NADP Homepage
  Back to Pages 3-21
  Forward to Pages 41-61

Smith to Secretary of the Interior, 1 November 1875, in United States, Office of Indian Affairs, Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to the Secretary for the Year 1875 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1875), 21-40, NADP Document R875001B.
[Page 21]

of this service of buying and transporting Indian goods and supplies be performed by the War Department. But, if the transfer suggested is made without lodging this discretionary power in the President, it should be limited in its operations to the purchasing and forwarding of supplies, of which the value of any one class of article at any one agency shalt exceed the sum of $1,000. This limitation is quite important in order to allow the disbursement through the agents of such limited amount of funds as may be required in purchase of articles for immediate use, in cases where delay would be damaging to all interests concerned.


      Owing to inadequate appropriations, deficiencies have occurred in greater or less amounts annually. The largest deficiency was found in the appropriations of 1873 and 1874, of which there is a balance still remaining unprovided for, amounting to $495,001.23, for which the estimate submitted to the last Congress failed to receive action by that body. During the same year, $751,418.82 was covered into the Treasury as a surplus fund, not being applicable to meet the class of liabilities for which the expenditures creating the deficiency were made.
      The existing deficiency is mainly composed of comparatively small sums, due to a large number of individuals for supplies or services actually furnished on the order of the agents of the Department. There is no dispute as to the justness of the accounts of these claims, and the failure to provide for their payment will be a perpetuation of hardships. The affairs among the Sioux, developed by the events of the year, have necessitated an unexpected expenditure, which will require to be met by a deficiency appropriation. The sum of $1,100,000, appropriated for their subsistence, is not sufficient to give them bread, meat, coffee, and sugar, and make suitable provision for transportation and issuing of the supplies at the seven different agencies. Possibly, if only beef and flour or corn were furnished, this sum would support life for them; but the cutting off of bacon, coffee, and sugar would be made the occasion of great complaint by the Indians. I have endeavored to reduce these luxuries for the Sioux to the minimum which their demands and the complaints of their friends would allow, and expected to be able, by subsisting the Indians on beef, to carry them through the year, by supplementing the amount appropriated for their subsistence with their beneficiary fund of $200,000; but the cession of the Black Hills has made an exigency which has involved the Department in a considerable outlay, which requires to be met by a deficiency appropriation. The cost of the very satisfactory geological and topographical survey, and the expense of the negotiations for the cession of the Black Hills, including, the presents to the Indians, together with that of the Red Cloud investigating commission, have caused an unexpected expenditure of nearly $75,000, which will require to be met by a deficiency appropriation. From the best judgment I am now able to form, all other deficiencies for the present year will not exceed the amount which will be saved to the Government by being carried to the surplus fund.


      The relations of the Office to the Board of Indian Commissioners have been entirely co-operative, and of material benefit and assistance in promoting economy and efficiency to the service. The suggestions of the the Board, made on information derived by them by personal visitation of agencies, and other sources, have enabled the Office to act with a better

[Page 22]

understanding upon important questions involving large interests of the Indian and heavy expenditures by the Government. The daily attendance of the purchasing committee and other members of the Board, during the opening of the bids, and the awarding of contracts for contracts for supplies, and the delivery and inspection of goods, enabled the Office to purchase and enter into contracts for articles desired amounting to over $2,000,000, at reasonable and entirely satisfactory rates. There can be no question but that for the superior quality of goods, and for the low rates at which they were procured, the Office is indebted to the great care and personal attention of these gentlemen, who serve the Govenment without pay. In my judgment, the full amount appropriated for the expenses of this Board has been saved many fold by the service which they have rendered gratuitously. The relation of the Board of Indian Commissioners to the General Government is somewhat anomalous; but when the peculiar mission of the Indian Bureau is considered, it will be seen that the function of the Board is important, if not essential, to the successful workings of a Bureau, in whose operations the social, humane, and moral questions involved render its mission unlike that of any other branch of the public service and requiring other care and consideration than can be given by ordinary official routine.


      It is with great gratification that I record the hearty good-will with which the several religious bodies of the country have in general aided the work of civilization during the year, and the close relations of confidence and co-operation which have existed between them and the agents nominated by them and this Office. The advantages derived from the nomination of agents by religious bodies are manifest on every hand. It secures a better class of officers than could be had by political nomination; it brings to the aid of the Government the sympathies and co-operation of a large number of the best citizens of the country; it enlists a kind of aid for which the Government has no substitute, and without which all effort for civilization will drag heavily until it is abandoned.
      No movements for changing the character and habits and prevailing condition of a people or a class can attain anything worthy the name of success without calling for the help which a volunteer benevolent or religious organization outside of the Government alone can give. The Sanitary and Christian Commissions of the war, Prison Associations, Children's Aid and other Relief Societies, and the multitude of benevolent organizations which the Government and the States call to their aid whenever any work of humanity or recovery of man is to be undertaken, bear abundant testimony to the prevailing opinion on this subject which has grown out of experience.
      Indian civilization presents a complication of questions and difficulties which require to be studied from a point of view entirely different from that which any routine official administration of the Indian Bureau can give. The agents who have the work in immediate charge must be more than Government agents. They must be filled and animated with a personal interest in their work, and inspired by the constant feeling which comes from the consciousness of being an associate and representative of those who are cheerfully contributing time and thought and making personal sacrifices for the work he has in hand.
      No desire for church-propagation on the part of any religious denomination, with one exception, has in any way interfered with the pur-

[Page 23]

poses of the Government, and such interference on the part of the Roman Catholics has arisen evidently not from intent to produce such effect, but from the incompatibility existing between a strict adherence to their religious system and any provision for public schools other than those taught by themselves.
      At the seven agencies assigned to the care of the Catholics, no restriction has been placed upon their system and methods of education, and no other religious body, so far as am aware, has in any way attempted to interfere. I regret to say that this is not true, so far as the Catholics are concerned, of some of the agencies assigned to other religious bodies, and in some instances the interference has been a material hinderance to the efforts of this Office through its agents to bring Indians under control, and to embrace rules looking toward civilization.


