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Trouble Feared

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A SEKIOUS SITUATION. Washington, Aprll 9.- Becretary Noble views with considerable alarm the startling reporta that are coming to him trom the Oklahoma country. He believes there Ib sure to be serious trouble, and is now considering' what steps should be taken to preserve, so íar vb possible, peace and good oidor among the boomers. The Baltimore & OLio Kailroad Company has announced that It is making arrangement to carry about SO.CKM settlers into the territory. Other western railroads will probably have a correspondingly largo Immigratíon to transport. This muans that a population of not less than 200,01)0 persona will be duinped upon the wild and unknown prairie lands of Oklahoma at the close of the next two weeks. The problem is: What is going to become of these people? Bnt a small part of them wilt be able to secure homesteads. There are but 1,942,000 acres in the territory that is to be opened for settlement, which, allowing 160 acres for each pre-emption, gives all of these settlers only 12,000 homesteads to divide among them. Thousands who go there will have to come away without having accomplished any except to further impoverish themselves. That there will be desperate strnggles for the possession of the claims is a moral certainty. The boomers who have been on the ground for years eagerly awaitIng an opportunity to get hold of a homeBtead will imagine that they have a better right to the land than those who have only come to take advantage of the President's proclamation. It is from these people that the Secretary expecto trouble. He has been advised that the bushes are full of boomers detachnjents of soldiers have been unable to dislodge. They are desperate and determined to hold their ground, oost what it inay. The soldiers report that the boomers outnumber them twenty to one. As fast as they clear the busbes in one direction the boomers flnd hiding places in the other. Although every man who is now in the district legally forfeits his right to pre-empt land in the new country, they Beem determined to run the risk ol being blcklisted by the Government land agents rather than to permit other settlers to get aheud in the race for homesteads. But Secretary Noble says he is determined that the law laid down in the President's proclamation shall be strictly enforced, and with that end in Tiew will {five imperativo instructions to the land-ofüce agenta to be extremely vigilant and do all in their power to prevent persons who violated the law by entering the Oklahoma country prior to April 22 from getting homesteads. This of itself is sure to cause trouble, for it will result in many complicated conteste and unlimitedclaim-jumpinjr. That is what alarms Secretary Noble. Under the law any person who pre-empta a homestead can árst stake his claim and then have three months' time in which to xnake entry, or he may raake entry first and have six months' time before taking up hls residence upon bis claim. In Oklahoma he must also make aitidavit that he was not within the boundaiies of the territory from the time the proclamation was promulgated uatil April 22.


Old News
Ann Arbor Register