, witnesseth that
Whereas the reservation set apart by act of congress approved April fifteenth, eighteen hundred and seventy-four, for the use and occupancy of the Gros Ventre, Piegan, Blood, Blackfoot, River Crow, and such other Indians as the president might, from time to time, see fit to locate thereon, is wholly out of proportion to the number of Indians occupying the same, and greatly in excess to their present or prospective wants; and whereas the said Indians are desirous of disposing of so much thereof as they do not require, in order to obtain the means to enable them to become self-supporting, as a pastorial and agricultural people, and to educate their children in the paths of civilization; Therefore to carry out such purpose, it is hereby agreed as follows:
Hereafter the permanent homes of the various tribes or bands of said Indians shall be upon the seperate reservations hereinafter described and set apart. " Said Indians acknowledging the rights of the various tribes or bands, at each of the existing agencies within
their present reservation, to determine for themselves, with the United States, the boundaries of their separate reservation, hereby agree to accept and abide by such agreements and conditions as to the location and boundaries of such separate reservation as may be made and agreed upon by the United States and the tribes or bands for which such separate reservation may be made, and as the said
separate boundaries may be hereinafter said forth.
The said Indians hereby cede and relinquish to the United States all their right, title, and interest in and to all the lands embraced within the aforesaid Gros Ventre, Piegan, Blood, Blackfoot, and River Crow reservation, not herein specifically set apart and reserved as separate reservations for them, and do severally agree to accept and occupy the separate reservations to which they are herein assigned as their permanent homes, and they do hereby severally relinquish to the other tribes or bands respectively occupying the other separate reservations, all their right, title, and interest in and to the same, reserving to themselves only the reservation herein set apart for their separate use and occupation.
ARTICLE INI. In consideration of the foregoing cession and relinquishment the United States hereby agrees to advance and expend annually, for the period of ten years after the ratification of this agreement, under direction of the secretary of the interior, for the Indians now attached to and receiving rations at the Fort Peck agency, one hundred and sixty-five thousand dollars; for the Indians now altached to and receiving rations at the Fort Belknap agency, one hundred and fifteen thousand, dollars and for the Indians now attached to and receiving rations at the Blackfeet agency, one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, in the purchase of cows, bulls, and other stock, goods, clothing, subsistence, agricultural and mechanical implements, in providing employees, in the education of Indian children, procuring medicine and medical attendance, in the care and and support of the aged, sick, and infirm, and helpless orphans of said Indians, in the erection of such new agency and school buildings, mills, and blacksmith, carpenter, and wagon shops as may be neccessary, in assisting the Indians to build houses and inclose their farms, and in any other respect to promote their civilization, comfort and improvement: Provided, That in the employment of farmers, artisans, and laborers, preference shall in all cases be given to Indians residing on the reservation who are well qualified for such position: Provided further, That all cattle issued tu said Indians for stock-raising purposes, and their progeny, shall bear the brand of the Indian department, and shall not be sold, exchanged, or slaughtered, except by consent or order of the agent in charge, until such time as this restriction shall be removed by the commissioner of Indian affairs.
ARTICLE IV. It is further agreed that whenever in the opinion of the president the annual installments provided for in the foregoing article shall be found to be in excess of the amount required to be expended in any one year in carrying out the provisions of this agreement upon either of the separate reservations, so much thereof as may be in excess of the requirement shall be placed to the credit of the Indians of such reservation, in the treasury of the United States, and expended in continuing the benefits herein provided for when said annual installments shall have expired.
ARTICLE V. In order to encourage habits of industry, and reward labor, it is further understood and agreed, that in giving out or distribution of cattle or other stock, goods, clothing, subsistence, and agricultural implements, as provided for in Article III, preference shall be given to Indians who endeavor by honest labor to support themselves, and especially to those who in good faith undertake the cultivation of the soil or engage in pastoral pursuits, as a means of obtaining a livelihood, and the distribution of these benefits shall be made from time to time, as shall best promote the objects specified.
ARTICLE VI. It is further agreed that any Indian belonging to either of the tribes or bands, parties hereto, who had, at the date of the execution of this agreement by the tribe or band to which he belongs, settled upon and made valuable improvements upon any of the lands ceded to the United States under the provisions of this agreement, shall be entitled, upon application so the local land office for the district in which the lands are located, to have the same allotted to him or her, and to his or her children, in quantity as follows: To the head of the family, one hundred and sixty acres; to each child over eighteen years of age, eighty acres; to each child under eighteen years of age, forty acres; and the grant to such Indians shall be adjusted upon the survey of the lands so as to conform thereto. Upon the approval of said allotments by the secretary of the interior, he shall cause patents to be issued therefor in the name of the allottees, which patents shall be of the legal effect and declare that the United States does and will hold the lands thus allotted for the period of twenty-five years, in trust for the sole use and benefit of the Indian to whom such allotment shall have been made, or, in case of his decease, of his heirs, according to the laws of the territory of Montana, and that at the expiration of said period the United States will convey the same by patent to said Indian, or his heirs as aforesaid, in fee, discharged of said trust and
free of all charge or incumbrance whatsoever. And if any conveyance shall be made of said lands, or any contract made touching the same, before the expiration of the time above mentioned, such conveyance or contract shall be absolutely null and void: Provided, that the laws of descent and partition in force in said territory shall apply thereto after patents therefor have been executed and delivered: Provided, further, That any such' Indian shall be entitled to his distributive share of all the benefits to be derived from the cession of lands to the United States under this agreement, the same as though he resided within the limits of the diminished reservation to which he would properly belong.
The out boundaries of the separate reservations, or such portions thereof as are not defined by natural objects, shall be surveyed and marked in a plain and substantial manner, the cost of such surveys to be paid out of the first annual installments provided for in Article III of this agreement.
It is further agreed that, whenever in the opinion of the president the public interests require the construction of railroads or other highways, or telegraph lines, through any portion of either of the separate reservation established and set apart under the provisions of this agreement, right of way shall be, and is hereby, granted for such purposes, under such rules, regulations, limitations, and restrictions as the secretary of the interior may prescribe; the compensation to be fixed by said secretary and by him expended for the benefit of the Indians concerned.
This agreement shall not be binding upon either party until ratified by congress.
Dated and signed at Fort Peck Agency, Montana, on the twenty-eighth day of December, eighteen hundred and eighty-six.
John V. WRIGHT,
Beginning at a point in the middle of the channel of the Missouri River, opposite the mouth of Big Muddy Creek; thence up the