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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1883
([1883])

Report of the commissioner of Indian affairs,   pp. III-LXXI ff. PDF (28.2 MB)


Page XXVIII

XXVIII REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
to in the act of January 18, 1881, would just so far frustrate the main 
object of the act; for, notwithstanding any promises they may make, 
I am persuaded they will not use it to enter the land they have selected,
nor te improve it, nor for any good purpose, nor will their wants be in 
any sense permanently relieved thereby. Section 2 of the act above 
referred to reads that the Department, on completion of the census, is 
authorized to "'expend for their benefit"11 certain sums therein
stated; 
and, farther on, the saine section also reads that "all of said sums
[meaning those just above noted] shall be paid pro rata to those per- 
sons whose names appear upon the census roll," &c. I have therefore
decided to make this payment in three installments, the second payment 
not to be made until it is demonstrated that the first has been judi- 
ciously expended, as contemplated in the act. 
A question which should be considered in connection with annuity 
payments is the ruling of the Treasury Department, based on section 
3651 of the Revised Statutes, which ruling is to the effect that Indian 
agents are prohibited from procuring the necessary currency and small 
change required in making almost all annuity payments by paying a 
reasonable exchange to some banking institution nearer to the agenoy 
than the authorized United States depository where the funds may be 
placed to the agent's credit. This often necessitates a long journey by 
the agent, accompanied by an escort, an unnecessary expense, risk, and 
delay, and requires the agent's absence from the agency, where his 
presence is always needed. Although the letter of the law may call 
for this ruling, I do not believe the act was intended by Congress to so
apply, nor, in my opinion, is such application for the best interests of
the service. 
PUICHASE, INSPECTION, AND SHIPMENT OF GOODS AND SUPPLIES. 
Bids for furnishing goods and supplies for the Indian service were 
opened in New York on the 23d of April last. Three hundred and fifty- 
two bids were received at the opening in New York, and at the opening 
at San Francisco, on the 18th of July, twenty-four bids were received, 
making a total of three hundred and seventy-six sealed bids for supply- 
ing articles for the Indian service. One hundred and eighty-one con- 
tracts were awarded, and were made out in quadruplicate, and each 
one accompanied with a bond. The awards in New York were made 
by me with the assistance of the Board of Indian Commissioners and 
Mr. G. M. Lockwood, chief clerk of the Department, representing the 
Department, after the samples offered with the bids had been exam- 
ined by inspectors appointed for that purpose. The numbcr of articles 
required to supply the Indian service are nearly 1,500, and are divided,
exclusive of subsistence stores, such as beef, flour, sugar, coffee, &c.,
and exclusive of medicines and school-books, into fifteen classes, as fol-
lows- 1st, blankets; 2d, woolen goods; 3d, cotton goods; 4th, cloth- 
ing; 5th, boots and shoes; 6th, hats and caps; 7th, notions; 8th, gro- 


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