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

[Sisseton agency],   pp. 225-227 PDF (1.5 MB)


Page 225

REPORT OF COMMISSIONER         OF INDIAN    AFFAIRS.        225 
bands, who, being in a transition state, their progress for self-support
is slow; but I 
have always taken every opportunity that has offered, since I have been connected
with them, to impress upon them the importance of providing for their own
suppor, 
and to inform them that it is not the intention' of the Government to feed
and pro- 
vide for them permanently, but, that in a few years, this support would be
withdrawn. 
Many of the Indians understand this, and are making preparations accordingly.
Hereafter I would recommend that the usual supply of "annuity goods"
(clothing, 
&c.) be withdrawn, and the funds now used for their purchase expended
in procuring 
farm-implements, and improving and increasing their stock of cattle. 
About the 6th of Fifthmonth, Es-sad-a-wa, head-chief of the Wichita band,
was mur- 
dered by a band of Osages. He had obtained a pass from the agent to hunt
buffalo, 
and gone to the plains with some of his men for this purpose. In the chase
he became 
separated from his men, and falling in with a small party of Osages, after
exchanging 
salutations, apparently friendly, they killed him without any known provocation.
The Wichitas were thrown into a high state of excitement when the information
reached their village, and preparations were about to be made for retaliation.
The 
sympathies of the whole affiliated bands were enlisted in a general banding
together 
for a war against the Osages, and in a few days they had the offer of the
assistance of 
the Kiowas and Comanches of the Kiowa agency, and the Indians of the agency
for 
the Cheyennes and Arap'ihoes. But word of the murder was brought to the agency
as 
soon as it was known, and a council was called in which a more moderate course
was 
urged, when it was concluded to endeavor to settle the matter by negotiation,
and a 
demand for the murderer. Shortly after, a letter was received from the Osages,
speak- 
ing in strong condemnation of the murder of Es-sad-a-wa, which they alleged
had been 
committed by a band of lawless men of the tribe, and asking for an interview
with 
the Wichitas, by which they hoped to satisfy them, as far as possible. Thereupon,
the 
Wichitas, after a good deal of discussion, in council, concluded to appoint
a delegation 
to proceed to the Osage agency, and accordingly about thirty of their head
and repre- 
sentative men were seLected for this purpose. In accordance with their appointment,
they met the Osages at their camp, in council, and made known the condition
upon 
which they hoped to have the difficulty settled. Several days were occupied
in coun- 
seling together, and the Osages not being willing to give up the parties
guilty of the 
murder, but offering to pay to the Wichitas a sum of money and turn over
some ponies 
and goods, a settlement was finally made in this way, an understanding being
had 
that in case a similar deed should be committed the guilty men should be
given up. 
. Although this settlement was not in accordance with what would appear justice
among civilized communities, yet it shows a great change in the disposition
of the In- 
dians of the affiliated bands, which naturally demand life for life; and
the great for- 
bearance shown by them on the occasion of such an event-the unprovoked murder
of 
a beloved and highly influential chief-leads to the remnrk that an Indian
may become 
susceptible of the refined feeling which will draw him to say, "Let
us have peace." 
The summer has been a very dry one here, and the crops have suffered greatly,
particularly the corn; all of which that was planted early will be almost
an entire 
failure. 
During the year good health has generally prevailed upon the reservation,
both with 
the Indians and others. 
That there has been some advancement in the right direction by the Indians
belong- 
ing to this agency, I believe is manifest, and with the fostering care of
the Govern- 
ment and earnest, self-sacrificing labors of those to whom their immediate
care may 
be intrusted, with the blessing of Divine Providence, they doubtless will
continue to 
improve and eventually become a useful people. 
Very respectfully, 
JONA. RICHARDS, 
United States Indian Agent. 
ENOCii HOAG, 
Superintendent Indian Affair8, Lawrence, Kan8. 
26. 
SISSETON SIOUX INDIAN AGENCY, 
Lake Traverse Reservation, Dak., September 20, 1873. 
SIR: In compliance with the regulationsof the Department, I have the honor
to sub- 
mit the following annual report of the affairs at this agency, iand the condition
of thWe 
Indians belonging thereto: 
Notwithstanding the severity of the last winter season, and the general prevalence
of the measles the past summer, the general health of the Sisseton and Wahpeton
bands 
of Sioux of my charge has been good, and through a kind providence the number
of 
15I A 


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