DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
OFFICE OF INDIAN AFFAIRS,
November 1, 1873.
I have the honor, in accordance with law, to forward herewith the annual report of Indian affairs of the country.
In respect to the general question of civilization of Indians, the record of the year is a good one. In many of the agencies gratifying progress has been made, as shown in increased interest in the education of children, a disposition to labor, the desire for allotment of lands, and in the increase of stock and ordinary farm products, and other personal property. At other agencies serious efforts in the same direction have developed more decidedly the difficulties which lie in the way of progress. Among these hinderances six are especially noticeable.
First. A radical hinderance is in the anomalous relation of many of the Indian tribes to the Government, which requires them to be treated as sovereign powers and wards at one and the same time. The comparative weakness of the whites made it expedient, in our early history, to deal with the wild Indian tribes as with powers capable of self-protection and fulfilling treaty obligations, and so a kind of fiction and absurdity has come into all our Indian relations. We have in theory over sixty-five independent nations within our borders, with whom we have entered into treaty relations as being sovereign peoples; and at the same time the white agent is sent to control and supervise these foreign powers, and care for them as wards of the Government. This double condition of sovereignty and wardship involves increasing difficulties and absurdities, as the traditional chieftain, losing his hold upon his tribe, ceases to be distinguished for anything except for the lion's share of goods and moneys which the Government endeavors to send, through him, to his nominal subjects, and as the necessities of the Indians, pressed on every side by civilization, require more help and greater discrimination in the manner of distributing the tribal funds. So far, and as rapidly as possible; all recognition of Indians in any other relation than strictly as subjects of the Government should cease. To provide for this, radical legislation will be required.
The second hinderance, growing direct1y out of the first, is found in the form in which the benefactions of the Government reach the Indian. In treaties heretofore made with many of the tribes, large sums
are stipulated to be paid in cash annuities. Facts show that ordinarily the Indians who have received the most money in this form are in the most unfavorable condition for civilization. The bounty of the Government has pauperized them, and in some cases has tended to brutalize more than to civilize. There are instances where for many years tribes have been receiving from $300 to $500 cash annually to each family of four or five persons, and in all such cases the Indians have made no use of the soil which they possess, and are annually reduced to extreme want within a short time after receiving annuities. These Indians would probably have been far better off to have had only their lands, out of which they might have dug a living, if compelled by hunger, than to have received this bounty in a form that tends to perpetuate idleness and poverty. I recommend that hereafter the appropriations to fulfill these promises for annuities of cash in hand be made for the same amounts, to be expended, in each case, under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, for purposes of civilization of the tribe, reserving.
to the discretion of the Secretary the power to pay cash annuities whenever, in his judgment, it is found expedient.
If the objection should be made that this is a violation of a treaty stipulation, the answer is, that the Government is bound to consider the best interests of its wards. And if, in previous years, wrong methods have been adopted, or if the present condition and exigencies require a different method of dealing with the Indians in order to secure their improvement and greatest good, then both justice and humanity require that the change be made.
A satisfactory experiment of this method has been made under a treaty with the Sisseton and Wahpeton Sioux, in accordance with which the moneys paid to these tribes, in payment for their lands sold to the Government have been expended in goods and provisions, which have been issued to Indians only in return for labor on their part, the labor being, in most cases, for themselves; and thus a threefold benefit has been procured. They have actually received the value of the money; they have received the products of their own labor, and, best of all, they have learned to labor. If a similar use can be made of sums of money now paid to vagrant Indians, and practically squandered by them within a few days, a large incentive to industry will be gained.
The third hinderance is found in the want of individual property-rights among Indians. A fundamental difference between barbarians and a civilized people is the difference between a herd and an individual. All barbarous customs tend to destroy individuality. Where everything is held in common, thrift and enterprise have no stimulus of reward, and thus individual progress is rendered very improbable, if not impossible. The starting-point of individualism for an Indian is the personal possession of his portion of the reservation. Give him a house within a tract of land, whose corner-stakes are plainly recognized by himself and his neighbors, and let whatever can be produced out of this landed estate be considered property in his own name, and the first principle of industry and thrift is recognized. In order to this first step, the survey and allotment in severalty of the lands belonging to the Indians must be provided for by congressional legislation.
administration of law. As the Indians are taken out of their wild life, they leave behind them the force attaching to the distinctive tribal condition. The chiefs inevitably lose their power over Indians in proportion as the latter come in contact with the Government or with white settlers, until their government becomes, in most cases, a mere form. without power of coercion and restraint. Their authority is founded only on "the consent of the governed," and only as they pander to the whims or vices of the young men of the tribe can they gain such consent. As a police restraint upon lawlessness they are of no avail, being themselves subject to the control of the worst element in the tribe. An Indian murdering another Indian is accountable only to the law of retaliation. The State authorities do not concern themselves in punishing the murders among Indians, even when such murder is committed under the shadow of their criminal courts. I submit, for the consideration of the honorable secretary, whether it is not necessary that crimes among Indians shall be defined by United States law, and made punishable before United States courts, or whether it may not be practicable to invest magisterial powers in agents and superintendents, by which they may summon a jury among the Indians or other persons residing at the agencies by authority of law, before whom any serious offense against law and order may be tried. Such a court would be the beginning of administration of justice, out of the workings of which would gradually grow a code of laws, which would cover these cases arising in the Indian country, and come to be enforced by a police among themselves.
At the same time, ample provision should be made for the prosecution of citizens who attempt to encroach upon the rights of Indians, or to debauch them by the sale of intoxicating liquors. The employment of detectives, through the Department of Justice, has worked satisfactorily, so far as the limited appropriation of last year has allowed. The difficulty of securing conviction of parties who are known to be engaged in selling whisky to Indians, makes the prosecution, when attempted by the agent alone, expensive and more frequently unsuccessful. In order to induce information and secure efficiency in these prosecutions, I recommend that such legislation be procured as will insure to the informant all fines arising from conviction under the law.
The fifth hinderance, the persistent refusal of a portion of some of the tribes to remain upon their reservation according to treaty. has been mainly experienced with five tribes, viz, the Sioux, Arapahoes, Cheyennes, Kiowas, and Comanches. A portion of the Arapahoes and Cheyennes are identified with the Sioux in their depredations. The remainder are living on a reservation in the Indian Territory.
