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

[Navajo sub-agency],   p. 274 PDF (483.4 KB)

Page 274

Fort Defiance, N. Mex., September 3, 1873. 
SIR: In compliance with the requirements of the Indian Department, I have
honor to present my annual report of the condition and advancement of the
Indians, of New Mexico, for the year 1873. I arrived at this place, for daty
in connec- 
tion with the Navajo agency, August 5, 1873, and, as soon as the necessary
ments could be made, proceeded to the San Juan River, to make an examination
report of the country belonging to the reservation in that vicinity for purposes
agriculture, as directed by you. A copy of that report was forwarded to your
August 31. The Indians of this tribe are advancing rapidly in material wealth,
by year, and side by side with the white settlers of this country. They have
now in 
their possession several hundred thousand head of sheep, over ten thousand
head of 
horses and a large number of cattle. Sheep are their favorite stock, owing
to their 
rapid increase, the ease with which they are kept, and the benefit of their
The manufacture of the well-known Navajo blankets is a source of considerable
to them, by providing them with the main portion of their clothing, by sale,
and by 
trade among the Mormons of Utah Territory and other tribes of Indians. They
make their own saddles, bridles, bridle-bits, moccasins, belts, leggins,
and a variety of 
other articles for comfort and convenience, with a degree of skill that is
when their limited facilities for these purposes are considered. 
Their conduct for a number of years past (since their complete subjugation
in the 
late Navajo war) has been a source of great trouble, by their propensity
for stealing 
live-stock. This custom, however, has been gradually discontinued, and I
am happy 
to say that not a single depredation of this kind has come to the knowledge
of their 
late agent, Mr. Hall, for the past year. Persevering efforts have been made
to educate 
these Indians, and induce them to adopt a civilized mode of life, but, owing
to their 
being thinly scattered over an immense extent of territory, it has been impossible
make such progress as had been hoped for. 
If my report of the San Juan country is favorably considered, it is believed
most of the disadvantages in this respect may be overcome. A statement of
the gen- 
eral management and condition of the agency will be forwarded in the agent's
Very respectfully, yohr obedient servant, 
Special Agent for Navajoes. 
Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Santa F', X. N/. 
Fort Stanton, .N Mex., September 1, 1873. 
SIn: I have the honor to submit the following annual report of the affairs
and con- 
dition of this agency. On assuming charge, April 2, 1873, I found no designated
ervation, no buildings belonging to the agency, no accommodations of any
sort or kind, 
but the agent was dependent upon outside parties for every necessary for
himself and 
for supplies of whatsoever kind. The Mescalero Apaches are savages, having
no in- 
cliuation to civilization in any respect. Their government is patriarchal;
dwelling in 
bands or families, with one principal chief for each band; remaining but
a short time 
in one place and having no fixed abode; traveling a large extent of country,
seldom or 
never appearing in full numbers at the agency, but receiving rations by representa-
tion. Although at peace, frequent depredations were charged to these Indians
as hav- 
ing been committed in Texas and along the valley of the Pecos River, the
great cattle- 
trail from Texas to New Mexico and Colorado; and learning that one drover
had been 
attacked and severely wounded near Pope's Crossing, about the 1st of August,
I vis- 
ited Seven Rivers, distant one hundred and fifty miles, to ascertain the
truth of these 
reports. I found the wounded man at Seven Rivers, (since dead,) and found
all the 
facts and evidence obtained, and from the finding of stolen stock and property
in their 
possession near the agency, and from the apparent fact that the number of
horses and 
mules was very great and constantly increasing, the conclusion was fair that
Imdians were guilty of complicity, at least, and shared in the profits of
the thefts, if not 
entirely responsible for all. 
The presenc'e of any other tribe has not been at any other time proven, and
it is 
well known that these Indians were accustomed to visit that region, hax lug
a rendez- 
v~ous in the Guadalupe Mountains, in which direction all trails of stolen
stock led. The 

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