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

[Minnesota superintendency],   pp. 48-68 PDF (8.7 MB)


Page 60

REPORT OF THE 
Medicine, and work in the shop there, manufacturing rat and fish 
spears, traps, axes, hoes, &c., always required by the Indians in the
spring, and of which they never have a sufficient supply. I 
In my last year's report I took the liberty of making some sugges- 
tions as to putting an end to the wars between these people and their 
enemies. The work of destruction still goes on. The Sioux had 
remained peaceable during the summer, most of them attending to 
their fields. One band, in particular, had planted largely above 
Lac qui Parle. Whilst absent from    their village, the chief and 
some of the principal men, at St. Paul, to visit the superintendent, 
the women and children out on the prairies gathering turnips for 
food, a largewar party of Chippewas came to the village, and, 
finding no victim for the scalping knife, destroyed much of the crop 
of corn, most of the bark houses, and all the kettles, axes, and other 
implements, they could find.   This led (contrary to my urgent 
request) to a war party of retaliation, when two Chippewas were 
killed. 
A new field has been found on the Missouri, and the lower Sioux 
have commenced the business of horse-Atealing from the Omahas and 
Pawnees and the settlers on the frontier near the mouth. of the Big 
Sioux. Their last expedition has been an unsuccessful one, and has 
resulted in the death of several of the Sioux. I trust this may stay 
them-from further excursions of a like kind. Affairs of this nature 
show more strongly the necessity of some action of Congress. It is 
imperiously called for by the terms of the last treaty, and as war has 
an obvious tendency to retard the civilization of the Indians, I sin- 
cerely trust something will be done in the next session. 
I have not met with one case of drunkenness among these Indians, 
and feel very happy that, with their many faults, they appear to have 
in a great measure shaken off their propensity to the use of liquor. 
It is certainly not that they cannot obtain it, for there are still many
white men disposed to incur every risk to supply t.hem, if there were 
not an unwillingness to buy. Last winter I suspected two half-breeds, 
who were passing Shakapee, and followed them, found two kegs of 
whiskey and immediately destroyed it. I should have proceeded to 
seize the sleigh and oxen and take legal proceedings against them, 
but the men are poor -with families dependent on them, and they as- 
sured me they had been hired to carry the whiskey to a tavern keeper 
in Traverse des Sioux, and that it was not intended for sale to Indians.
I enclose the school reports of the missionaries on this reserve as 
also the report of the physician. 
I have again to remark that I am still without any house to reside 
in at the agency. I am at present indebted to the hospitality of Dr. 
Daniels for the accommodation of a room in his house. 
It is unfortunate that the supplies for this. place, as well as the 
Indian annuity goods and provisions, are contracted   for to be 
delivered at St. Paul. This year's annuity goods and provision are 
still undelivered, and the time fixed by your contract is expired. It 
is impossible they can now be got up in time for the payment, late as 
it is. If the contract were made early in spring for delivery and 
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