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

[Southern Apache agency],   pp. 275-276 PDF (983.4 KB)


Page 275

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. 


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