The actual depredations committed by the Sioux have been comparatively few, but a portion of the tribe have assumed a hostile attitude toward the Government by attacking the surveying expedition on the Northern Pacific Railroad. According to the best information of this office, the greater number of Indians engaged in these hostilities were a band of Northern Sioux, who have hitherto declined to treat with the Government, and with them a large re-enforcement from different agencies along the Missouri River, as also from Spotted Tail's and Red
Cloud's camps. There is no doubt that the majority of the Indians whom General Stanley encountered in Dakota have been at different times in the year on reservations, and have drawn rations from the Government, some occasionally and some regularly. It is to be recognized that these hostiles could not have been met and defeated by military force. Their actual punishment, in the loss of four or five warriors, was so slight that they seem to regard it at least a drawn fight, if not a victory on their side. The Sioux at Red Cloud and Spotted Tail agencies have also assumed impudent manners and made hostile threats, which have prevented the proper administration of agency affairs. It has been impossible for the agents to issue rations upon actual count of lodges, the Indians refusing to have the count made, and demanding the issue of rations upon the returns brought in by themselves. The agents, not having a force at hand to restrain the demands of the Indians, have been obliged to yield, and, as a consequence, there has often been over-issue, and the Indians have grown bold by successful resistance to authority. Such a course of treatment is unwise and unsafe.
Hitherto the military have refrained from going on this reservation because of the express terms of the treaty with the Sioux, in which it is agreed that no military force shall be brought over the line. I respectfully recommend that provision be made at once for placing at each of the Sioux reservations a military force sufficient to enable the agents to enforce respect for their authority, and to conduct agency affairs in an orderly manner. Also, that all Sioux Indians be required to remain on the Sioux reservation, and that any found off, or refusing to come in and treat with the Government, be forced in and brought to obedience by the military. I am confident that steady progress towards civilization is being made at the different agencies among the Sioux, and, if the turbulent element of this nation can be subdued, the question whether they can be induced to live quietly and to adopt habits of civilization, so as to become self-supporting, will be one only of time and patience.
If it should become necessary to reduce the hostile portion of these Sioux to submission by military force, the Government will find faithful and efficient allies in the several Indian tribes around, the Crows, Black Feet, Gros Ventres, and Arickarees. From these Indians a sufficient number of scouts can be enlisted to break the power of the Sioux Nation.
The attempt is being made to induce the Northern Arapahoes and Cheyennes to join their respective tribes in the Indian Territory. Those now in the Territory are affiliated to such a degree as to be in one agency, and to occupy together the same reservation. They number 3,500, The union of the northern tribes with them would swell the number to 4,500. There is also a portion of the Cheyennes living upon the staked plains which have never yet come in. They subsist entirely on buffalo, and plunder in Colorado, Mexico, and Texas. Not a little of the raiding in Texas which has been charged upon the Kiowas and Comanches during the past year has been done by these Cheyennes. A company of surveyors, four in number, were murdered by them upon their reservation in June last. The demand made upon the tribe to surrender the murderers has not been complied with, and it is not impossible that, if the Government proceeds to enforce compliance, war will result.
The Kiowas and Comanches are affiliated. in like manner as the Arapahoes and Cheyennes, occupying a common reservation with the same agency. The conduct of the Kiowas during the past year has been comparatively exemplary, under promise of receiving their chiefs Satanta and Big Tree. These prisoners were in the executive control of the governor of Texas, and, on account of the peculiar atrocity of the crimes of which they were convicted, there was strong opposition on the part of the citizens of Texas to their release. But the pledge of the Government having been given to the Kiowas, and the Kiowas having reason to expect its fulfillment because of their own good conduct for the year past, an appeal was made to the courtesy of the governor of Texas to relieve the Government from its embarrassment by the release of the prisoners; and a pledge was made that the Government would use every means to protect the border of Texas, and would require the Comanches to surrender a certain number of raiders from their tribe who have been depredating in Texas during the past summer. Governor Davis accepted the pledge of the Government, in lieu of the further retention of the chiefs as a means of procuring safety for the citizens of Texas, and Satanta and Big Tree were sent to their tribe. The following day the Comanches were brought into council and required to surrender five (5) of their raiders. The chiefs did not deny that some of their young men had been raiding in Texas, nor that they had been committing theft and murder, but they declared it to be impossible for them to arrest and surrender the marauders, and desired to have one more trial in the way of peace. This I declined to give, except on the conditions already made with the governor of Texas, that the raiders should be surrendered. Some of the Comanches then volunteered to accompany the cavalry into Texas to arrest some of their own tribe whom they knew to be engaged at that time in plunder. A cavalry force was at once sent out, with these Indians enlisted as scouts. But they were unable to find the raiders, and returned without any prisoners to surrender in compliance with the requirement made upon them. The conduct of the Comanches is especially flagrant because of their solemn pledge, made one year ago and renewed in July, not to raid any more, on which their captive women and children were surrendered to them.
But it is a serious problem how to punish the guilty ones without striking the innocent. It is also certain that, on the opening of hostilities, a large portion of the tribe would leave the agency and take to the plains, when the difficulty of reaching and controlling them by military force becomes greatly increased. It is believed, however, that there is no alternative. The reservation cannot be made a refuge for thieves and murderers. No policy can assume the name of peace and kindness that expressly provides for immunity of crime. If the military force cannot be made strong enough to follow these Indians whenever they leave the reservation, and strike them while in the act of depredating, then the whole tribe, on refusal to surrender guilty parties, must be held responsible. And while there will be a loss of results already reached in gathering around the agencies these Indians from the plains, and many innocent ones will perhaps suffer with the guilty, yet I am persuaded that vigorous treatment will be kindness in the end. An attempt to restrain and punish the turbulent element in these three different tribes, to be successful, will require a larger military force than merely to strike their camps, destroying them in part, and scattering the re-
mainder on the plains; but the Government can better afford to use a larger force than to undertake a warfare after the savage method of indiscriminate slaughter of women and children.
