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DAKOTA SUPERINTENDENOY.
No. 39.

dian affairs within the superintendency' of Dakota. The Indians, embraced in this superintendency have remained throughout the past year, so far as my knowledge extends, faithful to their treaty stipulations, and no danger is at present apprehended that they will be tempted to. , countenance any but a peaceful policy in their relation to the white settlements or to the government, and but few acts of hostility have taken place, even among' themselves. Crime of any kind has not apparently existed among them to any greater extent than would be found to exist among an equal number of civilized people more favorably located and under the restraints and discipline of our civil laws or municipal regulations, Hostilities have been threatened on the part of certain white inhabitants of Dakota against friendly Indians, on account of their camping in the neighborhood of white settlements while engaged in hunting and trapping; and though I failed to find that they had any actual or tenable grounds of complaint, I nevertheless used what peaceful influences were at my command to send the Indians away from that vicinity. I at the same time informed these people that I knew of no sufficient reason, if even 1 werepossessed of the authority, for driving .the friendly Indians, by acts of hostility, from the unoccupied lands of the government, which they were only temporarily occupying while passing to and fro in their customary hunting expeditions. I represented that acts of indiscretion or violence would greatly baffle the best efforts of the government authorities and good citizens to preserve the peace of the Territory, and might easily lead to the most deplorable consequences to both races, The evil consequences of unprovoked and unjustifiable war, like this, would faU most heavily upon those it was designed to protect. I must say, however, that the inhabitants of eastern Dakota" as a class, have acted toward the Indians in a very exemplary manner. For the last four years their intercourse with the Indians who were known to be friendly was of the most humane, generous, and friendly character, and was believed to be mutually beneficial. The condition of the Yancton agency shows marked improvement in all things except what may be traced to the action of unprecedented floods and the grasshoppers. Several buildings have been erected, a stockade built, and +,200 acres of land industriously cultivated. The ploughing and planting were done in good season, and the prospect for an abundant crop was more than usually favorable until the floods of June came, as noticed. in the agent's report. To. this great misfortune was added a visitation of grasshoppers, which left but little as a reward for all their labor. But the force ,Qr.,thefloods of June was not spent alone on the cornfields; by washing away the ground around and even under the saw mill, .~thas been left in a perilous condition, and if not moved in time, as I am informed by the agent and Special Agent Campbell, it will be washed into the river by the next spring flood. It should be moved at once to a more favorable position. The testimony of Agent Conger, as well as that of Agent Potter, in favor of the cultivation of small grains, is most decided. This year, like the past, has taught the important lesson that

, October 22, 1868. Sm: In conformity with the regulations of the department, I have the honor to submit this my third annnal report of the condition of In-

EXECUTIVE OFFICE, YANCTON, D. T.,

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wheat must be substituted for corn at the different agencies, at least south of Fort Berthold, if we hope to subsist the Indians by agricultural labor. The condition of the Ponca reserve shows marked improvement since this time one year ago. Twelve houses, two shops, and a steam saw-mill have been erected. The manual labor school-house has been taken down at the old agency, and removed a distance of 12 miles, where it will soon be re-ereeted on a more moderate and economical scale, and made serviceable tor school purposes. A large amount 01 farming was done, and a good crop of COTIl, wheat, and oats was matured, though partially injured by grasshoppers. A school has been in successful operation at this agency for the past . nine months, with an average attendance of about 50 scholars, and with every evidence of advancement in the primary department of an English education. But jnst at this interesting period of its existence, we are notified by the agent that with this fiscal year all funds for school .as well as for agricultural purposes cease, agreeably to the terms and conditions of their original treaty. This will be a serious and irreparable calamity, if not remedied by the most generous action of the government. If funds' for this purpose cannot be otherwise procured, the Poncas are willing and anxious to transfer their old reservation to the government for a moderate extension of these important and indispensable benefits. If no action is taken to procure an extension of these. annuities, their farms must relapse from their present cheerful and prosperous condition to a state of nature, and the children, who are rapidly gaining the rudiments of an English education, will soon forget all they have learned. . . Since my last report the Poncas have paid, with their cash annuity for 1867, for all. the improvements made on lands occupied by certain white settlers who were ejected from their new reservation by the terms of the supplementary treaty of 1865, approved March, 1867. It will be seen by the report of Agent Hanson for the month of September, that some of his most important and promising labors to locate the nomadic Indians under his charge, and instruct them in agricultural pursuits, have been frustrated by the cross-purposes of the Indian peace commissioner. I refer yon to the report for particulars. .This I cannot but think unfortunate for the true welfare of the Indians affected by it, and well calculated to cripple the energies and usefulness of the Indian department, whose 'relations toward the friendly Indians connected with the several agencies under the operation of the late acts of Oongress appear to be substantially the same now 'as they were before these acts were passed. In all other respects the Upper Missouri Sioux appear to be making respectable progress under the judicious management of the agent, and would undoubtedly do much better, as was suffleieutly urged in the manual. report of last year, if the funds provided in the several treaties with these bands were sufficient for the real necessities of the service. But this is evidently not the case. Unfortunately, the grasshopper plague, which passed over this agency a year ago, has visited it the present season, and has blasted the crops which previously gave promise of an abundant yield. This creates a pressing necessity for subsistence, to carry the Indians without suffering and starvation through the coming winter. which the funds at the disposal of the department will scarcely be adequate to supply. On the 8th of July last I paid 300 silver dollars, together with two silver medals and two parchments, to two Blackfoot Sioux connected with this agency, as presents from the President of the United States, for theirgood conduct in rescuing two white women from Indian captiv-