      The question of Indian civilization is deeper and broader than is to be found in the inquiry and answer as to whether an Indian can be civilized. The question in that form has been long since answered, and the only form remaining, which is of practical interest to the American people, relates to the methods which are essential to any extended and successful effort for that end. I believe that the present unsatisfactory condition in which Indians of this country are still bound, notwithstanding the large and increasing outlays of money which the Government has been making for a half-century, is due to the fact that by far the largest portion of the expenditures have been made with no practical reference to the question of civilization. An annuity in money or blankets, or bacon and beef, may have a tendency to draw the Indians within the reach of the Government, and prepare them for the beginning of a work of civilization, and also to render them disinclined to take up arms and go upon the war-path. But with any tribe a few years of this treatment is sufficient for the purpose, and after this end has been gained, a continuation of the feeding and clothing, without reference to further improvement on the part of the Indians, is simply a waste of expenditure. This has been the case with a large portion of the money spent upon Indians during the last fifty years. It is true that the letter of treaties may have been complied with by such expenditures, and thus the credit of the nation saved in form. But the spirit of the treaties, which uniformly looked toward the civilization of the Indians, has been disregarded, in that no reasonable methods have been devised and adopted for promoting civilization. This is manifest from the fact that the question has not been raised as to whether an Indian should be subjected to a system of enforced industry, and no plan has been devised looking toward his elevation, by bringing to bear upon him the ordinary motives of industry, which are found in the responsibilities that attach to self-support and individual manhood.
      This negligence or long-continued disregard of the main question relative to Indians has largely resulted from the theory adopted from the beginning as to the political status of Indians. They have been treated as if capable of acting for themselves in the capacity of a nation, whereas all history shows no record of a tribe, within our republic, able to assume and continue the character and relations of a sovereign people. There may have been a reason in the weakness of the early colonies, and far superior numbers of their Indian foes, for recognizing this condition of Indian sovereignty. But that has long since passed away, and there is no longer any occasion for recognizing the tribes who

[Page 24]

remain with us as foreigners. Their own interests, more strongly even than those of the Government, require that they should be recognized and treated for what they are, an ignorant and helpless people, who have a large moral claim upon the United States – a debt which cannot be discharged by gifts of blankets and bacons, or any routine official care for their protection or relief. These are no trifles compared with the one boon – civilization – which every consideration of humanity requires that we should give them. We have taken from them the possibility of living in their way, and are bound in return to give them the possibility of living in our way – an obligation we do not begin to discharge when we merely attempt to supply their wants for food and clothing. They need to be taught to take care of themselves. If any demonstration of the feasibility of this teaching is required, there are very few Indian agents now in the service who cannot, each out of his own experience and observation, furnish facts remarkably conclusive on this subject. An Indian is subject to like passions with the rest of us. So long as he can be subsisted by rations or by the chase, he will not labor; so long as he declines to labor, he cannot take the first step in civilization. The call to labor must come to him, not through memorials or treaties, councils or presents, but through his necessities. He must be driven to toil by cold and the pangs of hunger. Then, when he has taken this first step toward self-support, his wants, which at the beginning were registered only in his stomach, take on multiplied forms, and urge to increased industry. Naturally, when a man begins to toil for that which he receives, he begins to learn the value of personal-property rights, and thus takes his first step in separating from his tribe, and toward individual manhood.
      Congress, at its last session, recognizing the propriety that Indians, like other people, should toil for what they have, directed that all annuities should hereafter be paid only in return for some form of labor, giving, however, to the Secretary of the Interior discretion which allows the exemption of certain tribes from the operation of this restriction. This eminently wise legislation has been of great avail to the Bureau during the year in enforcing industry. While in some cases it has excited hostility and produced slight disturbance, it has on the whole worked with eminent satisfaction.
      The question has been raised by the Indians, and sometimes by their friends, as to the right of the Government to compel them to labor as a condition antecedent to receiving that which the Government has promised to give them, and without any such restriction being named in the promise. But when it is recollected that the Indian actually receives that which the Government has promised him, and enjoys beside the benefit of all the labor he performs, not only in its moral effect in promoting habits of industry, but also in the improvements made and crops raised, there can be no hesitation as to the positive benefit conferred upon, the Indian by holding him to this restriction in the enjoyment of his funds, and when it is remembered that the Government has upon its hands the care and support of these Indians, not only for the brief period covered by their treaties, but until they shall be able to care for themselves, it will be seen that the interests of the Government, as well as those of the Indian, require that whatever expenditure is made in his behalf shall be so made as will tend most rapidly and certainly to his civilization. For this reason I would most respectfully recommend that the restrictions placed upon appropriations for annuities for Indians by the last Congress be hereafter continued, and that the discretion of the Department as to releasing any tribe from its operations

[Page 25]

be reduced to the minimum which the proper handling of wild Indians who cannot be at once reduced to labor will allow; and also that authority be given to expend a necessary portion of annuities in preparing the ground for Indian labor and the purchasing of seeds and implements and stock-cattle. There have been several instances where an agent has been unable to put his Indians to labor because they had no land plowed and nothing but their hands to work with, and yet they would not consent that any of their cash annuity should be expended iu these means of labor.
      All attempts to require labor as a condition of receiving annuities will meet with much opposition. The Indians will resist it from their constitutional disrelish for toil. They will also be incited to such resistance by half-breeds and squaw-men, traders, and other interested parties, who always turn up as champions for the rights of an Indian whenever any measure is proposed which threatens to disturb their peculiar relation as his next friend, and entitled to hold his money and divide his annuity-goods.
      As the means of enforcing civilization become more available, and the necessity arises to compel Indians, through the moral suasion of hunger, to do that which they dislike, it will be found necessary in many intances to rid agencies of the interference of this low class or whites by expelling them from the reservation. There is no reason why the Government should continue to clothe and feed any class of men who are able to shift for themselves, and especially does such obligation cease toward men who persist in making the terms of a treaty their pretext for thwarting the purposes of the Government and retarding the civilization of its wards. A law providing for their summary ejection and punishment for their subsequent return would relieve many a reservation from great embarrassment.


      But the adoption of these methods does not by any means secure civilization. It merely prepares the way for a rational effort in that direction. Three essential conditions still require to be met.
      First, that the Indians should be placed or allowed to remain in a country affording water, timber, grass, and a soil upon which a white man could make a living. In the warm and dry climates, ordinary facilities for irrigation are sufficient.
      Second, the necessary funds must be provided to carry the untaught barbarian through the period of his childhood in civilization. This childish ignorance requires much patient and expensive teaching. The farmer or mechanic who is to be his instructor, needs to be more than an ordinary man of that calling, and must receive suitable compensation. No view can be more short-sighted than that any common laborer will make a profitable employé upon an Indian reservation. But under the best of teaching there will necessarily be large expenditures in the first steps in agriculture or herding. Awkwardness is wasteful. No man learns to take responsibility and care except by experience, and this with an Indian comes at high rates. The first cow or yoke of oxen intrusted to his care will quite likely be rendered valueless by mismanagement, or eaten in stress of hunger, and you may be obliged to repeat the aid in several forms before you will have an Indian farmer capable providing for his stock. There were purchased seven years since the Winnebago Indians of Nebraska 307 cattle. For three years were kept by the Government at large expense, under the care of