Intertribal warfare presents a sixth hinderance in the way of civilization. In view of the hostilities among the different tribes of Indians, and the frequent attacks by some of the tribes, requiring a constant state of defense on the part of others, an order has been issued that no Indians be allowed to leave their reservation without permit from the agent, and the Secretary of War has been requested to direct the commanders of military posts to prevent Indians from passing from one agency to another without such permit; and if they find Indians marauding, or engaged in any hostile expedition against any other tribe, to strike them without parley. A satisfactory execution of this arrangement will probably require either an increased enlistment of scouts from friendly Indians, or an increased military force in the different portions of the Indian country.
On account of their massacre of the Pawnees during the last buffalo hunt in Nebraska, the Sioux have been forbidden to leave their reservation for such hunting. This prohibition is likely to cause complaint and dissatisfaction among the Indians, but the increasing annoyance and peril from wandering Indians in Nebraska seem to justify the office in making the violation of their treaty by the Sioux the occasion of prohibiting their hunting in Nebraska hereafter; and I recommend that this matter be laid before Congress, in order that this prohibition may be enforced, by declaring that that portion of the treaty of 1868, allowing them to hunt within a certain range of country where buffalo are found, be rendered null and void by the act of the Sioux in attacking the Pawnees, and also by their refusal to surrender the members of their tribe who are guilty, while marauding off their reservation, of the wanton murder of the Hall family.
In several instances tribes entirely friendly to Government and well disposed to civilization have been kept in terror by their marauding neighbors, and prevented from attempting civilized life during the year. In such instances, if the friendly Indians could have been armed they would have defended themselves without assistance from the United States, and I recommend that steps be taken to procure legislation authorizing the Secretary of War to issue arms and ammunition for the self-protection of friendly tribes, on the request of this office, such arms to be accounted for by the agent to whom they are delivered.
Upon no other subject or branch of the Indian service is there such entire agreement of opinion from all agents and persons, connected directly and indirectly with Indian civilization, as upon the necessity of labor schools for Indian children. It is manifest that barbarism can be cured only by education. Instruction in the day-school merely, except among Indians who are already far along in civilization, is attempted at great disadvantage on every hand. Indian children cannot come from the wigwam suitably clad for the school-room. If clothes are provided
for them the supply must be frequently repeated. The habits also of wigwam life are entirely irregular. The Indian has no regular habits or hours. He eats and sleeps when and where he will or can, and no school attendance, which depends upon regular home habits of the parents or children, can be relied upon. It is also well nigh impossible to teach Indian children the English language when they spend twenty hours out of the twenty-four in the wigwam, using only their native tongue. The boarding school, on the contrary, takes the youth under constant care, has him always at hand, and surrounds him by an English-speaking community, and above all, gives him instruction in the first lessons of civilization, which can be found only in a well-ordered home.
Any plan for civilization which does not provide for training the young, even though at a largely increased expenditure, is short-sighted and expensive. A large expenditure for a few years in the proper direction will be more economical than a smaller expenditure perpetuated; and it is believed that at least one-half of the Indian children, now growing up in barbarism, could be put during the coming year in such processes of education in home schools, if the means were at hand, for supporting such schools. Four or five years of this appliance of civilization cures one-half of the barbarism of the Indian tribe permanently. For these children thus trained, though many of them might lapse into nomadic ways, would never go back so far as to be dangerous or troublesome to the citizens of the Government, and within that lenght of time it is reasonable to be expected that the other tribes, whose children could not at first be obtained for such schools, will be brought within the reach of the Government, and thus be ready to receive their turn at this training process. I most earnestly recommend that this appropriation for education be made on a scale commensurate with the urgent necessities of the case.
The arrangement by which, in accordance with the direction of the President, all agents are appointed on the nomination of some religious body is working with increasing satisfaction. In proportion as these religious societies gain assurance that this plan of co-operation with the Government is likely to be permanent, they are generally entering heartily into operations that contemplate earnest educational and religious work in the respective agencies allotted them.
They are also learning from experience what are the essential qualifications of an Indian agent, and also the serious nature of the responsibility to the Government which they assume in these nominations. The result is a greater care in the selection of men, and increased watchfulness over their official actions. Out of the sixty-five agents thus nominated there have been several failures during the year, from want of adaptation to the service, or from want of integrity. But in nearly every case the religious society represented by these men has been the first to make the discovery of unfitness, and to ask for a change of agents.
There is a serious complaint on the part of these religious bodies that they are not able, at the salary of $1,500, to find competent men willing to accept the service, and that when such men have been secured it has often been found impossible to retain them. The service has lost
several of the most competent and reliable agents during the year from this cause. No man capable of managing the business of an agency ranging from $15,000 to $200,000 ought to be asked to give full service to the Government for $1,500 a year. I recommend that the salary of agents be increased to $2,000 per annum for the more eastern agencies, and $2,500 for those remote and inaccessible.
In estimating the actual progress attained, under the operation of what has been termed the peace policy, it is necessary to keep in mind the constant change in the position of the Indians toward the white settlers. Tribes which a few years ago were so far removed from all white settlements as to render any annoyance or conflict between the two races improbable and almost impossible, have now, by the tide of emigration, been brought in close proximity to, and almost daily contact with, settlers. Naturally the difficulties in the Indian problem are largely increased by such contact. The clashing interests of both parties produce irritation and make complaints more numerous.
But the peace policy is not to be charged with these increasing troubles, nor to be connected with them except by the inquiry as to what would probably have been the difficulties, in the same circumstances, under any other policy.
The question of the civilization of Indians reduced to its last analysis is twofold. First, whether the Government is willing to make sufficient appropriation to teach barbarous men how to live in a civilized way; and, second, whether the expenditure of such an appropriation can be fairly made through the administration of persons fitted to become their teachers. Without suitable provision for the necessary expenditures the best efforts of the best men will be comparatively futile; and with the most abundant provision that the resources of the nation can make, nothing will be accomplished worthy of the effort unless there can be found persons ready and fitted to go to these Indians, in the spirit of kindness and Christian love, with a faith in God and a faith in man strong enough to sustain them amid the degradation and perversities of barbarism, and cheer them on in the full conviction that no being made in God's image is incapable of improvement. No effort for lifting the poor and degraded can succeed which is not guided by the enthusiasm which comes from this faith. The agent and his employés will not give full work without it, and the Indian will not throw off his suspicion and wake out of his indolence until he feels this touch of human sympathy.
