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

[Uintah Valley agency],   pp. 260-261 PDF (1.0 MB)

Page 260

keep its promises. These goods have been on the road since June 8, but have
not been 
heard from by me; and I would respectfully call your attention to the fact
that some 
way should be devised in the future so that the Indians may receive the goods
on or 
before September 1 of each year. 
In conclusion, I desire to acknowledge the promptness of your Department
the year in acting upon my requisitions and recommendations, whereby I was
to transact the business of this office in a like prompt manner. 
I have th6 honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
United States Indian Agent. 
Hon. E. P. SMITH, 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washingtov, D. C. 
UINTAII VALLEY AGENCY, UTA, September 25, 1873. 
SiR: In accordance with the instructions of the Department, I submit this
my third 
annual report of the service under my charge. The past year has been much
quiet and satisfactory than the preceding one, so far as the temper and achievements
of our Indians are concerned. The policy of treating them liberally has been
antly shown to be both economical and wise. After the excitements of the
Indian war were passed, and our Indians saw and realized that their wants
and neces- 
sities were comparatively well provided for, they settled down quietly upon
the reser- 
vation and seemed to be well satisfied with the annuity goods forwarded by
the )epart- 
ment, and the beef, flour, and other supplies we were enabled to issue. There
about five hundred Indians on the reaervation most of the winter. A greater
than usual; still they were comparatively contented. As the season for agricultural
labor approa'ched they held many "talks" among themselves, and
finally got up quite 
an enthusiasm. The result was that about fifty lodges, or about two hundred
Indians, were directly or indirectly engaged in farming operations. So great
was the 
zeal for farming in the spring that there was great difficulty in supplying
all with the 
necessary teams and implements, as they all wanted to work at the same time.
was the principal crop with all. They seemed to think there could be no farm
it. According to the estimate of my head farmer they had, in wheat alone,
from one 
hundred and fifty to two hundred acres, beside about fifty acres in other
crops. Much 
of this land was cleared of sage brash, and the greater part of it plowed
by the Indi- 
ans themselves. Some of them were so ambitious that they sowed their own
preferring to do all the work themselves. Of course, their farming was not
done in 
the most approved manner; still there was much hard labor performed. Work
is a 
civilizer, and though the products were comparatively small, yet the aggregated
cent results to the Indians themselves cannot be easily estimated. The products
not commensurate with the amount of ground cultivated, or with the work actually
done. Many, after putting in their crops, when the time for visiting the
and settlements came, could not resist the temptation. Though they promised,
and I 
doubt not intended, to return and attend to their crops, most of those who
went failed 
to do so, and thus lost the result of their earlier labors. But those who
remained or 
returned in season are now rejoicing in what to them seems a bountiful harvest.
Among those specially worthy of commendation for their persevering efforts
and suc- 
cess in farming I would mention Chief Tabby, whose example and counsels have
most salutary. There were also several sub-chiefs and other prominent Indians
efforts are worthy of special praise. As the Indians take entire charge of
their crops 
it is almost, if not quite, impossible to tell what was produced, but it
is estimated that 
their wheat crop alone must have been about twelve hundred bushels. Had it
been for the cold, backward spring, and neglect on the part of many, the
yield would 
have been very much greater. But, as before intimated, the full benefits
of the year's 
labors are not to be estimated by the amount of products, but very largely
by the moral 
and encouraging influence of those labors upon the Indians themselves, which
is shown 
by their commencing even now to prepare ground for next year's crop. During
intercourse with these Indians I have never known them to be in better temper
have so much ambition to help themselves; and with judicious encouragement
aid this agency might, in a few years, be brought nearly, if not quite, to
a self-sustain- 
ing condition. 
As one means to this end, I would recommend that rewards be given for special
cellence or efficiency in any department of agricultural work. A small fund
placed at 
the disposal of each agent, under judicious regulations, might be productive
of most 

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