[Page 26]

farmers and herders, when it was decided to issue them to the Indians, and thus save at least the expense of keeping, which amounted annually to the value of the cattle. But few of these cattle are now remaining among the Winnebagoes. They have died for want of care, or have been eaten by their owners; but in this process, expensive as it has been, the Indians have learned the value and care of cattle, and are now receiving a new supply, purchased by their own money, and are giving them the treatment requisite for protection and increase. In the erection of houses upon a reservation, it will be more expensive to attempt to utilize the rough labor of an Indian than to hire white labor, but the house is worth tenfold more to him, not only for the increased interest with which he will always regard it as the work of his own hands, but for the lesson of labor which its erection has afforded him. In the same manner a plow or wagon broken in the Indian's experiment of his first useful exercise of muscle, is a costly expenditure, and yet experiments which involve these and more serious outlays, are in the end highly economical.
      For this comparatively brief training-period larger annual appropriation will be required than if the indian were allowed to continue his life of vagrancy and barbarism. The cost of furnishing school-houses and teachers in a commonwealth will be considerably greater in any five years than to allow the children to run in idleness and ignorance during that period. But before that generation of children has come to manhood, the cost for police and punishment will be many times greater than the sum required for their proper education. In like manner a discussion of the question of comparative economy in the civilizalion of Indians must not fail to count the cost of the alternative. When settlements approach an Indian country, this uncivilized class comes into new relations with the Government. If they are allowed longer to roam, they will be a heavy expense either to the people, by marauding, or to the Government, by the maintenance of a sufficient military force to prevent or punish such marauding. The Territory of Arizona presents a striking illustration of the economy of civilization. By the combined efforts of the War Department and the Interior, the fierce, bloody Apaches, who three years ago were the terror of that Territory, making a twenty-mile ride out from its capital unsafe without a guard, are now in quiet upon their reservations, and, with the exception of a small number, followers of Cochise, who as yet occupy the Dragoon Mountains, are digging ditches for crops, and making adobe dwellings. Meanwhile, the country is freed from hostile incursions, and the Government is enabled to reduce the military force hitherto required for peace and safety in Arizona. The cost of maintaining this half of the military in Arizona for a single year exceeds all the expenditures by the Indian Bureau for all the Apaches in that Territory for four years past, and from this time the expenditure will annually decrease until the Apaches become entirely self-supporting.
      Third. The agents who stand for the Government in close contact with the Indians must be competent for the business in hand. They must be able to comprehend how far it reaches beyond the mere attempt to gratify the Indians or to keep them quiet. They must be men who have faith in their fellow-men, who believe that the lowest creature God has made is capable of coming up higher. They must be not only strong in integrity and able to resist the plots and machinations by which greedy and unscrupulous men will seek to use them, but they must also possess such administrative ability as will enable them to bring all their personal and official power to bear in restraining and curing

[Page 27]

vicious habits and inspiring high motives and aiding feeble beginners in a better life. Men of this character are not to be found in the ordinary way of political appointment. Their selection must be made on no other ground than that of fitness for their peculiar duties. A mistake here is fatal to the whole effort. For this reason the mode adopted for the last few years, of precuring nominations of agents through the several religious bodies of the country, has worked most admirably. Not that the best men have always been selected by those bodies, but that the proportion of true, devoted, capable agents furnished in this way has been far greater than it would have been by any other method of appointment. When these agents thus selected have reached their distant fields of duty, they find, in the relations which they bear to the Christian people whom they represent, a constant inspiration to fidelity. Any man fit to receive such an appointment must constantly recognize the duty upon him to be true, not only to the Government, but to his own religious convictions, and to those in whose name he has been sent to engage in the work of lifting men out of barbarism. And it is exactly this element of enthusiasm which comes from living for an idea, from the purpose and consciousness of living for others, which is most essential to the effort of civilization among Indians. For this reason I most devoutly trust that the Government will still be inclined to call upon the religious bodies of the country to name the proper men for Indian agents.
      With these three essential conditions, suitable country, reasonable appropriations and proper agents, supplied and continued for a reasonable length of time, there is not a shade of doubt, in my mind, that the Indians of this country can be reclaimed from barbarism and fitted for citizenship, and that every year from the time of its adoption till its consummation, will give increased demonstration of the wisdom and ultimate success of the plan. But it must be borne in mind that all these conditions, namely, men, country, and funds, relatively important in the order named, are absolutely essential. If one of them is lacking, the highest excellence of the other two cannot repair the loss. You cannot civilize the Sioux on the alkali plains of Dakota with any amount of funds and the best of agents. You cannot civilize the Otoes on the best soil in Nebraska, with their large per capita annuity, without an agent capable of his high trust. You cannot civilize the Lac Court Oreille Chippewas in Wisconsin, on their fine reservation, and with all the encouragements which a competent sub-agent can give, without the means necessary to provide for their first steps in civilized labor.
      It surely is not too much to expect that a work of such magnitude, involving, as it does, the welfare of so many poor who in all their history have stood in such peculiar relations to the American people, and who are now attracting the increasing interest of philanthropists and scholars and the commiseration of all classes, shall obtain such recognition by the Congress of the United States as will remove the difficulties which have heretofore been experienced in procuring the enactment of laws and the necessary appropriations for their training in civilization.
      The following table shows the annual appropriations, including deficiency and special appropriations, of each year since 1870, and the disbursements for the corresponding years, together with the funds derived from interest on Indian stocks and sales of bonds and lands and turned over to the Indians or expended for their benefit. This table shows the largest amount to have been expended in 1873, which was the uncertain period as to the number of the Sioux and the year in which the

[Page 28]

Apaches and other wild tribes were being gathered upon reservations in Arizona and New Mexico.

Statement of appropriations by Congress, and the disbursements therefrom, during the fiscal years 1870 to 1876, inclusive; also the disbursements from interest collected on Indian trust-funds, from proceeds of sales of Indian lands, and of bonds sold for the benefit of various Indian tribes, and, also, of amounts carried to the surplus fund.

