The Dawes Act 51 words

The Dawes Act, or General Allotment Act of 1887, was a law that allowed the U.S. government to take Native American tribal lands and divide them into 40 acre lots for individual Native Americans. The goal was to break up communal tribal lands and speed the assimilation of Native Americans into American society. The Dawes Act caused great suffering with much of the land winding up in the hands of white settlers.
  1. allotment
    the act of distributing by allotting or apportioning; distribution according to a plan
    An Act to Provide for the Allotment of Lands in Severalty to Indians on the Various Reservations, and to Extend the Protection of the Laws of the United States and the Territories over the Native Americans, and for Other Purposes.
  2. reservation
    a district that is reserved for particular purpose
    A reservation was the name given to a piece of land set aside for a Native American tribe.
    An Act to Provide for the Allotment of Lands in Severalty to Indians on the Various Reservations, and to Extend the Protection of the Laws of the United States and the Territories over the Indians, and for Other Purposes.
  3. hereafter
    following this in time or order or place; after this
    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That in all cases where any tribe or band of Indians has been, or shall hereafter be, located upon any reservation created for their use . . .
  4. executive
    someone who manages a government agency or department
    The chief executive of the United States is the President.
    . . . in all cases where any tribe or band of Indians has been, or shall hereafter be, located upon any reservation created for their use, either by treaty stipulation or by virtue of an act of Congress or executive order setting apart the same for their use, the President of the United States be, and he hereby is, authorized, whenever in his opinion any reservation . . .
  5. survey
    plot a map of (land)
    . . . whenever in his opinion any reservation or any part thereof of such Indians is advantageous for agricultural and grazing purposes, to cause said reservation, or any part thereof, to be surveyed, or resurveyed if necessary . . .
  6. allot
    give out
    . . . to allot the lands in said reservation in severalty to any Indian located thereon in quantities as follows
  7. embrace
    include in scope; include as part of something broader; have as one's sphere or territory
    . . . To each other single person under eighteen years now living, or who may be born prior to the date of the order of the President directing an allotment of the lands embraced in any reservation, one-sixteenth of a section:
  8. pro rata
    in proportion
    . . . That in case there is not sufficient land in any of said reservations to allot lands to each individual of the classes above named in quantities as above provided, the lands embraced in such reservation or reservations shall be allotted to each individual of each of said classes pro rata in accordance with the provisions of this act:
  9. accordance
    concurrence of opinion
    In this context "in accordance" means in "agreement with."
    That in case there is not sufficient land in any of said reservations to allot lands to each individual of the classes above named in quantities as above provided, the lands embraced in such reservation or reservations shall be allotted to each individual of each of said classes pro rata in accordance with the provisions of this act:
  10. provision
    a stipulated condition
    . . . That in case there is not sufficient land in any of said reservations to allot lands to each individual of the classes above named in quantities as above provided, the lands embraced in such reservation or reservations shall be allotted to each individual of each of said classes pro rata in accordance with the provisions of this act:
  11. excess
    more than is needed, desired, or required
    And provided further, That where the treaty or act of Congress setting apart such reservation provides the allotment of lands in severalty in quantities in excess of those herein provided . . .
  12. minor
    not of legal age
    That all allotments set apart under the provisions of this act shall be selected by the Indians, heads of families selecting for their minor children, and the agents shall select for each orphan child, and in such manner as to embrace the improvements of the Indians making the selection.
  13. agent
    a representative who acts on behalf of other persons or organizations
    That all allotments set apart under the provisions of this act shall be selected by the Indians, heads of families selecting for their minor children, and the agents shall select for each orphan child, and in such manner as to embrace the improvements of the Indians making the selection.
  14. provisional
    under terms not final or fully worked out or agreed upon
    In this context provisional means terms not specifically defined by this law, leaving the two parties to decide how to divide the land.
    Where the improvements of two or more Indians have been made on the same legal subdivision of land, unless they shall otherwise agree, a provisional line may be run dividing said lands between them . . .
  15. assignment
    the act of distributing something to designated places or persons
    Where the improvements of two or more Indians have been made on the same legal subdivision of land, unless they shall otherwise agree, a provisional line may be run dividing said lands between them, and the amount to which each is entitled shall be equalized in the assignment of the remainder of the land to which they are entitled under his act . . .
  16. secretary
    a person who is head of an administrative department of government
    The Secretary of the Interior was a member of the U.S. President's cabinet and head of the Interior Department of the government.
    . . . the Secretary of the Interior may direct the agent of such tribe or band, if such there be, and if there be no agent, then a special agent appointed for that purpose, to make a selection for such Indian . . .
  17. interior
    inside the country
    . . . the Secretary of the Interior may direct the agent of such tribe or band, if such there be, and if there be no agent, then a special agent appointed for that purpose, to make a selection for such Indian . . .
  18. patent
    an official document granting a right or privilege
    In this context a patent might also be a deed or another document stating ownership of land.