186

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ity. Such a recognition on the part of the government of thenobleand magnanimous conduct of these Indians, who thus gave the strongest possible proof of their desire to preserve peace and friendship with the white people, will do more than a regiment of cavalry could accomplish in the same direction. These Indians, brothers, named "Short Gun" (now deceased, but represented by a widow and children) and "Onethat-killed-the-Eagle," gavetwo horses, their own property, to redeem these prisoners, and restored them to their homes from a condition more intolerable than death itself. . More than three years had elapsed since this brave and disinterested act was performed, but, owing to what seemed unavoidable delay, this recognition of their services could not be made until the time above stated, when" One-that-killed-the-Eagle" was brought bysteamer to my office by Generals Harvey, Terry, and Sanborn, Indian peace commissioners, where payment was made in a manner as nearly corresponding to the original instructions as possible. The Arickarees, Gros Ven tres, and Maodans, on the upper Missouri, have been very successful in their farming operations neal' Fort Berthold. I am informed that their labor has been rewarded with an abundant crop of corll, which has altogether escaped the ravages of the grasshoppers, and which will relieve them from the danger of destitution through the coming winter. The report of Agent Wilkinson demands the serious attention of the department. He has in a previous communication complained of the abitrary military restrictions in relation to the sale of ammunition to friendly Indians. He now repeats it in his annual report. Also as. to taking of timber by the military commander at Fort Stevenson, within the reasonable limits of his agency, and where it cannot be spared without great detriment to the service. In addition to the necessary fuel required at the agency, houses must be built and extensive fencing' done, requiring all the timber rightfully belonging to the agency. For more definite information, I most respectfully refer you to the reports of the several agents and employes of this superintendency, I have the honor to be, your obedient servant, A. J. FAULK,
Hon.

Governor and ex oificWSuperintendent Indians Affairs.
E. MIX,

Acting Oommissioner Indian Affairs.

CHARLES

No. 40.

September 7, 1868. Sm: In obedience to orders, and in compliance with a long-established custom, I have the honor to submit the following as my fourth annual report of the condition, prospects,and progress of the Indians under my charge, viz., the Yancton Sioux. . The present season has been one of unexampled disaster for us. We made large preparations early in the spring to cultivate an unusual amount of land, and had our ploughing and planting all done in good season, and it is estimated by good judges that we had planted on this agency not less than 1,200 acres, mostly in corn. The season was propitious, and everything looked promising until about the 1st of June, when we were visited by One of the most terrific rain-storms ever known in this section of the country, completely deluging our corn-fields, and-in many places washing -

YANCTON AGENCY, DAKOTA. TERRITORY,

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SUPERINTENDENCY.

