Conners v. United States,
180 U.S. 271 (1901)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Conners v. United States, 180 U.S. 271 (1901)

Conners v. United States

No. 44

Argued December 17, 1900

Decided February 11, 1901

180 U.S. 271


Where a band belonging to the Cheyenne Indiana became dissatisfied with their reservation, separated themselves from the main body of the tribe, started northward to regain their former reservation, were pursued by the troops, were defeated in battle, became hostile and committed depredations upon citizens, it was held that neither the government nor the tribe to which they had originally belonged were responsible for the value of property taken or destroyed by them.

This was also, as in the last case, a claim for livestock taken and destroyed in October, 1878, by certain bands of the Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians, the suit being against the United States and Dull Knife's and Little Wolf's bands of Northern Cheyennes and the Northern and Southern Cheyennes and Arapahoe Indians. Defendants disclaimed responsibility upon the ground that the depredation was committed by an independent band of Indians not then in amity with the United States.

The Court of Claims made a finding of facts, the material article of which is set forth in the margin. *

Page 180 U. S. 272

Upon these findings of fact, the court decided as a conclusion of law:

The bands of Dull Knife and Little Wolf, at the time when

Page 180 U. S. 273

the depredation was committed, were independent bands of Indians, within the intent and meaning of the Indian Depredation Act, 1891, and the tribe of Northern Cheyennes, the defendants herein, was not responsible for their acts of depredation, and the petition should be dismissed. 33 Ct.Cl. 317.

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