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

[White River agency],   pp. 256-257 PDF (1004.8 KB)


Page 256

256    REPORT OF COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
Three days' ride from this agency, for an Indian, would bring him to the
lava-beds. 
It was a time of watchfulness with me, for I meant to detect, if possible,
any connec- 
tion, if there was any, with the belligerents. 
One day, I think in February, Captain Joe, one of the faithful leaders on
this reserve, 
brought me a letter to read for him, just received. I opened it and found
it signed by 
the name of Winuemucca, the old war-chief of the Pah-Utes, known to be unfriendly
toward the whites. The contents of the letter were as follows: 
"Captain Joe: Some Indians have beenkilled over on Stein River, and
I you want 
to come and bring some of your best men and go see about it." 
This seemed to indicate a movement in alliance with the Modocs. As soon as
I read 
the letter to the captain, he asked me if I would write a letter for him.
I answered 
in the affirmative, assuring him I would write what he desired. "Then,
agent," dic- 
tated the captain, "you write old Winnemucca that I haint lost any Indians
and 
shall not come." With this brief letter terminated all communications
relative to the 
war, on the part of those with whom I have to do ; and nothing would produce
more 
anxiety in their minds than the utterance that the Government believed them
in any 
way associated with the war.                                            
_X 
One fact I think worthy of note. When I entered this office, in the superintendency
of the Walker River and Pyramid Lake reservations, the Indian' service was
in debt 
between seven and eight thousand dollars. To-day I have satisfaction to say
that, so, 
far as I am aware, the Indian service in this superintendency does not owe
one dime. 
With gratitude for the generous forbearance of the Department, and humbly
urging 
that sufficient means will be granted to carry forward this enterprise to
the desired 
end, 
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
C. A. BATEMAN, 
United States Indian Agert,  evada. 
lion. EDWARD P. SMITH, 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs. 
42. 
WHITE RIVE, COLORADO, September 30, 1873. 
SIR: Agreeably to instructions, I have the honor to submit my annual report
of the 
agency and the Indians under my charge. The five dwelling-houses at the agency
have been put in a comparatively good condition for the winter. Dr. J. D.
Bevier, In- 
dian inspector, after making a thorough examination of their condition for
permanent 
use, recommended as slight repairs as possible. He also recommended, and
I approve 
the same, that the new buildings to be erected for the agent and the employds
be put 
up two miles below, down the river, adjoining the best arable land in the
valley. I 
have erected one frame house 22 by 40 feet, 8 feet high, to be used by the
Utes as a re- 
ception-house, and for the purpose of holding council. It is so constructed
that it can 
be removed without injury to the spot designed for the other buildings. 
The mill is again in successful operation, the belting and frame-work having
been de- 
stroyed by the fire of July 3, 1873, which caught from the furnace. 
Dr. Bevier recommended, and I approve the same, that the timber necessary
for the. 
erection of the new buildings be got out and thoroughly seasoned the coming
year. 
The pine timber, the most desirable and difficult to be obtained here, will
have to be 
cut fifteen miles up the river and rafted down at high water in the spring.
Cotton- 
wood, which must form the principal part of the lumber, is plentiful and
near the 
mill, and will be sawed into lumber this winter. We also require miles of
fencing for 
a pasture and for the farming land. 
The year has been a very unpropitious one for agricultural pursuits. From
fifteen 
to twenty acres were put under cultivation in the spring, of wheat, oats,
potatoes, and 
garden vegetables. The extreme drought, no rain having fallen from May to
September 
of any account, prevented the crops from maturing on the irrigated lands.
The wheat 
and oats were well irrigated in the early part of the season, and gave for
a time bet-_ 
ter promise than last year, but the extreme drought caused the creek to dry
up, and the 
countless number of grasshoppers that darkened the sky for three weeks in
July, eating, 
up every blade of grain and almost every green thing, completed the work
of destruction. 
We succeeded, however, in putting up 100 tons of hay that grew in the low-lands
and 
springy places, where the ravages of the grasshoppers did not prevail to
so great an. 
extent. The herd of cattle has increased from 571 to 704 during the past
year; al, 
though they' are not in so fine condition as last year, owing to the scanty
pasturage of 
the summer; yet they are in a fair condition. 
The Indians, to the number of 800. have been uniformly on the reservation
the en- 
tire year, with the exception of small parties, who have received passes,
who have,. 
from time to time, gone to Denver. None of them have gone farther north than


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