Some British Quakers Refused to Pay Egypt War Tax

The minutes from the London Yearly Meeting (of the Society of Friends) includes, about war tax resistance, only this brief note (from ):

In relation to the advices on War, Richard Brockbank mentioned that two members had refused to pay the 1½d. income tax imposed to meet the Egyptian war expenses. It would be well if the whole Society had done so.

White Americans living in Muscogee (Creek) territory before Oklahoma became a state in 1907 resisted paying taxes to the Creek Nation government, hoping the federal government would back them up if push came to shove.

The Durant Weekly News reported:

Fight on the Tribal Tax

Commercial Club of Tulsa and Muakogee Raise Fund to Make Test.

People to Resist Removal

Writs of Injunction Against Indian Police to Be Asked For — It is Collectible on .

The Commercial Club of this city has raised a fund of $200 to go into a common fund raised over the Territory, which will be used in resisting the collection of the Creek Nation tribal tax, imposed by the Creek Nation Counoil, when the nation was under control of that body. The tax has not been collected for three years, pending a decision in the courts and since the decision was adverse to the white people, the first payment becomes due .

It has been practically decided not to pay the tax without resistance, and plans to escape the assessments have been made. Congress recently passed an act that provides no United States Court or official has authority to enforce a law passed by an Indian council. The punishment for refusing to pay the tax is removal from the nation, and the plan is to resist removal by asking writs of injunction against the Indian police, which will delay matters until such a time as a decision can be had from the Supreme Court of the United States, and later from the President, in case the court’s decision is adverse to the position the people [sic] have taken.

At a meeting of business men here last night a resolution was adopted pledging every man present to resist the payment of the Creek tribal tax. Over six hundred of the leading business men of the city were present, and not only did they declare against paying the tribal tax, but subscribed liberally to the fund being raised to defray the expenses of the case now pending in the United States Supreme Court. They are confident of winning this case and will send a committee of five with attorneys in the case to Washington to appeal to the Secretary to defer collection of the tax which under a ruling of the Secretary of the Interior, must be paid tomorrow under penalty of closing every man’s place of business who refuses. If Secretary Hitchcock refuses the committee will appeal to President Roosevelt.

There is no penalty for refusing to pay, as it has been decided that no one can be ejected from the Territory who refuse to comply with the ruling of the Secretary, and an act of Congress prohibits the judiciary from enforcing a tribal law. This is an absolute law of the Creek tribe which Indians have never sought to have enforced, and the business men of the entire Creek Nation have passed resolutions refusing to pay it.

The day after the taxes came due, the tribal government shut down businesses that refused to pay. Muskogee police, allied with the businesses, had the tribal police chief and his officers arrested, but the charges didn’t stick. The tax stayed on the books and continued to be enforced through , after which it was abolished (along with the independence of the tribal governments) in the “Five Civilized Tribes” Act of 1906 by the U.S. Congress.