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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 28

28                         REPORT OF THE 
and in that event it will probably be better that the approval of the allotments
be suspended until it shall be ascertained what number of those to whom allot-
ments have been made may desire to continue their connexion with the tribe.
As an evidence of the disposition on the part of these Indians to abandon
their 
hereditary customs and assume -those of the whites, I mention the fact that
allot- 
ments in severalty have been made to some thirteen hundred and seventy-five
individuals. When it is considered that the acceptance of these allotments
has 
been left to the voluntary choice of the individuals receiving the same,
and that 
nothing is regarded by the wild Indian as more degrading than an abandon-
ment of the customs of his fathers, and a resort to manual labor, the importance
of this valuable change in their condition-valuable because voluntary-will
be 
fully appreciated. 
The manual labor school at this agency, under the patronage of the St. 
Mary's Catholic mission, is well sustained, and its good effects upon the
tribe 
are everywhere apparent, and cannot be too highly appreciated. The school
is 
divided into two departments, the male and female; at the former of which
there has been, during the past year, an average attendance of ninety-five
scholars, between the ages of six and eighteen years, and at the latter seventy-
five. The management of these schools and the progress and good conduct of
the scholars are deserving of the high encomiums bestowed by all under whose
observation they have come. 
The health of the tribe during the past year has been good, and its agricul-
tural operations have been eminently successful. By the terms of their last
treaty with the United States provision is made for the admission of such
in- 
dividuals of the tribe as may be found competent to the privileges of citizenship.
The agent reports that this provision of the treaty is having a very salutary
effect, and that very many are ambitious to obtain this distinction, and
are en- 
deavoring by good conduct to prove themselves worthy. 
The report of Agent Irish and its accompanying papers contain a full and
interesting statement of the condition, prospects, and wants of the Omahas.
The tribe numbers about one thousand souls, and, by its industry and the
assistance and encouragement rendered by the government, has succeeded in
securing an abundant supply for all its wants. In my judgment the time has
fully arrived when the provision of their treaty in regard to a survey of
their 
reservation, and an allotment of land in severalty to the members of the
tribe, 
should be made. Unless it shall be found practicable within a short time
to 
secure a more favorable location for this tribe in the Indian country south
of 
Kansas, and to secure the assent of the tribe to a removal, I shall, with
your 
permission, institute the necessary measures to carry this provision into
effect. 
No very high degree of civilization can be attained by a tribe, as such,
or by 
any of its individual members, while the property, personal and real, is
held in 
common. This system operates as an indirect encouragement to idleness and
its attendant vices, and is, at the same time, wanting in the encouragement
which, under the system of individual ownership, is afforded to the industrious
and enterprising by the comforts and conveniences resulting from their labor.


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