United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1873
[Southern Apache agency], pp. 275-276 PDF (983.4 KB)
REPORT OF COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 275 custom of issuing passes to them to visit Texas, Seven Rivers, and the plains east or any point remote from the agency, was discontinued as being improper, and no pass has been issued since I assumed charge of this agency. I have insisted that they should remain in this immediate vicinity. It has been impossible, from various causes, to establish a regular issue-day, or to effect a regular attendance. A reservation has been set apart and designated for these Indians, but has not been surveyed or its boundaries indicated to them; neither has an official copy been furnished this office. The buildings on the military reservation of Fort Stanton, and belonging to the former post trader, I am informed, verbally, were purchased in June by the superintendent of Indian affairs for the use of the agency. The buildings are ample for all the necessi- ties of the agency, and would afford suitable rooms for schools if it was deemed expe- dient to establish such. There is no other way of civilizing these Indians than to compel them to remain upon their own reservation by a military force, restore the property they have stolen, dismount and disarm them, and teach them to respect the rights of citizens. Were they disposed or inclined to labor by cultivating the soil in the valleys along the streams, raising stock upon the mountains, they might become rich in flocks and herds, and would soon be self-supporting. Respectfully, your obedient servant, S. B. BUSHNELL, Agent Mescalero Apaches. L. E. DUDLEY, &1erintendent Indian, Affairs. 50. SOUTHERN APACHE INDIAN AGENCY, Talerosa, N. Mex., Selptember 4, 1873. Sn :.I have the honor to submit hereby my first annual report of the Southern Apache agency. I assumed charge of the agency on the 11th of January, of this year. At that time there was no appearance of order in the management of the agency, but in a few weeks I succeeded, against strong opposition from the chiefs, in establishing a uniform ration and a regular day for issuing rations. The beef had been issued ' on the hoof," and there were always quite a number who failed to get a share The Southern Apaches have never known the power of the Government, and since they have been upon a reservation have accepted Government bounty in a spirit far different from what was intended and expected. Their idea of the reservation system a few months ago was that they were to be furnished with a home where they would have every bodily want supplied by right; that the agent and his employds were among them to act as their menials, and to await their pleasure in all things; that during the pleasant season they would be allowed to leave their women and children to be fed and protected on the reservation, while they visited the settlers on the Rio Grande to steal stock and bring it home with them and claim the protection of the agency. It is only occasionally that such stolen stock can be proven and returned to the own- ers. I tried hard for nearly five months to stop this practice of stealing horses, telling them that it would soon bring trouble upon them, but without effect." Early in the summer Col. William Redwood Price, of the Eighth Cavalry, took com- mand of the troops in Southern New Mexico, and since then I have had his earnest and efficient aid in controlling these Indians. In July, Colonel Price came to the agency with a force of three companies of cavalry, and, at my request, arrested a number of Indians. This frightened the tribe so that they fled to the hills, and, at my request, Colonel Price pursued them with such persistence and rapidity as to overtake them in two days and compel a council, which they had refused to hold at the agency. They saw that they were overpowered, and came back to the agency very penitent. I ap- pointed a new principal chief, who exercises a good deal of wholesome authority over the tribe. . The issue of corn as a ration to these Indians has been the cause of a great deal of trouble until a month ago, when that ration was ordered to be very much reduced. They manufacture an intoxicating drink of the corn, and, under the influence of this drink, they do a great deal of fighting among themselves. Since January, seven have been killed in these fights and about twenty wounded. There has been no farming done by these Indians. Although they are very fond of nearly every variety of vegetable, they are too averse to work to make any effort to cultivate any of them. The employds have raised a garden and about live acres of spring wheat. The reservation is not well adapted to the cultivation of corn, but wheat and all varieties of vegetables do excellently well. The cultivation of potatoes alone would be very profitable. If the Indians would pay any attention to raising stock, they would soon be rich from that source alone.
As a work of the United States government, this material is in the public domain.| For information on re-use see: http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/Copyright