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

Report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, November 27, 1861,   pp. [7]-30 PDF (10.3 MB)


Page 13

13 
COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS 
that the prices stipulated were exorbitant, I ordered the work to be sus-
pended. This order created so much dissatisfaction on the part of those Indians
whose houses had not been built, that I was induced to compromise with the
contractor, and continue the work under other specifications, and at greatly
reduced prices. 
The advancement of these Indians, I have no doubt, will be greatly enhanced
by the establishment in their midst of a good manual labor school. 
I had an agreeable interview with the chiefs of the Shawnees, who, in com-
pany with their agent, Mr. Abbott, visited me at Topeka. This tribe own their
lands in severalty, and I was assured by the chiefs that it is in a prosperous
condition. Judging the tribe by the intelligence and gentlemanly bearing
of its 
chiefs, I have no doubt that ere long the government will be relieved of
any 
further care in the management of its affairs. 
I met the lowas, as also the Sacs and Foxes of the Missouri, at the Great
Nemaha agency, and in council with them, as well as from their agent, was
grati- 
fied to learn that they are in a prosperous condition, and to a considerable
extent 
engaged in the arts of agriculture, having almost entirely abandoned the
chase. 
Many of them have good farms and are comfortably situated. The Sacs and 
Foxes will remove to the lands purchased for them from the lowas, so soon
as 
the treaty lately negotiated for that'purpose is ratified, which I trust
will be 
done early in the approaching session of the Senate. 
The Iowas who belong to this agency number about 300 souls, and have 225
acres of land of their reservation under cultivation, the products of which
will 
go far towards their support during the winter. 
Upon the Iowa reservation a school is established for the children of that
tribe, but the difficulty in securing prompt and regular attendance very
much 
impairs its utility. No schools seem to prosper amongst the Indians unless
pro- 
vision is made to board and clothe the pupils at the institution, and in
that case 
their efficiency is greatly enhanced by the adoption of the manual labor
system, 
as it is of equal importance that they be taught how to work as well as a
knowledge of the usual sciences taught in schools. 
An act of Congress of March 3, 1859, authorized the alienation by the 
Indians in Kansas of portions of their lands which had been set apart in
sever- 
alty under the treaties of 1854. Under this act one hundred and forty-eight
sales of lands have been confirmed since the 4th of March last, comprising
an 
area of about eleven thousand and five hundred acres, and have produced for
the 
Indians the sum of $69,219. 
By treaties concluded with the Sacs and Foxes of the Mississippi, and the
Kaws of Kansas, it is stipulated that after portions of their lands shall
have 
been divided off in severalty to each individual member of those tribes,
viz: 80 
acres each to the Sacs and Foxes, and 40 acres to each of the Kaws, the resi-
due should be disposed of in such manner as the Secretary of the Interior
may 
prescribe and direct. In order to secure to the said Indians the greatest
prac- 
tical advantage to be derived from the proceeds of these surplus lands, commis-
sioners were appointed to appraise them for the information of the department,
which would thus be made aware of their actual or approximate value, and
ena- 
bled to act independently of any representations of interested speculators.
Not- 
withstanding this preparation it has been deemed advisable to postpone sales
for 
the time being, and await the advent of a period when better prices may be
obtained. 
Superintendent Coffin and Agent Cutler, who have found it impracticable to
discharge their appropriate duties within the southern superintendency, have
been detailed to assist Agent Farnsworth in making allotments in severalty
for 
the Kaws, and Agent Hutchinson for the Sacs and Foxes, thus furnishing them
with employment, and avoiding the expense of a special commission for those
purposes. 


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