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

[Reports of agents in Arizona],   pp. 1-10 PDF (4.9 MB)


Page 1

REPORTS OF AGENTS. 
COLORADO RIVER AGENCY, ARIZONA, 
Augu8t 13, 1883. 
SIR: In compliance with the instructions to agents with the directions of
Depart- 
ment circular, dated July 13, 1883, I have the honor to submit the following
as my 
first annual report of affairs pertaining to the agency and Indians under
my charge, 
and to transmit the accompanying statistics relative thereto. 
On my arrival at this agency December 19, 1882, I found matters in a very
de- 
moralized condition, and without any attempt seemingly to the care or preservation
of the Government supplies by my predecessor, Colonel Biggs. What few remain-
ing supplies there were on hand I found in very bad order. 8eemingly, they
had 
been thrown about in the utmost confusion, and distributed in no less than
five 
different places or storehouses, thereby compelling the agent to travel all
about the 
premises, wading nearly knee-deep in sand to fill the school requisiions,
which had 
to be done once a week. I found goods perishing for want of better attention.
* * * 
After taking charge of the agency January 1, 1883, I immediately went to
work 
getting matters in shape and in making one general storehouse for all the
agency 
supplies, thereby arranging the goods in such order that any one could see
at a glance 
just what supplies were on hand at any or all times, as also in facilitating
the filling 
of all the requisitions for the schools, &c. After this work was consummated,
I then 
turned my attention to the general improvement of the agency buildings and
furni- 
ture, which had also been sadly neglected. At the end of the first quarter
(with 
the aid of all the agency employ6s, who rendered very efficient service),
I had all 
things put in order and, in fact, ready for inspection, for the condition
of which I 
respectfully refer the Department to the report of General Charles Howard,
inspector, 
who visited the agency about the middle of last May. 
RESERVATION. 
There is doubtless among all the various reservations of our country none
that is 
more desolate and unproductive than this. There are said to be 128,000 acres
in this 
reserve within the following described boundaries, as per report of surveys
made in 
1876: 
Commencing at a point where the La Paz Arroya enters the Colorado River 4
miles above Ehren- 
berg; thence easterly with said arroya to a point south of the crest of La
Paz Mountain; thence in a 
northwesterly direction across the Colorado River to the top of Monument
Peak, in the State of Cali- 
fornia; thence southwesterly in a straight line to the top of Riverside Mountain,
California; thence 
in a direct line to the place of beginning. 
The soil within said boundary is, in my opinion, well adapted for raising
almost 
any kind of cereal matter providing water could be secured for irrigating
purposes. 
I do not mean to convey the impression that all the land embraced in the
above- 
named boundary, but quite sufficient, could be selected to produce all these
Indians 
would require. In order to fully satisfy myself about the production of this
sandy soil, I made several experiments during the past season in the propagation
of 
vegetables and other matter; and although I was deprived of the usual appliances
to 
secure water from the agency tank on account of the stoppage of the engine,
and was 
obliged to work under very great disadvantages by having the water carried
in 
buckets a long distance, and the area planted irrigated in that manner, the
result 
was very gratifying indeed, so long as the water supply is continued, butonce
that is cut 
off everything immediately begins to wither and die; this is owing to the
intense heat 
which prevails in this locality. The water question seemsto be the only one
in my mind 
requiring the attention of the Department in order to make these Indians
self-sup- 
porting, which I am satisfied they would be after they were properly started
in the 
ways and customs of tilling the soil. During the past season I had the old
dItch or 
canal opened, cleaned for several miles, and water let in during its highest
stage ; 
this only benefited those who reside in the locality of the agency buildings.
A4 very 
large area of land in small patches was irrigated from it along the whole
length of 
the canal and for more than a mile below the agency buildings From this small
5916 IND-.-1 


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