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

[Minnesota superintendency],   pp. 48-68 PDF (8.7 MB)


Page 55

COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS.                 55 
of their present gardens. The treaty reads east instead of west, which 
throws them on the opposite side of the lake. I suggest that the mis- 
take be corrected. The Indians are much concerned at this mistake, 
as the reservation, as per treaty as it now stands, is a large swamp, 
not capable of cultivation or drainage. 
At Otter Tail lake there is a band of about three hundred Indians. 
No reservation was made for these Indians, or provision made for 
breaking land or employment of laborers. The chief of this band was 
not at Washington, perhaps that was -the reason why his band was 
forgotten. A reservation is due them; and as the policy, as I have 
before remarked, of confining them to small reservations is promising 
so much good, I suggest that a reservation equal to three miles square 
be given them and provision made for breaking a small quantity of 
land, .and the employment of one laborer for a short period. 
I am happy to inform the department that less whiskey was brought 
into the country during the payment just made than at any previous 
one since I have been in the Country, notwithstanding that there was 
double the number of Indians present. To this result the troops sent 
up, on my request, by Major Patten, commanding Folt Ripley, in a 
great measure contributed. On this, as on former occasions, Major 
IPatten promptly responded to my request for aid, and has rendered 
me material assistance in the discharge of my duties as agent. 
The only effectual means of preventing war parties between the 
various Indian tribes is to bring them under control of the govern- 
ment by means of annuities. Hitherto the war parties among the 
Chippewas against the Sioux have been headed by the Pillagers; but 
since their treaty they have sent none out. There has been but one 
started, and it was composed of Red Lake Indians, and they returned 
without accomplishing anything. The recent treaties at La Point 
and Washington extinguished the Indian title to all the country be- 
tween Lake Superior, Red river, and the British line, except the coun- 
try claimed by the Red Lake and Bois Forte Indians.       The Bois 
Fortes claim that a portion of their lands were ceded in both treaties; 
but neither the Chippewas of Mississippi or Pillager bands recognize 
their right to participate in the annuities. Jealousies, bickerings, 
and war are likely to be the result. The lumberman has already 
found his way into their country. 
Permit me to suggest that it would be an advantage to the govern- 
ment to extinguish the Indian title to these lands. A treaty can no- 
where be made as well or advantageous to both parties as at Wash- 
ington, uncontrolled as the Indians would be by evil disposed men. 
Respectfully, your obedient servant, 
D. B. HERRIMAN, 
Indian Agent. 
His Excellency W. A. GORMAN, 
Superintendent Indian Af airs, 
St. Paut, M~innesota Territory. 
I                                                                       
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