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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1863
([1863])

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


Page 21

COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS.                     21 
mained firm in their loyalty and allegiance to the federal government and
to 
their treaty stipulations, and shall mete out the punishment their treason
de- 
serves to those who, unmindful of either, have taken arms against our authority.
The reports of the superintendent, the agents, and employe's of this superin-
tendency, to be found among the accompanying papers, possess an unusual de-
gree of interest. A careful perusal of these reports, and those made during
the 
existence of the present rebellion, will, I think, demonstrate that no portion
of 
our people have suffered greater calamities, have met with more overwhelming
disasters, or have more heroically battled for the common interests of the
coun- 
try, than have the loyal Indians within its limits. Possessing one of the
most 
beautiful, fertile, and desirable portions of our country, and almost completely
removed from the baneful effects so often attendant upon close proximity
to 
white settlements, many of them were, prior to the rebellion, in the quiet
en- 
joyment of most of the comforts and conveniences of civilized life. The vari-
1 
ous tribes were at peace with each other, and the whole people were presenting
unmistakable evidences of improvement, thrift, and prosperity. During the
vi- 
cissitudes of the war they have been visited by its direst calamities. They
have been robbed, plundered, and murdered, their homes burned, their fields
laid waste, their property seized and destroyed. They have been compelled
to 
flee from their country, and from a condition of plenty and independence
they 
have been reduced to the most abject poverty, suffering, and distress. Nor,
as 
before intimated, have they tamely submitted to these calamities. From the
outset they have battled, and are still battling, in defence of their homes,
and 
for a restoration of the authority of our government, with a courage and
zeal 
that entitles them not only to our sympathy, but to the most generous consid-...
eration in the readjustment of our relations with them, which have been so
wan- 
tonly disturbed, and which must be had when the present rebellion is subdued,f"
and the blessings of peace are once more restored. 
As you are aware, the most of the refugees from the "Indian country"
are 
now located in Kansas and the country immediately south,' where the old men,
women, and chiidren-all, or nearly so, of the able-bodied males being in
the 
federal armies-are being subsisted from the funds held in trust for several
of 
the southern tribes by the government. The formidable front elsewhere pre-
sented by the rebellion has hitherto prevented the organization of a military
force sufficient to drive the rebels from the Indian country and return the
In- 
dians to their homes. It is to be hoped, now that the Mississippi has been
opened, and the power of the rebels in the west and southwest seems irretrieva-
bly broken and hastening to its final overthrow, that a military expedition,
ade-. 
quate to "take, hold, and possess" the country, may be speedily
sent thither,. 
and the loyal Indians reinstated in the enjoyment of their possessions. 
The various tribes of the superintendency are the Osages, the Quapaws,, 
Senecas and Shawnees, the Cherokees, Creeks, Seminoles, Choctaws, Chicka-
saws, and the Witchitas, and other affiliated bands. 
The Osages, Quapaws, Senecas, and Shawnees are under the care of Agent 
Elder. The Osages, with the exception of Black Dog's band, have remained


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