For this reason the Government is specially to be congratulated on the response which the Christian people of the country have made to the proposition of the President that they should take a certain supervision of Government labor for the Indians, by nominating agents and furnishing employés suitable to represent the Government in its beneficent efforts with these tribes, as well as in sending missionaries and teachers for religious labor among them.
The affairs of this Territory will doubtless receive the serious consideration of Congress during the coming session, The practical absence of law as between the inhabitants of the Territory and the citizens of the United States; the general state of unthrift from lack
of competition and every incitement to labor incident to ordinary life in this country; the unwillingness of the Indians to take their lands in severalty; the persistent refusal of the Choctaws to give negroes their rights as citizens of the Territory, together with the strong pressure from parties interested in railroad enterprises and investments inlands, will be quite likely to induce legislation of some kind for this country.
If the inhabitants of the Territory would adopt the Okmulgee constitution with the amendments suggested by the President, upon this a satisfactory government could be created for this country. Then if the Indians would have their lands surveyed and allotted to them in severalty, the first steps toward citizenship would be fairly taken. Every consideration of justice seems to require that the treaty obligation which the Government has assumed toward these nations shall be observed. No circumstances can be supposed to exist that will justify the nullification of these obligations, but if it is found, on careful examination, that the highest interests of both the United States and the Indian nations of this Territory require a change in their relations which is not provided for by the different treaties, then the question is fairly raised whether the Government may not assume the responsibility of making the changes in such form as shall secure every right which these Indians can reasonably ask for themselves, and as will also commend itself to the moral sense of the country. The attempt to administer justice for all the Territory through the United States courts at Fort Smith has been largely a failure, and sometimes worse. If the adoption of a territorial constitution by the Indians does not provide a remedy, then a United States court should be established, at some convenient point in the Territory, to take cognizance of all cases of complaint arising between the citizens of the United States and inhabitants of the Territory, and between members of the different tribes and nations in the Territory.
Special attention is invited to the report of John G. Ames, who was appointed a special commissioner to inquire into the condition and necessities of the Mission Indians in Southern California. These Indians, under the Mexican government, enjoyed civil and property rights, and were abundantly able to take care of themselves from the products of the soil. But under our Government these rights were not considered as transferred, and they now find themselves liable to have the lands which they have cultivated for generations taken from them by white settlers. It would seem that there is no alternative, in any just settlement with these Indians, but to secure for them, in the way proposed in the report of Agent Ames, the land to which they are entitled, or its equivalent, upon which they will be able to subsist themselves without help from the Government.
The effort during the year to instruct the Indian women among the Chippewas in Wisconsin and Minnesota in the art of weaving has already succeeded so far as to make it certain that, by the introduction of looms among all Indians where the herding of sheep is practicable, a new industry may be brought within the reach of the Indians, which will be of large service in the slow process of civilization.
An attempt has been made to induce the Arickarees, Mandans, and Gros Ventres, who occupy the reservation at Fort Berthold, to remove to the Indian Territory, but they have declined to send a delegation to prospect for the tribe, and seem averse to removal from their present ground, where they are exposed to raids from the Sioux, and their crops are alternately cut off by the grasshopper and the drought. Their crops generally this year are reported as a failure, and it is not unlikely that without help through a deficiency appropriation, they will suffer severely during the winter. The Indians on these agencies deserve more from the Government than any other tribes in Dakota, on account of their fidelity to the Government and the faithful service rendered by them as scouts in compelling other Indians to keep the peace.
The wandering bands of Chippewas in Minnesota require the attention of the Government. There are two permanent reservations in the State, at Leech Lake and White Earth, and the different bands remaining among the settlements of Pembina and Otter-Tail should be gathered upon the White Earth reservation. For these bands the Government has acquired, by purchase from the Mississippi Chippewas, the right to settle upon this reservation; but in order to establish them there a special appropriation will be required. The appropriation of $10,000, made by last Congress for the removal of the Pembinas, being too limited for the purpose, has not been used.
The Mille Lac band of Chippewas in Minnesota remains in its anomalous position. They have sold their reservation, retaining a right to occupy it during good behavior. With this title to the soil it is not deemed expedient to attempt permanent improvements at Mille Lac, unless a title to the reservation can be returned to them on condition that they surrender to Government all moneys acquired in consideration of their cession of the Mille Lac reservation. If this cannot be done, their Indians should be notified that they belong at White Earth, and be required to remove. In their present location, on its present tenure, nothing can be done looking toward their civilization.
In consideration of the condition of the scattered bands of different tribes of Utes in Nevada, Colorado, and Utah, it was deemed advisable to send a commission to inquire as to their numbers and the possibility of gathering' them upon one or reservations, where they would be more immediately under the care of the Government, and removed from the white settlers. Agent G.W. Ingalls and Major J.W. Powell were appointed on this commission. They seem to have adopted the exhaustive method, and the interesting report of their labors for the summer is herewith submitted, and attention invited to their recommendations, which are heartily indorsed by this office.
October 14, 1864, a treaty was concluded with the Klamath and Modoc tribes and Yahooskin band of Snake Indians in Oregon, by the first article of which said Indians ceded to the United States all their
right, title, and claim to all the country claimed by them, and accepted a reservation described in said article by natural boundaries, upon which they agreed and bound themselves to locate immediately after the ratification of the treaty.
The ratification of this treaty was advised and consented to by the Senate, July 2, 1866, and the same was proclaimed by the President February 17, 1870. At the date of proclamation the Modocs were found on their reservation, where they remained until April, 1870, and then left for their camp on Lost River.
There is evidence that Captain Jack and his band were prepared at this time to remain upon the reservation and settle down in the way of civilization, if there had been ordinary encouragement and assistance, and if the Klamaths, who largely outnumbered Captain Jack's band, and who were their hereditary enemies, had allowed them so to do. This band began to split rails for their farms, and in other ways to adopt civilized habits; but the Klamaths demanded tribute from them for the land they were occupying, which the Modocs were obliged to render. Captain Jack then removed to another part of the reservation, and began again to try to live by cultivating the ground. But he was followed by the same spirit of hostility by the Klamaths, from which he does not seem to have been protected by the agent. The issue of rations seems also to have been suspended for want of funds, and for these reasons Captain Jack and his band returned to their old home on Lost River, where they became a serious annoyance to the whites, who had in the meanwhile settled on their ceded lands.
