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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1883
([1883])

Report of agent in Colorado,   pp. 20-21 PDF (893.6 KB)


Page 20

20 
REPORT OF AGENT IN COLORADO. 
SANITARY. 
During the most of the year their sanitary condition has been good. For three
maonths past, however, there has been an unusual amount of sickness. Several
con- 
tagious diseases have passed through the reservation; these, in conection
with typho- 
malarial fevers, have been very difficult to manage. There have been six
births and 
eight deaths during the year. 
CIVILIZATION. 
But for the curse of the rum traffic civilization with these Indians would
be an ac- 
complished fact. For nearly eight years I have been with this people. I know
the 
,character and habits of every Indian. During these years my mind has alternated
-with hope and fear. For weeks and sometimes for months together there seemed
to 
be but one object uppermost in all minds, that of advancement in the scale
of civili- 
zation; and then, perhaps just as I would indulge in the thought of realizing
my 
-desire, that of seeing a temperate and prosperous people, my hopes would
be dashed 
to pieces by some vandal selling whisky to my Indians. I was successful last
fall in 
prosecuting two of these infamous characters and securing their conviction.
They 
-were each fined one hundred dollars and sentenced to. imprisonment for one
year. 
-My course was commended by all good citizens, but the whisky element has
been 
harassing me ever since. I am satisfied nearly all of the Indians desire
to be temperate, 
but they cannot withstand the temptation to drink when one offers to treat
them, 
-and after once tasting liquor they become an easy prey to the seducer, and
then some 
.of my best Indians spend in a single drunken spree the accumulated proceeds
of 
months of industry. Whisky and civilization with Indians are antipodal. 
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
C. G. BELKNAP, 
United States Indian Agent. 
'The COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
SOUTHERN UTE AGENCY, COLO., 
August 10, 1883. 
!Si: In obedience to instructions received, I have the honor to submit my
second 
annual report of the condition of affairs at this agency. 
The Southern Utes are still located on their old reservation in Southwestern
Colo- 
rado, which is well adapted to grazing purposes. They number 968, composed
of 
Mnaches, 269; Capotes, 208; Weeminuches, 491. 
The Utes are natural herders, as is shown by the increase of their herds.
They 
have large bands of horses, which, ffom natural increase and purchase, are
increasing 
-very fast. During the past year the Government purchased 4)800 ewes, which
were 
distributed among the Indians at this agency. They take to sheep very well;
they 
biave clipped and sold to the trader about 6,000 pounds of wool from the
sheep issued 
to them last May. 
AGRICULTURE. 
ht c iLtes at this agency are not inclined to agricultural pursuits, although
I thiAk 
'svith peoper encouragement they could be induced to till the soil to some
extent. So 
far thy have had no opportunity of seeing what they could do in that direction,
as 
none of their land is under irrigation, and cannot be cultivated without.
Last win- 
ter I persuaded five of the Indians to commence farming on a small scale.
This they 
agreed to do provided they could be furnished with implements, seed, &c.
I asked 
for and got the approval of $'200 to be expended in this way, but as it was
the 7th of 
June before I reeeived the money, it was too late to make any use of it this
year. 
EDUCATION. 
'No schools have been established at this agency. Under instruction from
the hon- 
orable Secretary of the Interior I made the attempt to secure Ute children
to attend 
school off of the reservation, with little hopes of success, as these Indians
have al- 
-ways opposed any move on the part of their agent towards education. At first
I met 
-with great opposition from the chiefs and head men, they assigning many
reasons 
-why they should not allow their children to go to school; but after explaining
to them 
the benefits they would derive from it, and assuring them that they should
have good 
-reatment, I last May succeeded in securing twenty-four boys and three girls,
who are 
maow located at the Albuquerque (N. Mex.) Indian school. Reports from the
principal 
4of the school show that they are getting along very well, considering the
short time 
they have been there. I consider them an unusually bright lot of children,
and expect 
satisfactory results if they stay two years, as is expected. 


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