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

[S'Kokomish agency],   pp. 310-311 PDF (1009.5 KB)


Page 310

310       REPORT OF COMMISSIONER          OF INDIAN     AFFAIRS. 
65. 
SKOKOMISH AGENCY, WASHINGTON TERRITORY, 
September 23, 1873. 
Siin,: It becomes my duty to make my third annual report of the affairs at
this agency 
and the Indians belonging to this reservation. 
The general condition of the Indians under my charge is much the same as
at the 
time of my last report. The year has been quiet, peaceful, and prosperous.
During 
the month of October last I made a distribution of annuity goods to such
Indians under 
my charge as came for them. In consequence of the great distance that most
of the 
S'Klallanis live from the agency, not half of that tribe came for their goods.
Less than 
five hundred in all were present at the distribution. During the past few
weeks I 
have visited most of the Indian towns of the S'Klallams. A large proportion
of them 
live on the southern shore of the Straits of Juan de Fuca, in small villages
from ten to 
twenty miles distant from each other. They occupy houses, some of which have
floors 
and windows, and are as good as many whites inhabit. They subsist by fishing
and 
working by the day or month for farmers and others. Some have declared their
inten- 
tion to become citizens, a:d have taken up claims, and are farming and accumulating
property. They seem to be peaceable and industrious; but many of them often
go 
across the straits, and get liquor in large quantities, and drink badly.
Being so far from 
the oversight of any one, they drink without any restraint. Others live at
the various 
saw-mills on the sound and work in them. These are doing well, except that
they 
connive secretly to get whisky and drink badly. 1 have endeavored to induce
them to 
come on to the reservation by offering to give them pieces of land of their
own to cul- 
tivate. They are very slow to take in such an idea, because that, first,
it removes 
them so far from their old homes. Then there is not a cordial good-feeling
between 
them and the Twanas, who are in the majority on the reservation. The reservation
is 
so small that they can have but small pieces of land, and must be thrown
in close prox- 
imity with those they do not like, and who speak a different language. Then,
there is 
not as good an opportunity to get work near the reservations as there is
where they now 
are; and the opportunities to get and sell fish where they are are far superior
to those 
near here. These reasons all combine to render it difficult to bring them
in any con- 
siderable numbers on the reservation. They are diminishing in number, and
the 
niost discouraging feature in relation to them is that they have scarcely
any children. 
Consequently, as a nation, when this generation passes away, they will become
almost 
extinct. 
The Twanas, who mostly live on the reservation, are improving. They are drinking
less than formerly, and work more steadily. Daring the past year they have
cut and 
sold 2 000,000 feet of saw-logs, which have been sold for about $10,000.
They are begin- 
ning" to clear up some of their land, have cut considerable hay, and
are raising some 
potatoes. I have distributed to them three hundred fruit-trees during the
last spring, 
which they have set out on their pieces of ground. 
The school has been steadily gaining. We report this year an attendance of
twenty 
scholars against fifteen last year. Their progress is quite satisfactory.
During the 
past summer the teacher has worked with the boys forenoons, and had study-hours
in 
the afternoons. They have cultivated about four acres of garden, and cut
and put. up 
for winter use over forty cords of good, dry wood. 
At the agency there was produced on the farm last year 700 bushels apples,
45 tons 
hay, 120 bushels potatoes, 125 bushels turnips, 110 bushels beets, 30 bushels
carrots, 20 
bushels parsnips, 20 bushels pears, and 25 bushels plums. This summer there
has been 
made a dike ten feet wide and about two feet high, 240 rods long, a rail
fence 300 rods 
long, a warehouse 20 by 36 feet, a council-house 20 by 40, also other improvements
on the 
buildings at the agency. The crops this year are good and have been well
taken 
care of. 
During the early part of the summer I made urgent request that the reservation
be 
enlarged, but the withdrawal of all alternate sections of land by the North
Pacific 
Railroad Company forbid such an extension. Since that time the company have
lo- 
cated their terminus at a point south of the desired extension, so that it
is presumable, 
at least, that the withdrawal will be rescinded. Should such be the case,
I earnestly 
request that such extension be made. 
I would call your attention to the following facts : Some ten or twelve years
ago the 
then acting superintendent of Indian affairs for this Territory, at the urgent
request of 
the Indians, decided upon adding to the reservation a half-section of land
which was 
a donation-claim of A. D. Fisher. The place and improvements were appraised
and 
the appraisement forwarded to Washington. The place was then turned over
to the 
agent, and used for the benefit of the Indians as a part of the reservation.
A portion 
of it was used by theum as a burying-ground for their dead. At that time
the land was 
all nnsnrveyed, so that no title could be given, as Mr. Fisher hind noiie.
As near as I 
can learn, no notice was ever taken of the appraisement, and Mr. Fisher has
never re- 


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