This annoyance led to serious apprehensions on the part of the military authorities, and under date of the 19th of March, 1872, the honorable Secretary of 'War transmitted to this Department copies of correspondence between the military in regard to the matter. A copy of this correspondence was sent to Superintendent Odeneal by the Indian Office, April 12, 1872, with directions to have the Modocs removed, if practicable, to their reservation; and if removed, to see that they were properly protected from the Klamaths.
The superintendent was then instructed, in case they could not be removed, to report the practicability of locating them at some other point. The superintendent reported on the 17th June that their reservation was the best place for them to be located, but that he did not believe it practicable to remove them without using the military for that purpose, and that if they should resist, he doubted whether there was force enough in the country to compel them to go. In reply, the superintendent was directed, July 6, 1872, to remove them to the Klamath reservation. The attempt to execute this order resulted in a conflict between the Modocs and the troops and the white settlers. For the purpose of examining into the same, and, if possible, to procure a peaceable solution of the difficulties, a commission was appointed by the Secretary of the Interior in January last. This commission, as finally composed, consisted of A. B. Meacham, late superintendent Indian affairs for Oregon, L.S. Dyar, agent for the Klamath agency, and Rev. E. Thomas, and by direction of the Secretary of the Interior, under date of March 22, 1873, they were put under the direction of General Canby. While engaged in a conference with Captain Jack, chief 'of the Modocs, and other representative men of the tribe, on the 11th of April, General Canby and Dr. Thomas were brutally murdered by these Indians, and Mr. Meacham severely wounded.
Thus ended the negotiations with the Modocs, who, after seven months'
fighting, were subdued by the military, and Captain Jack and three of his principal men were tried by court-martial and executed. The remnant of this Modoc band has been transferred to the Indian Territory, and located for the present on the Quapaw Indian reservation, where they have gladly availed themselves of the privilege of putting their children in school, and have entered upon industrial life with such readiness and good will as to warrant the conclusion that if these Indians could have had this opportunity of gaining their support out of soil upon which an ordinary white man could get a living, and had received just treatment, there would have been no cause of trouble with them. The report of the commission, prepared by the surviving member, A.B. Meacham, is herewith submitted.
The Kansas Indian lands in Kansas, embracing 137,658 13/100 acres of unsold "trust lands," and a part of the 80,409 60/100 acres of what is known as the "diminished reserve," were, in 1871, offered for sale under the provisions of the treaty concluded with said Indians October 5, 1859. The bids received in pursuance of said offering were considered and rejected by the Department, and the whole subject again referred to Congress, in order that the Indians might be better protected. An act passed Congress, and was approved May 8, 1872. Provision was made by this act for the appraisement of all of these lands, both "trust" and "diminished reserve," and actual settlers on the trust lands are given the privilege of purchasing tracts of 160 acres within one year from the date of appraisal. The unoccupied trust-lands are to be sold at public sale, after due advertisement, to the highest bidder, for cash, in tracts not exceeding 160 acres, under such rules and regulations as the Secretary of the Interior may prescribe. The diminished reserve is provided to be sold in tracts not exceeding 160 acres, on sealed bids, after due advertisement. A commission was appointed in pursuance of said act, and made and reported an appraisement of all the lands, which appraisement was approved by the Secretary of the Interior, under date of March 3, 1873. The land in the diminished reserve was offered for sale, but not enough of this land having been bid for to pay the expenses of the sale, the appraisement was set aside by the Secretary of the Interior as being too high, and a new appraisement ordered, and for this purpose a commission was appointed. This commission proceeded to Kansas, and, after consultation with the superintendent of Indian affairs, and an examination of the lands, the chairman reported that he did not regard the former appraisement in excess of the real value of the lands; the former appraisement was, therefore, restored by the Department, and the commission appointed to re-appraise dissolved. Further legislation to enable the sale of this land to actual settlers has been recommended, for the details of which reference is made to that portion of this report relative to "legislation recommended."
The commission appointed last year, under the act of June 7, 1872, to inquire into the title of the Sisseton and Wahpeton bands of Sioux Indians to land in Dakota, was intrusted with the duty of procuring the ratification by said Indians of the agreement made last year by the commission with these Indians, as amended by the act of February 14, 1873. This duty has been performed, the Indians agreeing to the amendments.
Sioux outbreak in the year 1862, an act of Congress, approved February 21, 1862, made provision for the peaceable removal of the Winnebagoes beyond the limits of State the Minnesota, and the sale of their allotments. Some of said Indians, however, refused to remove, and continued to reside upon what they supposed to be their allotments under the treaty of 1859. For the purpose of securing to such the benefit of allotments as contemplated by said treaty, and their pro-rata share of the tribal funds, Congress, by the 9th and 10th sections of the Indian appropriation act, approved July 15, 1870, and the explanatory clause contained in the Indian appropriation act, approved May 29, 1872, provided for an investigation and settlement of their claims. A special commissioner was accordingly appointed, in 1872, for the purpose; but his report being unsatisfactory, Mr. Walter T. Burr was appointed the present year to finally close up the whole subject. Special Commissioner Burr's report has been approved by the Secretary of the Interior, and these claims, which have been the subject of consideration by the Department for some time past, have been finally disposed of.
The commission appointed last year under the act of Congress of June 10, 1872, to appraise a portion of this reserve lying south of Loup Fork, did not meet until this year, when the survey of said land was completed. They have just submitted their appraisement, which will be duly examined, and, if found to be correct, will be transmitted to the honorable Secretary of the Interior for his approval.
The commission appointed last year under the act of Congress of April 23, 1872, to negotiate with the Ute Indians for the extinguishment Of their right to the south part of their reservation in Colorado, failing in their efforts to this end, the Hon. Felix R. Brunot, president of the board of Indian commissioners, was appointed to visit them in August last and to renew the negotiations. He succeeded in making an agreement with them, by which they relinquish their right to a large tract of valuable mining country, estimated to contain about three million four hundred and fifty thousand (3,450,000) acres. Reference is made to the report of the commission, printed herewith.
