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

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

Page 93

No. 35. 
October 3, 1855. 
SIR: In compliance with the regulations of the Indian Department, 
under which I have the honor to act, I submit the following brief 
report of the condition of this agency during the past year. It gives 
me much pleasure to state that the Shawnee and Wyandot tribes of 
Indians, embraced within my agency, have enjoyed, during the last 
twelve months, an almost uninterrupted prosperity, and they are now 
rejoicing in an abundant return from the toils and labors of the hus- 
bandman. While disease and death in their most malignant form 
have visited some of the neighboring tribes, and many of the white 
settlements, they have been peculiarly exempted from both, except in 
one locality, the "Friends' Shawnee Mission," which was, in the
month of July, entirely broken up in consequence of severe sickness 
among the scholars. In consequence of this sickness, and an unex- 
pected change in the superintendent and teachers, no report has been 
received. I learn, however, from Mr. Hadley, who has but recently 
taken charge, that the prospect for a full school during the coming 
term is very flattering. From the Baptist mission no report has been 
received. The school formerly kept there has been entirely aban- 
doned. I learn that instructions have been received by Mr. Barker, 
the gentleman in charge, from the society to rent the buildings and 
improvements. The Shawnee manual labor school, under the able 
superintendency of the Rev. Thomas Johnson, is in a very prosperous 
condition. His efforts, united with those of the teachers, to educate 
mentally and morally the youth entrusted to his care have been emi- 
nently successful. It was my pleasure to be present at the last annual 
examination, and the proficiency exhibited in all the studies upon 
which they were examined was alike creditable to teachers and schol- 
ars. For a more detailed and statistical account of the condition and 
prospects of the school, I refer you to the accompanying report of the 
superintendent, Rev. Thomas Johnson. 
The Shawnees, as well as the Wyandots, are making rapid pro- 
gress towards civilization, and are gathering around them the com- 
forts, and, in many instances, some of the elegancies of a more refined 
and cultivated life. Prostitution, drunkenness, and vice of every 
character, which but a short time since were, if not actually counte- 
nanced by the headmen of the nation, winked at, are, under the influ- 
ence of good and wholesome laws enacted and enforced by their coun- 
cils, rapidly disappearing. For drunkenness the annuity of the man 
convicted is withheld and a fine imposed. In the case of the female, 
her head is shaved in addition to the withholding her share. Yet 
this degrading vice cannot be wholly eradicated until the legislatures 
of the States bordering on the homes of the Indians are induced to 
enact more stringent laws against the sale of intoxicating drink to the 
Indian. The law of Missouri upon the subject is, in fact, of no avail, 
the proof required being such as to render it almost impossible to con- 
vict under it. Several arrests have been made within the Territory, 

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