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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 Oregon,   pp. 126-136 PDF (5.1 MB)


Page 126

126                REPORTS OF AGENTS IN         OREGON. 
seldom if ever heard of among them. The physical condition of this people
may be 
regarded as at a standstill, and the increase, especially among the full
bloods, is very 
slight. None of the full-blood Indians residing in this State are wealthy.
Afew of 
them, however, own individual farms outside of their lands in common, and
all of 
them are self-sustaining and producing sufficient for support, except a few
lazy ones. 
There is much room for improvement in their social order of things. Taken
as a whole 
they are orderly, peaceable, sober, law-abiding, and tolerably industrious.
The State 
dockets of our courts present only a few cases of violations of law by these
people. 
The crops of this year will not exceed those of last year except in wheat,
which is 
probably double that of any previous year. 
At five different points schools are conducted, under the supervision of
the Society 
of Friends, during ten months of the sear, and are well attended. These Indians
at 
this time seem to be much interested on the subject of education; they desire
to learn 
the English language, and many of the younger ones speak and read it very
well. 
These people enjoy the benefit of much missionary work from neighboring ministers
of different denominations. Mr. Thomas Brown, the superintendent of the schools
here, is an excellent worker in this field. The main industry of this tribe
is agriculture. 
In conclusion I will say that, in my humble opinion, the prospect looks favorable
that at no great distance in the future the people in this band will be fit
subjects for 
useful and intelligent citizens. 
A census and new roll of this tribe have just been completed. 
Respectfully, yours, 
SAM. B. GIBSON, 
Agent North Carolina Cherokees. 
The COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
GRAND RONDE AGENCY, OREGON, 
Auaust 11, 1883. 
Sin: In compliance with Department regulations and instructions, I have the
honor 
to submit the following as my twelfth annual report of this agency. 
The condition of the Indians at this agency has not materially changed since
my 
last annual report. I may safely say, however, that they are constantly improving
in morality, and establishing upon a firmer basis the truths of religion,
and gradually 
advancing in the social and industrial habits of life, and a majority of
them are capa- 
ble of becoming citizens. 
In the agricultural sense of the word, the past year has been one of general
reverses; 
and notwithstanding the fact that the acreage is greater this than in any
preceding 
year, the Indians will not thrash one-third the quantity of grain that they
did last 
year. Last fall they seeded down large tracts in fall grain, which was all
killed by 
the exceeding hard frosts of the winter. By their own endeavors and the assistance
of the Department they were, however, enabled to resow their fields this
spring; but, 
owing to the summer droughts, quite a portion will never be cut, while other
fields 
will have to be cut for hay on account of the meadows being destroyed by
the inclem- 
ency of the past winter. And unless we have a liberal fall of rain here early
this fall 
to start the grass, which is now perishing for want of moisture, the Indian
cattle will 
be in but poor condition to withstand the rigors of winter. 
A general cause of complaint with the Indians of this agency for some months
back 
is that the whites are intruding upon their lands and allowing their cattle
to run 
across the supposed line on the agency. In order to put an end to such actions
I deem 
it advisable that the east boundary line of the reservation be resurveyed.
The Indians 
are also desirous of having deeds made to them for their lands in severalty.
Upon 
examination I find it impossible to do this without the aid of a surveyor,
and I hope 
the Department will allow the estimate forwarded, that I may be able to fulfill
their 
wishes in that regard. Many improvements are retarded by them, not knowing
defi- 
nitely where their boundary line will be by the new allotment, and this work
canuot 
be completed any too soon for the advantage of the Indians. 
According to Department instructions, I nominated three of the most intelligent
and impartial Indians of this agency to act as judges of the Indian court,
with one 
additional to act as sheriff for the court. As we have no Indian police at
this agency 
now or at any other time, and there is no necessity for such officers at
this agency to 
preserve law and order, I deem it but just that the judges of the Indian
court be 
allowed the salary of policemen; otherwise there will be difficulty in securing
any 
one to act in the capacity of judges, as the officers of the previous court
here estab- 
lished have been paid without expense to the Department. 
I have to report the continued prosperity of the schools under the able and
efficient 
supervision of the Benedictine Sisters. The average attendance at the boarding-school
at this agency for the past fiscal year has been fair, and the moral tendency
of the 


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