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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1855
([1855])

[Central superintendency],   pp. 68-118 PDF (20.8 MB)


Page 109

COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
which they are exposing themselves, by wilfully setting at naught the 
laws and treaties of the United States, they would at once call atten- 
tion to the condition of the Delaware lands, and exultingly repeat a 
stale story, which has by some means got into circulation here, that 
Mr. Manypenny had already made a call for the military to remove 
the Delaware settlers, but had been refused by the head of the War 
Department. This, together with many hear says, all tend to their 
encouragement. 
The main cause of a large portion of the emigration here, and that 
which determines them to maintain their ground, I believe arises from 
a question, the agitation of which is not confined within the limits of 
this Territory, because its vibrations are felt in the most remote cor- 
ners of this Union. Circumstances and the general aspect of affairs 
here justify the inference that there are leading spirits on both sides 
of this most perplexing and dangerous question, urging the emigra- 
tion of persons hither whom they think will best suit their peculiar 
political views, while no doubt there are guaranties offered to cover 
any loss which may be sustained by the enforcement of the laws of 
the United States against such intruders. 
The lands thus occupied are amongst the best in this part of the 
Territory. They are generally selected along the streams and water 
courses, and consequently embrace the finest timber, which is regarded 
as a valuable item in this country. 
The inevitable result, therefore, arising from these premature settle- 
ments, must be to injure the sales of these lands, even if there should 
be no organization to suppress competition at the sales. No person 
likes to bid for land which is occupied by one who claims the owner- 
ship, and more especially when it is located, or he is seated upon it 
with his family, and the prairie land will not likely be soon sought 
after when it is known that the timber lands are already occupied. 
The Indians are alarmed at the present and approaching aspect of 
affairs, and would like to have such action of the government as would 
secure to them, with some degree of certainty, a reasonable compen- 
sation for their surplus lands, so that they may have something tangi- 
ble to rely upon in regard to them. 
If there is nothing done to remedy the complaint, I feel satisfied 
that the sales of the Wea lands will amount to but little more than 
to pay expenses. 
Another matter out of which a feeling of discontent seemed to arise 
amongst the Indians of this agency, (though not of so serious a char- 
acter,) which required some time to explain, grew out of the provisions 
in the two late treaties which set apart certain funds to pay old debts.
It seems that the practice heretofore had been, to some extent at least,
to have all such moneys forwarded and placed in the hands of the 
agent, and to be disposed of under the direction of the chiefs. The 
Indians, from some cause, both Miamies and Weas, were very urgent 
in having these moneys forwarded, in accordance with what they say 
was their understanding of the treaties. 
Whether they had any particular views of their own to subserve, 
or whether they were urged by traders to insist on having the money 
brought out, I am not prepared to say, but I am inclined to believe 
109 


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