187

a.way the corn. But, nothing daunted, as soon as the water subsidedwe replanted where the corn was totally gone and straightened and hilled up that which was partially washed out. Soon again the corn began to flourish, and our prospects were clonded only by the dread that the grasshoppers, the scourge of this country, might come and rob us of all our hard earnings, our summer's toil, and our hope for the winter to come. Thus it was until the 1st day of August, when onr worst fears were realized; the dreaded grasshoppers came, and in such myriads of num.bers as almost to darken the sun, completely covering the ground, and destroying our corn, pumpkins, squashes, turnips, and in fact all kinds of vegetables that were growing on our plantation. Pr-actical farmers estimate that, had our crops matured without accident, we should have had not Jess than 50,000 bushels of corn, not to mention potatoes, pumpkins, squashes, aud turnips, which were totally destroyed. I now estimate that we shall save about 3,000 bushels of corn only. This makes four seasons that I have endeavored to raise corn on this reserve, I have taken every precaution to insure success-ploughed well, planted early, and cultivated thoroughly. Of the success of my several endeavors you have been duly informed in my annual and quarterly reports. We have met with only partial success one season out of four, and now it becomes a question of grave importance to us, What can we do' what shall we do in the future' I would suggest that we try wheat culture. The wheat crop of Dakota has been good.every season, I believe, since the experiment was first tried of raising it in the Territory. I have also observed that the cultivation. of wheat has largely increased in this country every year since I came to this agency, and I predict that it will be the product of Dakota so soon as mills are built where it .can be manufactured into flour without being compelled to lose half of the value of the wheat in transportation. I would respectfully urge upou your attention this subject, and beg you and the department to take the necessary steps to insure us at least a beginning in wheat culture next spring. Last fall the department, through Superintendent Denman, of Nebraska, furnished this agency with about 300 cows. I have had considerable trouble with the Indians concerning the cows. They were much disappointed and dissatisfied because the cows were not turned over. to them. I have endeavored to explain to them the reason why their Great Father did not wish them to have the care of their cattle; most of the chiefs and well-disposed men of the tribe are satisfied, for they well know that if the cattle were issued to them, there would not be 20 of them alive in one month, as the Indians would kill and eat them the first time they got hungry. The cows have done as well, perhaps, as could be expected under all the circumstances. We lost, during last winter and spring, about 100; some of them died from the effects of the severe winter, and some were clandestinely killed by the Indians. We have raised nearly 100 calves this summer, and they are in splendid condition, baving run all the season with the' cows and had all the milk the cows gave. I am strongly in the hope that the experiment of raising stock for these Indians will prove a success, notwithstanding all the discouragements -that must be encountered in any and all attempts that may be made to civilize and elevate a superstitious and savage race. We commenced cutting and putting up hay for our stock eight weeks ago, and have kept constantly since a large force employed. }\Iy farmer informs me that by the close of next week he will have a supply sufficient for all our stock, including teams, cows, and calves. He estimates that by, that day he win have not less than 650 or 700 tons of excellent hay, well stacked and secured, which amount I deem sufficient for our wants the coming winter.

188

DAKOTA SUPERINTENDENCY.

Within the year that has passed I have built a house for the use of the agent, one for the interpreter, and several for the Indians; have also built a fine stockade, besides yards and sheds for the cattle. The details for all I have already reported to you. The Yancton Indians have remained faithful to their pledges and treaty stipulations with the government, notwithstanding the wars and rumors of wars between their own and the white race all over this western COUlltry. They deserve well of the government, whose faithful ally they have proved themselves to be. And I beg for them, from the authorities, that just consideration which they have so nobly earned. In this connection I would again respectfully call the attention of the honorable Commissioner of Indian Affairs to the just claims these Indians have on the government for services rendered by 50 of them as scouts under General Sully. They have never received any compensation, (other than some rations while in the field,) neither for their own services nor for the use of their horses which they furnished. For further particulars, I beg to refer to my former correspondence upon this subject. My wife has taught a school again for three months this summer for. these Indians; they take a lively interest in the school, and have made commendable progress. The school has steadily increased in the number of attendants and in interest for the' three seasons that we have kept going, and I would respectfully but earnestly renew the recommendations upon this subject contained in my last annual report. I think, sir, that I have communicated everything that will be of interest to your excellency or the department in relation to the condition of the Indians under my charge, and I will close by subscribing myself, Respectfully, your obedient servant, P. H. CONGER, United States Yancton Agent. Ron. A. J. FAULK, Governor and ex officio Supt. Indian Affa'irs, Dakota Territory.

