This section is from the book "Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: A Guide To Correct Writing", by Thos. E. Hill. Also available from Amazon: Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: The How-To-Do-Everything Book Of Victorian America.
The Commissioner of Indian Affairs has the management of all Indian affairs and all matters arising out of Indian relations. To him are transmitted, for examination, all accounts and vouchers for claims and disbursements connected with Indian affairs, and by him they are passed to the proper accounting officer of the department of the Treasury for settlement.
The President may prescribe such regulations as he deems proper for carrying into effect the various legal provisions relating to the control of Indian affairs; and the Secretary of the Interior also prepares and publishes regulations, at his discretion, establishing the method of presenting claims, arising under treaty stipulations or Congressional laws, for compensation for depredations committed by Indians, and the character of the evidence brought to support such claims.
It is the duty of the Secretary of the Interior, also, to make and maintain such rules as are necessary to prohibit the sale of arms or ammunition within any district or country occupied by uncivilized or hostile Indians.
It is the duty of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to report annually to Congress a tabular statement showing distinctly the separate objects of expenditure under his supervision, during the fiscal year next preceding each report. In his annual report he embodies the statements of all agents or commissioners issuing food, clothing or supplies of any kind to Indians, with the number of Indians present and actually receiving such supplies.
The commissioner is authorized, with the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, to appoint a person to sign the name of the commissioner to certificates or warrants for bounty lands to soldiers, sailors, etc.
The commissioner is authorized to detail, from time to time, any of the clerks in his office to investigate any suspected attempts to defraud the United States in or affecting the adminstration of any law relative to pensions, and to aid in the prosecution of any person implicated, with such additional compensation as is customary in cases of special service; and such person is empowered to administer oaths in the course of such investigation.
The Board of Indian Commissioners consists of not more than ten persons, appointed by the President; men eminent for intelligence and philanthropy, who receive no compensation for performing their duties under such appointment. The board has power to appoint one of its members as its secretary, who is entitled to such reasonable salary as may be agreed upon by the board, to be paid from any moneys appropriated by the government for the expenses of the commission. The board supervises all expenditures of money appropriated for the benefit of Indians within the limits of the United States, and inspects all goods purchased for Indians, in connection with the Indian service, and has access to all books and papers relating thereto in any government office; but the examination of vouchers and accounts by the executive committee of the board is not necessary to secure their payment.
The President is authorized to appoint several Indian inspectors, not exceeding five in number, each of whom holds his office for four years, unless sooner removed.
As often as twice a year one or more of the inspectors is required to visit each Indian super-intendency and agency and fully investigate all matters pertaining to the business of each, including an examination of its accounts, the manner of expending money, the number of Indians provided for, contracts of all kinds connected with the business, the condition of the Indians, their advancement in civilization, the extent of the reservations, and what use is made of the lands set apart for that purpose, and, generally, all matters belonging to the Indian service.
Each inspector has power to examine on oath all officers and other persons in and about the superintendencies and agencies, and to suspend from office any superintendent, agent, or employe, and appoint another person temporarily to fill the vacancy created by the suspension, reporting his action to the President. The inspectors are, also, each empowered to enforce the laws and prevent the violation of the laws in the several agencies and superintendencies. It is so arranged that the same inspector may not investigate the affairs of any superintendency or agency twice in succession.
The President is authorized, from time to time, to appoint four or more superintendents of Indian affairs, and each holds his office four years.
Each superintendent, within his district, exercises a general supervision and control over the official conduct and accounts of all officers and persons employed by the government in Indian affairs, under such regulations as are established by the President, and may suspend such officers and persons from their offices or employments for reasons forthwith to be communicated to the Secretary of the Interior; and, also, to perform within his district such duties as may be properly assigned to him. The Secretary of the Interior may, at his discretion, authorize the temporary employment of clerks by superintendents of Indian affairs whenever the public interests seem to require it.
Whenever a superintendency is discontinued by the President, or abolished by law, the agents in that district report directly to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs.
From time to time the President is authorized to appoint numerous Indian agents, locating them among the Indian tribes west of the Mississippi river, and from Texas to Oregon. The President has power to discontinue any agent at his discretion, or to require one agent to perform duty at two agencies for one salary. Each agent holds his office four years, and before entering upon his duties is required to give a bond with such security as the President or Secretary of the Interior may require. Within his agency he manages and superintends the intercourse with the Indians according to law, and executes and performs such regulations and duties as may be prescribed by the President, the Secretary of the Interior, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, or the Superintendent of Indian Affairs.
Every agent is required to reside and keep his agency within or near the tribe of Indians to which he is assigned, and at such place as the President may designate, and may not leave the limits of his agency without permission.
The President may require any military officer of the United States to execute the duties of an Indian agent, and such officer receives no other compensation than his army pay and actual traveling expenses.
Indian agents are authorized to take acknowledgments of deeds and other instruments of writing, and to administer oaths in investigations committed to them in the Indian country, under rules and regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the Interior.
The President also appoints a competent number of sub-Indian agents, to be employed and to reside wherever the President may direct.
The limits of each superintendency, agency and sub-agency are established by the Secretary of the Interior, either by tribes or geographical boundaries. All special agents and commissioners not appointed by the President are appointed by the Secretary of the Interior.
An interpreter is allowed to each agency. Where there are several tribes in the same agency speaking different languages, one interpreter may be allowed by the Secretary of the Interior for each of such tribes. Interpreters may be nominated by the proper agents to the Department of the Interior for approval, and may be suspended by the agent, for cause, from pay and duty, and the circumstances reported to the Department of the Interior for final action.
Whenever persons of Indian descent can be found who are properly qualified for the performance of the necessary duties, preference is given to them in all cases of appointments of interpreters and other persons employed for the benefit of the Indians.
The Secretary of the Interior must, under the direction of the President, cause the discontinuance of the services of such agents, sub-agents, interpreters, etc., as may from time to time become unnecessary in consequence of the emigration of the Indians, or other causes.
No person employed in Indian affairs may have any interest or concern in any trade with the Indians, except for and on account of the United States, under a penalty of $5,000 and removal from office.
In every case where the President may judge improvement in the habits and condition of Indians practicable, and ascertains that the means of instruction can be introduced among them with their own consent, he may employ capable persons of good moral character to instruct them in the mode of agriculture suited to their situation, and to teach their children in reading, writing and arithmetic, under such regulations as the President may prescribe. And when any of the Indian tribes are, in the opinion of the Secretary of the Interior, competent to direct the employment of their blacksmiths, mechanics, teachers, farmers or other persons engaged for them, the direction of such persons may be given to the proper authority of the tribe.
Any loyal citizen of the United States, of good moral character, may be permitted to trade with any Indian tribe upon giving a bond to the United States of not less than $5,000, with good security, approved by the proper authorities, conditioned that he will faithfully observe all laws and regulations made for the government of trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes, and in no respect violate the same.