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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 Wisconsin,   pp. 177-182 PDF (3.1 MB)


Page 177

REPORTS OF AGENTS IN         WISCONSIN.                177 
criminal offense, punishable by a fine of not less than $25, "to sell,
barter, give, or in 
any manner dispose of any wines, spirituous liquors, ale, beer, porter, cider,
or any 
other intoxicating beverage to any Indian or Indians," &c. (See
Code Washington 
Territory for 1861, page 183, see. 942.) If the provisions of this section
were extended to 
all persons without regard "to race, color," &c., it would
be much more just and ben- 
eficial. 
The wholesale provision in the Indian appropriation act approved July 4,
1884. giving 
homesteads on public lands to all Indians gratis who will accept them without
regard 
to whether any such Indians have free access to homesteads on Indian reservations
containing arable lands as good or better than they can obtain on the public
lands, is 
the offspring of more sentimentalism than good sense, and for reasons stated
is unjust 
to whiles, and, in most cases, of no benefit to Indians. Said provision should
be 
amended by a proviso that no Indian be permitted to take a homestead on public
lands while there are arable lands equally as good on the reservation of
his tribe un- 
occupied and free to him. 
Very respectfully,                                R.H. MILROY, 
ndian Agent. 
The COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
GREEN BAY AGENCY, 
Keshena, Wis.. Septemlber 1, 1884. 
Sin: In compliance with your instructions I have the honor to submit my second
annual report, of affairs at this agency. The Oneida, Stockbridge, and Menomonee
tribes comprise the Indians under the supervision of this agency. 
THE ONEIDAS. 
The Oneidas reside upon their reserve near Green Bay, in Brown County, Wisconsin.
They are comparatively self-sustaining, and receive only $1,000 per annum
from the 
Government under treaty stil)ulations besides being furnished six day-school
teachers 
without cost to the tribe. Referring to the report of the Commissioner of
Indian Affairs 
for the year 18,65, it will be seen that the Oneidas then numbered by the
then last 
census 1,064, while in December last the annuity pay-roll shows that the
tribe num- 
bers 1,628, an increase of 564, or nearly one-third of the present number
of the tribe. 
Farming is the principal avocation of these people and the present season
they are 
blessed with a bountiful harvest. 
Lawvs.-The most intelligent class of these Indians realize the need of the
enactment 
of a simple code of laws for their government, to be well executed, for they
now live 
virtually without laws of their own; and owing to this fact the domestic
relations of 
many of the members of the tribe are considerably mixed. There being no tribunal
authorized to dissolve the marriage relations in proper cases, or which in
fact does ex- 
ercise that power, the practice is that when the bonds of matrimony become
intolera- 
ble to either party the aggrieved party deserts the other, and in many cases
takes to 
himself or herself another niate at one clear jump without the usual steps
of divorce 
and a second marriage ceremony, and in the relation so constituted rear families.
Some of the members of this tribe the last year have been clamorous for an
allot- 
ment of their lands in severalty,. but thus far the efforts made in that
direction have 
been unsuccessful from the fact that the members have been unable to agree
upon a 
division. Now the lands are held in common and each member of the tribe selects
such an amount of the public domain not already appropriated as lie or she
can culti- 
vate or improve and holds the same as long as desirable. The improvements
made 
upon the lands so held are sold and transferred among all the members of
the tribe the 
same as personal estate. 
Schools.-Six day schools are now carried on to accommodate the children of
this 
tribe at their reservation, besides accommodations for about 50 pupils at
the Menomo- 
nee industrial boarding school, but all these accommodations are insufficient
to pro- 
vide for the children of this tribe, owing to the fact that the parents and
guardians 
of these children are scattered over a reserve of nearly three townships
of land in ex- 
tent, and in many cases are too far situate from the school-house to attend,
and in 
other cases the children are provided with an insufficient amount of clothing
to pro- 
tect them from the inclemency of the weather. Knowing that only a limited
number 
of Oneida children could be accommodated at the Menomonee industrial boarding
school, I gave a preference first to the orphans, and second to those children
without 
a father or without a mother, and it was found that a larger number of these
classes 
existed than could be accommodated who were willing and desirous of attending
the 
school and presented themselves at the opening of schools for admission.
A full quota 
4266 IND-,12 


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