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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1884
([1884])

Report of agent in Colorado,   pp. 18-20 PDF (1.1 MB)


Page 18

18N 
REPORT OF AGENT IN COLORADO. 
SANITARY. 
I can see a marked improvement in their sanitary condition over that of my
first 
acquaintance with them, eight years since. Early marriages, insisted upon
by the 
Catholic priest, though it has somewhat interfered with the interest of the
school, has 
no doubt contributed to their sanitary benefit. To the credit of these Indians,
it 
must be said no half-breed or illegitimate child can be lound among them
under ten 
years of age. 
CIVILIZATION. 
All that can truthfully be said upon this topic has perhaps been anticipated
in the 
foregoing statements, and yet I wish to add that the results growing out
of the "rules 
governing the court of Indian offenses" have been most salutary in begetting
a con- 
viction that any aberration, however trivial, is likely to be noticed, and
that a per- 
fectly upright, honest course is the only guarantee to true civilization.
I am, sir, N ery respectfully, your obedient servant, 
C. G. BELKNAP, 
United States Indian Agent. 
The COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AGENTS. 
SOUTHERN UTE AGENCY, COLORADO, 
Aiuginst 25, 1884. 
SIR: I have the honor to submit my third annual report of the condition of
affairs at 
this agency. 
INDIANS. 
The Southern Utes number 991. The reservation is situated in Southwestern
Colo- 
rado, and embraces a strip of country 15 by 120 miles, well watered, and
is well 
adapted fur grazing purposes. 
STOCK RAISING. 
in the way of horses, is quite extensively carried on by some of the Indians.
All have 
more or less. They take great pride in accumulating numbers. They take to
sheep 
raising very well. However, the last year's results of this industry have
been dis- 
couraging, but I do not nor cannot blame the Indians for their actions. In
May, 
1883, the Department furnished them with 4,800 ewes. They were well pleased
with 
the gift, and showed marked interest in caring for them, but, owing to the
limited 
supply of provisions fur ished them, they were compelled to subsist on the
sheep or 
starve. They preferred the former, and the result is that not more than 1,500of
the 
sheep are now left. 
AGRICULTURE. 
This is the first time in the history of this agency that the agent could
say any- 
thing on this subject. These Indians have always opposed any movement which
was 
made in this direction until last spring, wheui I succeeded in getting four
of the head 
men to engage in tarming on a small scale. Their number was increased by
volunteers 
until now there are some 15 Indians interested in farming. There are only
four farms 
opened, but this i3 sufficient for the present year. They have 50 acres of
wheat, 40 
acres of oats, and 8 acres of potatoes. The prospects for a good crop is
very gratify- 
ing. The wheat is estimated at 30 bushels per acre (1,500 bushels); oats
at 40 bushels 
per acre (1,600 bushels); a large yield of potatoes is a certainty. It is
my opinion that 
with proper assistance there can be at least 50 Indians farming next year.
WHISKY TRAFFIC. 
This is carried on with the Indians, in violation of law, by certain white
men in 
Durango, to such an extent that at times the situation becomes alarming.
On one oc- 
casion this summer there were about 35 drunken Indians at the agency. Owing
to the 
fact that I have no guard-house or place of confinement, they all went unpunished.


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