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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1861
([1861])

Extract from the report of the secretary of the Interior in relation to Indian affairs,   pp. [3]-[6] PDF (1.1 MB)


Page 4

of the power of the United States to protect them, it is not surpris- 
ing that their loyalty was unable to resist such influences. Many 
white men of far greater intelligence have joined the insurrectionists 
against their own convictions of right, under much less pressure. 
We have reason to believe that as soon as the United States shall 
re-establish their authority in the Indian country, and shall send 
there a sufficient force for the protection of the tribes, they will re-
nounce all connexion with the rebel government and resume their 
former relations with the United States. 
The payment of their annuities has been suspended. The Com- 
missioner of Indian Affairs expresses the opinion, in which I concur, 
that Congress should make the usual appropriations to comply with 
the treaty stipulations of the United States, that the means may exist 
to pay them, if circumstances and the condition of the tribes shall 
hereafter render it proper and expedient to do so. 
The tribes upon the Pacific slope of the 1ocky mountains have 
manifested a turbulent spirit, but have committed no acts of violence. 
With vigilance on the part of the agents it is hoped they may be 
restrained from depredations upon the white settlers, and be gradually 
brought under the control of the laws of the United States. 
Much trouble has been experienced in New Mexico from depreda- 
tions committed by some of the tribes in that Territory. The with- 
drawal of the troops of the United States has encouraged them to 
acts of violence, while the active in'terference of disloyal persons 
from Texas has induced them to disregard the laws and authority of 
the government. The presence of a military force in that Territory 
is indispensable to preserve the peace and cause the Indians to respect 
the laws. 
The tribes in Kansas and Nebraska, and in the States of the north- 
west, are gradually progressing in the arts of civilization. The plan 
of allotting portions of their reservatibns to the individual members 
of the tribes has been found by experience to result beneficially. 
Many of them have improved their lands and become quite proficient 
as farmers. A continuance of this policy, by familiarizing them with 
the habits of agricultural life, will gradually lead them to depend 
upon 'the cultivation of the soil for subsistence. 
The report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, which is here- 
with submitted, furnishes full information in regard to the several 
tribes, and suggests in detail such matters as require the action of 
Congress. 
The practice of licensing traders to traffic with the Indians, has 
been productive of mischievous results. The money received by 
them in payment of their annuities, generally passes immediately 
into the hands of the traders. The Indians purchase goods of the 
traders upon a credit, to be paid for upon the receipt of their next 
annuity. When the payment is due, the debts of the Indians are 
usually sufficient to absorb the whole amount. But, if anything is 
left after the payment of their debts, it is used for new purchases 
from the traders. The result of this system of trade is that the 
Indians pay for the goods they purchase, much more than they are 
EXTRACT, 


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