Fiscal year. Amount appropriated
by regular, deficiency,
and special appropriations
Amount disbursed. Amount disbursed
from interest collected
on trust-funds; from
proceeds on sales
of lands, and of bonds
sold for the benefit of
various Indian tribes.
Amount carried to
the surplus fund.
1870 $6,132,616 00 $2,871,791 75 $380,892 23 $91,992 33
1871 5,960,337 11 6,361,085 88 539,690 85 36,386 13
1872 5,970,527 56 6,519,103 08 405,370 84 494,291 21
1873 7,160,073 46 467,414,142 12 373,532 83 174,268 40
1874 6,912,384 79* 5,440,318 46 735,990 70 84,986 78
[1875]   (a)1,417,481 02    
1875 6,036,766 79 6,262,906 20 861,011  80 751,418  82
[1875]   (b)148,288 73
1876 5,435,627 00 (c)2,464,072 91 316,748 12  
Totals 43,608,332 72 38,899,190 15 3,613,237 37 1,633,343 67

      *A deficiency of $495,001.23 for 1874 is still unprovided for.
      (a) Disbursed in the fiscal year 1875 from deficiency appropriation for the fiscal year 1874 and prior years.
      (b) Disbursed in the fiscal year 1875 from appropriations for the fiscal year 1876.
      (c) Disbursements from July 1 to November 1, 1875, from appropriatious for the fiscal year 1876.

      The expenditures of the year 1875, exclusive of expenditures of funds derived from interest of Indian stocks, and sales of bonds and lands, as compared with those of 1873, show a decrease of $1,002,947.19. The appropriations for 1876 are $5,435,627, and from present prospect it is confidently expected that the deficiency for this year will not exceed $200,000, making a total of $5,635,627, and a diminution of 81,524,446.46 against the cost of 1873. This reduction of expense has occurred partly by increased cheapness of supplies and decreased cost of transportation; but mainly by the definiteness with which numbers and wants of Indians have been ascertained, whereby waste and overissue of supplies have been in a degree prevented.
      The cost of maintaining all the Indians, except the wilder tribes like the Sioux, Utes, Crows, and Arickarees will steadily decrease from this time on until they cease to be an burden to the Government; and this not through any process of extinction, but because of their increasing self-support in a civilized mode of life.
      It is not improbable, however, that such additional expenditure will be required in bringing the wilder tribes through the transition from a state of almost complete barbarism into the beginning of civilization as will make the totals of appropriations for three or four years to come equal to those of the last three years, and perhaps greater.
      The problem of the Sioux, as discussed elsewhere, involves even larger outlays for at least three years than are now required for the feeding process. The Sioux on the Upper Missouri, with the Piegans and Blackfeet, who are now procuring much the larger portion of their subsistence by hunting, will, before long, be compelled by scarcity of game to depend upon Government rations. When this necessity comes

[Page 29]

to them, and to the Crows and Utes, the change from a nomadic to an agricultural life, which must necessarily follow, will bring the temporary necessity of a corresponding increase of appropriations. These are the exigencies or the crises which come in the history of all tribes; and the fact that the cost of maintaining Indians is growing less, notwithstanding there are more of them upon reservations and under the immediate care of the Government to-day than ever before, is most instructive as well as encouraging. And if it were possible to show in figures the increased advantages which have been derived from the comparative quiet upon the border, and exemption from pillage and marauding, and the very marked decrease in expenditures incurred in campaigning against the Indians, a most gratifying exhibit could be made of economical results already accomplished.
      A sum equal to the cost of fighting only a small portion of the Sioux, in 1862, if funded at 7 per cent, would yield an annual interest sufficient, even out the present unsatistfactory plan, to care for entire the whole Sioux people for all time.
      It should also be remembered that we might naturally have expected an increase instead of a diminution in disturbance and depredation on the part of the Indians, with a correspondingly increased cost for police and restraint by the Army, on account of the growing settlements which have pushed their way on every side, up to the border, and sometimes into the very heart, of the Indian country.
      Before yielding to any despondency or doubt as to the future, even of the most hopeless tribe, it is well to recall the fact that only seven years ago the United States was willing to make any promise to the wild Sioux, whom we did not wish to fight, if they would allow us to push a railway across their plains toward the Pacific coast. Five of the wisest and bravest leading generals of the Army did not consider it derogatory to the dignity of the Government to solemnly stipulate, in order to gain this end, that the larger part of Dakota, Nebraska, and Wyoming, claimed by the savages, should never be trodden by a white man's foot; that military forts and roads should be dismantled and abandoned; that no man wearing the United States uniform should ever be seen within their reservation; the Indians should receive large supplies of rations and clothing, and that these stipulations should never be altered by a subsequent treaty except on the written assent of three-fourths of the male members of the nation.
      The trains on the Union Pacific roads have been running daily undisturbed; the surrounding eountry has been occupied, while Indian depredations have greatly decreased. The lands in Nebraska are now being occupied by settlers, the Indians having withdrawn their claim, soldiers are to be found in every part of the Sioux reservation, and the present season has witnessed thousands of miners and "pilgrims" swarming over the Sioux country, and digging into their sacred hills for gold. Yet there has been no fighting, under all this provocation, which, five years ago, would have brought ten thousand painted savages into the field for a war which would not have cost less than fifty millions. And with any kind and firm treatment, which bears a resemblance to justice, there will be no serious contention with this powerful tribe hereafter. The results have there for fully jnstified the negotiations of 1868, and have demonstrated most completely that it is far better to feed and temporize and parley with a wild, unreasoning savage, until you have brought him within authority and proper requirements, so that he may be assured, from experience, that the Government on the one hand desires only his good, and on the other is able to compel submission to law.

[Page 30]


Seminole negroes.

      There are on and in the neighborhood of the military reservations of Forts Clark and Duncan, on the Texas border, about 500 persons of African descent, who are known as "Seminole negroes," sixty of them men and grown boys, the remainder women and children, who, being in a very destitute condition and in an inhospitable country, are a care upon the Government. These negroes were transferred with the Seminole Indians from Florida to the West as a part of that tribe. They were induced to return to Texas from Mexico, whence they fled to escape bondage. By the 2d article of the Seminole treaty of March 21, 1866, (vol. 14, p. 756,) it appears that these negroes have an equitable right to be located on the reservation, in Indian Territory, set apart for the Seminole Indians, and there can be no question as to the humanity and economy of such location. Recommendation is therefore made that these Seminole negroes be collected and removed to said Seminole Indian reservation in Indian Territory, and there permanently located, and that the sum of $40,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary, be appropriated by Congress at its next session to effect such removal.

Pawnee removal.