No.4i.
September 16, 1868. SIR: Since my last annual report I have continued to make such necessary improvements at this agency as the limited funds would admit of; 90 a-cres of prairie land have been broken, and about 450 acres of the old ground planted to corn and 12 acres sown to wheat and oats. Up to the time of my statistical report all of the crops had done well; but we were afterward visited by the grasshoppers, and the corncrop, which would not have yielded less than 10,000 bushels, was so far damaged that but half that amount was harvested. The wheat crop was very fine, but, being' some 12 miles distant from here, it was dangerous for small parties of men to work at it on account of the frequent raids of hostile Sioux Indians, and much was lost in harvesting. I ihink that small grain will generally be successful in this country,as it ripens earlier, and is fit to gather before the usual time that grasshoppers make their appearance. Seven sawed and five round log houses, a carpenter and blacksmith shop, and a steam saw-mill have been erected this year.· The manuallabor school-house, from the old agency, has been taken down, and is being' removed to the new agency, where it will soon be erected.
PONOA. AGENOY, DAKOTA TERRITORY,

DAKOTA SUPERINTENDENCY.

189

The manual-labor school commenced here about nine months ago has had an average attendance of 50 scholars since that date. Their progress in the elementary branches has been good; inany of them are able to read, and some to write., ,' , Before closing this report, I beg leave to call your attention to the fact that with this fiscal year all funds for agricultural and school purposes cease with this tribe.. They will be left on comparatively a new reserve, without funds to aid them in their agricultural pursuits, and with a school less than two years old, without money to maintain it. I have the honor to be" very respectfully, your obedient servant, J. A. POTTER, United States Indian Agent. Hon. A. J. FAULK, ' Governor and ex officio Supt. Indian Affairs, Yankton, D. T.

No. 42.
CROW CREEK AGENCY, DAKOTA TERRITORY, SIR:

September 16, 1868.

I have the honor to submit my third annual report relative to the condition of Indian affairs within the Upper Missouri Sioux agency.
LOWER BRULE AGENCY.

near the mouth of White river, 20 miles along the Missouri river, and 10 miles in depth. Early the past spring the band removed to and located upon this reservation, and I selected for the age~cy site a bottom on the Missouri river about 15 miles above the mouth of Whitt) river, wbere I have erected log buildings and begun farming operations for these Indians. With the assistance of government employes they have planted, under the superintendence of Judson La Morne, about 150 acres of ground, and would have realized a splendid yield of corn but for the. grasshoppers, which made their appearance the latter part of July and almost entirely ruined' the crop. I estimate they saved but about 25 per cent. The general behavior and disposition of these Indians to labor are very cheering. There is no band in the Sioux nation under my charge that has done so well, or that deserves more generous treatment from the government. The agency ought to have a saw-mill and grist-mill at once, so that decent buildings may be erected and good fencing provided for the Indian fields.
CROW CREEK AGENCY.

1865, with this band, they were given a permanent reservation at or

By the terms of the sixth article of the treaty concluded October 14,

The Indians located at this place comprise about one-half of the Lower Yanctonais band, and about one-half of the Two Kettle band. They have planted, under the superintendence of Edwin Vinton, with the assistance of employes, about 200 acres of ground, and would have realized a good yield of corn, but for the grasshoppers. I estimate that they saved not exceeding 25 per cent. of their entire crop. These Indians have heen very peaceable and quiet throughout the year, and have, for Indians, worked very well in their fields.

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With regard to this agency, I must say that it seems to me wholly impracticable to attempt long-er maintain an agency here for the excluto sive benefit of these fractional bands, and on their means alone. Were both bands fully represented here, so that the means provided for their benefit could be used at the one place, the agency could be kept up; but as the Indians are now divided, one-half the provision made for them must go to aid the other half of the bands living Ileal' Fort Sully and Fort Rice. I had hoped that Congress would make some more liberal appropriation than it has done for their benefit, so that the agency buildings could undergo repairs and be kept. in good condition. The old saw-mill, which was here when I took possession of the place, is useless, and I have despaired of getting another. In my opinion, if much of the last appropriation is not devoted to the purchase of provisions for the appreaching winter, many of them must starve before next spring; altogether I do not understand how the Indians can be fed, and the unavoidable agency expenses met, on their limited means. It is from a strict sense of duty I feel lowe the Indian service that I am induced to recommend the abandonment of the place as an agency for these Indians. I have travelled up and down the Missouririver almost as far as the Sioux country extends, and I can safely say that nowhere within the region of country claimed by this nation are there more desirable lands for farming operations than are included within the limits of the, Crow Creek reservations as they were originally laid out for the Santee and Winnebago Indians, and they are extensive enough to fnrrrish all the arable soil that will be required by the entire Sioux nation for planting purposes for half a century to come. If that half of the Two Kettle band now near Fort Sully, and that half of the Yanctonais band at Fort Rice, could be induced to locate ' here, there is no more desirable place to maintain an agency. But this cannot be done. If the place is abandond, those now here can probably be induced to join the other portion of their band and select locations somewhere on the new reservation provided by the peace commission. Under all the Circumstances, taking into consideration their means, their scattered condition, and their future interest, I am forced to the conclusion that it is best for the government and the Indians that the place be abandoned next spring' as an agency for these Indians.
LOCATION AT LITTLE BEND, OPPOSITE BIG CHEYENNE RIVER.

