William Howard Taft

Proclamation 879—Cheyenne River and Standing Rock Indian Reservations

August 19, 1909

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

I, William H. Taft, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Act of Congress approved May 29, 1908, (35 Stat. L., 460), do hereby prescribe, proclaim and make known that all the nonmineral, unallotted unreserved lands within the Cheyenne River and Standing Rock Indian Reservations in the States of South Dakota and North Dakota which have been or may be classified under said Act of Congress into agricultural land of the first class, agricultural land of the second class, grazing land and timber land shall be disposed of under the general provisions of the homestead 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 entry may, on and after October 4, 1909, but not theretofore, and prior to and including October 23, 1909, but not thereafter, present to James W. Witten, Superintendent of the opening, at the City of Aberdeen, south Dakota, by ordinary mail, but not in person or by registered mail or otherwise, 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, sailor, widow or minor orphan child, as hereinafter provided.

2. All applications for registration must show the applicant's name, postoffice address, age, height and weight, and be sworn to by them at either Aberdeen, LeBeau, Lemmon, Mobridge or Pierre, South Dakota, or at Bismarck, North Dakota before some Notary Public designated by the Superintendent.

3. Persons who were honorably discharged after ninety days' service in the Army or Navy 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, sworn to and presented 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 ten o'clock a. m. on October 26, 1909, at the said City of Aberdeen 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 nine o'clock a. m. on April 1, 1910, 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 present their applications to enter (or file their declaratory statements in cases where they are entitled to file declaratory statements) at the land office for any land district in which their numbers entitle them to make entry, in the order in which their applications for registration were selected and numbered, but no person can present more than one application to enter or file more than one declaratory statement.

7. If any person fails to apply to enter, (or to file a declaratory statement if he is entitled to do so), on the day assigned him for that purpose, 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 to entry under this Proclamation shall become subject to settlement or entry prior to the first day of September, 1910, except in the manner prescribed herein; and all persons are admonished not to make any settlement prior to that date on lands not covered by entries or filings made by them under this Proclamation. On September 1, 1910, all of said lands which have not been entered under this Proclamation will become subject to settlement and entry under the general provisions of the homestead 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 19th day of August, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and nine, and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and thirty-fourth.

Signature of William Howard Taft


By the President:


Acting Secretary of State.

William Howard Taft, Proclamation 879—Cheyenne River and Standing Rock Indian Reservations Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/277552

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