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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1864
([1864])

Dakota superintendency,   pp. 259-293 PDF (15.0 MB)


Page 271

DAKOTA SUPERINTENDENCY. 
271 
The Assinaboines about Fort Union claim to be friendly, and probably have
committed no depredations since the robbing of the boats two years since,
yet 
their connexion with the Sioux is too intimate to depend very much on their
friendship, especially if they could be made to believe that their interest
lay in 
another direction. There is a company of soldiers there now, and should be
for some time to come; while they remain everything will be right with the
Assinaboineg. 
We came across about fifty lodges of Crows at and near Milk River fort, who
were waiting in hopes to receive their annuities at that place; but in this
they 
had to be disappoioted, and, as they dare not go up into their own country
on the 
Yellow Stone, arrangements were made for them to receive them at such time
and place as would suit their convenience. There are a part of them generally
up near the Blackfeet and a part of them on Milk river and its tributaries.
They 
have been for years fighting the Sioux, mostly in self-defence; for the past
few 
years the Sioux encroach on their lands and annoy them almost constantly.
Nothing would please them better than to co-operate with Sully in giving
the 
Sioux the threshing they so richly deserve. This last remark would apply
to 
a large extent also to the Indians now at Berthold. We saw several of the
Blackfeet Indias, and L ar from various sources that they are still kindly
af- 
fected toward the government, as also whites in general. That feeling, I
doubt 
not, with an5 thing like proper treatment and care may be perpetuated. Agent
Upson I think is certainly doing all he can to correct evils and keep things
in 
proper shape. At present'the American Fur Company has (who went up with me)
a man by the name of Baker in charge of their post at Benton, who is evidently
suitable to live in the Indian cour try, one who as to character and conduct
can 
stay there without in every way degrading the Indians. 
Those directly down from Benton informed us that a town had been laid off
at Benton, and the prospect is that in a few months there will be some hundreds
of inhabitants settled there. The Indian business should, in that case, be
transz 
ferred to some other place, or the Indians will be exposed to all the corrupting
influence exerted generally on them by a frontier town. 
I am informed that the Gros Ventres and Piegans have settled their difficul-
ties, though those familiar with the matter fear there may yet be difficulties,
as 
things do not seem fully settled as they should be. As to the farm, I learn
that this year again, as it has evidently been every year before, it has
proved a 
failure; but on that subject you will receive a full account, if you have
not 
already, from Agent Upson. I was exceeditgly sorry I could not get up to
aid 
a little in selecting a new site for a farm, especially as the agent was
very anxious 
to have me. 
I was very glad to meet Agent Upson at Fort Union and enjoy his company 
up as far as we went. I am glad he is disposed to do what he can for the
Blackfeet, yet, so far as any real protection against ill-disposed whites
is con- 
cerned, it cannot be affbrded till military or civil power is felt sufficiently
to ex- 
ecute healthful restrictions. 
As to the goods I left at Fort Benton for the Gros Ventres some two years
since, and which I infbrmed you that I had learned last summer that Mr. Daw-
son, in charge of Fort Benton, had sent down to a post of his near Milk river
and distributed. This I stated to, or in presence of, Mr.Choteau in your
office, 
and he denied the whole matter, saying that the farmer on Sun river had hauled
them out there. It turns out now that my information was correct    Major
Upson says the papers are all duly signed and sent forward to your office,
and 
the presumption is that the whole affair is correct. 
I am exceedingly sorry to be obliged to say that the goods left at Fort Union
last summer--are there still. I learned from the La Barges last spring that
they 
were there loading government supplies to be carried by them to Fort Union,
they expecting to be up as soon as we were. After unloading they would ir-


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