      Provision was made by the act of Congress approved June 10, 1872, for the survey and sale of a portion of the Pawnee Indian reservation in Nebraska. Since the survey hereby authorized these Indians have been in a restless and unsettled condition, which was further increased by the failure of their crops from grasshoppers and drought.
      With a view to the ultimate removal of the whole tribe from Nebraska, the agent and a delegation of the tribe were authorized to visit the Indian Territory, and make selection of lands for a new reservation of the tribe. In accordance therewith, they made the visit, and selected lands lying in the forks of the Arkansas and Cimarron Rivers, east of the 97th degree of west longitude embracing about 391,000 acres, and on the 4th of March last signed an agreement to adopt said tract of country as their new and permanent home. This selection has been approved by this Bureau, and is embraced within the following boundaries: Commencing at a point in the middle of the main channel of the Cimarron River, where the 97th meridian of west longitude crosses the same; thence north on said meridian to the middle of the main channel of the Arkansas River; thence down the middle of the main channel of the Arkansas River to the mouth of the Cimarron River; thence up the middle of the main channel of said Cimarron River to the place of beginning. The main body of the tribe has already removed, and a most encouraging beginning has been made in their new homes.
      Recommendation is made that Congress at its next session ratify the selection made, and take the necessary action to permanently establish the whole Pawnee tribe thereon, by providing for sale of their lands in Nebraska and appropriating a sum, to be re-imbursed by such sales, sufficient to provide for the expenses of removal already incurred and to carry them through the coming year.

Lapwai suits.

      In the matter of the ejectment-suits of W.G. Langford vs. Employés of the Nez Percé Indian reservation at Lapwai, Idaho, certain expenses

[Page 31]

of rent, costs, and fees were incurred by said employés in their defense the trial of these cases, amounting to $625.75. This expense was necessarily incurred, owing to the remote distance of the proper United States district attorney from the agency, as well as dificulty of communication with him or the Department, and the exigencies of the case, which have been promptly and fully reported to this Office. From these facts and the circumstances of the parties who were mulcted with the costs, and in view of the fact that by this course they were enabled to hold the agency buildings, and thereby avert their destruction by the Indians, Congress should be urged to appropriate the necessary amount to fully re-imburse the parties named.

Red Cliff.

      By the sixth section of the second article of the treaty of La Pointe made September 30, 1854, four sectious of land, known as the Red Cliff Indian reservations, were set apart for the use of a certain La Pointe band of Chippewa Indians, of which Buffalo was chief. The fourth article of the said treaty authorizes the allotment of lands and the issue of patents therefor. This reservation was enlarged in 1856, by the order of the President, by the addition of nearly eighteen sections of land. Legislation by Congress is now asked authorizing the allotment of the land embraced within the extension made by the President and the issue of patents therefor upon the terms named in the treaty aforesaid.

Sisseton and Wahpeton Sioux.

      The fifth article of the treaty concluded with the Sisseton and Wahpeton bands of Sioux Indians February 19, 1867, provides: "*** Every person to whom lands may be allotted under the provisions of this article, who shall occupy and cultivate a portion thereof for five consecutive years, shall thereafter be entitled to receive a patent for the same so soon as he shall have fifty acres of said tract fenced, plowed, and in crop. ***" (Vol. 15, p. 506.)
      Recommendation is made that legislation be adopted by Congress at its next session authorizing the issue of a patent to each allottee, when said allottee shall have twenty-five acres of said (his or her) tract fenced, plowed, and in crop, instead of fifty acres, as required by the treaty.

Ottawa land.

      Upon the establishment of the boundary-line between the Peoria and Ottawa Indian reservations in Indian Territory, determined by the recent survey, a strip of country, containing 230 acres of land, which had formerly been used and held by the Peorias as a part of their reservation, lies now within the limits of the Ottawa reservation. At the suggestion of the Ottawa Indians, this tract of land was purchased and paid for by the Peorias, and it is now recommended that the legislation necessary to perfect the purchase of said land be had by Congress at its next session.

Pyramid Lake reservation.

      By an order of the President, dated March 23, 1874, a certain tract of country therein described, in the State of Nevada, which had been held and used for a number of years for Indian purposes, was set apart for the permanent use and occupancy of the Pah-Ute Indians, and known the "Pyramid Lake Indian reservation." A portion of this reserva-

[Page 32]

tion is covered hy the grant to the Central Pacific Railroad, as provided in the act of Congress approved July 2, 1864. (Stat. at L. vol. 3, p. 356.) Negotiations have been opened with the railroad company respecting the purchase of the company's interest within said reservation. No public survey has been made of the lands in question, which the railroad, through its land-agent, is willing to sell at the usual rate for such lands, or to exchange for other lands in lieu thereof. It is recommended that legislation by Congress be had at its next session authorizing the exchange of these lands for other lands, and preserving this reservation intact with of these lands for other lands, and preserving this reservation intact with boundaries as established by the order of the President, inasmuch as these Indians have held it in undisputed possession so long a time, believing the entire area to have been legally withdrawn from sale as their home, upon which they have made considerable improvements.

Swamp-lands in Wisconsin.

      The treaty of September 30, 1854, with the Chippewa Indians of Lake Superior makes reservation for the La Point band of those Indians of a tract of country, the boundaries of which are therein defined. This treaty also provides for an allotment of lands in severalty to certain members of the band and the issue of patents therefor. Allotments have already been made to a large number of those residing upon the reserve, and it is now ascertained that a considerable quantity of lands within the reservation limits have been declared swamp-lands, to which the State of Wisconsin is entitled under the swamp-land act of 1850.
      These swamp lands include the tracts allotted to twenty-five or more of the Indians, in severalty, and comprise some of the most valuable hay, rice, cranberry, and garden lands within the reservation, and upon which a large proportion of the most valuable improvements made by the Indians are located. I earnestly recommend that legislation be asked of Congress, giving to the State of Wisconsin an equal quantity of public lands in lieu of these swamp lands, located elsewhere within the limits of said State, or that provision be made for otherwise indemnifying the State, and that their reservation be preserved intact for the Indians, inasmuch as they have been encouraged for twenty years to believe that these lands belonged to them, and that when allotments should be made in severalty they would receive patents therefor. Relying upon the guarantees contained in their treaty, they have made extensive and valuable improvements, and should they now be deprived of both their lands and improvements, it would be a very great hardship, and one that should be prevented if possible.

Sale of Indian lands in Nebraska.

