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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1879
([1879])

Report of the commissioner of Indian affairs,   pp. [unnumbered]-XLIX PDF (19.0 MB)


REPORT. 
OF THE 
COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
WASHIINGTON, D. C., November 1, 1879. 
SIR: I have the honor to submit herewith the Annual Report of the 
Indian Bureau for the year 1879. 
During the year there has been a steady and manifest progress in 
civilization which has had no parallel in any previous year in the his- 
tory of Indian civilization under this government. The spirit of progress
cannot be said to have pervaded all tribes alike, or with equal force; 
but, as a whole, the Indians of the country have taken a long stride in 
the right direction toward complete civilization and eventual self-sup- 
port. The most decided advance in civilization has been made by the 
Ogalala and Brul6 Sioux, and their progress during the last year and a 
half has been simply marvelous. They have manifested an excellent 
disposition and shown commendable zeal in carrying out the plans of 
the government for their benefit. 
It is no longer a question whether Indians will work. They are stead- 
ily asking for opportunities to do so, and the Indians who to-day are 
willing and anxious to engage in civilized labor are largely in the major-
ity. There is an almost universal call for lands in severalty, and it is
remarkable that this request should come from nearly every tribe except 
the five civilized tribes in the Indian Territory. There is also a growing
desire among Indians to live in houses, and more houses have been 
built, and are now in course of erection, than have been put up during 
any previous year. The demand for agricultural implements and appli- 
ances, and for wagons and harness for farming and freighting purposes 
is constantly increasing, and an unusual readiness to wear citizens' 
clothing is also manifest. 
The loss of the buffalo, which is looked upon by Indians as disastrous, 
has really been to them a blessing in disguise. They now see clearly 
that they must get their living out of the soil by their own labor, and a
few years' perseverance in the beneficial policy now pursued will render
three-fourths of our Indians self-supporting. Already very many tribes 
have a surplus of -products for sale. 
The only exception to the general improvement for the year is shown 
in the bad conduct of the White River Utes and the marauders in New 
Mexico, which will be referred to hereafter. 
The following table shows the substantial results of Indian labor dur 


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