.

'I

~

i

The Indians who located last spring and commenced farming operations at this place are the Minneconjous, Sans Are, about one half of the Two Kettle, and about one half of the Blackfeet bands. They have, with the assistance of employes, under the superintendence of M. P. Propper, planted and cultivated 150 acres of ground. Until the appearance of grasshoppers, the latter part of July, their crops looked very well, though some portions o~ their field su:ifere~from drough~. ~ut for the grasshoppers, the Indians would have realized a very fall' Y18ld of corn. They have lost their entire crop. These Indians have done very well for beginners, but their general behavior has not been so commendable as that of the Indians located at other places. Influenced by bad advice from whites, they have attempted some mean acts] altogether, however, I am very well satisfied with their progress. It is probable that most of these Indians will select locations this fall, on the west side of the Missouri river, so as to comply with the wishes of the

DAKOTA SUPERINTENDENCY.

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peace commission, but will probably want to plant next season where they have this, as the ground at this place will be in much better condition than any which can be provided for them this fall or next spring.
FORT RICE.

But few of the Indians who make this place their headquarters (Oncpapas, Upper Yanctonais, parts of the Blackfeet and Lower Yanctonais) have evinced any desire to settle down and engage in farming. A few of. the Lower Yanctonais band have planted about 16 or 20 acres. The ploughing was done for them by OolonelE. S. Otis, commanding the post, who has given them all the assistance and encouragement he could. I have had two employes, part of the season, to assist the Indians about their corn-field. The Oncpapa and Blackfeet bands will probably select locations on th~ new reservation. The Yauctonais band will not, in my opinion, do this at present, as the country they claim lies east of the Missouri river. .
CONCLUSION.

Considering the limited means at my disposal with which to aid and encourage the Indians in their farming operations, the progress they have made ought to satisfy anyborly familiar with the peculiarities of these wild people, very many of whom never before attempted to raise It hill of corn, or ever thought, until within the past year, that they would ever have to depend upon any other mode of gaining a living than the chase. The peace they have been influenced to maintain has saved the government millions of dollars, but has entailed misery and semi-starvation upon themselves. The treatment the government seems determined to continue toward those who have remained friendly throughout all our Indian difficulties is wrong, and if persisted in will cause trouble with them. It appropriates liberal sums--more liberal than were ever before granted to Indians--to the benefit of the miserable devils besmeared with the blood of white men, women, and ehildren-wbose hostility has cost the government millions of dollars-aud lets the friendly Indians, who have lived and suffered under but maintainedin good faith the terms of their treaties made in 1865, go naked and hungry half the year round. It is a shame, a disgrace to the government, an insult to the friendly Indians, to justice, and the dictates of humanity. These Indians are not so blind that they do not see and understand this state of affairs. When they are hungry, and their children cry for food, let them see their neighbors feasting in plenty, and do you think it will be an incentive to peace or war ¥ I hope this picture will never spring into life, yet circumstances seem to be giving it vitality. Large amounts ofprovisions have gone up the river to subsist the bands with which treaties have been made, while Indians here are already in a starving condition, and begin to grumble and regret that they too have not been fighting the government. I tell you it will not do to treat any portion of the Indians in the Sioux country more liberally than others, forit will prove a 'purohase of the friendship of enemies at the cost of war with friends. . The Indians at Crow Creek agency and on the Brule reservation must be subsisted through the coming winter. Their corn crop proved almost an entire failure. There really appears to be no game of any consequence within their reach. Buffalo have almost entirely disappeared from this region. They may be able to partially subsist them-

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SUPERINTENDENCY.

selves upon small game-such as duck, geese, and antelope-until cold weather, when they will be perfectly helpless. Never before, since these Indians have been under my charge, has the danger of starvation seemed so Imminent, Their good conduct throughout the past year deserves consideration, and their condition appeals to the generosity of the governmeu t. I have the honor to 'enclose with this report the second annual report of Dr. H. F. Livingston, agency physician. Dr, Livingston has been very successful in his professional efforts among these Indians. He has experienced great inconvenience in his practice for the want of necessary medicines. The doctor has been more than a year in the service, but has not received a dollar in compensation. It seems to me that Congress makes an annual appropriation for the support of a physician and purchase of medicines for these Indians. I respectfully draw your attention to this subject. • Very respectfully, your obedient servant, . J. R. HANSON, United States Indian Agent Upper Missout'i Sio'U3J. Hon. A. J. FAULK, Gov. and ex officio Sup'tIndian Affairs, Yancton, P. T.

