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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1879
([1879])

Report of the commissioner of Indian affairs,   pp. [unnumbered]-XLIX PDF (19.0 MB)


Page XIII

IREPORT OF THE: COMMI1SIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS.         XlII 
is necessary for the maintenance of order and good government at the 
several agencies, and is of the highest importance in teaching Indians 
habits of .ivilized life and eventual sef-gorerument. 
]WARRIAGEFS. 
In my last annual report I recommended the enactment of a law to 
prevent polygamy, which prevails in almost every Indian tribe, and to 
provide for legal marriages among Indians. I can do no better than to 
repeat that recommendation here:- 
An act of Congress should provide wholesome and proper marriage laws for
Indian 
tribes; The agent should be required to marry all the Indians cohabiting
together 
upon the various reservations, giving them a certificate of such marriage;
and after 
the beginning of the next year no Indian should be permitted to marry more
than one 
wife. White men cohabiting with Indian women should be compelled either to
marry them or to quit the reservation. 
THE PONCAS. 
As stated in my last annual report the Poncas were finally settled on 
both sides of the Salt Fork near its junction with the Arkansas River. 
The location is healthy and the soil fertile. There is everything in the
surroundings of the agency to please the eye, and it is universally re- 
garded as the best location for an Indian agency to be found anywhere 
in the country. 
The Poncas are now doing well. Many houses have already been built, 
and by the 1st of January next the agent expects to have the whole 
tribe comfortably supplied with houses. They have been furnished with 
wagons and harness for freighting and farm purposes, and have hauled 
their own supplies from Wichita, Kansas. They have been supplied 
with horses and cattle for stock-raising, and also with agricultural imple-
ments sufficient for all the members of their tribe. A steam sawmill and
a shingle-machine have been placed at the agency, and have been run- 
ning continuously since March last. A school-house has been built and 
a school has been in operation for a considerable portion of the year. 
In brief, every thing possible has been done to promote their comfort 
and civilization. 
As reported heretofore, these Indians suffered greatly in health by 
their 'removal to the Indian Territory, but they have now become accli- 
mated and the health of the tribe has greatly improved. 
By the treaty of March 12, 1858 (12 Stat., 997), the Ponca tribe of 
Indians ceded to the United States all the lands then owned or claimed 
by them except a tract in what is now the Territory of Dakota, which 
was reserved in said treaty as their future home. In consideration of 
such session the United States stipulated, among other things, "To 
protect the Poncas in the possession of the tract of land reserved for 
their future homes and their persons and property therein during good 
behavior on their part." By the treaty of March 10, 1865 (14 Stat.,


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