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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 237

REPORT     OF  THE   COMMISSIONER       OF INDIAN     AFFAIRS.     237 
except in one or two of the bands. It is as follows, to wit: Caddoes, 521
; Wichitas, 300; 
Wacoes, 140; Tawacanies, 125; Keechies, 106; Penetethka Comanches, 345; Pawnees,
360 ; total, 1,897. 
The Caddoes, Ionies, and Delawares, who have heretofore been living as separate
bands, 
met together in council and were pretty fully united in the desire to be
affiliated as one band, 
or rather that the Delawares and Ionies should be joined to the Caddoes under
one chief. 
As the Delaware and Ionie bands were quite small, the necessity of separate
bands, with a 
chief for each, appeared undesirable, and by uniting with the Caddoes, with
whom they had 
mingled harmoniously for some years, it was thought they could be of more
service to each 
other in some of their internal arrangements, and that they would thus be
strengthened in 
governing and protecting their people. This will not interfere with the present
disposition 
and policy of the Indians for having their separate families and homes, which
is an encour. 
aging feature of our labors, but the system of living separately, which is
working so success- 
fully, will be continued as heretofore. Some of the Delawares who have had
a small set 
tlement about twenty miles south of the Wichita agency, on the Kiowa and
Comanche 
reservation, were a little unsettled in the early part of winter, owing to
a prospect of their 
removal to the Washita, nearer to their own agency. They were very willing
to move as 
soon as they could have things ready, such as houses. built and land prepared
for crops, but 
there not being sufficient time to make these preparations, it was thought
best for them to 
remain where they are for another year and cultivate the land they had fenced
and formed 
previously. 
The Caddoes have done well, and extended their places by enlarging their
fields and 
making other improvements. Some of them have opened new homes, having built
houses, 
fenced in land, and done other work for their comfort and advancement in
civilized pursuits. 
They had about 200 rods of the fence which inclosed their large field burned
during the 
winter from a prairie fire, which they allege was caused by the grass taking
fire from the 
coals that had been left by the surveying party, who were camped near by,
when they broke 
camp and left. They claimed that the surveyors ought to make it good; but
not being en- 
couraged that they could get it rebuilt by the surveyors, particularly as
the evidence was 
imperfect, they went to work, cut and split rails, hauled them, and with
a little assistance in 
laying the worm of the fence and perhaps some other work by one man, they
rebuilt the 
fence in time for planting. 
The Wichitas. Wacoes, and Tawacanies have also been more industrious than
heretofore, 
and they and the Pawnees have cultivated, with a little assistance and encouragement,
over 
100 acres of land in the usual way of farming by civilized farmers, besides
nearly as much 
more on the Indian plan of cultivating with the hoe. 
The Keechies, too, have done as well as could be expected, and they have
cultivated corn, 
melons, and garden vegetables with a good deal of energy and some success.
Had it not 
been for the dry and exceedingly hot weather, of which mention will be made
hereafter, all 
these Indians would have had abundant crops. 
The Penetethka Comanches planted corn, melons, &c., in a field that bad
been fenced for 
them, but they have not shown the same interest in their work as the other
bands have done, 
and yet I cannot but hope that there has been some improvement for the better,
at least with 
part of these Indians. 
During last autumn the Kickapoo Indians, in number about 300, on their way
from 
Mexico to a home in the Indian Territory, camped temporarily on the Washita
River, in 
proximity to the Wichita agency, and were fed from the Government commissary
there as 
far as the limited supply of provisions at the agency would admit. They left
there for their 
new agency early in the spring. 
In the winter ever 300 Pawnees came from their own agency in Nebraska to
settle with 
the Wichitas, having left Nebraska against the remonstrance of the superintendent
of the 
Northern Superintendency and of their agent. There being some circumstances
connected 
with them that rendered it difficult to send them back to their own agency,
and perhaps some 
prospect of removing all the Pawnee tribe to the Indian Territory, they were,
by instructions 
received from the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, allowed to remain and receive
rations the 
same as the other Indians of the affiliated bands. 
At the manual-labor school an orchard of nearly 500 trees was planted early
in the spring, 
and there were also planted grape vines blackberry and raspberry plants,
rhubarb, and other 
things which are so desirable at such an institution. The trees were carefully
selected from 
a nursery in Kansas, and embraced fruit of the best varieties of apples,
cherries, pears, and 
peaches for summer, fall, and winter use. The garden was well attended to
under the care 
of an efficient gardener, assisted by the pupils, and produced a flue supply
of some kinds of 
vegetables in the early part of the season; but the potatoes and a few other
plants were de- 
stroyed by the tobacco-worm, which appeared in such numbers that the things
they would 
feed upon were destroyed. A considerable quantity of garden-seeds being delayed
in trans- 
portation till the season for planting was far ailvanced, was also against
there being as large 
a supply of some kinds of vegetables as was desirable. Seeds for an osage-hedge
were sown 
around the garden and orchard, but owing to the drought the planting was
a failure. 
During spring and the fore part of summer the season was favorable for most
kinds of crops, 
and we were looking forward to autumn for an abundant reward, but during
the seventh 


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