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Indian depredation claims, 1796-1920

Author: Larry C Skogen
Publisher: Norman : University of Oklahoma Press, ©1996.
Series: Legal history of North America, v. 2.
Edition/Format:   Print book : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Beginning in the seventeenth century, with the colonization of the Americas, European immigrants and American Indians encountered each other's views on the rights and responsibilities of ownership. Disputes arose as a natural result of the meeting of two cultures, and occasionally these developed into sanguinary conflicts. In 1796 the United States Congress created the depredation claims system to compensate Indians
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Genre/Form: History
Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Larry C Skogen
ISBN: 0806127899 9780806127897
OCLC Number: 33408036
Description: xx, 290 pages : illustrations, 1 map ; 24 cm.
Contents: Chapter 1. The Colonial Background --
Chapter 2. The Promise of Eventual Indemnity, 1796-1859 --
Chapter 3. Pursuing the Promise: The Antebellum Years --
Chapter 4. The Promise in Transition: The Indian Office and Congress, 1860-1891 --
Chapter 5. Realizing the Promise: The United States Court of Claims, 1891-1920 --
Chapter 6. The Summer War of 1864: A Case Study --
Chapter 7. Paying the Bill: Indian Depredation Claim Payments --
Chapter 8. Conclusion.
Series Title: Legal history of North America, v. 2.
Responsibility: Larry C. Skogen.

Abstract:

Beginning in the seventeenth century, with the colonization of the Americas, European immigrants and American Indians encountered each other's views on the rights and responsibilities of ownership. Disputes arose as a natural result of the meeting of two cultures, and occasionally these developed into sanguinary conflicts. In 1796 the United States Congress created the depredation claims system to compensate Indians and settlers alike for the loss of property and thereby preserve peace on the frontiers.

By presenting the lives of non-Indian people who filed for relief from depredations and the legal and political systems under which they filed claims, Larry Skogen accentuates the distinction between the lofty ideals and the penurious, tedious reality of the claims system. Because the young nation could not afford to pay for every stolen cow or burned farmhouse, rules and policies were imposed on the system to protect the treasury, but they slowed the claims process and turned away legitimate claimants empty-handed. In addition the system, seldom used by Indians, became a target of unscrupulous settlers, who filed fraudulent claims and sometimes, because they had political connections, received compensation for losses never incurred.

When the system did provide indemnities, Indian nations paid for the actions of their miscreants of whom they disapproved, or, as much more often happened, the U.S. government used monies from the general treasury to pay lawyers and administrators of the estates of long-dead claimants.

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