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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 99

COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
the American people who are so tenacious in their principles that 
natives should enjoy the patronage of the government. Since I have 
taken charge of this agency, I have removed two blacksmiths for gam- 
bling and idleness. I require the mechanics to devote all working 
hours to the service of the Indians, and gambling is prohibited among 
them under the penalty of immediate removal. I am gratified to be 
able to state that, after the removals which have been made, this 
branch of the agency works well. All the employees are sober, indus- 
trious, and moral men. At the request of the Indians, and with the 
concurrence of the department, I discontinued the services of the phy- 
sician at the Baptist mission. 
By the school report of Mr. Duerinck, it will be seen that the 
missionary labors at St. Mary's are divided into two establishments. 
The boys are under the charge of the "fathers" of the institution,
whilst the girls are under the kind care of the "Ladies of the Sacred
Heart." I cannot speak in terms too highly of the condition of these
establishments. Besides the ordinary literary course, the girls are 
taught sewing, knitting, embroidery, and the various other branches 
of housekeeping.  In connexion with the institution is a manual 
labor school, where the boys are taught the practical and useful 
departments of farming, gardening, &c. Mr. Duerinck is a man of 
great energy and business habits, united with a devotion to the 
welfare of the Pottawatomie Indians, to whom he has proved a father 
and friend, and by whom     he is highly esteemed.   I have no 
hesitancy in expressing my conviction that this institution is of great 
service to these Indians. This influence is seen in the neat cottages 
and little fields of the "IMission Indians," and the air of comfort
and 
good order apparent throughout the neighborhood. 
The institution under the charge of the Baptist board has had to 
struggle against numerous adversities, and has not been in operation 
during the present year.  Mr. Joseph Walker, the corresponding 
secretary, writes me, under date of August 2, 1855, that the funds, 
property, &c., of the mission, have been turned over to the "Southern
Baptist Convention," and that he entertains full expectation of being
able to reorganize and profitably conduct this school; but I am forced 
to believe that, notwithstanding the great efforts of these worthy and 
benevolent individuals, such are the many difficulties which surround 
their enterprise, they will fail to accomplish the end desired. 
Former communications and others cotemporaneous with this, on the 
subject of agricultural implements, exhibit the fact, that during the 
present year a better spirit is dawning over a portion of the Pottawat- 
omies, who have hitherto opposed all improvement. This may appear 
to be a small matter, but like the oasis in the desert, it must be grate-
ful to the eye of the philanthropist. The Indians have declined to 
receive the small number of implements which I was instructed, by 
the letter of the department of the 10th July last, to give them, and 
they have reiterated their request for a-larger number, and as I con- 
cur with them that the number allowed them in the letter referred to 
is too small, I hope the department Will order a number approximat- 
ing to that which they now ask for. The "Prairie" band are begin-
ning to demand the money of this fund, which I hope will be the last 
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