Siletz Indian Agency,
Toledo, Benton Co Oregon
June 18th 1880
Hon R E. Trowbridge.
Comr Indian Affairs
After taking charge of this Agency a few months and becoming conversant with its workings, I found it necessary, (as the Indians were occupying small plots of ground in the immediate neighborhood of the Agency buildings) to spread them over a greater area of territory for the purpose of breaking up an old custom of assembling in idle groups about the Agency, and for the further reason of giving them an increased quantity of land,- and also, to enable the Agent to provide forage for added Government stock, and my efforts in this direction are quite sucessful, so far as the industrious class are concerned. There is another class whose only ambition is to live extensivily from Government
supplies, if withheld, they become clamorous, requiring great caution on the part of the Agent to fully carry out the design of the Indian Department.
I also found it necessary to curtail in many things some of the white employes, and especially in the use of lands heretofore assigned them for stock raising, and gardens, (although each one is allowed a garden now) some of them occupied in three separate places. It seems to be necessary some times to check over our white employes, such especially as have been employed by Government any length of time, they appearing to think that Reservations were formed more for their employment, than for the benefit of the Indians. I wish to call your attention to another point while I recognize this as a Methodist Mission, and having been a member of that denomination for more than thirty years, at the same time I cannot endorse the idea so prevalent here, that all of the employes must be chosen from that body, regardless of fitness in other important things. Soon after my arrival here, I found one of them to be an improper person for the
Government service from the fact of his dishonesty, though an active member of our church, I at once dismissed him, holding as I do, that the man is valuable more for his works than for his theories, and I am fully persuaded that the Department will allow me to be the judge of the efficiency of employes as long as I hold the position of Agent. I am fully sensible of the responsability resting upon me in the discharge of my duties in this position, and must of necessity have such men as will sustain me to that end.
Very Respectfully Your Obt Servt,
E A. Swan
U S. Indian Agent