      The act of Congress approved June 10, 1872, having provided for the sale of portions of the Omaha, Pawnee, Otoe, and Missouria, and the whole of the Sac and Fox of the Missouri Indian reservations, on sealed bids, for cash, an appraisement was made of the Omaha and Pawnee, which received the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, and the Omaha lands were offered for sale last year. The bids were very few in number and for small tracts, so that awards were only made of 300.72 acres. It was deemed inadvisable to again offer the lauds upon the same terms, and therefore, on the 10th of December, 1873, the Department submitted to Congress the draught of a bill to amend the act of June 10, 1872, the object of which was to provide for the sale of any

[Page 33]

of the lands described in said act, at not less than the appraised value thereof, on the following conditions, viz, one-fourth cash in hand, the balance in three equal annual payments, drawing interest at 6 per cent. per annum from the day of sale; the purchaser to give bond with adequate security to commit no waste or damage, by the sale or destruction of timber, or otherwise, until the last payment should be made. Congress at its last session failed to enact the foregoing bill into a law, and no further steps have beeu taken toward carrying out the provisions of the act of June 10, 1872. The Pawnees have removed to the Indian Territory south of Kansas, and have expressed the desire in open council, under date of October 8, 1874, that their entire reserve in Nebraska should be sold. A bill was submitted to Congress embodying this proposed provision, and such legislation relative to the disposition of the remaining reservations named in the act of June 10, 1872, as was deemed advisable and proper. So final action was taken by Congress, but as the same reasons exist now as formerly, I think it important that this subject be again presented to Congress.


      The aid rendered by the War Department in enforcing discipline and compelling Indians to remain within their reservations, has been great service during the year. The campaign against the hostile Cheyennes and Comanches, which was mentioned in my last report as probably near its close, continued with occasional skirmishes until March, when the last of the hostiles came into the Cheyenne agency and surrendered; but, unfortunately, during the selection and identification of the ringleaders for punishment by confinement at Fort Marion, a stampede occurred, in which the whole camp of surrendered prisoners broke away, after a severe engagement with the military. About four hundred of them made good their escape through Kansas and Nebraska to Red Cloud agency, where they have, up to this time, eluded pursuit by the military, and have formed a most troublesome element in connection with the northern Arapahoes and Cheyennes, and a turbulent portion of the Red Cloud Sioux. With this exception, the campaign against the hostiles of the Indian Territory was most successful and beneficial; the punishment which has been visited upon the seventy of the ringleaders in marauding, by confinement at a military post in Florida, is proving most salutary upon the tribes whom they represent. A lew marauding Osages have been driven in upon their reservations, and troops have been asked to assist in the arrest of their ringleaders. The military force at Red Cloud and Spotted Tail agencies has been sufficient to prevent bloodshed, though at times the peril of an outbreak has seemed imminent. The escort to the geological survey of the Black Hills, under Colonel Dodge, made that survey successful. Soldiers have also been used for the arrest of Sioux offenders at Standing Rock.
      In August last, the agent at Spotted Tail requested the aid of the military in expelling troublesome, vicious whites, known as squaw-men, who live among the Sioux and excite them to turbulence. This request, though indorsed by the Department, has not yet procured the desired

[Page 34]

assistance in ridding the agency of a mischievous element. In Minnesota, a small military escort was sent to arrest four turbulent pillagers, Chippewas, at Leech Lake, west of the Rocky Mountains. Military aid has been invoked to protect the Nez Perce agency from attempted seizure by W.G. Langford, under the claim of ownership. Troops have also been put in motion in Nevada, on account of great alarm by the citizens, caused by the murder of a white man by an Indian whom he had dispossessed of his land. The alarm proved, in a large degree, without foundation, and no interference of the soldiers was found necessary. In New Mexico, the military at Fort Stanton were called upon to protect the Mescalero Apaches, but were not able to prevent their massacre by whites on their own reservation, and within sight of the flag-staff of the military post. At the Navajo agency, military aid was sought, but not secured until all need for it had passed. In Arizona, want of co-operation between post-commanders at Camp Apache has rendered the immediate aid of the military of very little value during the year. The factor of the presence of troops within the Territory has, however, exercised a moral effect, which agents have availed themselves in keeping order without calling for actual interference by the soldiers; and there is little doubt that Sitting Bull and his followers among the northern Sioux have been restrained from overt acts by the fact of military posts being stationed on the Upper Missouri.


      The attention of the honorable Secretary is called to the service required of the Bureau under the rules and regulations prescribed in compliance with section 7 of the act of Congress approved May 29, 1872. These regulations provide for an application for indemnity for loss or injury sustained by the action of Indians to the Indian agent in charge of the tribe to which the depredators are supposed to belong, such application to be supported by the sworn testimony of the claimant, giving full description of the property and a detailed statement of the circumstances by which the loss occurred, also by the deposition of two or more persons cognizant of the lacts set forth by the claimant. This application thus supported is to be investigated by the Indian agent as to the probable facts of the case and the validity of evidence submitted, and then by him presented to the tribe with a demand for satisiaction to the claimant. If the demand is not complied with, a report is to be made as to whether the tribe admit the depredation to have been committed by some of their number or deny the charge, the case to be then reported to this Office for examination and report to the Department. In accordance with law the Secretary has heretofore been required to report to Congress at each session all such claims, with the action taken by the Department thereon.
      In the Revision of the United States Statutes, however, this requirement of a report to Congress is omitted, and it is provided only that upon the report of the agent, as above set forth, to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, "such further steps may be taken, as shall be proper, in the opinion of the President, to obtain satisfaction for the injury."
      It will be readily seen that such extended official action in compliance with the requirements of law is calculated to lead parties who have suffered loss by Indians to expect to receive satisiaction therefor, and in this expectation they proceed to conform to the regulations prescribed by the Department, and often incur no inconsiderable expense in the employ-

[Page 35]

ment of attorneys and in procuring necessary testimony to establish their claims.
      The facts, however, give to claimants but little encouragement to expect a final adjudication, as the following statistics, covering the period from January 1, 1867, to October 31, 1875, will show:

Number of claims filed in Indian Office ............. 1,557
Aggregate amount of claims filed .............. $4,797,380 65
Amount reported by the Office for allowance thereon .............. $1,143,810 54
Amount reported for disallowance .............. 1,626,389 70
Amount of the claims on file yet to be examined and reported upon .............. 1,930,568 30
Amount of such of the claims as have been returned to the claimants .............. 96,612 11
Total   –––––––––
4,797,380 65
Number of above claims allowed and paid by the Department previous to act of Congress May 29, 1872, prohibiting any payment on account of such claims except from funds specifically appropriated therefor .............. 62
Amount of payments on said 62 claims from treaty-funds of Indians and from moneys specifically appropriated .............. $139,000 00
Number of the said reported 1,557 claims paid by the Department since act of 1872 .............. 5
Aggregate amount payments on said five claims .............. $26,112 80

      Since the act of May 29, 1872, under which this inquiry has been made and corresponding expectations excited, only five claims, amounting to $26,112.80, out of the 1,557 claims filed, involving nearly five millions of dollars, have received the attention of Congress; and I respectfully suggest that this matter be laid before Congress, with the recommendation that, if no further action upon the claims thus examined and reported is to be taken, the Office may be relieved from the duty of such examination, in order that persons who have suffered from Indian depredations may not be led to incur additional loss by the expense involved in preparing and presenting their claims to the Department, and that they may be also saved from solicitude as to the issue of expectations which are very naturally awakened by the formal official action now required by act of Congress.


