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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 240

240     REPORT    OF THE     COIMISSIONER      OF INDIAN     AFFAIRS. 
ceasing efforts it was accomplished by the employes with, comparatively speaking,
little delay 
and at this date the agency buildings are secure in every respect. 
Illustrative of the willingness of these Indians, or a great portion of them,
to reap the 
benefits accruing from industrial habits, I will state that 600 acres of
land were plowed and 
planted the past year, principally with corn and vegetables. Of course some
assistance was 
rendered by employcs, but most of the work was performed by the Indians;
and it is an 
agreeable fact that the yield was so abundant that it has encouraged them
to determine upon 
a further trial in the coming year. Had the case been otherwise, and their
efforts proved 
abortive by a failure of their crops, it might have discouraged them so that
future attempts 
would be abandoned. 
At present there are two hundred and thirty families living in houses which
have been 
erected for them; and the satisfaction derived from the change from canvas
to good solid 
structures is openly and repeatedly expressed, and thanks tendered for the
kindness done 
them. Fresh applications for houses have been received, and consequently
I have now in 
process of erection forty additional houses for Indians who have assured
me of their inten- 
tion to abandon a nomadic life and become residents of a permanent home.
It is to be re- 
gretted that my inability to employ suitable labor, consequent on the discharge
of my em- 
ployds, will render it necessary for me to discontinue a project from which
I expected such 
good results. 
The excitement occasioned by the report of the late expedition to the Black
Hills country 
has reached this agency, and I am sorry to say has done visible harm in causing
dissatis- 
faction and discontent. I find the Indians irritable, and even in those who
have been hith- 
erto most friendly and appreciative I have discovered signs of incipient
hostility and insub- 
ordination. Without any intention to reflect on the judgment or good intentions
of the 
officers of the Army, I must be excused for saying that I consider it unfortunate
that the 
report was given to the public at this early day. 
Another cause for disaffection is a rumor that the Indians are likely to
be transferred to 
the War Department. This, coming from newspaper reports, is accepted by the
Indians as 
authentic, and creates a feeling of uncertainty and anxiety which requires
a considerable 
amount of persuasive eloquence to eradicate. 
I am happy to say that intemperance is comparatively unknown at this agency,
and the 
introduction of spirituous liquors discountenanced by myself and employ6s.
I am begin- 
ning, however, to feel anxious in this matter, from the fact that a whisky-ranch
has been 
established about six miles above us on the opposite side of the river, and
a license for traffic 
in liquor granted by the Internal-Revenue Department. Had I the authority
which I sup- 
posed up to a late date was vested in me, I should most certainly take immediate
steps to 
remove such a dangerous establishment, for although the Indians show no inclination
to 
drink, still they dread the temptation to which a close proximity of liquor
exposes them, and 
so expressed themselves to me on several occasions. 
One boarding-school has been in operation during the past year, under the
auspices of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church, and ably managed by the Rev. Henry Swift. The
good re- 
sulting from this establishment is creditable to its manager and entirely
satisfactory to all 
concerned. The building was erected by the agency employds. 
Two day-schools have also been in operation under the management of the Rev.
Thomas 
L. Riggs, of the American Board of Foreign Missions, and have proved to be
of immense 
enefit to the Indians, who are quick to learn, and, as far as my experience
goes, retain all 
they commit to memory. 
In conclusion, I take pleasure in again stating that the progress of the
Indians of this 
agency for the past year has been as satisfactory as the most sanguine could
expect, and 
that the results of the kindness of the Government are easily apparent in
the general willing- 
ness of the majority of the Indians to obey the instructions of the Department
with as good 
a grace as the existing state of affairs will permit. 
I am, very respectiully, your obedient servant, 
H. W. BINGHAM, 
United States Indian Agent. 
H n. E. P. SMTru, 
Commissiuner of Indian Affairs, Washington, D. C. 
FLANDREAU SPECIAL AGENCY, 
Flandreau, Dak., September 2%, 1874. 
SIR: I have the honor to present you this my first annual report of the Flandreau
Sioux 
gency. 
HISTORY OF THE FLANDREAU SETTLEMENT. 
In March, 1869, twenty-five families of the most enterprising Indians at
Sautee agency, 
Nebraska, openly dissolved their connection with that tribe, crossed the
Missouri River, and 
wvent one hundred miles northeast to Flandreau, on the head of the Big Sioux
River in Da- 


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