No. 43. September 30, 1868. _SIR: I have the honor to make this my fourth annual report to your excellency. . I arrived here on the 24th June; found the provisions previously sent up on the "War Eagle" in good quaIityand condition; I made distributions weekly to the Indians; I had plenty to subsist them on till their corn and squashes were sufficient.lyadvanced for use. The Indians at this post are better off for crops and horses than th~y have been since I came among them. They were greatly in hopes of getting their full supply of provisions as they did last year; game is scarce, and no nearer than the valley of the Yellowstone; they are constantly at war with the Sioux, who are now in that count.ry; nothing 'but absolute starvation will induce these people to go on their usual fall hunt ; the failure to send to them guns and ammunition IS a serious difficulty in the way of their subsistence, which should be remedied as soon as possible. The military order of two years since, regulating' the sale of ammunition, is still in force on this upper river. I would respectfully urge upon your attention the importance of taking immediate action to relieve such of the Indians as are under my control from this oppression. I made the annual distribution of annuities to these Indians :in September; they were entirely satisfied, The goods for the Assiniboines and Crows I placed under the charge of Special Agent Hoilman, who took them to Fort Peck and made the distribution. The Assiniboines should be provided with the means for farming next year; they are very anxious. The teams for this agency were delivered late in July, since which time we have a blacksmith and carpenter shops, a saw and grist mill in successful operation; we have corrals for our hay and stock-175 tons of hay. I took the liberty to let a contract for the getting 300,000feet of lumber (in the log) delivered on the bank at the
FORT BERTHOLD AGENCY,

F

DAKOTA SUPERINTENDENCY.

19.3

mills. My reasons for letting this contract were, I had not sufficient means at my commandto 'get the logs before the river closed; we will need the lumber for fencing and other purposes before we can do such work in the low bottoms, where .the timber is to be had, but chiefly because of the cutting of our most available timber by the contractors at Fort Stevenson, report of which I forwarded to your office,with copies of the correspondence with the commander of that post. I:find them letting further contracts. I thought it best to let any contract, or take any means within my power, to secure at least a portion of the timber. I must, next summer, make at least 12 miles of fence to secure 'the Indians' corn-fields, in addition to which must erect somebuildings and repair others. I have not now half enough logs to furnish lumber. I hope I may be pardoned for insisting that the taking of my timber in that way a very great hardship. I was also forced to let a contract for charcoal. The coal at this place has not been sufficiently worked to determine fairly its availability further than for fuel. , I am unable to :findanyone who is willing to .board the employes of the agency; I have no subsistence for them, hence am compelled to purchase as best I can such stores as I can get from boats; I will carefully examine all such bills, and I presume they will be presented at your office; I have no funds for their payment. I would urge the necessity of the employment of a competent physician for the Indians at this place; they are surely in need of one, more so than any other agency on the river, living as they do, during the entire warm season, in a very compact village. They are very much in need of schools; competent teachers should be provided for them. Very respectfully, your obedient servant, MARLON WILKINSON, Hon. A.
United States Agent.
J.FAULK,
e:J)

Gooernor and

off. Supt. Iridian Affairs,

YtwWton, D. T.

No. 4:4.
LAKE TRAVERSE AGENCY,

October 31, 1868.

