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

[Nez Percé agency],   pp. 245-246 PDF (911.1 KB)


Page 245

REPORT OF COMMISSIONER          OF INDIAN     AFFAIRS.       245 
There is a growing interest felt in schools, though some difficulties still
to overcome;'\ 
superstition and want of parental authority are perhaps the greatest. The
teacher is 
laboring with commendable zeal, and about forty boys have been instructed
during 
the past year. Those that attended with some degree of regularity have advanced
/ 
capidly. 
Houses for the Indians to live in would not only conduce to more regular
attendance 
at school, but would have a civilizing influence over them in many ways.
They speak 
of houses and cattle as their greatest want not yet provided for. They have
been com- 
fortably subsisted during the past year. This has been dealt to them by a
regular sys- 
tem, by which every man, woman, and child get their exact rations, and the
tally- 
paper of each issue, giving the number of Indians and the amount issued,
is filed 
away for reference. 
Treaty stipulations on the part of the Governmerit have in the last three
years been 
strictly complied with at this agency ; perhaps the only exception is the
continued and 
persistent effort of white men to crowd upon the reservation, the bad result
of which 
may be severely felt at some future time. 
The general appearance of the Indians has very much improved. Instead of
the 
dirty, squalid, sickly people they once were, they are now becoming much
more tidy 
in their dress and cleanly in their persons and habits; they are cheerful
and healthy, 
and say that there are about two births for one death ii the tribe, whereas
they were 
heretofore rapidly decreasing. 
Neighboring tribes of Indians have sent runners to this agency to see if
it was true 
that the Shoshones had settled quietly down on their reservation and commenced
farming. The Crow Nation has sent, congratulating the Shoshones on the favorable
change in their affairs. Shoshones who left the tribe long ago, and other
Shoshones, 
mixed bloods, numbering 46 lodges and 216 souls, have lately come into the
agency, 
and ask that they may be permitted to stay and learn to farm; and it is reported
among the Indians that many more desire to come, and I have no doubt will
be 
here in due time. 
Many difficulties have to be met and overcome, yet there is no reason known
to me 
why these Indians shall not be self-subsisting in a very few years, and a
secure foun- 
,dation laid for civilization. 
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
JAMES .IRWIN, 
United States Special Indian Agent. 
Hon. EDWARD P. SMIT11, 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington, D. C. 
36. 
OFFICE INDIAN AGENT, NEZ PERC' INDIANS, 
Lapwai, Idaho, September 9, 1873. 
SIR: In compliance with the requirements of the Department I respectfully
submit 
the following as my annual report: 
THE TRIBE. 
During the past year the Indians have been unusually quiet; those living
on the re- 
serve having engaged largely in farming, manifesting greater interest than
ever before, 
and the results of their labors showing greater progress in the art of husbandry;
and if 
they continue to progress as rapidly as appearances now indicate they will,
it will not 
be long before they will be in reality a civilized people and worthy of becoming
citizens. 
Those living outside the reserve are mostly non-treaties, anl do not make
much pro- 
gress or advancement. They have given no trouble during the past season,
and seem 
to have made up their minds to get along as easily as possible with all.
Joseph And band have spent the greater part of the summer in the Wallowa
Valley 
and will remain there until snow falls. 
FARMING. 
The crops are much better this season than last, and those Indians who cultivated
their fields will have plenty and to spare. Many such will find a good market
for their 
surplus, having from fifty to one hundred bushels of grain for sale. The
products of 
lands cultivated for the agency is in excess of that of last year. Will have
an abund- 
ance of vegetables for the schools and nearly enough wheat for one year.
The table 
of statistics will give details of farming. 
There are many old Indians that have been cast off who will have to be cared
for 
sluring the coming winter ; a padt of their subsistence will come from that
raised at the 
agency. 


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