      A commission consisting of Hon. Henry M. Atkinson, of Nebraska, and Col. Thomas G. Williams, of San Antonio, Texas, was appointed in March 31, 1873, under acts of Congress approved July 15, 1870, and March 31, 1871, [Stat. at Large, pp. 359, 569,] to effect the removal of the Kickapoo and other American Indian tribes, roving on the borders of Mexico and Texas, to reservations within the Territories of the United States. They have reported the successful removal of 480 Kickapoos from the border to reservation in Indian Territory. On the 5th of May last, William M. Edgar, esq., succeeded Mr. Atkinson, resigned, and was authorized to complete the work begun by said commission. On the 14th of July last, Mr. Williams, in concluding the work assigned the commission, reported that the authorities of the Mexican State of Chihuahue had made a treaty, in May last, with the Indians of that State, wherein the Indians are provided with subsistence and a permanent reservation for all the tribes, who are required to locate and remain thereon, under similar restrictions to those regulating American reservations, and they are specifically prohibited from crossing the Rio Grande into the United States, for any cause, without special permission. This treaty, if approved by the general government of Mexico, and enforced, will relieve

[Page 36]

that portion of the frontier of Texas from further depredations by these Indians, and at the same time the United States will be relieved of the cost of feeding, caring for, or of fighting them, in the future. Inasmuch as the same grounds for complaint existed in Sonora as in Chihuahua, Colonel Williams was authorized and instructed, September 1, 1875, to return to Chihuahua, to see that the arrangements agreed upon by the authorities of Mexico, to provide a reservation in Chihuahua as a permanent home, &c., for the Mescalero Apaches and other Indians had been properly effected, and to extend the visit into Sonora, and endeavor to effect the removal of such other members of the Apache tribe as are in that State to a reservation, with a view to their permanent settlement thereupon.


      An exploring expedition, consisting of Walter P. Jenney, esq., of the School of Mines, New York City, as mining engineer in charge; Henry A. Newton, esq., of Ohio. as assistant geologist; Henry P. Turtle, esq., formerly of the United States Navy, as astronomer; and Dr. V.T. McGillycuddy, of Powell's expedition, as topograper, was authorized by the Hon. Secretary of the Interior, in March and April last, with instructions from this Office, to visit the Black Hills country, in the Territories of Dakota and Wyoming, with a view to obtain accurate information in relation to its mineral deposits. Mr. Jenney has submitted a preliminary report, which is found herewith.


      A commission, consisting of Hon. Wm. B. Allison, of Iowa; F.W. Palmer, esq., of Illinois; Brig. Gen. A.H. Terry, of United States Army; Hon. Abram Comingo, of Missouri; Rev. S.D. Hinman, of Dakota; G.P. Beauvais, esq., of Missouri; Albert G. Lawrence, esq., of Rhode Island; and W.H. Ashby, esq, of Nebraska, was appointed, in June last, by the Hon. Secretary of the Interior, under the direction of the President, to negotiate with the Sioux Indians relative to the procurement of it cession by them of such portion of that country known as the Black Hills, between the north and south forks of the Big Cheyenne, as the President may determine to be desirable for the Government to purchase for mining purposes, and a relinquishment of their rights to that portion of Wyoming known as the Big Horn Mountains, and lying west of a line running from the point where the Niobrara River crosses the east line of Wyoming to the Tongue River. No report has been received at this Office from this commission, though it is known that its mission was not successful.*


      On the nomination of the chairman of the Board of Indian Commissioners, the Hon. Secretary of the Interior appointed Hon. Thomas C. Fletcher, of Saint Louis; Hon. Benjamin W. Harris, of Massachusetts, Hon. Charles J. Faulkner, of West Virginia, a special commission, to which Hon. T.O. Howe, of Wisconsin, and Prof. George W. Atherton, of New Jersey, were added by the President, to visit the Red Cloud agency, and were instructed to avail themselves of all means within their reach so as to obtain the true state of affairs, and to make, with-
*Report since received – see page – [blank].

[Page 37]

out fear or favor, a full and thorough investigation of all complaints of fraud and irregularities, and other matters pertaining to the agency, and report relative to its past and present condition and management, with such recommendations as will enable the Department to take proper action in the premises; yand, while in the Indian country, to make such observations, pertaining to Indian affairs generally, at Red Cloud agency, as will be of assistance to the admiaistration of the Indian Bureau.
      The commission has submitted the result of its investigation and views in a report to the president of the Board of Indian Commissioners, under date of October 16, 1875.
      The complaints and alleged grievances of Red Cloud upon which the commission was originated were found to be groundless. The sweeping charges of fraud on the part of the agent and other Government officials were also found to have been made upon the hearsay evidence and not in accordance with fact. The commission inquired with great thoroughness into all the disbursements made with Red Cloud agency during two years, amounting to over $1,250,000. This disbursement was in many forms, by contracts and purchase, and employment of services of a multitude of persons, and in a country remote and inaccessible, and where attempts at fraud might be expected to be made, and to meet with success as frequently as in any portion of the Indian service. A diligent inquiry on the ground by these five gentlemen, eminent for their ability and sagacity, resulted in a discovery of several attempts at fraud which had been defeated, and of two attempts which had proved successful, one resulting in a loss to the Government of $900, and the other of from $4,000 to $7,000. The commission recommend radical measures for enforcing civilization, and the inspection and delivery of supplies through the officers of the Army.


