Roadway Through the Strip.
The Caldwell Journal, September 27, 1883.
The Cherokee Advocate copies an item published in the JOURNAL two or three weeks ago in reference to roadways through the Strip, and makes the following comments.
It would no doubt be a great accommodation to drovers and freighters to have a four miles wide road left, here and there, unfenced, through the lands recently leased by the Cherokees to a company of stockmen. It would probably be good policy for the lucky Company to make some such provision. But, as their obligation to the public to do any such thing, that is a pony of a different color. The Cherokee Nation leased to Cols. Drumm, Hewins, Eldred, and associates, 6,000,000 acres land, more or less, for grazing purposes, with no material restrictions except as to timber and the three salt springs and their approaches. The Company acquired the right to utilize, for their own benefit, every foot of land on which they pay rental; and while of course they would have no right to close up a well established highwayCsuch as a mail or military route, of ordinary width, it is entirely optional witht hem whether they do more. An open way four miles wide would contain 2,560 acres per mile, or 128,000 acres for 75 miles, capable of sustaining upwards of 8,500 grown cattle or horses at the low estimate of 15 acres per head. It is unreasonable to expect the gentlemen who leased these lands, or the Nation who owns them, to contribute, without consideration, so large a district and valuable a franchise simply to public con-venience! It may be good policy for the Stock Association to do so, but we cannot see that it is their duty, unless in securing the lease they gave assurances that certain routes, of certain width, would be held open. In the cattle business as in war and politics, To the victors belong the spoils.
The Cherokee Strip Live Stock Association are the victors so far as the the Strip is concerned. They will, in our opinion, work it for every dollar that it is worth. If it pays best to keep wide through routes, they will keep them if not, they will close up some, and narrow others and who shall blame them? Not we, while they fulfill all their obligations to the Cherokee Nation.