There are no special appropriations for these Indians, except a few hundred dollars for the Rogue River tribe, only a fraction of which is at this agency, the remainder being at Grand Ronde. There are nine other tribes, numbering in the aggregate over eight hundred, wholly dependent upon the general incidental fund to supply their many needs. The demands upon this fund are so numerous, and being frequently greater one year than they are another, the amount which can be given them is necessarily very uncertain. There is a large amount of indebtedness against this agency, and the funds of the third and fourth quarters are about exhausted. Besides these liabilities, there will be other unsettled demands against the incidental fund amounting to thousands of dollars. Nearly all of this fund, not transferred to agents, has gone to pay debts contracted prior to the date of my taking charge of the office. I speak of these matters to show the necessity of an addition of at least $20,000 to the usual appropriations for general incidental expenses in this superintendency. I have waited until the last moment, in the hope that I should receive a full report from Agent Palmer of the condition and affairs of this agency. He informs me that his report will be ready to forward within a few days. Money sufficient to build a saw and grist mill, and school-house, and to establish a manual-labor school, and repair agency buildings, is indispensable to the comfort and improvement of the Indians. There is an abundance of the best of timber, which is useless without a saw-mill. The wheat they raise cannot be converted into flour without a grist-mill, as there is no mill nearer than thirty miles of the agency, and that can only be reached by pack-animals. The agency is so hemmed in by mountains and remote from settlements, that the only way to supply them with the needed amount of lumber, and have them realize the benefit of their grain-crops, is to make these improvements on the reservation.
As these Indians really merit much more than they have ever received, I think it a duty the Government owes to them to provide for the erection of a building and the establishment of a manual-labor school. I will here say that I am fully satisfied that it is useless to spend money for any other kind of school at any of the agencies. Many of the children are kept away from school because they have no clothes suitable to wear, and not enough food to be able to take their dinner with them. They should be neatly and cleanly clad, and their appetites satisfied with wholesome food, kept away from their people at least five days out of seven, and then we may expect to make some headway toward cultivating their minds, with some hope, in time, of making useful citizens of them.