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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 209

REPORT     OF THE    COMMISSIONER       OF INDIAN     AFFAIRS.      209 
I said that the grasshopper-raid had left our Indians more destitute than
they had been 
at any time since I have been here. This, however, applies only to the loss
of their crops. 
Their houses, fencing, and breaking, their cattle, wagons, farminig-implements,
and, better 
than all, their acquired habits of industry are still left them as capital
to renew their efforts 
another season. 
The farmer in his report refers to the difficulty in getting the able-bodied
Indians to work 
for their rations They are all very willing to work as long as they are allowed
to work for 
the improvement of their own individual allotments; but when asked to do
general Gov- 
ernment work, for which they have been accustomed to receive pay, they do
not so readily 
respond, although several have expressed a willingness, providing others
would join them. 
I am hopeful that they will all soon come into the measure. The thing is
so new to them- 
and they are by nature suspicious-that they wish to be well assured first
that the agent is 
not appropriating the money for other purposes which was intended to pay
them for work. 
I wish to call your attention more particularly to the manual-labor school.
The present 
appropriation, $:3,000, is inadequate to support the school and pay the teachers.
Now, our 
experience with the school thus far gives promise that it will be of the
greatest benefit to 
these Indians, and when we take into consideration that this tribe is the
most advanced 
of all the Sioux tribes, and the important influence they exert over the
other tribes of less 
civilized Sioux, it will appear evident that money expended here for educational
purposes 
will eventually exert a civilizing influence on all the wilder tribes of
Sioux. I would there- 
fore respectfully ask your special consideration of this subject, believing
as I do that money 
thus spent will produce the most beneficial and enduring results. 
Very respectfully, thy friend, 
JOSEPH WEBSTER, 
United States Indian Agent. 
Hon. E. P. SMITH, 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington, D. C. 
WINNEBAGO AGENCY, 
Dakota County, Nebraska, Ninthmonth 10, 1874. 
RESPECTED FRIEND: In presenting this, my first annual report of the Winnebago
In-- 
dians and the affairs at their agency, it affords me much pleasure to be
able to state that 
great progress has been made by the tribe during the past year toward civilization
and self-- 
support. This is shown by an increased desire on the part of the Indians
for more improve- 
ment upon their farms and the increase in acreage planted. Upon taking charge
here I 
found the tribe had been nearly one month without an agent, Howard White
having been 
relieved on the 1st of Ninthmonth last.  The affairs of the agency were in
the care of 
the trader, who turned over to me all papers and property belonging thereto,
and gave me- 
such information as was in his possession in regard to the business and workings
of the 
tribe. A large building was almost finished for an industrial school, which
has since been 
completed; but no cellar having been made under the building, an addition
is now being 
added for cellar, laundry, work-rooms for the children, and other necessary
conveniences. 
It is the intention to have the addition to the main building completed by
theI 1st of Tenth- 
month next, when the whole will be ready for occupancy. The industrial school
is calculated 
to accommodate eighty pupils, forty of each sex. The employds of the school
are a super- 
intendent, matron and nurse, teacher, farmer, seamstress, cook, and laundress.
Of these 
employes all but the laundress have been secured, There have been cultivated
this year 
for the support of the institution 25 acres of wheat, 13 of oats, and 15
of corn. For a more 
extended report of the school see Superintendent Clark's, accompanying this.
AGRICULTURAL. 
Upon assuming control at this agency, I was much gratified to learn that
a large crop of 
wheat had been harvested, and was in stack ready for the thrasher. An excellent
machine 
having been purchased by the former agent, I employed a competent white man
to superin-- 
tend the thrashing. The wheat measured 7,009 bushels, and oats, 250 bushels.
The corn 
and vegetable crops of last year were almost an entire failure, owing to
the devastation of 
the grasshoppers. A large crop of hay was secured in good season, all done
by Indian 
labor, under the direction of the farmer. This year a much larger breadth
of land has been 
sown and harvested, and the estimated yield is as follows: Wheat, 5,500 bushels;
corn, 
12,000 bushels; oats, 2,000 bushels; potatoes, 1,000 bushels; beans, 500
bushels. It will 
be seen by the above that though there was a larger breadth of land cultivated
this year 
than ever before, yet the wheat is estimated at less than last year's crop.
This was caused 
by the severe drought which prevailed throughout the West during the ripening
of the grain, 
and prevented a proper maturing of the berry. A much greater portion of land
has been 
cultivated by individual Indian labor this year than heretofore. But :35
acres remained for 
wheat, and the same amount for corn and oats, to be cultivated by the Department,
when 
last year there were 300 acres, showing an encouraging increase in individual
industry in 
that direction. Seed whieat, corn, oats, potatoes, beans, and a general assortment
of garden. 
14 IND 


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