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

Reports of agents in California,   pp. 10-20 PDF (5.4 MB)


Page 11

REPORTS OF AGENTS IN         CALIFORNIA.                  11 
the cause of their abandoning ordinary forethought, economy, and provision.
It has 
furthermore caused them to imagine and believe themselves absolved and relieved
from all care or anxiety as to the welfare and support of their families.
In short, 
the Government charities have come to be regarded by these Indians as their
unques- 
tionable rights and legitimate allowances. It is not strange, therefore,
that many 
of them have degenerated into a condition of arrogant, importunate, and persistent
mendicancy. Some of them, whilst expecting Government aid and assistance,
never- 
theless refuse to work for the reservation unless paid regular wages in money.
Even 
during my brief administration it has several times been found difficult
to get suffi- 
cient Indians to do the necessary work on the reservation, and it was found
necessary 
in consequence to inform the Indians that those who did not work either for
the res- 
ervation or for themselves need not expect to receive any assistance of any
character 
from the, Government. 
Very few of these Indians can be induced to undertake the occupancy and cultiva-
tion of land for themselves. Their garden patches, though numerous, are on
a scale 
of total insignificance when compared with the wants of the cultivators.
In fact their 
cultivation seems to be regarded as a pastime and as a concession to the
wishes of 
the agent rather than as a means of contributing to their self-support. Owing
to their 
unsteadiness and aversion to steady work the success of their gardens depends
ahost 
altogether upon chance and nature. After the plowing is (lone the rest of
the work 
is left to the squaws. Even on these small garden patches the agency is asked
to do 
the plowing, although the Indians may and do have horses of their own. 
For this valley, as the home of their fathers, they exhibit no attachment.
It is 
merely a good place for them and their families to loaf in when other localities
are un- 
available or undesirable. Some of them believe or at least assert that their
condition 
would be preferable if the lands on this reservation were once more in the
hands of citi- 
zens for whom they, the Indians, could work for regular wages. I have called
their 
attention to the present predicament of the KIamaths on the Klamath River
Reserva- 
tion, how they are now petitioning the Government for lands for themselves
before the 
abandonment of their reservation. I have endeavored to impress upon these
Hoopa In- 
dians that the Government would eventually become tired and disgusted with
sup- 
porting a reservation where the Indians were too lazy, thriftless, or careless
to take 
advantage of its benefits. I have endeavored on all occasions to explain
to them the 
objects and purposes which the Government has in view in establishing reservations,
that it is not done for the purpose of supporting a lot of Indians in idleness
and laziness, 
but that the object is to show them how to be self-sustaining in a civilized
fashion. 
I have shown them that there was great probability that the Government might
after 
a while leave them to their own unassisted resources as the Klamath Indians
have 
been left for years, and that, when that time came, they, the Hoopas, could
not claim 
as their own one foot of the reservation except what they were actually occupying
and cultivating. I have advised them to select some piece of land of proper
size for 
occupancy and cultivation with the view of their self-support, and that I
would en- 
deavor to have the land so selected, set hpart for and guaranteed legally
to the occu- 
pant. But precept and example are alike unavailing. The garden patches under
cul- 
tivation nay indeed hive increased in number, but, for the reasons already
given, this 
increase furnishes no indication of the determination of the Indians to be
self-sup- 
porting. It is more likely to be a sort of concession to my oft expressed
wishes. In 
other respects I am afraid that either the Indians do not believe my statements
as to 
the future in store for theni, or that they think that sufficient unto the
day is the evil 
thereof. 
A striking commentary upon what this reservation has done for these Hoopa
Indains 
is afforded by contrasting their position of to-day with that of their Klamath
brethren. 
The original status of the two tribes as regarded civilization was not dissimilar.
The 
Klamaths have been left to their own resources for about the same length
of time 
this reservation has been in existence. The Klamaths are now self-supporting
and 
self-reliant, neither asking nor expecting from the Government anything but
justice 
and humanity. The Hoopas, on the other hand, expect to receive from the Govern-
ment almost everything necessary for their comfort, subsistence, and welfare,
their 
expectations being bounded only by the understood limits to the Government's
gener- 
osity, for which many of them are disinclined to render any equivalent or
make any 
return. Notwithstanding the aid and assistance the Hoopas have received they
have, 
as regards mental, moral, and physical condition, no advantage over the unassisted
Klamaths, whilst in many elements of character, such as self-respect and
self-reliance, 
the Klamaths are infinitely superior. 
The morals ot the Hoopas are very lax and indifferent. Their honesty seems
to be 
more a matter of policy than of conscience. In dealing with the whites they
are 
generally up to the prevailing standard, but in dealings with one another,
where the 
consequences of fraud and dishonesty are not so much dreaded, they are apt
to be less 
scrupulous. In their sexual relations morality, according to our standards,
is frequently 
disregarded. Adult females are sold by the male relatives, whose property
they are, 


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