After a long conflict over the slavery question, the state was admitted into the Union under a joint resolution of Congress adopted on the 1st of March 1845, 1 on condition that the United States should settle all questions of boundary with foreign governments, that Texas should retain all of its vacant and unappropriated public lands, and that new states, not exceeding four in number, might be formed within its limits.
In 1908 there still remained unappropriated and unsurveyed, according to the General Land Office, 754,895,296 acres.
Although British influence was powerful and the British consul for the Oil Rivers during this period exercised considerable authority over the native chiefs, requests made by them - in particular by the Dualla chiefs in 1882 - for annexation by Great Britain, were refused or neglected, with the result that when Germany started on her quest to pick up unappropriated parts of the African coast she was enabled to secure Cameroon.
Neither were the unfenced and unappropriated common lands - waste, bog, forest and mountain - which all clansmen were free to use promiscuously at will.
The land within certain boundaries belongs to the tribe, but a member may take possession of any unappropriated portion.