Conley v. Ballinger
216 U.S. 84 (1910)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Conley v. Ballinger, 216 U.S. 84 (1910)

Conley v. Ballinger

No. 77

Argued January 14, 1910

Decided January 31, 1910

216 U.S. 84

Syllabus

There is no question as to the complete legislative power of the United States over the land of the Wyandotte Indians while it remained in their occupation, and parcels excepted from the general distribution under the Treaty of 1855 continued under such legislative control for the benefit of the tribe.

While the United States maintains and protects Indian use of land and its occupation against others, it is bound itself only by honor, and not by law, and it will not be presumed to have abandoned at any time its attitude of protection towards its wards. Nor is its good faith broken by any change in disposition of property believed by Congress to be for the welfare of the Indians.

Even if a suit to enjoin disposition of property reserved by the Treaty of 1855 with the Wyandottes for cemetery use is not a suit against the United States, a descendant of an Indian buried in such cemetery cannot maintain such an action to enjoin the disposition of the reserved property in accordance with an act of Congress.

In view of the circumstances of this case, it is proper to dismiss the bill without costs under the provisions of the Act of March 3, 1875, c. 137, § 5.

Page 216 U. S. 85

The facts are stated in the opinion.

Page 216 U. S. 88

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