52. Regulations Regarding Liquor and Annuities, March 3, 1847
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75 directly for general purposes the authority which actually exists, and which must, upon any suggestion that may be adopted, be really felt and acknowledged. At some future period , if circumstances should be so changed as to call for a territorial government, or for any other alteration in the system, the United States can, in the guardian position they occupy , make such modification as sound judgment and an anxious desire to benefit the Indians shall dictate. [Senate Document no. 1, 25th Cong., 3d sess., serial 338, pp. 450–51, 454–56.] 52. Regulations Regarding Liquor and Annuities March 3, 1847 Two significant changes in Indian policy were made by an act of Congress in 1847. One strengthened the procedures for eliminating the liquor trade among the Indians. The other provided for distribution of annuities to heads of families rather than to tribal chiefs, in the hope of lessening or eliminating the influence of traders on the tribal leaders. An Act to amend an Act entitled “An Act to provide for the better Organization of the Department of Indian Affairs,” and an Act entitled “An Act to regulate Trade and Intercourse with the Indian Tribes, and to preserve Peace on the Frontiers,” approved June thirtieth, eighteen hundred and thirty-four, and for other Purposes. Be it enacted . . . , That the limits of each superintendency, agency, and sub-agency shall be established by the Secretary of War, either by tribes or geographical boundaries; and the superintendents, agents, and subagents shall be furnished with offices for the transaction of the public business, and the agents and sub-agents with houses for their residences, at the expense of the United States; and, with the assent of the Indians, be permitted to cultivate such portions of land as the President or Secretary of War may deem proper. Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the twentieth section of the “Act to regulate Trade and Intercourse with the Indian Tribes, and to preserve Peace on the Frontiers ,” approved June thirtieth, eighteen hundred and thirty-four, be, and the same is hereby, so amended, that, in addition to the fines thereby imposed, any person who shall sell, exchange or barter, give, or dispose of, any spirituous liquor or wine to an Indian, in the Indian country, or who shall introduce , or attempt to introduce, any spirituous liquor or wine into the Indian country, except such supplies as may be necessary for the officers of the United States and the troops of the service, under the direction of the War Department, such person, on conviction thereof before the proper District Court of the United States, shall in the former case be subject to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years, and in the latter case not exceeding one year, as shall be prescribed by the court, according to the extent and criminality of the offence. And in all prosecutions arising under this section, and under the twentieth section of the act to regulate trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes, and to preserve peace on the frontiers, approved June thirtieth, eighteen hundred and thirtyfour , to which this is an amendment, Indians shall be competent witnesses. Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the eleventh section of the “Act to provide for the better Organization of the Department of Indian Affairs,” approved June thirtieth, eighteen hundred and thirty-four, be, and the same is hereby, so amended as to provide that all annuities or other moneys, and all goods, stipulated by treaty to be paid or furnished to any Indian tribe, shall, at the discretion of the President or Secretary of War, instead of being paid over to the chiefs, or to such persons as they shall designate, be divided and paid over to the heads of families and other individuals entitled to participate therein, or, with the consent of the tribe, be applied to such purposes as will best promote the happiness and prosperity of the members thereof, under such regulations as shall be prescribed by the Secretary of War, not inconsistent with existing treaty stipulations. 76 And no such annuities, or moneys, or goods, shall be paid or distributed to the Indians while they are under the influence of any description of intoxicating liquor, nor while there are good and sufficient reasons for the officers or agents, whose duty it may be to make such payments or distribution, for believing that there is any species of...


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