Sm: I have the honor to submit this my second annual report as agent of the Sissiton and Wahpeton Sioux, located on reservations designated at. Lake Traverse and at Devil's lake, both in Dakota Terri· tory, by the treaty made with those Indians on the 19th of February, Immediately on my return to the agency I proceeded to ascertain the condition of the Indians on this reservation and about Fort Wadsworth, and from there went to Forts Ransom, Totten, and Abercrombie. At all of these posts there are Indians belonging to this reservation, except those on the Devil Lake reservation about Fort Totten. This post has been unfortunately located for the Indians, (as I believe,) since certain boundaries were designated by the treaty above referred to on their reservation. These reservations were designated and intended as permanent homes for such Indians as come on to them claiming the protection of the government, and asking to he aided, on entering into agrieulturalpursuits for a subsistence, as a means of returning 'to the prosperous condition many of them enjoyed previous to the unfortunate outbreak of 1862, and as security against the sufferings incident to the
1867. ,

194

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SUPERINTENDENCY.

yeady increasing uncertainty of: a living from the chase, from the departure of the buffalo and elk from this region of country. On both reservations the Indians express great desire to be aided, and ask for the ploughing of land and building of houses, or to be furnished with animals and such implements and tools as will enable them to make such progress as to verify the statements of themselves and their friends to your department, arid will satisfy all familiar with their exer-' tions that they can at an early day sustain 'themselvea, The unfavorable circumstances under which they commenced operations after making the late treaty with the government, it being ratified in April, 1867, and Congress having adjourned, no appropriation was made to carry out the provisions of it, and the department not having funds that could be applied to their use, but little could be done to assist them last year. Less than $6,000 has been expended for provisions to subsist the Indians on the Lake Traverse reservation since I took charge of them in August, 1867, and they were entirely out of supplies on my arrival here at that time. Nearly all the provisions I have referred to were 'purchased .under instructions and on the credit of the department, subject to an appropriation by Congress for the payment thereof: Notwithstanding the smallamount applied, and under such discouraging conditions, the advantages arising from the tr~aty, and the principles on which it is based.viz : of furnishing only those who earn their subsistenee, by paying them in what they necessarily require for the work they have done, (unless they are old, infirm, or unable to perform manuallabor,) have fully proved the benefit thereof by the experience and trials of the past year. Stimulated by expectations arising" from the making of the treaty, as shown by last yealJs report, they planted in 1867, without any implements being furnished them by the government, 36 acres of potatoes and 110 acres of corn, made 757 yards of fence, and cut and put up 476~ tons of hay. The crops were mostly put in with old worn-out hoes; the scythes used were considered useless, and obtained from Fort Wadsworth so far as they could be;.and many, it is reported to me, cut the grass with their knives, In payment for this labor, as I there stated, nearly all the provisions then ordered to be furnished would .be absorbed, viz: $5,425 then contracted to be delivered by John L. Merriam, esq. A ca,refuUy taken census and enumeration has recently been made by Charles. Crawford, interpreter for this agency, after a personal inspection of these places, and it is ascertained that there are, on and near this reservation, 1,637 Indians. They have had withiu the last year one dozen axes, 114 hoes, and 100 scythes and snaths given to them, and the result of their labors are about as follows, viz: logs cut for 15 houses, 287 acres ploughed and cultivated ground, which has produced 2,263 bushels of corn, 667 bushels of potatoes, a considerable quantity of turnips, and a large number of pumpkins, and they have made 997! tons of hay. In thi~ connection it is proper to state the government furnished them with a. few ploughs, (loaned,) and that the ploughing was, the most of it, clone with the teams belonging to themselves. For further particulars, see statistical tables furnished and forwarded herewith, marked A and .B. . The Indians on the Devil's Lake reservation have been principally subsisted by the officers of the post on that reservation. Ma:jor J. R. Brown furnished them with a quantity of goods and some provisions, which are reported to have relieved their requirements during' the past spring. His accounts have been allowed and paid by your officers. I am unable to state the amount of it precisely. The nortion renorted