    . . . the Secretary of the Interior may direct the agent of such tribe or band, if such there be, and if there be no agent, then a special agent appointed for that purpose, to make a selection for such Indian, which selection shall be allotted as in cases where selections are made by the Indians, and patents shall issue in like manner.
  19. certify
    authorize officially
    That the allotments provided for in this act shall be made by special agents appointed by the President for such purpose, and the agents in charge of the respective reservations on which the allotments are directed to be made, under such rules and regulations as the Secretary of the Interior may from time to time prescribe, and shall be certified by such agents to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs . . .
  20. commissioner
    a government administrator
    . . . and shall be certified by such agents to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, in duplicate, one copy to be retained in the Indian Office and the other to be transmitted to the Secretary of the Interior for his action, and to be deposited in the General Land Office. . .
  21. transmit
    send from one person or place to another
    That the allotments provided for in this act shall be made by special agents appointed by the President for such purpose, and the agents in charge of the respective reservations on which the allotments are directed to be made, under such rules and regulations as the Secretary of the Interior may from time to time prescribe, and shall be certified by such agents to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, in duplicate, one copy to be retained in the Indian Office and the other to be transmitted to the
  22. reside
    live (in a certain place)
    That where any Indian not residing upon a reservation, or for whose tribe no reservation has been provided by treaty, act of Congress, or executive order, shall make settlement upon any surveyed or unsurveyed lands of the United States not otherwise appropriated. . .
  23. appropriate
    give or assign a resource to a particular person or cause
    That where any Indian not residing upon a reservation, or for whose tribe no reservation has been provided by treaty, act of Congress, or executive order, shall make settlement upon any surveyed or unsurveyed lands of the United States not otherwise appropriated. . .
  24. application
    a verbal or written request for assistance or employment or admission to a school
    That where any Indian not residing upon a reservation, or for whose tribe no reservation has been provided by treaty, act of Congress, or executive order, shall make settlement upon any surveyed or unsurveyed lands of the United States not otherwise appropriated, he or she shall be entitled, upon application to the local land-office for the district in which the lands are located, to have the same allotted to him or her, and to his or her children, in quantities and manner as provided in this ac
  25. disposition
    the act or means of getting rid of something
    And the fees to which the officers of such local land-office would have been entitled had such lands been entered under the general laws for the disposition of the public lands shall be paid to them. . .
  26. heir
    a person who is entitled by law or by the terms of a will to inherit the estate of another
    . . . and declare that the United States does and will hold the land thus allotted, for the period of twenty-five years, in trust for the sole use and benefit of the Indian to whom such allotment shall have been made, or, in case of his decease, of his heirs according to the laws of the State or Territory where such land is located. . .
  27. convey
    transfer to another
    . . . and declare that the United States does and will hold the land thus allotted, for the period of twenty-five years, in trust for the sole use and benefit of the Indian to whom such allotment shall have been made, or, in case of his decease, of his heirs according to the laws of the State or Territory where such land is located, and that at the expiration of said period the United States will convey the same by patent to said Indian, or his heirs. . .
  28. discretion
    freedom to act or judge on one's own
    That the President of the United States may in any case in his discretion extend the period.
  29. conveyance
    act of transferring property title from one person to another
    And if any conveyance shall be made of the lands set apart and allotted as herein provided, or any contract made touching the same, before the expiration of the time above mentioned, such conveyance or contract shall be absolutely null and void. . .
  30. void
    declare invalid
    And if any conveyance shall be made of the lands set apart and allotted as herein provided, or any contract made touching the same, before the expiration of the time above mentioned, such conveyance or contract shall be absolutely null and void. . .
  31. estate
    everything you own; all of your assets (whether real property or personal property) and liabilities
    Real estate is land that you own including buildings upon that land.
    . . . the laws of the State of Kansas regulating the descent and partition of real estate shall, so far as practicable, apply to all lands in the Indian Territory. . .
  32. conformity
    acting according to certain accepted standards
    . . . it shall be lawful for the Secretary of the Interior to negotiate with such Indian tribe for the purchase and release by said tribe, in conformity with the treaty or statute under which such reservation is held, of such portions of its reservation not allotted as such tribe shall, from time to time, consent to sell. . .
  33. statute
    an act passed by a legislative body
    A statute is a state or local law.
    . . . it shall be lawful for the Secretary of the Interior to negotiate with such Indian tribe for the purchase and release by said tribe, in conformity with the treaty or statute under which such reservation is held, of such portions of its reservation not allotted as such tribe shall, from time to time, consent to sell. . .
  34. consent
    permission to do something
    . . . it shall be lawful for the Secretary of the Interior to negotiate with such Indian tribe for the purchase and release by said tribe, in conformity with the treaty or statute under which such reservation is held, of such portions of its reservation not allotted as such tribe shall, from time to time, consent to sell. . .
  35. equitable
    fair to all parties as dictated by reason and conscience
    . . . it shall be lawful for the Secretary of the Interior to negotiate with such Indian tribe for the purchase and release by said tribe, in conformity with the treaty or statute under which such reservation is held, of such portions of its reservation not allotted as such tribe shall, from time to time, consent to sell, on such terms and conditions as shall be considered just and equitable between the United States and said tribe of Indians. . .
