UNITED STATES V. BOWLING, 256 U. S. 484 (1921)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Bowling, 256 U.S. 484 (1921)

United States v. Bowling

No. 295

Argued April 27, 1921

Decided June 1, 1921

256 U.S. 484


1. The power of the United States to ensure, by appropriate measures, that land allotted in severalty to a tribal Indian shall enure to the benefit of the allottee and his heirs while the title is restricted for their security is no less where the allotment has been patented in fee but subject to a restriction on alienation than where only a "trust patent" has issued and the fee remains with the United States in trust to be conveyed to the allottee or his heirs free of restriction at the end of the trust period. P. 256 U. S. 486.

2. In either case, as an incident of the power, Congress may authorize and require the Secretary of the Interior to determine the heirs of a deceased allottee and may make his decision final and conclusive. P. 256 U. S. 487.

3. The power of the Secretary of the Interior to determine the heirs of deceased allottees if, as originally granted by 1 of the Act of June 25, 1910, c. 431, 36 Stat. 855, it was intended to be confined to trust allotments, was extended to allotments in fee subject to restriction on alienation by the Act of August 1, 1914, c. 222, 38 Stat. 582, the first of a series appropriating money to meet the cost of

"determining the heirs of deceased Indian allottees having any right, title, or interest in any trust or restricted allotment under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the Interior."

So held in view of continuous executive practice antedating the first appropriation whereby the heirs of allottees holding restricted fees were determined in numerous cases, communication thereof through official reports to Congress, and provisos declaring the appropriations inapplicable to specified tribes whose allotments are of the restricted fee class. P. 256 U. S. 488.

261 F.6d 7 reversed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

Page 256 U. S. 485

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