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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1863

Washington superintendency,   pp. 396-398 PDF (1.3 MB)

Page 396

there were no civil officers there, and no laws but such as have been adopted
miners. The matter must rest until the organization of the government of
Whilst at Bannack, I ascertained that bands of Flat-heads had passed on the
road by.which I came, in'search of the Bannacks and Shoshonees, for the pur-
pose of stealing their horses and making waj upon them. Deeming it unsafe
to return alone, I employed Mr. Dempsey, an excellent* interpreter, to send
guide and guard of Indians with me. These accompanied me faithfully to the
settlement of Box Elder, and will, on their way back, give useful information
to those of their nation they meet. 
All the Indians I met, during my absence, appeared desirous to form a treaty
with the United States, and I told them that when the commissioners were
ready to meet them I would send-a runner to them to inform them of the time
and place.for them to assemble. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
Commissioner of Indian Affiirs. 
No. 240. 
Washington Territory, August 28, 1863. 
Sin: I acknowledge the receipt of your communication, requesting me to 
furnish you with my annual report for the year ending June 30, 1863. In com-
pliance therewith, 1 have the honor to report as follows: 
It affords me pleasure to state that the Indians under my care are peaceable
and well-disposed towards the whites andc the government. Rumors of war 
are common in all Indian countries, and ours has not been ,exempt. It was
reported during the year that the Yakamas exhibited a warlike spirit towards
the whites, and that they were upon the eve of an outbreak. After making
diligent inquiry, I learned that a few Indians were dissatisfied and restless,
would, perhaps, join in a hostile movement, if one was made; but this feeling
die not prevail to a great extent, amounting to a single band. As long as
government is faithful to fulfil its promises and carry out the treaty engage-
ments with the Indians, I shall entertain no fears of a difficulty with the
I am gratified to notice a growing interest among the Indians of my charge
to engage in agricultural pursuits. The longer I live among the Indians,
more firmly am I impressed with the opinion, that unless we can induce them
to give up their rambling habits, choose a fixed habitation, and become tillers
of the ground, but little can be done to elevate them, or confer upon them
permanent or lasting good. I have assisted the Indians - as far as I could
settle upon and cultivate the soil. During the past year, I have erected
houses for them. I have been disposed to help those who were willing to help
themselves. The Indians, for whom the houses were built, cut the saw-logs
and hauled them to the mill, without expense tothe government, except for
subsistence while engaged at the work. The work of building the houses was
done by the treaty employds and two transient employe's who were employed
for a brief period. The dimensions were from sixteen to twenty feet square.
Brick fireplaces were built in all of them. The value of the labor and material
upon these houses was about two hundred dollars. 
In the first lot of annuity goods received here, in the year 1861, some of

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