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

Reports of agents in Indian territory,   pp. 57-80 PDF (12.8 MB)


Page 57

REPORTS OF AGENTS IN INDIAN           TERRITORY..           57 
by, seventy-four marriages having taken place sinch February 1, the majority
being 
those who had lived for years in Indian custom. Cases of separation between
husband 
and wife are extremely rare. The amount contributed for missionary work among
this people for the year was $1,750, forwarded by the Presbyterian Board
of Foreign 
Missions. 
INDUSTRY AND CIVILIZATION. 
They have built during the year, by their own efforts, with a cost to the
government 
of about $70, seven frame houses, furnishing all materials themselves except
nails, 
window-sash and doors. Many more living at present in lodges would build
houses 
were there a mill here to saw timber. They are very anxious that such should
be re- 
built, and in the interest of civilization I hope the department will adopt
such a 
course. They have no way to get wheat ground to flour short of the Kamiah
mill, 65 
miles away. They also have cut and rafted down the river 650 cords of wood,
for 
which they have received on the average $4 per cord, making some $.2,600
received 
this year. They also have fenced in many fields this year, one man inclosing
60 acres 
with a good six-rail fence. They have made during the year 2,096 rods of
good rail 
fence. 
I have induced many to cut their hair, and the effort has been taken up by
the chief 
and head men and is resulting in great improvements to their looks. 
During the week in which the 4th of July occurred, about 800 assembled in
camp at 
Kamiah, and feasting and festivity was the order of the day. During all the
time the 
most perfect order was kept. On the morning of the 4th, as the processions
formed to 
march from the camp to the grove where the exercises were held, those wearing
blankets 
and holding to Indian customs attempted to join in such party, but were at
once ordered 
out by the chief and elders; as they expressed it, "No Indians were
allowed." It shows 
they are most thoroughly impressed with the idea that they have to adopt
the white 
man's way. 
I can do nothing, except in talk, to make them discard their blankets, as
the govern- 
ment furnishes nothing for substitution, their annuities being nearly all
in farming 
utensils. Many would willingly change had they the opportunity. 
There has been but little drunkenness during my administration. Those who
have 
been guilty were confined in the guard house, Fort Lapwai, for one month
bard labor. 
I take one horse to pay for board while so confined, the sale of which is
sufficient pun- 
ishment for all they fail to receive while confined. The squaws who "err"
are con- 
fined at the agency lock-up, making them work during the day at whatever
is 
needed. My efforts in finding the source from which liquor is procured have
been un- 
availing. 
AGENCY BUILDINGS. 
The freshet of the Lapwai in February last carried off the saw and flour
mill, under- 
mined the carpenter and blacksmith shops, and tore the grounds up badly.
I have 
removed the shops to higher ground, out of danger, at a trifling expense
to the govern- 
ment, picked up the rubbish on the grounds, and whitened all the agency buildings
with lime. It has been of practical benefit to the Indians, as several after
harvest will 
whiten their houses. 
SANITARY CONDITION. 
The sanitary condition of the Indians has been exceedingly good. Very little
sick- 
ness and few deaths have occurred. Rheumatism and ague are the principal
troubles. 
Inherited scrofula is prevalent to some extent. 
In conclusion will say, on the whole the condition of the Nez Perc6s is all
one could 
ask. They have improved and are doing so still. Some uneasiness was manifest
about 
stories set afloat by renegade whites, in relation to their treatment at
the expiration of 
their treaty next July, but I have talked the matter over and they will wait
patiently 
to see the action on the part of the government. They are well civilized,
but one mis- 
take on the part of the government at this time would destroy the effects
of the past 
thirty years' teachings; but to give them time and attention, they will astonish
their 
most zealous friends in their progress toward civilization. 
I remain, very truly, yours, 
CHAS. D. WARNER, 
United States Indian Agent. 
The COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
CHEYENNE AND ARAPAHO AGENCY, INDIAN TER., 
August 31, 1879. 
SIR: in compliance with department instructions, I have the honor to submit
thd 
following as my eighth annual report of the condition of the service at this
agency for 
the year ending August 31, 1879. 


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