      Hon. Nelson H. Van Vorhes, of Athens, Ohio; E.C. Kemble, United States Indian inspector; Hon. Henry S. Neal, of Ironton, Ohio; H.F. Hawkes, of Chicago, and Hon. Asa Hodges, of Marion, Ark., were designated by the honorable Secretary of the Interior, in July last, special commissioners to investigate affairs at the Osage Indian agency, in Indian Territory the necessity for which arose from the frequent complaints which have reached the Department from a large portion of the tribe, but more especially from a petition addressed to the President, numerously signed by the Osages, making charges against their agent and asking his removal.
      This commission was instructed to inquire into Agent I.T. Gibson's administration of Indian affairs, giving the subject a particular and thorough iuvestigation, in order that the proper remedy may be applied if the service has in any way suffered, or is suffering, by reason of inefficiency, fraud, or neglect on his part; and also if he is in any manner unjustly accused, that his conduct and administration may be vindicated and the Indians informed accordingly.
      This commission performed its duties and submitted its report and proceedings September 14, 1875. They find the charges against Agent Gibson to have been mainly frivolous in their nature, and arising out of contentions and disturbances in the tribe; that the agent has administered his affairs with strict integrity, and that the Government has suffered no loss from any fraud or neglect by any officer or employe of the Government.

[Page 38]


      A commission consisting of Benjamin Simpson, esq., of Portland, Oreg.; J. H. Fairchild, United States Indian agent at Siletz agency, and George P. Litchfield, United States Indian subagent at Alsea, was appointed by the honorable Secretary of the Interior, July 19, 1875, to visit the coast range Indians in Oregon, and, in accordance with the provisions of the Indian appropriation act approved March 3, 1875, (Stat. at L., vol. 18, p. 446,) to remove them from their present reservations to the Siletz reduced reserve.
      The commission have visited the agency and report the Siletz Indians as consenting to the removal, and as actually removing, September 29, 1875, to the reduced reserve. The Alsea Indians have not yet assented to a removal, and the commission recommend the removal of all Government property, and such Indians as are willing to accompany it, to the Siletz reduced reserve at once.


      Upon the recommendation of this Office, Hon. John McNulta, of Bloomington, Ill., a late member of the Indian Committee of the House of Representatives, was appointed, March 11, 1875, by the honorable Secretary of the Interior, a commissioner to visit the Mescalero Apache Indian agency at Fort Stanton, N. Mex., and make investigation of the alleged outrage and massacre of Indians upon that reserve by a party of Mexicans and American citizens on the 1st of January last, which resulted in the murder of three Indians, the loss of their property, and subsequently the abandonment of their reservation; and a retaliation on their part, followed by a further attack on the part of citizens and outlaws.
      Mr. McNulta was instructed to look into the causes of such conduct on the part of the citizens, and to adopt such methods, if possible, as would prevent its recurrence, and to assure the Indians of protection during good behavior or of punishment when they commit depredations.
      Inasmuch as grave charges were made by the military relative to the management of affairs at the agency, and reflecting upon the administration of those representing the Indian Department, Mr. McNulta was instructed also to inquire fully into all alleged irregularities at the agency, and report the cause of the irritation and conflict which seemed to exist between the military and the agent at the Fort Stanton Indian reserve, and to endeavor to procure harmony and co-operation between them.
      Mr. McNulta was further charged with the duty of reporting what settlers were within the limits of the reservation, and located there prior to the establishment of the reserve by order of the President dated May 29, 1873, the value of their improvements, and whether any necessity existed for their removal, and whether any change should be made in the boundaries of the reservation to meet the wants of the Indians and avoid conflict with the rights of bona-fide settlers.
      In compliance with these instructions, Mr. McNulta visited this reservation, also the Cimarron agency, which he was verbally requested to do, and has filed his report giving the result of these visits and his investigation of the questions therein involved.

The Cimarron Agency.

      The Indians of this agency he pronounced "an unmitigated nuisance" to the citizens, and should, for mutual benefit, be removed to the reser-

[Page 39]

vation provided for them north of the San Juan River. They constantly encroach upon the fields and possessions of the settlers, kill their cattle, and are insolent and overbearing. He recommends theft the attention of Congress be called to the necessity for ratification of the agreement with the Indians to put them on the Jicarilla reserve, and immediate measures be taken to discontinue the agency at Cimarron.

Mescalero Apache Reservation.

      Respecting the outrage upon and subsequent massacre of some of the Indians upon this reservation, Mr. McNulta has evidently made a thorough investigation, and comes to the conclusion that the Indians are in no degree at fault in this affair.
      The attack was commenced and continued by the citizens within the hearing and reach of the military, who rendered no relief, excusihg themselves upon the supposition that the Indians were fighting among themselves. The Indians seeing no effort was made to afford them any protection or relief, fled to the mountains as their only safety, after informing the agent and the military of their intention.
      Here they were attacked by the military, when they left again for remoter parts, abandoniug their camps, clothing, and provisions, which were taken by the military and destroyed, and fifty-five horses were captured and sold; and three mules, taken at the same time from the Indians, are now in the possession of the quartermaster.
      The Indians have since been induced to return to the reservation, where they have remained with a greater feeling of security.
      The charge that "the Indian Department throws obstacles in the way of the military," &c., is fully presented, but he finds no evidence to sustain it; and the commanding officer, when called upon for testimony in support of the charges made, gave none and would indicate no source from whence it could be derived, but gave it as his "opinion" that such was the fact.
      Respecting the alleged mismanagement of agency affairs, Mr. McNulta entirely exonerates the agent, and states that he seems to have devoted nearly all of his time to the outside control of the Indians, and to have been eminently successful in teaching them to work; but concerning the interntal business management of the agency he is less favorably impressed, and recommends changes which have been directed.
      Mr. McNulta recommended to change of the western boundary of the reserve, which has since been incorporated in an executive order defining the boundaries of the Fort Stanton Indian reservation.

Seminole Reservation.

      On the 17th of March last, the Hon. Secretary of the Interior designated Hon. J.P.C. Shanks a special commissioner to visit the Indian Territory and negotiate with the Creek Indians for the relinquishment to the United States of such portion of their country as may be occupied by the Seminoles in accordance with the provisions of the act of Congress entitled "An act to authorize the Secretary of the interior to negotiate," &c, approved March 3, 1873. (Stat. at L., vol. 17, p. 626.) Full instructions were issued on the 22d of March last, with a detailed history of the action of the Government, and the present status of the Seminole reservation, and other information as to the plan of settlement of this vexed question, which this Office has deemed feasible.
      Mr. Shanks has made no report as yet on this subject.

[Page 40]

Status of negroes in Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations.

      On the 17th of March last, Hon. J.P.C. Shanks was appointed a special commissioner to visit Indian Territory and investigate and report an adjustment of the status of persons of African descent resident in the Choctaw and Chickasaw countries, reference being had to the provision relative to said persons embraced in the third and fourth articles of the Choctaw and Chickasaw treaty of July 10, 1866, (Stat. at L., vol. 14, p. 769.)
      Mr. Shanks has not submitted any report on this subject to the consideration of this Office.

  Forward to Pages 41-61
  NADP Homepage