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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 27

COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS.                    27 
While the progress made by the Pawnees will by no means bear a favorable
comparison with that of several of the other tribes, it is still very evident
from 
the report of Agent Lushbaugh, to whose efficient management they are con-
fided, that a very gratifying and perceptible advance has been made during
the 
past year. Hitherto they have been much addicted to a roving and predatory
life, and it has been found almost impossible to confine them to the limits
of 
their own reservation. Horse-stealing and petty pilfering of all kinds, from
friend and foe, from the whites as well as the Indians, has been a national
vice. 
This has led to numerous claims against them for depredations, has proven
a 
constant source of vexation and annoyance to the agent in charge, and to
the 
department, and has been extremely annoying to the whites residing in their
vicinity, as well as the occasion of hostilities between them and other tribes.
In this.respect the change for the better is indeed noteworthy. Their agent
remarks that "no more complaints are heard from the surrounding country
of 
petty thefts by vagrant Indians, and the roads and highways were never more
free of this class than at present." Their agricultural operations have
been 
unusually successful, as also their buffalo hunts, and, for thq first time
in many 
years, they have an abundant supply for all their wants. A school has been
started in their midst, and no difficulty has been found in procuring the
attend- 
ance of all the scholars that, with the limited facilities at hand, could
be accom- 
modated. !A large and commodious school building is in course of erection,
and 
no doubts are entertained that, when completed, it will be filled to its
utmost 
capacity. Here, as is elsewhere the almost universal remark, the aptness
of the 
pupils in acquiring knowledge is surprising. I confidently anticipate that
the 
new school, which is to be conducted upon the manual labor system, will be,
in 
a few years, productive of the most beneficial results. 
The Pawnees and Brule Sioux have been for many years inveterate foes. 
Last May, and again in June, the Pawnees were attacked upon their reserva-
tion, and several of their squaws, who were at work in the fields, were killed
and scalped. It is probably owing to the presence of United States troops
that 
a bloody massacre was prevented. These frequent raids on the part of the
Sioux are begetting a feeling of insecurity among the whites as well as the
In- 
dians. Unless some measures are adopted to prevent their recurrence, it will
be necessary to keep a military force constantly stationed upon the reservation
for its protection. Superintendent Branch and Agent Lushbaugh concur in the
opinion that a treaty of amity may readily be procured between these hostile
tribes. And the sum of five thousand dollars would be sufficient to defray
the 
expense of an attempt to procure such a treaty, and, should our efforts meet
with success, would be wisely and humanely expended. 
The Pottawatomies are the largest tribe within the superintendency. Their
numbers, at the last census, were two thousand two hundred and seventy-four.
During the past summer commissioners were appointed to make the.allotments
of land in severalty, zontemplated by their treaty of November, 1861, and
have 
nearly completed their labors. It is, however, anticipated that a new treaty
will be made with the tribe, providing for its removal to the Indian country,


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