Provision was made in the treaties with the Miami Indians of November 6, 1838, and November 28, 1840, for a reservation for Chief Me-shin-go-me-sia and his band in Northern Indiana. By act of Congress of June 10, 1872, the Secretary of the Interior was directed to ascertain what persons constituted the band of said chief, their survivors and descendants, and to partition said reservation to them. A commission was appointed for this purpose, who made investigation, and partitioned said land to 63 persons, which partition was reported in due form, and approved by the Secretary of the Interior, and patents are being issued to the parties.
Owing to difficulties between the military and the Modoc Indians in Oregon, arising out of the refusal of these Indians to remove to their reservation, a committee, of which A.B. Meacham, late superintendent of Indian affairs for Oregon, was chairman, was appointed to investigate into the origin of such difficulties, and to endeavor to adjust the same. This commission was assisted by Gen. E.R.S. Canby, U.S.
Army, commanding the Department of the Columbia, and Rev. D. Thomas, both of whom were most brutally murdered while carrying on negotiations with the Modocs, who were thereupon turned over to the military for punishment; and further negotiations discontinued.
The commission appointed to visit certain Bannock Indians, near Fort Hall, Idaho, were directed, under instructions from this office of the 1st of July last, to visit the Coeur d'Alene Indians, to hear complaints, with a view to their cure or removal, and to induce them to abandon a roving life and to consent to confine themselves to a reservation. They succeeded in having a council with these Indians, and as a result of their negotiations, the Indians agreed to go upon a reservation which was, at the time, described to them, and which has since been set apart temporarily by the President until legislation can be had thereon by Congress. For further particulars attention is invited to article entitled "Legislation recommended."
A commission was appointed on the 11th of March last to visit the roving Indians likely to oppose the construction of the Northern Pacific Railroad, through the valley of the Yellowstone, and instructed to open negotiations with them having in view the removal of all such opposition, and as far as possible obtaining the consent of said Indians to withdraw all further obstacles to its construction. The commission reported on the 9th of May that they had met nearly all the bands of Indians residing in the locality of the proposed route of said railroad, and after submitting to them the object of their visit, felt assured that there would be no combined action on the part of the Indians against its further construction.
A commission has been appointed under the act of Congress approved May 29, 1872, to appraise the Fond du Lac Indian reserve in Minnesota. The commission met, but owing to the advanced season, consequent upon the delay in the completion of the survey of the reserve, they concluded not to undertake the appraisement this winter.
The effort made two years ago, under the acts of July 15, 1870, and March 3, 1871, to remove the Kickapoos and other roving bauds of Indians from the border of Texas and the republic of Mexico, having failed, a commission was appointed to make another attempt to accomplish the object desired, namely, to remove said Indians to some point within the limits of the Indian Territory, where they could be kept from depredating on and annoying the inhabitants of Texas, and started in the pursuits of civilized life. After repeated councils with the Indians, and overcoming numerous obstacles caused by the action of some of the citizens of Mexico, the commission, with the valuable assistance rendered by Senor Montero, succeeded in getting some three or four hundred to consent to remove. These Indians have already arrived in the Indian Territory.
pose of examining the country in that locality, and report in regard to where the northern line of the reservation should be located, and of appraising the improvements of white persons on the lands embraced within the limits of the proposed reservation, and also of all Indians on the lands proposed to be restored. Reference is made to the report of the commission, printed herewith.
It being desirable that certain Bannock Indians, who by treaty stipulations were allowed to roam and hunt over certain portions of Idaho, should be induced, if possible, to relinquish this right. and settle down upon the reservation provided for them, a commission was appointed to visit them for that purpose. The commission, which was also authorized to visit other Indians in Idaho for various objects, has submitted its final report, which is printed herewith.
A commission appointed under the act of Congress of February 19, 1873, to appraise these lands, have concluded their labors, and the appraisement has been approved by the Secretary of the Interior, and copies sent to the local officers of the land-office, for payment of the appraised value by the occupants of the lands.
A commission appointed, under the act of Congress approved March 3, 1873, to negotiate with the Creeks in regard to their western boundary, with a view of providing more territory for the Seminole Indians, have visited that country, and a preliminary report has been received from the chairman, from which it appears that owing to circumstances, which are detailed, they failed to accomplish their object.
A commission, appointed under the act of Congress of March 3, 1873, appraised these lands and reported their appraisement, which has been approved by the Department; and under direction of the Department a list of those occupied by settlers, reported to be entitled under the law by the commissioners, has been sent to the General Land-Office, to be furnished to the receiver of public moneys at Topeka, Kansas, to whom payment is to be made, for these lands so occupied, at the appraised value of the same. Those unoccupied are, with the approval of the Department, to be advertised and sold on sealed bids.
Superintendent Odeneal and Agent Monteith were appointed a commission, under instructions, to make an investigation and hold council with the band of Nez Percé Indians occupying Wallowa Valley in Oregon, with a view to their removal, if practicable, to the Nez Percé Indian reservation in Idaho Territory. They reported this removal to be impracticable, and the Wallowa Valley has been withdrawn from sale, and set apart for their use and occupation, by Executive order.
Under the provisions of the act of March 3, 1873, a commission was appointed to negotiate with the Crow Indians for the cession of a portion of their reservation in Montana Territory. The commission visited these Indians in July last, and succeeded in making an agreement with them by which they cede their entire reservation south of the Yellowstone, containing about six million two hundred and seventy-two thousand (6,272,000) acres, and accept a new one in the Judith basin, south of the Missouri, containing about three million six hundred and twenty-five thousand (3,625,000) acres.
A commission was appointed the 10th of July last to investigate the facts and circumstances attending the massacre of Indians, in June, near Rawlings Springs, in Wyoming Territory. A report has been submitted, in which the facts are recited and the whites exonerated from all blame, and recommendations made that, to avoid a repetition of similar attacks, all Indian reservations should be surveyed and boundaries designated by rivers, mountains, and other natural objects, that Indians may be enabled to understand their limits, and that they should not be allowed to leave such reservations, either to hunt or visit, (by permit or otherwise,) or for any other excuse whatever.
