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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 agent in Kansas],   pp. 81-84 PDF (2.0 MB)


Page 83

REPORT    OF AGENT     IN  KANSAS.                   83 
for them. I also purchased 1,000 apple trees for them, which they planted
carefully, 
under the instruction of employds and Indians accustomed t fruit-raising;
though 
the summer was-not favorable to the growth of young trees, nearly all of
them lived 
and grew nicely. 
These Indians have a sufificient number of horses and ponies to cultivate
their farms 
and for riding purposes; a few of them have small herds of cattle, and many
of them 
are anxious to obtain cows from which to raise cattle. The small amount of
their an- 
nuity payment-about $26.10 per capita-will not admit of their expending much,
if 
any of it, for other purposes than the purchase of the necessaries of life,
and I would 
recommend that a portion of the annual interest derived from appropriation
"1Fulfill- 
ing treaty with Kickapoos, interest," be expended in the purchase of
cows to be issued 
to those Indian farmers who have demonstrated their fitness to take care
of them. 
Nearly every head of a family raises hogs, though in limited numbers, as
they are 
required to keep them in inclosures, for the reason that their fences are
not "hog-tight." 
Their fields range from 3 to 60 acres in area, in the diminished reserve,
and some In- 
dians who have individual allotments have as much as 100 acres in cultivation.
They 
raise corn, potatoes, wheat, oats, pumpkins, beans, and garden vegetables,
and will 
this year have moderate yields of all crops mentioned, the seasonhaving been
more 
favorable on the Kickapoo Reserve than in the locality of th9 Pottawatomie
Reserve. 
There are a number of allottees under the treaty of May 28,1863, yet associated
with 
the tribe, who occupy allotments of land isolated from each other and from
the reserve 
held in common; as a consequence, that care and protection cannot be extended
to 
them which they demand and hre really entitled to as members of the tribe
interested 
in the distribution of the funds belonging to the tribe equally with those
who hold in 
common. Independent of this fact, the Indians holding in common have formed
a 
prejudice against the allottees, and object to their receiving a just proportion
of issues 
of agricultural implements, &c. These allottees desire to become citizens,
and request 
that their pro rata shares of the cash credits of the tribe be paid, and
that patents for 
their allotments of lands be issued to them. I have personally inspected
the farms of 
those Indians making this request, and their manner of living, and believe
they can 
sustain themselves. After having carefully considered the matter, I have
concluded 
that it will be best to sever their connection with the tribe, and recommend
that the 
necessary legislation be secured at the next session of Congress to accomplish
that re- 
sult. There are several tracts set apart for school and agency purposes,
and for a mill 
site, belonging to the entire tribe, which are not now of any practical benefit
to the 
Indians, and should be sold and the proceeds applied for the promotion of
the agricul- 
tural and educational interests of the tribe. 
The Kickapoos are favorable to education; there are but few heads of families
in 
the tribe but that desire to see their children educated. Their school buildings,
though 
sufficiently commodious to accommodate all the children in the tribe, are
generally 
old and in bad condition. Having received authority from the honorable Commis-
sioner of Indian Affairs, it is my intention before the coming of winter
to make the 
buildings'at least comfortable, though to put them in good repair would require
a com- 
paratively large expenditure. 
A farm of 35 acres is attached to the school, which is cultivated on the
sane plan as 
the Pottawatomie boarding-school farm. There are 37 head of cattle and 50
hogs be- 
longing to this school; also 2 mules, very old and unfit for service. 
The majority of the Kickapoos entertain advanced religious views; they have
erected 
two church buildings, in one of which service is regularly held by native
preachers 
every Sabbath. These men, though expressing .but crude ideas of religion,
teach the 
necessity of being virtuous, truthful, aud temperate in an impressive manner.
These Indians are satisfied with their present home, and resiss any sugges
ions as to 
their moving elsewhere. I have impressed upon the Pottawatomies and Kickapoos
the fact that they cannot retain their reserves and live in the midst of
civilization 
unless they are in reasonable time prepared to accept its advantages and
responsibili- 
ties; that they must conform to the customs of the white people; that they
must 
inclose larger tracts of land, enter more largely into cattle-raising, and
ut lize all the 
advantages of soil and climate with which they are now blessed. I am convinced
that 
they are endeavoring to overcome their prejudices against ideas and principles
they 
do not understand, and lo educate themselves into a better utiderstantding
of matters 
connected with their future comfort and happiness. They have certainly during
the 
last year made rapid strides toward becoming self-supporting, and are prepared
toren- 
der their families and stock much more comfortable the ensuing winter than
during 
any previous one. 
The Chippewa and Munsee Indians have good farms and reside in comfortable
dwell- 
ing houses; they seem to me to be competent to take charge of their own affairs,
and on 
this account, and for the reasons that they are impatient of control, and
that many 
complications are arising out of land sales made by them, I have to recommend
that 
they either be made citizens or transferred to a reserve in common in sonic
other 
locality. 


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