  36. adapt
    make fit for, or change to suit a new purpose
    . . . That all lands adapted to agriculture, with or without irrigation so sold or released to the United States by any Indian tribe shall be held by the United States for the sale purpose of securing homes to actual settlers. . .
  37. agriculture
    the practice of cultivating the land or raising stock
    The practice of farming is agriculture.
    . . . That all lands adapted to agriculture, with or without irrigation so sold or released to the United States by any Indian tribe shall be held by the United States for the sale purpose of securing homes to actual settlers. . .
  38. secure
    get by special effort
    Obtain is a synonym for secure.
    . . . That all lands adapted to agriculture, with or without irrigation so sold or released to the United States by any Indian tribe shall be held by the United States for the sale purpose of securing homes to actual settlers. . .
  39. dispose
    give, sell, or transfer to another
    . . . That all lands adapted to agriculture, with or without irrigation so sold or released to the United States by any Indian tribe shall be held by the United States for the sale purpose of securing homes to actual settlers and shall be disposed of by the United States to actual and bona fide settlers only tracts not exceeding one hundred and sixty acres to any one person. . .
  40. bona fide
    not counterfeit or copied
    Something that is genuine or real is bona fide.
    . . . That all lands adapted to agriculture, with or without irrigation so sold or released to the United States by any Indian tribe shall be held by the United States for the sale purpose of securing homes to actual settlers and shall be disposed of by the United States to actual and bona fide settlers only tracts not exceeding one hundred and sixty acres to any one person. . .
  41. tract
    an extended area of land
    . . . That all lands adapted to agriculture, with or without irrigation so sold or released to the United States by any Indian tribe shall be held by the United States for the sale purpose of securing homes to actual settlers and shall be disposed of by the United States to actual and bona fide settlers only tracts not exceeding one hundred and sixty acres to any one person. . .
  42. homestead
    the home and adjacent grounds occupied by a family
    And provided further, That no patents shall issue therefor except to the person so taking the same as and homestead, or his heirs, and after the expiration of five years occupancy therof as such homestead. . .
  43. occupancy
    an act of being a tenant or occupant
    And provided further, That no patents shall issue therefor except to the person so taking the same as and homestead, or his heirs, and after the expiration of five years occupancy therof as such homestead. . .
  44. appropriation
    money set aside (as by a legislature) for a specific purpose
    And the sums agreed to be paid by the United States as purchase money for any portion of any such reservation shall be held in the Treasury of the United States for the sole use of the tribe or tribes Indians; to whom such reservations belonged; and the same, with interest thereon at three per cent per annum, shall be at all times subject to appropriation by Congress for the education and civilization of such tribe or tribes of Indians or the members thereof.
  45. deem
    keep in mind or convey as a conviction or view
    Judge or consider are synonyms for deem.
    And if any religious society or other organization is now occupying any of the public lands to which this act is applicable, for religious or educational work among the Indians, the Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized to confirm such occupation to such society or organization, in quantity not exceeding one hundred and sixty acres in any one tract, so long as the same shall be so occupied, on such terms as he shall deem just. . .
  46. render
    cause to become
    That in cases where the use of water for irrigation is necessary to render the lands within any Indian reservation available for agricultural purposes, the Secretary of the Interior be, and he is hereby, authorized to prescribe such rules and regulations as he may deem necessary to secure a just and equal distribution thereof among the Indians residing upon any such reservation. . .
  47. riparian
    of or relating to or located on the banks of a river or stream
    . . . no other appropriation or grant of water by any riparian proprietor shall permitted to the damage of any other riparian proprietor.
  48. adjoin
    lie adjacent to another or share a boundary
    That the provisions of this act shall not extend to the territory occupied by the Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, Seminoles, and Osage, Miamies and Peorias, and Sacs and Foxes, in the Indian Territory, nor to any of the reservations of the Seneca Nation of New York Indians in the State of New York, nor to that strip of territory in the State of Nebraska adjoining the Sioux Nation on the south added by executive order.
  49. construe
    make sense of; assign a meaning to
    That nothing in this act contained shall be so construed to affect the right and power of Congress to grant the right of way through any lands granted to an Indian, or a tribe of Indians, for railroads or other highways, or telegraph lines, for the public use, or condemn such lands to public uses, upon making just compensation.
  50. condemn
    appropriate (property) for public use
    That nothing in this act contained shall be so construed to affect the right and power of Congress to grant the right of way through any lands granted to an Indian, or a tribe of Indians, for railroads or other highways, or telegraph lines, for the public use, or condemn such lands to public uses, upon making just compensation.
  51. compensation
    something (such as money) given or received as payment or reparation (as for a service or loss or injury)
    That nothing in this act contained shall be so construed to affect the right and power of Congress to grant the right of way through any lands granted to an Indian, or a tribe of Indians, for railroads or other highways, or telegraph lines, for the public use, or condemn such lands to public uses, upon making just compensation.