A commission was appointed in May last to visit the various bands of Northern Sioux, parties to the treaty of 1868, and to negotiate with them for a relinquishment of the privileges reserved in the 11th and 16th articles of said treaty, and to effect a change in the location of the Red Cloud agency. The commission succeeded only partially in collecting the various bands in council, and as the result of the deliberation therein it was obvious that the time had not come to successfully present a proposition for the relinquishment of the unceded Indian territory of Nebraska and Wyoming, and for the surrender of the privilege of hunting buffalo on the tract of country lying north of the North Platte River and east of the Big Born Mountains. Assurances, however, were given by the Indians that the agency would be permitted to be removed whenever the Department thought it expedient to effect it.
A commission was appointed last year, under the act of Congress approved June 10, 1872, to appraise a portion of this reserve. These Indians, on the 6th of September, 1872, withheld their assent to the proposed sale, but in open council, on the 26th of May last, reconsidered their former action, and assented to the sale of one-half their reserve, not exceeding 80,000 acres. The lands are now being surveyed, and when the survey is completed the commission will be instructed to make the appraisement.
The Omaha, Pawnee, Ottoe and Missouria, and Sac and Fox of the Missouri tribes of Indians in Nebraska, having, through their respective chief and councils, expressed a desire to have portions of their reservation sold, it was recommended, that Congress give the necessary authority for such action. This was done by act approved June 10, 1872, in which provision was made for the survey and sale of a portion of the following-named reserves, to the extent specified, viz: Omaha and Pawnee, not exceeding 50,000 acres each, and Ottoe and Missouria, not exceeding 80,000 acres, and the whole of the Sac and Fox of the Missouri reserve, amounting to about 16,000 acres. All of these tribes have assented to the provisions of this act, and the following exhibits a summary statement of the action had thereunder in the case of each of the reserves.
The Department, in anticipation of the consent of the Indians to the provisions of the aforesaid act, under date of July 31, 1872, appointed commissioners of appraisal. The formal consent in writing of the Indians was not, however, filed in this office until the receipt of a letter from the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, bearing date September 26, 1872. Instructions for their guidance were prepared and forwarded as soon thereafter as practicable to the commissioners of appraisal who proceeded to perform their duties and submit their report, which received the approval of the Department January 10, 1873. Thereupon the lands were advertised for sale in tracts of not exceeding 160 acres each, on sealed bids, to the highest bidder for cash. The bids were duly opened, in compliance with the terms of the advertisement, and awards were made to the highest bidders of an aggregate quantity of 300.72 acres, for a sum total of $702.19 1/2.
In view of the small number of bids received at this sale, it was deemed inexpedient to offer the lands again before next spring.
The commissioners of appraisal were appointed in anticipation of the consent of the Indians, which consent was, however, subsequently obtained. The lands being unsurveyed, it became necessary to have a survey made before the appraisement could be proceeded with, which was done, and the number of acres ascertained to be actually subject to sale under the provisions of said act of Congress is 48,424.76.
Instructions were issued September 8, 1873, by this office to the commissioners of appraisal for their guidance in the performance of their duties, and their report, bearing date November 6,1873, has been received, but has not yet been submitted to the Department for approval.
Should the report of the appraisers be approved, it is deemed desirable that the lands should be advertised for sale at an early day.
sioners of appraisal were appointed at the same time and under the same circumstances as in the case of the Omaha and Pawnee reserves. The Indians at first declined to give their assent to the provisions of the act of Congress, they being desirous of selling either their entire reserve or none at all. At last, however, their written assent was obtained, and under date of June 2, 1873, the same was forwarded to this office by Superintendent Barclay White.
Without unnecessary delay a contract was entered into for the survey of the portion of the reserve contemplated to be sold, but as yet the plats and field-notes of such survey have not been received; consequently no further action can at present be taken looking toward the appraisement and sale thereof.
An act of Congress approved February 19, 1873, provides for the appraisement and sale of the lands allotted to certain New York Indians who removed to Kansas, for which land certificates of allotment were issued under date of September 14, 1860.
Commissioners of appraisal were appointed by the Department April 9, 1873, who received instructions through this office on the 14th of the same month to make an appraisement, &c., of said lands under the provisions of the act. The report of the commissioners was duly filed and received the approval of the Department September 30, 1873. Rules and regulations were at the same time prescribed to be observed in carrying the provisions of said act into effect. Copies of said report and rules and regulations have been furnished the Commissioner of the General Land-Office for his information and guidance in carrying into effect that portion of the provisions of said act coming under his supervision.
Section 8 of an act of Congress approved May 29, 1872, provides for the removal, upon their consent and concurrence being obtained, of the Fond du Lac, Lac de Flambeau, and Lac Court Orielle bands of Chippewa Indians from their present reservations to the reservation set apart by the second clause of the second article of Chippewa treaty of September 30, 1854, for the La Pointe band.
The first-named band have given their written consent to such removal, and the survey of their reservation has been completed with a view to its appraisement and sale.
Appraisers were appointed by the Department April 12, 1873, but owing to incompletion of surveys they were not instructed to proceed to the execution of the duties assigned them until September 17, 1873. At a meeting of the appraisers held on the reservation November 7, 1873, it was resolved to adjourn the work of appraisal until the 20th day of March next, for two reasons: 1st. That the Indians in council earnestly requested it, claiming that their consent to the sale of their reserve was fraudulently obtained; and 2d. That the deep snow and unfrozen condition of the swamps rendered it impossible to pass over them at this season of the year.
vation, including both the trust-lands (137,658.13 acres) and "diminished reserve," (80,409.06 acres.) Commissioners of appraisal were appointed by the Department June 29, 1872, who performed their duties under the instructions given them, and submitted their report bearing date December 28, 1872. This report was approved by the Department March 3, 1873, and the lands comprising the "diminished reserve" were advertised as being subject to sale on sealed bids until June 15, 1873.
Awards were made at this sale of 2,443.94 acres, being the entire quantity bid for.
