United States Statutes at Large/Volume 1/4th Congress/1st Session/Chapter 13

United States Statutes at Large, Volume 1
United States Congress
Public Acts of the Fourth Congress, 1st Session, Chapter 13

April 18, 1796.
Chap. ⅩⅢ.—An Act for establishing Trading Houses with the Indian Tribes.

Act of March 30, 1792.
President to establish trading houses,
1806, ch. 48.
Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That it shall be lawful for the President of the United States, to establish trading houses at such posts and places on the western and southern frontiers, or in the Indian country, as he shall judge most convenient for the purpose of carrying on a liberal trade with the several Indian nations, within the limits of the United States.

and appoint agents for them,
their duties,
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the President be authorized to appoint an agent for each trading house established, whose duty it shall be, to receive, and dispose of, in trade, with the Indian nations afore-mentioned, such goods as he shall be directed by the President of the United States to receive and dispose of, as aforesaid, according to the rules and orders which the President shall prescribe; and every such agent shall take an and oath.oath or affirmation, faithfully to execute the trust committed to him; and that he will not, directly or indirectly, be concerned or interested in any trade, commerce or barter, with any Indian or Indians whatever, but on the public account; To give bond.and shall also give bond, with sufficient security, in such sum as the President of the United States shall direct, truly and honestly to account for all the money, goods and other property whatever, which shall come into his hands, or for which, in good faith, he ought so to account, and to perform all the duties required of him by this act: Accounts to be made up half-yearly.And his accounts shall be made up half-yearly, and transmitted to the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States.

Agents, clerks, &c. not to carry on trade but on account of the United States, nor take other emolument than such as is provided by this act.
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the agents, their clerks, or other persons employed by them, shall not be, directly or indirectly, concerned or interested in carrying on the business of trade or commerce, on their own, or any other than the public account, or take, or apply to his or their own use, any emolument or gain for negotiating or transacting any business or trade, during their agency or employment, other than is provided by this act. And if any such person shall offend against any of the prohibitions aforesaid, he or they shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall, upon conviction thereof, forfeit to the United States, a sum not exceeding one thousand dollars, and shall be removed from such agency or employment, and forever thereafter be incapable of holding any office under the United States: Half of the penalty to be for the use of the informer, if he is not a public prosecutor.Provided, That if any other person, than a public prosecutor, shall give information of any such offence, upon which a prosecution and conviction shall be had, one half the aforesaid penalty, when received, shall be for the use of the person giving such information.

Prices of goods how to be regulated.Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That the prices of the goods supplied to, and to be paid for by the Indians, shall be regulated in such manner, that the capital stock furnished by the United States may not be diminished.

Pay and allowance to agents and clerks.Sec. 5. Be it further enacted, That during the continuance of this act, the President of the United States be, and he is hereby authorized to draw annually from the treasury of the United States, a sum not exceeding eight thousand dollars, to be applied, under his direction, for the purpose of paying the agents and clerks; which agents shall be allowed to draw out of the public supplies, two rations each, and each clerk one ration per day.

Appropriation for the trade with the Indians.Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, exclusive of the allowances to agents and clerks, be and they are hereby appropriated for the purpose of carrying on trade and intercourse with the Indian nations, in the manner aforementioned, to be paid out of any monies unappropriated in the treasury of the United States.

Penalty of agents, clerks, &c. purchasing certain articles from the Indians.Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That if any agent or agents, their clerks, or other persons employed by them, shall purchase, or receive of any Indian, in the way of trade or barter, a gun or other article commonly used in hunting; any instrument of husbandry, or cooking utensil, of the kind usually obtained by Indians in their intercourse with white people; any article of clothing (excepting skins or furs) he or they shall, respectively, forfeit the sum of one hundred dollars for each offence, to be recovered by action of debt, in the name, and to the use of the United States, in any court of law of the United States, or of any particular state having jurisdiction in like cases, or in the supreme or superior courts of the territories of the United States: Suit therefor where to be commenced.
Duty herein of superintendents of Indian affairs.
Provided, that no suit shall be commenced except in the state or territory within which the cause of action shall have arisen, or the defendant may reside: And it shall be the duty of the superintendents of Indian affairs and their deputies, respectively, to whom information of every such offence shall be given, to collect the requisite evidence, if attainable, and to prosecute the offender, without delay.

Limitation of this act.Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That this act shall be in force for the term of two years, and to the end of the next session of Congress thereafter, and no longer.

Approved, April 18, 1796.