State of Oregon v. Ethan Hitchcock, No. 16

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtBrewer
Citation26 S.Ct. 568,50 L.Ed. 935,202 U.S. 60
PartiesSTATE OF OREGON, Complainant . v. ETHAN A. HITCHCOCK, Secretary of the Interior, and William A. Richards, Commissioner of the General Land Office. riginal
Decision Date23 April 1906
Docket NumberNo. 16,O

202 U.S. 60
26 S.Ct. 568
50 L.Ed. 935
STATE OF OREGON, Complainant.

v.

ETHAN A. HITCHCOCK, Secretary of the Interior, and William A. Richards, Commissioner of the General Land Office.

No. 16, Original.
Argued April 5, 6, 1906.
Decided April 23, 1906.

Page 61

By leave of court the state of Oregon filed an original bill against Ethan A. Hitchcock, Secretary of the Interior, and William A. Richards, Commissioner of the General Land Office, to restrain the defendants from allotting or patenting to any Indians or other persons certain lands within the limits of the Klamath reservation, which it is alleged were, on March 12, 1860, swamp and overflowed lands, and praying a decree establishing the title of the state of Oregon to such lands, and declaring that the title is subject only to such right of temporary and terminable occupation as may exist in the Indians at present occupying the said reservation, and is not to be defeated by any allotment, patent, agreement, or other arrangement. To this bill the defendants filed a demurrer, partly on jurisdictional grounds and partly on the merits.

For a clear understanding of the questions presented the allegations in the bill must be stated. It is alleged that the defendant Hitchcock is a citizen of the state of Missouri, the defendant Richards of the state of Wyoming; that by an act of Congress approved February 14, 1859 (11 Stat. at L. 383, chap. 33), Oregon was admitted into the Union; that by an act approved September 28, 1850 (9 Stat. at L. 519, chap. 84), Congress granted to the state of Arkansas and other states all lands within their respective limits, which, at the date of the act, were 'swamp and overflowed lands,' and by reason thereof unfit for cultivation; that by an act of March 12, 1860 (12 Stat. at L. 3, chap. 5), the provisions of the last-named act were extended to the state of Oregon; that on February 14, 1859, as well as on March 12, 1860, the United States owned in fee simple a large region and body of land lying within the boundaries of the state of Oregon, which said body of land was neither reserved nor dedicated to any public

Page 62

use, and was free from any claim of title or possession, saving and excepting a right to temporary use and occupation belonging to certain Indian tribes; that within this large body of lands were three tribes or bands of Indians,—the Klamaths, the Moadocs, and the Yahooskins,—few in number, that number being estimated by the officials of the United States in charge at from 1,200 to 1,500; that they were all in a savage state, uncivilized, without a fixed place of abode, and roaming from place to place within the region; that they had no other kind of tenure or title than that which they and their ancestors held from time immemorial and before the settlement of white men in the territory; that on October 14, 1864 (16 Stat. at L. 707), a treaty was negotiated between the United States and these tribes of Indians, by which they ceded to the United States their right, title, and claim to all these lands except a certain specified and smaller tract within the original outboundaries, which was created a reservation for their use; that said reservation was continued in the occupation of the Indians according to the aboriginal usages and customs of said Indians and of Indians generally, without any claim or pretense of permanent title or individual right to the lands, or any of them, and without any steps taken towards conferring the ultimate title upon them until after the year 1899, when the defendant Hitchcock, Secretary of the Interior, directed and caused a large portion of the lands to be surveyed and divided into numerous definite lots or tracts, for the purpose and with the intention of allotting such tracts to the individual members of the tribes, to be by them held in severalty, and the further purpose of issuing and delivering to each of them a patent declaring that the United States holds the tract allotted in trust for the Indian and his heirs for a period of twenty-five years and that at the expiration of...