From the best information at that time attainable, the small number of bids and the lack of competition manifested was attributed to the exorbitant character of the appraisement. In consideration of these facts, which were represented to the Department in report from this office, dated June 26, 1873, the appraisement of both the" trust-lands" and "diminished reserve" (except so much of the latter as was sold at the sale of June 15, 1873) was set aside by direction of the Department in letter dated July 8, 1873, and a re-appraisement ordered. A new commission of appraisal was at the same time appointed, the chairman of which (Hon. T.C. Jones, of Ohio) reported, under date of the 8th, 13th, and 16th of September, the inutility of making a re-appraisement, stating that in his opinion the first appraisement was not too high.
Upon such representations the Department canceled the former action revoking the appraisement made by the first commission, and restored the same to full force and effect. Settlers upon the "trust-lands" have accordingly been notified to make payment of the appraised value of the tracts respectively awarded them within one year from the restoration of the appraisement, and action by Congress has been recommended relative to these lands, the details of which can be found under the head of "legislation recommended."
These lands comprised a small remnant remaining unsold of the late Winnebago Indian reservation in Minnesota, provision for the disposition of which is contained in the 2d article of the Winnebago treaty, concluded April 15, 1859, and an act of Congress approved February 21, 1863.
The recommendation of this office for an early sale of these lands' was approved by the Department June 7, 1873.
The lands were duly advertised, and the day of sale fixed for August 20, 1873, but was subsequently extended thirty days. Awards were made, and received the approval of the Department October 2, 1873, for the entire residue of said lands, amounting to 4,146.43 acres, for an aggregate sum of $14,959.28.
By a postscript to the treaty concluded with the Arapahoe and Cheyenne Indians February 18, 1861, these Indians gave to Robert Bent and Jack Smith 640 acres of land each, and requested the Government to confirm said gifts to said parties. No provision, however, for the issue of patents to these persons is contained in the treaty; and even the postscript cannot be considered as a grant in the absence of legislation. It is therefore recommended that the gifts be confirmed and the issue of patents authorized by act of Congress, in order that the wishes of the Indians may be carried out.
These lands having been appraised under the act of May S, 1872, and a sale of those embraced in the "diminished reserve" having been attempted, but not enough having been sold to defray the expenses of the offering, the Department decided to set aside the appraisement and have a new one made. A commission having been appointed for this purpose, after reaching the lands the chairman reported that he did not deem the first appraisement too high. It was restored, and legislation by Congress is recommended as follows: That bona-fide settlers be allowed to purchase the same at the Topeka laud-office, making payment of one-fourth of the appraised value at the date of settlement, and the remainder in three equal annual installments, giving security for the deferred payments.
An act of Congress approved March 3, 1873, authorized negotiations with the Crow Indians for the cession of their reservation, or a portion thereof, in Montana, and the establishment of a smaller reservation for them. The necessity for such negotiation was found in the fact that the recent discovery of gold on the reservation had drawn many white persons there, with whom there was likely to be trouble; also in the fact that the Northern Pacific Railroad would likely pass through a portion of the reservation; whereas the policy is to have the reservations located at a distance from the public lines of travel. An agreement was concluded with said Indians by Special Commissioner Felix R. Brunot, chairman Board of Indian Commissioners, James Wright and E. Whittlesy, on the 16th of August last, by the terms of which the Crows cede their reservation and accept a reserve in Judith Basin. This agreement is made subject to the action of Congress and its ratification is respectfully recommended.
their lands in severalty will promote their general civilization, and tend to advance their permanent welfare; and it is therefore agreed that the lands be surveyed and allotted, should the Chickasaw and Choctaw people, through their respective legislative councils; agree to the same. The lands of the Chickasaws have been surveyed at their request, and their legislative council has, through their executive authorities, requested this Department to allot their lands; besides, the Chickasaw people in public assemblages have passed resolutions petitioning the Government to the same effect. The Choctaw council, however, refuse to join the Chickasaws in making the request for allotments as contemplated by the treaty. It is deemed proper, therefore, that Congress should afford the necessary legislation to enable this Department to comply with the request of the Chickasaws, independent of the action of the Choctaws, in order that the object of the treaty may be carried out, at least so far as the Chickasaws are concerned.
By the treaty concluded with the Pawnee Indians September 24, 1857, a reservation was set apart for said Indians in extent 30 miles from east to west by 15 miles from north to south. Upon a re-survey of the eastern boundary-line of said reservation, it has been ascertained that the east and west lines are but 29 1/2 miles apart in place of 30 miles, thus leaving a deficiency in the proper area of the reservation of 4,800 acres. The Pawnees insist upon indemnity for said deficiency, and it is deemed just that Congress should provide for the same, at the rate of one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre, the minimum price of Government lands.
In 1867 an Executive order was issued setting apart a reservation for the Coeur d'Alénes, but, being dissatisfied with the location, they never located thereon, and continued to roam over the tract of country claimed by them. For the purpose of extinguishing their claim to all the tract of country claimed by them, and of locating them on a reservation suitable to their wants as an agricultural people, an agreement has been made with them by Hon. J.P.O. Shanks, Gov. Bennett, of Idaho, and Agent J.B. Montieth, subject to ratification by Congress, which is respectfully recommended. Pending such action by that body, I have deemed it prudent to have set apart by executive order the tract of country described in said agreement as a reservation for said Indians, in order that white persons may be prohibited from settling thereon and claiming compensation for improvements from the Government.
By the terms of a treaty concluded with the Coo-umpqua [Coos, Umpqua], Sinselano [Siuslaw], Alsea, and other Indians embraced within the Siletz agency, in Oregon, provision was made for a reservation for said Indians. The treaty, however, was never ratified, and, to secure to them the reservation, an Executive order was issued November 9, 1855, setting the same apart for Indian purposes. These Indians are well advanced in civilization, and earnestly desire allotments, with patents for the same Congress should therefore provide for the allotment of their lands and the issue of patents to such of said Indians as desire to cultivate the soil.
Much inconvenience is caused by the want of an official seal for the.
purpose of certifying copies of files and records frequently called for as evidence in the civil courts. As it is, the seal of the Department has to be used for the purpose of certifying to the official character of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. I therefore recommend that Congress authorize the use of a seal by this office, and provide that papers authenticated therewith shall have the same validity as in case of the use of a seal by other bureaus.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,
EDW. P. SMITH
The Hon. SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR.