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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 29

COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
The Delawares justly rank among the foremost of our Indian tribes in wealth,
intelligence, and all the elements of civilized life. It may justly be said
of 
them that they have so far abandoned their ancient customs as to leave the
question of their ultimate civilization no longer doubtful. Numbering but
little 
over one thousand souls, they own, in addition to their trust funds, amounting
to near six hundred and ninety-three thousand dollars, real and personal
prop- 
erty, at a moderate valuation, equal to the sum of six hundred and twenty
thou- 
sand dollars. To these sums must be added the value of their trust lands,
and 
it will be seen that the wealth of the tribe is nearly if not quite equal
to the 
sum of fifteen hundred dollars for each man, woman and child. Of course they
have an abundant supply for all their wants. They have, to a great extent,
adopted the manners and customs of the whites, are fully awakened to the
im- 
portace of moral and intellectual culture, and in the cultivation of many
of 
their farms, the appearance of their dwellings, their school-houses, and
in the 
general evidences of thrift and comfort apparent upon their reservation,
they 
will compare favorably with frontier settlements. I must not omit to mention
the subject of their loyalty to the government. More than one-half of their
adult male population is regularly enlisted in the volunteer forces of the
govern- 
ment, and as soldiers are highly esteemed by their officers. It is, perhaps,
not 
too much to claim'that no community within the limits of the loyal States
can 
show a better record than this. While on this subject, I will also state
that 
the Indians of the entire superintendency, with scarcely a single exception,
have 
remained firm and true to the government, and several of the tribes have
fur- 
nished a liberal quota of volunteers to our military forces. 
The general condition of the various tribes of the superintendency may be
fairly deduced from that of those particularly mentioned. 
. Resolutions were passed at the last session of Congress authorizing the
nego- 
tiating of-treaties with the various tribes of this and the southern superintend-
ency, having for their object the removal of the Indians to the Indian country
south of Kansas. With a view to carrying out the wishes of Congress in this
respect, I have, under your direction, visited many of the tribes during
the latter 
part of summer and early portion of autumn. I found the Indians fully advised
of the wishes of government in this respect, and have no doubt that, when
the 
war is ended and peace is once more restored to the Indian territory, most,
if 
not all, of them will gladly exchange their present homes for a home in that
territory. In my former annual reports I have alluded to some of the advant-
ages to be realized by the whites, as well as the Indians, from the policy
which 
has now been adopted. 
The two evils which have proved most disastrous to the Indians located in
Kansas, and indeed everywhere, where their reservations are surrounded by
whites, is drunkenness and gambling. It seems almost impossible to prevent
the demoralizing effects of these vices, while they are fostered and encouraged
by the vicious and unprincipled whites who collect around the Indian settle-
ments. Another evil among the smaller and more isolated tribes is fast assum-
ing a degree of importance that demands consideration. I allude to the frequent


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