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Proclamation 1249—Fort Peck Indian Reservation

July 25, 1913

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

I, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Act of Congress approved May 30, 1908 (35 Stat., 558), do hereby prescribe, proclaim and make known that all the nonmineral, unallotted, unreserved lands within the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, in the State of Montana, which have been classified under said Act of Congress into agricultural lands, grazing lands, and arid lands, which are not designated for irrigation by the Government, shall be disposed of under the general provisions of the homestead and desert land laws of the United States and of said Act of Congress, and be opened to settlement and entry, and be settled upon, occupied and entered in the following manner, and not otherwise:

1. All persons qualified to make a homestead or desert land entry for said lands may, on and after September 1, 1913, and prior to and including September 20, 1913, but not thereafter, present to James W. Witten, Superintendent of the opening, in person, or to some person designated by him, at the cities of either Glasgow, Great Falls, Havre, or Miles City, Montana, sealed envelopes containing their applications for registration, but no envelope must contain more than one application; and no person can present more than one application in his own behalf and one as agent for a soldier or sailor, or for the widow or minor orphan child of a soldier or sailor, as hereinafter provided.

2. Each application for registration must show the applicant's name, postoffice address, age, height and weight, and be sworn to by him at either Glasgow, Havre, Great Falls or Miles City, Montana, before some Notary Public designated by the Superintendent, and not otherwise.

3. Persons who were honorably discharged after ninety days' service in the Army, Navy or Marine Corps of the United States, during the War of the Rebellion, the Spanish-American War, or the Philippine Insurrection, or their widows or minor orphan children, may make their applications for registration either in person or through their duly appointed agents, but no person can act as agent for more than one such applicant, and all applications presented by agents must be signed and sworn to by them at one of the places named and in the same manner in which other applicants are required to swear to and present their applications.

4. Beginning at 10 o'clock a.m. on September 23, 1913, at the said City of Glasgow, and continuing thereafter from day to day, Sundays excepted, as long as may be necessary, there shall be impartially taken and selected indiscriminately from the whole number of envelopes so presented such number thereof as may be necessary to carry into effect the provisions of this Proclamation, and the applications for registration contained in the envelopes so selected shall, when correct in form and execution, be numbered serially in the order in which they are selected, beginning with number one, and the numbers thus assigned shall fix and control the order in which the persons named therein may make entry after the lands shall become subject to entry.

5. A list of the successful applicants, showing the number assigned to each of them, will be conspicuously posted and furnished to the press for publication as a matter of news, and a proper notice will be promptly mailed to each person to whom a number is assigned.

6. Beginning at 9 o'clock a.m., on May 1, 1914, and continuing thereafter on such dates as may be fixed by the Secretary of the Interior, persons holding numbers assigned to them under this Proclamation will be permitted to designate and enter the tracts they desire as follows:

When a person's name is called, he must at once select the tract he desires to enter and will be allowed ten days following date of selection to complete entry at the proper local land office. During that period of ten days, he must file his homestead or desert land application at the proper local land office, accompanying the same with one-fifth of the appraised value of the tract selected, and, if a homestead application, the usual filing fees and commissions. To save expense incident to an additional trip to the land and to return to the local land office, he may, following his selection, execute his application for the tract selected within the proper land district and file same in the proper local land office, where it will be held awaiting the necessary payments. In that event, the payment must be made within the ten days following the date of selection. Payments can be made only in cash or by certified checks on national and state banks and trust companies, which can be cashed without cost to the Government, or by postoffice money orders, made payable to the receiver of the proper local land office. These payments may be made in person, through the mails or any other means or agency desired, but the applicant assumes all responsibility in the matter. He must see that the payments reach the local office within the ten days allowed, and where failure occurs in any instance where the application has been filed in the local land office without payment, as herein provided for, the application will stand rejected without further action on the part of the local officers. In case of declaratory statements, allowable under this opening, the same course may be pursued, except that the filing fees must be paid within the ten days following date of selection, the party having six months after filing within which to complete entry. Soldiers or sailors or their widows or minor orphan children, making homestead entry of these lands must make payments of fees and commissions and purchase money as is required of other entrymen. The remaining four-fifths of the purchase money may be paid in five equal installments, at the end of one, two, three, four, and five years after the date of entry, unless the entry is sooner commuted, or unless final proof is sooner made, under a desert land entry. If commutation or final desert land proof is made, all the unpaid installments must be paid at that time. If any entryman fails to make any payment when it becomes due, all his former payments will be forfeited and his entry will be canceled. No person can select more than one tract or present more than one application to enter or file more than one declaratory statement in his own behalf.

7. If any person fails to designate the tract he desires to enter on the date assigned to him for that purpose, or if, having made such designation he fails to perfect it by making entry or filing and payments as above provided, or if he presents more than one application for registration or presents an application in any other than his true name, he will forfeit his right to make entry or filing under this Proclamation.

8. None of the lands opened under this Proclamation shall become subject to settlement and entry prior to 9 o'clock a.m., on June 30, 1914, except in the manner prescribed herein; and all persons are admonished not to make any settlement prior to that hour on lands not covered by entries or filings made by them under this Proclamation. At 9 o'clock a.m., on June 30, 1914, all of the lands opened under this Proclamation which have not been entered or filed upon in the manner herein provided will become subject to settlement and entry under the general provisions of the homestead and desert land laws and the said Act of Congress.

9. The Secretary of the Interior shall make and prescribe such rules and regulations as may be necessary and proper to carry this Proclamation and the said Act of Congress into full force and effect.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington this twenty-fifth day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and thirty-eighth.

Signature of Woodrow Wilson


By the President:


Secretary of State.

Woodrow Wilson, Proclamation 1249—Fort Peck Indian Reservation Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/277546

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