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In this letter, dated July 23, 1953, from Acting Assistant United States (US) Attorney General J. Edward Williams to US Representative Usher Burdick, Williams refers to communication Burdick has sent to the Office of the Chief of Engineers, US Department of Defense regarding a petition submitted by former Elbowoods, North Dakota residents who "agreed and affixed [their] signatures" for the sale of their homes to the US Corps of Engineers, and who, having waited more than two years without payment, are requesting to be paid immediately for those homes.

Williams explains that the matter has been referred to his Department, and informs Burdick that the signatories to the petition are parties defendant in a proceeding instituted December 21, 1951, for which a judgment has just been entered on July 17, 1953, fixing the just compensation for all parties except for Lillie Wolf and Anna May Bracklin McGrady, and that he has been informed that the payments would no doubt be paid in the immediate future.

Williams adds that his Department is not aware of any agreement signed by the parties to the petition, and speculates that "the document to which their signatures were affixed may have been the instrument evidencing the acceptance of the provisions of Public Law 437 (63 Stat. 1026) and erroneously construed as an option or stipulation."

See also:

Letter from Congressman Usher Burdick to Senator Langer Regarding Petition from Elbowoods, July 27, 1953

Petition from Elbowoods Residents to Senator Langer Requesting Payment for Taken Properties, June 25, 1953

United States of America vs. Certain Lands and Improvements in McLean, Dunn, McKenzie and Mercer Counties, North Dakota; Rufus B. Stevenson et al., and Unknown Owners, Civil 2386, July 17, 1953

Date of Work



Elbowoods, Elbowoods petition, condemnation, Public Law 437, Taking, Garrison Dam, Mandan Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation, Mandan, Nueta, Hidatsa, Arikara, Sahnish

Organizations Referenced

Mandan Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation, Mandan, Nueta, Hidatsa, Arikara, Sahnish, US Department of Justice, US Office of the Attorney General

People Referenced

J. Edward Williams, William Langer, Usher Burdick, Floyd Montclair, Willis Two Crow, Joseph Packineau Jr., John Bears Tail, Mary F. Goudreau, Vincent Malnouri, Clara N. Perkins, Clarence Perkins Sr., August Newman, Perpetua Grinnell, Regina Grinnell, Rita Grinnell, Richard Grinnell, Maggie Old Dog Grinnell, Edward H. Hall, Anna Hall, Emma Lockwood Jones, Adele F. Young Bear, Anna May Bracklin McGrady, McRoy Starr, Carlyle Sylvester Page, Nathan Little Soldier, Theodore Gillette, Mary Fox, Rose Nagle Fourneir, Margaret F. Brugh, Philip Atkins, May Smith, Laura Irwin, Bendict Heart, Amelia Spotted Wolf, Elsie Spotted Wolf, Elsie Foote, Eugene Jimmie Brugh, Margaret Harney, Mary Birds Bill Fox, Charles Fredericks, Rufus B. Stevenson


Political History | United States History

Letter from J. Edward Williams to Representative Usher Burdick Regarding Petition from Elbowoods Residents Requesting Payment for Taken Properties, July 23, 1953