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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1874
([1874])

[Nebraska],   pp. 199-211 PDF (6.1 MB)


Page 208

208 REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
them by many of the outside settlers, who say they cannot see why we do not
let them go, 
and by some of the inteyested border traders, who are ever ready to buy and
speculate on 
any property they offer for sale. In this situation, while they continue
friendly and com- 
mit no glaring offenses, they are excited, unsettled, and uneasy; hence are
much more diffi- 
cult to control, to conform to our usual regulations, and to keep their children
regularly at 
school. When this question of removal is fairly settled with them, so that
they may know 
what they may and what they may not do with absolute certainty from the highest
author- 
ity, I think that things will come right and work on as smoothly as ever.
Their present 
need for food, however, is very great. 
Many of the tribes Showed not only a willingness but an earnest desire to
work for a fair 
compensation, and had it not been for the dire calamity which has befallen
so many in this 
section of the State, I think, as the Indians here were making commendable
progress in the 
right direction, that the result of this initiatory movement would have proved
satisfactory to 
themselves and the Government. 
I have no report from day-school No. 2, as the teacher left before the close
of the year. 
The figures and statistics are collected on the circular herewith transmitted.
Respectfully, 
WM. BURGESS, 
United States Indian Agent. 
Hon. E. P. SMITH, 
Commissioner of Indian Afirs. 
SANTEE AGENCY, NEBRASKA, Ninthmonth 5, 1874. 
RESPECTED FRIEND: I herewith respectfully submit my fourth annual report.
I said in my last annual report that "I believed that each year marked
an advancement 
in the condition of these Indians."  This conditioij of affairs still
continues.  They are 
steadily improving in industrious habits, and manifest a desire to provide
for their wants, 
not only present but future. This is shown by the better tillage of their
ground and a de- 
sire to have more under cultivation each year. 
The health of the tribe is decidedly better. There have been fewer deaths
this summer 
than any previous summer since I have been here. Their farming this year,
although, as I 
said, has been on a more extended scale, will net them but little profit.
The wheat and 
oats, owing to the extreme drought during the forepart of the season, were
almost a total 
failure; after which there were seasonable rains for the other crops, and
they were looking 
well until the grasshopper-raid came, which devastated large portions of
several States. 
Our Indians, in common with others in this portion of the State, lost nearly
everything in 
the way of crops. They are really more destitute now-than at any time since
I have been 
here. What effect it may have upon their efforts another season I know not,
but they seem 
much discouraged now. 
The grist-mill was in operation until the 9th of Sixthmonth last, when a
severe rain-storm 
occurred, causing the creek to rise 10 or 15 feet in a few hours, carrying
the breast of the 
dam away. It has not been repaired since.  The saw-mill has been in operation,
not con- 
tinuously, but as much as our time and means would admit. 
During the latter part of Ninthmonth, 1873, the small-pox broke out among
our Indians, 
proving to be a very malignant type. In all there were about 150 cases treated,
about 70 
of which proved fatal. The balance of the tribe have been vaccinated. 
From some unknown cause the agency barn and -hay-stacks took fire and were
a total 
loss. This occurred on the 11th of Tenthmonth, 1873. We were compelled to
purchase 
hay to keep the agency stock through the winter. By the aid of the saw-mill
and agency 
carpenter we succeeded in erecting a large and substantial barn before cold
weather set in. 
The manual-labor school opened near the 1st of Fourthmonth, 1874, and has
been in op- 
eration since. The children manifest a commendable interest, both in their
studies and 
work. The boys have devoted their working-hours to the cultivation of a large
garden for 
the benefit of the school. The girls, aside from  their studies, have been
engaged in the 
kitchen, laundry, and sewing-room. Their conduct has been commendable and
progress 
satisfactory, and will compare favorably with the same number of white children.
Last Fiftbmonth a young woman came unto the agency-salary and expenses paid
by 
Genesee Friends-for the purpose of instructing the Indian women in household
duties. 
Her efforts so far have been satisfactory. In connection with her other duties
she has been 
instructing them in the art of soap-making. They take to it readily, so far
as they can 
procure the material (grease) to make it with. 
The missionary schools have been in successful operation. The accompanying
report of 
A. L. Riggs will give the details of his school. There will be no report
from the Episcopal 
school, for the reason that S. D. Hinman is absent at this time. I collected,
however, some 
statistics from his principal teacher, which will be embraced in the accompanying
statisti- 
cal report. 
The carpenter's report will give a detailed account of improvements completed
during the 
year.                                                                   
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