July 1, 1884: Message Regarding Settlement on Indian Territory
By the President of the United States of America
Whereas it is alleged that certain persons have within the territory and jurisdiction of the United States begun and set on foot preparations for an organized and forcible possession of and settlement upon the lands of what is known as the Oklahoma lands, in the Indian Territory, which Territory is designated, recognized, and described by the treaties and laws of the United States and by the executive authorities as Indian country, and as such is subject to occupation by Indian tribes only; and Whereas the laws of the United States provide for the removal of all persons residing or being found in said Indian Territory without express permission of the Interior Department:
Now, therefore, for the purpose of properly protecting the interests of the Indian nations and tribes in said Territory, and that settlers may not be induced to go into a country, at great expense to themselves, where they can not be allowed to remain, I, Chester A. Arthur, President of the United States, do admonish and warn all such persons so intending or preparing to remove upon said lands or into said Territory against any attempt to so remove or settle upon any of the lands of said Territory; and I do further warn and notify any and all such persons who do so offend that they will be speedily and immediately removed therefrom by the proper officers of the Interior Department, and, if necessary, the aid and assistance of the military forces of the United States will be involved to remove all such intruders from the said Indian Territory.
In testimony 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 1st day of July, A. D. 1884, and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and eighth.
CHESTER A. ARTHUR.
By the President:
FREDK. T. FRELINGHUYSEN,
Secretary of State.