Office of Siletz Ind Agency
Sept. 9th 1871
I have the honor to submit this my report for the month of August. A large proportion of the grain sowed by Indians, has been harvested and stored, the [..] of the government oats, the principle cereals produced here was sowed so late in the season, on account of rains and want of team, that it is not yet ripe, nor will it be ready for harvest before the latter part of this month for reason that the entire team force upon the agency was first applied to putting in crops for the Indians. The wheat is now just in bloom. This wheat and a portion of the oats, were sown as late as the 20th June.
The grain sown by the Indians as a general rule has yelded but light, owing to indifferent cultivation and the presense of sorrel and weeds
The late planted Potatoe crop will be an entire failure on account of severe frost the sixth of this month: A few fields planted early & those in sheltered positions, may possibly mature all of kinds of vines are generally killed, and the corn and bean crop greatly improved. The first crop as previously stated is a total failure.
There can no longer be a doubt that the crops produced upon the Reservation this season will fall far short of subsisting the Indians, untill an other harvest; and we must look to other sources to supply the deficiency. Fish will constitute one of the chief articles, and many are now preparing to take the fall and winter runs of the salmon. We are also fitting out hunting parties to take Elk and Deer, with these two resources we hope to materialy
lessen the expenses of subsisting these Indians this coming winter. A few of these families will have an abundance of provisions and to spare, while many other will be destitue of food.
As intimated in a former report, we are prepairing about sixty acres of summerfallow for winter wheat, and thirty or forty acres for putting down to meadow. We expect also to plow a large surface this fall for early spring sowing; this will involve the necessity of mowing down and burning a heavy growth of fern, sorrel and weeds before the land can be plowed, but with the combined reaper and mower recently purchased, the expense will be materially lessened. Quite a number of these Indians desire to sow fall wheat. We will be compeled to purchase all the seed for fall sowing in the Willamette Valley, and I think is it [bout] to preserve several varieties so as to test the kind best suited to our climate and soil. From the samples of wheat grown here this season, I am confident that an abundant supply can be produced to meet all the demands of the agency.
We are now prepairing to reroof the agency Barns and other buildings. Many of these buildings have been recovered from time to time laying one course upon the old decayed bords or shingled, untill five courses are now upon the roofs. The rib poles are rottern and many falling down. The fences must also be rebuilt, for the horses and cattle have become so breachy, that it is with great difficulty we have been able to save the crops. Many of the Indian grains fields have been ruined by them.
We have nearly completed a house for the residence of the commissary, a portion of the lumber used for this building, was that turned overto me by Mr Simpson and which has been hawled from the depo mills, but we were compeled to purchase the flooring and the sideing, at the the [...] mills, situated on the Yaquina Bay. The doors, and windows and nails have been purchased at the cheapest rates that they could be had.
The Indians are patching up their old delapidated lodges and houses, as well as fences and making almost constant demands for nails and lumber; and a number of haggs nails have been purchased to supply their wants.
The census of these Indians is nearly completed and thus for it developes a great faling off from former reports. From present indications the aggragate number will be less than one thousand including the estimated number of absentees, being (150) During this fall I will indeavour to bring in those from the coast settlements, and obtain a correct list of absentees.
I am sir very respectfully
Honl A. B. Meacham
Your Obdt Svt
US Ind Agent
Supt Ind Affairs
Honl A. B. Meacham