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

[Central superintendency],   pp. 68-118 PDF (20.8 MB)


Page 87

COMNISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
0 
raised no corn last season; notwithstanding one hundred and thirty 
odd acres were ploughed, and potatoes, turnips, corn, and buckwheat, 
put in the ground for them, they abandoned all, went hunting; met 
with their troubles on the plains, and so far it seems impossible to 
have them return. They are doing nothing for themselves in the 
way of improvement, either for mind or body, and before they will 
all fear must be banished. This tribe merits something for aban- 
doning the use of ardent spirits. As a tribe they have used but little 
for the last twelve months, and, considering their proximity to it, I 
conclude the chiefs and many of the headmen are disposed to forsake 
the practice, so fatal to them, of drinking. 
But little is doing within this agency in the way of education, and 
until the Indian throws off his blanket and goes to work, as well as 
to school, he will be an Indian still. 
Respectfully, sir, your obedient servant, 
GEORGE HEPNER, Indian Agent. 
Col. A. CUMMING, Esq., 
Su rrntendent Indian f4fairs, St. Louis, Mo. 
No. 30. 
GREAT NEMEHA AGENCY, September 30, 1855. 
SIR: I have the honor to report that the Sac and Fox and Iowa 
tribes of Indians belonging to this agency have enjoyed an unusual 
degree of good health throughout the past year; and, notwithstand- 
ing the scarcity and high price of subsistence, there has been no ma- 
terial suffering on this account. There has been less drunkenness 
than heretofore among them, and some have exerted themselves in 
trying to suppress the traffic in ardent spirits. On one occasion they 
destroyed two barrels of whiskey on the line of the reserve of the Sacs 
and Foxes, and at another time one on the half-breed lands, by knock- 
ing out their heads and emptying their contents on the ground. I 
regret that a few of the individuals thus engaged could not withstand 
the temptation, and partook of it before it was all thrown away; and 
when I talked to them ahout it, their only reply was, "1 Father, we
could not help it; we did not like to see so much good firewater wasted 
without saving a little of it." 
The Sacs and Foxes of Missouri have a fine fertile country, well 
watered and timbered, and the "white man" is already making in-
quiries as to the probable time when they can occupy it, notwithstand- 
ing the large quantity of unoccupied land, much of which was recent- 
ly ceded by Indians in these territories. I, however, hope, as some of 
these Indians are disposed to improve their condition by tilling the 
soil, that they will not be disturbed, at lest until the experiment has 
been fairly tried. 
The Iowas have been quite successful this year in raising corn and 
vegetables. Some of them took especial pains to cultivate the seeds 
sent them by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs from Washington 
I 
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