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

[Nevada agency],   pp. 253-256 PDF (2.0 MB)


Page 253

REPORT OF COMMISSIONER          OF INDIAN. AFFAIRS.          253 
sanitary measure, it is important that they should have a proportion of vegetable
diet. I shall also break up several garden plats and build several additional
houses,. 
and expect, with the abolition of the liquor trade, to induce a like number
of Indian 
families to settle down and cultivate the soil. 
MISSION WORK. 
It is a fact to be regretted that there has never been a mission-school established,
neither any missionary labor on the reservation. The Blackfeet Nation of
Indians 
affords a large field for work of this kind, and I earnestly hope that sowethiug
will 
be done in this direction during the coming year. 
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
WM. T. ENSIGN, 
U. S. Indian Agent for Blackfeet and others. 
Honl. EDWARD P. SMITIf, 
Commissioner Jindian Affairs, WVashington, D. C. 
41. 
OFFICE OF NEVADA INDIAN AGENCY, 
PRYAMID LAKE RESERVATION, 
Nevada, September 30, 1873. 
SIR: According to the regulations of the Indian Department, I have the honor
to, 
submit the following as my third annual report as United States Indian agent
in 
Nevada. 
One year ago, when I submitted my second annual report, I was full of hope,
and 
only looked forward with bright prospects to an early and continued success.
And 
now, as I retrospect the year that is past, I am constrained to believe that
while 
disappointments have had their place, and not as much of success as anticipated
has 
attended our efforts, yet much has been gained for which we have cause to
be grateful. 
One thing is apparent to all conversant with our work: An increased interest
on the 
part of a largely increased number of Indians in the measures put forth by
the Gov- 
ernment for their improvement. At first it was not often you could see Indians
at 
work unless a superintendent was with them continually, but now at almost
any time 
you can see Indians working, improving their ranches, building fences, hauling
stone 
for dams, digging ditches, clearing lands, and, in fact, doing any and all
kinds of work 
known to the farmer. 
In passing an Indian ranch, a few days ago, I discovered a building going
up, the 
mechanism of which was so novel that I got out of my wagon to inspect it.
It was 
about 14x18 feet in size, and was constructed by cutting timber about 6 inches
in 
diameter and 10 or 12 feet long, squaring both ends and then setting one
end in a trench 
in the ground, and bringing the top ends to a line; hewing each row so that
they 
would fit closely together; and thus the building was complete. I interrogated
the 
leader as to what he was building, and he said it was for a chicken-house.
I pronounced 
it royal, and who knows but some wayfaring divine may yet have occasion to
thank 
Chm for his industry in this department of civilization ? 
But this was not all; the same Indian desired that I should leave my team
in care 
of" one of the boys," and go with him. I went, and, to my surprise,
he brought me to a 
corral where I was shown a fine young cow, with a calf by her side, that
he had pur- 
chased a short time previous. What could I say-? One year ago I recommended
to the 
Department the stocking of the reservations with cattle for breeding, as
one of the 
most important measures that could be adopted. The appropriation was not
made;' 
but here, an Indian, of his own accord, and with his own appropriation, had
made the 
beginning. It was good to see the sparkle in his eye while he was thus showing
me 
around. But this was not all. The same Indian and his band of associates
have. 
raised their second crop, and the past year received from the Government
not to exceed 
twenty-five dollars. They have broken their own horses, and have plowed,
sown, and 
reaped enough to give them a good support. 
It affords me the greatest pleasure to be able to state that, as the Indians
improve, a 
growing sympathy toward them is apparent on the part of the citizens of this
com- 
monwealth. 
I have not been visited, as I have often desired and many times expressed,
by com- 
missioners during my service in Nevada; but now and then visitors have favored
me 
with their presence, and, after a brief sojourn, have gone from our field
of labors with 
advanced views of the work, and to present the workings of the policy to
others in a 
way to bring sympathy and interest. 
Much is due to the press for the hearty support given to the efforts put
forth to ameli- 
orate the condition of the Indians. * * " But you may say that the Indians
cannot 
read, and how can they be thus inspired? Very true; but scarcely a report
is snade 
- --in 


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