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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1864

Dakota superintendency,   pp. 259-293 PDF (15.0 MB)

Page 292

Dr. Burleigh, who is now, I suppose, in Washington. Provisions of all kind&
are now very high in this country, caused by the prices which are now being
paid by the government in this vicinity for corn, hay, &c., as follows:
Corn at Sioux City, Iowa, $3 50 per bushel; hay at the various military posts
from $6 80 to $27 per ton; at Fort Randall hay is being now purchased, on
private contract, at $25 per ton. The lowest price on bids was $30 per ton.
, Corn delivered there will cost not less than, five dollars per bushel.
Flour at 
this place is now ten dollars per hundred pounds. In view of the necessities-of
these Indians, which I can but regard as a fixed fact, and the pressing necessi-
ties of the government for money, I would respectfully suggest, in the matter
of the Poncas, that the balance of the manual labor school fund, now in my
hands, to wit, $1,918 93, and the "building at agencies" fund,
amounting to 
$2,113 40, be both taken or borrowed, and invested in such provisions (corn
and flour mainly) as will give them the most eating at the least cost. This
"building at agencies fund," I am told by Mr. Hoffman, has now
been in his 
hands nearly three years, and has, of course, been of no use to any one.
fund, I think, might be permanently diverted without detriment to the interests
of the Indians. The manual labor school building will need no further invest-
ments this year, as the whole building is now under roof and well protected,
and about one half of it finished, ready for occupancy; consequently I cannot
see that it will make any hardship or prejudice to the Indians in borrowing
from this fund until next season, or until it is needed to finish the building.
These two items make a little over four thousand dollars, which may at least
be temporarily used for the subsistence of the Indians, without drawing from
United States treasury; and, while I do not think it enough, in view of the
exorbitant prices now prevailing here, still it will help vastly in the present
I think that corn could now be purchased, delivered at the agency, or at
rate on the bank of the Missouri river, within twelve miles, at the same
that is now being paid for it at Sioux City by the government. I am not,
ever, certain of this. It is the opinion of business men that flour will
for a short time at least. I should now regard corn, delivered at or near
a cost 
of $3 50 per bushel, as the best purchase to make. I speak of these two funds
because they are now lying idle and available, and there seems to me to be
propriety in making some preparation at this time for the winter. I trust
I may 
be excused for the liberty I have taken in making these suggestions. They
are such as have occurred to me, and I merely offer them for consideration.
only desire is that the burden of their support may fall as lightly as possible
upon the government in its tribulation. 
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
Governor, and ex-ofcio Superintendent of Indian Affairs. 
Hon. W. P. DOLE, 
Commissioner Indian Affairs, Washington, D. C. 
No. 136. 
Offlce Indian Afairs, September 8, 1864. 
SIR: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your important communication of
the 26th ultimo, setting forth the unhappy situation and destitution existing
among the Indians now under your charge in Dakota, and suggesting as to the
means that should be employed in the management and maintenance of them 
duing the coming winter. 

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