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Proclamation 1331—Disposal of Lands in the Former Devils Lake Indian Reservation, North Dakota

April 26, 1916

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Whereas, the Act of Congress authorizing the disposal of lands within the former Devils Lake Indian Reservation, North Dakota, approved April 27, 1904 (33 United States Statutes at Large, 319), among other things provides:

That, when in the judgement of the President no more of the land herein ceded can be disposed of at said price, he may by proclamation, to be repeated in his discretion, sell from time to time the remaining lands subject to the provisions of the homestead law or otherwise as he may deem most advantageous, at such prices or prices, in such manner, upon such conditions, with such restrictions, and upon such terms as he may deem best for all interests concerned;

And Whereas, in my judgment, no more of the land can be disposed of at said price; and it being believed that the remaining land can be most advantageously disposed of in the following manner;

Now, Therefore, I, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim and direct that all the land ceded by the said Act, not embraced in any valid, existing right initiated under the public land laws, shall be offered for sale under the supervision of the Superintendent of Opening and Sale of Indian Reservations, to the highest bidders, for cash, at not less than $1.25 per acre. The sale will be held at Minot, North Dakota, commencing June 3, 1916.

The lands shall be listed for sale in tracts embracing the northeast, northwest, southwest and southeast quarters of sections, unless parts of such subdivisions are not subject to sale, in which event all contiguous lands subject to sale in such quarter sections shall be listed as separate tracts. The lands shall be offered for sale as listed, unless the owners of adjacent lands request the offering of smaller subdivisions adjoing the lands so owned, in which event the Superintendent of the sale is authorized, in his discretion, to first offer such smaller subdivisions, and then offer the remaining land in such listed tracts.

The successful bidder for each tract must pay the purchase price thereof to the Receiver of the Minot Land Office before 4.30 o'clock, p.m., on the next day following the date of sale on which the land office is open.

If any person fails to make payment on the day required for the land purchased, the land will be reoffered for sale and the person so defaulting will not thereafter be permitted to bid for or purchase any other tract.

No restriction will be made as to the number of tracts any person may purchase, and no showing will be required of purchasers as to age, citizenship or otherwise.

Bids may be made either in person or by agent, but will not be considered if received through the mail.

The Secretary of the Interior and the Superintendent of the sale may, as emergencies arise, make and prescribe such rules and regulations not in conflict herewith as the proper conducting of the sale may require; and the Superintendent may at any time suspend or indefinitely postpone the sale or adjourn it to such time or place as he may deem advisable; and he may reject any or all bids which in his opinion are less than the actual cash value at which any of the land offered should be sold.

All persons are warned against entering into any agreement, combination, or conspiracy which will prevent any of said lands from selling advantageously, and all persons so offending will be prosecuted criminally under Section 2373 of the Revised Statutes of the United States, which reads as follows:

"Every person who, before or at the time of the public sale of any of the lands of the United States, bargains, contracts, or agrees, or attempts to bargain, contract, or agree with any other person, that the last-named person shall not bid upon or purchase the land so offered for sale, or any parcel thereof, or who by intimidation, combination, or unfair management, hinders, or prevents, or attempts to hinder or prevent, any person from bidding upon or purchasing any tract of land so offered for sale, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars, or imprisoned not more than two years, or both."

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-sixth day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixteen and of the independence of the United States the one hundred and fortieth.

Signature of Woodrow Wilson


By the President:


Secretary of State.

Woodrow Wilson, Proclamation 1331—Disposal of Lands in the Former Devils Lake Indian Reservation, North Dakota Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/277085

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