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

[Abiquiu agency],   pp. 276-277 PDF (993.7 KB)


Page 276

276    REPORT OF COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
The population varies from six hundred in winter to two hundred in summer.
It is 
hoped that the Indians will be under better control by next spring, and that
it will be 
possible to keep them on the reservation during the summer. Their property
consists 
of horses, mules, and burros, and of these there are generally about one
hundred on 
the reservation. 
The establishment of a school has not been attempted, because I knew that,
under 
the existing state of affairs, a school could not be made to do any good,
but would only 
result in failure and the expenditure of a large sum of money. Now, however,
the drunkenness will be nearly done away by reducing the corn ration, and
the In- 
dians will become tamer in all respects, I hope, and it is proposed to secure
a good 
teacher and make a strong effort to establish a school among them as soon
as possible. 
There will be many superstitions to overcome, but the old chiefs must see
a school and 
know what it is before they will withdraw their opposition. At. present they
seem to 
hare the idea that a school is an institution wherein knowledge is propagated
by a sort 
of clubbing process. 
There are not any worse Indians in the whole country to bring under the influence
of the policy of the Government for civilizing and Christianizing them; still
there has 
been progress made-enough for encouragement. It has not been long since they
wore 
but very little clothing; now the women sew excellently, and all the grown
Indians 
wear clothing of some sort or other. Three months ago, the lives of the agent
and em- 
ploys were threatened almost every week; sometimes shot at with arrows and
some- 
times threatened with fire-arms. Now the Indians are pretty well convinced
that such 
demonstrations are neither for their profit nor pleasure. There is gradual
improve- 
ment noticeable and I think that next year's report will notice a very decided
improve- 
ment. 
If this reservation.is to be considered the permanent home of these Indians,
new 
agency buildings should be constructed at once, because the temporary buildings
now 
in use will not last longer than six months. 
Most respectfully, your obedient servant, 
B. M. THOMAS, 
United States Agent for Southern Apaches. 
Col. L. EDWIN DUDLEY, 
Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Santa Fj, N. Mex. 
51. 
ABIQUIU INDIAN AGENCY, 
Tierra Amarilla, . Mex., September 15, 1873. 
Sift; I have the honor to submit to you my first annual report relative to
the con- 
dition of the Capote and Weeminuche Utes and the Jicarilla Apathe Indians
connec- 
ted with the Abiquiu agency. 
I relieved Capt. V. S. Defrees, acting agent for the Abiquiu Indians, July
10, 1873. 
Owing to the short time I have been connected with the agency my report must
necessarily be brief, and not as satisfactory to the Department as would
be desired. 
I regret that circumstances have been such that it has been impossible for
me to take 
the census of the Indians connected with my agency during the short time
I have been 
in charge. I observe that Lieutenant Hanson, who was in charge of the agency
in 
1870, reports, at that time, as follows; Capote Utes, 250; Weeminuche Utes,
650. 
I have reason to believe that the Weeminuche Utes have a much larger number
at this time, and would not estimate their number at less than nine hundred.
There has been in the vicinity of my agency, since I have been in charge,
some four 
hundred Jicarilla Apache Indians; a portion of whom do not belong to my agency,
but have been drawing rations for the last two months. 
Most of the Indians are well disposed, and no depredation of any kind has
been 
committed by them since I have been in charge. Most of them are destitute
of cloth- 
ing; but few have blankets. This is an article which will be indispensable
to them 
when cold weather sets in. As regards location of the agency, I would regard
it as 
favorable as any other, unless the Indians could be placed on a reservation
by them- 
selves. This I would recommend to be done at an early day as practicable.
The estab- 
lishment of an Indian agency at or near any of our Mexican towns has a tendency
to 
demoralize the Indians, and is suicidal to their progress in civilization
and Christianity. 
There are a class of men, I may say, about all Mexican towns, whose highest
ambition 
in life is to sell whisky to the Indians. This is the only trouble I have
had in connection 
with my agency, and the only suggestion I have to make to remedy this evil
would be 
to place the Indians on a reservation by themselves, and locate the agency
as near the 
center of the reservation as practicable, so as to prevent outside parties
from locating 
near the agency. 


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