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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1874
([1874])

[Dakota],   pp. 238-259 PDF (10.7 MB)


Page 239

REPORT     OF   THE   COMMISSIONER       OF   INDIAN    AFFAIRS.      239
pancy. It is 40 by 60 feet, two stories high, of brick manufactured on the
ground, as well 
as the lime with which it is well plastered, and presents a handsome appearance.
The 
agency house, 24 by 28 feet, now in course of erection; main building, besides
kitchen, 
two stories, of frame. Most of the material also manufactured here. The whole
will, I 
hope, be completed this season. 
The school will be opened on the arrival of teachers from the community ot
the Sisters of 
Charity, with whom satisfactory arrangements have been closed, they receiving
nothing 
but the actual expense for their support. A permanent mission for religious
education will 
be opened at the same time, and a church-building will be completed this
fall. 
The Indians now on the reservation number 1,047; males, 442, and females,
595. We 
have had during the summer, at times, over 1,500 who come ostensibly to settle.
Many 
plant corn, &c., but often leave for other Sioux agencies beyond the
Missouri River to visit 
their relatives, and at the same time to profit by the distribution of annuities
there. There 
are now eighty-four log-houses occupied by Indian families, and the number
will be increased 
when the enactment of Congress, requiring labor to be performed for provisions
and clothing 
by the able-bodied, shall be enforced at all the agencies. When it is made
manifest that 
Indians cannot leave their own reservations with any hope of participating
in the distribu- 
tion of supplies at other agencies, the great inducements for such interchanges
of visits will 
have ceased to operate. 
During the past summer many parties of wild Yanktonais and Cut-head Sioux
have vis- 
ited the agency, often in a state of great destitution, and it has been indispensably
necessary 
to furnish them with food to prevent actual starvation, thereby causing serious
inroads upon 
the store of provisions on hand. 
I respectfully suggest that means be taken by the Department to prevent the
advent of 
Chippewas, &c., to this reservation. About 140 of the Red Lake Chippewas,
&c., visited it 
in the month of July, and remained more than a week, being meanwhile feasted
upon the 
corn, &c., raised here. The avowed object of the Chippewas wad to establish
friendly rela- 
tions with their hereditary enemies, the Sioux, but it is evident that such
movements are 
fraught with peril, as even a slight dispute or misunderstanding between
the parties might 
lead to a bloody encounter between them. Aside from this danger, the effect
of these visits 
is demoralizing in the extreme. It will be gratifying to the Department to
be informed that 
these bands are progressing steadily toward an adoption of the manners and
customs of the 
whites. The aversion of the Indian to labor has been overcome to a great
extent. It is 
estimated that there will be harvested this fall 2,000 bushels of corn, 2,500
bushels of pota- 
toes, 25 bushels of beans, and about 100 bushels of wheat. The yield would
have been far 
greater but for the devastation caused by grasshoppers, which destroyed a
large amount of 
wheat, corn, turnips, and onions. There have been 800 rods of fence constructed
during 
the year by the Indians, and much other labor performed, besides field-work,
in cutting and 
hauling fire wood, hay for the animals, and in saving expense to the Government
by trans- 
porting the supplies with their own teams from the nearest point on the Northern
Pacific 
Railroad, a distance of about eighty miles. 
On the whole, the condition of things at this agency is highly encouraging,
and there is 
every reason to believe that through the instrumentalities in operation,
and to be in operation 
the next year, great good will be accomplished by bringing more and more
of the wild red- 
men of the plains under the peaceable influences of Christian civilization.
I have the honor, sir, to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
WM. H. FORBES, 
United States Indian Agent. 
Hon. EDWARD P. SMITH, 
Commnissioner of Indian Affairs, Washintoti, D. C. 
CHEYENNE RIVER INDIAN AGENCY, DAK., 
September 14, 1874. 
SIR: I have the honor to submit this my second annual report as agent for
the Two Ket- 
tle, Minneconjoux, Sans Arcs, and a part of the Black Feet bands of Sioux
Indians. 
Since my last annual report the progress of the Indians in the arts of civilized
life has been 
naturally slow, but on the whole completely satisfactory. The beneficent
exertions of the 
Government are producing such results as, in my opinion, justify a continuance
of such char- 
itable assistance as may be deemed prudent by the Department. 
One difficulty to be contended with in inducing the Indians to adopt a part
of our civ- 
ilized habits is their objection to wearing white men's clothing ; however,
as this objection 
is hereditary, and consequently to be expected, I must only hope that time
and the force of 
example will show them the mistake under which they have hitherto labored,
and that 
eventually the dress of civilization will be universally adopted. 
Owing to the rise in the river and cutting in of the bank, it became necessary
last spring 
to remove most of the buildings of this agency to a point of security farther
from the dan- 
gerous effects of high water. This was an undertaking of no small dimensions
; but by un- 


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