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Page:Harvard Law Review Volume 2.djvu/192

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174

HARVARD LA W RBVIBW,

scribe a system of civil law for them. The point immediately in question was the validity of the act of March 3, 1885, section 9 (33 U. S. Stat, at L. 385), punishing murder committed by one Indian upon another on a reservation within a State. It was held that while the government of the United States has recognized in the Indian tribes heretofore a state of semi-independence and pu- pilage, it has the right and authority, instead of controlling them by treaties, to govern them by acts of Congress, because they are within the geographical limits of the United States, and are neces- sarily subject to the laws which Congress may enact for their pro- tection and for the protection of the people with whom they come in contact. And that the States have no such power over them as long as they maintain their tribal relation ; for they owe no alle- giance to a State within which their reservation may be established, and the State gives them no protection.

The results thus reached introduced the period which we are now entering, which we may designate as the period of fully rec- ognized legislative and judicial power over the Indians as individ- uals, a period which has been fitly commenced by the several bills promoted by Senator Dawes, notably the bill for the allotment of lands in severalty. During this period, therefore, we already see, and are more fully to see, the Indians subjected to legislation ; aU lowed and even required to accept ownership of land in severalty in lieu of tribal occupancy ; granted the privileges of citizenship ; and, whether they will accept those privileges or no, subjected to some, at least, of the burdens of citizenship. Many practical ques- tions of difficulty will doubtless present themselves in reconciling citizenship and individual title with the restrictions of the surviving agency regime. But the principles which the beginning of the present period sees in operation must sooner or later put an end to that regime; and the ultimate objective point to which all efforts for progress should be directed is to fix upon the Indian the same personal, legal, and political status which is common to all other inhabitants.

To promote this result is the object of the bill entitled " An Act to establish courts for the Indian on the various reservations, and to extend the protection of the law of the States and Territories over all Indians, and for other purposes," now before the United