University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1880

Report of agent in Iowa,   pp. 97-98 PDF (1.0 MB)

Page 97

REPORT OF AGENT IN         IOWA.                    97 
Tanta County, loua, August 24, 1880. 
SIR: In compliance with instructions, I have the honor to submit the following
my second annual report of affairs pertaining to the Indians of this agency
for the 
year ending August 31, 1880. 
The tribe of Indians known as the Sac and Fox that are located in this county
are nearly all Foxes, or Masquakes, who were once a numerous and warlike
who claim to have originally lived on the banks of the Saint Lawrence River,
were driven westward by the continual wars between the different tribes until
passed westward into Michigan andWisconsin, when they and the Sacs finally
in Illinois and Iowa. Since then, by various treaties made with the government,
sold all their lands in these States and removed to a reservation in Kansas.
The Foxes 
while living there, many of their peop e died; the climate did not agree
with them, so 
they became dissatisfied with that country; they returned to Io wa, and,
on a petition 
gotten up by the early-settlers of Tama County to the legislature of Iowa
permission for them to locate here, a law was passed granting such permission
to the 
Fox, or Masquake, tribe of Indians to locate in Tama County; they then purchased
small tract of land, and soon after the department allotted to them a share
of the an- 
nuities of the Sac and Fox of the Mississippi; they have purchased at various
since with their money several tracts of land, now amounting to nearly 700
acres, at a 
cost in all of $14,000. These tracts of land are nearly all bottom land,
well suited for pas- 
turage, and will in a short time become very valuable, situated as they are
on the line 
of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad and only three miles from the towns
Toledo and Tama City. This tribe desires to own about 2,000 acres in all,
to suit 
their purposes of stock-raising, and they will- appropriate yearly money
from their 
annuities for the purchase of land. 
Quite a large sum is held for them by the department of their annuities,
which they 
have refused to receive for nearly four years, owing to an objection they
have to sign- 
ing a new form of pay-roll, which requires them to give the nanmes and ages
of all their 
men, women, and children, which they have all that time refused to sign;
every ex- 
planation and argument has been used, but of no avail; they refuse because
it con- 
flicts with their religious opinions in regard to counting of time or ages
and of enumer- 
rating the number of their people. 
This tribe are somewhat dissatisfied in regard to the amount allotted to
them as their 
share of the annuities belonging to the Sac and Fox Indians; they claim they
to have an equal amount with the Sacs, as they owned half of the country
sold to the 
government. Whenever this money matter is arranged then all cause of dissatisfaction
will be removed, and then they will be quite a happy people, and be able
to support them- 
selves well, and they will then make good progress toward civilization. 
Nearly all of them, more or less, wear citizen dress and hats, and a large
speak English. Most of the young men can read and write in their own language.
The conduct of this tribe of Indians has been remarkably good; they are quiet,
derly, and careful to obey the laws of the country in which they live. There
is very 
little drunkenness in the tribe, and every effort is made by the chiefs and
council to 
suppress it. The women of the tribe are very well behaved, modest, and chaste,
the children are kept under good control; not an orchard or a garden in their
borhood has been disturbed. Not a single crime has been committed by this
tribe on 
the whites or among themselves during the past year. 
In their religious belief these people are firm as a rock, and they strictly
follow the 
traditions handed down to them by their forefathers, and many of their ideas
and prac- 
tices appear to be of Jewish origin. They are very strict in bringing up
of their 
children to do right according to their views. If a child disobeys its parents,
it is pun- 
ished by fasting, and not by the rod. They take good care of the sick, the
crippled, and blind persons. They are very proud, independent, and tenacious
of their 
These Indians have a great dislike and prejudice to regular schools, and
all I have 
been able to do is to teach them in a general and irregular manner. The women
have attended the industrial school have made very good progress in learning
kinds of sewing and household work, and a few have learned to read and write.
Indians prefer to teach one another to read and write in their own language,
and great 
progress has been made in their education in that way. They understand well
use of postal cards and post-office money-orders, and carry on a la,'ge correspondence
uith themselves and the Indians of Kansas and Indian Territory. 
This tribe number about 355 people, 170 males and 185 "females. There
has been 
more sickness than usual this summer on account of the very hot and dry weather.
have to report 15 deaths and .25 births during the year. 
Their village is located on an open plain near the Iowa River, and consists
of about 
35 rude houses built of bark and hoards ; these houses are occupied by three
to four 
families each. Their houses and grounds are kept clean and neat. They are
with excellent water from a well located in the center of the village: There
is in 
7 IND 

Go up to Top of Page