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73 practice notes
  • Wood v. Phillips, No. 3099.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • June 17, 1931
    ...must fail. To the same effect is New Mexico v. Lane, 243 U. S. 52, 37 S. Ct. 348, 61 L. Ed. 588; and see, also, Oregon v. Hitchcock, 202 U. S. 60, 26 S. Ct. 568, 50 L. Ed. 935; Minnesota v. Hitchcock, 185 U. S. 373, 22 S. Ct. 650, 46 L. Ed. 954; Carr v. U. S., supra; Electric Steel Foundry ......
  • Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. State of West Virginia State of Ohio v. Same, Nos. 15
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 11, 1923
    ...consumers were in present danger of irreparable injury? Plaintiffs' fears were at best premature. This court held in Oregon v. Hitchcock, 202 U. S. 60, 70, 26 Sup. Ct. 568, 50 L. Ed. 935, that it would not, even at the instance of a state, take upon itself the decision of questions committe......
  • Land v. Dollar, No. 207
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • April 7, 1947
    ...Macon & Brunswick R. Co., supra; State of Minnesota v. Hitchcock, 185 U.S. 373, 22 S.Ct. 650, 46 L.Ed. 954; State of Oregon v. Hitchcock, 202 U.S. 60, 26 S.Ct. 568, 50 L.Ed. 935; Naganab v. Hitchcock, 202 U.S. 473, 26 S.Ct. 667, 50 L.Ed. 1113; State of Louisiana v. Garfield, 211 U.S. 70, 29......
  • Standard Oil Co. of California v. United States, No. 8985.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • January 2, 1940
    ...Department. See, in addition to cases cited above, Brown v. Hitchcock, 173 U.S. 473, 476, 19 S.Ct. 485, 43 L.Ed. 772; Oregon v. Hitchcock, 202 U.S. 60, 70, 26 S.Ct. 568, 50 L.Ed. 935; Work v. Louisiana, 269 U.S. 250, 255, 46 S.Ct. 92, 70 L.Ed. However, with respect to swamp lands in Califor......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
73 cases
  • Wood v. Phillips, No. 3099.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • June 17, 1931
    ...must fail. To the same effect is New Mexico v. Lane, 243 U. S. 52, 37 S. Ct. 348, 61 L. Ed. 588; and see, also, Oregon v. Hitchcock, 202 U. S. 60, 26 S. Ct. 568, 50 L. Ed. 935; Minnesota v. Hitchcock, 185 U. S. 373, 22 S. Ct. 650, 46 L. Ed. 954; Carr v. U. S., supra; Electric Steel Foundry ......
  • Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. State of West Virginia State of Ohio v. Same, Nos. 15
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 11, 1923
    ...consumers were in present danger of irreparable injury? Plaintiffs' fears were at best premature. This court held in Oregon v. Hitchcock, 202 U. S. 60, 70, 26 Sup. Ct. 568, 50 L. Ed. 935, that it would not, even at the instance of a state, take upon itself the decision of questions committe......
  • Land v. Dollar, No. 207
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • April 7, 1947
    ...Macon & Brunswick R. Co., supra; State of Minnesota v. Hitchcock, 185 U.S. 373, 22 S.Ct. 650, 46 L.Ed. 954; State of Oregon v. Hitchcock, 202 U.S. 60, 26 S.Ct. 568, 50 L.Ed. 935; Naganab v. Hitchcock, 202 U.S. 473, 26 S.Ct. 667, 50 L.Ed. 1113; State of Louisiana v. Garfield, 211 U.S. 70, 29......
  • Standard Oil Co. of California v. United States, No. 8985.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • January 2, 1940
    ...Department. See, in addition to cases cited above, Brown v. Hitchcock, 173 U.S. 473, 476, 19 S.Ct. 485, 43 L.Ed. 772; Oregon v. Hitchcock, 202 U.S. 60, 70, 26 S.Ct. 568, 50 L.Ed. 935; Work v. Louisiana, 269 U.S. 250, 255, 46 S.Ct. 92, 70 L.Ed. However, with respect to swamp lands in Califor......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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