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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 Utah,   pp. 137-141 PDF (2.3 MB)


Page 140

140                 REPORTS OF AGENTS IN          UTAH. 
large part of it. They are sufficient to meet the present needs of the agency
with 
the exception of a school-house. They are in good repair. Most of them are
framed, 
though a few of the older buildings are made of logs. 
The Indians on this reservation now number 965 Uintah and White River Utes-
nearly half and half. I find that it would be more satisfactory to the Indians
and 
save the agent much trouble if these two tribes could be consolidated. The
White 
River Utes receive more subsistence supplies and more annuity goods than
the 
Uintahs. These two tribes come to the same agency and are treated differently
in the 
presence of each other. The system as it is now conducted is calculated to
cause 
jealousy between the tribes, and ultimately result in serious trouble. The
chiefs of 
both tribes wish to be consolidated. I confidently hope it will be done as
soon as 
possible. 
Notwithstanding the friction resulting from this cause, I find that many
of the 
White River Utes who are reported never to have done any farming before this
year 
have followed the example of the more thrifty Uintahs and cultivated small
patches 
of land here and there. This shows the disposition of the White Rivers, though
no 
material results will be derived from many of their small farms this year.
Most of the Indians live in their "wickiups" and cook their food
in the most primi- 
tive ways. Cooking-stoves have been issued to some of them, but after a short
time 
they abandon them and return to their camp-fires. The majority of the Indians
dress 
in leggings and blankets. My statistical report will show that only 23 of
the tribe 
dress wholly in citizens' clothes and 31 in part. The Indians cannot make
any de- 
decided advancement as long as they use one hand to hold theirblanket around
them 
while they are trying to work with the other. As a class they are indolent
and poor, 
and do not look out for their future wants. They are very friendly to the
whites at 
the agency, and are disposed to consult the wishes of the agent in all matters
pertain- 
ing to their welfare. 
They have under cultivation 223 acres of land planted to oats, wheat, corn,
and po- 
tatoes. My farmer who is now harvesting their crops reports that they will
have an 
excellent yield of oats, wheat, and potatoes, but that the corn crop will
not mature. 
The seasons are too short for maturing corn. We estimate that their wheat
crop will 
round up to 2,300 bushels, oats to 1,710, and potatoes to 900 bushels. Besides
this 
they have built 3,647 rods of good fence during the past  year, inclosing
their small 
farms and pastures. The farmer superintended nearly all their agricultural
works, 
and is pleased at the combined results of the efforts of the Indians and
himself. 
In the matter of stock raising the Indians have a decided preference to ponies
over 
cattle. Four or five Indians of the Uintah tribe own nearly all the Indian
cattle on 
this reserve. Their influence among the tribes is measured by the number
of ponies 
they possess, and as long as this custom obtains among them they will raise
ponies in 
preference to cattle. Nor are their ponies as good as they might be. They
train the 
best for racers and riders, and leave the smaller and poorer ones for stock
horses. The 
result is that not one in twenty are fit for work horses. 
I am not able to give a full report of the school. My statistical report
shows that 
the average attendance during the eight months of school of last year was
17 pupils. 
Perhaps this small number is due to the fact that there is no suitable school
building 
here. I confidently hope that a new school building will be erected here
as soon as 
possible. My teacher reports that the pupils who attended school during the
last 
year made decided improvement. He says that while the Indian pupils are not
as 
bright as white children, they possess a very fair degree of intelligence.
The school, 
heretofore under the control of the Presbyterian Board, during the past year,
has been 
conducted exclusively by the Department.   The school employgs consisted
of a 
teacher, matron, and a cook. Rations have been furnished from the commissary
for 
the Indian pupils. The cost of each pupil during the past year has been $105.74.
Much prejudice exists among the older men, and especially among the medicine
men, 
against the children attending school. Whenever the older men do consent
to allow 
the children to attend school they consider that they have conferred a special
favor 
upon the agent and the teacher. The younger men, who are brought more in
contact 
with the whites in the settlements in the vicinity of the reservation than
the more 
conservative old men who stay at home, see the advantages which the white
people 
have from their schools, and consequently urge their children to attend the
agency 
school. I cannot help thinking that the prospects for the school this year
are better 
than they ever were before. 
The pelice force at this agency numbers seven in all-one officer and six
privates. 
They are very efficient in quieting little quarrels among the Indians. Their
presence 
is always a guarantee of good order. 
On the evening of the 19th of July the Chinaman cook was assaulted by two
white 
men who demanded his money, and on refusing was brutally beaten over the
head. 
The Chinaman succeeded in arousing some of the employds to come to his assistance
and the robbers made off. The Indian police were summoned as soon as possible
and put upon their trail. They followed the trail of the robbers about 12
miles by 


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