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

Reports of agents in Michigan and Minnesota,   pp. 103-106 PDF (1.8 MB)


Page 103

REPORTS OF AGENTS IN         MICHIGAN    AND MINNESOTA.        10 
MACKINAC AGENCY, MICHIGAN, 
Ypsilanti, September 9, 1884. 
SIR: I have the honor herewith to submit my annual report. 
During the year I have repaired seven school-houses and established three
new 
schools, viz: at Munising and Iroquois Point, on Lake Superior, and at Hannaliville,
in Menominee County. There should be two or three others but for want of
Govern- 
ment buildings, and I have not deemed it best to ask for them. There are
now eleven 
schools in the agency, and the percentage of attendance shows a good increase
upon 
that of 1883. 
The Indians are engaged in farming, fishing, lumbering, and miscellaneous
work. 
The severe weather of the early spring cut off some crops, so that while
more acres 
have been cultivated, yet the net results in crops are not so large as in
the preceding 
year. 
1have by every means induced the Indians to go upon lands, and many have
done 
so, but more should. The Indian is a good farmer in a small way only, but
the set- 
tlement of white farmers around him has been a help by way of example. Fishing
has been very poor, and those who have followed that work have obtained a
preca- 
rious support. Such I have strongly urged to go upon laud, but their love
of water 
is such that they will not give up their fishing. 
In all the schools I have religious teachers who make the moral advancement
of 
the children a special work by my directions. This instruction is general
and not 
sectarian, and in most of the settlements the work of the teachers constitutes
all the 
religious care these people have.  They are isolated and too poor to pay
anything 
either for schools or preaching. 
No epidemic has been among them, and the bane of the Indians, drunkenness,
has 
largely decreased, especially among the Lake Superior Indians. 
I have during the year steadily impressed upon the minds of the Indians the
fact 
that the land, money, tools, &c., supplied them by the Government are
not gratuities, 
but given in accordance with treaties which will soon be fulfilled, when
they must 
depend upon themselves. Its effect has been to stimulate many, especially
the young, 
to get laud and prevent those owning land from parting with it for a trifle,
as has 
been the case in forner years. I counted it very important that they should
well un- 
derstand this and shall continue to urge it. 
I have allotted several thousand acres of land during the year, and there
are thous- 
ands of acres yet to be given when parties shall have arrived at, the proper
age. 
The objects kept in view this year were to encourage individual industry,
especially 
by taking land, make the schools more efficient, the attendance larger, and
generally 
to teach these Indians to care for themselves and get houses and homes for
their chil- 
dren. I have succeeded partially, and hope for better results in the same
direction. 
Very respectfully,                          EDWARD P. ALLEN, 
Indian Agent. 
The COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
WHITE EARTH, MINN., September, 1, 1884. 
SIR: In compliance with instructions contained in office circular of July
1, 1884, 
I have the honor to submit this my third annual report of affairs at this
agency. 
The White Earth Reservation is 36 miles square; the west one-third is prairie
in- 
terspersed with numerous lakes and groves of oak and poplar. The remainder
is a 
dense wilderness of almost every variety of hard wood and pine. Probably
no more 
beautiful country can be found in the northwest. 
There are located in this reserve about 1,800 Chippewa Indians, divided into
the 
Mississippi, Otter Tail, and Pembina bands. These Indians have made rapid
advance- 
ment in civilization, and the time is not far distant when they will be self-supporting.
As game and fish are becoming scarce and the support of the Government diminishing
every year, they are fast, realizing the necessity of cultivating their lands
and relying 
upon themselves. The industrious white men whose farms adjoin the reservation,
andl with whom they come in contact frequently, have also inspired them with
a desire 
to become good farmers 
While it is evident that all the Indians are niaking steady advancement towards
civilization, it is to the young we must look for permanent improvement,
and through 
the schools the greatest benefit can be accomplished. The new school-building
is now 
ready for occupancy and will accommodate 1'25 pupils. While the building
itself is 
almost complete in its arrangements, it needs yet the verandas, which can
be used 
for ire-escapes, and cisterns. But the lack of outside buildings will be
much felt the 
coming winter. 


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