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stored by my interpreter I shall do nothing with until spring, when it is my intention to apply it on the same principle to the Indians on that reservation, that has been so sncceasfully introduced on the reservation .here. From information recently obtained from Major and Brevet Colonel J. O. Whistler, who has been in command of Fort Totten about a . year, I ascertained the largest number to which rations were issued at that post during the last winter was 681, the most of whom received them about two months. It is not too much to say, in referring to this subject, that but for this timely aid many of them would have perished from starvation. Great credit is due to that officer for the discrimination and humane exercise of his authority, so clearly illustrative of large experience with and knowledge of Indian character. There were at this time about 300 Indians on the Devil's Lake reservation, with a reasonable probability of about as many more going in during the winter months, if they do not remain on this reservation, where a num ber of them are at present. Those that have remained there express an equal desire with the Indians here to open places for themselves, and Colonel Whistler assures me they are willing to work, and,' I think, agrees with me they may with proper assistance soon be placed in a condition to support themselves. Until something more is done than has been to satisfy these people that places will be opened for them, no considerable number of them will be satisfied to locate permanently on that reservation, as was contemplated by the treaty; and upon the improved condition of those now there must we depend for the inflnences that are to operate on and counteract the movements of those still interrnpting the lines of communication on our northern border. I desire to acknowledge the kindness of Major General A. G. Terry, commanding this military depart- . ment, in directing the condemned provisions at Fort Wadsworth, at that time on hand, to be turned over to me for distribution to the Indians, as noticed by my letter to yonr office the 29th of November, 1867. Although these supplies were not given to the Indians in the manner proposed at that time, the order secured them to the Indians, and greatly aided in subsisting those on the Lake Traverse reservation during the winter, and enabled my assistant ill charge here to husband the small amount being furnished to enable them to plant in the spring. These indiscriminate issues, although relieving their necessities at the time, led to evils by encouraging the idle to hang around the post, and if encouraged will certainly retard if not entirely prevent the success of the auspicious commencement nnder the treaty on this reservation. It is not to be expected that Indians, any more than white men, will work from choice if they can obtain a living without doing so; and the advice of inexperienced friends, sometimes undoubtedly well meant, that they must look to the military to support them, taking the most charitable views of the motives that prompt such expressions, should be regarded wrong, as it is known to be a positive injury to them. Such advice, besides being many other ways injurious, is intended to create difficulties between the laboring Indians and those designated blanket Indians, by encouraging them to bring guns into and around the post, which rna,. lead, as it did from similar causes in 1862, to consequences as dangerous to the white settlements on the frontier as it was disastrous to themselves, Examination of the reservation since the treaty was made induces me to form the opinion that a strict construction of section 7 of that instrument would seem to require the location and construction of the agency buildings at or on Lake Traverse is not such a location as . will promote the best interests of the Indians generally, and I reeom-

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mend it shall be so construed or changed, QY an amendment to the treaty, as to allow them to be built at, or near central to the settlements made by Indians for permanent improvement, and also with reference to a central position of the farming land on the reservation, and would respectfully ask to be instructed in regard thereto, hoping an early appropriation will be made for this improvement. The necessity for it must be apparent, as I am compelled to live at the house of Major J. R. Brown, not on the reservation, but the only habitable place near the designated location for the agency by the treaty, or otherwise go to Fort WadFlworth, intended by the treaty lines and believed to be several miles west of the reservation, and which would add greatly to the cost of everything I furnished to the Indians, by the increase of transportation of 37 miles over a road a large portion of whieh is very hilly and necessarily expensive, I have taken into consideration the rapid development in agriculture, civilization,.and Christian advancement of many of these people, and as the Indians are extremely anxious to have the houses completed this fall they have so sedulously labored to secure by cutting the logs for them, I will make every effort to accomplish all that can be done for them, considering the lateness of the season, the means placed at. my disposal to aid them, and the great distance (75 miles) we have to haul the 'lutnber, and will report further in regard to the progress made when the severe weather compels us to quit work for the winter. I herewith submit estimates necessary to carry out the contemplated improvements for them on each reservation, viz: for establishing schools among them and for assisting in such agricultural, mechanical and other improvements} building houses, &c" for them, as will, if appropriated and judiciously expended under the provisions of the treaty, in a very few years relieve the government of their support. Very respectfully, your obedient servant, BENJ'N THOMPSON, United States Indian Agent. Hon. N. G. TAYLOR, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Waskingwn, D. C.

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IDAHO SlTPERINTENDENCY. No. 45. Boise City, September 12, 1868.. Sm: I have the honor to submit my annual report of the condition of Indian affairs within the bounds of this superintendency for the year ending August 31 1868, and to transmit herewith reports of Special Agents Powell and Hough, who, not being in charge of regularly established agencies, have no statistical tables of population, schools, agri. culture, &c., to forward. . I am.not furnished with the usual reports from:the Nez Perces agency. Having on the 22d of June, 1868, forwarded to the agent your circular of June 3, 1868, relative to annual reports, &c" I can account for the non-receipt thereof only by the facts, that since last March the agency has been temporarily in charge of Mr. J. W. Anderson, the late agent, James O'Neill, being still absent at Washington, and the lately appointed agent, Mr. Newell, not having entered upon the duties of his office. I
OFFICE OF SUPERINTENDENT INDIAN AFF.A.IRS,

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