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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 67

COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
They are now supplying the traders, and propose to furnish what seed 
may be wanted next spring for the upper bands of Siseton. 
The little band near Wood lake have also good crops, which they 
are very desirous to get in and housed here to save them from the 
depredations of the Indians coming to the payment. I could easily 
put up buildings for this and other purposes, but abstain from doing 
so with logs as I have no lumber to finish with, and am loth to use 
so much timber when it is so scarce. The upper bands have very 
good corn, and are not likely to feel want in the winter, as the buffalo
are abundant, and within three hours walk of their village. With 
regard to Maza'sa I'stabiba, Maza-e-mani, Ta-haupe-lida, and Ite- 
wakyan, I cannot speak, as they have not come on to the reserve. I 
have supplied scythes, &c., to several of the Indians here, who have
cut hay for their horses. 
The men you directed to be sent up to Big Stone lake still remain, 
and had broke at the last account about nine acres. The Indians were 
dissatisfied seeing so small a force, but appear contented to have a 
beginning made, hoping that more will be done for them next spring. 
Another year has passed, and we have no schools. You will remem- 
ber that under the treaty of 1837 a sum of $5,000 was set aside for 
education. The application of that sum was, unfortunately, delayed 
until the accumulation fund became large. It was not difficult to 
persuade the Indians that if they abstained from sending their chil- 
dren to school this accumulated fund would be given to them in 
money by their Great Father. It was thus made the means of retard- 
ing instead of advancing the progress of the Indians, for, although 
they received through the agent repeated assertions of the President 
that it should be applied to purposes of education and no other, there 
were not wanting interested persons to persuade them to persevere in 
their refusal to be thus benefitted by it, assuring them that still their
Great Father would give way to them. 
Unfortunately it was thought necessary to make use of this accu- 
mulated fund as an inducement for making the treaty of 1851, and 
the Indians witnessed the success of that scheme of which they and 
their children are the victims. 
The same accumulation has begun under the new treaties, and the 
same influence is now operating to induce these Indians to withdraw 
their children from school. I am directly interested, on behalf of my 
children, that the schools agreed for in the treaty should be immedi- 
ately begun. The Indians here were last year all anxious to have 
the schools, and so expressed themselves in council to you and Gov- 
ernor Gorman. I earnestly entreat that you will owce more urge this 
subject. Let us have efficient teachers under the contrql of govern- 
ment, and have the hands of all missionaries unfettered, to pursue 
with diligence the religious instruction of the Indians, with such 
social improvements as they have so ably commenced. 
I am, sir, yours respectfully, 
A.ROBERTSON, 
Far2mer to Siseton and Wa peton Indiaans. 
R. G. MURPIY, Indian Agent. 
67 


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