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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1880
([1880])

Report of agent in New York,   pp. [135]-137 PDF (1.6 MB)


Page [135]

REPORT OF AGENT IN NEW            YORK.                 35 
up carefully in his stomach, that he may chew it during the quiet hours of
the night, 
as he lies within the fold. They drink his blood. They clean and eat all
his eutrails. 
They use his coat to save the burro's back, as he staggers along under his
heavy load, 
and at night these sheep-pelts are spread down upon the ground or floors
of their 
houses for the inmates to sleep upon. After these pelts become too filthy
for the house 
they usually dispose of them to the traders, and supply new ones in their
stead. 
They are a people who, if left to themselves, would recede or retrograde.
But during 
the year progress has been made; some of their children have come to school.
They 
have in use one elegant steel plow. With a good crop of wheat, I would leg
per- 
mission to say they have not a single fanning mill. Three are sadly needed.
One 
Indian has rigged up a team of horses for himself. I am trying to persuade
them to 
build a reservoir which will hold water to support a population five times
as great. 
This can easily be done; it is simply the building of a solid masonry wall
against 
the water, in the shape of a rainbow. The abutments are there, of solid black
rock. 
The cost of the project would be perhaps $500 or $700. It is where the Pescado
Creek 
enters the Zufli Valley through a narrow opening in the black rocks. 
One sad event of the year was the trial, and I have no doubt the death, of
an old In- 
dian who, by the other Indians, was supposed to be a witch. The charges laid
against 
him were, first: as is their custom, they plant plumes, but this old man
was charged 
with having planted "owl feathers," and such feathers are used
only by witches. 
Another charge was that he had bewitched two young girls of the village,
who after- 
wards died. By planting owl feathers he caused all the high wind. This wind
raised 
the sand which killed their corn by its blowing over the fields. At two o'clock
in the 
night an alarm was raised in the town. At sun up next morning the witch was
caught, his hands tied behind his back, and then tied up to a pole so that
his feet 
barely touched the ground. While in this position his life was threatened,
and there 
and then (July 4, 1880) they made him confess to the charges laid against
him. I un- 
derstand these things were done by direction of the " Captain of War."
I told Pedro 
Pino that if they killed him I would report the whole matter to the agent,
who was 
expected in Zunii in a few days. Everything was quiet until Agent Thomas
came and 
went; then one morning the old witch was reported dead and buried. An Indian
told 
some Americans in town that they had killed him. 
Four children have been sent to Carlisle, Pa., to school. A new building
is now 
going up here to be used in connection with the school work. 
Your humble servant,                                  T.F. EALY, 
United States School Teacher. 
B. M. THOMAS, 
Uaited States Indian Agentt. 
NEW YORK INDIAN AGENCY, 
Forestville, N. Y., October 16, 1880. 
SIR: In making my eleventh annual report, I have the honor to state that
the 31 
schools in this agency have been taught an average period of 8j months each
during 
the past school year. The number of Indian children reported as of school
age is 
1,471; of these 1,231 have attended school some portion of the year, and
929 have 
attended one month or more. The average daily attendance during the 8  months
the schools were taught, was 733. being an increase in average attendance
of 40 
over the preceding year. Of these 31 schools, 29 are day schools and 2 boarding
schools. The expense of maintaining them during the year has been ;21,698,
of which 
$411 was paid by the Indians, $5,160 by the Society of Friends at Philadelphia
for their 
boarding school at Allegany Reserve, $250 by Episcopalians to sustain their
day 
schools at Onondaga Reserve, $300 by the State of Pennsylvania for the day
school at 
Cornplanter Reserve, $S,500 by the State of New York to sustain the Thomas
Asylum 
and School for Orphan Indian Children on Cattaraugus Reserve, and about $6,977
by 
the State of New York to sustain the 28 other day schools in said State.
Of the above 
sums, $7,990 was paid as salaries to teachers. The estimated value of the
school- 
iouses, school furniture, and apparatus in the 29 day schools in the agency
is $9,150. 
During a period of over twenty years the State of New York has provided school-
houses, teachers, school books, furniture, and apparatus for the education
of the Indian 
children upon the seven reservations therein, at an annual expense of about
$7,000, 
exclusive of the Thomas Asylum at Cattaraugus Reserve. 
During several years after the schools were established but few Indian children
attended, owing to prej udice of many of their parents against education.
who regarded 
the schools as devices to defraud them. Such prejudice has entirely disappeared,
and 
the Indian schools are now about as well attended as schools among white
people. 
Indian parents now encourage their children to attend school. Nearly all
the Indians 
in the agency between the ages of 12 and 25 can read and write. The teachers
and 
superintendents have universally credited the Indian children with aptness
to learn. 


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