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

[Chippewa agency],   pp. 178-182 PDF (2.4 MB)


Page 178

178       REPORT     OF COMMISSIONER       OF INDIAN     AFFAIRS. 
year they have cultivated considerable more land than ever before, made fifty
tons of 
maple-sugar, cut 5.50 tons of lay on their marshes, and done a large part
of the work 
of cutting and putting into the river 2,500,000 feet of pine timber, besides
working some 
in other lumber-camps. 
The productions of the farm have been 200 bushels of potatoes, 12 tons of
hay, and 
450 bushels of oats. At the mill 7,280 bushels of grain have been ground,
and 217,200 
feet of lumber sawed. The blacksmith reports that he has shod 169.horses
and 39 oxen; 
repaired 65 wagons, 93 guns, 27 traps, 5 stoves, 9 axes, 11 bells, 79 sleds,
84 grub-hoes, 
17 pitchforks, and 13 plows; mended 59 chains; made 53 stove-rods, 140 spears,
31 
clevises, 27 hinges, 31 knives, 78 needles, 73 chain-hooks, 15 wedges, 15
clasps and 
staples, 14 pan-handles, 10 cant-hooks, 8 swamp-hooks, 107 cold sheets, 18
sap-gauges, 
39 rakes, 106 trammel-chains, 9 shovels, 3 trowels, 8 sled-raves, 11 drag-teeth,
and 75 
heel-wedges; ironed 26whiffietrees, 11 neck-yokes, 19 sleds) 12 cutters,
13 wagon-tongues, 
7 wagon-boxes, and.5 ox-yokes; and baled 10 kettles. 
The school of Alex. Grignon has been continued without much encouragement
for its 
teacher or the friends of the Indian. The school at Keshena having but few
pupils, a 
school-building and a dwelling-house for teachers were built in the hard-wood
timber- 
land where many of the tribe had settled. Since January last Mr. and Mrs.
J. W. 
Stryker have been teaching the few pupils they could induce to attend, sometimes
forty and sometimes two. The boys prefer playing ball outside of the school-house
to 
studying inside, and Mr. Stryker's unusual enthusiasm has failed to excite
in them any 
great desire for learning. Scarcely any in this tribe, except some of the
young men, 
talk English, which makes the labor of study, as well as of instruction,
tedious. They 
can learn, however, if they try. One lad in five months learned to read intelligibly
in 
the second reader. A system of compulsory education seems to be needed. I
hope the 
way will soon be clear for the establishment of a boarding-school. I have
talked with 
the chiefs about it, and they appear to be in favor of using some of their
pine money 
for this purpose. 
The only purely religious work among them has been done by the Romanists,
who 
now have a priest at Keshena. 
My predecessof cut about 2,500,000 feet of pine logs last winter, and although
he 
labored under disadvantages, because of his employing Indians, of his limited
expe- 
rience in lumbering, and of opposition from unfriendly outsiders, and although
the price 
of logs is unusually low this season, yet he cleared for the tribe much more
than the 
same class of timber has sold at on the stump. 
The pine of the Meuomonees would yield about a million dollars if it could
be dis- 
posed of at its real value. If the interest of such a sum could be used for
educational 
and agricultural purposes, the work of their civilization could be pushed
rapidly for- 
ward. 
I must add a word upon the threadbare subject of intemperance among the Indians.
Every Saturday gallons of the vilest stuff are swallowed by these people.
Some sellers 
have been punished, but the business is still brisk. I have been here long
enough to 
see the evil, but hardly dare venture suggestions as to its remedy. I do
hope, how- 
ever, that the Department will give agents full opportunity to try expedients,
and will 
be liberal in the use of funds that are available for this object. 
Very respectfully, 
THOS. N. CHASE, 
United State8 Indian Agent. 
Hon. E. P. SMITH, 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs. 
4. 
WHITE EARTH, December 1, 1873. 
SIR: I have the honor to submit herewith my annual report. 
My commission bears date May 17, 1873. From my monthly report, and from letters
official relating to the Otter Tails, Gull Lake, and Pembina bands of Indians,
may be 
obtained a more minute description of their.condition and of my labors than
would 
be allowed in this document, and to such papers I would respectfully refer
you. 
During this year that portion of the agency known as Red Lake has been con-
stituted a separate department, and the funds belonging thereto have, in
accordance 
with your order, been placed to the credit of the special agent in charge
at that 
point. 
With this exception no changes of importance have been made in the general
fea- 
tures of this charge. In the absence of a regularly appointed agent the general
man- 
agement of affairs became necessarily somewhat deranged; and this fact, together
with the revival of the spirit of industry and self-improvement, have made
my labors 
exceedingly onerous, and prevented me from beginning the annual distribution
of 


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