In response, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, by letter dated February 18, , to the Secretary disclosed that no proceedings to this effect had been undertaken. Powers 19; Kroeber We conclude, however, that this is a misreading of the effect of the allotment provisions in the Act.
An identical bill was introduced in the following Congress. United States, supra, at In , a bill providing for the allotment of the Klamath River Reservation was introduced. The site was ideally selected for the Yuroks. In , two bills were introduced in the House. The court thereby disposed of petitioner's primary defense to the forfeiture. On appeal, the State Court of Appeal affirmed, holding that, inasmuch as the area in question had been opened for unrestricted homestead entry in , the earlier reservation status of the land had terminated. Accordingly, the President turned to his authority under the Act to expand an existing, recognized reservation. It is of interest to note that each acceded to the request of the Commissioner that provision be made for prior allotments to resident Indians. The Assistant Attorney General, in the opinion referred to above, conceded the probable correctness of the Judgment, but was not convinced that his own views were erroneous, and he could not assent to the reasoning of the court. We intimate no opinion on those issues. This description is taken from President Franklin Pierce's Executive Order issued November 16, , pursuant to the authority granted by the Act of March 3, , 10 Stat. From this it would appear that the flood at least did not cause a dissolution of the tribe; on the contrary, the Yuroks continued to reside in the area through the turn of the century and beyond. Just a few weeks before the bill H. Thus, recognition of a fifth reservation along the Klamath River was not permissible under the Act. The Act had authorized the President to "set apart" no more than four tracts for Indian reservations in California. Yuroks remained on reservation land, and the Department of Indian Affairs regarded the Klamath River Reservation as "in a state of reservation" throughout the period from to According to the Report, the reservation had been abandoned after the freshet, and the Indians had moved to the Smith River and, later, the Hoopa Valley Reservations. But it does not appear that termination ever commanded majority support. The area described in the text is indicated as the "Old Klamath River Reservation. That whites had settled there is clear, but the view that no Indians remained after the flood of appears to have been a gross misconception on the part of those who sought termination. I While the current reservation status of the Klamath River Reservation turns primarily upon the effect of an Act of Congress which opened the reservation land for settlement, the meaning and effect of that Act cannot be determined without some reference to the Yurok Tribe and the history of the reservation between and The Yurok Indians apparently resided in the area of the lower Klamath River for a substantial period before , when the Klamath River Reservation was established. It was not until that any formal recognition occurred, and then it was the Congress, rather than the President, that acted. Little is known of their prior history. It is against this background of repeated legislative efforts to terminate the reservation, and to avoid allotting reservation lands to the Indians that the Act was introduced. The bill was then passed, and became the Act.
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