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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 230

230 REPORT OF THE COM.MISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
we had, and we thought it best to let it lie as fallow, to be sown in wheat
this fall. Ten 
acres have been planted in orchard and small fruit on this farm for the use
of the mission. 
The progress of the children in their studies has been very gratifying; as
good, as a gen- 
eral thing, as that of white children, taking into consideration that with
most of them they 
have to acquire a strange language as well as their literary attainments.
I consider it essen- 
tial to the civilization of the Indian that the schools should be well sustained,
and that it is 
false economy to impair their usefulness for lack of money to sustain them,
as no govern- 
ment can afford to keep any portion of its people in ignorance, for ignorance
and idleness 
beget vice and crime. Where tribes have sufficient school-funds, they should
be used to its 
fullest extent for their literary and industrial education; and in cases
where they have no 
funds, it will be, in the end, a saving to the Government if it would make
ample appropria- 
tions for this object. The sooner they aye educated and prepared for citizenship,
the sooner, 
the expense will cease. 
The Modocs, 152 in number, were turned over to me by Special Commissioner
Capt. M. 
C. Wilkinson, on the 22d of November last. In accordance with instructions
I proceeded 
to subyist and care for them, having placed them in camp near the agency.
There being 
no funds applicable, I had nothing to start them to farming with, so I was
compelled to 
have them make their first experiment at farming under very disadvantageous
circum- 
stances. I had about 20 acres of the agency-farm plowed, which they planted
in corn, 
potatoes, melons, and garden-vegetables. This they attended chiefly with
the hoe. They 
were very much interested in watching the growth and progress of their growing
crops. 
Although they worked well and attended their crops well, circumstances over
which we had 
no control have caused (with the exception of early vegetables) a failure.
We very much 
regret the failure of the potatoes, of which they had about four acres, as
they are very fond 
of them, and the scarcity and high lrice will prevent their having any. Arrangements
are 
about being perfected for their permanent location, where I hope to be able
to furnish mate- 
rial for them to work with another season. They appear willing, and I believe,
with proper 
care, if they can be furnished with material to work with, and have some
assistance and 
instruction in opening farms, [will] soon become self-supporting. 
In conclusion I will say, the condition of our Indians is steadily improving,
and would 
here suggest the propriety of paying out their invested fund, with, perhaps,
a sufficient 
amount to be retained for educational purposes. Pay it out per capita to
those over twenty 
years of age, retaining the portions of minors until such time as they become
of age. Many 
of them depend too much upon their annuity, and will not work while they
can eke out a 
miserable existence in that way. There is no better or surer way to develop
persons than 
to throw them on their own resources and teach them to depend upon their
own exertions 
for sustenance. I know some will squander their money; but in the end it
will prove a 
blessing. 
We have, in addition to the schools already enumerated, had five Sabbath-schools
in oper- 
ation during the greater part of the year-one at each of the missions, one
among the Con- 
federated Peorias, &c., and one at the agency, for the benefit of the
Modocs and others that 
may feel like attending. All are well attended, and, we hope, accomplishing
much good. 
Quite a number of the adult Modocs, who did not know one letter from another
when they 
came h re, are now reading in the New Testament. 
Very especttully,                                 H. W. JONES, 
United States Indian Agent. 
Sac and Fox Agency, Indian Territory. 
E. P. SMITH, 
Commissiorer Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C.: 
The following is my second annual report of the Indians within my jumisdiction:
The population of the Sacs and Foxes, including those in Kansas, is supposed
to be about 
700; of the Absentee Shawnees, 195 men, 218 women, 275 children; of the Kickapoos
who 
have arrived here, 80 men, 120 women, and 95 children. 
The Sacs and Foxes, although blanket Indians, are entitled to their reputation
for integrity 
and peaceable habits. During my stay with them I have heard none of them
accused of 
theft or intemperance. 
The Absentee Shawnees are industrious and self-supporting. The Kickapoos,
formerly 
inhabiting the border of Texas, are now in this agency, on the North Fork
of the Canadian 
River. They have grown some corn and vegetables this season. I know but little
of their 
habits. 
RESOURCES. 
The soil of this agency, both on North and Deep Forks, except a small amount
of bottom- 
land, is not susceptible of producing grain, and must be used for grazing
purposes; there- 
fore the Indians receive all the assistance I can give them to increase their
herds of cattle 
and horses. That they may have the advantage of the grazing, they live as
remote from 
one another as circumstances will pet mit. 


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