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

[Indian Territory],   pp. 218-238 PDF (10.2 MB)


Page 221

REPORT     OF  THE   COMMISSIONER       OF INDIAN     AFFAIRS.     221 
their way in they met General Davidson at the Wichita agency, and, complying
with the ar- 
rangements, came over with his command to the agency. 
On the 21st of August General Davidson, in command of four companie3 of cavalry,
went 
over to the Wichita agency to look after some Noconie Comanches who, he had
been in - 
formed, had come into that agency. Arriving there ol the morning of the 22d,
he found them 
encamped with the Penetethcas near the commissary, consisting of near sixty
lodges, with 
Red Food and Black Duck, two Tenemera chiefs, and about twenty men, the balance
being 
women and children, General Davidson having notified the chiefs the terms
on which they 
could remain in, viz., the surrender of their arms, to which they had agreed
and were com- 
plying to an officer who with a guard had been detailed for that purpose.
Some guns and 
pistols having been given up, a parley arose about the bows and arrows, which
was referred 
to General Davidson. While the messenger was gone, Red Food, giving a whoop,
started to 
run away, and was fired upon by the guard. A number of Kiowas, with Lone
Wolf at the 
head, were near the commissary, and opened fire on the troops, when the firing
soon became 
very general Being the day for issue of rations, almost all the Indians of
that agency and 
many from this were there; it is a wonder more accidents did not happen than
did, the Cad- 
does, Wichitas, Pawnees, Delawares, and other friendly Indians being involved.
The reports 
spread rapidly that they had been fired upon and were being killed. Runners
went out to 
all the surrounding camps. The Kiowas and Comanches of this agency became
involved in 
the excitement, and, breaking camp in great haste, fled in many directions,
some to the 
plains, some to places of greater safety, while some went over to take part
in the fight, which 
was kept up till late in the evening, and renewed on the morning of the 23d
by an attempt 
to take the agency buildings, which was unsuccessful, the Indians being driven
back. 
The casualties of the fight as reported by the military were, three soldiers
wounded, Inter- 
preter Jones's horse shot under hini; number of Indians killed, not known.
Four citizens 
were known to have been killed during the first day's fight, and were buried
on the night of 
the 23d ; two or three more were missing. The Indians only acknowledge two
killed, one a 
Yamparethca man, the other an old Noconie woman whom they represent as being
blind, a 
few wounded, one Penetethca in the face, one in the leg, and a Caddoe woman
in the 
body. A part of the Kiowas who were there and became engaged in the fight
had been 
enrolled at this agency, but left the camp designated for that class and
went over to the 
Wichita without permission ; had been there several days, most of the time
on a drunken 
spree; were said to have been drunk on the day the fight took place. After
the fight a 
part of the Comanches who had fled from their camps through fear, reported
to General 
Davidson, and were assured by him that no harm was intended them. On his
return to this 
post he brought them with him to the agency, close to which they are now
encamped. 
All the Apaches, except the Essaquetas, who are reported as having gone to
Mexico, and 
nine Kiowa chiefs, with parts of their bands, are also encamped near the
agency. A number 
more who were registered of those who fled from camp through fright, as before
referred to, 
are expected to come in and join them. 
The Apaches have conducted themselves very satisfactorily during the year;
many of them 
were anxious for fields in the spring, but, owing to the scarcity of funds
and a wet spring, 
making it late for farming, I was not able to do much for them. I enlarged
the field made 
for John last year, the Essaquetas joining him in its cultivation this season
; also had a field 
made for Black Hawk, an Apache chief, who went into the work himself, helping
to plant 
and afterward to cultivate it. The unsettled condition of affairs, together
with the reasons 
before gi  en, prevented any more being done for them. I am satisfied many
of the Apaches 
with proper encouragement will become an agricultural people. 
The Penetethcas, including Asa-to-et, Ka-ha-va-wa, and Straight Feather,
united in a 
field. I bad the corn planted for them ; they cultivated it themselves. Next
year they say 
they will understand it well enough to do it themselves. The troubles co'ning
on this year 
prevented them from having any benefit from their crops. I also had a field
planted for 
Qnerts-Quip, Iron Mountain, and One-we-ah. Also one for Mauxie, a Mexican
Comanche, 
who was in much earnest in his desire to settle down ; he worked with a willing
hand in 
putting in the grain and seeds, and cultivated it himself, and had a very
encouraging pros- 
pect. I sent him as a messenger to the camps on the plains ; while absent
his own and the 
Apache ponies destroyed it, but he does not feel like giving up; says he
wants to renew his 
efforts next spring. I regard him as worthy, and believe he will succeed
with a little assist- 
ance. There are a number among the Comanches who may make agriculturists.
I think, 
however, the majority of them, like the Kiowas, are better adapted to the
business of stock- 
raising than farmers, and may ultimately become interested in that lihe.
They now have 
large herds of ponies which, if exchanged at a fair price into stock-cattle,
sheep, or goats, 
would soon make them a rich people; the handling and marketing of which would
have a 
civilizing influence upon them. Their reservation is better adapted to stock-raising
than 
agriculture, the long continued droughts making crops very uncertain. For
those who in- 
cline to farm, localities might be selected where irrigation could be resorted
to and some 
system adopted whereby they might be paid a compensation in money and goods
for their 
labor, which would encourage and stimulate them to work, and each year would
add to their 
number, and ultimately large numbers of them become self-sustaining laborers.
Should 
such a system be adopted, shops for the manufacture of wagons and such implements
as 


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