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 1863

Report of the commissioner of Indian affairs,   pp. [5]-40 PDF (14.2 MB)

Page 14

charge of Agent Labadi, these Indians are also hostile, and constantly engaging
in the commission of depredations against the whites. The four hundred above
mentioned have, during the past season, under the immediate supervision of
agent, cultivated some two hundred acres of land, and at last accounts had
prospect of an abundant harvest, the result mainly of their own labor. 
The Utahs of this superintendency are also divided into three bands, one
located in the northeastern part of the Territory, and the other two in the
western. They are a powerful and warlike race, are expert hunters, and mani-
fest but little disposition to abandon their ancient customs and modes of
A few of them have, however, manifested a disposition to engage in agricultural
The Indians known as Pueblos are an agricultural people, possessing many
excellent traits of character. They are unwavering in their loyalty and devo-
tion to the government, and have proven of inestimable service in protecting
the frontier settlements. 
In my former annual reports I have called attention to the imperative neces-
sity of concentrating the powerful and warlike Indians of this superintendency
upon suitable reservations. It is now fifteen years since we acquired possession
of the Territory, and, so far as I can judge, the security and protection
by government to the lives and property of our citizens is but little if
any better 
than at the outset. Hitherto there seems to have been no systematic policy
sued in the government and control of the Indians. They have been permitted
to roam almost at will throughout the Territory, and have engaged in the
mission of innumerable depredations upon the property, liberty, and lives
of the 
white inhabitants. Doubtless many of their acts of hostility have resulted
from wanton attacks upon them on the part of the whites, but many more have
resulted from the occupation of their country by whites who have driven out
the game upon which, to a great extent, they were accustomed to rely for
sistance, thus reducing them to want, and impelling them to resort to plunder,
and this in its turn leading to measures of retaliation. Occasionally outrages
of unusual enormity are perpetrated, and these are followed by military expedi-
tions against the Indians, which usually result in nothing more than the
or capture of a few Indians, and the destruction of some of their villages,
ing the power of the Indians almost unimpaired, and the general insecurity
great as before. 
Superintendent Steck asserts, and he claims to have reliable authority for
statement, that not less than three millions of dollars have been annually
pended since our acquisition of the Territory in maintaining its military
izations, which, with the exception of repelling the Texas invasion of last
have done nothing aside from these occasional expeditions against the Indians.
It is also estimated that during the past three years not less than five
thousand sheep, and five thousand cattle, mules, and horses have been killed
stolen by the Indians. To this large account must also be added the lives
our citizens that have been sacrificed,, the sufferings of others who have
carried into captivity, and the general insecurity which prevails throughout

Go up to Top of Page