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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1873
([1873])

[Green Bay agency],   pp. 176-178 PDF (1.5 MB)


Page 176

176       REPORT     OF COMMISSIONER, OF INDIAN         AFFAIRS. 
are better provided with moral and educational instrumentalities. Their educational
fund, as provided in the treaty of 1855, still remains unexhausted, and consequently
we are maintaining four schools among them; and furthermore they are almost
univer- 
sally Protestants in religion, and enjoy thebenefit of this type of Christianity
which has no 
fears of light and liberty. Not long since I spent a Sabbath with them, and
labored and 
worshipped with them in two different settlements. In one neighborhood there
was a 
respectable church well filled. In the orchestra was a choir of young singers
with a 
cabinet organ, played by one of the young Indians. Several pieces were sung,
and 
some were recited, all in the English language. With these natural and circumstantial
advantages, therefore, enjoyed by this tribe, they have outstripped the others
in prog- 
ress and civilization. 
THE CHIPPEWAS OF LAKE SUPERIOR. 
This tribe is located in the county of Houghton, on the upper peninsula of
Michigan 
Their reservation (three townships) is favorably located about L'Anse Bay,
and furnishes 
them excellent fisheries and farming land. Two schools are maintained, and
the Cath- 
olic and Methodist Churches each have a mission among them. The tribe numbers
about 
thirteen hundred, and still receives annuities in goods and money. The past
year has 
been one of marked material prosperity with them. 
POTTAWATOMIES OF HURON. 
This is but a small band of about 60 in number, located in Calhoun County
; receive 
$400 annuity money, and subsist by gardening and basket-making. 
AGENCY OFFICE. 
In the month of April last, by permission of the Hon. Secretary of the Interior,
the office of this agency was removed from the city of Detroit to the city
of Lansing, 
the capital of the State of Michigan, it being much more central and convenient
to the 
business of the agency. 
PROGRESS IN CIVILIZATION. 
The chief design of the Government in its policy toward the Indians being
their ele- 
vation from a state of barbarism to that of civilization, it is a matter
of profound inter- 
est as to whether or not the beneficent methods employed for this work are
succeeding. 
An intelligent comparison of the past and present condition of the Indians
of this 
State, covering the time of only one generation, reveals the fact that a
great advancement 
has been made. Now they almost universally wear the dress of citizens; they
live in 
houses; they discard poligamy; they engage in husbandry; some become mechanics;
manyof them become sailors; the younger ones speak in many instances the
English 
language. In religious matters Paganism and conjuring have been almost universally
abandoned, and the Christian religion adopted; and furthermore, for the amount
of labor 
expended upon them by the schools and churches in alanguage foreign to the
Indians, and 
after making a charitable allowance for the perversity of human nature, and
remembering 
the terrible temptations to evil thrown upon them by a class of unscrupulous
whites 
usually found in the neighborhood of the Indian settlements, I conclude that
there are 
no just grounds for complaint or hopelessness in the condition oftheIndians
of Michigan. 
It has been my endeavor to co-operate heartily [with the religious agencies
for the 
lifting of the Indians up into a state of intelligence, industry, and piety.
The rum traffic is the greatest source of difficulty and degradation. During
the past 
year its influence and effects have been uncommonly disastrous, owing to
the fact 
that new lines of railroads have brought the whites and Indians more generally
together. 
Then, too, in cases of prosecution under the United States law against selling
liquor 
to Indians, we have found it difficult to enforce the law on account of the
plea that, as 
the Indians had become citizens, they are entitled to no special claims to
protection. 
Respectfully, 
GEO. I. BETTS, 
United States Indian Agent. 
Hon. EDWARD P. SMITHr, 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington, D. C. 
\                   3: 
'UMITED STATES INDIAN AGENCY, 
Creen Bay, I'ri., September 30, 1873. 
DEAR  SIR: The annual report of this agency will be brief, as I have been
here only 
between two and three months, most of which time has been consumed in special
du- 
ties, and the last annual report of my predecessor was so full and complete
that little 
need be added except information contained in the table of statistics herewith
inclosed. 


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