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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1855

[Northern superintendency],   pp. 40-47 PDF (3.1 MB)

Page 42

ing these strolling Menomonees, as well as the Pottowatomies and 
Chippewas, who returned from their new home west of the Mississippi, 
and are now roving about through the State. 
In relation to the condition of the Oneida Indians, I had the honor 
to report to you on the 14th of August last, giving a description of 
the pernicious influences of their lumbering operations on many of 
of this tribe, and of the neglected condition of many of their exten- 
sive farms. I trust that the disposition of that report made by your 
office will cause proper measures to be instituted to put a stop to the 
trade carried on by the people of Green Bay for the pine logs, lumber, 
and shingles, cut and manufactured by these Indians. I have taken 
every proper opportunity to impress upon the minds of their chiefs 
the importance of dissuading their people from continuing occupations 
so illy calculated for their welfare and improvement, and they being 
men of good judgment, admitted the correctness of my views; but it 
seems that their tribal government is too weak, and their discipline 
too loose, to give the chief' sufficient influence to prevent their young
men from continuing to cut pine and to manufacture shingles. The 
price of pine is so high, and the market is so near, that the tempta- 
tion is too strong; and though I will repeat these efforts to dissuade 
the Indians from continuing occupatiors ruinous to them, and from 
neglecting farming, I cannot expect to succeed fully, unless at the 
same time the purchase from the Indians of pine and shingles is dis- 
couraged. Unless such measures will soon be taken, ruin will be 
brought by this trade upon a tribe which had advanced far in civiliza- 
I have very little to add to the condensed statement of the affairs at 
Stockbridge contained in my last annual report, and the opinion 
expressed there in relation to measures to be taken for the benefit of 
the Stockbridges and Munsees has not been changed. I had the honor 
to state at length my objections to the treaty with the Stockbridges, 
concluded on the first of June last, but I am not aware if they had 
any weight in causing that treaty to be laid aside. I presume that 
an arrangement on a different basis will soon be authorized, and that 
after so many unsuccessful attempts to "cure the impracticabilities"
of legislation intended for the benefit of the Stockbridge Indians, theso
difficulties will be settled without violating any legal and equitable 
rights of the white settlers at Stockbridge; and that a home will be 
provided for the Stockbridges and Munsees where they will resume 
with good earnest their agricultural pursuits. 
I was sorry to notice that the bitter feeling existing at Stockbridge 
between the whites and Indians, and caused by those unsettled affairs, 
extends to the neighboring town of Manchester, the home of the 
Brothertons. In every other respect the Brothertons seem to live 
comfortably and to enjoy all the rights and advantages of citizenship. 
Very respectfully, your most obedient servant, 
Commissioner Indian Ajairs, Washington, D. C. 

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