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

[Cheyenne River agency],   pp. 231-233 PDF (1.5 MB)


Page 231

Ri 
EPORT OF COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
231 
I 
Hon. E. P. SMITH, 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington, D. C. 
EDMONP) I'ALMERi, 
United States Indian Agent. 
29. 
CHEYENNE RIVER INDI.N AGENCY, DAKOTA, 
October 25, 1873, 
Sin: I have the honor to submit this my first annual report as agent for
the Two- 
Kettle, Minneconjoux, Sans Arcs, and a part of the Blackfeet bands of Sioux
Indians. 
a little fresh garden-truck, which was mostly consumed before properly matured.
I 
am, therefore, unable to give an estimate of the amount raised by them. 
Although they-appear to have manifested an interest in these simple and limited
operations, I am of the opinion that no material advancement can be made
in farming 
without the aid of considerable skilled labor, and the necessary appliances
to render 
such labor of the greatest possible or practicable utility. Fields of respectable
dimen- 
sions should take the place of garden-patches, and all operations should
be directed 
and asisted by skilled and intelligent agriculturists, with the use of suitable
imple- 
ments, until such time as the Indians may become sufficiently skilled to
manage their 
own farms profitably. This plan will require considerable expenditure of
money, but 
if progress is hoped for, in the effort to render the Sioux Indians self-sustaining
on a 
civilized basis, the outlay seems to me to be most essential. 
As the Indians have abandoned their old farms, and moved to this place, with
the ex- 
ception of a portion of the Lower Yanctonai, who are encamped on the other
side of 
the river, opposite the agency, and who will, no doubt, remain there until
they see if 
their friends on this side are bettered by the change, it will be necessary
to have some 
land broken for them here. In view of the foregoing I would strongly recommend
that 
half an acre of land, for each family, be broken for them at once; or say
five hundred 
acres in all. I would also recommend that a sufficient number of log-houses
be built, 
enough to accommodate all the chiefs and head-soldiers, say about three hundred.
I 
know of nothing that would tend more to their civilization than by getting
them 
into houses, as it would, in a great measure, break up their roving disposition.
Although the principal Indians of this agency take no interest in the establishment
of schools, I think it of the utmost importance that some steps should be
taken toward 
the establishment of at least one school-house. There are a great number
of youths 
here between the ages of 7 and 14 years, of whom, I have no doubt, the greater
part, by 
a little judicious handling, could be made to attend. I would, therefore,
recommend 
that the sum of $7,500 be placed to my credit from the general school fund,
for the 
erection of a school-house and pay of teachers. 
On the 12th and 17th of last month the Gros Ventres made two raids upon this
place, 
and carried off 14 horses, one of which belonged to the United States Indian
Depart- 
ment, and the others to employ6s and Indians. This raid, as a consequence,
created 
great excitement among the Indians, and it was with considerable persuasion
that I 
succeeded in preventing them from retaliating, promising to exert myself
to have the 
stolen stock returned. On my requesting J. E. Tappan, United States Indian
agent 
at Fort Berthold, to endeavor to secure them, he promptly responded, and
the horses 
were returned to their proper owners, which had the effect of allaying all
bitter feelings 
among them. 
I have just finished issuing the annuity goods, with which the Indians seem
well sat- 
isfied. They are also much pleased at the sight of the wagons, oxen, cows,
&c., and 
are anxious to go into farming on a large scale next spring. 
The new saw-mill, which was received on the 12th instant, has been set up,
and is 
now in successful operation, turning out a large amount of lumber daily.
The work on the new agency buildings is progressing rapidly, but has been
some- 
what delayed on account of the long detention of the saw-mill at Bismarck.
Since the removal of the agency to this place I have had only a guard of
12 soldiers, 
and I could dispense with them, only they are required as a check against
the roughs 
who infest this river. 
On the 12th ultimo, as the Indians were ferrying their beef across the Missouri
River, 
just above the old agency, the boat, by some accident, was overturned, and
Mr. J. 1-. Har- 
die, the agency farmer, and two Indians, were drowned. It was impossible
to render 
them any assistance, as there was no other boat at the place. The steamer
"May Low- 
ery" passing soon after the accident, I found it necessary to engage
her services in fer- 
rying the Indians and their beef across the river. The bodies of the two
Indians have 
been recovered, but I regret to state that although every endeavor has been
made to 
recover the body of Mr. Hardie, it has not been found. 
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 


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