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

[Santee agency],   pp. 188-189 PDF (914.9 KB)


Page 188

188    REPORT OF COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
CONCLUDING REMARKS. 
My observation and experience during the past two years in this work among
the 
Indians of Nebraska puts at rest all doubts in my mind respecting the possibility
of 
civilizing Indians. 
Three of the tribes of this State, viz, the Santees, Winnebagoes, and Iowas,
have 
made as rapid progress in this direction as could be expected under the circumsfances;
and I do not hesitate to say, that if the same liberal support is granted
to them in the 
future, and the same guarded care is extended with respect to the appointment
of 
agents and employ6s who are sent among them-every one of whom should be a
missionary in the true sense of the word-that the time is not far distant
when these 
tribes will become useful, industrious, self-supporting citizens, and fitted
to exercise 
the elective franchise with at least as much judgment as many of the whites
who now 
enjoy that privilege. 
With respect to the remaining tribes in this State, who have matle lesi progress,
I 
am confident that, with the necessary funds to compensate the Indians for
their labor, 
the same good results would follow. 
It is impossible in the very nature of things to change the habits and thoughts
of a 
whole people in a year, or even in several years; the old cannot-be expected
to make 
great changes in their mode of life. It is only from the minds of the young
and ris- 
ing generation that we can hope to eradicate the plants of superstition and
ignorance 
which now so darkly shadow the intellect, and to plant there instead the
seeds of vir- 
tue, knowledge,and truth. Whatever is thus accomplished must be done through
pa- 
tience, perseverance, and forbearance, keeping in view the divine injunction,
"What- 
soever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them."
Very respectfully, thy friend,                   BARCLAY WHITE, 
Saperinten dent Indian Affatrs. 
Hon. EDWARD P. SMITH 
Commissioner Indian Affairs, Washington, D. C. 
8. 
SANTEE AGENCY, NEBRASKA, 
Ninthmonth 9th, 1873. 
RESPECTED FRIEND: I herewith respectfully submit this my third annual report:
I think I can truthfully say that each year marks an advancement in the condition
of these Indians. 
The health of the tribe is improving some, but there are retarding causes
which will 
require years to overcome, one of which is syphilis, in its varied forms,
and not unfre- 
quently terminating in scrdfulous consumption. 
The Indians have received a fresh impetus to engage in farming operations
since the 
honorable Commissioner's visit here, and his officially notifying them that
their sub- 
sistence would be discontinued after this present fiscal year. So far, with
few excep- 
tions, they neither complain nor seem discouraged, but accept it very cheerfully,
ex- 
pressing their determination to show by their efforts that they intend to
make a living. 
I have grave doubts, however, about the propriety of discontinuing altogether
their 
subsistence. I would suggest that the flour ration be continued for one year
longer, 
for this reason: Many of them will not have enough ground broken to commence
raising wheat the first year. It need not be issued regularly, but might
be left discre- 
tionary with the agent, to be given to the able-bodied ones for actual labor
performed 
in lieu of money, and the old, infirm, and sick to be cared for as they are
now. Un- 
less something of this kind is done, I am satisfied that there will be considerable
suf- 
fering, especially among the latter class. 
The past season, like the one previous, has been remarkably good; plenty
of rain to 
keep crops growing nicely, although it was too wet early in the spring, retarding
planting to some extent on the bottom-lands, and during the "June rise"
of the Mis- 
souri some of these lands wereso badly overflowed that in a few places the
crops were 
entirely destroyed. The migratory grasshopper threatened the crops at two
different 
times. They came over in the Sixthmonth, and again in the Eighthmonth, but
did 
not alight in sufficient numbers to do any particular harm, although large
clouds of 
them passed over at each time. For a full statistical account of the farming
opera- 
tions, I refer thee to the farmer's report. 
The manual-labor school-building is progressing satisfactorily, with a fair
prospect 
of its being completed within the time contracted for. 
For the purpose of carrying on this institution, (manual-labor school,) including
board of scholars, salary and board of employds, about the sum of $6,000
will be re- 
quired. If thore are no funds applicable for this purpose, I would respectfully
suggest 
the propriety of obtaining the aforesaid amount to be used for that purpose,
believing 


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