University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

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

[Blackfoot agency],   pp. 251-253 PDF (1.4 MB)


Page 251

REPORT    OF COMMISSIONER       OF INDIAN     AFFAIRS.       251 
have never ceased to work for the accomplishment of that purpose, and there
is now 
no reasonable doubt of the removal of a large portion of it within the next
sixty days, 
When the tribe becomes thus divided the balance will sqon follow to the reservation,
and there being no -Dressing necessity for their immediate removal it would
be impoli- 
tic to resort to coercion. 
I have visited most of the Indian lodges and houses in the Bitter Root Valley,
and 
talked as much as possible with the white settlers, and notwithstanding the
desire of 
the latter to see troops brought into requisition, yet some of them don't
wish to part 
with the Indians; nor can they state more than one case in which a Flathead
has com- 
mitted a crime against a white person, and this was the shooting of a cow
by one who 
received one hundred and fifty lashes for the offense by order of the chief
Charlos. 
In reference to the act of January 5, 1873, 1 have spent from the 1st to
the 6th instant 
in the Bitter Root Valley, with the view of directing the Flathead Indians
in the selec- 
tion of their lands; but I have found none who wish to avail themselves of
the bene- 
fits of that act. Those refusing to remove to the Jocko reservation state
that they will 
remain in the Bitter Root Valley as Indians, not as citizens, and we may
survey their 
lands as much as we please, but they will neither recognize survey boundaries
or pay 
taxes. 
Arley and Adolph, second and third chiefs, have on this occasion again promised
me 
that they and twelve or fourteen families would remove to this reservation
in two 
weeks time, and others would follow from time to time until none but Charlos,
first 
chief, and one or two others be left in the Bitter Root Valley. In order
to secure the 
active co-operation of the second chief, I promised to recommend him as head-chief
of 
the tribe in place of Charlos, who forfeits his right by refusing to remove
or be a citi- 
zen. And in consideration of the services -he has rendered, I therefore recommend
that 
Arley b6 made head-chief of the Flathead tribe. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
D. SHANAHAN, 
United States Inidian Jgent. 
Hn. EDWARD P. SMITH, 
Commissioner of Indien Affairs, Washington, D. C. 
40. 
BLACKFOOT AGENCY, MONTANA, 
September 1, 1873. 
SIR: In accordance with instructions from the Department, I have the honor
to sub- 
mit herewith my annual report. 
DISPOSITION OF INDIANS. 
I arrived here and took charge of the agency September 15, 1872, and from
that time 
up to the present writing, with one exception, which was reported at the
time of the 
occurrence, I have not learned of any depredations upon white men, by Indians
under 
my charge. Their desire, expressed and acted upon, has been not only to sustain
peace- 
able but friendly relations with their "white neighbor," and I
am pleased to report, 
as a general rule, an equally kind feeling existing on the part of the better
class of set- 
tlers on the borders of the reservation. 
Quite a number of the Piegan tribe have expressed a willingness to settle,
live in 
houses and cultivate the soil, and were it not for the infamous whisky-traffic,
(of which 
I shall make, more extended mention hereafter,) I have not the slightest
doubt but 
that I might have been able to report a fair representation of the Indians
as cultivat- 
ing farms. 
NUMBERS. 
As nearly as I have been able to ascertain from positive data, and such reliable
in- 
formation as has been furnished me by the principal chiefs, I find the estimate
made 
last year of the different tribes belonging to this agency about correct,
to wit: 
No. of lodges. No. of Indians. 
Blackfeet----------------.------------------------------------600    3, 000
Bloods.- . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . .  . . . . . . . .  300    1,750
Bloodns---------------------------------------------------- 350      21,750
Piegans .................................................... 350       2,
75th 
Total-...................................................1,250  7,500, 
Of these, the Piegans are the only Indians who, as a tribe, come to the agency
for 
supplies. One band of the Bloods, under the chief Running Rabbit, also come
regu- 
larly for t eir rations; but every effort on my part to induce the Blackfeet
and the 
main camp of Bloods to visit the agency has thus far proved abortive. These
tribes .. 


Go up to Top of Page